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2017年05月20日

Tokyo-Meiji Shrine, Shibuya




This shrine honors the spirits of Emperor Meiji, who died in 1912, and Empress Shoken. It was established by a resolution of the Imperial Diet the year after the Emperor's death to commemorate his role in ending the long isolation of Japan under the Tokugawa Shogunate and setting the country on the road to modernization. Virtually destroyed in an air raid in 1945, it was rebuilt in 1958.

A wonderful spot for photos, the mammoth entrance gates (torii), rising 40 feet high, are made from 1,700-year-old cypress trees from Mt. Ari in Taiwan; the crosspieces are 56 feet long. Torii are meant to symbolize the separation of the everyday secular world from the spiritual world of the Shinto shrine. The buildings in the shrine complex, with their curving, green, copper roofs, are also made of cypress wood. The surrounding gardens have some 100,000 flowering shrubs and trees.

  


Posted by キンコン at 17:52Comments(0)Beautiful places

2017年04月28日

Japan-best places to visit




Go visit Japan while the flights are still cheap. You get a first world country with all the amenities, service and safety but a truly different culture to explore.
You will need to learn some Japanese, and you should anyway. At least enough to know how to make reservations at Ryokan and restaurants, and to order food. The Japanese food in Japan is, surprise, much better than that in the USA, even California. I'm not a big fan of Japanese food, mostly because I'm not too fond of random fish parts and flavours showing up in my cuisine, but inside Japan just about everything was wonderful. (Though the squid sushi is not recommended.)

Try to stay in Ryokan, the Japanese style inns, at least part of the time. They can be quite cheap, if you are on a budget, though small. I suggest you make your first reservation in a western style hotel, then try out a Ryokan to see if you like it, and if you do, stay in Ryokan for the rest of your stay. You may miss a bed off the floor a bit, but you're not traveling to have everything the same as home.

Most Ryokan have western style bathrooms now anyway, as many Japanese have come to want them, and even a small hidden alcove with chairs and a table.

Japanese TV is a hoot, even if you don't understand it. The ads are amusing, as is the Japlish. Japlish is the funny English the Japanese use. They can read and know the meaning of many English words, but don't know a lot about grammar, idioms or what words mean together. That's why they can name a popular drink Pocari Sweat. Japanese have nothing but English on their T-shirts and on about half the commercial signs.

You'll even see familiar things like "Who Wants to be a Millionaire." The host looks exactly like Regis (who looks just like the British host.) and western shows with added Japanese commentary. Alas, Iron Chef is no longer on the air. The other game shows are bizarre and entertaining.

There are tons of new brands of snacks, chocolate and especially drinks from the vending machines to try. Do you like it when a new brand comes out? You'll have a field day.  


Posted by キンコン at 17:23Comments(0)