Monday, August 29, 2011
The shikinosato park is one of the largest parks in moriya city, Ibaraki prefecture. Moriya city developed a large industrial park at the beginning of the 90s, designating some areas as green zones as part of the project, the shikinosato with 20,660m² is one of the largest parks created on the designated green zone.
The park was built to use the terrain original features as much as possible. Centered around a pond, over 50,000 plants of 200 species flower each season, hence the name of the park “village of the four seasons”.
At the time of my visit, the iris were blooming beautifully around the pond.
A watermill, a stream and a boat in the area next to the playground; A great place to sit and relax.
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Thursday, August 25, 2011
It is customary that on matsuri or Japanese festivals to have the first day held for childrens, the usual parade on this day is held accordingly by childrens, under adult supervision.
I run by chance on this small parade inviting to the local bon dance festival.
The banner on the drum car reads loosely translated, "we pray for recovery from earthquake disaster".
Sunday, August 21, 2011
Nirayama reverberatory furnace in Izonokuni city in the Shizuoka prefecture, are the remains of the furnace build by the izu magistrate Egawa Tarezaemon in 1854 at end of the edo period, to cast cannons.
At the end of the edo period, Japan closed its port to foreign countries, as a result, many countries tried to force the opening of its ports. To protect the country from these attacks, Japan developed a costal defense, with a large number of cannons required for this. Many furnaces were built to manufacture the required cannons, with only two remaining to this day, the one in Nirayama and other in Hagi, with the Nirayama one being the only one retaining most of its original form.
The reverberatory furnace was built following a Dutch design. The quality of the refractory bricks and the sophistication is said to be comparable to today’s blast furnaces. The furnance has been designated a national historical site.
Large and small cannons were cast here to be used, mainly for the Edo bay defense. The Odaiba artillery was built at this furnace.
The site is next to a small stream, tea field and factory (this being Shizuoka after all) giving a peaceful background for a site with such industrious past.
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Thursday, August 11, 2011
Shinjuku is one of the busiest areas in Tokyo. I was in the area just after a small rain, and was pleasantly surprised on how few people were on the street.
Tokyo is not so busy these days due to the Obon season, when people go back to their hometown to honor the departed spirits of their ancestors.
Also is striking how the buildings, billboards and signs are now modestly illuminated due to energy saving measures.
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Saturday, August 6, 2011
The fudogawa fudoudou in Fudogawa, Koto ward, Tokyo, is a branch of Naritasan Shingon buddhism temple.
At the beginning of the Edo period, Kabuki actor Danjuro Ichikawa (the founder of Kabuki’s Ichikawa family, now in the 12th generation) performed exceptionally as Acala in a hit play, as a result, paying a religious visit to Acala at the Naritasan temple to improve one’s fortune become popular among the people in Tokyo. In 1703 a special religious display from Naritasan was held at the former eidai temple, marking the beginning of the Fudogawa temple.
This year the temple has just completed the construction of the new hall, a modern building with a mantra to Acala in Sanskrit written around the building façade.
As in the Naritasan temple, there is a fire ritual held everyday, with the first part of the ceremony held outside the temple. Unfortunatelly photographs are not allowed inside, so you will have to visit the temple to witness the ceremony.
The new building is connected to the old one, creating a striking contrast, and a bold statement from this very conservative temple.
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