Most viewed - MIE 三重県
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Kunoichi female ninja guide1822 views
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Ninja disguises1541 views
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Ninja costumes1520 views
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An altar in the Iga-ryu Ninja House.1200 views
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Pepper bombs to blind you.1121 views
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Lets you escape to the next room instantly, or climb up or down the ladder on the right wall.1118 views
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What would a ninja museum be without a display of shuriken?1033 views
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The first demo is this swinging wall.1021 views
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Meoto-Iwa Wedded Rocks off the coast of Futami-cho, Ise city, Mie Prefecture. 夫婦岩949 views
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This is a staircase concealed as a shelf.937 views
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Ninja swords are short and straight with no curvature.906 views
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Sword hidden in the floor.779 views
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768 views
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Another wall door that leads to the basement tunnel.767 views
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Ueno-shi Station has ninja dolls to greet you.758 views
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Now a shelf. It leads to the attic.758 views
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Emergency escape hatch whose lock can be quickly released with a sheet of paper.750 views
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Entrance to the basement.744 views
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Hidden floor compartment where they hid their valuables outside the house.731 views
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Ninja swords.729 views
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When you push in the end of this floor plank, it opens up to reveal a sword.722 views
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Iga-Ueno is very successful in promoting its ninja past and drawing tourists. Also see the Koga-ryu Ninja House in Shiga.687 views
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Lock picks664 views
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Another swinging wall door.661 views
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Bamboo sticks concealing a sword.624 views
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There she goes.621 views
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Inside the Iga-ryu Ninja House.618 views
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Inside the Iga-ryu Ninja House617 views
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Ninjas in the kitchen. We could not go up into the attic as we can in Koka's ninja house in Shiga.616 views
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Flipper-like clogs to walk through swamps613 views
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Storefront shutter with ninja drawings.608 views
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601 views
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Nakayama Emiri, a TV personality, tries to throw shuriken.597 views
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Iron claws589 views
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586 views
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571 views
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Female ninja climbing over a wall.569 views
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558 views
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Sword demo556 views
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553 views
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Kitchen in Iga-ryu Ninja House.548 views
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548 views
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Iga-ryu Ninja Museum 545 views
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Juggling sickles. Having a sickle did not arouse suspicion as it was a common farming tool. But for the ninja, it was an effective weapon.544 views
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539 views
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536 views
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526 views
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Iga-ryu Ninja House ninja show.518 views
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Kitchen area in Iga-ryu Ninja House.508 views
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Duel to the death.503 views
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Revolving door of Iga-ryu Ninja House 502 views
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Shuruken takes skill to throw.498 views
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497 views
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Making medicine.496 views
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Once a group gets large enough, they take you all in and a female ninja guide explains the house's ninja trickery. Admission charged. Recommended is the set of tickets that admit you to the ninja house, castle, and Danjiri Museum.491 views
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488 views
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Ninja shop487 views
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Five-colored rice grains used for secret communication.485 views
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Five-colored rice grains used for secret communication.483 views
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Kitchen472 views
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For an extra 200 yen, you can watch the ninja show right next to the ninja house.471 views
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Female ninja470 views
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Cushion470 views
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458 views
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More secret ninja language.455 views
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Iga-ryu Ninja House is in Ueno Park which includes Iga-Ueno Castle nearby.453 views
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Inside ninja museum which is in a former rice warehouse.451 views
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Ninja doll on a pole.451 views
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448 views
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Iga-ryu Ninja House is a thatched-roof house whose roof once caught fire in the 1990s. It was rebuilt.447 views
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447 views
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Thatched-roof of Iga-ryu Ninja House.447 views
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Throwing sickles and shuriken.444 views
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441 views
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You have to applaud once in a while.439 views
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Even ninja get thirsty.428 views
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Rope knots hung on roof eaves, etc., were also used for communication.426 views
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419 views
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Veranda of Iga-ryu Ninja House 414 views
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Shuriken throwing.411 views
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Everywhere you go in Iga-Ueno, you see a ninja motif.400 views
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Iga-ryu Ninja House garden. They take you in groups, so you may have to wait a while before you can go in.399 views
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Another ninja museum.391 views
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Iga-Ueno Ninja Festa poster391 views
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388 views
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The shrine is dedicated to Sarutahiko and Ukano-mitama. Sarutahiko is a god which serves as a pathfinder guide. Deities for land/sea transportation safety. 二見378 views
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Ninjas under cherry blossoms.373 views
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See many people wearing ninja costumes during the ninja festa.368 views
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Where you can rent a ninja costume.367 views
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Futami Okitama Shrine does not have a main hall (Honden) like most other shrines. It worships the Okitama Sacred Stone in the ocean beyond the Wedded Rocks. 二見興玉神社344 views
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Even the trains have a ninja (female) paint job.344 views
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During April and early May, they hold the annual ninja festa.323 views
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The Wedded Rocks are part of Futami Okitama Shrine known for frog sculptures. 二見興玉神社322 views
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Tsu Castle, Ushitora turret313 views
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The Wedded Rocks are actually a type of torii gate for worshipping the Okitama Sacred Stone in the ocean.307 views1 comments
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Statue of Lord Takatora Todo, who became the 11th lord of the castle in 1608. He is revered for revamping the castle and developing the castle town of Tsu. He was originally from Inugami, Shiga Pref. This statue was built in 1998.287 views
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Iga-Ueno really plays up its ninja past. 270 views
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Map of Ise Jingu's Naiku Shrine. First you cross Uji Bridge.266 views
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Ninja paint job on a train.265 views
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Wedded Rocks with a new rope. Japan has numerous other Wedded Rocks and stones, but this is by far the most famous.261 views
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Map of Naiku at Ise Jingu Shrine and adjacent area.255 views
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Iga-Ueno Castle is one of three major tourist attractions in the city of Iga. It is a short walk from Ueno-shi Station on the Kintetsu Iga Line.249 views
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Five ropes are being positioned and made taut.238 views
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The frog is Sarutahiko's messenger. Frog is called "kaeru" in Japanese, which is a homonym for the another word meaning "return home." If you travel a lot, pray here for a safe return. 夫婦岩235 views
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All the while, the cheering section chants and wave streamers.224 views
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Close up map of Naiku. An adjacent plot next the shrine is for the next rebuilding of the shrine. The current, 20-year-old Naiku shrine is on an adjacent plot of land.220 views It takes 8 years to rebuild the Naiku shrine. So 12 years from now, they will start the rebuilding process all over again. Numerous ceremonies are held for this rebuilding, but only a few of them can be seen by the public.
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Inabe Shrine, where the Oyashiro Matsuri or Ageuma festival is held on the first Sat. and Sun. of April (if it falls on the 1st and 2nd, the festival is held on the 8th and 9th) in Toin, Mie Prefecture. A 15-min. walk from Toin Station on the Sangi Line.216 views
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Replacing the rope for the Wedded Rocks, Mie Pref.215 views
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The job is finished.214 views
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The torii on the larger rock is quite small. The sacred rope is replaced three times a year on May 5, September 5, and at the end of December.207 views
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The rope installers return to shore.205 views
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The ropes are now completely cut, breaking the bond between the two rocks.199 views
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Men carry spanking-new shimenawa ropes to the rocks.198 views
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The men begin to cut off the old rope. Those sharp sickles soon made short work of the old sacred ropes which were brought ashore in small pieces.195 views
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5月5日、9月5日と12月下旬には夫婦岩の大注連縄の張り替え神事が行われる。これらの写真は5月5日に撮影された。186 views
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Iga-Ueno's Ueno Park includes this beautiful building called the Haisei-den (俳聖殿), a hall dedicated to Haiku poet Matsuo Basho who was from Iga-Ueno.185 views
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The new ropes are strung across the two rocks. A small rope tied to the end of the large rope is used to pull the large rope up the rock.176 views
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The ceremony attracts a large crowd.173 views
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The shimenawa rope actually consists of five smaller ropes. They cut the ropes one by one.171 views
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Ueno-shi Station171 views
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The shimenawa rope bonding the Wedded Rocks is replaced three times a year. May 5, when these photos were taken, is one of the days when they replace the rope. First, they gathered at the shrine at 10 am for a 30-min. prayer ceremony.164 views
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Pieces of the old rope. Anyone could take home the pieces of old sacred rope if they wanted.161 views
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158 views
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Castle wall facing the street156 viewsWhen you walk to Tsu Castle from the bus stop, this is what you first see. It is obviously a flatland-type castle. Tsu Castle was first built in 1580 by Oda Nobukane, the younger brother of warlord Oda Nobunaga.
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Lantern and sunset at Futami Okitama Shrine156 views
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150 views
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Noted for cherry blossoms, Kyuka Park is on the site of Kuwana Castle which was occupied by Honda Tadakatsu.144 viewsAdjacent 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. Photo: Kuwana sign at Kuwana Station.
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Making sure that the rope is aligned and positioned correctly.143 views
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Ise Jingu Shrine's Naiku (Inner Shrine) is the main and most popular shrine at Ise. The shrine is rebuilt every 20 years and 2013 will mark the completion of the new shrine to replace the old one built in 1993.143 views
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One by one, the men carefully positioned the new sacred ropes on the two Rocks. All the while, young children and young men are chanting on the shore.141 views
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Sunset at Futami Okitama Shrine. In the old days when traveling was a hazardous undertaking in Japan, pilgrims who traveled to worship at the Ise Grand Shrines prayed here for a safe return home.137 views
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The second rope is installed.136 views
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Nyutoku-mon Gate134 views
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Ise Jingu shrine maidens look the same as any other shrine maidens. They are likely college students hired just for New Year's to sell goods.134 views
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Moat133 views
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Iga-Ueno Castle and cherry blossoms, Mie Prefecture.131 views
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Iga-Ueno Castle and cherry blossoms, Mie Prefecture. During the Meiji Restoration, Ueno Castle's structures were dismantled as with many other castles.130 views
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The old rope is taken away.125 views
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The first rope is wound around both rocks.125 views
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124 views
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Ushitora turret entrance (not open)121 views
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Garden in Nishinomaru121 views
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Three-story Ushitora turret, reconstructed in 1958.120 viewsThis is the only significant building remaining of the castle.
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Statue of Basho at Ueno-shi Station.117 views
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112 views
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111 views
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Todo Takatora's helmet108 views
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Map of Toin town, Mie. Many thanks to my friends Tomoyo and Shunji in Toin-cho for taking me to see this festival.106 views
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Ushitora turret99 views
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Ushitora turret and stone wall99 views
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Kyuka Park moat near Shichiri-no-watashi.98 views
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The narrow gauge makes the trains narrower too.97 views
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Moat96 views
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The line's train tracks has an extra narrow gauge.95 views
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Statue of Lord Honda Tadakatsu at Kyuka Park. 本多忠勝95 views
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Kuwana (43rd post town on the Tokaido) from his "Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road" series. People traveling by boat to Kuwana from Miya.95 views
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Moat90 views
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The bottleneck at Naiku was this little torii which most people wanted to walk through at the top of the steps. People like me who didn't have time opted to go up the steps on the right side in no time. 90 views
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Look how small the offertory box is at Ise Jingu's Naiku. The one at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo is like half the size of a football field. Of course, Ise Jingu just doesn't have the space for it.90 views
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Tokaido Road in Kuwana-juku.88 views
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Entering Geku shrine at Ise.88 views
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About 300-400 meters to the Naiku shrine, it got congested. It took about an hour to reach the foot of the steps going up to the shrine.88 views
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Naiku shrine and torii are in sight at the top of the steps ahead. We were told that it would take more than an hour just to get up these steps. However, we could walk up the steps quickly on the right edge of the steps.87 views
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I wondered how much I should donate for this sake. I just dropped a 100 yen coin and probably got 20 yen worth of sake. At Atsuta Shrine (one of Japan's Big Three shrines) in Nagoya, they have a nice big hall where they serve hot tea and sweets for 87 viewsNothing like that here.
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Samurai armor79 views
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Foundation of the castle tower (rear)78 views
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Ise manhole depicting Ise Jingu pilgrims. Mie Pref.78 views
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Park fountain in the castle grounds77 views
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Collecting coins at Taka-no-miya Shrine 多賀宮.76 views
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Castle wall72 viewsThe stone wall is long, and the entrance to the castle grounds is on the far end, in front of the three-story Ushitora turret.
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Foundation of the castle tower72 viewsThe 5-story castle tower was destroyed in 1600 during the Battle of Sekigahara. It was never rebuilt.
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Look how small the offertory box is at Geku.72 views
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Roof horns at Ise Jingu's Naiku.72 views
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It takes 8 years to rebuild the Naiku shrine. So 12 years from now, they will start the rebuilding process all over again. Numerous ceremonies are held for this rebuilding, but only a few of them can be seen by the public.71 views
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Collecting coins.70 views
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High walls prevent us from seeing the sacred shrine buildings of Naiku. Photography is not allowed inside these walls so don't try to use a long pole with a camera attached to take pictures. There are guards everywhere. 69 views
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Geku Outer Shrine at Ise Jingu.68 views
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Inner stone wall67 views
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Foundation of the castle tower (side view)67 views
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A short walk from Ueno Park is the Basho Oseika (芭蕉翁生家) or Basho's childhood home. Iga is the birthplace of Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), and the house where he grew up in still stands.67 views
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Inside Iga Ueno Danjiri Museum.63 views
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The moment after this shot was taken, this baton hit my camera lens and bounced off. A kid nearby quickly picked up the dropped baton. That's okay, I let him have it. My gift to the local people.61 views
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Stone wall in the Honmaru60 views
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Iga-yaki ceramic statue of Basho inside the Haisei-den.60 views
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The festival's main event is the Ageuma (Leaping or Rising Horse) ceremony held 12 times on Sat. and six times on Sun. One of the horses to be used. The Ageuma is unique to Mie and started here at Inabe Shrine.60 views
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My camera was fine. Nothing broken, but the edge of my lens filter had a slight dent...60 views
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Oyashiro Festival poster.60 views
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Iga Ueno Danjiri Museum60 views
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The study is a very simple, yet aesthetic and meditative-looking room.59 views
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Top floor57 views
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Bust of Kawasaki Katsu.57 views
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The end of the slope where the horse is to leap over the steep earthen wall. Cherry trees accent the steep incline. The horse gallops and full speed for about 500 meters before encountering this steep incline.57 views
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Toin Station on the Sangi Railway Hokusei Line.57 views
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In 1611, Todo Takatora took over Ueno Castle. Iga-Ueno Castle is also a major cherry blossom spot in early April.56 views
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Iga-Ueno Castle and cherry blossoms, Mie Prefecture.56 views
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Inside the castle tower is the Iga Museum of Culture and Industry. This is the first floor.56 views
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The Ageuma or Leaping Horse ceremony is only one of the religious ceremonies held during the Oyashiro Festival. The god of wooden architecture is one of the gods Inabe Shrine worships. Carpenters from this area built Horyuji and Todaiji in Nara.56 views
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This earthen wall looks like 2 or 3 meters high. This festival is unique to Mie Prefecture. A similar and much more crowded Ageuma ceremony is held at Tado Shrine also in Mie and not far from Inabe Shrine.56 views
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There are six jockeys, all local teenage boys, chosen by lottery. They have to be quite brave to undertake the Ageuma ceremony since accidents and injuries do happen. Some parents refuse to allow their sons to be chosen.56 views
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Next horse up. In the past, they spiked the horse with stimulants to make it more excited, but they discontinued that practice.56 views
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Next to the Waki-Honjin was the Honjin whose site is now occupied by this building.56 views
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Iga-Ueno Castle was first built by Takigawa Katsutoshi, a vassal of Kitabatake Nobuaki (Oda Nobuo, Nobunaga's second son). In 1585, Tsutsui Sadatsugu took over.55 views initiated construction of Iga Ueno Castle in 1585. He was followed by Tsutsui Sadatsugu
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In 1980, Ueno Castle served as a backdrop for Kurosawa Akira's movie, Kagemusha.55 views
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This is what the steep incline looks like from the other side. The galloping horse must manage to leap up and over the steep wall called the Agezaka (上げ坂).55 views
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The rider looks relieved, and proud to have a lifetime memory.55 views
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The victorious rider holds out a fan and sings a victory song. People celebrate the imminent abundant harvest.55 views
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One end of the riding course.55 views
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Sign explaining Kuwana's Honjin and Waki-Honjin.55 views
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One of the tallest castle walls in Japan.54 views
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Kitchen area with a well on the left and stoves toward the right.54 views
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The house is open to the public as a tourist attraction (admission 300 yen). The house was rebuilt after it being damaged by a large earthquake in 1854.54 views
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On both sides are special spectator seating (decorated in red/white) for the shrine priests and VIPs. These photos were taken on April 5, 2009.54 views
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Noted for cherry blossoms, Kyuka Park is on the site of Kuwana Castle which was occupied by Honda Tadakatsu. 54 views
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View from atop Iga-Ueno Castle.53 views
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The back of the house is Basho's study called Chogetsuken (釣月軒) where he wrote the Kai-ooi (貝おほい) series of poems.53 views
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The horse gets stuck as its hind legs cannot push off from any surface. It kept kicking its hind legs as it desperately tried to get over the embankment and it finally did. This was the first run of the day on Sunday.53 views
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Building on the site of Kuwana-juku's Waki-Honjin. It is a ryokan inn.53 views
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Site of Kuwana-juku's Honjin.53 views
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Map of Kyuka Park on the site of Kuwana Castle.53 views
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A short walk from Iga-Ueno Castle and almost next to the ninja house, the Haisei-den was built in 1942 to mark the 300th anniversary of Basho's birth. 52 views
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Before the festival, the six riders undergo a period of purification in the morning and evening in the river. On the day of the festival, they bathe in the river. This one is getting on the horse.52 views
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Iga-Ueno from his "Famous Views of the 60 Provinces" series. The castle can be seen in the distance.52 views
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They are still excavating a few areas of the castle for historical remains. I visited in April 2009.51 views
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Stone marker for Ueno Castle located in Ueno Park. Officially called Ueno Castle and nicknamed Hakuho Castle or Iga-Ueno Castle. Noted for cherry blossoms in April and the highest castle walls in Japan.51 views
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Iga-Ueno Castle and cherry blossoms, Mie Prefecture.51 views
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Iga-Ueno Castle's donjon or tenshu tower was reconstructed in 1935 by Kawasaki Katsu, a local politician, using his own funds.51 views
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Room inside Basho's childhood home.51 views
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Stairs to the bleachers which are actually compartments of sitting areas. The bleachers line both sides of the course leading to the steep incline. 51 views
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The jockeys wera a colorful costume, the hanagasa hat has a different decoration (pine tree, peony, iris, etc.) for each jockey. Each jockey represents a local district in Toin town.51 views
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51 views
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Statue of Lord Honda Tadakatsu at Kyuka Park, site of his Kuwana Castle.51 views
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Ise-shi Station platform upon arrival on Jan. 1, 2013. Ise Jingu's Geku Outer Shrine is a short walk from this station.51 views
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Uji Bridge is made of hinoki cypress wood. The bridge columns are made of keyaki.51 views
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Todo Takatora was originally from Omi or neighboring Shiga Prefecture.50 views
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You could jump off into the moat below. No fences, so watch your kids.50 views
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The wall has a notch in the middle for the horse to leap up and over. Inabe Shrine's Ageuma ceremony is older than Tado Shrine's. The festival was started in 1192 by the local castle lord and shrine priest to strengthen the spirit of the youth.50 views
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The running course is quite short, maybe 100-150 meters. It cannot be too long or else the horse will get too tired to make the final leap.50 views
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