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Most viewed - FUKUI 福井県
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Statue of castle founder and 1st lord, Yuki Hideyasu 結城秀康439 views
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To Obama via JR Obama Line (Tsuruga Station).400 views
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Maruoka Castle tower356 views
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Line to board the free shuttle bus from Tsuruga Station to Kehi no Matsubara Beach.351 viewsThe waiting time was minimal since buses kept coming often. They chartered buses from numerous bus companies.
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Tojinbo in Mikuni-cho is spectacular, natural rock columns and walls on the coast. Hiking trails and boat rides give you a closer look at this rare natural monument. 342 viewsTojimbo is accessible by bus from JR Awara Onsen Station on the Hokuriku Line.
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JR Obama Line at Tsuruga Station in Fukui Prefecture, the line's terminus. From Tsuruga, it takes 60 to 70 min. to Obama.333 views
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Huge rock columns stand about 9 stories (25 meters) high.318 views
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Maruoka Castle296 views
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Roof tiles made of stone on Maruoka Castle292 views
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At 6:30 pm, people started releasing their candlelit lanterns into the ocean. Tsuruga, Fukui Pref.285 views
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Toro nagashi at Kehi no Matsubara Beach in Tsuruga, Fukui Pref.275 views
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Statue of Emperor Keitai in Asuwayama Park 継体天皇像265 viewsThe 26th Emperor of Japan is said to have hailed from Echizen Province.
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As it got darker, the scene got prettier.261 views
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Toro nagashi and fireworks at Tsuruga, Fukui Pref.250 views
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Bungee jumping is probably not possible here.249 views
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Tojinbo sign indicating the Echizen-Kaga Coastal Quasi-National Park244 views
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Kehi no Matsubara beach, one of Japan's three most famous pine tree beaches.208 viewsThe other two being Miho no Matsubara in Shizuoka and Karatsu in Saga Pref.
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Obama Castle stone foundation for the main castle tower. No structure remain. No moats remain either, except for the two rivers which served as a natural moat.205 views
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Bright fireworks light up the audience on the beach.200 views
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Saba-zushi or rice topped with mackerel, a local specialty in Obama, Fukui.200 views
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JR Tsuruga Station194 views
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Line for the free shuttle bus back to Tsuruga Station. They had many shuttle buses so we didn't have to wait long.191 viewsIt was a very efficient and quick operation. Although I did leave early.
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Minamigawa River179 views
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JR Fukui Station172 views
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Statue of Sugita Genpaku as a child, in front of the public hospital. 杉田 玄白172 views
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Right after their performance ended at 7:25 pm, I had to leave to catch the last train home. I missed seeing the Obama Boys who also danced. The event ended at 8 pm. Also see my video at YouTube.170 views
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Statue of Sugita Genpaku, a Dutch studies scholar who studied medicine. He was from Obama. 杉田 玄白169 views
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Streetcar station166 views
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The fireworks were brilliant and world-class, included a few waterborne "half-dome" fireworks.166 views
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The back of their T-shirt reads "I love Obama -- Obama Girls."166 views
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By 7:30 pm, it was completely dark.161 views
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Shopping road153 views
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The lanterns say "For the Spirits of Past Generations."153 views
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Road in front of Fukui Station152 views
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Mall in front of Fukui Station150 views
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Great match with the lit lanterns and fireworks.147 views
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Crowd on Kehi no Matsubara Beach146 views
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Whoever thought of combining toro nagashi with fireworks was a genius.143 views
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Lanterns along the jetty.142 views
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The crowd stretched to the very far side of the bay.141 views
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You could buy a lantern for 500 yen. Choice of three colors: Red, blue, and yellow.141 views
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Sign encouraging the construction of the shinkansen to Fukui.138 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.137 views
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Fireworks started at 7:30 pm.136 views
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Maruoka Castle is Japan's oldest surviving castle tower although it collapsed during the Fukui Earthquake in 1948. Rebuilt in 1955 with most of the original materials. Originally built in 1576 by Shibata Katsutoyo, nicknamed Kasumiga-jo (Misty Castle135 viewsPhoto: Way to Maruoka Castle from the bus stop.
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A dinosaur waiting for his train at JR Tsuruga Station. Fukui Prefecture is famous for dinosaur digs. This is just a sculpture stealing a valuable place to sit, but it looks like a kid can sit on his lap.133 views
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Bus stop for Maruoka Castle132 viewsTakes about 40-50 min. from Fukui Station.
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Fukui Shrine132 views
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Bridge to castle grounds. 5-min. walk from Fukui Station.131 views
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Fukui Shrine 福井神社130 views
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Fukui Shrine126 views
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A bust of Barack Obama outside the Wakasa-ya souvenir shop in Obama, Fukui. Made by a local plasterer in 2008. Not a very good likeness.126 views
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I was sitting on a jetty where many lanterns got stuck. We could feel the hot air from the candles.124 views
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Also see the video at YouTube.123 views
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Some shops along the main drag (Ote-dori and Hamakaze-dori) have these notices in support of Barack Obama, world peace, and cultural exchange.121 views
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15-min. walk from the bus stop to the beach. People everywhere.120 views
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Obama merchandise and souvenirs, for both Obama and Barack Obama are sold at a few stores in Obama. This store called Wakasa-ya, on Hamakaze-dori, has the largest selection of Obama goods. A short walk from Obama Station.119 views
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Kasumiga-jo Park, noted for cherry blossoms.118 views
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Obama Station118 views
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"I love Obama" banners decorate the main drags in central Obama. 117 views
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The second number was "Kaimana Hila" sung in Hawaiian. Kaimana Hila means Diamond Head (the famous mountain/crater in Honolulu). It's a standard hula number.115 views
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Bridge to castle grounds with prefectural capital building looming ahead.114 views
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Obama beach, fit for swimming in summer.113 views
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Old shachi (killer whale) roof ornaments made of stone.112 viewsThe original shachi were made of wood with copper plating. But during WWII, the precious copper was taken and these two stone shachi were made to replace the original shachi. These two shachi fell off the roof during the 1948 earthquake and were replaced by a replica of the original made of wood and copper plating.
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"I love Obama" banner111 views
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More Obama manju111 views
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Maruoka Castle tower110 views
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Some shops along Hamakaze-dori shopping arcade have these congratulatory notices for President Barack Obama.110 views
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Obama rolled maki-sushi on sale.110 views
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Kehi Pine Beach in Tsuruga from his "Famous Views of the 60 Provinces" series.110 views
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Look at this, hula dancing in a Japanese Buddhist temple in Obama, Fukui Prefecture, Japan.109 views
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"I love Obama" T-shirts for 2500 yen.108 views
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It must have been cold for these dancers dressed for a tropical setting. The temperature was slightly above freezing.108 views
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Kehi Jingu's main shrine. Kehi Jingu is dedicated to a number of gods including Emperor Chuai and Empress Jingu. So the Imperial Crest is all over the place.107 views
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Obama support signs on a hotel entrance in Obama, on Jan. 20, 2009, the Inauguration Day. This is probably the hotel where the Obama booster members would watch the inauguration live on TV at 1 am. 106 views
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Edo Period currency105 views
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Mismatched buildings105 views
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Obama Castle remains. Only the stone foundation and a few stone walls remain. Obama Castle was built by Kyogoku Takatsugu in 1601 after he was awarded the Wakasa domain for his service during the Battle of Sekigahara.105 views
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Obama beach105 views
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Entrance to castle grounds104 views
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Wakasa-ya souvenir shop104 views
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Sushi restaurant in Wakasa Fisherman's Wharf. Buy sushi and eat it there with free miso soup and tea.104 views
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Steps to castle tower entrance.103 views
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Stone foundation of the castle tower at one corner.103 views
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Wakasa-ya souvenir shop on Hamakaze-dori. 若狭屋 はまかぜ通り103 views
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The Wakasa-ya shop displays snapshots of past activities of the Obama booster association.103 views
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Obama Girls dance the hula. The first number was a Japanese rendition of "Sophisticated Hula" called "Tsuki no Yoru wa" (The Moon at Night).103 views
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Obama senbei crackers102 views
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Later, Obama's mascot Nana-chan (a cat with mackerel fish stripes) joined in and they sang the mascot's song.102 views
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JR Obama Station102 views
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Pure and clean water well102 views
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Statue outside Obama City Hall.102 views
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1st floor of castle tower with photos of other castles.101 views
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Path to castle tower100 views
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Obama coast100 views
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The stone marker says National Treasure Kasumiga-jo Castle.99 viewsThe castle was a National Treasure until it collapsed in the 1948 Fukui Earthquake. Now an Important Cultural Property.
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Folk History Museum99 views
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"I love Obama" T-shirts and banners. The banner is only 1200 yen (excluding the pole).99 views
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This event drew quite a few press people, and it was reported in most major Japanese newspapers and a few foreign media.99 views
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A copy of the letter from presidential candidate Barack Obama to the city of Obama, Fukui Prefecture. Dated Feb. 21, 2008. Click on thumbnail to see full text.99 views
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Prefectural capital building98 views
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"I love Obama" sticker on store window. This logo is 98 views
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A bust of Barack Obama outside the Wakasa-ya souvenir shop in Obama, Fukui.98 views
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The Obama Girls (and Boys) were formed because of Barack being born and mainly raised in Hawaii. The Obama Girls will travel to Hawaii (at their own expense) to perform as well.98 views
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Side of castle97 views
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"I love Obama" manju bean cakes, but only the back of his head is imprinted on the manju.97 views
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Obama burgers were passed out free to the people attending the event. Free soft drinks (hot) also helped in warming my hands.97 views
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Along the Obama waterfront is this Mermaid Terrace.97 views
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1st floor of castle tower96 viewsThe steep stairs go to the 2nd floor.
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Ceiling on top floor96 views
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Monuments96 views
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Also see my video at YouTube. おばま ガールズ96 views
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Statue of Lord Sakai Tadakatsu outside Obama City Hall. Tadakatsu also served as Tairo, of Chief Minister in the Tokugawa government during 1638 to 1656.96 views
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Maruoka Castle tower95 views
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The veranda is narrow and the fence is low.95 views
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Folk History Museum adjacent to the castle. 歴史民俗資料館95 views
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Stairs to castle tower foundation95 views
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Valley between the prefectural capital (left) and police department (right).95 views
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The castle tower suffered a major fire in 1669, and it was never rebuilt.95 views
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Steps to go down.95 views
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Laquered chopsticks with the "I love Obama" logo.95 views
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The event started with singing by a local group called Anyone Brother's Band. They sang a song called "Obama is Beautiful World!"95 views
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JR Obama Line95 views
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Inside Obama City Hall.95 views
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View from castle tower94 views
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Inside Folk History Museum94 views
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Pedestrian bridge94 views
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Obama Station94 views
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Obama confections such as manju, this time with the face imprinted (instead of the back of the head). Passed out for free.94 views
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The event started at 6:30 pm when it was quite dark (the actual inauguration ceremonies in Washington, DC would start some hours later at around 2 am that night, Japan time).94 views
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Top floor93 views
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Atop the castle tower foundation (lower level)93 views
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Another stone foundation which was partially damaged during the 1948 Fukui Easrthquake.93 views
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Some presidential campaign memorabilia in a store corner.93 views
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Laquered chopsticks with the "I love Obama" logo. Laquerware is one of Obama's local specialties.93 views
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Obama goods included sake rice wine.93 views
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Obama waterfront93 views
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Izumi-cho shopping arcade was also the starting point of the Saba Kaido road to Kyoto. During the Edo Period, this road was used by saba (mackerel fish) merchants traveling to sell their fish. The road was actually a network of roads. 93 views
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2nd floor92 views
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Roof tiles made of stone (2nd floor)92 views
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Well related to the castle's mist.92 views
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JR Obama Station entrance92 views
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Mermaid Terrace.92 views
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Stairway on top floor91 views
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Top floor91 views
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Hagaji temple's Hondo main hall where the 11-face Kannon statue is worshipped. This is the main venue for Obama's Inauguration Day event.91 views
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Layout of the original Obama Castle sandwiched between two rivers.91 views
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Mermaid Terrace91 views
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Entrance to castle tower90 views
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1st floor of castle tower90 views
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Veranda (closed to visitors)90 views
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Top of castle tower foundation. Grassy, but uneven ground.90 views
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Well90 views
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Wing Terrace90 views
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Old-style "bay window?"89 views
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"Sama" hole to shoot weapons (arrows or guns)89 views
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Steps to upper level of castle tower foundation89 views
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Another bridge 廊下橋89 views
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Obama book in Japanese. His election victory speech in Japanese.89 views
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Right near the exit of Obama Station is the tourist information office where you can obtain maps, pamphlets, and ask questions.89 views
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Obama Castle stone foundation for the main castle tower. After the Kyogoku Clan moved to Izumo (Shimane Pref.), Sakai Tadakatsu took up residence in 1634 and his clan lived in the castle until the Meiji Restoration.89 views
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Obama Castle stone foundation for the main castle tower. Lord Sakai Tadakatsu built the main castle tower in 1636. 小浜城跡89 views
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Inside Izumi-cho shopping arcade where they sell mostly seafood.89 views
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Roof tiles made of stone (rare)88 views
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Stairs to top floor88 views
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Ceiling on top floor88 views
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Lower stone wall88 views
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Stairs going down88 views
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"I love Obama" headbands for 600 yen.88 views
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On Jan. 20, 2009, the US Presidential Inauguration Day for Hawaii-born Barack Obama, the city of Obama in Fukui held a special event at Hagaji temple. 羽賀寺88 views
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Mermaid on mailbox88 views
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Stone wall submerged in moat.87 views
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View of moat from the corner of castle tower foundation.87 views
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Fukui police HQ and castle wall87 views
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Manju at the kiosk at Obama Station.87 views
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On top of Obama Castle stone foundation for the main castle tower.87 views
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Obama coast87 views
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Application form to join the Obama Informal Booster Association (Obama wo Katte ni Oen Suru Kai). オバマを勝手に応援する会86 views
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Hagaji temple is one of Obama's major temples with Important Cultural Properties including an 11-face Kannon statue.86 views
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Hagaji's temple bell.86 views
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Then a woman from the Obama Girls hula troupe read a message from Obama Mayor Koji Matsuzaki. The mayor, of course, hopes that Barack will visit Obama someday. (Toshio Murakami is no longer mayor.)86 views
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JR Obama Station exit86 views
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JR Obama Station and taxis.86 views
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Main drag (Ote-dori) from Obama Station. 大手通り86 views
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Near the water is Wakasa Fisherman's Wharf, housing restaurants, souvenir shops, and a tour boat ticket office.86 views
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Boat cruise to Sotomo Rocks on the nearby coast.86 views
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Ceiling on top floor85 views
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Dried bread in cans.85 views
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Inside the Saba Kaido Museum.85 views
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Castle tower foundation84 views
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Inside Wakasa-ya shop, there's an application form to join the Obama for Obama Association (Obama wo Katte ni Oen Suru Kai).84 views
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Obama chopsticks. These were the more expensive ones costing around 1900 yen.84 views
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Obama's Inauguration Day event was called "Going Beyond the Seven Seas--Peace Bell Ringing for the World. 七つの海を超えて、世界にとどけ平和の鐘84 views
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At 7 pm, fireworks were launched near the temple as the signal to start ringing the Hagaji temple bell. About eight temples in Obama (as well as in Nagasaki where there is Obama Onsen spa) started ringing the temple bell at 7 pm for world peace.84 views
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Train schedule for Obama Station. Very few train runs, about once an hour or less.84 views
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Private homes are built right up to the castle wall.84 views
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Entrance to Izumi-cho shopping arcade.84 views
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Obama sake83 views
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They sang "Ode to Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.83 views
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