Most viewed - CHIBA 千葉県
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The biggest taiko drum festival in the Kanto region is held annually in April. Various taiko drum troupes perform for two full days on various outdoor stages in Narita, including the main stage in front of the Narita-san temple.1353 views
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White weeping cherry blossoms1329 views
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All the baby-carrying men must be careful not to slip and fall in the mud. Warabi Hadaka Matsuri in Yotsukaido, Chiba.948 views
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I can't see... That's what he said: "Mienai" The kids nearby were screaming with laughter.815 views
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Mud Brings Happiness, at Warabi Hadaka Matsuri in Yotsukaido, Chiba.813 views
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Statue of an ama woman diver sitting on a rock on the Onjuku Station train platform. These women dived deep in the ocean (without scuba gear) from small boats to harvest shellfish and other seafood.812 views
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Actress Riho Makise throwing setsubun beans at Narita-san807 views
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New Status Symbol at Warabi Hadaka Matsuri in Yotsukaido, Chiba.786 views
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Musashimaru and Dejima769 views
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The End(s)735 views
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Mud Spotting, Warabi Hadaka Matsuri in Yotsukaido, Chiba. The men hold babies and use mud to paint a mud spot on the baby's face. It is to wish for happiness for the baby.718 views
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A large banner adorns JR Matsudo Station (Joban Line) to celebrate Matsudo native and astronaut Yamazaki Naoko's return to Earth from her Space Shuttle mission in April 2010.708 views
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Naoko Yamazaki gets help in the donning of her shuttle launch and entry suit in preparation for a water survival training session...700 views17 Sept. 2009 --- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, STS-131 mission specialist, gets help in the donning of her shuttle launch and entry suit in preparation for a water survival training session in the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) near NASA's Johnson Space Center. United Space Alliance suit technicians assisted Yamazaki.
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A Touch of Mud. One custom is to receive a touch of mud on your face.692 views
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Being next to the Pacific Ocean, Chiba has quite a few festivals held on the beach. The Kazusa Junisha Matsuri is one of the larger ones. Sept. 13, 2009 (Sun.) was the main festival day when they went in the water at the beach. 691 views
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Keep in mind that this is in the middle of winter.675 views
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Mud Fight665 views
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Musashimaru throws setsubun beans at Narita-san658 views
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Musashimaru gets his setsubun beans at Narita-san.631 views
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Baby Blessings at Warabi Hadaka Matsuri in Yotsukaido, Chiba. Infants are blessed in front of the shrine.609 views
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After warming up at the fire, they run back to the mud.583 views
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Mud Fight. After clashing and crashing to the mud, they throw mud at each other.568 views
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Sacred Water (and Mud). On the the left, the water feeding the paddy is enclosed by a sacred rope. This makes the water (and mud) sacred.564 views
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Warm Up564 views
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They are in the mud for only a few minutes. Then they go back up to the shrine nearby and warm up near a fire. They go back and forth between the shrine and mud paddy about 4 or 5 times.555 views
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Babies to Mud at Warabi Hadaka Matsuri in Yotsukaido, Chiba. The men carry babies to the mud paddy and use a straw strand to paint a dot on the baby. Sometimes they use a finger to do it.539 views
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Bag of beans. I caught this from Dejima. They throw little bags of beans instead of individual beans. Bean bags are much easier to catch and to clean up afterward.539 views
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Mud for All Ages505 views
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The festival is also nicknamed "Doronko Matsuri" which means Mud Festival.498 views
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Mud on Your Face: Fashionable, at Warabi Hadaka Matsuri in Yotsukaido, Chiba.496 views
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Narita-san Setsubun bean throwers. Sumo wrestlers, Nishida Hikaru, Makise Riho, etc.492 views
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Hikaru Nishida at center in red for Naritasan Setsubun in Feb. 2001.490 views
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A Man and a Baby at Warabi Hadaka Matsuri in Yotsukaido, Chiba.468 views
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Mimusubi Shrine, Yotsukaido, Chiba. The small shrine that conducts the festival. (皇産霊神社)460 views
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View of Chiba Park from monorail. 綿打池449 views
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Men Take Strands of Straw429 views
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Mud Slinging427 views
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Preparing unagi eel, Narita, Chiba. Also see the video at YouTube.416 viewsSlicing it in half lengthwise.
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Narita Gion Matsuri410 views
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Mud Fight Round 2406 views
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Some babies wear beautiful kimono for the occasion.397 views
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Cherry blossoms and Chiba Castle381 views
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Mud Paddy. Main site of the Warabi Hadaka Matsuri held every Feb. 25.373 views
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Naoko Yamazaki, STS-131 mission specialist, addresses a large crowd of well-wishers at the STS-131 crew return ceremony on April 21, 2010 at Ellington Field...371 views21 April 2010 --- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, STS-131 mission specialist, addresses a large crowd of well-wishers at the STS-131 crew return ceremony on April 21, 2010 at Ellington Field near NASA's Johnson Space Center.
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Tired from walking, Narita Gion Matsuri359 views
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Chiba Castle as seen from Kencho-mae monorail station.356 views
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Narita-san temple's main hall.351 views
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Chiba Castle349 views
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Cherry blossoms and Chiba Castle347 views
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Group photo of bean throwers. Sumo wrestlers at the top.344 views
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Statue of Chiba-no-suke Tsuneshige built in Dec. 2001 to commemorate Chiba city's 80th anniversary. 千葉介常重331 viewsLord Chiba-no-suke Tsuneshige was the founder of Chiba Castle in 1126.
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Monorail to Chiba Koen Station 千葉公園駅327 views
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Chiba Park approach323 views
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Cleanup.323 views
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Exhibits inside the castle, a folk and history museum for the Chiba clan and Chiba city.312 views
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Poster for Setsubun in Feb. 2001. The following photos are from Feb. 3, 2001.312 views
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"Shidare" actually means "drooping."311 views
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Onjuku Beach is a wide, expansive beach. 御宿海岸304 views
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14 Sept. 2009 --- Naoko Yamazaki, attired in a training version of her shuttle launch and entry suit, participates in a training session...296 views14 Sept. 2009 --- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, STS-131 mission specialist, attired in a training version of her shuttle launch and entry suit, participates in a training session near one of the full-scale trainers in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
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Held in July, Narita Gion Matsuri Festival has ornate floats pulled on the streets of Narita and to Narita-san temple. Pulling a float on the street294 views
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Narita-san Park's Ukimido Floating Hall292 views
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21 April 2010 --- Dr. Kuniaki Shiraki, executive director, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), addresses a large crowd of well-wishers at the STS-131 crew return ceremony on April 21, 2010 at Ellington Field near NASA's Johnson Space Center.288 views21 April 2010 --- Dr. Kuniaki Shiraki, executive director, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), addresses a large crowd of well-wishers at the STS-131 crew return ceremony on April 21, 2010 at Ellington Field near NASA's Johnson Space Center. Also pictured (seated from the left) are JSC director Michael L. Coats (mostly obscured), NASA astronauts Alan Poindexter, commander; James P. Dutton Jr., pilot; Rick Mastracchio, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki and NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson, all mission specialists.
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White weeping cherry blossoms279 views
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Skewering the eel. Also see the video at YouTube.277 views
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Names of celebrity bean throwers in 2001. They include actresses Hikaru Nishida and sumo wrestlers Yokozuna Akebono, Musashimaru, Dejima, and Asashoryu.276 views
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One great thing about this hadaka matsuri is that there are women as well. Most hadaka matsuri have only men.275 views
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Narita-san during Narita Gion Festival272 views
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Striping off the boney spine.272 views
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Some photos taken by Iwase. There are still ama divers in Onjuku, but they now wear wetsuits. No topless women.269 views
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Women too, while they are careful to prevent any nip slips.267 views
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Yotsukaido Station is on the JR Sobu Line on the way to Narita Airport. Map: http://www.kanko.chuo.chiba.jp/c_event/5705/261 views
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Pulling the float, Narita Gion Matsuri259 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.259 views
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Museum of Aeronautical Sciences257 viewsThe museum is right at the end of the runway of Narita International Airport.
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Ohara Hadaka Matsuri255 views
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Narita-san Dai-hondo main worship hall. These people are waiting to see the taiko drum performance. 大本堂252 views
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Narita Gion Matsuri251 views
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Gathering at Narita-san temple250 views
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When it's windy, the sand flies.247 views
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A prince and princess on camels. This monument was built in 1969. 月の沙漠242 views
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NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) director Michael L. Coats (center background) and the STS-131 crew members are pictured at the STS-131 crew return ceremony on April 21, 2010 at Ellington Field near JSC.240 views21 April 2010 --- NASA's Johnson Space Center (JSC) director Michael L. Coats (center background) and the STS-131 crew members are pictured at the STS-131 crew return ceremony on April 21, 2010 at Ellington Field near JSC. Pictured from the left are NASA astronauts Alan Poindexter, commander; James P. Dutton Jr., pilot; Rick Mastracchio, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki and NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson, all mission specialists.
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Platform for bean throwers.240 views
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Drum troupe from S. Korea238 views
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Priests at Narita-san.229 views
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Shopping area near Chiba Station228 views
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At 2 pm, the 18 portable shrines gather at the Ohara Fishing Port. 大原漁港に参集228 views
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Corners226 views
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Narita Gion Matsuri225 views
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Narita Gion Matsuri223 views
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Chiba Park223 views
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JR Chiba Station and Yokosuka Line223 views
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Offering prayers at Narita Gion Matsuri216 views
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Another room in the museum describes how the Spanish galleon "San Francisco" was shipwrecked on Onjuku Beach in 1609. Over 300 of the crew were rescued by local residents.215 views
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Narita-san Park's Ukimido Floating Hall209 views
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Outside JR Chiba Station208 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.205 views
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Path to Chiba Castle (visible on left)204 views
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Entrance to Inohana Park202 views
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Poster for a local festival.201 views
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Model of the shipwrecked Spanish galleon. The ama women divers even used their bodies to warm the bodies of the weak Spanish crewmen. This has led to friendly relations between Onjuku and Spain.197 views
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JR Chiba Station190 views
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Chiba Station as seen from the monorail190 views
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Also at night.190 views
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Last group189 views
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Deck189 views
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One thing unusual about this festival is that they carry the mikoshi with their hands and arms only, and not on their shoulders.189 views
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Many more portable shrines follow.189 views
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Festival poster for Sept. 23-24, 2004.189 views
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Naoko Yamazaki, attired in a training version of her shuttle launch and entry suit, participates in a training session in one of the full-scale trainers in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility at Johnson Space Center.188 views14 Sept. 2009 --- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, STS-131 mission specialist, attired in a training version of her shuttle launch and entry suit, participates in a training session in one of the full-scale trainers in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center.
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Chiba Castle tower187 views
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Platform for bean throwers.187 views
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Picture of Iwase Yoshiyuki (1904-2001) who photographed many topless ama women divers in Onjuku during the 1930s to 1960s. He even organized photo shoots featuring the divers.186 views
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Tower of Peace, Narita-san Heiwa no Daito 平和の大塔185 views
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Beach volleyball courts. Should come back in summer.182 views
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Narita-san Park's Ukimido Floating Hall181 views
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Front view181 views
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Chiba Station and monorail181 views
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Onjuku Beach175 views
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Chiba Station as seen from the monorail172 views
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Narita-san priests170 views
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Statue of Chiba-no-suke Tsuneshige and Chiba Castle tower 千葉介常重170 viewsLord Chiba-no-suke Tsuneshige was the founder of Chiba Castle in 1126.
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JR Chiba Station platform170 views
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View from monorail170 views
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Vending machines170 views
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JR Chiba Station169 views
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Chiba Park weeping cherries167 views
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Chiba Castle and paper lanterns166 views
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Monument for "Desert of the Moon," a famous children's song created on Onjuku Beach in 1923 by Kato Masao (加藤まさを). (Tsuki no Sabaku) 月の沙漠165 views
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The small coastal town of Katsuura holds one of Japan's most impressive hina matsuri doll festival during late Feb. to early March. 165 viewsA whopping 25,000 hina ningyo dolls are displayed all over town. Photo: JR Katsuura Station on the Sotobo Line. Katsuura is about 2 hours from Tokyo on non-express trains. Board the Sotobo Line at Chiba Station.
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Chiba Castle Sakura Matsuri lantern164 views
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JR Onjuku Station on the Sotobo Line. From Tokyo Station, catch the Yokosuka or Sobu Line to Chiba Station, then switch to the Sotobo Line. Takes about 2 hours by local train. Faster by express train. There are no coin-operated lockers.163 views
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Negatives of photos taken by Iwase who was a sake brewer in Onjuku. He was an avid amateur shutterbug who tended to ignore his sake-brewing duties and went after the ama divers instead. (Can't blame him.)158 views
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Katsuura Big Hina Matsuri festival poster for 2010. Official Web site here158 views
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17 Sept. 2009 --- Naoko Yamazaki dons a training version of her shuttle launch and entry suit in preparation for a water survival training session...158 views17 Sept. 2009 --- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, STS-131 mission specialist, dons a training version of her shuttle launch and entry suit in preparation for a water survival training session in the waters of the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) near NASA's Johnson Space Center.
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2009 May 15 -- Checking the fit of her pressurized suit at Johnson Space Center.158 views
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Bekkoame candy stand157 views
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Chiba Park157 views
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From the beach, the portable shrines are paraded in town.157 views
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They run around while carrying a portable shrine.155 views
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Prayers at Narita-san154 views
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Inside Onjuku Station.154 views
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Chiba Koen Station 千葉公園駅153 views
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Chiba Station as seen from the monorail153 views
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Chiba Prefectural Capital153 views
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Kazusa Junisha Matsuri Festival, Ichinomiya, Chiba on Sept. 13, 2009.153 views
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View from monorail152 views
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Iwase took many precious photos of these young and old hardworking women. He put them in a book called Groups of Women Ama Divers. They were topless because it felt more comfortable.152 views
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They keep going round and round. Quite rowdy.151 views
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Katsuura fish market150 views
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Outside JR Chiba Station149 views
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Chiba Koen Station monorail145 views
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The road in front of Onjuku Station goes toward the beach. Follow the palm trees. A short walk to the beach.145 views
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A few hotels overlook the beach.145 views
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Windsurfing at Onjuku144 views
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Entrance to Chiba Monorail Station143 views
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9 Dec. 2009 --- Naoko Yamazaki dons a training version of her shuttle launch and entry suit in preparation for a training session in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility...143 views9 Dec. 2009 --- Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, STS-131 mission specialist, dons a training version of her shuttle launch and entry suit in preparation for a training session in the Space Vehicle Mock-up Facility at NASA's Johnson Space Center. United Space Alliance suit technician Toni Cost-Davis assisted Yamazaki.
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Chiba Monorail Station142 views
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Looks like a sand dune, but it's solid concrete looking like sand.142 views
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A man who got bumped and fell is quickly brought to his feet by other people.140 views
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Main stage at Narita-san temple.139 views
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Side entrance to Narita-san temple.139 views
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Tossing a portable shrine, a common sight during the festival.139 views
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Chiba Koen Station monorail platform 千葉公園駅138 views
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Taiko troupe from Okinawa137 viewsThis group stole the show with a dragon dance, lion dogs, and eisa taiko drummers.
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JR Chiba Station136 views
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Pink weeping cherry blossoms134 views
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Next to Onjuku Station is this tourist information office.133 views
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Also see my video at YouTube.132 views
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Old YS-11 prop plane.130 views
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Inside monorail130 views
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Entrance to Onjuku Beach. Onjuku has various Spanish touches.130 views
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Nice mikoshi.128 views
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Path to park exit127 views
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United Space Alliance crew trainer Robert (Rob) Tomaro briefs Naoko Yamazaki in preparation for a water survival training session...127 views17 Sept. 2009 --- United Space Alliance crew trainer Robert (Rob) Tomaro briefs Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Naoko Yamazaki, STS-131 mission specialist, in preparation for a water survival training session in the waters of the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory (NBL) near NASA's Johnson Space Center. Yamazaki is wearing a training version of her shuttle launch and entry suit.
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Komyodo Hall, Important Cultural Property at Narita-san. Built in 1701 and dedicated to the Dainichi Nyorai Buddha, the principal image of Shingon Buddhism. 光明堂126 views
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The beach sand is very fine.125 views
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Festival girls posing for me. They love the attention.125 views
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View from Kangun-zuka.125 views
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The men covered their bellies, while the women covered their bellies and chests.124 views
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Priests enter the temple at Narita-san.121 views
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This is where they offload fish.121 views
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Boats for rent120 views
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