Most viewed - FUKUI 福井県
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To Obama via JR Obama Line (Tsuruga Station).360 views
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Statue of castle founder and 1st lord, Yuki Hideyasu 結城秀康330 views
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Line to board the free shuttle bus from Tsuruga Station to Kehi no Matsubara Beach.307 viewsThe waiting time was minimal since buses kept coming often. They chartered buses from numerous bus companies.
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Tojinbo is in Mikuni-cho.305 views
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JR Obama Line at Tsuruga Station in Fukui Prefecture, the line's terminus. From Tsuruga, it takes 60 to 70 min. to Obama.294 views
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Huge rock columns stand about 9 stories (25 meters) high.281 views
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Maruoka Castle tower279 views
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Maruoka Castle221 views
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Bungee jumping is probably not possible here.212 views
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Tojinbo sign indicating the Echizen-Kaga Coastal Quasi-National Park207 views
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Roof tiles made of stone on Maruoka Castle205 views
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Toro nagashi at Kehi no Matsubara Beach in Tsuruga, Fukui Pref.193 views
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At 6:30 pm, people started releasing their candlelit lanterns into the ocean. Tsuruga, Fukui Pref.193 views
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As it got darker, the scene got prettier.181 views
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Statue of Emperor Keitai in Asuwayama Park 継体天皇像175 viewsThe 26th Emperor of Japan is said to have hailed from Echizen Province.
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Toro nagashi and fireworks at Tsuruga, Fukui Pref.168 views
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Kehi no Matsubara beach, one of Japan's three most famous pine tree beaches.164 viewsThe other two being Miho no Matsubara in Shizuoka and Karatsu in Saga Pref.
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Bright fireworks light up the audience on the beach.156 views
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JR Tsuruga Station152 views
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Line for the free shuttle bus back to Tsuruga Station. They had many shuttle buses so we didn't have to wait long.147 viewsIt was a very efficient and quick operation. Although I did leave early.
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Minamigawa River140 views
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Saba-zushi or rice topped with mackerel, a local specialty in Obama, Fukui.137 views
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Statue of Sugita Genpaku as a child, in front of the public hospital. 杉田 玄白133 views
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JR Fukui Station131 views
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Statue of Sugita Genpaku, a Dutch studies scholar who studied medicine. He was from Obama. 杉田 玄白131 views
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The back of their T-shirt reads "I love Obama -- Obama Girls."129 views
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Streetcar station127 views
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Right after their performance ended at 7:25 pm, I had to leave to catch the last train home. I missed seeing the Obama Boys who also danced. The event ended at 8 pm. Also see my video at YouTube.127 views
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The fireworks were brilliant and world-class, included a few waterborne "half-dome" fireworks.123 views
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Obama Castle stone foundation for the main castle tower. No structure remain. No moats remain either, except for the two rivers which served as a natural moat.123 views
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By 7:30 pm, it was completely dark.118 views
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Road in front of Fukui Station112 views
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Mall in front of Fukui Station111 views
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Shopping road111 views
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The lanterns say "For the Spirits of Past Generations."111 views
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Crowd on Kehi no Matsubara Beach104 views
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Lanterns along the jetty.101 views
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Whoever thought of combining toro nagashi with fireworks was a genius.101 views
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Sign encouraging the construction of the shinkansen to Fukui.99 views
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The crowd stretched to the very far side of the bay.99 views
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You could buy a lantern for 500 yen. Choice of three colors: Red, blue, and yellow.99 views
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Great match with the lit lanterns and fireworks.98 views
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Bridge to castle grounds. 5-min. walk from Fukui Station.95 views
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Fireworks started at 7:30 pm.95 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.95 views
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Maruoka Castle is 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, nicknamed Kasumiga-jo (Misty Castle92 viewsPhoto: Way to Maruoka Castle from the bus stop.
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Fukui Shrine92 views
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Fukui Shrine 福井神社89 views
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Fukui Shrine87 views
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A bust of Barack Obama outside the Wakasa-ya souvenir shop in Obama, Fukui. Made by a local plasterer in 2008. Not a very good likeness.86 views
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Some shops along the main drag (Ote-dori and Hamakaze-dori) have these notices in support of Barack Obama, world peace, and cultural exchange.83 views
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I was sitting on a jetty where many lanterns got stuck. We could feel the hot air from the candles.81 views
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Obama merchandise and souvenirs, for both Obama and Barack Obama are sold at a few stores in Obama. This store called Wakasa-ya, on Hamakaze-dori, has the largest selection of Obama goods. A short walk from Obama Station.81 views
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Bus stop for Maruoka Castle80 viewsTakes about 40-50 min. from Fukui Station.
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"I love Obama" banners decorate the main drags in central Obama. 80 views
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Obama Station80 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.79 views
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Bridge to castle grounds with prefectural capital building looming ahead.77 views
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15-min. walk from the bus stop to the beach. People everywhere.77 views
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The second number was "Kaimana Hila" sung in Hawaiian. Kaimana Hila means Diamond Head (the famous mountain/crater in Honolulu). It's a standard hula number.77 views
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Kasumiga-jo Park, noted for cherry blossoms.74 views
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"I love Obama" banner73 views
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Some shops along Hamakaze-dori shopping arcade have these congratulatory notices for President Barack Obama.72 views
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More Obama manju72 views
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Obama beach, fit for swimming in summer.72 views
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Old shachi (killer whale) roof ornaments made of stone.71 viewsThe original shachi were made of wood with copper plating. But during WWII, the precious copper was taken and these two stone shachi were made to replace the original shachi. These two shachi fell off the roof during the 1948 earthquake and were replaced by a replica of the original made of wood and copper plating.
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Obama rolled maki-sushi on sale.71 views
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Look at this, hula dancing in a Japanese Buddhist temple in Obama, Fukui Prefecture, Japan.71 views
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Kehi Pine Beach in Tsuruga from his "Famous Views of the 60 Provinces" series.71 views
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"I love Obama" T-shirts for 2500 yen.69 views
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Maruoka Castle tower68 views
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Mismatched buildings68 views
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It must have been cold for these dancers dressed for a tropical setting. The temperature was slightly above freezing.68 views
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Obama Castle remains. Only the stone foundation and a few stone walls remain. Obama Castle was built by Kyogoku Takatsugu in 1601 after he was awarded the Wakasa domain for his service during the Battle of Sekigahara.67 views
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Stone foundation of the castle tower at one corner.66 views
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Obama support signs on a hotel entrance in Obama, on Jan. 20, 2009, the Inauguration Day. This is probably the hotel where the Obama booster members would watch the inauguration live on TV at 1 am. 66 views
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Sushi restaurant in Wakasa Fisherman's Wharf. Buy sushi and eat it there with free miso soup and tea.66 views
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The Wakasa-ya shop displays snapshots of past activities of the Obama booster association.65 views
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Wakasa-ya souvenir shop on Hamakaze-dori. 若狭屋 はまかぜ通り64 views
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Wakasa-ya souvenir shop64 views
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Later, Obama's mascot Nana-chan (a cat with mackerel fish stripes) joined in and they sang the mascot's song.64 views
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Pure and clean water well64 views
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Statue outside Obama City Hall.64 views
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Edo Period currency63 views
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Obama Girls dance the hula. The first number was a Japanese rendition of "Sophisticated Hula" called "Tsuki no Yoru wa" (The Moon at Night).63 views
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This event drew quite a few press people, and it was reported in most major Japanese newspapers and a few foreign media.63 views
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Obama beach63 views
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Obama senbei crackers62 views
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JR Obama Station62 views
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Prefectural capital building61 views
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"I love Obama" sticker on store window. This logo is 61 views
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The Obama Girls (and Boys) were formed because of Barack being born and mainly raised in Hawaii. The Obama Girls will travel to Hawaii (at their own expense) to perform as well.61 views
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Obama coast61 views
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Entrance to castle grounds60 views
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Path to castle tower60 views
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Steps to castle tower entrance.60 views
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1st floor of castle tower with photos of other castles.60 views
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Monuments60 views
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"I love Obama" T-shirts and banners. The banner is only 1200 yen (excluding the pole).60 views
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A copy of the letter from presidential candidate Barack Obama to the city of Obama, Fukui Prefecture. Dated Feb. 21, 2008. Click on thumbnail to see full text.60 views
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Also see my video at YouTube. おばま ガールズ59 views
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Statue of Lord Sakai Tadakatsu outside Obama City Hall. Tadakatsu also served as Tairo, of Chief Minister in the Tokugawa government during 1638 to 1656.59 views
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Stairs to castle tower foundation58 views
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Valley between the prefectural capital (left) and police department (right).58 views
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The castle tower suffered a major fire in 1669, and it was never rebuilt.58 views
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Steps to go down.58 views
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A bust of Barack Obama outside the Wakasa-ya souvenir shop in Obama, Fukui.58 views
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"I love Obama" manju bean cakes, but only the back of his head is imprinted on the manju.58 views
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Obama burgers were passed out free to the people attending the event. Free soft drinks (hot) also helped in warming my hands.58 views
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Along the Obama waterfront is this Mermaid Terrace.58 views
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Folk History Museum57 views
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Pedestrian bridge57 views
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Obama Station57 views
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Laquered chopsticks with the "I love Obama" logo.57 views
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The event started with singing by a local group called Anyone Brother's Band. They sang a song called "Obama is Beautiful World!"57 views
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Inside Obama City Hall.57 views
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Atop the castle tower foundation (lower level)56 views
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Side of castle55 views
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Another stone foundation which was partially damaged during the 1948 Fukui Easrthquake.55 views
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Obama confections such as manju, this time with the face imprinted (instead of the back of the head). Passed out for free.55 views
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The event started at 6:30 pm when it was quite dark (the actual inauguration ceremonies in Washington, DC would start some hours later at around 2 am that night, Japan time).55 views
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JR Obama Line55 views
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Izumi-cho shopping arcade was also the starting point of the Saba Kaido road to Kyoto. During the Edo Period, this road was used by saba (mackerel fish) merchants traveling to sell their fish. The road was actually a network of roads. 55 views
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The stone marker says National Treasure Kasumiga-jo Castle.54 viewsThe castle was a National Treasure until it collapsed in the 1948 Fukui Earthquake. Now an Important Cultural Property.
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Maruoka Castle tower54 views
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1st floor of castle tower54 viewsThe steep stairs go to the 2nd floor.
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The veranda is narrow and the fence is low.54 views
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Some presidential campaign memorabilia in a store corner.54 views
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Obama goods included sake rice wine.54 views
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Obama waterfront54 views
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View from castle tower53 views
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Well related to the castle's mist.53 views
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Folk History Museum adjacent to the castle. 歴史民俗資料館53 views
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Well53 views
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Hagaji temple's Hondo main hall where the 11-face Kannon statue is worshipped. This is the main venue for Obama's Inauguration Day event.53 views
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JR Obama Station entrance53 views
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Layout of the original Obama Castle sandwiched between two rivers.53 views
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Inside Folk History Museum52 views
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Top of castle tower foundation. Grassy, but uneven ground.52 views
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Another bridge 廊下橋52 views
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Laquered chopsticks with the "I love Obama" logo. Laquerware is one of Obama's local specialties.52 views
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Mermaid Terrace52 views
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A dinosaur waiting for his train at JR Tsuruga Station. Fukui Prefecture is famous for dinosaur digs. This is just a sculpture stealing a valuable place to sit, but it looks like a kid can sit on his lap.52 views
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2nd floor51 views
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Steps to upper level of castle tower foundation51 views
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Right near the exit of Obama Station is the tourist information office where you can obtain maps, pamphlets, and ask questions.51 views
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Obama Castle stone foundation for the main castle tower. After the Kyogoku Clan moved to Izumo (Shimane Pref.), Sakai Tadakatsu took up residence in 1634 and his clan lived in the castle until the Meiji Restoration.51 views
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Wing Terrace51 views
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Entrance to castle tower50 views
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Roof tiles made of stone (2nd floor)50 views
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Stone wall submerged in moat.50 views
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View of moat from the corner of castle tower foundation.50 views
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"I love Obama" headbands for 600 yen.50 views
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Obama book in Japanese. His election victory speech in Japanese.50 views
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Obama Castle stone foundation for the main castle tower. Lord Sakai Tadakatsu built the main castle tower in 1636. 小浜城跡50 views
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Mermaid Terrace.50 views
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Stairway on top floor49 views
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Veranda (closed to visitors)49 views
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Top floor49 views
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Fukui police HQ and castle wall49 views
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Application form to join the Obama Informal Booster Association (Obama wo Katte ni Oen Suru Kai). オバマを勝手に応援する会49 views
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On Jan. 20, 2009, the US Presidential Inauguration Day for Hawaii-born Barack Obama, the city of Obama in Fukui held a special event at Hagaji temple. 羽賀寺49 views
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Manju at the kiosk at Obama Station.49 views
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Mermaid on mailbox49 views
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On top of Obama Castle stone foundation for the main castle tower.49 views
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Obama coast49 views
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Inside Izumi-cho shopping arcade where they sell mostly seafood.49 views
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1st floor of castle tower48 views
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Old-style "bay window?"48 views
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Top floor48 views
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Hagaji temple is one of Obama's major temples with Important Cultural Properties including an 11-face Kannon statue.48 views
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JR Obama Station and taxis.48 views
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Main drag (Ote-dori) from Obama Station. 大手通り48 views
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Near the water is Wakasa Fisherman's Wharf, housing restaurants, souvenir shops, and a tour boat ticket office.48 views
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Roof tiles made of stone (rare)47 views
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"Sama" hole to shoot weapons (arrows or guns)47 views
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Stairs going down47 views
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Castle tower foundation47 views
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Hagaji's temple bell.47 views
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Dried bread in cans.47 views
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Then a woman from the Obama Girls hula troupe read a message from Obama Mayor Koji Matsuzaki. The mayor, of course, hopes that Barack will visit Obama someday. (Toshio Murakami is no longer mayor.)47 views
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JR Obama Station exit47 views
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Stairs to top floor46 views
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Ceiling on top floor46 views
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Lower stone wall46 views
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Inside Wakasa-ya shop, there's an application form to join the Obama for Obama Association (Obama wo Katte ni Oen Suru Kai).46 views
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Obama chopsticks. These were the more expensive ones costing around 1900 yen.46 views
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Obama's Inauguration Day event was called "Going Beyond the Seven Seas--Peace Bell Ringing for the World. 七つの海を超えて、世界にとどけ平和の鐘46 views
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They sang "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.46 views
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At 7 pm, fireworks were launched near the temple as the signal to start ringing the Hagaji temple bell. About eight temples in Obama (as well as in Nagasaki where there is Obama Onsen spa) started ringing the temple bell at 7 pm for world peace.46 views
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Train schedule for Obama Station. Very few train runs, about once an hour or less.46 views
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Private homes are built right up to the castle wall.46 views
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Bpat cruise to Sotomo Rocks on the nearby coast.46 views
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Entrance to Izumi-cho shopping arcade.46 views
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Inside the Saba Kaido Museum.46 views
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Obama sake45 views
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Ceiling on top floor44 views
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Ceiling on top floor44 views
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