2015/06/29

Hyogo Prefecture

Prefectural capital:Kobe City
Kobe City is Hyogo Prefecture’s main tourist area. The Port of Kobe and Yokohama are equally important trading port. Kobe Chinatown (Nankin-machi) is one of three designated Chinatowns (Yokohama, Kobe and Nagasaki) in Japan. It has been crowded with local shoppers and tourists on a holiday. And, one of The Three Ancient Springs, Arima Onsen is very popular.


Himeji City is the second city of Hyogo Prefecture in the commerce and industry, and the population. Especially the Himeji Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is very popular. Because its preservation state is very good, it has earned a reputation as the most beautiful castle in Japan. Many of period dramas and movies have been shot here.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese

2015/06/26

Nara Prefecture

Prefectural capital:Nara City
Ancient capital of Japan was built on the land of Nara, namely Heijō-kyō (710–784). This time is called the Nara period. From this historical background, there are many cultural heritage in Nara Prefecture. Especially you should visit the Tōdai-ji which is known for Nara Daibutsu (Vairocana). This Daibutsu was built by the instruction of Emperor Shomu, it’s very powerful. Tōdai-ji is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site as one of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara”.

The treasure house “Shōsō-in” that belongs to Tōdai-ji is very important. Shōsō-in holds around 9,000 items such as clothing, furniture, musical instruments, toys and weapons. There are also variety of items originating from Tang China and Persia. Therefore, Shōsō-in is referred to as the end point of the Silk Road. Although these collections are not open to the public, selections fairly infrequently are shown at museum.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*Prefectures of Japan





2015/06/25

Kyoto Prefecture


Prefectural capital:Kyoto City
Kyoto was the capital of Japan for over one thousand years, from 794 (Heian-kyo was built) to 1868 (the capital moved to Tokyo). There are many temples, shrines, National Treasures, fine arts and crafts. Kyoto is a great tourist city. Especially Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion) is very important, it is one of the “Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto” World Heritage Site. It was founded by the 3rd shogun of the Muromachi shogunate Ashikaga Yoshimitsu who was the patron of Noh theatre.

In addition, in northern Kyoto there is “Amanohashidate” which is one of Japan’s three scenic views. It is a unique natural landscape and the well-known scenic spot since ancient times. And, there are many traditional crafts such as Nishijin, Kiyomizu ware and Kyoto fan.


See also
*Noh
*Japanese
*Chinese
*Prefectures of Japan


2015/06/23

Osaka Prefecture


Prefectural capital:Osaka City
In Muromachi period (14-15th), Sakai in Osaka had been flourishing by great merchants who had traded to with China (Ming Dynasty). In the late Sengoku period, Toyotomi Hideyoshi built Osaka Castle. He had grown in strength, and brought the country under one sway. After Hideyoshi died, Tokugawa Ieyasu’s forces had grown, he began the Edo shogunate (bakufu). Then Ieyasu attacked Osaka Castle, destroyed Toyotomi clan. In Edo period (17-19th), Osaka had developed as the center of Japan’s economy.

In modern times, these areas have formed Hanshin Industrial Region, and heavy industry such as metal manufacturing and shipbuilding have developed. There are many huge office buildings, and many folksy eateries too in Osaka. You can eat grilled meat, Shabu shabu, okonomiyaki and takoyaki!


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese

2015/06/22

Wakayama Prefecture

Prefectural capital:Wakayama City
Tourism to shrines and temples in Wakayama Prefecture is very unique. Kumano Sanzan and Kongōbu-ji founded by Kūkai (founder of the Shingon Buddhism) located on Mount Kōya is very famous. These areas was added to the World Heritage List as “Sacred Sites and Pilgrimage Routes in the Kii Mountain Range” in 2004, after that many foreign tourists have visited. And, one of The Three Ancient Springs, Nanki-Shirahama Onsen which has a history of more than 1300 years is very popular.

Wakayama is one of the major fruit producing regions in Japan, being the top domestic producer of citrus unshius, hassaku orange and persimmon. And Wakayama is known throughout Japan for the number and quality of its ume and umeboshi (pickled plum). Fishery is also thriving, pacific bluefin tuna, bonito, daggertooth pike conger and largehead hairtail are abundantly caught.


See also
*Japanese pickled plums
*Japanese
*Chinese

2015/06/21

Shiga Prefecture


Prefectural capital:Ōtsu City
Shiga Prefecture encircles Lake Biwa, the largest freshwater lake in Japan. Lake Biwa occupies 1/6 of Shiga. It serves as a reservoir for the cities of Kyoto and Ōtsu and is a valuable resource for nearby textile industries. It provides drinking water for about 15 million people in the Kansai region. And there are many tourist spots such as beaches, ports and gardens at Lake Biwa.

Hikone Castle which preserve the Tenshu(castle tower), gate and samurai residence of the Edo period is also worth visiting. And Kōga City is very famous as ninja clan. The traditional culture, Shigaraki ware which figures representing the Tanuki(raccoon dog) is very popular.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese

2015/06/20

AKIRA


“AKIRA” is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo. It is a cyberpunk genre which set in a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo. It had been very successful in various countries of the world with psychic battle and dense depiction.

Main character Kaneda is a leader of motorcycle gang (bōsōzoku). His friend, Tetsuo has felt inferiority complex about Kaneda and leading him. One day, Tetsuo is seriously injured in a traffic accident, and wake up to the psychic power. Furthermore, anti-government terrorists, the secret government army and the mysterious presence “AKIRA” also appeared, the story is getting more and more chaotic.


See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese subculture


2015/06/05

Rakugo


Rakugo which has started from Edo period is a form of Japanese verbal entertainment. The lone storyteller (rakugoka) sits on stage, called Kōza. Using only a folding fan (sensu) and a small cloth (tenugui) as props, and without standing up from the seiza sitting position, the rakugoka depicts a long and complicated comical story. The story always involves the dialogue of two or more characters, the difference between the characters depicted only through change in pitch, tone, and a slight turn of the head.

Oh yeah, I introduce a distinctive rakugoka, Shinoharu Tatekawa. Because he lived in the United States for a long time, he is good at speaking English. Now, He has challenged Rakugo performance in English. Many foreigners who heard his rakugo in English has begun to enjoy The Rakugo.


External links
*Shinoharu Tatekawa official website

See also
*Japanese
*Chinese
*List of Japanese culture