Monday, April 26, 2010

The Architecture Museum Meiji-Mura Part1

Meiji Mura
The Museum Meiji-Mura in front of the Lake Iruka, in Inuyama city in Aichi prefecture, opened on 1965 to preserve the Japanese architecture of the Meiji period. One of the most remarkable things of Japan is the fast paced construction of new buildings, and the destruction of the old ones. The founders of the Meiji-Mura museum seeking to save important buildings from destruction created this museum that purchase period buildings marked for destruction, dismantle them and rebuild them back at the museum, recreating the original apparence. Ten of the buildings on the Museum are designeted “Important Cultural properties” by the Japanese government.The museum covers an area of 1,000,000 m2, and has over 60 buildings.

Streetcars of Kyoto
You can go around the park by foot, use a special bus, a steam locomotive and period streetcars fromn Kyoto. The streetcars of Kyoto were the first in Japan (1895).

Lamp at nijubashi and Shimbashi factory
Electric lamp originally located at “Nijubashi” in the imperial Palace (1888), one of the first electric lamps in Japan. To the right is the Shimbashi factory of the Japan Railway bureu, originally at Shinbashi (1889).

House of Mori and Natsume
House of Ogai Mori and Soseki Natasume
House of Ogai Mori and Natsume Soseki. The writers lived at this house, in Bunkyo Ward in Tokyo. Ogai Mori rented the house for a year in 1900, published “the dancing girl”, on that year, he also wrote “The courier” while he was living there. Natsume Soseki (the writer portrayed on the 1000 yen note), lived in this house 10 years later, publishing “I am a cat”, while living there, the novel portrays detail of living at this house, Soseki lived at this house for 3 years.

Soseki Natsume original house location
There is a small monument outside the School of Medicine of Japan marking the place of were the house use to be located.

Mie prefectural office
Mie Prefectural Office (1869), this building has been designated as an “Important Cultural Property”

brick road street
Higashiyamanashi country office
Office of Dr Shimizu
Tomatsu house at the brick road
Tomatsu house
Nakai Sake-brewer
Yasuda bank
Located at the brick road street are: The Old Higashiyamanashi Country office (1885) an “important cultural property”, The Office of Dr. Shimizu (1897) from Nagano, The Tomatsu house (1901)from Nagoya, the Nakai sake-brewer house (1870) from Kyoto, and the Yasuda Bank (1908) from Fukushima.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cherry blossom viewing at Sagiyama memorial park

Sagiyama Kinen park
As the weather continued to be unpredictable, we had more than 20℃ one week and snow the following (in April!). On one of the good weather days I visited the Sagiyama memorial park, to enjoy the cherry blossom trees.

Sagiyama memorial park
The Sagiyama memorial park in Saitama city, with more than 250 year of history, is not one of the most prominent parks in the Saitama prefecture, but it has seen an increase of visitors as a result of the creation of a green zone in the area by the Saitama prefecture.

sakura at saitama
cherry blossom at saitama
Next to the park are the Minuma natural park and the Minuma canal. The canal is now lined with stunningly beautiful cherry trees in full bloom.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Nostalgic shopping district Okage Yokocho

okage yokocho shops
The shopping area Okage Yokocho in Uji, Ise city in mie prefecture, was created in July 1993 to reproduce the streets of Iseji road in the late Edo and early Meiji period, with gratitude (“okage”) toward Ise Jingu.

In front of the Ise Jingu Naiku, the place is not a theme park and thus is not admission charge, with 45 stores in typical structures of the Ise area, to experience the flavor of the old local shops, the regional food, the customs and the people.

The area is always full of isejingu visitors purchasing souvenirs, specially the famous akafuku mochi.

okage yokocho
Okageza is museum to experience visit to Ise during the edo period.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Hanami at Showa memorial park

showa kinen hanami
The weather has been unpredictable in the last couple of weeks; it has been raining and cold most of the week, everybody has been cautiously planning for the weekend hanami or cherry blossom viewing. I visited the Showa memorial park with a weather forecast of cloudy/rain.

Showa kinen tachikawa gate
showa kinen entrance
showa kinen fountain
Showa memorial park, or showa kinen, was established in 1983 to commemorate the 50 anniversary of the Showa emperor. The park extends now to 163 hectares of beautifully maintained gardens, ponds and barbeque areas.

showa kinen sakura trees
showa kinen sakura
The sakura or cherry trees were at full blossom and the many families were enjoying the park by the traditional Japanese picnic under the cherry tree or hanami.

showa kinen open field
under the sakura trees
I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the open field area and the number of people enjoying the day.

showa kinen canal
showa kinen tulips
showa kinen flowers
The park has several flower areas a large pond and a canal.

showa kinen japanese garden
japanese garden
show kinen
There is also a beautiful Japanese garden area that, excluding the house under reparation, was just perfect.

cherry blossom
cherry blossom sakura
showa kinen park
But the star of the day was undoubtedly the cherry blossom, and fortunately the rain didn’t spoil the day.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Isejingu, Naiku

Uji bridge, Isejingu
Naiku or Inner Shrine is with Geku the most important of the Isejinku shrine complex. Naiku is dedicated to Amaterasu Omikami, the sun goddess and supreme deity.

Hills at Uji-tachi
Naiku as Geku is surrounded by 90 hectares of cypress forest, part of the sacred forest of Jingu.

Uji bridge
To main access to Naiku is via the Uji bridge, a wooden bridge that just has been rebuilt last year. The main shrine building, as well as the bridge, is destroyed and rebuilt every 20 years, in a tradition dating back to the 7th century; the next scheduled rebuilding of the Isejingu shrine is 2013.

Koi pond at Naiku, Isejingu
Visitors can pause before visiting the Inner shrine at Kaguraden, feed the sacred koi, or contemplate the strutting roosters strutting wandering around which are associated with Amaterasu because it crows before dawn.

Naiku, Ise Jingu
The final approach to Kotaijingu or main sanctuary is via stone steps where worshipers can get as close as the first gate, as in Gaku, photos are not allowed in this area.