Most viewed - HYOGO 兵庫県
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Himeji Castle tower, a National Treasure. 大天守555 views
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Road to Himeji Castle. From Himeji Station, the main road leads to the castle which can be seen in the distance.424 views
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Warrior armor displayed on second floor of Himeji Castle tower420 views
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Since Jan. 2010 is the 15th anniversary of the Kobe earthquake that struck on Jan. 17, 1995, I decided to upload these photos for the first time. I visited Kobe 10 days after the killer quake struck. Had to take a hydrofoil from Osaka to reach Kobe.385 views
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I was amazed to see Mos Burger back in business so soon. It was another sign of a very progressive recovery.352 views
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Nu-no-mon Gate (Important Cultural Property). This is the way out.350 views
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Okiku's Well. Subject of a famous ghost story called "Banshu Sara Yashiki," about a castle servant named Okiku.330 views
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Fukae Shopping Center302 views
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Kitanozaka slope goes to the Kitano-cho area of Western homes built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Many are very well-preserved and open to the public. This one has Starbucks. 北野坂(奥に北野物語館)300 views
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Harakiki Maru. Square where the samurai committed harakiri or seppuku. The well seen in the upper right may have been where the head was washed. The building on the right was actually a defensive post.299 views
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Twin turrets of Akashi Castle293 views
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Earthquake tourists getting their picture taken.271 views
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Santica building near Sannomiya Station had a middle floor crushed. As I walked around the devastation, I could see common ways in which the buildings collapsed. High rise buildings commonly collapsed on a middle floor.260 views
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Model of castle252 views
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Osakabe Shrine on top floor of Himeji Castle. This shrine was already on the hill before the castle was built. The shrine was moved when the castle was built, but it was brought into the castle after some "curses" occurred.240 views
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Barrels of sake displayed for Toka Ebisu inside Hanshin Nishinomiya Station.237 views
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Otemon Gate, Main gate to castle. Reconstructed in 1937. 大手門229 views
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Hishi Gate, Important Cultural Property. Pass though this large gate to proceed to the Ni no Maru compound. 菱門207 views1 comments
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Castle tower, a National Treasure. 大天守202 views
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The family crest of the resident warlords who repaired the castle are displayed. The warlords include Hashiba (later Toyotomi) Hideyoshi, Ikeda Terumasa, Honda Tadamasa, Matsudaira Tadaaki, Matsudaira Naomoto, Sakakibara Tadatsugu, and Sakai Tadazumi.200 views
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Castle view from San no Maru.196 views
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Path to Harakiri (belly-slitting) Maru on the left or to Ri-no-mon Gate straight ahead.195 views
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Wooden framework of castle tower194 views
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Family crest on roof tiles. The family crest of the resident warlords who repaired the castle remain on the roof.193 views
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Uchibori Inner Moat188 views
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Castle tower closeup. 大天守187 views
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Himeji Station182 views
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Kobe manhole182 views
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Road to Himeji Castle. Otemae Boulevard (Symbol Road). 大手前通り178 views
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World Heritage Site marker. 世界遺産 姫路城176 views
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Path to Hishi Gate. 菱門171 views
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Take off your shoes before entering.170 views
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Main castle tower (donjon), called Tenshu. 大天守163 views
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Castle moat162 views
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World Heritage Site marker. 世界遺産 姫路城160 views
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The family crest of the resident warlords who repaired the castle remain on the roof.157 views
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Mizu-no-ni Gate, Important Cultural Property157 views
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Weathercock House, built in 1909, is one of the main Western homes open to the public in Kobe's Kitano-cho. 旧トーマス住宅157 views
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Akashi Castle seen from the train platform of Akashi Station.155 views
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Path to Otemon Gate, the main gate to the castle. 大手門153 views
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Weapon racks called bugukake. 武具掛153 views
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Path to Ha-no-mon Gate はの門151 views
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Weapon racks called bugukake. 武具掛150 views
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Inside Ni-no-mon Gate. A bottleneck gate designed so not many enemy soldiers can pass through at one time.149 views
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Mizu-no-san Gate149 views
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Sangoku Moat in Ni no Maru, 三国堀148 views
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First floor148 views
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Sword exhibit148 views
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Ho-no-mon Gate (lower left)148 views
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Ni no Maru. After passing through Hishi Gate, this is what you see.147 views
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Castle tower viewed from Bizen Maru (Honmaru) 大天守147 views
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View of Honmaru (Bizen Maru) and shachihoko roof ornament. The shachihoko ornament on the roof ridge guards against fire and natural disasters. Eleven of these are atop the castle.147 views
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Ro-no-mon Gate (Important Cultural Asset) ろの門146 views
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Map of Akashi Park146 viewsThe castle is now only a small part of the park.
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Castle roof underside145 views
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Chi-no-mon Gate in the distance. On the left partially hidden is To-no-ichi Gate. ちの門144 views
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View from He-no-mon Gate144 views
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More exhibits144 views
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Special Historical Place marker143 views
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Ni-no-mon Gate (Important Cultural Asset) にの門143 views
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Koshi Kuruwa storehouse (Waist Quarter) for salt and rice.143 views
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Chi-no-mon Gate (after passing through)143 views
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Nishi no Maru and Sangoku Moat in foreground143 views
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Castle tower 大天守142 views
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Himeji Station142 views
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Mizu-no-ichi Gate, Important Cultural Property.141 views
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San no Maru. This area is ringed by cherry trees. 三の丸広場140 views
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Inside storehouse140 views
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Castle ticket office and entrance. Admission is 600 yen for adults. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (September through May) or 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.(June through August).139 views
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I-no-mon Gate (Important Cultural Asset) いの門139 views
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First flight of stairs139 views
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View of Honmaru (Bizen Maru), main road to Himeji Station, and Nishi-no-Maru138 views
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The Japanese tile roof makes the home top-heavy, making it more vulnerable to horizontal swaying and eventual toppling.138 views
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He-no-mon Gate への門136 views
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Nishi no Maru and Hishi Gate (lower right)136 views
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View from the right of Hishi Gate135 views
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Sign for bugukake weapon racks. Most explanatory signs are also in English.135 views
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San no Maru cherry trees. The stone marker says that Himeji Castle is one of Japan's 100 Best Cherry Blossom Sites.134 views
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View from the right of Hishi Gate134 views
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Well Turret sign. The turret is to defend the rear of the castle. It has three rooms, one of which has a 16-meter deep well. 井郭櫓133 views
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Top floor of castle tower133 views
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Inside Weathercock House.133 views
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"Sama" hole for dropping stones, throwing spears, etc.132 views
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Kobe City Hall buckled at the middle floor.132 views
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Bizen Gate entrance to Honmaru, also called Bizen-maru. Notice the coffin stone on the right of the gate. (Important Cultural Property) 備前門131 views
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Castle tower stone foundation131 views
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Mizu-no-go Gate. 水五門131 views
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Path to Ni-no-mon Gate130 views
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Storehouse130 views
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Well Turret. The well is 16 meters deep with water 1 meter deep.130 views
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Mizu-no-roku Gate door130 views
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Moegi no Yakata or Sharp residence 萌黄の館(シャープ住宅)130 views
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Koshi no Kuruwa storehouse for rice and salt129 views
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To-no-ichi Gate との一問129 views
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Stone coffins at Bizen Gate. Due to a shortage of stones during the castle's construction, many stone coffins unearthed from the tumulus on the hill of the castle were used in the rock walls. The stone coffins were replaced by real stones during the c129 viewsDue to a shortage of stones during the castle's construction, many stone coffins unearthed from the tumulus on the hill of the castle were used in the rock walls. The stone coffins were replaced by real stones during the castle restoration in the 1960s.
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Path to castle tower entrance129 views
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To top floor129 views
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Another major house is Uroko no Ie which has an art museum as well. 旧ハリヤー邸(うろこの家)128 views
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Gun racks called bugukake. 武具掛127 views
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View of Honmaru and main road to Himeji Station, Otemae Boulevard (Symbol Road). 大手前通り127 views
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Nihon Seimei Bldg. collapsed at the middle, near Sannomiya Station. It's hard to imagine what would've happened if the quake struck during working hours with people working in this building.127 views1 comments
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Inside storehouse125 views
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Fifth floor125 views
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Shopping arcade125 views
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Inside Mizu-no-roku Gate123 views
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British House 英国館123 views
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Mizu-no-go Gate door122 views
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Akashi Castle seen from the train platform of Akashi Station.122 views
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Toka Ebisu banner inside Umeda Station.122 views
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He-no-mon Gate in the distance. As seen from Chi-no-mon Gate.121 views
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Akashi Station121 viewsOn the JR Sanyo Line.
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View of castle tower from Chi-no-mon Gate120 views
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Mizu-no-roku Gate120 views
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No, my camera lens is not distorting this picture. That building is actually tilting a lot, but they still allowed traffic on the road below.120 views
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One end of To-no-ichi Gate119 views
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Castle tower viewed from Bizen Maru (Honmaru). 大天守119 views
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To second floor119 views
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Tilted buildings near Sannomiya Station. It took only 15 sec. to wreak all this damage.119 views
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Photo gallery118 views
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Hammack which Ben slept on.115 views
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The expressway that supposed withstand such quakes collapsed. It was a major scandal. The shinkansen bullet train tracks also had broken concrete columns which revealed pieces of scrap wood mixed in. 115 views
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Going back down114 views
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Video of Toka Ebisu at Nishinomiya Shrine, Hyogo.113 views
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View of Shirotopia Memorial Park. Site of the Shirotopia Expo held in 1989 to celebrate Himeji city's centennial. シロトピア記念公園111 views
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View of Honmaru110 views
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Inside Moegi no Yakata110 views
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Interesting contrast between buildings which fell and didn't fall.109 views
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Near Kobe City Hall along Flower Road was this office building which had also collapsed at a middle floor.108 views
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Weapons racks called bugukake. 武具掛107 views
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Castle moat107 views
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Ben's House107 views
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Kobe Shimbun newspaper offices near Sannomiya Station was in shambles.107 views
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Sogo Dept. Store cracked vertically in the middle. This building was later torn down and replaced with a new dept. store building.107 views
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Entrance to Akashi Park106 views
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Castle wall105 views
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Going down104 views
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The engineers said this would be strong enough, but they were dead wrong.104 views
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View looking east103 views
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Hitsujisaru Turret (坤櫓)102 views
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Garden of Musashi 武蔵の庭園102 viewsNear the park entrance is a Japanese garden designed by Miyamoto Musashi, famous warrior.
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Animal rights activists will love this house.101 views
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View from Hitsujisaru Turret100 views
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By this time, the tuna was dry and solid as a rock. It was impossible to stick on more coins.99 views
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Castle moat96 views
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Damage to Sannomiya Station building.96 views
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Inside Hitsujisaru Turret95 viewsRoof tile ends on display.
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In front of Sannomiya Station is Sogo Dept. Store.95 views
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Coins stuck on giant tune at Nishinomiya Shrine Toka Ebisu.95 views
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Toka Ebisu ad inside Hanshin Line train.95 views
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They also had a giant maguro tuna fish on display as an offering to the shrine from a fishing cooperative.93 views
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Tatsumi Turret (巽櫓) (not open to visitors)92 views
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Inside Hitsujisaru Turret92 views
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The main square in Kitano-cho. Most of the homes charge admission. It's cheaper to buy a set of tickets to see multiple homes. Most of the major homes have a ticket booth selling these ticket sets.92 views
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Crushed car92 views
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Hanshin Nishinomiya Station.92 views
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Statue of Nakabe Ikujiro (1866-1946) 中部幾次郎91 viewsA pioneer in building up Akashi's fisheries industry. Also a philanthropist who donated money to build schools in Akashi.
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Tatsumi Turret (巽櫓)90 views
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Hitsujisaru Turret (坤櫓) is open to visitors.90 views
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Another common way in which buildings collapsed was the 1st floor giving way like this small hotel.90 views
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Twin turrets of Akashi Castle89 viewsThe left turret is called the Hitsujisaru Turret (坤櫓) and the right one is called the Tatsumi Turret (巽櫓).
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Tatsumi Turret (巽櫓)89 views
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Steps to turrets88 views
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Something unique is this upside down kadomatsu decoration flanking Nishinomiya Shrine's Haiden Hall.88 views
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Shrine maidens selling fuku-sasa branches at Nishinomiya Shrine's Toka Ebisu.88 views
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Stairs inside Hitsujisaru Turret87 viewsUnfortunately, the upper floor is bnot open to visitors.
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Expressway pylon broken.87 views
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The building next to Washington Hotel scraped against the hotel as it fell.87 views
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Where the tail is cut off.87 views
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Tatsumi Turret (巽櫓)86 views
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Shop shutters along Ikuta Road are tilted due to the crushing weight.86 views
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Statue of Nakabe Ikujiro (1866-1946) 中部幾次郎85 viewsA pioneer in building up Akashi's fisheries industry. Also a philanthropist who donated money to build schools in Akashi.
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View from castle84 viewsThe train station can be seen in the distance.
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Castle wall and Hitsujisaru Turret (坤櫓)84 views
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Inside Hitsujisaru Turret83 views
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Sannomiya Station83 views
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Cracked Sogo Dept. Store in Sannomiya.81 views
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Path to turrets80 views
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Sherlock Holmes room in British House, Kobe Ijinkan80 views
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Inside Hitsujisaru Turret78 views
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Distribution place for relief goods. Ten days after the earthquake, the initial fires, confusion, and pandemonium had subsided. It was pretty calm by then, but the damage was still visible.78 views
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Kobe Port. Most of the people entering Kobe during this time were relatives and friends of Kobe residents, bringing relief goods.77 views
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Hankyu Railways' Sannomiya Station being torn down.77 views
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Castle tower foundation75 views
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Hitsujisaru Turret (坤櫓) and castle tower foundation75 views
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Fallen clock which stopped at the time of the earthquake.75 views
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Amid the rubble of a collapsed building, a yakisoba stall sold yakisoba noodles.75 views
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Crushed car75 views
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Crushed Audi.75 views
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So named because of a weathercock (rooster) on the spire.73 views
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Employees are removing merchandise from Sogo Dept. Store.70 views
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The 1st floor is totally flattened.70 views
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The next day, I again visited Kobe, this time by train to Ashiya Station. See gravestones overturned.70 views
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Ashiya Station70 views
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Nihon Seimei Bldg. collapsed at the middle.69 views
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Collapsed shopping center near Ashiya Station. That's the 2nd floor which now looks like the 1st floor.69 views
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Store in shambles.68 views
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People eating yakisoba amid the rubble.68 views
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One hotel guest escaped by using bed sheets as a rope.68 views
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Backstreet destruction.68 views
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Houses along the train tracks in Ashiya. Basically, Japanese-style homes with heavy tile roofs collapsed easily, while concrete homes withstood the quake better.68 views
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A mess inside a restaurant.66 views
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Selling omikuji fortunes.66 views
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A building owner stands by her destroyed building.65 views
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I really felt sorry for the people who had just bought a house or condo with a 35-year mortgage and the house or condo was destroyed by the quake. They are stuck paying off the housing loan and also have to pay monthly rent at a new place.65 views
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Vending machine64 views
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Water station64 views
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Bus for Ashiya Station, the furthest that trains could go at the time. Trains weren't running within Kobe.64 views
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This house stood firm, while its neighbor collapsed.64 views
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Rhine House (free admission) 旧ドレウェル邸(ラインの館)63 views
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The emergency stairway got torn off this building whose first floor got crushed.63 views
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Line for the bus headed for Ashiya Station.62 views
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When you look at these toppled homes, you cannot help but think that they do look flimsy with thin walls. The problem is, such cheaply-made homes are very common in Japan.62 views
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Jazz sculptures accent the Kitano-cho area.60 views
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Ashiya Station platform.60 views
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The famous scene of the expressway collapsed on its side was completely gone 10 days after the quake. They had cleared the collapsed section (about 600 meters) of the road.60 views
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Weathercock House, built in 1909, withstood the quake.59 views
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Sign saying they are okay.58 views
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Something they needed the most was torn off the building. If you live in a high-rise building in Japan, have ropes ready in your veranda in case your stairway is destroyed like this.58 views
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The collapsed expressway was so embarrassing that they made it a priority to clear it ASAP.58 views
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Truck carrying relief goods.57 views
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Not a good idea to live in a house standing right next to another building.57 views
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