JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - SHIZUOKA 静岡県
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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.532 views
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Stairs to Kakegawa Castle tower351 views
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Shimizu Bank's relief of Kazutoyo and Chiyo343 views
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JR Atami Station301 views
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Shimada Mage Matsuri video.288 views
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Kakegawa, Shizuoka276 views
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Daidogei World Cup in Shizuoka at Sumpu Park241 views
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Also visible from the station is Granship, the Shizuoka Convention & Arts Center.229 views
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Yaji in front of Sumpu Castle in Shizuoka city. 「東海道中膝栗毛」十返捨一九228 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.223 views
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Sumpu Castle's Higashi Gomon Gate and bridge 東御門217 views
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Public phone216 views
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Shizuoka manhole213 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.201 views
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Shimizu Bank198 views
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Mt. Fuji as seen from Nihondaira.192 views
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Torii with Kunozan in the background.189 views
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Life-size spaceship.184 views
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JR Shimada Station on the Tokaido Line. It's about 30 min. east of JR Shizuoka Station. On the right is the small plaza where they danced.181 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.176 views
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Stone torii 山下石鳥居171 views
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Sunpu Castle's Tatsumi Yagura Turret and Higashi Gomon Gate.168 views
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Sumpu Castle moat. The buildings are the Shizuoka Prefectural capital.164 views
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Kakegawa Castle as seen from the train162 views
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Daidogei World Cup in Shizuoka at Sumpu Park159 views
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Fake castle in Atami, but a landmark nevertheless.158 views
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As you can see, there are variations in the hairstyle and adornments of Shimada-ryu.150 views
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Shimada Mage Matsuri in Shimada, Shizuoka. Her real hair in Shimada-ryu style.149 views
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Shimada Mage Matsuri poster for 2010.149 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.147 views
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Atami has a few hot spring public baths where you can enjoy the waters without having to stay at a hotel. It costs around 500 yen to 1000 yen.146 views
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Shimada-ryu hairstyle at Shimada Mage Matsuri, Shizuoka.146 views
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Inside Castle tower144 views
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Inside Castle tower143 views
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Higashi-Shizuoka Station is close to the Shizuoka Hobby Fair held from July 24, 2010 to March 27, 2011.143 views
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Higashi Shizuoka Station.140 views
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Castle tower139 views
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I had never seen so many women wearing Shimada-ryu with their real hair, so I was very impressed.138 views
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Shimada Mage Matsuri in Shimada, Shizuoka. Her real hair in Shimada-ryu style.136 views
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Kita in front of Sumpu Castle in Shizuoka city. 「東海道中膝栗毛」十返捨一九135 views
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Gundam models134 views
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Mishima Taisha Shrine in Shizuoka Pref. This is the main torii. Townsend Harris, US consul to Japan, visited here when he was on his way to Tokyo from Shimoda.131 views
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View of Kakegawa city toward the station (shinkansen)129 views
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Inside Castle tower129 views
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In memory of this haristyle, a group of beauticians and hairdressers in Shimada hold this annual festival where they don the Shimada-ryu hairstyle (usually with their real hair) and dance in yukata.129 views
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Shopping street127 views
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He turns his head back.126 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.124 views
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Steps to the castle tower123 views
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Top floor of Castle tower121 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.121 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.119 views
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Final gate to Castle tower118 views
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Folk dancer sculpture on mail box at Mishima Station.117 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.116 views
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Rakujuen Garden as viewed from the veranda of Rakujukan villa, Mishima, Shizuoka. Photography was not allowed inside the spacious villa.115 views
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Castle tower114 views
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Kakegawa Station, south entrance113 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.113 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu's tomb at Kunozan Toshogu112 views
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Rakujuen Garden and Rakujukan villa, Mishima, Shizuoka.109 views
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Rakujuen Garden, Mishima, Shizuoka. This is Kohama Pond whose water is supplied by natural springs. However, the pond always lacks water. 小浜池107 views
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Shopping street106 views
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Room inside the palace105 views
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JR Mishima Station on the Tokaido Line. The station building is designed after Mt. Fuji.105 views
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Inside the palace104 views
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Shimizu Bank104 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 here104 views
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Castle tower balcony103 views
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Kakegawa Station, north entrance103 views
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Yotsuashi-mon Gate102 viewsMain gate to enter the castle grounds. A reconstruction.

四足門
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Unfortunately, he couldn't walk or fly.102 views
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View of Honmaru from Castle tower101 views
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Stairs down from Castle tower101 views
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She's wearing a wig.100 views
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Fujisan Hongu Sengen Taisha Shrine's second torii has a fine view of Mt. Fuji.100 views
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Otemon Gate99 views大手門
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Mishima Taisha Shrine Honden is an Important Cultural Property.99 views
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Mishima Taisha Shrine roof99 views
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Ishiyama-dera Tahoto pagoda model.99 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.98 views
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View of Honmaru97 views
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Castle tower97 views
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Inside the palace97 views
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Castle palace reconstructed in 186197 viewsThe palace served as the castle lord's residence as well as a place for official meetings and ceremonies.

御殿
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At Sengen Taisha Shrine in Fujinomiya.97 views
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View of castle palace96 views
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Castle tower as seen from the palace96 views
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Castle tower and Taiko Turret96 views太鼓櫓
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Rock garden inside the palace95 views
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Main street in front of station95 views
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Rock garden inside the palace94 views
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Monument on the peak of Nihondaira. Written with "Ginbodai." 吟望台94 views
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View of Mt. Fuji from Nihondaira94 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94 views
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Bridge over the first moat.93 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.93 views
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It's pretty easy to tell if it's a wig, with thicker hair strands and bulkier hair. Real hair are pretty thin in comparison. Although Japanese women's hair might've been thicker in the old days.93 views
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Off of Shimizu Port is Miho no Matsubara, a pine-clad, slither of land jutting into the ocean. 92 views
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Shimada Mage Matsuri dancers in front of Shimada Station, one of several locations in the city where they danced on Sept. 19, 2010.92 views
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They danced to recorded music.92 views
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Castle tower91 views
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When you see geishain Kyoto, etc., they usually wear a wig. But at this festival, you can see most women using their real hair in the Shimada-ryu style.91 views
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Guard house next to Otemon Gate90 views大手門番所
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Another lookout deck on top of a souvenir shop. Free admission. Go up to the 4th floor.89 views
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Hot spring foot bath next to Atami Station.89 views
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Tokugawa Ieyasu's hot spring.89 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.88 views
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Plum garden marker88 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.87 views
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They now proceed to Oi Shrine to dance there. The festival also has a thanksgiving prayer at the shrine in honor of the Shimada-ryu hairstyle. Unfortunately, I had to leave Shimada and could not see it.87 views
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Not much inside the Tea Hall which sells some tea.86 views
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Tacky bridges leading to the sleazy side of town.86 views
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Tatsumi Yagura Turret (Reconstructed in 1992)85 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.85 views
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The annual Daidogei (street performance) World Cup in Shizuoka is held in Sumpu Park in autumn.85 views
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Another lookout deck is this Higashi Tenbodai or Eastern Lookout Deck. 東展望台85 views
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Plum trees85 views
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The fans state the name of the hairstyle they are wearing.85 views
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Otemon Gate84 views大手門
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About Sumpu Castle84 views
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I wonder how much it costs to make your this way in a beauty salon in Shimada. That is, if your hair were long enough.84 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.83 views
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Kakegawa Castle marker82 views
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Megumi-no-te water fountain at Shirataki Park82 views
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Otemon Gate81 views
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Tea Hall (Cha Kaikan) 茶会館81 views
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Castle tower as seen from neighboring high school80 views
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If you go to Kyoto and see geisha, their hairstyle is usually the Shimada-ryu style. One leading theory says that Shimada-ryu originated here in Shimada, Shizuoka Prefecture.80 views
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80 views
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Next to Rakujuen is a small park called Shirataki Park. 白滝公園80 views
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Otemon Gate79 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.79 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 1986.79 views
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Yet another Nihondaira stone marker.79 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.79 views
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Nihondaira Ropeway operates from 9:10 am to 5:15 pm (till 4:15 pm in winter months).79 views
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Sakaki tree whose leaves and branches are used in Shinto ceremonies.79 views
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Kakegawa Castle marker78 views
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Nihondaira marker78 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.78 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.78 views
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Handprint of Tokugawa Ieyasu displayed behind Romon Gate.78 views
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Castle tower77 views
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Otemon Gate rear76 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76 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.76 views
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Gift shops next to Atami Station. The architecture doesn't match the station at all.76 views
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Entrance to shopping arcade.76 views
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Another hairstyle variation.76 views
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Nihondaira monument in the parking lot.75 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. 75 views
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I wonder if 7-year-old girls in Shimada have their hair done in Shimada-ryu for shichi-go-san.75 views
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Giant Gundam with eyes aglow at Shizuoka Hobby Fair 2010-2011.75 views
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Castle tower74 views
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Pine tree and castle tower74 views
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Otemon Gate74 views
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Lock your heart.74 views
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Nihondaira Ropeway to Kunozan. The ropeway ride is only only 5 min. It runs quite often.74 views
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Lion dog painting on the Hionden Hall.74 views
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Lookout deck74 views
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View from the Eastern Lookout Deck on Nihondaira. 73 views
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Nihondaira monument and Mt. Fuji.73 views
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View of Nihondaira's parking lot and Mt. Fuji.73 views
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Hot spring fountain as a hand bath.73 views
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Even little girls don the Shimada-ryu style with their real hair and dance.73 views
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Mt. Fuji and torii pillar.73 views
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Castle tower and sign72 views
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Tatsumi Yagura Turret at the southeast corner of Sumpu Park. 巽櫓72 views
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Lots of antenna atop Nihondaira.72 views
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Torii72 views
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Dancing again.72 views
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Hamamatsu Castle 72 views
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View of central Shizuoka city from Nihondaira Park Center.71 views
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Riding the Nihondaira Ropeway to Kunozan. Built in 1957, the ropeway is 1,065 meters long.71 views
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About Kunozan Toshogu Shrine in English.71 views
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Purification water fountain is an Important Cultural Property.71 views
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Honden roof71 views
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About Atami's seven hot springs71 views
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If you have noticed many women and girls with long black hair in Shimada, now you know why.71 views
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People pray for Good health, good job, prosperity, good school, good marriage partner (even though fewer people are getting married in Japan), etc.71 views
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