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Symbol of Nagoya, golden shachihoko. Killer whale or fish with a tiger's head.482 viewsFirst believed to protect the building from disasters, but later served as the symbol of the castle lord's authority. The original pair was destroyed along with the castle tower during WWII, but they were remade in 1959 along with the castle tower. Later, they were recoated with gold. They gleam very well on sunny days. The male fish is on the right (north), and female (south) on the left.
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Box seats. Cramped space for four people.482 views
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Haniwa statues in Heiwadai Park, Miyazaki482 views
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Aloha Dalire teaching hula in Ikaho. The Hawaiian workshops were held at the Ikaho Kaikan Hall in central Ikaho. アロハ・ダリレが教えるフラセミナー482 views
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Entrance to Hibiya Park near the Imperial Palace and Ginze. One of Tokyo's most centrally-located parks. Free admission.482 views
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Two for the price of one!!481 views
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Bird's eye view of Shirakawa-go from Ogimachi Castle ruins.481 views
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To Dogenzaka and Center-gai arcade481 views
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Autumn Rose. Moss pink flowers have five petals with notches, looking like miniature cherry blossoms. The flowers are small. オータムローズ481 views
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8:40 am: Bag check480 views
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April 8, 2006 at Ushigome-Tansu Kumin Hall in Kagurazaka, Tokyo480 viewsStarting at 4 pm, this was the third and last show of the day and all 400 seats were sold out.

The performance had two parts separated by a 20-min. intermission. Each part had several different dances.
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Maki-bishi made of steel. Used for escape when they encountered an enemy. Many of the ninja's weapons were designed to buy time for the ninja to escape.480 views
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Numerous azalea bushes479 views
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Musashimaru's final dohyo-iri479 views
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Next to the Ninja house is the Koka Ninja Museum (Koka Ninjutsu Hakubutsukan). This was also a fomer house transplanted here. 甲賀忍術博物館479 views
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Nezu Shrine, Tokyo478 views
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George Washington is en route to Yokosuka, Japan, where the ship will replace the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) as the Navy's only forward deployed aircraft carrier.478 viewsPACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 28, 2008) The aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) transits off the coast of Southern California conducting its combat operations efficiency evaluation with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5. George Washington is en route to Yokosuka, Japan, where the ship will replace the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) as the Navy's only forward deployed aircraft carrier. U.S. Navy's only forward deployed aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communications Specialist Second Class Clifford L. H. Davis/Released)
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Musashimaru finally appears for a yokozuna belt demo477 views
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Nebuta Festival ねぶた祭477 viewsAomori
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Map on lookout deck.477 views
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The first mikoshi is for Takeinadane-no-Mikoto coming to visit his wife of Tamahime at Tagata Shrine, where Tamahime's residence was located.477 views
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Geisha Pair Outside Geisha House. These two geisha know how to pose for the camera. It looks like Kyoto. You can tell that they are geisha because of the shorter kimono sleeve, subdued kimono design (mostly black), and their clogs (for rainy weather).477 views
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Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) the Honorable Dr. Donald C. Winter delivers remarks at the arrival ceremony for the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73).477 viewsYOKOSUKA, Japan (Sept. 25, 2008) Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) the Honorable Dr. Donald C. Winter delivers remarks at the arrival ceremony for the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). George Washington's arrival from its former homeport of Norfolk, Va., marks the beginning of its role as the Navy's only permanently forward-deployed aircraft carrier and as centerpiece of the U.S. 7th Fleet's Carrier Strike Group Five. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Charles Oki/Released)
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More secret ninja language.477 views
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Portable shrine procession476 views
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Elizabeth mikoshi carried by she-males476 views
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Shuriken Dojo Hall 手裏剣道場476 views
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Ninja doll on a pole.476 views
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もっと奇麗に歩け475 views
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Sumo wrestler's hairstyle.475 views
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Iga-ryu Ninja House is in Ueno Park which includes Iga-Ueno Castle nearby.475 views
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The Sanno-sai Festival is held annually on April 12-15 at Hiyoshi Taisha Shrine in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture. Not to be confused with the Sanno Matsuri held by Hie Shrine in Tokyo. It centers on April 14, the shrine's most important day called Reisai.475 views
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8:37 am: We crossed the street to enter Imperial Palace grounds474 views
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Oh, I gotta take a picture of this...474 viewsLook at the gyoji referee who must be thinking, "C'mon, hurry up!"
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Yumitori-shiki bow-twirling ceremony474 views
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Townsend Harris and Commodore Perry 黒船来航・浦賀奉行473 views
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Tekomai Geisha, Fukagawa Hachiman Festival, Tokyo473 viewsTomioka Hachimangu Shrine in Fukagawa, Tokyo holds the full-scale Fukagawa Hachiman Festival every three years in August. It is a parade of over 50 portable shrines preceded by a troupe of tekomai geisha.

Their colorful costume is partially masculine with trousers instead of skirts. Their right shoulder is "exposed" to show a peony flower design. They carry a red paper lantern imprinted with their names and use their right hand to drag along a metal wand. As they walk, they only sing traditional chant-like songs. They do not dance.
See more photos of this festival here.
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His mom is next...473 views
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Mt. Naka-dake is Mt. Aso's most famous crater, Kumamoto 阿蘇山 中岳火口473 viewsMeasures 1 km wide north to south and 4 km east to west.
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Uradome Coast, Tottori473 views
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Inside ninja museum which is in a former rice warehouse.473 views
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Kanamara boat mikoshi472 views
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The Ninja House also displays autographs by celebrities who visited the house. This is actor Harrison Ford who visited in Feb. 2000. He came unannounced with a taxi driver, interpreter, and his son.472 views
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Thatched-roof of Iga-ryu Ninja House.472 views
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Saruwaka Sanza, Edo Kabuki471 views猿若三座 江戸歌舞伎
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Porsche470 views
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At sea aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Dec. 10, 2002 -- Sailors aboard the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) ship Chokai (DDF 176) come along side the Kitty Hawk to receive fuel during a replenishment at sea (RAS).470 viewsAt sea aboard USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) Dec. 10, 2002 -- Sailors aboard the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force (JMSDF) ship Chokai (DDF 176) come along side the Kitty Hawk to receive fuel during a replenishment at sea (RAS). Kitty Hawk had the opportunity to work with the JMSDF during exercises conducted earlier in the deployment. Kitty Hawk is the U. S. Navy’s only forward-deployed aircraft carrier and operates out of Yokosuka, Japan. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer’s Mate 3rd Class Todd Frantom. (RELEASED)
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Ichinomiya Station has both the JR Tokaido Line and Meitetsu Line. Ichinomiya literally means "Shrine No. 1."470 views
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Genroku Flower-Viewing Dance 元禄花見踊り469 views
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Hagoita Honey469 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.469 views
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Throwing sickles and shuriken.469 views
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Awa Odori Dance, Koenji, Tokyo468 viewsIn late August, Koenji in Tokyo holds one of the largest Awa Odori dances outside Tokushima Prefecture. This woman is a different type of Awa dancer. She wears a head band, a happi coat imprinted with the name of her dance troupe, a pair of white shorts, and a pair of white sock-like shoes called tabi.
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Tagata Shrine Honen-sai Festival. Also see the video at YouTube.468 views
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The Bunkyo Tsutsuji Matsuri or Azalea Festival is held from April to early May at Nezu Shrine which has a slope filled with 50 varieties of azaleas.468 views
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Hagoita Honey poses in Asakusa468 views
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Comic sumo (shokkiri sumo)467 viewsThis is comedy time with two young wrestlers performing various comical antics (spitting at each other, kicking, and other illegal sumo acts) on the ring.
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Snip by Kitanoumi, the head of the Japan Sumo Association467 views
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Back view467 views
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Hagoita Honey467 views
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Makushita sumo match466 viewsLower-division wrestlers wear black belts, while the upper division wrestlers wear white belts (during practice) or colored belts during official matches.
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Demonstration of matchlock guns, Azuchi Nobunaga Festival.466 viewsEven these people had to obtain police permission to bear and fire these feudal-era guns.
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Ladies in waiting (hey there, look up!)466 views下を向いたらあかん。
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Explanatory map of the Battle of Sekigahara466 views
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Men Take Strands of Straw465 views
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Press conference by Keiji Suzuki465 views
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Panoramic view of where the Battle of Sekigahara started. Most battle monuments are within walking distance from the train station, but they are numerous and spread over a wide area.465 viewsThe battle started at the foot of the hill on the left of the road. The small hill on the right was where Shimazu Yoshihiro was stationed. Mt. Ibuki is in the background in the middle.
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The upper walls have explanations about the Koka ninja and Mochizuki ninja family. "Koka" is the correct pronunciation, but the kanji can also be pronounced "Koga" which has become more common.465 views
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Koi-nobori carp streamers over Sagami River. Also see the video at YouTube.464 views
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Giant painted pictures of Musashimaru decorating the arena inside. Each one commemorates a tournament victory.464 viewsThese giant pictures are actually black-and-white photographs taken in a photo studio and printed on large paper. Then it is hand-painted in color by a woman who has been doing it for years.
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Akita bijin (beauties) promoting Akita rice464 views
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Lake Yamanaka463 views
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Musashimaru's final dohyo-iri463 views
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Bow twirling (called Yumitori-shiki) is the final ceremony at the end of the tournament day which is around 6 pm. 463 views
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Hummer462 viewsShe was charming...
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Warlord banners, left to right: Kuroda, Fukushima, Honda, and Tokugawa.462 views
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Kanamara mikoshi461 views
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Musashimaru's final dohyo-iri461 viewsHe could have had Yokozuna Asashoryu be either the sword bearer or dew sweeper, but he chose to have his stablemates to join his final dohyo-iri.
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You have to applaud once in a while.461 views
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More people than the real tournament460 viewsAbout 8,000 people took time out from their Golden Week holidays to see this official sumo practice of all sumo stables.
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Practice460 views
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The End of Hawaii's Golden Age in sumo. For the first time since 1968, no wrestler from Hawaii is in the top Makunouchi division.460 views
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Map of Hama-rikyu Gardens. Main entrance is on the upper left corner.460 views
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View of the Sekigahara battlefield from Tokugawa Ieyasu's first base camp.460 views
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460 viewsYOKOSUKA, Japan (Sept. 25 2008) The Nimitz-Class aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73) arrives at Fleet Activities Yokosuka. George Washington and Carrier Air Wing 5 will be operating from Fleet Activities Yokosuka as the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Josh Cassatt (Released)
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Held only once every 5 years, the Ibuki-yama Taiko Drum Dance was held on Oct. 3, 2010 in Ueno, a small neighborhood at the foot of Mt. Ibuki. 460 views
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Mud Slinging459 views
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Gunpowder case459 views
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Honda Motorcycles458 views
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9:20 am: Long line behind. If it's a sunny day, it's sunburn time. We waited here for over 30 min.458 views
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The Ninja house was built in 1842. There is a guide (dressed in ninja costume) inside to show you around.458 views1 comments
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Banners mark the site where the battle started.457 views
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Konomiya Hadaka Festival, Inazawa, Aichi Pref.457 views
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在原業平 東下り456 views
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Sankin Kotai Daimyo Gyoretsu palanquin. This is how the daimyo traveled--in a comfortable box hand-carried by men. 参勤交代 大名行列456 views
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The scissors (golden)456 viewsI think it was given by French President Chirac who is a sumo fan.
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Toshi-gami deity of harvests is pulled on a palanquin instead of being carried.456 views
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Ninja costumes for sale. 10,000 yen for adult costume, and 7,000 yen for children's size.456 views
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Nihon Sankei - Amanohashidate455 views日本三景 天橋立 - "Nihon Sankei" means the Scenic Trio of Japan. This is one of them, Amanohashidate in northern Kyoto. It is simply a sand bar with pine trees growing on it. Since it looks like a bridge (and actually serves as a bridge for pedestrians and bicycles), "Amanohashidate" means Bridge of Heaven. It has been the subject of poets and artists for centuries. This popular view can be had from a hilltop park nearby.

The Scenic Trio was thought to have originated in the 17th century when a Confucian scholar named 林春斎 traveled all over Japan and declared in writing that these three places were the best.

Place: Amanohashidate, Kyoto.
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Omi-Maiko Station on JR Kosei Line. It makes it easy for people in Kyoto to visit Omi-Maiko. MAP455 viewsSign says "Welcome to Omi-Maiko." Omi-Maiko was in the former town of Shiga-cho that merged into Otsu.
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Right view from Nijubashi Bridge. In the distance, you can see another parallel bridge which leads directly into the inner grounds of the palace. We will cross that bridge too. There is also the castle-like structure called the Fushimi Turret.455 views
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Filling up the plaza455 views
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Okazaki Castle tower455 viewsThe castle was dismantled during the Meiji Period and the area was made into a castle park. The castle tower was later rebuilt in 1959.
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Stairs to go back down to the 1st floor. There's a rotating door. Ninja worked behind the scenes and were very secretive. They hardly told others about their activites nor left written records. Sometimes they worked as spies or mole.455 views
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Maiko with umbrella. The quickest way to tell if she is a geisha or maiko is by looking at her back. The tell-tale sign of a maiko is her long obi sash hanging down behind. Whereas the geisha's sash has a short knot instead.455 views1 comments
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Towel throwing454 viewsThere were women in the middle the hall also throwing towels to people sitting further back.
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Yamaha Gen-Ryu motorcycle454 views
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Musashimaru acknowledges a spectator as he proceeds to the ring.454 viewsThis was a demonstration on how they tie on the thick, white rope (tsuna) around his waist. The tsuna is the symbol of the yokozuna. It takes several assistants to put it on. They are all wearing white gloves.
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Yamato Awa Odori454 views
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Preparing unagi eel, Narita, Chiba. Also see the video at YouTube.453 viewsSlicing it in half lengthwise.
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Koganei Park sakura453 views
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A group of men carry a red and white pole in front of Inazawa Station, on their way to Konomiya Shrine.453 views
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Swinging down a rope.453 views
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Yamagata Castle is closest to JR Yamagata Station. This is the east side. The train station and surrounding area changed a lot since my first visit years ago.453 views
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The Registry Shelf points to the hypocenter.452 views
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Onomichi Castle (tourist facility)452 viewsThis is not based on an actual castle, but built as an amusement attraction. Now closed.
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Sagami River Koi-nobori452 viewsMore pictures here
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Hagoita Honey452 views
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Hypocenter451 views
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Monument for Sarutobi Sasuke, a famous Koga ninja who was born in Koka. However, he was only fictional character. Ninjas never tried to become famous. 猿飛佐助の碑451 views
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Even ninja get thirsty.451 views
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Fukuoka Castle, Kinen Turret450 views祈念櫓
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Turning around at the end of the route.449 views
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The first snip. Also see the video at YouTube.449 views
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Oiran and her attendants then performed a short but spectacular oiran show on the stage from about 2 pm. おいらんショー449 views
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Nihon Sankei - Matsushima448 views日本三景 松島 - Matsushima is another member of the Scenic Trio of Japan (Nihon Sankei). They are pine-clad islands off the coast near Sendai, Miyagi Pref.

Place: Matsushima, Miyagi Pref.
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1624: Saruwaka Sanza, Edo Kabuki. Kabuki was started in the early Edo Period in 1624. Later, Edo's three licensed kabuki theaters named the Nakamura-za, Ichimura-za, and Morita-za were relocated to Asakusa in an area called Saruwaka.448 views"Sanza" means three theaters. 猿若三座 江戸歌舞伎
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The parade was over after 30 min. (11:30 - 12 pm).448 views
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Rope knots hung on roof eaves, etc., were also used for communication.448 views
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9:35 am: Walking toward the second bridge. We walked up a slight slope to reach the second, parallel bridge. The Fushimi Turret is in the background.447 views
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Palanquin for Deity of Harvests447 views
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Old Tokyo Station sign on the Yaesu side (old Daimaru Dept. Store).447 views
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The cars were all glossy and colorful, very nice.447 views
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Female schoolmates of the baton twirlers block the cameras of unrelated photographers when the baton twirlers passed. カメラ小僧を妨害するバトン部の先輩たち。446 viewsThis was the first time for me in Japan to see people blocking photographers from taking pictures at a festival. They did it to me as well. If they don't want to be photographed, why do they appear in this public festival??

妨害しても無駄だと思いますが。撮られるのがいやでしたら、まつりに出ない方がいいですよ。
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Weeping plum blossoms at the top of the plum tree "waterfall."446 views
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Castle wall to climb on.446 views
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From the Kyoto Imperial Palace, the procession proceeds on main roads to Heian Shrine.446 views
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Closeup of white plum blossom445 views
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Temple office sells souvenirs such as the maneki neko beckoning cat in various sizes (and prices).445 views
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JR Miharu Station on the Ban'etsu-to Line, two stops from JR Koriyama Station on the Tohoku shinkansen line.445 views
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Tokushima Awa Odori dancer444 views
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Medicine packages from Koka ninja-related medicine companies. Even today, Koka has numerous medicine manufacturers.444 views
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Alpine443 viewsShe had horde of photographers crowded in front of her. But she managed to find me and smiled.
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Imabari Castle 今治城443 views
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき443 views
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She wears a juni-hitoe kimono and rides in a carriage called Oyoyo. 斎王代、齋藤彩子さん (21)443 views腰輿(およよ)
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Stage entertainment held on one end of the street. 街角ステージ443 views
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Final match: Keiji Suzuki vs. Tatsuhiro Muramoto442 views
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Yasukuni Shrine's main torii during Mitama Matsuri441 views
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Tekomai440 views
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Mt. Daisen, Tottori Pref.440 views
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Takeinadane-no-Mikoto440 views
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Cosplayer teenager posing on the road.440 views
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Teruha with chrysanthemum. The flower she's holding matches her kimono design that shows the same flower. Her name was Teruha and she appeared in many postcards. She was born in 1896 in Osaka and worked as a geisha in Shimbashi, Tokyo. Click to read m440 viewsTeruha with chrysanthemum. The flower she's holding matches her kimono design that shows the same flower. Her name was Teruha and she appeared in many postcards. She was born in 1896 in Osaka and worked as a geisha in Shimbashi, Tokyo before becoming a Buddhist priest in Kyoto. Read more about her interesting life by James A. Gatlin at geikogallery.com.2 comments
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Panoramic shot of the Kintaikyo Bridge area.439 views
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At 4 pm, the festival's final event is the mochi-nage or rice-cake tossing. First, they warn eveyone that the shrine won't be liable for any injury you might incur from this. And the elderly and children should avoid this mochi-nage.439 views
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Little ninja at target practice.439 views
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Path to Gifu Castle tower438 views
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Warrior armor displayed on second floor of Himeji Castle tower438 views
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People behind fill up the rest of the plaza437 views
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Kimono women going to a convenience store, Ako, Hyogo437 views
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Another Shinsaibashi Top Lady437 views
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Mud Fight Round 2436 views
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Yamaha Motorcycles436 viewsAt the end of the day, the companions line up in front of their booth to say goodbye. Great photo op too.
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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.436 views
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Lunch at Yogoko-so lodge: Eel (unagi) and udon noodles. I think it was 700 yen or so.436 views
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PACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 2, 2008) An EA-6B Prowler from the "Gauntlets" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 136, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet from the Diamondbacks" of Attack Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102, launch nearly simultaneously.436 viewsPACIFIC OCEAN (Sept. 2, 2008) An EA-6B Prowler from the "Gauntlets" of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 136, and an F/A-18F Super Hornet from the Diamondbacks" of Attack Fighter Squadron (VFA) 102, launch nearly simultaneously off the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George Washington (CVN 73). George Washington is sailing off the coast of Southern California where the crew is conducting training evolutions with Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 5. George Washington departed San Diego Aug. 21, en route to Yokosuka, Japan, where the ship will replace USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63) as the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft carrier. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Nathan L. Guimont/Released)
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Veranda of Iga-ryu Ninja House 436 views
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Shuriken throwing.436 views
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The Bulgarian (Kotooshu) on the left435 views
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Asakusa Folk Entertainment. This was the last act. Somewhat tacky end to the festival.435 views
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Cherry Blossom Room, Kobuntei Villa435 views
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Sumo jinku435 viewsThey are singing sumo jinku, a chant-like song about sumo and sumo wrestlers. They are singing about Musashimaru and his career.
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Shibuya Station, South Exit, as seen from Tokyu Plaza 渋谷駅南口435 views
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The outstretched left hand symbolizes tranquility and world peace.434 views
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Fuji TV with professional cheerleaders434 views
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Medicine ad sign reading Ninjutsu-gan. For belly aches. Although the ninja's medicine-making remains today, the art of ninjutsu is ironically no longer practiced in Koka. It is not a martial art like karate and judo.434 views
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Harie is a unique rural neighborhood where homes draw clean water from an ever-flowing spring directly from the ground into private wells called kabata. A local NPO conducts tours of the area and homes with kabata.434 viewsHarie is in Takashima, Shiga, near JR Shin-Asahi Station on the Kosei Line, the gateway to Shin-Asahi and Harie. 新旭駅 MAP
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Posing with maybe with their school teacher.433 views
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Setsubun bean throwing at Takahata Fudoson temple, Hino, Tokyo433 views
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Off-center divided back. After March 28, 1907 when the message was allowed to be written on the address side, a dividing line was printed on the address side to separate the message and recipient's address. However...433 viewsHowever, this line was not at the center of the card. Only one-third of the card could be used for message writing and the other two-thirds portion was reserved for the name and address. Such postcards with an off-center divider were made between March 28, 1907 (Meiji 40) and March 1, 1918 (Taisho 7). From March 1, 1918, the dividing line was moved to the center of the card. (See the next image.)
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Bridge to Enoshima. Two bridges, one for vehicles and the other for pedestrians, enable access to this small and charming island.432 views
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Some babies wear beautiful kimono for the occasion.431 views
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Asashoryu joins in431 views1 comments
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Musashigawa stablemaster (former Yokozuna Mienoumi) in the entrance hall431 viewsInside the entrance hallway, there was a long table on the left side with ribbons which served as name tags for distinguished guests. Musashigawa is the name of Musashimaru's sumo stable.
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Mt. Mitake is one of Tokyo's easily accessible peaks via cable car. But it still requires a good deal of climbing up slopes and steps. You can also hike to adjacent Mt. Hinode-yama. Great daytrip getaway from Tokyo's concrete jungle.431 viewsGetting off the train at Mitake Station on the JR Ome Line. I wasn't the only one who decided it was a good day to hike up Mitake. 御岳駅
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Big expressive eyes.431 views
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Main entrance to Miidera (Onjoji) temple. It is the headquarters temple of the Tendai Jimon Buddhist Sect (founded by Priest Enchin) and former rival of Enryakuji temple on Mt. Hiei, also in Shiga. MAP431 views
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Nijubashi Bridge straight ahead!430 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)430 views
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Path down to Koka Ninja Village. Lots of greenery. MAP430 views
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Ceiling of Ninja House.430 views
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The parade started at 1:10 pm and ended at 6 pm.430 views
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Wall to climb on429 views
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The array of ninja weapons and tools was very impressive. This Ninja House strives to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions of the ninja. A visit is highly recommended.429 views
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Watch Out for Pickpockets!428 viewsスリに御用心 - Another human animal to watch out for. "Suri ni go-yōjin!" means watch out for pickpockets! "Suri" means pickpocket, and "go-yōjin" is like "chūi."

Place: Takayama Festival, Gifu Pref.
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Musashimaru greets the crowd428 views
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Panoramic shot of the Kokugikan428 viewsNotice the upper floor was quite empty, similar to Akebono's retirement ceremony.
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Installed inside the shrine's Honden main hall, the new giant penis will replace the old one.428 views
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Blow tube and blow darts.428 views
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Cold-water ablutions is not unusual in ascetic Buddhism, but to see it at a Shinto shrine is unusual.427 views
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He performs his last yokozuna dohyo-iri ring-entering ceremony. He is flanked by Musoyama on the left as the sword bearer, and Miyabiyama on the right as the dew sweeper.426 views
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Exiting the building426 views
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Carried by men singing kiyari laborers' songs, the smaller wooden phallus also goes to enter the shrine's main hall.426 views
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Apparently it can become erect too. (Compare with previous photo.)426 views
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On Oct. 25-26, 2008, the first Yuru-Kyara (Mascot Character) Matsuri was held on Yume-Kyobashi Castle Road in Hikone. This sign at Hikone Station points the way. Map426 views
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Musashimaru's final dohyo-iri ends425 views
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Cherry blossoms and Chiba Castle425 views
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The famed Bansenshukai Ninja Bible detailing ninja tools and techniques. This is a replica.425 views
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