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Hakodate & Big Fires/函館と大火

Yesterday, March 21 was a memorial day for citizens here. On the same day in 1934, davastating big fire occured and burnt 24,186 houses(one third of the city) and the death toll was 2,166. My great-grandmother died in the fire. That was the worst fire in the city's history, however, other big fires that burnt more than 100 houses had happened 28 times since 1868.

That's why there still exist many historical fire-proofed buildings in western district, where it was the center of the city. Higashi-honganji Temple, for example, is the first concrete reinforced temple in Japan and churchhes around there were suffered fires a few times and reconstructed early 1900. You can see brick buildings and they were also built against fires.

Today countermeasures against fires function well and we haven't experienced big fires recently.

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Azenohana/野畔の花

“Azenohana(former Hotel Nitto Onuma)”is located near Onuma lake, which is in the Onama Quasi-national Park.
野畔の花(前ホテルニットー大沼)は大沼国定公園内、大沼の側にあります。

Its women's large communal bathroom has three bathtubs. A Jacuzzi(40℃), a cypress bath(42℃) and ordinary bath(41℃). All of them are indoor and there isn't any open air bath. But the bathroom commands a superb view of spectacular Mt. Komagatake through large pane.
女子大浴場には3つの浴槽があります。泡風呂(40度)、桧風呂(42度)、そして普通の浴槽(41度)です。全て室内で露天風呂はありません。でも、浴室からは大きな窓を通して見応えのある駒ヶ岳の素晴らしい景色を見ることができます。

And it has ganbanyoku, or a hot-stone-bed bathing room. To enjoy ganbanyoku, you need to wear sweat suits such as pajamas or bathroabe while bathing. You can bring your own or you can rent a bathrobe with 300yen.
そして岩盤浴があります。岩盤浴を利用するにはパジャマやバスローブといった汗を吸い取る服が必要です。自分のものを持ってきても良いし、300円でバスローブを借りることもできます。

A leisurely soak costs 700yen. Shampoo and body soap are not equipped. Hot spring water here comes directly from its source and it is 100% pure spring water.
日帰り入浴は700円です。シャンプー、ボディソープは据え付けていません。温泉水は源泉100%です。

Please refer to the following web site to get more information about the hotel.
詳しくはこちらを参照ください。
http://www.onuma-guide.com/shop/20060315030004/index.shtml

Golden Pavillion/金閣

goldenpavillion

I couldn't help shooting photos of this. It was really, really GOLDEN. It's three storied building and the first floor is not golden. I hadn't noticed it until I was told it.
写真を撮らずにはいられませんでした。ホントに、ホントに金ぴかでした。三階建ての建物で、一階は金色ではありません。言われるまで気づきませんでした。

Near the Golden Pavillion, there are pine trees trimed like a sailboat.
金閣の側に、帆船のように刈り込まれた松の木があります。
pineship


The building is surrounded by a Japanese style garden and some interesting spots are scattered here and there. The photo below is a small fall and a stone in the middle is named carp stone. Carps are believed to be dragons when they swim up a fall.
日本庭園に囲まれていて、そこかしこに面白い物がちらばっています。下の写真は小さな滝と、鯉魚石という石です。鯉は滝を昇ると龍になると信じられています。
carpstone

Ryoanji Temple in Kyoto/龍安寺

Ryoanji Temple is famous for its rock garden. 15 rocks are placed on raked white sand and many people visit this temple to feel serene atomosphere.

Although I had been told that it was a little garden beforehand, I felt a kind of dissapointment when I arrived there. I want to advise you, "Don't expect too much." Then you can enjoy the garden as you like.
stone garden1


You can enjoy the garden sittin on the veranda-like porch.
stone garden2


At this temple, you can find a water basin. Can you find four Chinese characters placed on the surface?
water basin


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Kyoto Imperial Palace/京都御所

Kyoto used to be a capital of Japan for more than a thousand years(794-1863) and was a seat of Emperors. Kyoto Imperial Palace was a residence of Emperors and now it is administered by Imperial Household Agency.
京都は千年以上もの間(794?1863)日本の首都で、天皇の所在地でもありました。京都御所は天皇の住居で、今は宮内庁によって管理されています。

To go inside, for Japanese some transactions are needed beforehand. To get more information, please visit following site.
日本人の方が中に入るには、いくつか手続きが事前に必要です。詳細は下記サイトを参照ください。
http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/guide/kyoto.html

For tourist from overseas, if the fixed number doesn't reach yet, you are allowed to enter after some procedures. It's better to check the site below beforehand.
外国からのお客様ならば、もし定員にまだ満たないようであれば、ちょっとした手続きの後で入ることが出来ます。事前に下記サイトで確かめておいたほうがいいでしょう。すべきです。
http://sankan.kunaicho.go.jp/english/index.html

If you are not good at arranging the visit by yourself, there is a half-day tour or one-day tour in which the Palce is included in their course.
もしご自分でそうした訪問の手配するのが苦手のようでしたら、コースに御所訪問が含まれた半日、もしくは1日コースがあります。
http://www.jtbgmt.com/sunrisetour/

First, I had to wait outside of the Palace. Imperial Police guard the gate.
まず、御所の前で待たなければなりませんでした。皇宮警察の方が門を守ります。
entrance


The first building explained to us was a waiting building for court nobles. There are three rooms and each has name of the pictured drawn on the sliding doors.
最初に説明される建物は貴族のための待機所です。三つの部屋があって、ふすまに書かれた絵の名前がそれぞれにあります。
waiting room for court nobles


The most important building of this Imperial Palace is Shishin-den where important ceremonies were held, including enthronement of emperors.
御所で一番大事な建物は紫宸殿です。そこでは天皇の即位を含む重要な行事が行われます。
Shishinden


The photo below is a building called Seiryo-den where everyday-life of emperors was carried out.
下の写真は清涼殿といわれる建物で、天皇の日常生活が送られたところです。
Seiryoden


The world of Heian period that I learned at school existed in front of me. It was really interesting to imagine twelve-layered kimono clad Heian court ladies passing through the building.
学校でならった平安時代の世界が眼前に広がります。十二単衣を着た女官達が建物の中を歩いている姿を想像するのは本当に興味深かったです。
corridor


You can see many historical buildings of Heian style and enjoy nature, too.
The photo below is a pond garden where emperors enjoyed the sight or walked around.
たくさんの歴史的な平安朝スタイルの建物を楽しめますが、自然もまた楽しめます。下の写真は天皇が景色を楽しんだり、散歩してあるたりして楽しんだ御池庭です。
Pond garden


We could see plum blossoms were flourishing in a warm spring air.
暖かい春の日差しの中で梅の花が咲いていました。
plum blossoms

One of the best three castles in Japan, Osaka Castle/日本三名城の一つ、大坂城

I went to Kansai area from the end of February to beginning of March, 2007. During my stay in Kaansai area, I visited various sightseeing spots. Osaka Castle was the fisrt place I visited.
Osaka Castle


Osaka castle was build by Hideyoshi TOYOTOMI at the end of 16th century. But later, the castle was burned down and repaired by Tokugawa Shogunate. All Japanese learn about the castle at school and I had imagined a huge castle until I visited. My first impression was "It's not so big as I expected."

But its stone-base that forms its moat and stone wall were specutacular. Here below is a photo of the biggest rock named Takoishi, or Octopus Stone. It has a stain whose shape looks like an octopus. Hence, the rock was named Tako(Octopus)-Ishi(Stone). (Sorry, you can't see an Octopus stain in the photo below. But you can know how big the stone is.)
Takoishi


When I entered inside of the castle, the sight surprised me a lot. It was like a hotel lobby. You can go up to the donjon by elevator. High-tech utilities are equiped. However, you don't have to be disappointed at those things. Many interesting documents and products are on display and you surely enjoy them.
Kabuto


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Akiko

Author:Akiko
Akiko lives in a city next to Hakodate and loves to drive around Hakodate and surrounding area. I hope people who visit or live in the Southwest area of Hokkaido come to love the area, too.
函館の隣町在住で道南エリアのドライブ大好きAkikoです。道南を訪れたり、住んでいる人が土地を好きになってくれたらなぁ、と思います。

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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。