Showing posts with label Ibaraki. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ibaraki. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Kasama Inari Shrine

The Kasama Inari Shrine in Kasama city, Ibaraki, one of the three largest Inari Okami Shrines in Japan, was founded in 651, and is dedicated to the Ukanomitama no kami, the spirit with jurisdiction over the five grains and foodstuff.

The Shrine suffered serious damage during the Tohoku earthquake. An illustration of this is the now absent torii gates, pending restoration at the time of my visit. Similarly the purification font is with a big crack on the roof, apparently caused by the quake, and is yet to be repaired. On the other hand, some of the buildings bear signs of the of the fresh damage reparation.

The old main gate to the shrine, now known as the east gate, it is now located at the right side of the main approach to the premises. With an edo style high gable roof, now has a recently refurbished roof, built still keeping most of its original condition.

The new gate, known as Romon, is a two stories gate, built in 1961. Guarded by two guardian deities, at the sides, and a pair of wood horses at the back; attesting the age of the shrine.

After the main gate, the main hall or haiden, dominates the ground premises. Built in 1960, the hall is relatively new but as the main gate case, some of the decorations are quite old.

Make sure that you visit the main sanctuary at the back of the main hall, constructed in 1856, or you will miss it as I regrettably did.

View Kasama Inari Shrine in a larger map

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Chouryu temple in Moriya city.

Chouryuji is an ancient temple in Moriya city Ibaraki Prefecture, founded in 1590. The general Asano Nagamasa stayed at the temple during the conquest of the Odawara castle by Toyotomi Hidayoshi. The general consequently issued a decree, forbidding the soldiers from looting the temple, and thus protecting it.

The temple approach and the esplanade in front of the main hall are lined with ancient cedar trees that gave the temple great range of colors during the autumn.

The temple also has dramatically aged wooden gate and bell tower that give testimony of the temple long history.

The temple is a short walk from the Moriya station on the tsukuba express and is definitely worth of a visit if you are around the area.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Iris at Shikinosato park

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.

View Shikinosato park Moriya, Ibaraki in a larger map


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Mount Tsukuba

Mount Tsukuba in Ibaraki, with 877 m is one of the most famous mountains in Japan.
According to the legend, a deity descended from the heavens and asked two mountains for a place to stay, Mt Fuji with the higher summit and a perfect shape, thinking arrogantly that it does not need the deity’s blessing, refused. Mt Tsukuba humbly welcomed the deity. Today Mt Fuji is a cold and bare rock mountain, whilst Mt Tsukuba is full of vegetation and colors that change with the seasons.

Mt Tsukuba is a popular hiking destination; its double peeks Nyotai-san (female) and Nantay-san (male) are considered kami or spirits by the Shinto religion. For non-hikers there is a cable car to the notch between the peaks and a ropeway to the East Ridge, to about the same elevation as the cable car.

On this trip, I used the funicular to climb to the top. At the station at the top there are several shops and restaurants, even one with a rotating panoramiv view (looking like it will fall apart any minute). The view was fantastic, and from there you can see Tokyo and Mt. Fuji on a clear day.

From here, you can climb to the true summits, Nantay-san to the left of the station and Nyotai-san to the right. The hiking courses to each of the summits are clearly marked.

shrine at Nyotai-san
summit of Nyotai-san
The climb to the Nyotai-san is a 15 mins hike through a well-maintained path. There is a small shrine at the top (there is another at the top of the Nantay-san), and a rock formation where you enjoy the view.

There is a path to go down to the top station of the aerial tramway, the tramway offers dramatic views of the mountains. At the end station at the bottom, there is a small amusement park next to the exit of the hiking course.

View Mt Tsukuba in a larger map


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tsukuba Science City

Tsukuba in Ibaraki prefecture, it is also known as the Tsukuba Science City, A planned city with 13,000 scientist (5600 Ph.D. holders), and close to 300 science related companies, it is the world’s leading Science City.
Conceived in an initiative to move part of government from Tokyo to reduce the city overcrowding. In 1967, 6 ministries and 36 institutions agreed to move to the new city, with only the Science and technology center for disaster prevention starting actual construction on the new city. In 1985, the Tsukuba International Science and Technology exposition was held there to attract private enterprises to the city.

The city become attractive to companies after the opening of the Tsukuba express rail service, halving by half the time required to travel from the city to Akihabara to 45 mins.

The city garden city design is another of the attractions for companies to relocate, the green areas are significant in proportion to the industrial, and residential ones.

The city has an underground join trench to accommodates all the power telephonic llines, etc... Giving an uncluttered image to the city, something I wish we had more in Tokyo.

The city university is well connected to the downtown by a system of bicycle pathway and bridges. The one pictured above counts also with a line dedicated for robot testing.

In the city park there is a full-scale working rocket to commemorate the city expo.

View Tsukuba city in a larger map