Most viewed - FUKUI 福井県
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To Obama via JR Obama Line (Tsuruga Station).358 views
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Statue of castle founder and 1st lord, Yuki Hideyasu 結城秀康325 views
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Line to board the free shuttle bus from Tsuruga Station to Kehi no Matsubara Beach.305 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.303 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.292 views
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Huge rock columns stand about 9 stories (25 meters) high.278 views
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Maruoka Castle tower276 views
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Maruoka Castle218 views
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Bungee jumping is probably not possible here.210 views
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Tojinbo sign indicating the Echizen-Kaga Coastal Quasi-National Park205 views
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Roof tiles made of stone on Maruoka Castle202 views
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Toro nagashi at Kehi no Matsubara Beach in Tsuruga, Fukui Pref.190 views
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At 6:30 pm, people started releasing their candlelit lanterns into the ocean. Tsuruga, Fukui Pref.190 views
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As it got darker, the scene got prettier.178 views
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Statue of Emperor Keitai in Asuwayama Park 継体天皇像171 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.165 views
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Kehi no Matsubara beach, one of Japan's three most famous pine tree beaches.162 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.154 views
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JR Tsuruga Station150 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.145 viewsIt was a very efficient and quick operation. Although I did leave early.
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Minamigawa River138 views
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Saba-zushi or rice topped with mackerel, a local specialty in Obama, Fukui.134 views
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Statue of Sugita Genpaku as a child, in front of the public hospital. 杉田 玄白131 views
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JR Fukui Station129 views
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Statue of Sugita Genpaku, a Dutch studies scholar who studied medicine. He was from Obama. 杉田 玄白129 views
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The back of their T-shirt reads "I love Obama -- Obama Girls."127 views
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Streetcar station125 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.125 views
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The fireworks were brilliant and world-class, included a few waterborne "half-dome" fireworks.121 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.120 views
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By 7:30 pm, it was completely dark.116 views
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Road in front of Fukui Station110 views
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Mall in front of Fukui Station109 views
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Shopping road109 views
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The lanterns say "For the Spirits of Past Generations."109 views
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Crowd on Kehi no Matsubara Beach102 views
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Lanterns along the jetty.99 views
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Whoever thought of combining toro nagashi with fireworks was a genius.99 views
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Sign encouraging the construction of the shinkansen to Fukui.97 views
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The crowd stretched to the very far side of the bay.97 views
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You could buy a lantern for 500 yen. Choice of three colors: Red, blue, and yellow.97 views
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Great match with the lit lanterns and fireworks.96 views
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Fireworks started at 7:30 pm.93 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.93 views
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Bridge to castle grounds. 5-min. walk from Fukui Station.92 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 Castle90 viewsPhoto: Way to Maruoka Castle from the bus stop.
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Fukui Shrine90 views
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Fukui Shrine 福井神社87 views
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Fukui Shrine85 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.84 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.81 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.79 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.79 views
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Bus stop for Maruoka Castle78 viewsTakes about 40-50 min. from Fukui Station.
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"I love Obama" banners decorate the main drags in central Obama. 78 views
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Obama Station78 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.77 views
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Bridge to castle grounds with prefectural capital building looming ahead.75 views
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15-min. walk from the bus stop to the beach. People everywhere.75 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.75 views
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Kasumiga-jo Park, noted for cherry blossoms.72 views
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"I love Obama" banner71 views
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Some shops along Hamakaze-dori shopping arcade have these congratulatory notices for President Barack Obama.70 views
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More Obama manju70 views
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Obama beach, fit for swimming in summer.70 views
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Old shachi (killer whale) roof ornaments made of stone.69 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.69 views
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Look at this, hula dancing in a Japanese Buddhist temple in Obama, Fukui Prefecture, Japan.69 views
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Kehi Pine Beach in Tsuruga from his "Famous Views of the 60 Provinces" series.69 views
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"I love Obama" T-shirts for 2500 yen.67 views
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Maruoka Castle tower66 views
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Mismatched buildings66 views
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It must have been cold for these dancers dressed for a tropical setting. The temperature was slightly above freezing.66 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.65 views
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Stone foundation of the castle tower at one corner.64 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. 64 views
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Sushi restaurant in Wakasa Fisherman's Wharf. Buy sushi and eat it there with free miso soup and tea.64 views
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The Wakasa-ya shop displays snapshots of past activities of the Obama booster association.63 views
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Wakasa-ya souvenir shop on Hamakaze-dori. 若狭屋 はまかぜ通り62 views
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Wakasa-ya souvenir shop62 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.62 views
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Pure and clean water well62 views
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Statue outside Obama City Hall.62 views
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Edo Period currency61 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).61 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.61 views
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Obama beach61 views
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Obama senbei crackers60 views
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JR Obama Station60 views
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Prefectural capital building59 views
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"I love Obama" sticker on store window. This logo is 59 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.59 views
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Obama coast59 views
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Entrance to castle grounds58 views
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Path to castle tower58 views
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Steps to castle tower entrance.58 views
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1st floor of castle tower with photos of other castles.58 views
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Monuments58 views
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"I love Obama" T-shirts and banners. The banner is only 1200 yen (excluding the pole).58 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.58 views
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Also see my video at YouTube. おばま ガールズ57 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 1656.57 views
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Stairs to castle tower foundation56 views
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Valley between the prefectural capital (left) and police department (right).56 views
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The castle tower suffered a major fire in 1669, and it was never rebuilt.56 views
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Steps to go down.56 views
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A bust of Barack Obama outside the Wakasa-ya souvenir shop in Obama, Fukui.56 views
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"I love Obama" manju bean cakes, but only the back of his head is imprinted on the manju.56 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.56 views
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Along the Obama waterfront is this Mermaid Terrace.56 views
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Folk History Museum55 views
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Pedestrian bridge55 views
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Obama Station55 views
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Laquered chopsticks with the "I love Obama" logo.55 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!"55 views
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Inside Obama City Hall.55 views
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Atop the castle tower foundation (lower level)54 views
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Side of castle53 views
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Another stone foundation which was partially damaged during the 1948 Fukui Easrthquake.53 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.53 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).53 views
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JR Obama Line53 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. 53 views
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The stone marker says National Treasure Kasumiga-jo Castle.52 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 tower52 views
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1st floor of castle tower52 viewsThe steep stairs go to the 2nd floor.
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The veranda is narrow and the fence is low.52 views
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Some presidential campaign memorabilia in a store corner.52 views
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Obama goods included sake rice wine.52 views
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Obama waterfront52 views
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View from castle tower51 views
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Well related to the castle's mist.51 views
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Folk History Museum adjacent to the castle. 歴史民俗資料館51 views
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Well51 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.51 views
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JR Obama Station entrance51 views
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Layout of the original Obama Castle sandwiched between two rivers.51 views
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Inside Folk History Museum50 views
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Another bridge 廊下橋50 views
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Laquered chopsticks with the "I love Obama" logo. Laquerware is one of Obama's local specialties.50 views
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Mermaid Terrace50 views
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2nd floor49 views
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Steps to upper level of castle tower foundation49 views
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Top of castle tower foundation. Grassy, but uneven ground.49 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.49 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.49 views
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Wing Terrace49 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.49 views
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Entrance to castle tower48 views
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Roof tiles made of stone (2nd floor)48 views
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Stone wall submerged in moat.48 views
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View of moat from the corner of castle tower foundation.48 views
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"I love Obama" headbands for 600 yen.48 views
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Obama book in Japanese. His election victory speech in Japanese.48 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48 views
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Mermaid Terrace.48 views
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Stairway on top floor47 views
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Veranda (closed to visitors)47 views
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Top floor47 views
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Fukui police HQ and castle wall47 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47 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47 views
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Manju at the kiosk at Obama Station.47 views
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Mermaid on mailbox47 views
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On top of Obama Castle stone foundation for the main castle tower.47 views
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Obama coast47 views
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Inside Izumi-cho shopping arcade where they sell mostly seafood.47 views
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1st floor of castle tower46 views
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Old-style "bay window?"46 views
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Top floor46 views
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Hagaji temple is one of Obama's major temples with Important Cultural Properties including an 11-face Kannon statue.46 views
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JR Obama Station and taxis.46 views
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Main drag (Ote-dori) from Obama Station. 大手通り46 views
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Near the water is Wakasa Fisherman's Wharf, housing restaurants, souvenir shops, and a tour boat ticket office.46 views
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Roof tiles made of stone (rare)45 views
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"Sama" hole to shoot weapons (arrows or guns)45 views
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Stairs going down45 views
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Castle tower foundation45 views
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Hagaji's temple bell.45 views
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Dried bread in cans.45 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.)45 views
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JR Obama Station exit45 views
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Stairs to top floor44 views
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Ceiling on top floor44 views
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Lower stone wall44 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).44 views
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Obama chopsticks. These were the more expensive ones costing around 1900 yen.44 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44 views
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They sang "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.44 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.44 views
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Train schedule for Obama Station. Very few train runs, about once an hour or less.44 views
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Private homes are built right up to the castle wall.44 views
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Bpat cruise to Sotomo Rocks on the nearby coast.44 views
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Entrance to Izumi-cho shopping arcade.44 views
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Inside the Saba Kaido Museum.44 views
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Obama sake43 views
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Ceiling on top floor42 views
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Ceiling on top floor42 views
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