Category Albums Files
JAPAN 日本Under "JAPAN," images are organized according to theme (people, festivals, etc.). Other images are organized under the prefecture and city, town, or village. Or click on "Search" above to search images with key words. Image licensing available.
People 人物Pictures of geisha, cosplayers, children, etc.
11 38
Kimono Beauties 着物美人


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Pictures of women in kimono taken from various albums.
kimonobijin

5 files, last one added on Nov 24, 2006, 94 linked files, 99 files total
Album viewed 2060 times

Geisha 芸者


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Pictures of geisha, geiko, maiko, and hangyoku from various albums. Random order.
japangeisha

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 67 linked files, 68 files total
Album viewed 2974 times

Festival Beauties お祭り美人


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Women at various festivals. In random order.
matsuribijin

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 102 linked files, 103 files total
Album viewed 546 times

Samurai 武士


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Pictures of samurai, people dressed as samurai, and other related images from various albums. In random order.
japansamurai

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 70 linked files, 71 files total
Album viewed 565 times

Fashion


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Fashion models, trade show attendants, etc.
japanfashion

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 43 linked files, 44 files total
Album viewed 594 times

Cosplayers コスプレ


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Costume players dressed as manga, anime, or video game characters.
japancosplayer

24 files, last one added on Jul 15, 2009, 32 linked files, 56 files total
Album viewed 655 times

Teens


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Pictures of junior high and high school students taken from various albums. In random order.
japanteen

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 23 linked files, 24 files total
Album viewed 770 times

Children 子供


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Cute children and children in kimono from various albums. In random order.
japanchild

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 126 linked files, 127 files total
Album viewed 400 times

Celebrities 有名人


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Pictures of famous people in Japan from various albums. In random order.
japanceleb

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 51 linked files, 52 files total
Album viewed 727 times

Athletes スポーツ選手


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Sports athletes including martial artists (except sumo).
japansports

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 34 linked files, 35 files total
Album viewed 323 times

Priests


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Pictures of shrine and temple priests from various albums.
japanpriest

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 34 linked files, 35 files total
Album viewed 347 times

 

11 albums on 1 page(s)

Festivals お祭りPictures of Japanese festivals.
12 12
January Matsuri


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Pictures of Japanese festivals held in January. The images are taken from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP and are in random order.
matsuri01

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 27 linked files, 28 files total
Album viewed 641 times

February Matsuri


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Pictures of Japanese festivals held in Feb. The images are taken from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP and are in random order.
matsuri2

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 43 linked files, 44 files total
Album viewed 547 times

March Matsuri


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Pictures of Japanese festivals held in Mar. The images are taken from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP and are in random order.
matsuri3

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 47 linked files, 48 files total
Album viewed 615 times

April Matsuri


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Pictures of Japanese festivals held in Apr. The images are taken from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP and are in random order.
matsuri4

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 66 linked files, 67 files total
Album viewed 1356 times

May Matsuri


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Pictures of Japanese festivals held in May. The images are taken from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP and are in random order.
matsuri5

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 103 linked files, 104 files total
Album viewed 547 times

June Matsuri


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Pictures of Japanese festivals held in June. The images are taken from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP and are in random order.
matsuri6

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 17 linked files, 18 files total
Album viewed 468 times

July Matsuri


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Pictures of Japanese festivals held in July. The images are taken from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP and are in random order.
matsuri7

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 43 linked files, 44 files total
Album viewed 776 times

August Matsuri


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Pictures of Japanese festivals held in Aug. The images are taken from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP and are in random order.
matsuri8

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 72 linked files, 73 files total
Album viewed 756 times

September Matsuri


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Pictures of Japanese festivals held in Sept. The images are taken from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP and are in random order.
matsuri9

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 34 linked files, 35 files total
Album viewed 542 times

October Matsuri


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Pictures of Japanese festivals held in Oct. The images are taken from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP and are in random order.
matsuri10

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 32 linked files, 33 files total
Album viewed 470 times

November Matsuri


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Pictures of Japanese festivals held in Nov. The images are taken from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP and are in random order.
matsuri11

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 36 linked files, 37 files total
Album viewed 563 times

December Matsuri


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Pictures of Japanese festivals held in Dec. The images are taken from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP and are in random order.
matsuri12

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 15 linked files, 16 files total
Album viewed 635 times

12 albums on 1 page(s)

Architecture 建築Pictures of Japanese castles, shrines, temples, etc.
6 3
Castles お城


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Pictures of Japanese castles from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP. Click on a thumbnail to see more photos of that castle.
japancastle

1 files, last one added on Mar 16, 2006, 122 linked files, 123 files total
Album viewed 1701 times

Shrines 神社


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Random pictures of Shinto shrines and torii from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP.
japanshrine

0 files, 123 linked files, 123 files total
Album viewed 493 times

Temples 寺院


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Random pictures of Buddhist temples from various albums at PHOTOGUIDE.JP.
japantemple

1 files, last one added on Feb 04, 2008, 163 linked files, 164 files total
Album viewed 660 times

Homes 民家


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Pictures of homes, palaces, and villas from various albums.
japanhouse

0 files, 82 linked files, 82 files total
Album viewed 780 times

Train Stations 駅舎


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Interesting train station buildings in Japan. japaneki

0 files, 54 linked files, 54 files total
Album viewed 5 times

Others


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Pictures of other buildings in Japan.
japanbuilding

1 files, last one added on Feb 04, 2008, 59 linked files, 60 files total
Album viewed 512 times

6 albums on 1 page(s)

Nature 自然Pictures of mountains, lakes, rivers, ocean, coastline, etc.
12 18
Mountains 山岳


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Photos of mountains in Japan taken from various albums. In random order.
japanmt

1 files, last one added on Feb 04, 2008, 37 linked files, 38 files total
Album viewed 277 times

Lakes & Ponds 湖


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Photos of lakes and ponds in Japan taken from various albums. In random order.
japanlake

0 files, 30 linked files, 30 files total
Album viewed 484 times

Coasts and Ocean 海岸と海


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Photos of the ocean, coasts, and beaches in Japan taken from various albums. In random order.
japanocean

0 files, 13 linked files, 13 files total
Album viewed 273 times

Rivers and Waterfalls 川と滝


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Photos of rivers and waterfalls in Japan. In random order taken from various albums.
japanriver

1 files, last one added on Feb 04, 2008, 22 linked files, 23 files total
Album viewed 235 times

Gardens & Trees 庭園と木


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Photos of gardens and trees in Japan taken from various albums. In random order.
japangarden

0 files, 56 linked files, 56 files total
Album viewed 215 times

Flowers 花


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Photos of flowers in Japan taken from various albums. In random order.
japanflower

13 files, last one added on Jan 02, 2007, 151 linked files, 164 files total
Album viewed 1668 times

National Parks 国立公園


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Photos of Japan's National Parks taken from various albums. In random order.
japannationalpark

0 files, 20 linked files, 20 files total
Album viewed 265 times

Wildlife 野生生物


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Photos of wildlife in Japan taken from various albums. In random order.
japanwildlife

0 files, 49 linked files, 49 files total
Album viewed 731 times

Spring 春


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Photos of spring in Japan. From various albums.
japanharu

1 files, last one added on Feb 04, 2008, 49 linked files, 50 files total
Album viewed 323 times

Summer 夏


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Photos of summer in Japan. From various albums.
japannatsu

0 files, 12 linked files, 12 files total
Album viewed 629 times

Autumn 秋


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Photos of autumn in Japan. From various albums.
japanaki

1 files, last one added on Feb 04, 2008, 40 linked files, 41 files total
Album viewed 478 times

Winter 冬


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Photos of winter in Japan. From various albums.
japanfuyu

1 files, last one added on Feb 04, 2008, 22 linked files, 23 files total
Album viewed 502 times

12 albums on 1 page(s)

Art 美術・芸術Pictures of performing arts and fine arts.
3 3
Sculpture 彫刻


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Photos of sculpture from various albums. In random order.
japansculpture

2 files, last one added on Sep 11, 2009, 163 linked files, 165 files total
Album viewed 750 times

Paintings 絵


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Photos of paintings from various albums. In random order.
japanpaint

1 files, last one added on Feb 04, 2008, 28 linked files, 29 files total
Album viewed 762 times

Manhole Covers in Japan マンホール


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Every city and town in Japan have their own uniquely-designed manholes.
manhole

0 files, 67 linked files, 67 files total
Album viewed 106 times

 

3 albums on 1 page(s)

SportsPictures of baseball, etc.
4 103
World Baseball Classic 2009


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The 2nd World Baseball Classic's Asia Round was held in March 2009. This game was between Korea and China on March 8, 2009 at Tokyo Dome.

34 files, last one added on Mar 23, 2009
Album viewed 36 times

World Baseball Classic 2006


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The first WBC game in the Asia Round kicked off on March 3, 2006 at Tokyo Dome. In the second game that day, Japan played and defeated its first opponent, China. The main attraction was Ichiro.

21 files, last one added on Mar 10, 2006
Album viewed 245 times

2002 FIFA World Cup in Japan ワールドカップ


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Pictures of fans attending the 2002 World Cup soccer games in Osaka, Kobe, Shizuoka Stadium Ecopa (Brazil vs. England on on June 21, 2002), and the final match at International Stadium in Yokohama on June 30, 2002 (Brazil vs. Germany). Photos taken by Kjeld Duits, Mariko Hinaga, and Philbert Ono.

47 files, last one added on Sep 17, 2008
Album viewed 1260 times

Rowing レガッタ


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Photos of competitive college rowers at major rowing races, especially at Lake Biwa.

1 files, last one added on Feb 04, 2008, 49 linked files, 50 files total
Album viewed 258 times

4 albums on 1 page(s)

Sumo 相撲Pictures of sumo.
6 547
Ryogoku Kokugikan 両国国技館


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Built in 1985, the Ryogoku Kokugikan is a modern, spacious, and well-designed sumo arena where three of the six Grand Sumo tournaments are held. In January, May, and September, Tokyoites can see sumo live and enjoy numerous things inside the facility.

89 files, last one added on Jan 29, 2013
Album viewed 305 times

Grand Sumo Tournament 大相撲


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Photos of a Grand Sumo Tournament. These pictures aim to give you an idea of what you see at a real sumo tournament at the Kokugikan sumo arena in Tokyo. The colorful ring-entering ceremony by the top two divisions (Makunouchi and Juryo) as well as by the yokozuna. See a few sumo matches fought by foreign wrestlers as well.

193 files, last one added on Jan 29, 2013
Album viewed 1044 times

Maibara Basho Sumo Exhibition 大相撲米原場所


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On Oct. 17, 2008, the Ozumo Maibara Basho exhibition sumo tournament was held at Green Park Santo in Maibara, Shiga Prefecture. Most of the famous sumo stars came and showed their stuff including Yokozuna Hakuho; Ozeki Chiyotaikai, Kotomitsuki, Kotooshu, and Kaio; Takamisakari, Baruto, Kisenosato, and Homasho. It has been nine years since they came to Shiga for an exhibition tournament.

134 files, last one added on Nov 08, 2008
Album viewed 369 times

Musashimaru Retirement Ceremony 武蔵丸断髪式


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Yokozuna Musashimaru, the last of the Hawaiian sumo greats, held his retirement ceremony on Oct. 2, 2004 at the Ryogoku Kokugikan sumo arena in Tokyo. His departure marks the end of the Hawaii's Golden Age of Sumo. For the first time since 1968, sumo in Japan is without a wrestler from Hawaii. Also see the video at YouTube.

97 files, last one added on Apr 08, 2006
Album viewed 1852 times

Yokozuna Deliberation Council Practice 2005 横綱審議会・稽古総見


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Sumo practice at the Kokugikan sumo arena in Ryogoku, Tokyo. The practice, held before the Yokozuna Deliberation Council, was open to the public on April 29, 2005. Surprisingly, about 8,000 people attended, taking advantage of free admission. Also see the video at YouTube.

33 files, last one added on May 03, 2005
Album viewed 273 times

Sumo Wrestlers 相撲力士


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Top sumo wrestlers from various albums. In random order.
japansumo

1 files, last one added on Sep 21, 2006, 81 linked files, 82 files total
Album viewed 600 times

6 albums on 1 page(s)

FoodPictures of Japanese food.
2 47
Japanese Food 日本料理


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Pictures of Japanese food.
japanfood

40 files, last one added on Feb 11, 2014, 31 linked files, 71 files total
Album viewed 598 times

Sweets & Desserts 菓子・デザート


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Japanese sweets, desserts, and confections.
japansweets

7 files, last one added on Feb 11, 2014, 2 linked files, 9 files total
Album viewed 456 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Vintage PostcardsOld postcards from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Geisha, Japanese women, children, scenics, Japan-America relations, and how to date old postcards.
4 128
Geisha & Women Postcards


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One of the enduring symbols of Japan, the geisha and maiko were very popular subjects for tourist postcards at the turn of the 20th century. Here are some postcards showing geisha (called geiko in Kyoto) and maiko (apprentice geisha). Includes postcards of my favorite girl, the Laughing Geisha.

72 files, last one added on Sep 19, 2008
Album viewed 8321 times

Japan-America Relations Postcards


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You've heard it before: "The most important bilateral relationship in the world." (According to the late US Ambassador to Japan, Mike Mansfield.) Well, for me it's very important because of my dual Japanese and American heritage. With these postcards, I've traced some of the history of Japan-U.S. relations starting with Commodore Mathew Perry's landing in 1853.

22 files, last one added on Sep 19, 2008
Album viewed 2560 times

Other Postcards


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Other vintage postcards in my collection include Japanese children and scenic views. Children were another facet of Japan that fascinated early foreign tourists in Japan. Children dressed in kimono and those babysitting their younger siblings were the most popular. Most of the scenic cards are oil-painted. (If I could paint, I would rather be a painter than a photographer.)

22 files, last one added on Sep 19, 2008
Album viewed 733 times

About Vintage Postcards


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A quick, illustrated introduction to Japanese postcards. It centers on how to date vintage postcards by checking postmarks and other characteristics.

12 files, last one added on Sep 19, 2008
Album viewed 1445 times

4 albums on 1 page(s)

Aichi 愛知県Pictures of Aichi Prefecture, Japan.
Gamagori 蒲郡市Pictures of Gamagori, Aichi Prefecture.
1 5
Takeshima 竹島


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Gamagori's main attraction is this small island accessible by bridge.

5 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
Album viewed 170 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Hazu 幡豆町Pictures of Hazu-cho town, Aichi Prefecture.
1 11
Usagi/Sarugashima うさぎ島・猿が島


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Hazu-cho is a coastal town next to Gamagori. There are two small islands which used to be accessible by boat. One was nicknamed Rabbit (Usagi) island and the other was Monkey (Saru) island.

11 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
Album viewed 106 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Ichinomiya 一宮市Pictures of Ichinomiya, Aichi Prefecture.
1 56
Masumida Shrine New Year's 2011 真清田神社 初詣


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The city of Ichinomiya takes its name after Masumida Shrine which I visited on Jan. 1, 2011. A short walk from Ichinomiya Station. Also see my YouTube video here.

56 files, last one added on Jan 08, 2011
Album viewed 831 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Inazawa 稲沢市Pictures of Inazawa, Aichi Pref.
1 68
Konomiya Hadaka Matsuri 国府宮はだか祭


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Konomiya Shrine holds the Hadaka (Naked or Nude) Festival in early March, or Jan. 13 of the lunar calendar. Men in loincloths parade around the streets until they reach the shrine. A Sacred Man (Shin-otoko) also appears in the shrine and the men try to touch him before he slips into the shrine's window. The festival's real name is Naoi-shinji 儺追神事 which is a rite to dispel bad luck.

68 files, last one added on Mar 09, 2007
Album viewed 564 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Inuyama 犬山市Pictures of Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture.
3 128
Inuyama Castle 犬山城


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Perched on a mountain on the bank of Kiso River, Inuyama Castle is one of four castles in Japan designated as a National Treasure. First built in 1537, it is Japan's oldest surviving castle. It is also the only privately owned castle in Japan.

47 files, last one added on Jan 23, 2006
Album viewed 144 times

Ooagata Jinja Shrine 大縣神社


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Shrine famous for worshipping a rock shaped like the female sexual organ. It also holds the Honen Matsuri for a good harvest and fertility on the Sunday before March 15. It is the female counterpart to Tagata Shrine which worships the phallus in neighboring Komaki. The shrine is also noted for weeping plum blossoms.

60 files, last one added on Mar 14, 2007
Album viewed 390 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Inuyama, Aichi Prefecture.

21 files, last one added on Jun 28, 2011
Album viewed 112 times

 

3 albums on 1 page(s)

Kiyosu 清洲市Pictures of Kiyosu, Aichi Prefecture.
1 74
Kiyosu Castle 清洲城


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Between Nagoya and Gifu, this castle reconstructed in 1989 can be seen from the train on the Tokaido Line. It was one of Oda Nobunaga's strategic castles to unify Japan.

74 files, last one added on Feb 15, 2009
Album viewed 142 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Komaki 小牧市Pictures of Komaki, Aichi Prefecture.
2 156
Tagata Shrine Honen Festival 田縣神社 豊年祭


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The Honen-sai or Honen (Hounen) Matsuri is held by Tagata Jinja on March 15 to pray for an abundant harvest. "Honen" literally means "Year of abudant harvest." Since a giant penis is used as an offering, it is popularly called the "penis festival." Also see the video at YouTube.

120 files, last one added on Mar 17, 2007
Album viewed 1419 times

Tagata Jinja Shrine 田縣神社


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Shrine famous for numerous phallic objects used as offerings to the gods. The 1500-year-old shrine worships a deity called Tamahime-no-Mikoto who was a daughter of a powerful local lord from the 5th century. The shrine is near Tagata Jinja-mae Station on the Meitetsu Railways' Komaki Line. From Shin-Nagoya Station or Shin-Gifu Station, go to Inuyama Station and transfer to the Komaki Line.

36 files, last one added on Mar 20, 2007
Album viewed 431 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Nagakute 長久手町Pictures of Nagakute-cho, Aichi Pref.
1 101
Aichi Expo 2005 愛・地球博


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The Aichi Expo 2005 was held from March 25 to September 25, 2005 at three locations in Aichi Prefecture. The main site was at Nagakute where these photos were taken. The theme of the Expo was "Nature's Wisdom," with Japanese and international pavilions showing nature, ecology, and Earth-related exhibits. Over 22 million people visited the expo which was quite crowded at times.

101 files, last one added on Feb 16, 2009
Album viewed 293 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Nagoya 名古屋市Pictures of Nagoya, the capital city of Aichi Prefecture.
3 146
Nagoya Castle 名古屋城


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Originally built in 1612 by the order of Tokugawa Ieyasu and suffering major destruction during World War II, Nagoya Castle was reconstructed in 1959.

58 files, last one added on Jan 27, 2006
Album viewed 136 times

Atsuta Jingu Shrine 熱田神宮


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Atsuta Jingu is one of Japan's most important shrines dedicated to Atsuta-no-Ookami or Amaterasu-Oomikami, represented by the sacred sword Kusanagi-no-tsurugi which is one of the three sacred treasures of the Imperial family. It ranks second behind Grand Shrines of Ise in Mie Prefecture. On Jan. 1, 2008, I visited this shrine along with huge crowds.

61 files, last one added on Feb 18, 2009
Album viewed 127 times

Osu 大須


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Osu is a famous area in Nagoya, centering on Osu Kannon Temple amid numerous shopping arcades.

27 files, last one added on Feb 16, 2009
Album viewed 89 times

 

3 albums on 1 page(s)

Okazaki 岡崎市Pictures of Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture.
1 7
Okazaki Castle 岡崎城


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Originally built in 1455, Okazaki Castle was dismantled during the Meiji Period and the area was made into a castle park. The castle tower was later rebuilt in 1959.

7 files, last one added on Apr 24, 2011
Album viewed 123 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Toyohashi 豊橋市Pictures of Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture.
1 1
Yoshida Castle 吉田城


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Originally built by lord Ujichika Imagawa in 1505 as Imahashi Castle, it was renamed Yoshida Castle. It is now within Toyohashi Park. Only a turret was rebuilt in 1954.

1 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
Album viewed 43 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Akita 秋田県Pictures of Akita Prefecture, Japan.
Akita city 秋田市Pictures of Akita city, the capital city of Akita Prefecture.
3 20
Kanto Festival 竿灯まつり


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One of the Big Three Festivals in Tohoku, this matsuri has men in happi coats balancing tall paper lantern-bedecked bamboo poles, called kanto, on their foreheads, shoulders, hand palms, or hips.

16 files, last one added on Jul 17, 2006
Album viewed 197 times

Kubota Castle 久保田城


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Kubota Castle was what started Akita city. It is right near Akita Station.

2 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
Album viewed 137 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Akita city.

2 files, last one added on Jul 17, 2006
Album viewed 185 times

 

3 albums on 1 page(s)

Aomori 青森県Pictures of Aomori Prefecture, Japan.
Aomori city 青森市Pictures of Aomori city, the capital city of Aomori Pref.
1 18
Nebuta Festival ねぶた祭


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Held during Aug. 2-7, this matsuri features Nebuta floats which are giant, wire-frame, paper lanterns shaped in various legendary and macho characters such as samurai warriors, demons, and gods. They are dramatically illuminated from the inside and paraded on the streets at night.

18 files, last one added on Jul 16, 2006
Album viewed 229 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Hirosaki 弘前市Pictures of Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture.
2 24
Neputa Festival ねぷた祭り


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Held during Aug. 1-7, the Hirosaki Neputa Matsuri is without the rowdiness of the Aomori Nebuta Matsuri. Instead of the haneto, there are many children pulling the floats with ropes.

20 files, last one added on Jul 17, 2006
Album viewed 170 times

Hirosaki Castle 弘前城


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Originally built in 1611 by Lord Tsugaru Nobuhira, Hirosaki Castle's current donjon was rebuilt in 1810. Although the structure is small, it is a well-known architectural work. In 1895, the castle was made public and the castle park has become one of Japan's famous sites for cherry blossoms.

4 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
Album viewed 95 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Chiba 千葉県Pictures of Chiba Prefecture, Japan.
Chiba city 千葉市Pictures of Chiba city, the capital city of Chiba Prefecture.
3 118
Chiba Castle 千葉城


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Chiba Castle is within Inohana Park 亥鼻公園 which is noted for cherry blossoms in spring. The reconstructed castle tower is a Folk Museum tracing the history of the Chiba clan who ruled Chiba during the 15th and 16th centuries.

44 files, last one added on Apr 14, 2006
Album viewed 253 times

Chiba Park 千葉公園


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Great place to see a lot of weeping cherry blossoms showering the small pond. Over 600 cherry trees. About a 10-min. walk from Chba Station or one stop via monorail to Chiba Koen Station.

55 files, last one added on Apr 14, 2006
Album viewed 395 times

Other Sights


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Other sights include Chiba Station, the monorail, and prefectural capital.

19 files, last one added on Apr 15, 2006
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Ichinomiya 一宮町Pictures of Ichinomiya-machi, Chiba.
1 127
Kazusa Junisha Matsuri Festival 2009 上総十二社祭り


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Also called the Hadaka (Nude) Matsuri, this annual festival is held by Tamasaki Shrine near Kazusa-Ichinomiya Station (JR Sotobo Line). On Sept. 13, 2009 (Sun.), the main festival day, portable shrines from twelve shrines (junisha) in the same area are paraded and rushed to the beach with hundreds of people surrounding each one. They run with the portable shrine. At the beach in ankle-deep water, they jostle and toss the mikoshi in the air. In the evening, they return to town near the train station and parade the shrines again. Also see my video at YouTube.

127 files, last one added on Jun 06, 2010
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Isumi いすみ市Pictures of Isumi, Chiba Pref. which includes Ohara.
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Ohara Hadaka Festival 大原はだか祭り


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This annual festival is held in Ohara on Sept. 23-24, climaxing with many people carrying portable shrines into the ocean. Portable shrines from 18 shrines in the area join in the festival. "Hadaka" means nude, but no one is nude. They go into the ocean only on the 23rd. These photos were taken on Sept. 23, 2004. Also see the video at YouTube.

38 files, last one added on Sep 08, 2006
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Katsuura 勝浦市Pictures of Katsuura, Chiba.
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Katsuura Big Hinamatsuri かつうらビッグひな祭り


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The small coastal town of Katsuura holds one of Japan's most impressive hina matsuri doll festival during late Feb. to early March. A whopping 25,000 hina ningyo dolls are displayed all over town.

110 files, last one added on Mar 04, 2010
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Hachiman Misaki Park 八幡岬公園


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A scenic coastal park with dramatic views of the ocean, rocky shore, torii island, and Katsuura lighthouse.

36 files, last one added on Mar 04, 2010
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Matsudo 松戸市Pictures of Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture.
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Astronaut Naoko Yamazaki Welcome Home Parade 山崎直子宇宙飛行士歓迎パレード


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After her first Space Shuttle flight in April 2010, astronaut Naoko Yamazaki returned to Japan briefly and included a visit to her hometown of Matsudo, Chiba where she had a homecoming parade on May 22, 2010. NASA photos of her training and STS-131 shuttle mission are also included. Also see my video at YouTube.

146 files, last one added on Jun 05, 2010
Album viewed 2464 times

Other Sights in Matsudo


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Near JR Matsudo Station is Matsudo Shrine and Edogawa River.

15 files, last one added on May 25, 2010
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Narita 成田市Pictures of Narita, Chiba Prefecture.
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Narita-san Setsubun Bean-Throwing Festival 成田山節分会・特別追儺豆まき式


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Shinshoji temple (Narita-san), Japan's most famous temple for Setsubun Festival was jam-packed on Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013. Most people came to see the celebrities throwing the beans for mamemaki. They included sumo wrestlers Yokozuna Hakuho, Ozeki Kisenosato, Baruto, and Okinoumi. Also Haruka Ayase, Ayame Goriki, Kotaro Koizumi and other stars of the current NHK Taiga Drama, "Yae no Sakura." Also see my video at YouTube.
The first time I saw this was on Feb. 3, 2001. Celebrities then included Yokozuna Musashimaru and actresses Riho Makise.

114 files, last one added on Feb 06, 2013
Album viewed 175 times

Narita-san Temple 成田山


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Narita-san Shinshoji Temple is Chiba Prefecture's most famous temple. Belonging to the Shingon Buddhist Sect, it holds many of Narita's major festivals such as Setsubun. Four buildings are also Important Cultural Properties. It also has a large Japanese garden, including cherry blossoms. A short walk from JR and Keisei Narita Stations.

63 files, last one added on Apr 18, 2014
Album viewed 172 times

Narita Taiko Festival 成田太鼓まつり


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The biggest taiko drum festival in the Kanto region is held annually in April. Various taiko drum troupes perform for two full days on various outdoor stages in Narita, including the main stage in front of the Narita-san temple. Most of these pictures were taken on April 9, 2005.

44 files, last one added on May 02, 2005
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Narita Gion Festival 成田祇園まつり


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Held in July, this is a festival of ornate floats pulled on the streets of Narita and to Narita-san temple. These pictures were taken in 2002.

31 files, last one added on May 02, 2005
Album viewed 88 times

Other Sights


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Other pictures of Narita city including the Museum of Aeronautical Sciences near Narita International Airport.

12 files, last one added on May 03, 2005
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Onjuku 御宿町Pictures of Onjuku-machi town, Chiba Prefecture.
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Onjuku Beach


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Onjuku is a well-known beach town famous for its beach and ama women divers (no longer topless).

39 files, last one added on Feb 21, 2009
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Sakura 佐倉市Pictures of Sakura, Chiba.
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National Museum of Japanese History 国立歴史民俗博物館


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Opened in 1983, the National Museum of Japanese History is a large museum in a large park in the city of Sakura which is on the way to Narita Airport. It traces the entire history, archaeology, and folklore of Japan from the Stone Age. Near Keisei Sakura Station on the way to Narita Airport.

14 files, last one added on Jul 03, 2011
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Yotsukaido 四街道市Photos of Yotsukaido, Chiba.
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Warabi Hadaka Matsuri 和良比裸祭り


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This hadaka (nude) festival held on Feb. 25 has a unique is being a mud festival. Men wearing loincloths wrestle in the mud in a rice paddy. They also make it fashionable to have mud on your face.

36 files, last one added on Feb 27, 2005
Album viewed 260 times

 

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Ehime 愛媛県Pictures of Ehime Prefecture, Japan.
Imabari 今治市Pictures of Imabari, Ehime Prefecture.
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Imabari Castle 今治城


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Originally built in 1604 by Lord Takatora Todo, Imabari Castle today is still a very good castle complex with great views of the city and Inland Sea. The castle tower was reconstructed in 1980. Unfortunately, my camera lens had a fogging problem.

15 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
Album viewed 77 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Imabari, Ehime Prefecture.

18 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
Album viewed 49 times

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Matsuyama 松山市Pictures of Matsuyama, the capital city of Ehime Prefecture.
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Matsuyama Castle 松山城


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Proudly overlooking the city, Matsuyama Castle took 26 years to complete in 1602. It gives great views of the Inland Sea.

6 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
Album viewed 69 times

Kashima 鹿島


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This is a small, but very scenic island 400 meters off the coast of Matsuyama.

9 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
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Uwajima 宇和島市Pictures of Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture.
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Uwajima Castle 宇和島城


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Originally completed in 1601 by master castle builder Lord Todo Takatora. The castle tower is small, but designated as an Important Cultural Asset. It gives great views of the city and bay. Unfortunately, my camera lens had a fogging problem.

11 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
Album viewed 47 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture. Uwajima was the home of the Ehime Maru boat which was sunk by the USS Greeneville submarine in Hawaii in Feb. 2001. I visited Uwajima before the accident.

5 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
Album viewed 42 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Fukui 福井県Pictures of Fukui Prefecture, Japan.
Fukui city 福井市Pictures of Fukui city, the capital city of Fukui Prefecture.
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Fukui Castle 福井城跡


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Fukui Castle has been largely taken over by the prefectural government and police department with huge buildings which totally ruin the castle's historical significance and scenery. What remains, the moat and stone walls and foundations, are impressive.

38 files, last one added on Sep 02, 2006
Album viewed 89 times

Other Sights


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Photos of Fukui Station area, Fukui Shrine, etc.

11 files, last one added on Sep 02, 2006
Album viewed 51 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Obama 小浜市Pictures of Obama, Fukui Prefecture.
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Obama for Obama オバマを勝手に応援する会


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Japan has a number of places named "Obama," and the city of Obama in Fukui Prefecture has played up its coincidence of its name with new US President Barack Obama. A citizens' group called "Obama wo Katte ni Oen Suru Kai" (Obama Informal Booster Association) has been active in promoting the city on the presidential candidate's and later president-elect's coattails. They even formed the Obama Girls and Obama Boys hula troupe. These pictures were taken on Jan. 20, 2009 when they celebrated the inauguration of Barack Obama. Also see my video at YouTube.

71 files, last one added on Jan 21, 2009
Album viewed 175 times

Obama Sights


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Obama has some notable sights like Obama Castle ruins, Wakasa Fisherman's Wharf, lookout deck at Obama Park, Saba Kaido, and more.

72 files, last one added on Jan 21, 2009
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Sakai 坂井市Pictures of Sakai, Fukui Pref. including Maruoka.
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Maruoka Castle 丸岡城


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Featuring Japan's oldest surviving castle tower although it collapsed during the Fukui Earthquake in 1948. Rebuilt in 1955 with most of the original materials. Originally built in 1576 by Shibata Katsutoyo and also called Kasumiga-jo (Misty Castle).

58 files, last one added on Sep 02, 2006
Album viewed 49 times

Tojinbo 東尋坊


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Spectacular, natural rock columns and walls on the coast. Hiking trails and boat rides give you a closer look at this rare natural monument. Tojimbo is accessible by bus from JR Awara Onsen Station on the Hokuriku Line.

5 files, last one added on Sep 02, 2006
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Tsuruga 敦賀市Pictures of Tsuruga, Fukui Pref.
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Toro Nagashi とうろう流しと花火


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Held during the Bon season in Aug., toro nagashi is candle-lit paper lanterns floated on the ocean as a Buddhist offering to the spirits of the deceased. Tsuruga holds its mass toro nagashi (6,000 lanterns) on its famous Kehi no Matsubara beach at 6:30 pm, and then shoots off a grand fireworks display. Photos taken on Aug. 16, 2006. Also see the video at YouTube.

31 files, last one added on Sep 02, 2006
Album viewed 130 times

Other Sights


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Tsuruga has a number of attractions.

4 files, last one added on Apr 24, 2011
Album viewed 129 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Fukuoka 福岡県Pictures of Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.
Fukuoka city 福岡市Pictures of Fukuoka city, the capital city of Fukuoka Prefecture.
2 37
Fukuoka Castle 福岡城


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Although a few turrets and stone walls remain, much of the castle grounds is now occupied by sports facilities and schools.

23 files, last one added on Jan 22, 2006
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Other Sights


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Other sights of Fukuoka city such as Hakata dolls, sumo, etc.

14 files, last one added on Jan 22, 2006
Album viewed 138 times

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Kita-Kyushu 北九州市Pictures of Kita-Kyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture.
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Kokura Castle 小倉城


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Built in 1602 by Lord Hosokawa Tadaoki. the castle tower was reconstructed in 1959. Near JR Kokura Station.

5 files, last one added on Apr 05, 2010
Album viewed 74 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Kita-Kyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture.

3 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
Album viewed 82 times

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Fukushima 福島県Pictures of Fukushima Prefecture, Japan.
Aizu-Wakamatsu 会津若松市Pictures of Aizu-Wakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture.
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Wakamatsu (Tsurugajo) Castle 若松城・鶴ヶ城


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In Aizu-Wakamatsu, it is called Tsuruga-jo Castle. Outside the city, many call it Aizu-Wakamatsu Castle. The official name is Wakamatsu Castle. Lord Gamo Ujisato (from Shiga Prefecture) in 1593 built most of the castle and renamed it Tsurugajo. The castle tower was reconstructed in 1965 and serves as a castle history museum. In 2001, the Hoshii Yagura turret and the Minami Hashiri Nagaya corridor were also reconstructed.

117 files, last one added on Dec 04, 2007
Album viewed 372 times

Iimoriyama Hill (Byakkotai) 飯盛山


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In 1868, a unit of teenage warriors called Byakkotai (White Tiger Battalion) fought against the Emperor-backed Imperial forces encroaching their domain of Aizu. The Byakkotai were outnumbered and forced to retreat. Twenty of them escaped to Iimoriyama Hill where they saw what looked liked a burning Tsurugajo Castle which actually had not fallen yet. In despair, the boys decided to kill themselves rather than die in the hands of the enemy. Their tombstones are on this hill near where they killed themselves. Their story has become legend.

62 files, last one added on Dec 06, 2007
Album viewed 2050 times

Lord Gamo Ujisato Gravesite 蒲生氏郷公之墓所


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Native of Hino, Shiga Prefecture, Lord Gamo (Gamoh) Ujisato (1556-1595) is best known for building Aizu-Wakamatsu (Tsurugajo) Castle and founding Aizu-Wakamatsu. He suddenly died at age 40. One theory says that he was poisoned by Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

16 files, last one added on Dec 05, 2007
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Other Sights


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Other sights in Aizu-Wakamatsu.

21 files, last one added on Dec 05, 2007
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Fukushima city 福島市Pictures of Fukushima city, Fukushima Prefecture.
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Hanamiyama Park 花見山公園


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Hanamiyama Park is literally a Flower-Viewing Mountain Park famous for spring flowers especially cherry blossoms sprinkled on the mountainsides. A short bus ride from JR Fukushima Station. It started in 1935 when local flower growers began planting flowers all over the place. In April 1959, it became Hanamiyama Park.

64 files, last one added on May 15, 2012
Album viewed 149 times

Fukushima Waraji Matsuri Festival 福島わらじまつり


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Held on the first Fri. and Sat. of Aug., the Fukushima Waraji Matsuri is mainly an evening parade of dancers. During Aug. 7-8, 2009, the 40th Fukushima Waraji Festival was held. I saw it on the second day. Waraji are straw sandals. Also see my YouTube video here.

60 files, last one added on Jun 06, 2010
Album viewed 362 times

Other Fukushima Sights


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Fukushima Station, Tanabata Matsuri Star Festival along Paseo Road and Bunka-dori in early Aug., and bird's eye views of the city.

36 files, last one added on Sep 09, 2009
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Iwaki いわき市Pictures of Iwaki, Fukushima.
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Spa Resort Hawaiians スパリゾートハワイアンズ


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A huge, Hawaiian-themed water park and hot spring facility. Great place for families to play in large and small pools and hot springs. A Polynesian show with the famous hula girls is held twice a day. Restaurants, gift shops, rest areas, and outdoor hot spring baths make this a major attraction in Tohoku. The movie, "Hula Girl" in 2006 made it famous.

97 files, last one added on Mar 03, 2012
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Yumoto Onsen Spa 湯本温泉


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Yumoto Station and Yumoto Onsen Spa.

34 files, last one added on Mar 12, 2012
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Kitashiobara 北塩原村Pictures of Kitashiobara-mura village, especially the Bandai-Asahi National Park.
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Goshikinuma 五色沼


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A series of small ponds with very deep and rich colors, like emerald green/blue. Pleasant hiking trails lead to a variety of ponds. Part of the Bandai-Asahi National Park.

17 files, last one added on Dec 06, 2006
Album viewed 118 times

 

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Miharu 三春町Pictures of Miharu-machi town, Fukushima Prefecture.
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Miharu Takizakura Weeping Cherry Tree 三春滝桜


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The Miharu Takizakura (Waterfall cherry blossoms) cherry tree is one of Japan's most famous and grandest weeping cherry tree. It is over 1,000 years old and the mother of thousands of weeping cherry trees in Japan and even overseas. While in bloom, it is lit up in the evening. Accessible from JR Miharu Station on the Ban'etsu-to Line from Koriyama Station. A National Natural Monument.

120 files, last one added on May 14, 2012
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Nihonmatsu 二本松市Pictures of Nihonmatsu, Fukushima Prefecture.
2 257
Nihonmatsu Castle (Kasumigajo Park) 二本松城・霞ヶ城公園


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Nihonmatsu Castle, also popularly called Kasumigajo Castle, is in Kasumigajo Park on a low hill amid the flat plains of central Nihonmatsu. It is one of Japan's 100 Famous Castles as well as one of Japan's 100 Famous Cherry Blossom Sites. During the Edo Period, Nihonmatsu Castle was the residence of the Niwa clan who ruled Nihonmatsu. Although it lacks a central tower or donjon, Nihonmatsu Castle features impressive stone walls and gate (reconstructed), not to mention many cherry tees and pine trees.

138 files, last one added on May 15, 2012
Album viewed 722 times

Central Nihonmatsu Sights


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Besides Nihonmatsu Castle, Nihonmatsu has other sights like poet Takamura Chieko's birth home, Dairinji temple noted for the graves of the Nihonmatsu Shōnentai (二本松少年隊) or the Nihonmatsu Teenage Corps, Nihonmatsu Shrine, and the Nihonmatsu History Museum.

119 files, last one added on May 15, 2012
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Gifu 岐阜県Pictures of Gifu Prefecture, Japan.
Gifu city 岐阜市Pictures of Gifu city, the capital city of Gifu Prefecture.
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Nagara River Ukai Cormorant Fishing 長良川鵜飼


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From May 11 to Oct. 15, the famous Nagara River Ukai cormorant fishing is performed by fishing masters. In the evenings, you can ride on a boat on Nagaragawa River to watch them fish ayu sweetfish with a bright torch and the birds diving and catching the fish in their throats. Also see my YouTube video here.

68 files, last one added on Aug 23, 2008
Album viewed 331 times

Gifu Castle 岐阜城


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Gifu Castle is a mountaintop castle on Mt. Kinkazan in central Gifu city. It was once the residence of Lord Dosan Saito and later Nobunaga Oda. The present castle was reconstructed as a ferro-concrete building in 1956. The castle commands spectacular views of Gifu. Accessible by ropeway. Also see the video at YouTube.

23 files, last one added on Jul 24, 2005
Album viewed 168 times

Inaba Shrine New Year's 2011 伊奈波神社 初詣


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Inaba Shrine is near the foot of Mt. Kinkazan (Gifu Castle) and Gifu city's most popular shrine for worship during New Year's. I visited on Jan. 1, 2011.

77 files, last one added on Jan 06, 2011
Album viewed 164 times

Gifu City Tower 43 岐阜シティ・タワー43


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That super tall building next to JR Gifu Station is Gifu City Tower 43 that opened in Oct. 2007. Besides a few shops and restaurants, the building has a great lookout deck on the top. And it's free. On a clear day, you can see far and wide, like skyscrapers in Nagoya and Mt. Ibuki.

30 files, last one added on Jan 06, 2011
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Hashima 羽島市Pictures of Hashima, Gifu Prefecture.
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Takehana Matsuri + Wisteria Festival 竹鼻まつり・ふじまつり


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Takehana Matsuri is a festival of ornate floats paraded in central Hashima on May 3. Each float features a performance of puppets (karakuri) or kids dancing. The festival is coupled with the Wisteria Festival at Takehana Betsuin temple.

112 files, last one added on Jun 14, 2013
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Other Hashima Sights


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Hashima has a nice folk history museum and movie museum.

29 files, last one added on Jun 17, 2013
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Ogaki 大垣市Pictures of Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture.
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Ogaki Castle 大垣城


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Ogaki Castle is said to have been built in 1535 by Lord Miyagawa Yasusada. It served as the base for the Ishida Mitsunari's western forces during the Sekigahara War in 1600. The original castle was a National Treasure until it was destroyed during the war in 1945. The castle tower was reconstructed in 1959. Very pretty during cherry blossom season. Near JR Ogaki Station.

71 files, last one added on Apr 27, 2009
Album viewed 224 times

Shiki no Michi Promenade 四季の路


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This promenade is a 2.2 km walking path from Ogaki Station to Matsuo Basho's final point in his Oku-no-Hosomichi journey. It follows along the Suimon River and is especially pretty during cherry blossom season when rides on wooden tub boats (tarai-bune) are offered.

59 files, last one added on Apr 27, 2009
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Ogaki Matsuri Festival 大垣まつり


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Ogaki's biggest festival held on May 9-10 features eleven ornate floats called "yama." They are paraded along the streets in central Ogaki. Highlights include karakuri mechanical doll performances atop the floats and the floats lit up at night with paper lanterns. Held by Hachiman Jinja Shrine. Also see my YouTube video of karakuri puppets here and of children's dances here.

172 files, last one added on Jun 14, 2009
Album viewed 1795 times

Sunomata Ichiya Castle 墨俣一夜城


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According to legend, Sunomata Castle was built overnight by Toyotomi Hideyoshi while he was still an lowly samurai. Sunomata Ichiya Castle was reconstructed in April 1991. Now a local history museum. Accessible by Gifu Bus (W65 on Obusa Sunomata Route) from JR Gifu Station and Ogaki Station. Get off at Sunomata bus stop.

64 files, last one added on Jun 21, 2009
Album viewed 320 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Ogaki, Gifu Prefecture. Includes Ogaki Keirinjo or Ogaki Cycling Stadium where bicycle races are held.

32 files, last one added on Feb 15, 2009
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Sekigahara 関ヶ原町Pictures of Sekigahara-cho town, Gifu Pref. famous for the Battle of Sekigahara in 1600.
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Battle of Sekigahara Historic Site 関ヶ原古戦場


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One of Japan's most pivotal battles took place here on Oct. 21, 1600 (Sept. 15 of Keicho 5) between Tokugawa Ieyasu's Eastern Forces and Toyotomi Hideyoshi loyalist Ishida Mitsunari's Western Forces. Ieyasu's victory in the Battle of Sekigahara sealed Japan's historical fate for the next 250 years. The former battlefield is dotted with monuments indicating the positions of various warlords during the battle.

119 files, last one added on Apr 07, 2008
Album viewed 931 times

Battle of Sekigahara Festival 2008 関ヶ原合戦祭り


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On Oct. 19, 2008, the town of Sekigahara held a special two-day festival to commemorate the Battle of Sekigahara. These photos were taken on the second day when a procession and mock battle were staged. Matchlock gun battalions added to the colorful drama. Also see my YouTube video here.

172 files, last one added on Jan 14, 2009
Album viewed 357 times

Sekigahara Warland 関ヶ原ウォーランド


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This is an outdoor park with larger-than-life, painted concrete sculptures depicting the Battle of Sekigahara between Tokugawa Ieyasu and Ishida Mitsunari. The battlefield is not geographically recreated. Admission charged.

25 files, last one added on Jan 06, 2007
Album viewed 229 times

Sekigahara Stalactite Cavern 関ヶ原鍾乳洞


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Small but pleasant and popular cavern especially in summer when it is cool inside the cavern. Various rock formations and clear spring water are highlights. Admission charged.

16 files, last one added on Jan 07, 2007
Album viewed 48 times

Imasu-juku 今須宿


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Imasu-juku was the fifty-ninth of the sixty-nine stations or shukuba post towns of the Nakasendo Road. It follows Sekigahara-juku and comes before Kashiwabara-juku in Shiga Pref. Today, it has very few remnants of its Nakasendo past. It is between Sekigahara and Kashiwabara Stations on the JR Tokaido Line.

26 files, last one added on Apr 23, 2011
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Other Sights


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Other sights in Sekigahara, Gifu Pref. such as Fuwa-no-seki site and museum.

28 files, last one added on Apr 23, 2011
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6 albums on 1 page(s)

Shirakawa 白川村Pictures of Shirakawa-go, Gifu, a World Heritage Site.
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Shirakawa-go 白川郷


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World Heritage Site for its traditional gassho-zukuri houses with steep thatched roofs.

47 files, last one added on Nov 13, 2006
Album viewed 473 times

Wada House 和田家


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One of the main attractions of Shirakawa-go, this privately-owned house is the largest gassho-zukuri house in Shirakawa-go. The Wada family still live in the house while much of the house is open to the public. See the huge attic where they used to produce silk.

18 files, last one added on Nov 13, 2006
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Myozenji Temple 明善寺


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Myozenji is the only temple in the gassho-zukuri style with a thatched roof. The Hondo worshp hall is the largest building in Shirakawa-go.

12 files, last one added on Nov 13, 2006
Album viewed 160 times

Minshuku 民宿


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Shirakawa-go's main source of income is tourism. Many old houses with thatched roofs have been converted into lodging called "minshuku." But looks can be deceiving as the interior is completely modern.

17 files, last one added on Nov 13, 2006
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Takayama 高山市Pictures of Takayama, Gifu Prefecture.
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Central Takayama 伝統的な町並み


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Central Takayama near Takayama Station is noted for traditional buildings. Many attractions are within walking distance from the station. The Important Traditional Building Preservation Area is popular with tourists.

36 files, last one added on Mar 31, 2007
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Takayama Jinya 高山陣屋


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Central Takayama's most important traditional building is this former Government House. Originally the palace of Lord Kanamori of Takayama Castle, it was later used by local government administrators from 1692 to 1868. It is a National Historic Site.

42 files, last one added on Mar 15, 2007
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Takayama Matsuri Festival 高山祭


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The Takayama Festival is held twice a year, during April 14-15 and Oct. 9-10. The spring festival is held by Hieda Shrine and it is called Sanno Matsuri. The festival features twelve ornate "yatai" floats which are displayed and pulled along the streets. In a large plaza, katakuri puppets perform on a few of the floats. The festival is also dramatic at night with a float procession.

54 files, last one added on Mar 31, 2007
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Tarui 垂井町Pictures of Tarui-cho town, Gifu Prefecture.
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Nangu Taisha Shrine 南宮大社


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Famous for its giant torii next to the shinkansen train tracks, this shrine is dedicated to Kanayama-hiko-no-Mikoto 金山彦命. It is the headquarters shrine for all Kanayama Shrines and iron-related shrines in Japan. Many of the buildings are Important Cultural Properties.

43 files, last one added on May 19, 2009
Album viewed 39 times

Tarui Hikiyama Matsuri Festival 垂井曳山祭り


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Held on May 2-4, three ornate hikiyama floats are displayed and paraded around town. Young boys also perform in kabuki plays on the floats. May 3 is the main festival day, but May 2 is also a good day to see the matsuri. These photos were taken on May 2, 2009. Also see my YouTube video here.

79 files, last one added on May 19, 2009
Album viewed 121 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Tarui town, Gifu, including the Sakura Matsuri with koinobori carp streamers along the river, Takenaka Hanbei's castle remains, and Tarui-juku post town on the Nakasendo.

62 files, last one added on Apr 23, 2011
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Yoro 養老町Pictures of Yoro-cho town, Gifu Prefecture.
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Yoro Falls 養老の滝


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Yoro town's most famous attraction is Yoro Park and Yoro (Yoro-no-taki) Falls, especially during cherry blossom season in early April and during the autumn foliage. Yoro was named by Empress Gensho in the 8th century and proclaimed Yoro as the fountain of youth. She even named her era after Yoro (717-724). Even today, Yoronotaki Falls is one of Japan's 100 Famous Waterfalls and 100 Famous Water Springs.

66 files, last one added on Apr 24, 2011
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Gunma 群馬県Pictures of Gunma Prefecture, Japan.
Kanna 神流町Pictures of Kanna-machi town, Gunma Prefecture.
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Koinobori Festival 鯉のぼり祭り


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Held during late April to early May, the Koinobori festival of carp streamers is this town's claim to fame. About 800 colorful carp streamers swim in the sky above a river.

60 files, last one added on Apr 15, 2006
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Shibukawa 渋川市Pictures of Shibukawa, including Ikaho Onsen Spa, Gunma Prefecture.
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Ikaho Merrie Monarch Hawaiian Festival 2008 伊香保ハワイアンフェスティバル


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Ikaho Onsen Spa held the 12th King Kalakaua Merrie Monarch Hawaiian Festival during Aug. 3-6, 2008. During the day, numerous Japanese hula groups performed on stage. Hawaiian seminars were also taught by kumu hula Aloha Dalire. In the evenings, Hula Halau 'O Kamuela from Oahu performed as the festival's main event. Ikaho's connection to Hawaii lies with the summer residence of Robert Walker Irwin, the Hawaiian Minister to Japan during the late 19th century.

59 files, last one added on Aug 12, 2008
Album viewed 719 times

Hula Halau 'O Kamuela in Ikaho 2008 フラ・ハーラウ・オ・カムエラ


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The overall winner of the Merrie Monarch Festival held in Hilo, Hawai'i in April is invited to perform at Ikaho's annual Hawaiian Festival in Aug. During the evenings of Aug. 3-6, 2008, Hula Halau 'O Kamuela gave a spellbinding, one-hour performance with numerous costume changes and surprise solo performances by kumu hula Aloha Dalire and Kunewa Mook on different nights.

136 files, last one added on Aug 12, 2008
Album viewed 922 times

Robert Walker Irwin Summer Residence ロバート W. アルウイン別邸


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Near the entrance to the Stone Steps, Ikaho has the summer home of Robert Walker Irwin, American businessman from Philadelphia, PA and the Hawaiian Minister to Japan during the late 19th century. He oversaw the Japanese immigration to Hawaii during 1885-1894. Part of his summer villa has been preserved here. Next to the house is the Guidance Museum with exhibits related to the Irwin family and Japanese emigration to Hawaii. Open 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. Free admission. Map here 渋川市伊香保町伊香保29−5 Tel: 0279-22-2111

49 files, last one added on Aug 13, 2008
Album viewed 3362 times

Ikaho Merrie Monarch Hawaiian Festival 2003 伊香保ハワイアンフェスティバル


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During Aug. 5-7, 2003, Ikaho hosted the 7th King Kalakaua Merrie Monarch Hawaiian Festival featuring hula performances by numerous Japanese hula groups. In the evenings, Hawaii's top hula halau (overall winner of the Merrie Monarch Festival in Hawaii) performed as the festival's main event. Ikaho's connection to Hawaii lies with the summer residence of Robert Walker Irwin, the Hawaiian Minister to Japan during the late 19th century.

28 files, last one added on Oct 18, 2007
Album viewed 161 times

Other Ikaho Sights


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Other sights in Ikaho Onsen include the Stone Steps and Mt. Uenoyama.

23 files, last one added on Jul 06, 2009
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Takasaki 高崎市Pictures of Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture.
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Shorinzan Daruma Temple 少林山達磨寺


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Takasaki is one of Japan's leading producers of daruma dolls. This temple symbolizes Takasaki with numerous darumas offered at the temple. The Daruma Museum next to the temple is also interesting.

20 files, last one added on Apr 16, 2006
Album viewed 162 times

Byakui Dai-Kannon 白衣大観音


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Byakui Dai-Kannon means Giant Kannon in white wardrobe. Buiilt in 1936, this giant Kannon statue is almost like a temple itself with 20 Buddha figures inside. You can climb up the stairs inside and see Takasaki from above.

14 files, last one added on Apr 16, 2006
Album viewed 115 times

Other Sights


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Pictures of Takasaki Station and other street shots.

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Tatebayashi 館林市Pictures of Tatebayashi, Gunma Prefecture.
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Tsutsujigaoka Park つつじが岡公園


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Insanely spectacular azaleas in full bloom at Tsutsujigaoka Park and Tsutsuji-en Garden. Also see koinobori carp streamers along the river to Lake Jonuma.

163 files, last one added on May 23, 2014
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Morinji temple 茂林寺


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Soto-Zen temple famous for the Bunpuku Chagama (分福茶釜) folk tale about a tanuki raccoon dog that transformed into a steel pot used by the temple priest over the fire. When it got too hot, the tanuki reverted back to itself and ran away. Tatebayashi is a Tanuki Town because you see it everywhere. Souvenir shops also sell the beckoning tanuki which are made in Shigaraki, Shiga Prefecture. Near Morinji-mae Station on the Tobu Line. Temple address: 群馬県館林市堀工町1570 Thanks to my friend Bessie (also from Hawaii) for taking me around the city.

104 files, last one added on Jun 01, 2012
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Tatebayashi The Treasures Garden ザ・トレジャーガーデン


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Flower garden with roses, moss pink, and more near Morinji temple. Formerly named Yachonomori Garden. Roses were in bloom when I went in late May. Operated by Tobu.

61 files, last one added on Jun 01, 2012
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Other Sights in Tatebayashi


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Tatebayashi Castle remains, Rekishi-no-Mori history park, and Tataranuma Park (多々良沼公園). Tataranuma Park is a prefectural park with a small, marshy lake with enough reed fields to attract swans migrating from Siberia every winter. A shrine on a small island is dedicated to the goddess Benzaiten. The pleasant lakeside park also has lots of picnic space and wisteria.

80 files, last one added on Jun 01, 2012
Album viewed 31 times

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Hiroshima 広島県Pictures of Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan.
Etajima 江田島市Photos of Etajima, Hiroshima Prefecture.
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JMSDF 1st Service School 海上自衛隊第1術科学校


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Etajima island is home to Japan's Naval Academy officially called the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force First Service School (海上自衛隊第1術科学校), akin to Annapolis in the US. It originally opened as the Imperial Naval Academy in 1888. The Naval Academy conducts free guided tours of the school 3 or 4 times a day. The main attraction for me was the display of a midget submarine used in the Pearl Harbor attack. For more info see the academy's Web site here.

97 files, last one added on Jan 14, 2013
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Fukuyama 福山市Pictures of Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture.
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Fukuyama Castle 福山城


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Built in 1622 by Lord Mizuno Katsunari. This is one castle you can see from the bullet train. The castle tower was rebuilt in 1966. A turret and a gate are Important Cultural Assets.

8 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
Album viewed 64 times

Tomonoura 鞆の浦


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Scenic Tomonoura is a part of the Seto Inland Sea National Park.

8 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
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Hatsukaichi 廿日市市Pictures of Hatsukaichi, Hiroshima Prefecture.
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Miyajima 宮島


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Miyajima and Itsukaichi Shrine are counted as one of Japan's best three scenic spots.

5 files, last one added on Apr 24, 2011
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Hiroshima city 広島市Pictures of Hiroshima city, the capital city of Hiroshima Prefecture.
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Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park 広島平和記念公園


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Hiroshima's No. 1 tourist attraction. The park has the iconic Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Memorial Cenotaph, Peace Flame, and numerous other memorials. Hordes of school kids on class trips visit here.

128 files, last one added on Jan 14, 2013
Album viewed 1330 times

Hiroshima Castle 広島城


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Obviously destroyed during the war, the castle has been reconstructed.

3 files, last one added on Mar 13, 2006
Album viewed 64 times

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Kure 呉市Pictures of Kure, Hiroshima Prefecture.
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Yamato Museum (Kure Maritime Museum) 呉市海事歴史科学館 大和ミュージアム


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The Yamato Museum's main attraction is a 1/10th scale model of battleship Yamato, Japan's most famous and legendary battleship in World War II. The museum is adjacent to Kure Port.

71 files, last one added on Jan 20, 2013
Album viewed 2936 times

JMSDF Kure Museum 海上自衛隊呉史料館


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The JMSDF (Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force) Kure Museum is mainly a submarine museum whose main attraction is the decommissioned sub called Akishio. The museum is conveniently right across the street from the Yamato Museum.

40 files, last one added on Jan 20, 2013
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Mihara 三原市Pictures of Mihara, Hiroshima Prefecture.
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Mihara Castle 三原城


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Only stone walls and a moat remains.

2 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
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Onomichi 尾道市Pictures of Onomichi, Hiroshima Prefecture.
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Onomichi Castle 尾道城


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This Onomichi Castle never existed. It was built in 1964 solely as a tourist attraction. Sadly, the company that owned the castle went bankrupt and the castle is now an abandoned building.

4 files, last one added on Jan 24, 2006
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Hokkaido 北海道Pictures of Hokkaido Prefecture, Japan.
Chitose 千歳市Pictures of Chitose, Hokkaido.
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New Chitose Airport 新千歳空港


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Hokkaido's main gateway and Japan third busiest airport after Narita and Haneda. Built in 1991 to replace the old Chitose Airport, it still looks very new and modern with a spacious terminal building with loads of shops and restaurants.

28 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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Date 伊達市Pictures of Date, Hokkaido.
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Date Rekishi no Mori だて歴史の杜


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A large history-oriented park with museums, historical buildings, culture center, public library, pool, Japanese garden, and souvenir shops. The Geihinkan Guesthouse 迎賓館 and Kaitaku Kinenkan Museum 開拓記念館 are the main attractions. Cherry blossoms also bloom in May. Date is a city of 37,000, founded in 1870 by a samurai named Date Kunishige and his vassals and citizens who migrated from Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture.

32 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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Bio Diesel Fuel Production BDF燃料製造


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A local organization called Date Cosmos 21 collects waste vegetable oil (tempura oil, etc.) for conversion to biodiesel fuel (BDF).

17 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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Other Sights


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"Date" is pronounced "DAH-tay." See some photos of Date Mombetsu Station and central Date.

14 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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Hakodate 函館市Pictures of Hakodate, Hokkaido.
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Central Hakodate 函館市街


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A port city, Hakodate is a major tourist city featuring many sights including Mt. Hakodate-yama.

33 files, last one added on Jul 15, 2009
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Lake Toya (Toyako) 洞爺湖Pictures of Lake Toya, including Toyako and Sobetsu towns.
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Toyako Onsen Spa 洞爺湖


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Toyako Onsen is a pleasant hot spring town on the southern shore of Lake Toya in Toyako-cho town. It is the lake's main town and tourist base. Besides numerous lakeshore hotels with hot spring waters, the town has a nice lakeside promenade, splendid views of the Nakajima islands, outdoor sculptures, lake cruises, swan boats, and free hot spring foot and hand baths. A day trip is also viable to enjoy the healthy spa.

80 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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Lake Toya Boat Cruise 洞爺湖遊覧船


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The Ekimae Sanbashi Pier, almost front and center along Toyako Onsen's lake shore, has cruise boats leaving for lake cruises to the Nakajima islands every 30 min. from 8 am to 4:30 pm during April-Oct. During Nov.-April, it operates every hour from 9 am to 4 pm. The cruise takes 50 min. if you don't get off to visit the Nakajima islands. Otherwise, allow 80 min. if you want to get also step foot on the Nakajima islands.

37 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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Lake Toya (East) 洞爺湖(壮瞥町)


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I rented a bicycle at Toyako Onsen and rode around Lake Toya counterclockwise which is easier than going clockwise and the lake view is better on the left side of the road. From the hot spring, I rode through the eastern shore while admiring cherry blossoms (blooming in early May) and plum blossoms (which bloom at the same time as cherries). Lake Toya's east area is part of Sobetsu town.

86 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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Northern Lake Toya 北洞爺湖(洞爺湖町)


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Continuing from Lake Toya's east shore, this album completes my counterclockwise cycling trip around the lake as we head north and then to the western shore back to Toyako Onsen. The northern shore has a nature trail, the Toya Mizunoeki tourist rest stop, Ukimido lakeside pagoda, and some beautiful cherry trees along the shore.

95 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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Mt. Showa-Shinzan & Mt. Usu 昭和新山・有珠山


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Showa-Shinzan (398 meters high) is a sub-volcano and lava dome of neighboring Mt. Usu. Looking like a bald spot, it was created during 1943-45 from what used to be a flat piece of land. In the valley between Showa-Shinzan and Mt. Usuzan is a tourist village (called Kazan-mura) with souvenir shops and the Usuzan Ropeway terminal. The ropeway takes you up to Mt. Usu where you can see a great views of Showa-Shinzan and Lake Toya. A hiking trail also goes to another crater on Usuzan.

56 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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Nishiyama Crater Trail 西山火口散策路


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The Nishiyama Craters are a series of craters on the west side of Mt. Usu, created during the latest eruption in March 2000. A walking trail takes you near the rim of a few craters, including wrecked roads and buildings still remaining. Very impressive with steam still being emitted. Takes 3 min. by bus from Toyako Onsen or 15 min. from Toya Station. The trail takes about 40 min. to walk one-way. Open from April 20 to Nov. 10. Free admission.

40 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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Sobetsu Park 壮瞥公園


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Sobetsu Koen or Park is in Sobetsu-cho town on the eastern shore of Lake Toya. It is a hillside park with numerous ume plum trees and grand views of the lake. The plum trees bloom during early to mid-May, at the same time as cherry blossoms.

28 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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Yokozuna Kitanoumi Memorial Hall 横綱北の湖記念館


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With 24 tournament victories, Kitanoumi was one of sumo's greatest Yokozuna (grand champion) in modern times. "Kitanoumi" means "Lake of the North," and this refers to Lake Toya. Kitanoumi hails from Sobetsu town which is on the lake's eastern shore. This Yokozuna Kitanoumi museum is dedicated to him with numerous photos, memorabalia, and sculpture of Kitanoumi performing the dohyo-iri. The museum also houses the Sobetsu History Museum (壮瞥町郷土史料館).

40 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit 北海道洞爺湖サミット


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During July 7-9, 2008, the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit will be held in Toyako town fronting Lake Toya in Shikotsu-Toya National Park in southwestern Hokkaido. Toyako was selected as the venue for its natural beauty and environment. The Lake Toya area, which includes Toyako and Sobetsu towns, are in a Welcome mode with welcome signs everywhere. A slew of Summit merchandise is also on sale. These photos were taken in early May 2008.

54 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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Toya Station 洞爺駅


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JR Toya Station is the main railway gateway to the Lake Toya area. It is on the JR Muroran Line. Express trains run from Sapporo and Chitose. The station building has been renovated with a spacious waiting/exhibition room. In 2008, it is in welcome mode for the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit with welcome signs.

21 files, last one added on May 20, 2008
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Otaru 小樽市Pictures of Otaru, Hokkaido.
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Otaru Canal 小樽運河


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Otaru's most famous sight is this canal. Hard to say what's so special about it, but it's often used as a backdrop in movies and TV dramas. Walkable from Otaru Station.

43 files, last one added on May 22, 2008
Album viewed 242 times

Central Otaru 色内通り・境町通り


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Otaru is a living architectural museum. There are numerous old and distinguished buildings which have been preserved. The city has a building code requiring all buildings to be designed to fit in the overall architectural scheme. If you like 19th century and early 20th century architecture, glassware, and/or music boxes, you will love Otaru. The historic buildings are concentrated along the Ironai-dori and Sakai-machi-dori road. A short walk from the Otaru Canal.

39 files, last one added on May 22, 2008
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Former Nippon Yusen Kaisha Otaru Branch 旧日本郵船株式会社小樽支店


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Two historical buildings in Otaru are Important Cultural Properties, and this is one of them. Nippon Yusen, or NYK Line, was and is a major shipping company. This building was their Otaru Branch office, elegant enough to be a State Guesthouse.

22 files, last one added on May 22, 2008
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Mt. Akaiwa 赤岩


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A low, craggy mountain 371 meters high, Mt. Akaiwa faces the ocean and has steep but brief sides for climbing. Almost like rock climbing. The views are beautiful. Near Shukutsu.

9 files, last one added on May 22, 2008
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Sapporo 札幌市Pictures of Sapporo, the capital city of Hokkaido.
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Sapporo Snow Festival 2010 第61回さっぽろ雪まつり


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Started in 1950, the Sapporo Snow Festival is Japan's grandest and most famous winter festival. I finally saw it again, the 61st Sapporo Snow Festival held during Feb. 5-11, 2010. Being from Hawaii, I was compelled to see it this year because one of the sculptures was Hawaii's Iolani Palace made of ice. Other giant sculptures included buildings in Germany and Korea.

206 files, last one added on Jun 06, 2010
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Iolani Palace at Sapporo Snow Festival イオラニ宮殿@さっぽろ雪まつり


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Hawaii's most famous building, the Iolani Palace, was built out of ice at the 2010 Sapporo Snow Festival. It was the second time for the palace to be featured at the snow festival. The first time was at the 1982 Sapporo Snow Festival. I saw it both times, and it was awesome both times. Also see my YouTube video here.

145 files, last one added on Jun 06, 2010
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Odori Park 大通公園


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The city's most famous and popular park. A real nice oasis in the city, especially during the warmer months with water fountains, flowers, green grass, and sunshine. Also the site of the annual Sapporo Snow Festival. See how it looks in spring. Includes views from the Sapporo TV Tower.

30 files, last one added on May 21, 2008
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Sapporo Clock Tower 札幌市時計台


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Symbol of Sapporo, the Clock Tower was built in 1878 as part of the Sapporo Agricultural College established largely by three Americans from Massachusetts: Dr. Willian S. Clark, William Wheeler, and David P. Penhallow. The clock in the tower is the original, installed in 1881. Its chime sounds the same as over a century ago. Near Odori Park.

18 files, last one added on May 21, 2008
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Former Hokkaido Government Office Building 北海道庁旧本庁舎


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Built in 1888, the former Hokkaido Government Office Building is one of Hokkaido's most famous buildings. With its red brick walls, it stands out among Sapporo's more modern buildings. Several of its rooms are open to the public mainly as a museum. An Important Cultural Property. Near Sapporo Station and Ekimae-dori. Free admission.

44 files, last one added on May 21, 2008
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JR Sapporo Station 札幌駅


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Nicknamed "Satsu-eki," Sapporo Station came of age in 2003 with a new mega station building boasting a built-in department store, the JR Tower with fine views from the lookout deck, shops and restaurants, and a spacious tourist info office. It is Hokkaido's busiest and grandest train station which is more like shopping complex rather than a train station.

44 files, last one added on May 21, 2008
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Sapporo Ekimae-dori 札幌駅前通


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Ekimae-dori is the main drag from Sapporo Station heading south toward Odori Park, Susukino, and Nakajima Park. Shops, department stores, offices, shopping arcades, and night life abound along this stimulating strip.

40 files, last one added on May 21, 2008
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Hitsujigaoka Observation Hill 羊ヶ丘展望台


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A tourist attraction in a Sapporo suburb, famous for the statue of Dr. William Clark saying "Boys, Be Ambitious." The place also has the Sapporo Snow Festival Museum. Accessible by bus from Fukuzumi Station (Toho subway line).

55 files, last one added on May 21, 2008
Album viewed 221 times

8 albums on 1 page(s)

Hyogo 兵庫県Pictures of Hyogo Prefecture, Japan.
Akashi 明石市Pictures of Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture.
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Akashi Castle 明石城


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Visible from Akashi Station, Akashi Castle was first built in 1619 by Lord Ogasawara Tadamasa (later renamed Tadazane 小笠原忠真). Only two turrets, stone walls, and moats survive. It is within Akashi Park.

28 files, last one added on Jan 20, 2006
Album viewed 63 times

Other Sights


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Other places and sights in Akashi, Hyogo Prefecture.

3 files, last one added on Jan 20, 2006
Album viewed 42 times

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Himeji 姫路市Pictures of Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture.
2 113
Himeji Castle 姫路城


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Himeji Castle is Japan's most beautiful, famous, and photogenic building. It is Japan's best preserved feudal castle and a National Treasure and World Heritage Site.

109 files, last one added on Jan 20, 2006
Album viewed 487 times

Other Sights


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Pictures of other sights in Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture.

4 files, last one added on Jan 20, 2006
Album viewed 41 times

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Kobe 神戸市Pictures of Kobe, Hyogo Prefecture.
2 232
Kitano Ijinkan 北野町山本通・異人館


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Near Sannomiya Station, Kitano is a district dotted with numerous Western-style homes built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when foreigners were allowed to reside in Kobe. Many homes are open to tourists.

149 files, last one added on Jul 06, 2009
Album viewed 112 times

Great Hanshin (Kobe) Earthquake 阪神大震災


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On Jan. 17, 1995, the Kobe area was devastated by a huge earthquake, killing over 6,000 people. I visited Kobe 10 days after the quake hit. I show these photos on the 15th anniversary of the killer quake.

83 files, last one added on Jan 30, 2010
Album viewed 622 times

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Nishinomiya 西宮市Pictures of Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture.
1 84
Toka Ebisu at Nishinomiya Shrine 西宮神社 十日えびす


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Nishinomiya Jinja Shrine in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan is the headquarters for all Ebisu shrines in Japan. Centering on Jan. 10, the Toka Ebisu festival is held here with 1 million people coming to worship and pray for business prosperity. One highlight is the giant tuna on display for people to stick on their coins. These photos were taken on Jan 10, 2011.

84 files, last one added on Jan 10, 2011
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Ibaraki 茨城県Pictures of Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
Mito 水戸市Pictures of Mito, the capital city of Ibaraki Prefecture.
1 83
Kairakuen Garden 偕楽園


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One of Japan's three most famous gardens, Kairakuen is especially noted for thousands of plum blossom trees which bloom in Feb. and March. It also has the Kobuntei Villa with exquisite Japanese-style paintings on paper sliding doors. Kairakuen was built in 1841 by Tokugawa Nariaki (1800-1860), the ninth Lord of Mito.

83 files, last one added on Mar 22, 2006
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Oarai 大洗町Pictures of Oarai-cho town, Ibaraki Prefecture.
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Oarai Isosaki Shrine 大洗磯前神社


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This shrine in Oarai is best known for its torii at sea. Pictures of the torii at sunrise is a town trademark. The ocean is rough and it is indeed a dramatic surrounding for a torii.

18 files, last one added on Apr 13, 2006
Album viewed 70 times

Other Sights


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Oarai is a pleasant sea resort near Mito. Besides the famous torii in the ocean, the town boasts fresh sea food and other attractions.

17 files, last one added on Apr 13, 2006
Album viewed 37 times

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Tsukuba つくば市Pictures of Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture.
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Mount Tsukuba 筑波山


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One of Japan's 100 Famous Mountains, Mt. Tsukuba is an easy day trip from Tokyo. The mountain has two wedded peaks, Nantai (male) and Nyotai (female). You can either climb up to the peak or take the convenient and low-cost cable car or ropeway up to one of the peaks.

91 files, last one added on Nov 22, 2009
Album viewed 142 times

Matsuri Tsukuba and Nebuta Parade 2009 まつりつくば・ねぶた大パレード


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A big, two-day August festival in this modern city on the outskirts of Tokyo featuring diverse dance groups, bazaar, street performances, hula dancing, and food stalls. The climax is a nebuta parade in the evening. Everything is near Tsukuba Station (Tsukuba Express). I went on the second day on Aug. 30, 2009.

88 files, last one added on Dec 31, 2011
Album viewed 54 times

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Ishikawa 石川県Pictures of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan.
Kanazawa 金沢市Pictures of Kanazawa, the capital city of Ishikawa Prefecture.
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Kanazawa Castle 金沢城


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Occupying a huge plot of land in the center of the city, the castle has undergone extensive renovations and reconstruction. The main castle buildings are now magnificently restored.

96 files, last one added on Nov 14, 2006
Album viewed 66 times

Kanazawa Castle Park 金沢城公園


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Walk through this huge park to tour not only the castle, but also the many different stone walls and lookout points where the turrets used to be.

44 files, last one added on Nov 14, 2006
Album viewed 68 times

Kenrokuen Garden 兼六園


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Adjacent to Kanazawa Castle Park, Kenrokuen is one of Japan's three most famous gardens.

27 files, last one added on Dec 02, 2006
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Other Sights


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Kanazawa has many other sights besides the castle and Kenrokuen Garden.

23 files, last one added on Dec 02, 2006
Album viewed 53 times

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Iwate 岩手県Pictures of Iwate Prefecture, Japan.
Hiraizumi 平泉町Pictures of Hiraizumi (World Heritage Site), Iwate Prefecture.
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Chusonji temple 中尊寺


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The main temple at the Hiraizumi World Heritage Site. The golden and ornate Konjikido Hall is a National Treasure.

104 files, last one added on Feb 15, 2013
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Motsuji temple 毛越寺


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Motsuji temple is part of the "Historic Monuments and Sites of Hiraizumi" World Heritage Site. It belongs to the Tendai Buddhist sect. Founded in 850 by Ennin, the third abbot of Tendai based at Enryakuji temple atop Mt. Hiei in Shiga Prefecture. Since most of the temple structures burnt down, the main attraction today is the 800-year-old Pure Land Garden featuring a large pond called Oizumi ga Ike. It's short distance away from Chusonji temple.

61 files, last one added on May 18, 2012
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Kamaishi 釜石市Pictures of Kamaishi, Iwate Pref.
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Dai-Kannon 釜石大観音


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Kamaishi has its own Giant Kannon statue overlooking the beautiful bay.

6 files, last one added on Dec 05, 2006
Album viewed 138 times

 

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Miyako 宮古市Pictures of Miyako, Iwate Pref.
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Jodogahama 浄土ケ浜


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Nestled in a dramatic and rocky bay, this is a pebble beach popular in summer.

6 files, last one added on Dec 05, 2006
Album viewed 83 times

 

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Kagawa 香川県Pictures of Kagawa Prefecture, Japan.
Kan'onji 観音寺市Pictures of Kan'onji, Kagawa Prefecture.
1 5
Kotobiki Park 琴弾公園


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Beachfront park famous for the giant Zenigata Sunae sand sculpture of an old coin.

5 files, last one added on Dec 02, 2006
Album viewed 39 times

 

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Sakaide 坂出市Pictures of Sakaide, Kagawa Prefecture.
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Seto Ohashi Bridge 瀬戸大橋


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A port town facing the Seto Inland Sea, Sakaide is also host to the Shikoku end of the Seto Ohashi Bridge.

10 files, last one added on Dec 02, 2006
Album viewed 40 times

 

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Shodoshima 小豆島Pictures of Shodoshima island, Kagawa Prefecture.
1 5
Kankakei Gorge 寒霞渓


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Famous for olives, this is the largest island in the Seto Inland Sea. Kankakei Gorge is one of Japan's most famous views.

5 files, last one added on Dec 02, 2006
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Takamatsu 高松市Pictures of Takamatsu, the capital city of Kagawa Prefecture.
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Ritsurin Park 栗林公園


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One of Japan's most beautiful and famous parks (more like a garden).

5 files, last one added on Dec 02, 2006
Album viewed 44 times

Megishima 女木島


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Also called Onigashima, a picturesque island off Takamatsu.

8 files, last one added on Dec 02, 2006
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Takamatsu Castle 高松城


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Takamatsu Castle is within Tamamo Park.

2 files, last one added on Dec 02, 2006
Album viewed 33 times

Other Sights


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Some older photos of Takamatsu.

7 files, last one added on Dec 02, 2006
Album viewed 23 times

4 albums on 1 page(s)

Kagoshima 鹿児島県Pictures of Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan.
Kagoshima city 鹿児島市Pictures of Kagoshima city, the capital city of Kagoshima Prefecture.
2 11
Sakurajima 桜島


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Symbol of Kagoshima Prefecture and an active volcano often spewing smoke and ash.

7 files, last one added on Dec 07, 2006
Album viewed 89 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Kagoshima city, Kagoshima Pref.

4 files, last one added on Dec 07, 2006
Album viewed 93 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Kanagawa 神奈川県Pictures of Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.
Fujisawa 藤沢市Pictures of Fujisawa (includes Enoshima island), Kanagawa Prefecture.
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Tenno-sai Festival 天王祭


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A large mikoshi (portable shrine) from Yasaka Shrine on Enoshima is carried from the shrine to Koyuguri Shrine on the mainland. Along the way, the mikoshi is carried into the ocean. On the mainland, the Yasaka mikoshi is met with a mikoshi from Koyuguri Shrine. They then parade together along a shopping street before the Yasaka mikoshi goes back to Enoshima at around 6 pm. Also see the video at YouTube.
八坂神社神幸祭「神輿海中渡御」

40 files, last one added on Jul 12, 2004
Album viewed 81 times

Enoshima 江ノ島


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A small, well-known island near Kamakura.

15 files, last one added on Apr 24, 2011
Album viewed 75 times

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Hakone 箱根町Photos of Hakone-machi, Kanagawa Prefecture.
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Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu Procession 箱根大名行列


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Held annually on Nov. 3, a national holiday (Culture Day), the Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu is a feudal lord procession held at Hakone's Yumoto Onsen hot spring resort. About 170 people dressed in feudal-era costume and other people in marching bands, etc., parade around the town for about 6 km. The procession reenacts the daimyo procession of Okubo Kaga, lod of Odawara on his way to Edo (Tokyo) for the periodic sankin kotai procession.

31 files, last one added on May 31, 2009
Album viewed 1014 times

 

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Hiratsuka 平塚市Pictures of Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.
1 63
Shonan Hiratsuka Tanabata Matsuri Festival 湘南ひらつか七夕まつり


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Held for four days from the first Thursday of July, this is one of the largest Tanabata Festivals in the Kanto region. Usually called the Star Festival, about 3,000 colorful streamers hang all around the city center in the shopping district. There is also a parade and nighttime illumination of the streamers. Until 2008, the festival used to be held on and around July 7, but now depending on the year, July 7 might not fall within the festival period.

63 files, last one added on Jun 01, 2009
Album viewed 1431 times

 

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Kamakura 鎌倉市Pictures of Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture.
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Great Buddha (Daibutsu) 大仏


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The Great Buddha of Kamakura is one of Japan's symbols among the most beautiful Buddha statues. After the Great Buddha at Todaiji Temple in Nara, this is Japan's second largest Buddha statue.

4 files, last one added on Jan 22, 2006
Album viewed 71 times

Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine 鶴岡八幡宮


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One of the top three attractions of Kamakura (besides the Daibutsu and Enoshima), Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine is famous for cherry blossoms and peonies in April.

102 files, last one added on Apr 14, 2012
Album viewed 95 times

Meigetsu-in temple 明月院


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Nicknamed the Hydrangea Temple (Ajisai-dera), Meigetsu-in must have one of Japan's highest concentration of ajisai within its grounds. During the first half of June, the Hime-ajisai variety of blue hydrangea bloom all at once. Near Kita-Kamakura Station on the JR Yokosuka Line, the temple belongs to the Rinzai Zen Buddhist sect.

54 files, last one added on Jun 21, 2009
Album viewed 121 times

Engakuji Temple 円覚寺


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Huge Zen Buddhist temple complex near Kita-Kamakura Station. Numerous buildings include two structures which are National Treasures. One of them is the Ogane temple bell.

69 files, last one added on Apr 14, 2012
Album viewed 16 times

Myohonji Temple 妙本寺


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Nichiren Buddhist temple founded in 1260. Site was formerly the estate of the Hiki Yoshikazu, a senior retainer of Minamoto Yoritomo. The temple grounds is noted for cherry blossoms and other flowers. 10-min. walk from Kamakura Station.

26 files, last one added on Apr 14, 2012
Album viewed 63 times

Ofuna Kannon Temple Setsubun 大船観音寺 節分会


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The Ofuna Kannon temple is a Zen temple noted for its giant, white Kannon statue near JR Ofuna Station. It's on a hill so the Kannon statue is visible from trains and cars passing by. The temple belongs to the Soto sect. It held a Setsubun bean-throwing ceremony on Feb. 1, 2013. Also see my video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYXmGezsrmE

90 files, last one added on Feb 06, 2013
Album viewed 1208 times

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Kawasaki 川崎市Pictures of Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture.
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Kanamara Matsuri かなまら祭


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Kanayama Jinja Shrine is a small shrine within the grounds of the Wakamiya Hachimangu Shrine near Kawasaki Daishi Station. On the first Sun. of April, it holds this now-famous Kanamara Festival nicknamed the Phallus or Fertility Festival. The festival has grown from a small local matsuri to a large, international gathering. Also see the video at YouTube. 金山神社 若宮八幡宮

119 files, last one added on Apr 07, 2006
Album viewed 2138 times

Kawasaki Daishi Temple 川崎大師


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Member of the Shingon Buddhist sect founded by Kobo Daishi, this temple is one of the Kanto region's Big Three Shingon temples (other two being Narita-san in Chiba and Yakuoin in Mt. Takao).

25 files, last one added on Apr 16, 2006
Album viewed 59 times

Nihon Minkaen (Japan Open-Air Folk House Museum) 日本民家園


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Outdoor museum of traditional farm and merchant houses with thatched roofs. They have 25 homes from around Japan many were donated to the museum for preservation. If you're interested in traditional Japanese architecture, visit this park. Near Mukogaoka-yuen Station on the Odakyu Line. Closed Mon. Admission 500 yen. 横須賀市

34 files, last one added on Dec 10, 2007
Album viewed 132 times

 

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Matsuda-machi 松田町Photos of Matsuda town, Kanagawa Prefecture.
1 105
Matsuda Cherry Blossom Festival まつだ桜まつり


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On a hillside near Odakyu Shin-Matsuda and JR Matsuda Stations, a large patch of cherry blossoms bloom in mid-February to late March. These are early-blooming (hayasaki) sakura. The place is spectacular when the cherries are in full bloom. There are rape blossoms and views of Mt. Fuji and the ocean. Free admission.

105 files, last one added on Mar 23, 2012
Album viewed 1897 times

 

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Odawara 小田原市Pictures of Odawara, Kanagawa Prefecture.
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Odawara Castle 小田原城


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Odawara Castle was the base for the Hojo Clan during the feudal era. It is one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossoms Spots. They have been reconstructing a few castle buildings while the main tower is a local samurai history museum. It is within a park including a small zoo and cherry trees. The present castle tower was rebuilt in 1960. A short walk from Odawara Station.

179 files, last one added on Apr 20, 2013
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Odawara-juku Post Town 小田原宿


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Odawara-juku was the 9th post town on the old Tokaido Road. Today, there is nothing left of the old post town except for a few stone markers. A short walk from Odawara Castle and close to the beach.

21 files, last one added on Apr 20, 2013
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Other Odawara Sights


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Odawara Station, shopping areas, and the beach are among the other sights in the city.

33 files, last one added on Apr 20, 2013
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Sagamihara 相模原市Pictures of Sagamihara, Kanagawa.
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Sagami Giant Kite Festival 2005 相模の大凧まつり


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Giant Kite festival held on May 5, 2005 along the Sagami River bank. There was enough wind for the smaller kites, but not enough for the giant one. Also see the video at YouTube.

27 files, last one added on May 07, 2005
Album viewed 40 times

Sagami River Koi-nobori 泳げ鯉のぼり相模川


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From late April to early May, five long strings of giant carp streamers swim in the air high above the Sagami River. Also see the video at YouTube.

15 files, last one added on May 07, 2005
Album viewed 55 times

Sagami Giant Kite Festival 2004 相模の大凧まつり


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Sagamihara has had a long tradition with giant kite flying. This festival is held annually in spring along the Sagami River bank. These photos were taken on April 25, 2004.

29 files, last one added on May 07, 2005
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Yamato 大和市Pictures of Yamato, Kanagawa Pref.
1 68
Yamato Awa Odori 大和阿波おどり


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Kanagawa Prefecture's largest Awa Odori is held annually during the last weekend in July in this city of Yamato. It is not so crowded so it is easy to watch and photograph. These pictures were taken in 2005. Also see the video at YouTube.

68 files, last one added on Jul 17, 2006
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Yokohama 横浜市Pictures of Yokohama, the capital city of Kanagawa Prefecture.
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Yokohama Chinatown Chinese New Year 2013 横浜中華街春節


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Feb. 10, 2013 was the Chinese New Year's Day in Japan's largest Chinatown in Yokohama. Lion dances and firecrackers abound during the late afternoon and early evening. My first Chinese New Year in Japan, called "shunsetsu" in Japanese (春節). Glad to see that China-Japan relations are alive and well here, regardless of political differences.

77 files, last one added on Mar 09, 2013
Album viewed 81 times

Noge Daidogei Street Performance Festival 2010 野毛大道芸


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The annual Noge Daidogei street performance festival was held on April 24-25, 2010 near Sakuragicho Station. Street performers included topless butoh dancers painted in gold, incredible Chinese acrobats, street jugglers, and Japanese belly dancers.

152 files, last one added on Jun 06, 2010
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Kamonyama Park 掃部山公園


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Near Sakuragicho Station, Kamonyama Park features a statue of Lord Ii Naosuke of Hikone, Shiga Prefecture. He was the Chief Minister in the Tokugawa Government and the key person to open up Japan to the world in the late 19th century. Yokohama was one of the ports opened to foreign trade as a result.

22 files, last one added on Jun 08, 2010
Album viewed 72 times

EXPO Y150: Yokohama Port Opening 150th Anniversary 開国博Y150


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Yokohama Port was opened to the world in 1859, making 2009 the 150th anniversary of the port's opening. To celebrate, Yokohama held EXPO Y150 during April 28 to Sept. 27, 2009, a modest-scale expo featuring pavilions, theaters, and performances. The expo has three areas, with the Bayside Area being the main one at the waterfront area next to the Red Brick Warehouses. Also see my video at YouTube.

134 files, last one added on Jun 28, 2011
Album viewed 140 times

Hokule'a Canoe in Yokohama ホクレア号横浜港入港・乗船見学会


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Hawaii's most famous canoe named Hokule'a departed Hawaii in Jan. 2007 and sailed to Micronesia and arrived in Japan in April. It visited Okinawa, Kyushu, Shikoku, Hiroshima, and other places until arriving in Yokohama on June 9, 2007, the final stop. I went to see the Hokulea canoe arrive in Yokohama. Like at its other stops in Japan, Hokule'a offered free onboard canoe tours to the public during its one-week stay in Yokohama. We could see the top deck, rudder, masts, cramped sleeping quarters, food pantry, and more of this legendary canoe named after a star named Hokulea in Hawaiian.

167 files, last one added on Jun 15, 2007
Album viewed 133 times

Japanese Overseas Migration Museum 海外移住資料館


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Japan's largest museum dedicated to the nikkei experience. There are permanent exhibitions explaining the immigration to Hawai'i, continental USA, and other countries especially South America. There are also changing or special exhibitions so it's worth visiting more than once. Besides exhibition rooms, the museum has a reference library (closed on Sun.) with a collection of 20,000 books and materials about Japan's immigration. It even has kami-shibai (picture card stories). You can browse through recent Japanese novels such as "Japanese-Americans 99 Years of Love." The museum also has a restaurant with an outdoor terrace (open 11:30 am - 1:30 pm, 5:30 pm - 9 pm). The museum is operated by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) which is Japan's version of the Peace Corps.

52 files, last one added on Sep 22, 2014
Album viewed 114 times

Yokohama Hawai'i Festival 2008 ヨコハマ・ハワイイ・フェスティバル


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What may be Japan's largest Hawaiian festival was held in two locations in Yokohama during July 25-27, 2008. The main venue was at the huge Osanbashi Pier normally used to receive large passenger ships. It is cavernous hall used by the three-day festival to set up four stages and numerous booths selling Hawaiian goods and food. The other location was Landmark Plaza in Minato Mirai.

22 files, last one added on Aug 18, 2008
Album viewed 35 times

CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show 2011 and 2010


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Photos of the 1st and 2nd CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show held in Yokohama. The 1st CP+ was held during March 11-14, 2010. The 2nd CP+ was held on Feb. 9-13, 2011. It replaces the old photo expo held in Tokyo called Photo Imaging Expo (PIE). Over 41,000 people attended CP+ in 2010.

74 files, last one added on Feb 12, 2011
Album viewed 186 times

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Yokosuka 横須賀市Pictures of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, including US aircraft carriers in port.
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Central Yokosuka 横須賀市街


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Sights near Keikyu Yokosuka Chuo Station and JR Yokosuka Station include Mikasa Park, Verny Park, Dobuita Street, and Cape Kannonzaki where numerous ships pass through the narrow Uraga Channel at the mouth of Tokyo Bay.

110 files, last one added on Sep 30, 2008
Album viewed 753 times

Kurihama 久里浜


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Kurihama is in southeastern Yokosuka, a small bay with a beach. Famous as the landing place of Commodore Mathew Perry who arrived on July 8, 1853 and landed ashore on July 14. A monument to this historic landing is near the beach, as well as the Perry Memorial Hall.

40 files, last one added on Sep 30, 2008
Album viewed 301 times

USS George Washington (CVN-73)


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The USS George Washington aircraft carrier arrived at her new home port in Yokosuka on Sept. 25, 2008. Replacing the retiring USS Kitty Hawk, the GW is the first nuclear-powered carrier to be deployed in Japan. The usual protesters also showed up. Aircraft carrier photos by the US Navy.

53 files, last one added on Sep 30, 2008
Album viewed 890 times

USS Kitty Hawk (CV-63)


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The USS Kitty Hawk was home-ported in Yokosuka from Aug. 11, 1998 to May 2008. These photos by the US Navy shows some of the good times and drama aboard the carrier, as well as the Sayonara day when the ship left Yokosuka for good.

97 files, last one added on Sep 28, 2008
Album viewed 614 times

USS Independence (CV-62)


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Yokosuka is the home port to the only US aircraft carrier based outside the US. First it was the USS Midway, then the Independence, Kitty Hawk, and now the George Washington. These are photos of the USS Independence (CV-62) and USS Midway taken in the early 1990s when I was with a group touring the aircraft carriers.

42 files, last one added on Sep 28, 2008
Album viewed 288 times

 

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Zama 座間市Pictures of Zama, Kanagawa.
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Zama Giant Kite Festival 座間大凧まつり


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Held annually in early May along the Sagami River right next to the Sagamihara kite festival on the same days. Unfortunately, the wind was not strong enough for a prolonged flight. Photos were taken on May 5, 2005.

24 files, last one added on May 07, 2005
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Kochi 高知県Pictures of Kochi Prefecture, Japan.
Kochi city 高知市Pictures of Kochi city, the capital city of Kochi Prefecture.
1 26
Kochi Castle 高知城


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Built in 1603 and best known as Lord Yamauchi Kazutoyo and wife Chiyo's castle. Many of the existing buildings are Important Cultural Assets. Unfortunately, my camera lens had a fog problem.

26 files, last one added on Jan 23, 2006
Album viewed 75 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Kumamoto 熊本県Pictures of Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan.
Aso 阿蘇市Pictures of Aso, Kumamoto Pref., especially Mt. Aso.
1 29
Mt. Aso-san 阿蘇山


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Mt. Aso-san consists of several peaks and craters and includes the world's largest caldera. In Japan, this is as close as you can get to an active volcano.

29 files, last one added on Dec 07, 2006
Album viewed 113 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Kumamoto city 熊本市Pictures of Kumamoto city, the capital city of Kumamoto Prefecture.
2 13
Kumamoto Castle 熊本城


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Kyushu's largest castle is now a modern museum on the inside.

8 files, last one added on Dec 07, 2006
Album viewed 100 times

Other Sights


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Other sights of Kumamoto city such Suizenji Park and Kumamoto Station.

5 files, last one added on Dec 07, 2006
Album viewed 68 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Kyoto 京都府Pictures of Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.
Kameoka 亀岡市Pictures of Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture.
3 33
Hozu Gorge 保津峡


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Scenic gorge during a train ride from Arashiyama to Kameoka.

14 files, last one added on Jan 22, 2006
Album viewed 99 times

Kameyama Castle 亀山城


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Kameyama Castle is now headquarters to a religion called Omoto-kyo which acquired the castle property in 1919. Only stone walls and moats remain.

14 files, last one added on Apr 24, 2011
Album viewed 116 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Kameoka, Kyoto Prefecture.

5 files, last one added on Jan 22, 2006
Album viewed 52 times

 

3 albums on 1 page(s)

Kyoto city 京都市Pictures of Kyoto city, the capital city of Kyoto Prefecture.
17 1,338
Miyako Odori Cherry Dance 都をどり


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Kyoto's most famous geisha dance is held during the entire month of April at the Kobu Kaburenjo Theater in the Gion district. Since 1873, the show has delighted generations of Japanese and foreigners. Photography is not allowed. For more info, see miyako-odori.jp in English or call 075-541-3391.

58 files, last one added on Mar 28, 2010
Album viewed 320 times

Kamogawa Odori Geisha Dance 鴨川をどり


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The Kamogawa Odori dance is performed during the month of May by geisha and geiko in the Pontocho district which straddles the Kamogawa River.

64 files, last one added on Apr 21, 2006
Album viewed 400 times

Aoi Matsuri Festival 葵祭


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One of Kyoto's Big Three Festivals held on May 15. The Aoi Matsuri's colorful procession of over 500 people in Heian-Period costumes start off at the Kyoto Gosho Imperial Palace and head for the Shimogamo and Kamigamo Shrines. These photos were taken in 2005. Also see the video at YouTube.

142 files, last one added on Apr 21, 2006
Album viewed 300 times

Kyoto Jidai Matsuri Festival 京都時代祭


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One of Kyoto's Big Three Festivals and perhaps Japan's grandest costume parade, the Kyoto Jidai Matsuri is a procession of over 2,000 people dressed in wardrobe reflecting Kyoto's historical periods from 794 to 1868 during which Kyoto was Japan's capital. Held annually on Oct. 22 by Heian Jingu Shrine. The festival commemorates the day when Japan's capital was moved to Kyoto in 794. These photos were taken on Oct. 22, 2009.

231 files, last one added on Nov 07, 2009
Album viewed 2121 times

Gion Matsuri Yoiyama 祇園祭 宵山


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On July 16, the night before the Gion Matsuri Yamaboko Junko parade of floats, the Yoiyama display of floats lit up at night attract huge crowds in central Kyoto. You can also enter some of the grand floats. And a special treat is that private residences in the old kimono merchant district open up their entryways to show folding screens, kimono, and other treasures.

68 files, last one added on Oct 15, 2007
Album viewed 133 times

Gion Matsuri Festival, Saki Matsuri 祇園祭・前祭


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Kyoto's second Big Three Festival and one of Japan's Big Three Festivals. This Gion Matsuri is also Japan's grandest festival of floats. Held annually in July, the festival's climax is on the 17th when giant, wooden-wheeled floats are pulled through the streets for the Saki Matsuri Yama-hoko Procession. Also see the video at YouTube.

60 files, last one added on Aug 03, 2014
Album viewed 107 times

Gion Matsuri Festival, Ato Matsuri 祇園祭・後祭


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On July 24, a week after Gion Matsuri's main yama-hoko procession on the 17th, another grand float procession is held with 10 yama-hoko floats. The parade route goes in the reverse direction of the 17th. Also see the video at YouTube.

57 files, last one added on Aug 03, 2014
Album viewed 18 times

Kyoto Temples and Shrines 京都の寺院と神社


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Kyoto has many notable temples and shrines including Kiyomizu-dera, Kinkakuji Gold Pavilion, Yasaka Shrine, Higashi Hongwanji, and Sanjusangendo.

76 files, last one added on Mar 28, 2010
Album viewed 231 times

Nishi Hongwanji Temple 西本願寺


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Headquarters temple of the Jodo Shinshu Hongwanji-ha Buddhist sect. Part of a World Heritage Site and home to a few National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties.

65 files, last one added on Jan 30, 2010
Album viewed 293 times

Kyoto Imperial Palace 京都御所


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The residence of the emperor from the 14th century to 1869 when Emperor Meiji moved to Tokyo. For the 20th anniversary of Emperor Akihito's enthronement in 1989, they held a special open house during Nov. 1-10, 2009 when we got to see buildings and areas normally closed to the public. The palace consists of numerous notable buildings.

136 files, last one added on Jan 23, 2010
Album viewed 612 times

Nijo Castle 二条城


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Although it does not have a castle tower, Nijo-jo Castle is Japan's best preserved and most magnificent castle palace. Built on the order of Tokugawa Ieyasu to serve as the Kyoto residence for the Tokugawa shoguns. The interior is full of paintings (unfortunately photography is not allowed inside). A National Treasure.

37 files, last one added on Jan 21, 2006
Album viewed 127 times

Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine 伏見稲荷大社


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The headquarters shrine of all Inari shrines in Japan, this grand shrine is famous for its numerous torii gates along a mountain trail. This is also Kyoto's most popular shrine on New Year's Day, when I visited on Jan. 1, 2010.

91 files, last one added on Jan 30, 2010
Album viewed 158 times

Yasaka Shrine Karuta Hajime 八坂神社 かるた始め式


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Held every Jan. 3, Karuta Hajime is the year's first karuta card game. Karuta players from the Nihon Karuta-in Hon-in organization in Kyoto play on Yasaka Shrine's Noh stage for about an hour from 1 pm. They are dressed in colorful Heian-Period costumes. Also see my video at YouTube.

83 files, last one added on Jan 07, 2011
Album viewed 306 times

Kemari Hajime at Shimogamo Shrine 下鴨神社 蹴鞠初め


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Held annually on Jan. 4 at Shimogamo Shrine, Kemari Hajime is a ceremonial and Imperial court-era game of people in a circle kicking a soft, white ball called kemari. Originating in China, it goes back to the Heian Period (794-1185) in Japan. Also see my YouTube video here.

41 files, last one added on Feb 04, 2010
Album viewed 161 times

Kyoto Ebisu Jinja Shrine Toka Ebisu 京都ゑびす神社


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Originally established in 1202, Kyoto Ebisu Shrine is one of Japan's three biggest Ebisu shrines. The biggest festival of the year is Toka Ebisu, a festival to pray for good business held on Jan. 9-11 (centering on the 10th). The shrine is dedicated to Ebisu, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, representing business prosperity. These photos were taken on Jan. 10, 2009.

36 files, last one added on Jan 19, 2009
Album viewed 193 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Kyoto city including the Manga Museum.

17 files, last one added on Mar 28, 2010
Album viewed 119 times

Kyoto International Photo Showcase 2011


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I organized a group photo exhibition at Kyoto International Community House in Kyoto, Japan during Nov. 16-20, 2011. Seven artists exhibited: Micah Gampel, Peter Macintosh, Motoyasu "Musashi" Matsutani, Peter Miller, Bruce Osborn, John Wells, and I, Philbert Ono. The exhibition theme was "Home Sweet Hometown" (Furukiyoki Furusato).

76 files, last one added on Nov 28, 2011
Album viewed 218 times

 

17 albums on 1 page(s)

Mie 三重県Pictures of Mie Prefecture, Japan.
Iga 伊賀市Pictures of Iga, Mie Prefecture.
3 166
Iga-Ueno Castle 伊賀上野城


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Officially called Ueno Castle and nicknamed Hakuho Castle, Iga-Ueno Castle is a reconstructed castle in Ueno Park. Noted for cherry blossoms in April and the highest castle walls in Japan. Conveniently located near the Ninja House.

46 files, last one added on Apr 24, 2011
Album viewed 210 times

Iga-ryu Ninja House and Museum 伊賀流忍者博物館


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Iga-Ueno is best known for ninja. In Ueno Park, you will find the Iga-ryu Ninja House and Museum catering to hordes of tourists. They also offer a ninja show for 200 yen. The Iga-Ueno Ninja Festa is also held during April when many tourists dress up as ninja and walk around the city.

94 files, last one added on Apr 17, 2009
Album viewed 3798 times

Matsuo Basho Birthplace 芭蕉翁生家


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Iga is the birthplace of Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), and the house where he grew up in still stands. It is open to the public as a tourist attraction not far from Ueno Park. The house was rebuilt after it being damaged by a large earthquake in 1854. The house includes his study called Chogetsuken study where he wrote Kai-ooi series of poems.

26 files, last one added on Apr 22, 2009
Album viewed 68 times

 

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Ise 伊勢市Pictures of Ise, Mie Pref.
3 179
Ise Jingu Grand Shrine, Geku 伊勢神宮 外宮(豊受大神宮)


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Geku is Ise Jingu's Outer Shrine (officially named "Toyouke Daijingu"). It is one of the two main shrines of Ise Jingu. Geku worships the god Toyouke Omikami, who is responsible for the food of Amaterasu Omikami worshipped at Naiku. She is also the kami for food, clothing, and shelter. Geku was founded about 1,500 years ago. According to tradition, you first visit Geku, then you visit Naiku or Inner Shrine. I visited Ise Jingu Shrine on New Year's Day on Jan. 1, 2013. I noticed that Geku was not as crowded as the more popular Naiku.

54 files, last one added on Jan 14, 2013
Album viewed 73 times

Ise Jingu Grand Shrine, Naiku 伊勢神宮 内宮(皇大神宮)


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Ise Jingu Shrine's Naiku (Inner Shrine) is the main and most popular shrine at Ise. Officially named, "Kotaijingu." It worships Amaterasu Omikami, the ancestor of the Imperial Family and the tutelary kami of the Japanese people. Naiku was founded 2000 years ago. The shrine is rebuilt every 20 years and 2013 will mark the completion of the new shrine to replace the old one built in 1993. Ise Jingu's main shrine is Naiku (Inner Shrine) which I visited on Jan. 1, 2013. It was much more crowded than Geku (Outer Shrine). Also see my video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjbGtgBbQfI

89 files, last one added on Jan 21, 2013
Album viewed 1458 times

Meoto-Iwa Wedded Rocks 夫婦岩


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One of Japan's most famous views is these two rocks in the ocean bonded together by heavy shimenawa ropes. The rope is replaced three times a year. One of the days is May 5, when these pictures were taken. Near Futaminoura Station.

36 files, last one added on Apr 23, 2007
Album viewed 272 times

 

3 albums on 1 page(s)

Kuwana 桑名市Pictures of Kuwana, Mie Prefecture.
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Kyuka Park 九華公園


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Noted for cherry blossoms, Kyuka Park is on the site of Kuwana Castle which was occupied by Honda Tadakatsu. Adjacent to the park is the Kuwana-juku post town on the Tokaido Road that welcomed visitors after they crossed the ocean (Shichiri-no-watashi) from Miya-juku in Aichi.

47 files, last one added on Apr 24, 2011
Album viewed 466 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Toin 東員町Pictures of Toin-cho town, Mie Prefecture.
1 82
Inabe Shrine Oyashiro Matsuri Ageuma Festival 大社祭・上げ馬


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Held on the first weekend of April (except April 1st and 2nd), the Oyashiro Festival's main event is the Ageuma ceremony when six teenage boys gallop on horses to leap up a steep incline. The Ageuma is unique to Mie Prefecture. Also see my YouTube video here.

82 files, last one added on Apr 24, 2009
Album viewed 148 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Tsu 津市Pictures of Tsu, the capital city of Mie Prefecture.
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Tsu Castle 津城跡


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Moats, stone walls, a garden, and only one turret (reconstructed in 1958) are left. A statue of Lord Todo Takatora also stands.

19 files, last one added on Jul 24, 2005
Album viewed 61 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Miyagi 宮城県Pictures of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan.
Matsushima-machi 松島町Pictures of Matsushima, one of Japan's Scenic Trio (Nihon Sankei).
1 191
Matsushima 松島


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One of Japan's Scenic Trio (Nihon Sankei 日本三景) along with Amanohashidate in Kyoto and Miyajima in Hiroshima, Matsushima is one of Japan's most famous tourist spots. It is a group of scenic pine-clad islands in Matsushima Bay, often having fantastic shapes. Besides the islands, there is much more at Matsushima with important temples such as Zuiganji temple and numerous caves. An easy train ride from Sendai, Matsushima sees and endless stream of tourists.

191 files, last one added on Apr 24, 2011
Album viewed 362 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Sendai 仙台市Pictures of Sendai, the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture.
3 348
Sendai Tanabata Matsuri Festival 2009 仙台七夕まつり


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One of the Big Three Summer Festivals in the Tohoku region, the Sendai Tanabata Matsuri is Japan's largest, grandest, and most famous Tanabata Festival. Held annually during Aug. 6-8 in Sendai's major shopping arcades festooned with huge and colorful streamers. This is the grand daddy of all Tanabata Festivals in Japan and easily ranked as one of Japan's Top Ten Festivals. I revisited this festival in Aug. 2009 and selected over 250 shots displayed here. Included are shots of the streamers being set up on the first day, Tanabata fireworks, and the evening entertainment. Also see my YouTube video here.

252 files, last one added on Jun 06, 2010
Album viewed 327 times

Sendai Castle (Aoba Castle) 仙台城跡


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Also called Aobajo or Aoba Castle, Sendai Castle was the home and administrative center of the Date clan starting with warlord Date Masamune who built the castle in 1601. Due to wartime bombing, no original buildings remain. Only the Waki-yagura turret was reconstructed in 1965. The castle site is on Aobayama, a hill overlooking downtown Sendai. A large statue of Masamune, various monuments, and a shrine now occupy the Honmaru site.

72 files, last one added on Sep 08, 2009
Album viewed 198 times

Tsutsujigaoka Park Cherry Blossoms 榴岡公園


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One stop from JR Sendai Station, Tsutsujigaoka Park has many weeping cherry trees as well as the popular Somei Yoshino sakura which bloom earlier than the weeping ones.

24 files, last one added on Jan 22, 2013
Album viewed 93 times

 

3 albums on 1 page(s)

Miyazaki 宮崎県Pictures of Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan.
Miyazaki city 宮崎市Pictures of Miyazaki city, the capital city of Miyazaki Prefecture.
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Aoshima 青島


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Major sight of Miyazaki and interesting texture of rock resembling the "Devil's Washboard" surrounding a small island.

26 files, last one added on Dec 09, 2006
Album viewed 68 times

Other Sights


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Miyazaki is a nice local city with a few other things to see like Heiwadai Park.

14 files, last one added on Dec 09, 2006
Album viewed 117 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Nagano 長野県Pictures of Nagano Prefecture, Japan.
Chino 茅野市Pictures of Chino, Nagano Prefecture, including Onbashira-sai Festival.
1 43
Onbashira Matsuri (Kami-sha Yamadashi) 御柱祭 上社 山出し


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In early April 2004, the Kami-sha Shrine held the Yamadashi ceremony where they hauled logs from the alpine forest. Along the way, they held the dramatic Ki-otoshi (log drop) down a slope and river crossing. These pictures were taken on April 3, 2004 by Jacek Kostrzewski. Also see photos of Shimo-sha Yamadashi.

43 files, last one added on Apr 29, 2007
Album viewed 488 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Matsumoto 松本市Pictures of Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture.
1 19
Kamikochi 上高地


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Part of Chubu-Sangaku National Park, Kamikochi is a well-known scenic area with mountains and clear rivers.

19 files, last one added on Apr 06, 2010
Album viewed 83 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Nagano city 長野市Pictures of Nagano city, the capital city of Nagano Prefecture.
2 95
1998 Winter Olympics


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The 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano was most thrilling and memorable for Japan. On a day trip, I attended the women's hockey match between Japan and the US.

89 files, last one added on Jan 26, 2006
Album viewed 420 times

Zenkoji Temple 善光寺


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Nagano's most famous temple, near Nagano Station.

6 files, last one added on Jan 26, 2006
Album viewed 60 times

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Okaya 岡谷市Pictures of Okaya, Nagano Pref.
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Lake Suwa 諏訪湖


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Okaya is on the shores of Lake Suwa. There is a nice lakeside park.

47 files, last one added on Jan 28, 2007
Album viewed 72 times

Oguchi Taro 小口太郎


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Oguchi Taro is one of Okaya's most honored sons. Best known for writing the song "Biwako Shuko no Uta" (Lake Biwa Rowing Song). A monument dedicated to him and his song is on the shore of Lake Suwa. Also see the video at YouTube.

26 files, last one added on Mar 06, 2007
Album viewed 34 times

Tsurumine Park 鶴峰公園


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Tsurumine Park is a large park (19,498 sq. meters) on a small hill with abundant azalea bushes. The azaleas were first planted in 1935 when three truckloads of azalea bushes from Kawaguchi, Saitama were brought over and planted. It is the Chubu region's largest azalea park. Azalea is Okaya's official flower.

17 files, last one added on Dec 17, 2005
Album viewed 84 times

OIEA 15th Anniversary Festival 国際交流の集い


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The Okaya International Exchange Association held its 15th anniversary festival on March 4, 2007. A great line-up of international entertainment attracted hundreds of people. The English version of "Biwako Shuko no Uta" (Lake Biwa Rowing Song) was also sung for the first time in public outside Shiga Prefecture.

22 files, last one added on Mar 05, 2007
Album viewed 26 times

Other Sights


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Pictures of Okaya Station, Ilf Plaza/Museum, etc.

17 files, last one added on Jan 29, 2007
Album viewed 31 times

 

5 albums on 1 page(s)

Shimosuwa 下諏訪町Pictures of Shimo-Suwa-machi, Nagano Pref., including the Onbashira Matsuri Festival.
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Onbashira Festival (Shimo-sha Yamadashi) 御柱祭 下社 山出し


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Held once every 6 years by the Suwa Taisha Shrine, the Onbashira-sai Matsuri is held in two parts. In early April, the Yamadashi is when the logs are hauled from the mountain forest to a resting place called Shimekake. Along the way, the log is slid down a slope (with men riding it) for the festival's most dramatic event called Ki-otoshi (Log Drop). These photos were taken on April 10, 2004 for the Shimo-sha Shrine's Yamadashi.

44 files, last one added on Apr 24, 2011
Album viewed 125 times

Onbashira Matsuri (Shimo-sha Satobiki) 御柱祭 下社 里曵き


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During May 8-10, 2004, the logs were ceremoniously hauled to the Shimo-sha Shrines and with great fanfare erected at the four corners of both the Harunomiya and Akinomiya Shrines. A parade was also held. These photos were taken during this three-day period. Also see my video at YouTube here and here too.

100 files, last one added on Apr 29, 2007
Album viewed 138 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Suwa 諏訪市Pictures of Suwa city and Lake Suwa.
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Lake Suwa 諏訪湖


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Suwa city has a nice long park along the shore of Lake Suwa. Cruise on the lake or dip your feet in the hot spring well.

21 files, last one added on Dec 17, 2005
Album viewed 49 times

Takashima Castle 高島城


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Originally built in 1598 by Hineno Takayoshi and later occupied by the Suwa Clan for 270 years, this castle has a tower reconstructed in 1970. It was nicknamed the Floating Castle as it appeared to float on the lake and surrounding rivers.

30 files, last one added on Dec 17, 2005
Album viewed 60 times

Other Sights


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Kami-Suwa Station is the best train station to wait for a train. The train platform has a hot spring to soak your feet for free.

8 files, last one added on Dec 17, 2005
Album viewed 35 times

 

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Yamanouchi-machi 山ノ内町Pictures of Yamanouchi-machi.
1 23
Jigokudani Yaen Koen 地獄谷野猿公苑


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Pictures of snow monkeys soaking in a hot spring. They were taken by photographers from New Brunswick, Canada during a photo trip to Japan in March 2005. Led and guided by pro photographer Mark Hemmings, they were Kevin Halcrow, Jeff and Kim Matheson, and Ashley Hicks.

23 files, last one added on Apr 20, 2005
Album viewed 70 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Nagasaki 長崎県Pictures of Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan.
Nagasaki city 長崎市Pictures of Nagasaki city, the capital city of Nagasaki Prefecture.
2 47
Nagasaki Peace Park 長崎市平和公園


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Pictures of the Peace Park and Hypocenter.

30 files, last one added on Aug 13, 2005
Album viewed 1419 times

Ueno Hikoma 上野彦馬


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Pictures of memorials dedicated to UENO Hikoma, one of Japan's first professional photographers.

17 files, last one added on Aug 14, 2005
Album viewed 87 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Nara 奈良県Pictures of Nara Prefecture, Japan.
Ikaruga 斑鳩町Pictures of Ikaruga-cho town, Nara Pref. Includes Horyuji temple.
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Horyuji temple 法隆寺


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Japan's most famous temple, with the world's oldest wooden buildings (over 1,300 years old), is also the country's first World Heritage Site. Also called Ikaruga-dera, the temple is the headquarters of the Shotoku-shu Buddhist Sect founded by Shotoku Taishi.

64 files, last one added on Mar 07, 2007
Album viewed 223 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Ikaruga-cho, Nara.

4 files, last one added on Mar 07, 2007
Album viewed 58 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Nara city 奈良市Pictures of Nara city, the capital city of Nara Prefecture.
4 291
Nara Heijo-kyo Capital and Heijo Palace 平城遷都1300年祭・平城宮跡


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In 2010, Nara celebrated the 1300th anniversary of Heijo-kyo Capital with the Heijo Palace site serving as the main venue. Various events, entertainment, and activities were offered for almost free. Also see my video at YouTube. And another one here.

236 files, last one added on Jun 06, 2010
Album viewed 424 times

Todaiji Temple 東大寺


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A World Heritage Site and one of Japan's most famous temples, Todaiji houses Japan's largest statue of the Buddha, a National Treasure. Temple was established about 1,200 years ago.

16 files, last one added on Jan 22, 2006
Album viewed 113 times

Wakakusa-yama Burning 若草山焼き


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On the Sunday before the second Monday of Jan., 33 hectares of a hill called Wakakusa-yama next to Nara Park is burned at night. The burning hill looks more spectacular from afar, but we went up close.

33 files, last one added on Jan 21, 2006
Album viewed 54 times

Nigatsu-do Shuni-e (O-Mizutori O-Taimatsu) 東大寺二月堂修二会(お水取り・お松明)


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Every evening during March 1-14, Todaiji temple priests carry torches on the balcony of Nigatsu-do Hall. Sparks falling from the torches bring good health. Tripods are not allowed in the viewing area. On March 12, the festival climaxes with sacred water drawn from a spring. However, there is not much to see for the average tourist. Only huge crowds of pilgrims that day. Also see the video at YouTube.

6 files, last one added on Mar 08, 2007
Album viewed 34 times

4 albums on 1 page(s)

Niigata 新潟県Pictures of Niigata Prefecture, Japan.
Agano 阿賀野市Pictures of Agano, Niigata Prefecture.
2 25
Lake Hyo 瓢湖


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Man-made lake where thousands of swans and ducks migrate to during the winter months. Swans have been coming here since 1950. During the day, they feed on harvested rice paddies. The bird has become a symbol of the city. In Oct. 2008, Lake Hyoko or Lake Hyo was added to the list of wetlands of international importance under the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Also see my YouTube video here.

19 files, last one added on Dec 03, 2007
Album viewed 60 times

Yoshida Togo Memorial Museum 吉田東伍記念博物館


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Yoshida Togo was a famous geographer of Japan who compiled an encylopedia of Japanese place names. His son was Yoshida Chiaki who composed the melody of the song "Biwako Shuko no Uta" (Lake Biwa Rowing Song). His birth home is open for public viewing and adjacent to it is a memorial museum.

6 files, last one added on Dec 03, 2007
Album viewed 48 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Niigata city 新潟市Photos of Niigata city, the capital city of Niigata Prefecture.
4 83
Toki Messe 朱鷺メッセ


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Toki Messe is a multipurpose complex which includes a convention center, exhibition hall, hotel and office tower (the city's tallest building), art museum, and an observation deck on the 31st floor for great views of the city.

16 files, last one added on Dec 03, 2007
Album viewed 113 times

Northern Culture Museum 北方文化博物館


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A large Japanese-style house built in the late 19th century, converted into a museum. Formerly the estate of the Ito farming family who owned large tracts of land in Niigata. After the war, the estate was saved by Lieutenant Ralph E. White, a US soldier from the Occupation Forces. Museum Web site here.

42 files, last one added on Dec 03, 2007
Album viewed 957 times

Yoshida Chiaki Home 吉田千秋の生家


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Home of Yoshida Chiaki who composed a song called "Hitsuji-gusa" (Water Lilies) whose melody was used for the song "Biwako Shuko no Uta" (Lake Biwa Rowing Song). More about Yoshida Chiaki here.

15 files, last one added on Mar 13, 2013
Album viewed 58 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Niigata city.

10 files, last one added on Dec 03, 2007
Album viewed 55 times

4 albums on 1 page(s)

Shibata 新発田市Pictures of Shibata, Niigata Prefecture.
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Shibata Castle 新発田城


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Completed around 1654, this is the only castle in Niigata with Edo-Era structures still remaining. Two turrets were reconstructed in June 2004. The castle grounds is also occupied by the Ground Self-Defence Forces, making the area open to the public quite small. One of the reconstructed turrets is also inaccessible due to the military base. Still, it is one of Japan's 100 Famous Castles.

53 files, last one added on Dec 03, 2007
Album viewed 131 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Yuzawa 湯沢町Pictures of Yuzawa-machi town, Niigata Prefecture.
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Gala Yuzawa ガーラ湯沢


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From Tokyo, Gala Yuzawa is the most convenient place to ski. The Joetsu shinkansen can take you there in little over an hour and the train station has the ski gondola. An easy day trip.

6 files, last one added on Apr 02, 2007
Album viewed 50 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Oita 大分県Pictures of Oita Prefecture, Japan.
Beppu 別府市Pictures of Beppu, Oita Prefecture.
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Hot Spring Hells 別府地獄めぐり


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Major attraction of Beppu and Kyushu. Interesting and dramatic tour of several hot spring "hells" of various colors. Called "Jigoku Meguri" in Japanese. Not for bathing.

25 files, last one added on Dec 11, 2006
Album viewed 77 times

Other Sights


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Beppu's other sights, including Beppu Tower.

5 files, last one added on Dec 12, 2006
Album viewed 55 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Usuki 臼杵市Pictures of Usuki, Oita Prefecture.
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Stone Buddhas 石仏


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Japan's most famous stone buddhas were designated National Treasures. The most famous Buddha head, which was long detached from its body, was reattached in March 1994. These pictures were taken before the reattachment.

11 files, last one added on Dec 12, 2006
Album viewed 73 times

Other Sights


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Any other sights in Usuki pale in comparison with the stone buddhas.

3 files, last one added on Apr 07, 2008
Album viewed 37 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Okayama 岡山県Pictures of Okayama Prefecture, Japan.
Kurashiki 倉敷市Pictures of Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture.
3 36
Old Town 美観地区


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Kurashiki's most famous and picturesque part of town.

7 files, last one added on Dec 10, 2006
Album viewed 107 times

Seto Ohashi Bridge 瀬戸大橋


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The longest road/rail bridge in the world was completed in 1988, the first bridge to link Honshu and Shikoku. These pictures were taken in 1986 during construction.

22 files, last one added on Dec 11, 2006
Album viewed 257 times

Other Sights


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Other sights include Kurashiki Tivoli Park, an amusement park modeled after Tivoli Gardens in Denmark, complete with the little mermaid.

7 files, last one added on Dec 11, 2006
Album viewed 48 times

 

3 albums on 1 page(s)

Okayama city 岡山市Pictures of Okayama city, the capital city of Okayama Prefecture.
2 15
Okayama Castle 岡山城


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Nicknamed the "Raven Castle" (Karasu-jo) due to its black exterior, it is a contrast with the "White Heron" Himeji Castle in neighboring Hyogo Prefecture. The castle is adjacent to Korakuen Garden.

8 files, last one added on Dec 10, 2006
Album viewed 65 times

Korakuen Garden 後楽園


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Adjacent to Okayama Castle, Korakuen is one of Japan's three most famous gardens along with Kairakuen in Mito, Ibaraki and Kenrokuen in Kanazawa, Ishikawa. Korakuen was completed in 1700 after 14 years of construction.

7 files, last one added on Dec 10, 2006
Album viewed 84 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Okinawa 沖縄県Pictures of Okinawa Prefecture, Japan.
Best of OkinawaMusic and dance, food, etc.
2 29
Ryukyuan Dances 琉球舞踊


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Okinawa's ancient and modern dances are a feast for the eyes with colorful kimono and aesthetic movements, not to mention the intriguing and unique music of Okinawa.

17 files, last one added on Jul 12, 2014
Album viewed 659 times

Okinawan Seasons 沖縄の季節


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One image for each month reflecting the seasons of Okinawa. All photos copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.

12 files, last one added on Jun 15, 2009
Album viewed 855 times

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Ishigaki 石垣市・石垣島Pictures of Ishigaki island, Okinawa.
Itoman 糸満市Pictures of Itoman on the southern tip of the main island of Okinawa.
Kin 金武町Pictures of Kin town, Okinawa.
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Obon Eisa Dance エイサー


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Eisa dancing is performed on the streets at night in every village on Okinawa during the three days of Obon in August. This one was in Kin town. All photos copyright 2009 Michael Lynch.

12 files, last one added on Jun 15, 2009
Album viewed 315 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Naha 那覇市Pictures of Naha, the capital city of Okinawa Prefecture.
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Central Naha


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Snapshots of Naha's main spots including Shuri Castle, Kokusai-dori, and the Perry Monument. Photos taken in July 2000.

45 files, last one added on May 02, 2009
Album viewed 82 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Nakagusuku 中城村Pictures of Nakagusuku village, Okinawa.
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Nakagusuku Castle 中城


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Nakagusuku Castle is located in central Okinawa about 150 meters above the Pacific Ocean and has been designated a World Heritage Site. Constructed in mid-fourteenth century of limestone rocks, placed without the use of mortar, Commodore Perry praised the construction technique on his visit to Okinawa in 1853. Photos by Michael Lynch.

12 files, last one added on May 02, 2009
Album viewed 122 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Onna 恩納村Pictures of Onna-son village, Okinawa.
Taketomi 竹富町・竹富島Pictures of Taketomi-cho town which includes Taketomi and Iriomote islands, Okinawa.
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Taketomi 竹富島


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Off the coast of Ishigaki, this is one of Japan's most charming islands with white coral roads, white sand beaches, and a real Okinawan feeling.

22 files, last one added on Apr 02, 2007
Album viewed 118 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Osaka 大阪府Pictures of Osaka Prefecture, Japan.
Hannan 阪南市Pictures of Hannan, Osaka Prefecture.
1 28
Yamanaka-dani 山中渓


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Yamanaka-dani Station 山中渓駅 on the Hanwa Line between Osaka and Wakayama is lined with cherry blossoms on both sides of the track. They bloom in early April.

28 files, last one added on May 16, 2009
Album viewed 83 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Hirakata 枚方市Pictures of Hirakata, Osaka.
1 95
University of Hawai'i Rainbow Warriors vs. Panasonic Trians


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On its first trip to Asia, the UH men's basketball team traveled to China and Japan in Aug. 2011 to play several practice games. On Aug. 20, 2011, they played a practice game against Panasonic Trians at the Panasonic Arena in Hirakata, Osaka, Japan. Panasonic is one of the pro teams in the Japan Basketball League (JBL).

95 files, last one added on Aug 25, 2011
Album viewed 75 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Kishiwada 岸和田市Pictures of Kishiwada, Osaka.
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Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri and Haruki Danjiri Festival 2009 岸和田・春木だんじり祭


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The Kishiwada Danjiri Matsuri and Haruki Danjiri Matsuri are held during the weekend before Respect for Aged Day (national holiday) which is the third Mon. in Sept. Hundreds of people pull and run with wooden danjiri floats around the central streets near Nankai Kishiwada Station and Haruki Station in Kishiwada, Osaka. They also light up the floats at night. One of Japan's most famous festivals. These photos were taken on Sept. 19-20, 2009. Also see my video at YouTube.

172 files, last one added on Aug 22, 2014
Album viewed 230 times

Kishiwada Castle 岸和田城


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Pictures of Kishiwada Castle. Originally built in 1585. Current castle structure rebuilt in 1954.

43 files, last one added on Oct 16, 2009
Album viewed 63 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Osaka city 大阪市Pictures of Osaka city, the capital city of Osaka Prefecture.
4 267
Osaka Castle 大阪城


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A symbol of Osaka and one of Japan's largest reconstructed castles. Originally built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1583. The castle tower was reconstructed in 1931 and underwent major renovation during 1995-97 and serves as a very modern history museum.

57 files, last one added on Jan 21, 2006
Album viewed 262 times

Imamiya Ebisu Shrine Toka Ebisu 今宮戎神社 十日夷


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Imamiya Ebisu Shrine is dedicated to Ebisu, one of the Seven Gods of Good Fortune, representing business prosperity. On Jan. 9-11 (centering on the 10th), the shrine holds one of Japan's largest Toka Ebisu festivals to pray for good business. The festival is perhaps Japan's most commercial festival where souvenirs and trinkets for business prosperity are sold.

87 files, last one added on Jan 16, 2007
Album viewed 183 times

Tenjin Matsuri Festival 天神祭


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One of Japan's Big Three Festivals (besides Kyoto's Gion Matsuri and Tokyo's Kanda Matsuri) is also Osaka's biggest summer festival held on July 24-25. These photos were taken on July 25, 2004. The festival has a procession starting from Tenmangu Shrine in the afetrnoon and a water procession on the river in the evening. The festival climaxes with fireworks.

75 files, last one added on Apr 06, 2007
Album viewed 202 times

Other Osaka sights


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Other sights in Osaka city including the new Osaka Station and Bunraku Theater.

48 files, last one added on Apr 14, 2014
Album viewed 137 times

4 albums on 1 page(s)

Saga 佐賀県Pictures of Saga Prefecture, Japan.
Karatsu 唐津市Pictures of Karatsu, Saga Prefecture.
2 59
Karatsu Castle 唐津城


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First built in 1608 by Lord Terasawa Hirotaka, Karatsu Castle's main tower was reconstructed in 1966. Standing on a low hill next to the beach, Karatsu Castle affords grand city and ocean views. Also see the video at YouTube.

47 files, last one added on Jan 22, 2006
Album viewed 46 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Karatsu, Saga Prefecture.

12 files, last one added on Jan 22, 2006
Album viewed 48 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Saga city 佐賀市Pictures of Saga city, the capital city of Saga Prefecture.
1 6
Saga Castle 佐賀城


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Pictures of Saga Castle.

6 files, last one added on Aug 14, 2005
Album viewed 37 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Yoshinogari 吉野ヶ里町Pictures of Yoshinogari-cho town with Yoshinogari Historical Park.
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Yoshinogari Historical Park 吉野ヶ里歴史公園


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Pictures of Yoshinogari Historical Park. Reconstructed buildings from the Yayoi Period are on display in this huge outdoor park where Yayoi ruins were excavated.

19 files, last one added on Aug 14, 2005
Album viewed 120 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Saitama 埼玉県Pictures of Saitama Prefecture, Japan.
Chichibu 秩父市Pictures of Chichibu, Saitama Prefecture.
3 159
Shibazakura Moss Pink 羊山公園芝桜の丘


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Hitsujiyama Koen Park is most famous for Shibazakura or moss pink during mid-April to early May. Over a million people visit the park during this period to see eight varieties of moss pink. A spectacular carpet of flowers spread over 16,000 sq. meters. Easily walkable from Yokoze Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line. Harder to walk from Seibu Chichibu Station.

100 files, last one added on Apr 28, 2007
Album viewed 1186 times

Chichibu Yomatsuri Night Festival 秩父夜祭


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Held on Dec. 2-3 by Chichibu Shrine, this is one of Japan's Big Three Hikiyama Float Festivals. Ornate floats are pulled along the city's main streets until they reach a large plaza at night where they are lit with lanterns. Fireworks then serve as the climax. Also see the video at YouTube.

46 files, last one added on Sep 14, 2006
Album viewed 144 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Chichibu, Saitama Pref.

13 files, last one added on Apr 28, 2007
Album viewed 121 times

 

3 albums on 1 page(s)

Gyoda 行田市Pictures of Gyoda, Saitama.
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Sakitama Fire Festival さきたま火祭り


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Sakitama Fire Festival in Gyoda, Saitama. Photos were taken on May 4, 2005. Also see the video at YouTube.

22 files, last one added on May 06, 2005
Album viewed 148 times

Sakitama Tumuli Park さきたま古墳公園


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This park has numerous ancient burial mounds called "kofun" in Japanese. The word "Sakitama" is also the precursor for the name "Saitama."

9 files, last one added on May 06, 2005
Album viewed 52 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Hanno 飯能市Pictures of Hanno, Saitama Prefecture.
2 96
Hanno Hina Matsuri Doll Festival 飯能ひな飾り展


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Hanno in Saitama Prefecture holds its Hina Matsuri as a citywide exhibition of hina dolls and hanging decorations centering on two main streets in central Hanno, near JR Higashi Hanno Station and Hanno Station on the Seibu Ikebukuro Line. The festival is held from mid-Feb. to March 3.

78 files, last one added on Mar 04, 2013
Album viewed 78 times

Other Hanno sights


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Scenes around Hanno Station and the main roads.

18 files, last one added on Mar 04, 2013
Album viewed 22 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Kasukabe 春日部市Pictures of Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture.
2 57
Showa-machi Giant Kite Festival 庄和町大凧あげ祭り


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Giant Kite Festival held on May 3, 2005. The sunny weather and wind conditions were perfect for giant kite flying. Showa-machi has merged with Kasukabe. Also see the video at YouTube.

50 files, last one added on May 04, 2005
Album viewed 78 times

Showa-machi Giant Kite Museum 庄和町大凧会館


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Pictures of the Giant Kite Museum near the river bank where the Giant Kite Festival is held in early May.

7 files, last one added on May 04, 2005
Album viewed 50 times

2 albums on 1 page(s)

Kawagoe 川越市Pictures of Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture.
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Kawagoe Matsuri Festival 川越まつり


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Essentially a night festival of ornate floats, the parade during the day is also worth photographing. Around 15 floats appear during the festival. Held on the third weekend in Oct. These photos were taken in Oct. 2004. Also see the video at YouTube.

39 files, last one added on Sep 08, 2006
Album viewed 88 times

Kitain 喜多院


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Tendai Buddhist temple and one of the city's most famous sights, best know for 500 stone statues of Rakan Buddhist disciples with diverse and unique facial expressions.

16 files, last one added on Sep 09, 2006
Album viewed 46 times

Kawagoe Castle 川越城 本丸御殿


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The Honmaru Goten Palace offers a hint of the castle's glory days. There is no castle tower. The castle was originally built in 1457 upon the order of Lord Uesugi Mochitomo. During the Edo Period, the castle served as Edo's northern guard. The Honmaru Goten was built in 1848.

10 files, last one added on Sep 09, 2006
Album viewed 44 times

Other Sights


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Other sights in Kawagoe, also called "Ko-Edo" or Little Edo.

16 files, last one added on Sep 09, 2006
Album viewed 41 times

4 albums on 1 page(s)

Konosu 鴻巣市Pictures of Konosu, Saitama Prefecture.
1 98
Konosu Bikkuri Hina Matsuri Doll Festival 鴻巣びっくりひな祭り


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One of Japan's biggest Hina Matsuri doll festivals is held at Konosu, Saitama from mid-February to March 3, Girls' Day. The main site is Konosu City Hall lobby with its huge, 7-meter-high pyramid with over 1,800 hina dolls. On weekends when it's not raining, they also display 2,000 hina dolls on the front porch. Another festival site is the Elumi Konosu Shopping Mall in front of Konosu Station. They have a smaller pyramid of dolls and stage entertainment on the 1st floor's Central Court.

98 files, last one added on Mar 12, 2012
Album viewed 105 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Koshigaya 越谷市Pictures of Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture.
1 125
Minami-Koshigaya Awa Odori Dance 南越谷阿波踊り


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A 30-40 min. train ride from central Tokyo is Shin-Koshigaya Station on the Tobu Isezaki Line (via Hanzomon/Hibiya subway line) and JR Minami-Koshigaya Station where one of the largest Awa Odori festivals in the Kanto region is held during a weekend in late Aug. It's unique for having numerous venues both outdoors and indoors where over 60 dance troupes performed. These photos were taken on Aug. 22, 2009. Also see my YouTube video here.

125 files, last one added on Aug 25, 2009
Album viewed 69 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Kumagaya 熊谷市Photos and videos of Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture.
3 261
Menuma Shodenzan Kangiin Temple 妻沼聖天山


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Menuma Shodenzan Kangiin temple's main Honden Hall is a magnificent work of art with numerous wooden sculptures. Menuma Shodenzan Kangiin temple features the colorful Gongen-style of architecture which is also found in Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, Tochigi. Saitama Prefecture's sole building designated as a National Treasure. A short bus ride from JR Kumagaya Station.

156 files, last one added on Jul 10, 2014
Album viewed 30 times

Kumagaya Uchiwa Matsuri 熊谷うちわ祭


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The climax of this festival of ornate floats on the final evening on July 22, 2013. Twelve floats with noisy musicians paraded around central Kumagaya, Saitama, Japan from 5:30 pm and gathered at the main festival plaza for the climax at 8:45 pm. I followed them from Nakasendo Road near Yagihashi Dept. Store to the main festival plaza. After 30 min. of useless speeches (not recorded in the video) by local politicians, etc., the 12 floats converged at the plaza at around 8:45 pm. The floats have mannequins depicting legendary figures like as emperor, samurai, etc. The climax included a ceremony to transfer the Nenban job (festival chairman) to the next group for next year's festival. Also see my YouTube video.

90 files, last one added on Apr 18, 2014
Album viewed 28 times

Kumagai-shuku 熊谷宿


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Kumagai-shuku was the 8th station on the old Nakasendo Road. Today, it's near JR Kumagaya Station. Hardly nothing is left of the shukuba, but it is interesting to see the old Nakasendo Road going through a department store named Yagihashi.

15 files, last one added on Dec 17, 2013
Album viewed 24 times

 

3 albums on 1 page(s)

Saitama city さいたま市Pictures of Saitama city (formerly Urawa, Omiya, Yono, and Iwatsuki cities), the capital city of Saitama Prefecture.
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Kita-Urawa Awa Odori Dance 2009 北浦和阿波おどり大会


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The 32nd Kita-Urawa Awa Odori folk dance was held on September 5, 2009 from 6 pm to 9 pm near JR Kita-Urawa Station on the Keihin-Tohoku Line in Saitama, Japan. A total of 11 awa odori troupes participated. Also see my YouTube video here.

87 files, last one added on Sep 08, 2009
Album viewed 67 times

Omiya 大宮


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Before merging with the city of Saitama in 2001, Omiya was a city in itself. It is now a ward (Omiya-ku) of Saitama city. Omiya (Great Shrine) is named after Hikawa Shrine, a short distance from Omiya Station.

50 files, last one added on Apr 24, 2011
Album viewed 126 times

Saitama Stadium 埼玉スタジアム2002


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Large soccer stadium built for the Soccer World Cup in 2002 and now home of the Urawa Reds. These photos were taken during the Vodafone Cup with the Urawa Reds vs. Manchester United on July 30, 2005. Over 58,000 fans attended. Also see the video at YouTube.

24 files, last one added on Mar 25, 2007
Album viewed 48 times

 

3 albums on 1 page(s)

Sayama 狭山市Pictures of Sayama, Saitama Prefecture.
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Iruma Air Show 2010 入間航空祭


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Spectacular air show at Iruma Air Base in Saitama, Japan on Nov. 3, 2010. A bevy of aircraft put on a show for 280,000 people climaxed by the awesome Blue Impulse Aerobatic Team. Also see my YouTube video here.

163 files, last one added on Nov 28, 2010
Album viewed 390 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Toda 戸田市Pictures of Toda, Saitama Pref.
1 128
Toda Boat Course 戸田ボートコース


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Near Toda Koen Station on the JR Saikyo Line, the Toda Boat Course is Tokyo's main venue for rowing clubs and races. During Aug. 24-27, 2006, the 33rd All-Japan Intercollegiate Rowing Championship was held (won by Nihon Univ.). These photos were taken on the first and last days of the regatta. 第33回全日本大学選手権大会・第46回オックスフォード盾レガッタ

128 files, last one added on Aug 29, 2006
Album viewed 132 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Tokorozawa 所沢市Pictures of Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture.
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Tokorozawa Aviation Museum 所沢航空発祥記念館


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Tokorozawa is noted as the location of Japan's first airport built in 1911 with a 400-meter runway. The facility soon expanded with an aviation school and air force base which was taken over by the US after WWII in 1945. After the base was returned to Japan in 1971, the base was converted into a public park called Tokorozawa Aviation Memorial Park (Tokorozawa Koku Ki'nen Koen 所沢航空記念公園). The original runway is now a road in the park, and the Aviation Museum (Tokorozawa Kōkū Hasshō Kinenkan) opened in 1993.

44 files, last one added on Apr 28, 2007
Album viewed 1350 times

 

1 albums on 1 page(s)

Shiga 滋賀県Pictures of all the cities and towns in Shiga Prefecture, Japan.
Best of Shiga PrefectureMy best images of Shiga Prefecture including Lake Biwa, National Treasures (castles, shrines, temples), historic sites, and flowers.
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We love Shiga banners


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I’ve created “We love (heart) Shiga” banners (horizontal and square) for anyone to download and use. Feel free to use them on your Web site, blog, Facebook, etc. You can opt to link the banner to any Web site about Shiga. (It doesn’t have to be shiga-ken.com.) Or just tack it on your home page for decoration or self-expression. I also provide large sizes for printing on A4- or A3-size paper. Make a posters, T-shirt iron-on transfers, or bumper stickers. Free for non-commercial use. Let’s spread the word that not just you love Shiga, but also your boy/girlfriend, wife/husband, parents, family, relatives, kids, friends, students, etc. The kanji characters (left to right) read “Shi ga.”

12 files, last one added on Jul 04, 2013
Album viewed 94 times

Lake Biwa Views 琵琶湖風景


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Best views of Lake Biwa, Shiga Prefecture at various locations from various albums. Includes panorama photos.

11 files, last one added on Jul 01, 2014, 163 linked files, 174 files total
Album viewed 929 times

National Treasures in Shiga 滋賀の国宝


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Photos of National Treasures in Shiga. Castle, temples, and shrines from various photo albums.

0 files, 50 linked files, 50 files total
Album viewed 211 times

Festivals in Shiga 滋賀の祭り


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Photos of Shiga's festivals in random order from various photo sets.

0 files, 245 linked files, 245 files total
Album viewed 441 times

National Historic Sites in Shiga 滋賀の史跡


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Photos of important historic sites in Shiga from various albums.

0 files, 57 linked files, 57 files total
Album viewed 160 times

Shiga in Woodblock Prints 滋賀の木版


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Famous woodblock print artist Hiroshige depicted Shiga's Eight Views of Omi and post towns (shukuba) along the Tokaido and Nakasendo Roads.

70 files, last one added on Jul 21, 2011
Album viewed 99 times

2011 FISA World Rowing Tour at Lake Biwa, Japan


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About 40 rowers from overseas rowed around Lake Biwa in Shiga Prefecture, Japan on June 5-11, 2011 for the annual FISA World Rowing Tour held for the first time in Asia. They made history as we've never seen so many foreigners rowing around Biwako. They also visited historic sights like Enryakuji temple and Hikone Castle. FISA is the Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d'Aviron, the International Rowing Federation which is the governing body for international Rowing.

372 files, last one added on Jun 25, 2011
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Other Views of Shiga


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More nature photos of Shiga.

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8 albums on 1 page(s)

Lake Biwa Rowing Song 琵琶湖周航の歌 英語版Images related to Shiga's most famous song. Japanese lyrics by Oguchi Taro, music by Yoshida Chiaki, English lyrics by Philbert Ono.
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"Lake Biwa Rowing Song" Locations 琵琶湖周航の歌の名所


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Pictures of places related to this nationally famous song (Biwako Shuko no Uta) composed by Oguchi Taro and his college boatmates from Kyoto who rowed completely around Lake Biwa in 1917. Each verse sings about different places along the lake: Otsu, Omi-Maiko, Imazu, Chikubushima, Nagahama, Mt. Ibuki, Hikone, and Chomeiji. CD also on sale here.

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Biwako Shuko no Uta Song Monuments 琵琶湖周航の歌 歌碑


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Shiga Prefecture has a monument for each of the six verses at the respective places mentioned in the song "Biwako Shuko no Uta" (Lake Biwa Rowing Song). More info about Lake Biwa Rowing Song here.

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Performances 英語版の公の場


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Photos of public performances of "Lake Biwa Rowing Song" ever since June 3, 2006 when the song was sung in public for the first time in Imazu, Shiga.

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90th Anniversary 開示90周年記念事業


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On June 16, 2007, Imazu marked the 90th anniversary of the song by organizing a boat cruise on Lake Biwa and other activities. We also introduced our Lake Biwa Rowing Song CD this day. チャーター船による琵琶湖周航クルージング

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Biwako Shuko no Uta Choir Contest 第11回「琵琶湖周航の歌」音楽祭合唱コンクール


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Held annually in June since 1997, this song contest has over 20 choirs, mainly from western Japan, compete by singing two songs each. One song they must sing is Biwako Shuko no Uta, while the other song can be anything. On June 17, 2007, the English version, called "Lake Biwa Rowing Song," was sung for the first time at this contest. 第11回「琵琶湖周航の歌」音楽祭 合唱コンクールでジェイミーとメゲン・トンプソン姉妹がコンクールで英語版を歌った。

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News Articles 新聞記事


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Japanese newspaper articles related to Lake Biwa Rowing Song. More info about Lake Biwa Rowing Song here. 英語版関連の新聞記事。

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Exhibitions 写真展


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Pictures of photo exhibitions I've held since Nov. 2005 to introduce the Lake Biwa Rowing Song (Biwako Shuko no Uta), mainly in Shiga Prefecture and once in Kyoto in 2011.

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Oguchi Taro 小口太郎


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Oguchi Taro is one of Okaya's most honored sons. Best known for writing the song "Biwako Shuko no Uta" (Lake Biwa Rowing Song). A monument dedicated to him and his song is on the shore of Lake Suwa. Also see the video at YouTube. More info about Taro Oguchi here.

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8 albums on 1 page(s)

Aisho 愛荘町Pictures of Aisho-cho town in eastern Shiga Prefecture.
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Kongorinji 金剛輪寺


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Located in Aisho-cho town, Tendai Buddhist temple established in 741 and the middle temple in the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio. The main temple hall is a National Treasure housing an 11-faced Kannon statue and 13 other statues designated as Important Cultural Properties. The 3-story pagoda is engulfed in foilage in autumn. Also see many little stone Jizo statues. Visit this temple before or after Saimyoji. Admission 500 yen. Map

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Echigawa-juku 愛知川宿


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Echigawa-juku was the sixty-sixth station or post town (shukuba) of the sixty-nine stations on the Nakasendo Road. It is the sixth Nakasendo station in Shiga (following Takamiya-juku in Hikone), and one of ten Nakasendo stations in Shiga. It has a few reminders of its shukuba past. Near Ohmi Railways Echigawa Station. Map

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Bin-temari びん手まり


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Bin Temari no Yakata Museum - Threaded balls in round glass bottles on exhibit. Temari is a symbol of Echigawa. Near Echigawa Station. Map

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Misaki Shrine Fire Festival 御崎神社の火まつり


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Held annually on May 4, the local people carry 2-meter long torches from their homes to the shrine. A taiko drum is also carried and beaten. The shrine has a 5-meter tall pile of bamboo which is lit to make a towering inferno within the shrine grounds. Very dramatic. Also see the video at YouTube. Map

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Other Sights


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Other sights in Aisho town including Echigawa Station.

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5 albums on 1 page(s)

HigashiOmi 東近江市Pictures of Higashi-Omi (formerly Yokaichi), Shiga Prefecture.
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Higashi-Omi Giant Kite (Odako) Festival 2013 東近江大凧まつり


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The Higashi-Omi Giant Kite Festival (Higashi-Omi Odako Matsuri) is held on the last Sunday of May at Fureai Undo Park (ふれあい運動公園) in Notogawa, HigashiOmi, Shiga. The main highlight is the giant kite, flying at 11:30 am and 2:30 pm. Also see kite-flying contests, exotic kites from around Japan, and stage entertainment. Anybody can fly a kite too. From 10 am to 3 pm. The festival name changed from Yokaichi Odako Matsuri to Higashiomi Odako Matsuri in May 2012 and the festival site changed in May 2013 to Fureai Undo Koen Park. Also see my YouTube video here. Map

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Higashi-Omi Giant Kite Museum 東近江大凧会館


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Formerly called the Yokaichi Odako Kaikan (Giant Kite Museum), the Higashiomi Odako Kaikan giant kute museum exhibits the city's giant kite used previously, as well as many different kites from all over Japan and the world. Walk or take a bus from Ohmi Railways Yokaichi Station. Map

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Yokaichi Giant Kite Festival 2004 + 2007 八日市大凧まつり


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Pictures (and one movie) of Higashi-Omi's (formerly Yokaichi) Giant Kite Festival held annually on the last Sunday of May. These pictures were taken on May 23, 2004 and May 27, 2007. In 2007, it was another bad day for giant kite flying in Yokaichi, as the giant kite crashes head-first into a bamboo grove on its first and last flight. Also see the 2004 video at YouTube and my 2007 YouTube video here.

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Making of Giant Kite 大凧制作


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Every three years, the giant kite flown every May is replaced by a new kite bearing a new design. The new kite was made during July-Aug. 2007, taking about 30 days. The kite is made by volunteers from the public under the instruction of the Yokaichi Giant Kite Preservation Society. For the first time, I helped make this giant kite which was first flown successsfully on May 25, 2008 at the annual kite festival. More about Higashi-Omi here.

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Hyakusaiji 百済寺


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Located in Higashi-Omi and established by Shotoku Taishi in 609, this is Shiga Prefecture's oldest temple and one of Japan's oldest. It belongs to the Tendai Buddhist Sect. Being the southern-most temple in the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio, visit it after Eigenji or Kongorinji Temple. The hillside garden gives a good view of Lake Biwa. The main temple hall worships an 11-faced Kannon statue carved by Shotoku Taishi. Admission 500 yen. Map

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Eigenji 永源寺


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Located in Higashi-Omi and established in 1361, Eigenji is a temple of the Zen Rinzai Buddhist Sect (Eigenji School) and well-known for fall colors with 3,000 maple trees. Although not part of the Koto Sanzan Temple Trio (all Tendai Buddhist temples), most visitors also visit Eigenji together with the Koto Sanzan temples. Accessible by bus taking 30-40 min. from Yokaichi Station on the Omi Railway Line or from Hyakusaiji. Admission 500 yen. Map

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Gokasho Omi Merchant Homes 五個荘 近江商人屋敷


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Gokasho is famous for the grand, old homes of wealthy Omi merchants. Three of them are conveniently clustered together for us to see. They are the former residences of Tonomura Uhee (外村 宇兵衛), Tonomura Shigeru (外村 繁), and Nakae Jungoro (中江 準五郎). In Feb. 2005, Gokasho became part of the newly established Higashi-Omi city. Map

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Gokasho Museums 五個荘の資料館・博物館


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From the Ohmi Railways' Gokasho Station, you can walk to the Fujii Hikoshiro House (藤井 彦四郎邸), which is also a history museum, and to the modern Ohmi Merchant Museum (近江商人博物館). You can buy a set of tickets to all four Omi merchant homes and the museum which cheaper than buying a ticket at each place. Map

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Iba-no-saka-kudashi Matsuri Festival 伊庭の坂下し祭


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Held on May 4 by Sanposan Shrine in Higashi-Omi, Shiga Prefecture, three portable shrines are hauled down a steep mountain (Kinugasa-yama) for about 500 meters. This photos were taken at the end of the trail at the large torii at the foot of the mountain. Also see my YouTube video. Map

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