JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when traveling.


Most viewed - Shizuoka city 静岡市
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From Shizuoka Station (bus stop 19), it takes 35 min. by bus to Nihondaira. The bus comes to this Nihondaira Park Center. From here, you can easily walk to the points of interest.546 views
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Daidogei World Cup in Shizuoka at Sumpu Park263 views
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Yaji in front of Sumpu Castle in Shizuoka city. 「東海道中膝栗毛」十返捨一九257 views
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Sumpu Castle's Higashi Gomon Gate and bridge 東御門236 views
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Also visible from the station is Granship, the Shizuoka Convention & Arts Center.236 views
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Parking area for people going to Nihondaira via the steps up the mountain. Near here is the bus stop for Shizuoka Station.234 views
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Shizuoka manhole233 views
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Mt. Fuji as seen from Nihondaira's Ginbodai. Even sunny days can be hazy, but at least Mt. Fuji was visible when I went in mid-March. It was too hazy to see the Izu Peninsula.224 views
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Mt. Fuji as seen from Nihondaira.215 views
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Torii with Kunozan in the background.200 views
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Statue of Yajirobe'e ("Yaji") on the left and Kitahachi ("Kita") from the story "Tokaido-chu Hizakurige" by Juppensha Ikku (1765-1839) a comic playwright who was born in Shizuoka city.199 views
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Life-size spaceship.194 views
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Sunpu Castle's Tatsumi Yagura Turret and Higashi Gomon Gate.187 views
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Stone torii 山下石鳥居182 views
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Sumpu Castle moat. The buildings are the Shizuoka Prefectural capital.174 views
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Daidogei World Cup in Shizuoka at Sumpu Park169 views
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Map of Kunozan Toshogu Shrine. It's not as big as it looks. The shrine is one of Nihondaira's main attractions. It was the original burial site of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. The shrine was built by his son Hidetada.161 views
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Kita in front of Sumpu Castle in Shizuoka city. 「東海道中膝栗毛」十返捨一九156 views
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Higashi-Shizuoka Station is close to the Shizuoka Hobby Fair held from July 24, 2010 to March 27, 2011.150 views
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He turns his head back.150 views
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Higashi Shizuoka Station.147 views
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Gundam models141 views
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Honden Hall of Kunozan Toshogu Shrine at Nihondaira, Shizuoka. The shrine's focal point and most magnificent building. Important Cultural Property.140 views
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The shrine looks spanking new and the colors are very impressive. It cost 1,300,000,000 yen to restore the lacquer and paint.137 views
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One main attraction of Nihondaira is views of Mt. Fuji and Miho no Matsubara on sunny days. If it's really sunny, you can also see the Izu Peninsula.130 views
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Miho no Matsubara Beach and Mt. Fuji from his "Famous Views of the 60 Provinces" series.129 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu's tomb at Kunozan Toshogu128 views
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Nihondaira is a plateau 308 meters high. It affords great views almost all around. There are a few lookout points on Nihondaira and this is one of them on Nihondaira's peak. Called Ginbodai.127 views
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Unfortunately, he couldn't walk or fly.121 views
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Kunozan Toshogu Shrine was built 19 years before the famous Nikko Toshogu Shrine (Tochigi Prefecture) which is where Ieyasu was reburied. According to his will, Ieyasu wanted to be buried on Kunozan. Before the shrine, there was a temple and a castle here118 views
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Mt. Fuji as seen from the Eastern Lookout Deck. This is one place where you would want to visit on a clear day. Otherwise, you won't see Mt. Fuji.114 views
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View of Mt. Fuji from Nihondaira110 views
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Admission to Kunozan Toshogu Shrine is 500 yen (or 800 yen if you also want to see the museum). It's worth it. After paying admission, you see this Romon Gate which is an Important Cultural Property. 楼門109 views
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Monument on the peak of Nihondaira. It says "Ginbodai." 吟望台107 views
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Ishiyama-dera Tahoto pagoda model.106 views
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Map of Nihondaira. It's not as spread out as it looks. Everything is within easy walking distance. If you visit in Feb., see the ume plum trees in bloom.104 views
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Bridge over the first moat.103 views
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Off of Shimizu Port is Miho no Matsubara, a pine-clad, slither of land jutting into the ocean. 103 views
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Another lookout deck on top of a souvenir shop. Free admission. Go up to the 4th floor.100 views
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Plum garden marker99 views
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Sumpu Castle is a short walk from JR Shizuoka Station. You'll find mainly moats, a large park, and some government buildings.98 views
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Nihondaira was designated as a National Scenic Site in 1963 by the Japanese government. This high and flat plateau was recognized for its grand views all around, especially of Mt. Fuji. It also includes Mt. Kunozan, home of Toshogu Shrine.98 views
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Carving on Romon Gate. If you've been to Nikko Toshogu Shrine, many architectural and artistic elements here at Kunozan will look familiar.98 views
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Not much inside the Tea Hall which sells some tea.97 views
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Another lookout deck is this Higashi Tenbodai or Eastern Lookout Deck. 東展望台96 views
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Plum trees96 views
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Tatsumi Yagura Turret (Reconstructed in 1992)95 views
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Statue of Yajirobe'e ("Yaji") on the left and Kitahachi ("Kita") from the story "Tokaido-chu Hizakurige" by Juppensha Ikku (1765-1839) a comic playwright who was born in Shizuoka city. In front of Sumpu Castle.95 views
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The annual Daidogei (street performance) World Cup in Shizuoka is held in Sumpu Park in autumn.95 views
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About Sumpu Castle94 views
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Tea Hall (Cha Kaikan) 茶会館92 views
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Handprint of Tokugawa Ieyasu displayed behind Romon Gate.92 views
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Statue of a mother and child. Based on the famous children's song called "Akai Kutsu" (Red Shoes). The song was modeled after a little girl who was from Shimizu, Shizuoka. The sculpture was made in 1986.90 views
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Yet another Nihondaira stone marker.90 views
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By coincidence, a newly married couple disembarked from the ropeway after their wedding held at Kunozan Toshogu Shrine. We clapped for them.90 views
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Nihondaira Ropeway operates from 9:10 am to 5:15 pm (till 4:15 pm in winter months).90 views
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Giant Gundam with eyes aglow at Shizuoka Hobby Fair 2010-2011.90 views
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When Tokugawa Ieyasu retired as shogun, he lived here at Sumpu Castle. He also died here at age 72 in 1616. On the day of his death, his body was taken to Mt. Kunozan at Nihondaira for burial.89 views
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Nihondaira marker89 views
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Shimizu Port and Miho no Matsubara beyond it. Miho Peninsula is also home of one of Japan's swan maiden legends. There's even a shrine dedicated to the swan maiden.89 views
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Nihondaira Ropeway costs 550 yen one way (1000 yen round trip). If you go to Nihondaira by bus, you can take a bus back from Kunozan instead of going back to the Nihondaira bus stop.89 views
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Sunpu Castle has only two castle buildings, both reconstructed. This is one of them, the Tatsumi Yagura Turret. 巽櫓87 views
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Back at the Nihondaira Park Center (next to the bus stop), there are souvenir shops and a ropeway station to go to Kunozan Toshogu Shrine.87 views
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Torii87 views
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Nihondaira monument in the parking lot.86 views
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Mt. Kunozan probably got its name from Kunoji temple built by Kuno Tadahito in 600. The temple suffered a fire in 1225. In 1568, Takeda Shingen moved the temple to Shimizu and built a castle on Kunozan. 86 views
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Lock your heart.85 views
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Nihondaira Ropeway to Kunozan. The ropeway ride is only only 5 min. It runs quite often.85 views
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Lion dog painting on the Hionden Hall.85 views
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Lookout deck85 views
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View from the Eastern Lookout Deck on Nihondaira. 84 views
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Nihondaira monument and Mt. Fuji.84 views
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View of Nihondaira's parking lot and Mt. Fuji.84 views
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Purification water fountain is an Important Cultural Property.84 views
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Lots of antenna atop Nihondaira.83 views
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About Kunozan Toshogu Shrine in English.83 views
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Tatsumi Yagura Turret at the southeast corner of Sumpu Park. 巽櫓82 views
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View of central Shizuoka city from Nihondaira Park Center.82 views
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Riding the Nihondaira Ropeway to Kunozan. Built in 1957, the ropeway is 1,065 meters long.82 views
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Honden roof82 views
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About Kunozan Toshogu Shrine in Japanese.80 views
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Inside Kunozan Toshogu Shrine Museum, articles belonging to Ieyasu are displayed. If you're Spanish, you'd be interested in seeing the Spanish clock owned by Ieyasu. Admission charged.80 views
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Mt. Fuji as seen from Yui.80 views
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I went on a Sunday and it was noisy with all these motorcycles and sports cars buzzing around. They catch their thrills on the curving roads of Nihondaira.79 views
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Lover's Monument near the Nihondaira ropeway.79 views
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Karamon Gate entrance to the Haiden Hall. The ornate Karamon Gate is an Important Cultural Property. However, we are not allowed to enter through this gate. 拝殿79 views
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Carving79 views
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Map of Sumpu Park78 views
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Sacred horse stable. (Mannequin horse)78 views
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Site of a five-story pagoda which had to be torn down in 1873 when Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples had to be separated. (A pagoda is a Buddhist structure.)78 views
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Hieda Shrine is what you see before the Honden main hall.78 views
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Stone steps going down to the coast. It takes about 20 min. to go down these stone steps to the bottom. There are 1,159 stone steps which don't mean much unless you're climbing up.78 views
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Shizuoka city77 views
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But I did find a plum tree with flowers. Smells nice.77 views
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The Nihondaira Ropeway goes over Byobu-dani Valley, noted for rock formations resembling folding screens (byobu).77 views
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In 1582, the Takeda clan was defeated and Kunozan fell to the Tokugawa. Kunozan Toshogu Shrine was built in 1617 by Tokugawa Hidetada to bury and deify his father Tokugawa Ieyasu.77 views
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Side gate to the Haiden and Honden Halls.77 views
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Side gate roof77 views
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They repaint and lacquer the shrine only once every 50 years. It takes several years to complete the job and they just finished it in 2006.77 views
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Honden Hall roof77 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu's tomb at Kunozan Toshogu. The tomb actually faces west, toward Okazaki in Aichi Prefecture where Ieyasu was born. 神廟77 views
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Higashi Gomon Gate76 views
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Nihondaira ume plum grove. Flowers already withered by the time I was there in mid-March. 日本平梅園76 views
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Song monument76 views
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Ieyasu plum tree76 views
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Kaguraden Hall for sacred dances is also an Important Cultural Property. 神楽殿76 views
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Tokugawa crest on this rain catcher.76 views
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It might take at least 30 min. to go up these steps, 1,159 steps spanning 760 meters with 17 switchbacks.76 views
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Inside Tatsumi Yagura Turret75 views
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Ruins of the Inner Moat75 views
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Kunozan in the distance. You can see Kunozan's sloping peak on which Kunozan Toshogu Shrine is built. Its elevation is 270 meters.75 views
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Kunozan Toshogu is designated as an Important Cultural Property, but unlike the Nikko Toshogu, there are no National Treasures (except in the museum).75 views
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Approach to Ieyasu's tomb75 views
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Gate keeper station 門衛所75 views
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Plum garden marker75 views
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Higashi Gomon Gate and bridge 東御門74 views
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Higashi Gomon Gate 東御門74 views
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Higashi Gomon Gate and bridge74 views
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There's also a lookout deck on the roof of the Nihondaira Park Center.74 views
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Kunozan is accessible by ropeway (aerial tram) from Nihondaira or by winding steps going up on the other side from the coastal road.74 views
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Kunozan is right next to the coast. That's the Pacific Ocean.74 views
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Karamon Gate's ornate roof.74 views
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Side gate to Honden74 views
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It takes about 30 processes to restore the lacquer.74 views
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View from Karamon Gate74 views
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View from lookout deck74 views
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Nice view from the stone steps. Those vinyl houses are growing strawberries which are sold everywhere at the foot of Kunozan during Jan. to May.74 views
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Park area73 views
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Tokugawa crest73 views
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Karamon Gate door carving73 views
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Honden Hall73 views
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Kunozan Toshogu Shrine Museum has about 2,000 pieces in its collection of mostly everyday things used by Ieyasu and other Tokugawa shoguns. Besides swords, there are Western articles. 博物館73 views
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Stone steps 石段73 views
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Ruins of the Inner Moat 内堀72 views
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Higashi Gomon Gate and bridge71 views
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Tatsumi Yagura as seen from behind.71 views
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Roof tiles are decorated with the Tokugawa crest.71 views
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Side gate roof.71 views
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Side gate71 views
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Roof corner71 views
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Plexiglass protects the lower carvings.71 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu's tomb at Kunozan Toshogu71 views
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Yui is so scenic that Hiroshige made a ukiyoe print of it in his Tokaido series.71 views
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About Higashi Gomon Gate70 views
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Gate to Tokugawa Ieyasu's tomb is also an Important Cultural Property. 廟所70 views
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Honden Hall69 views
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Hiroshige's woodblock print of Ejiri (19th post town on the Tokaido) from his "Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido Road" series. Miho no Matsubara in the background.69 views
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Giant Gundam statue is clearly visible from Higashi Shizuoka Station.67 views
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Yui with a view of Mt. Fuji.66 views
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Plastic models on display.65 views
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Castle models.65 views
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Near Nihondaira is Yui, a scenic point on the coast accessible by car.65 views
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Higashi Gomon Grassy Lawn64 views
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Gate door63 views
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Higashi Gomon Gate Bridge62 views
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Shizuoka Hobby Fair site as seen from Higashi Shizuoka Station. The giant Gundam statue is clearly visible.60 views
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Higashi Gomon Gate 東御門59 views
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About Tatsumi Yagura59 views
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Stone wall of Higashi Gomon Gate59 views
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Rear view of Gundam.58 views
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Higashi Gomon Gate 東御門57 views
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Straight ahead is Gundam and on the left is a pavilion.56 views
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The giant Gundam is the main attraction by far.55 views
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There was a long line to get a closer look and pass under the statue.54 views
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A lookout deck for Gundam.54 views
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Gundam looms over Shizuoka Hobby Fair sign.53 views
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Inside the hobby pavilion were exhibits of numerous plastic models.52 views
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Sign pointing the way to the Shizuoka Hobby Fair.51 views
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He can even turn his head. This show occurs every 30 min.51 views
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Entrance to Shizuoka Hobby Fair.49 views
     
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