Most viewed - MIE 三重県
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Kunoichi female ninja guide1804 views
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Ninja disguises1524 views
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Ninja costumes1507 views
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An altar in the Iga-ryu Ninja House.1182 views
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Pepper bombs to blind you.1107 views
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Lets you escape to the next room instantly, or climb up or down the ladder on the right wall.1090 views
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What would a ninja museum be without a display of shuriken?1011 views
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The first demo is this swinging wall.994 views
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Meoto-Iwa Wedded Rocks off the coast of Futami-cho, Ise city, Mie Prefecture. 夫婦岩940 views
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This is a staircase concealed as a shelf.913 views
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Ninja swords are short and straight with no curvature.888 views
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788 views
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Sword hidden in the floor.760 views
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752 views
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Another wall door that leads to the basement tunnel.748 views
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Ueno-shi Station has ninja dolls to greet you.746 views
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Now a shelf. It leads to the attic.739 views
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Emergency escape hatch whose lock can be quickly released with a sheet of paper.733 views
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Entrance to the basement.725 views
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Ninja swords.715 views
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Hidden floor compartment where they hid their valuables outside the house.712 views
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When you push in the end of this floor plank, it opens up to reveal a sword.700 views
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687 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.678 views
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Lock picks646 views
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Another swinging wall door.642 views
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Bamboo sticks concealing a sword.614 views
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There she goes.604 views
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Inside the Iga-ryu Ninja House.602 views
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Storefront shutter with ninja drawings.601 views
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Inside the Iga-ryu Ninja House599 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.598 views
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Flipper-like clogs to walk through swamps596 views
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583 views
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Nakayama Emiri, a TV personality, tries to throw shuriken.582 views
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578 views
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Iron claws577 views
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Female ninja climbing over a wall.560 views
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556 views
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547 views
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Sword demo540 views
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535 views
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535 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.533 views
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Kitchen in Iga-ryu Ninja House.531 views
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530 views
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Iga-ryu Ninja Museum 527 views
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522 views
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520 views
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507 views
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Iga-ryu Ninja House ninja show.506 views
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Duel to the death.491 views
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Kitchen area in Iga-ryu Ninja House.489 views
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Revolving door of Iga-ryu Ninja House 486 views
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Shuruken takes skill to throw.484 views
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Making medicine.482 views
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478 views
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Ninja shop478 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.477 views
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Five-colored rice grains used for secret communication.473 views
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Five-colored rice grains used for secret communication.472 views
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470 views
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Female ninja460 views
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For an extra 200 yen, you can watch the ninja show right next to the ninja house.458 views
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Cushion458 views
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Kitchen455 views
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More secret ninja language.445 views
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443 views
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Ninja doll on a pole.443 views
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Iga-ryu Ninja House is in Ueno Park which includes Iga-Ueno Castle nearby.440 views
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436 views
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Inside ninja museum which is in a former rice warehouse.435 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.433 views
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Thatched-roof of Iga-ryu Ninja House.433 views
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Throwing sickles and shuriken.433 views
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432 views
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430 views
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You have to applaud once in a while.427 views
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Even ninja get thirsty.420 views
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Rope knots hung on roof eaves, etc., were also used for communication.414 views
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408 views
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Veranda of Iga-ryu Ninja House 399 views
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Shuriken throwing.399 views
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Everywhere you go in Iga-Ueno, you see a ninja motif.391 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.385 views
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Another ninja museum.379 views
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Iga-Ueno Ninja Festa poster379 views
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375 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369 views
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Ninjas under cherry blossoms.365 views
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Where you can rent a ninja costume.359 views
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See many people wearing ninja costumes during the ninja festa.358 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334 views
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Even the trains have a ninja (female) paint job.328 views
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During April and early May, they hold the annual ninja festa.316 views
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The Wedded Rocks are part of Futami Okitama Shrine known for frog sculptures. 二見興玉神社315 views
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Tsu Castle, Ushitora turret304 views
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The Wedded Rocks are actually a type of torii gate for worshipping the Okitama Sacred Stone in the ocean.303 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 1998.274 views
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Map of Ise Jingu's Naiku Shrine. First you cross Uji Bridge.260 views
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Iga-Ueno really plays up its ninja past. 258 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.256 views
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Ninja paint job on a train.252 views
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Map of Naiku at Ise Jingu Shrine and adjacent area.247 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.243 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231 views
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Five ropes are being positioned and made taut.229 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.216 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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All the while, the cheering section chants and wave streamers.214 views
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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.212 views
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The job is finished.210 views
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Replacing the rope for the Wedded Rocks, Mie Pref.206 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.202 views
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The rope installers return to shore.201 views
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Men carry spanking-new shimenawa ropes to the rocks.193 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.191 views
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The ropes are now completely cut, breaking the bond between the two rocks.191 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。181 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.179 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.170 views
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The ceremony attracts a large crowd.169 views
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The shimenawa rope actually consists of five smaller ropes. They cut the ropes one by one.167 views
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Ueno-shi Station163 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.160 views
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Pieces of the old rope. Anyone could take home the pieces of old sacred rope if they wanted.156 views
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Castle wall facing the street152 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 Shrine151 views
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Noted for cherry blossoms, Kyuka Park is on the site of Kuwana Castle which was occupied by Honda Tadakatsu.140 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.139 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.137 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.133 views
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The second rope is installed.132 views
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Nyutoku-mon Gate130 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 1993.130 views
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Moat129 views
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The old rope is taken away.121 views
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The first rope is wound around both rocks.121 views
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Iga-Ueno Castle and cherry blossoms, Mie Prefecture.121 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.119 views
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Ushitora turret entrance (not open)117 views
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Garden in Nishinomaru117 views
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Three-story Ushitora turret, reconstructed in 1958.116 viewsThis is the only significant building remaining of the castle.
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Statue of Basho at Ueno-shi Station.111 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.105 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.102 views
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Todo Takatora's helmet101 views
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Ushitora turret95 views
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Ushitora turret and stone wall95 views
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Kyuka Park moat near Shichiri-no-watashi.94 views
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The narrow gauge makes the trains narrower too.93 views
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Moat92 views
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The line's train tracks has an extra narrow gauge.91 views
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Statue of Lord Honda Tadakatsu at Kyuka Park. 本多忠勝91 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.91 views
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Moat86 views
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Tokaido Road in Kuwana-juku.84 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. 81 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.80 views
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Entering Geku shrine at Ise.79 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.79 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.78 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 77 viewsNothing like that here.
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Foundation of the castle tower (rear)74 views
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Samurai armor74 views
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Park fountain in the castle grounds73 views
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Ise manhole depicting Ise Jingu pilgrims. Mie Pref.72 views
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Collecting coins at Taka-no-miya Shrine 多賀宮.69 views
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Castle wall68 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 tower68 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.65 views
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Roof horns at Ise Jingu's Naiku.65 views
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Collecting coins.64 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.64 views
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Inner stone wall63 views
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Foundation of the castle tower (side view)63 views
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Geku Outer Shrine at Ise Jingu.62 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. 62 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.61 views
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Inside Iga Ueno Danjiri Museum.58 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.57 views
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Stone wall in the Honmaru56 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.56 views
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My camera was fine. Nothing broken, but the edge of my lens filter had a slight dent...56 views
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Oyashiro Festival poster.56 views
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Iga-yaki ceramic statue of Basho inside the Haisei-den.54 views
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Iga Ueno Danjiri Museum54 views
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The study is a very simple, yet aesthetic and meditative-looking room.53 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.53 views
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Toin Station on the Sangi Railway Hokusei Line.53 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.52 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.52 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.52 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.52 views
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Next to the Waki-Honjin was the Honjin whose site is now occupied by this building.52 views
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Top floor51 views
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Bust of Kawasaki Katsu.51 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).51 views
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The rider looks relieved, and proud to have a lifetime memory.51 views
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The victorious rider holds out a fan and sings a victory song. People celebrate the imminent abundant harvest.51 views
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One end of the riding course.51 views
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Sign explaining Kuwana's Honjin and Waki-Honjin.51 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.50 views
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Iga-Ueno Castle and cherry blossoms, Mie Prefecture.50 views
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Inside the castle tower is the Iga Museum of Culture and Industry. This is the first floor.50 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, 2009.50 views
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Noted for cherry blossoms, Kyuka Park is on the site of Kuwana Castle which was occupied by Honda Tadakatsu. 50 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.49 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.49 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.49 views
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Building on the site of Kuwana-juku's Waki-Honjin. It is a ryokan inn.49 views
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Site of Kuwana-juku's Honjin.49 views
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Map of Kyuka Park on the site of Kuwana Castle.49 views
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One of the tallest castle walls in Japan.48 views
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Kitchen area with a well on the left and stoves toward the right.48 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 1854.48 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.48 views
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View from atop Iga-Ueno Castle.47 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.47 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. 47 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.47 views
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Statue of Lord Honda Tadakatsu at Kyuka Park, site of his Kuwana Castle.47 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.47 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.47 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.46 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. 46 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.46 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.46 views
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They are still excavating a few areas of the castle for historical remains. I visited in April 2009.45 views
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Iga-Ueno Castle and cherry blossoms, Mie Prefecture.45 views
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Room inside Basho's childhood home.45 views
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Men await for the horse on the incline. They help to get the horse over the top and prevent injury to the rider.45 views
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After a few hind-leg kicks, the horse manages to go over. When the horse goes over, it is an omen that this year's harvest will be abundant. Imagine the enormous pressure on the rider to go over the top.45 views
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This horse was the most successful of the day. It made a clean leap in one try.45 views
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Riders make a "victory lap" within the shrine grounds.45 views
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And there he is.45 views
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The best part of Kyuka Park is in the Ninomaru area.45 views
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