Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Cherry Blossom Viewing Nagasaki

Cherry Blossom Viewing Nagasaki is so much more popular than it's plum tree cousins.  In fact, it's more like a religion rather than a casual stroll around a park looking at the beautiful flowers.   It is  such a big deal that people plan these days weeks and months in advance even before the Cherry Blossom forecasts have been given by the Japan Meteorological Service, such is the devotion and fanatical feeling towards these inspiring flowers.

Even once the Cherry Blossom Viewing season starts, it's not the lack of places to go (there are cherry trees all over Japan) but the lack of car parking due to the influx of fellow spectators who all have one thing on their mind:  Cherry Blossom Viewing.  I mind admit, when i first came to Japan i wondered out loud what the fuss was and why on earth would someone have to visit 5 different places in one day and take literally 1000 photography of this rather pretty flower?  But, now that i have lived in Japan for a while I have come to realize that Cherry Blossom are so intricately linked to the Japanese psyche and soul that one cannot get enough of this awe inspiring and moving flower.

I guess I have turned Japanese some what because this year I visit 4 different locations, not all in one day mind you so i guess I am still Australian as well.

Viewing Cherry Blossoms will move you as well i am sure.

The pictures I took are from the famous Omura Park and they grab a lot of attention from all over Nagasaki and other areas as well.  The crowds never dispersed all day and even though the weather wasn't the best this didn't hold anyone back.

Click on the photos below to enlarge.

A time to ponder and stroll around

One of the most popular places in Nagasaki

The social highlight on everyone's calendar

Pretty as a peach

Best time of the year

Please click on the videos below to see Cherry Blossoms as seen from a moving car, another great way to enjoy the beauty of this special event:

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Onokoba Elementary School Nagasaki

Onokoba Elementary School Nagasaki is one of the more haunting figures on the Shimabara Peninsular.  It is the wrecked site of the former school which was destroyed by a pyroclastic flow in 1990.  All that remains today of the interior is twisted metal and glass but the basic structure of the school is intact and was left as a reminder of the disaster.  A new Onokoba Elementary School Nagasaki has been built in its place albeit in a new location.

A small Museum was built next to the school and exhibits some pictures and explanations about the eruption.  It also has an observation deck with views of the volcano peak known as the Heisei Shinzan dome which was formed when the mountain exploded 20 years ago and  raised the height of the existing mountain by well over 100 metres in height.  The Museum although not huge is well represented with pictures and information about the conditions at the time and the consequences of the eruptions.  Not much English documentation but the sights and scenes do more than enough to convey the end results.

There is a eerie silence and disturbing feeling when walking around the site.  Its as though one can feel the power and destructive force of the volcano which is now dormant but at the time destroyed everything in its path.  A must do and must see when in the area.   I guarantee you won't be disappointed by what you will see here.

Come and see Onokoba Elementary School Nagasaki on a map!

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

The Volcano looms above

Completely destroyed

Here is a video of the Onokoba Elementary School Nagasaki for you to check out:

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Unzen Jigoku Hells Nagasaki

Unzen Jigoku Hells Nagasaki is located within the Unzen Town district and is designated as a National Park.  It is where you will find many wild birds and alpine plants as well as other attractive features such as frost in winter (January to February) crimson foliage in autumn (October and November) cherry blossoms in Spring (March and April) and Azaleas in summer (May and June).

The Unzen Hot Spring is located at the foot of Mt. Unzen.  As a result of the nearby Volcano (Mount Fugen) it provides more than enough hot water for the many resorts an hotels in the region and support a wasteland of heat and steam.  This is the place where high-temperature hot springs and steams spurt out of the ground and is called "Unzen Jigoku” (Unzen Hell) because of the sulfur content and the fact that sulfur steam is rising constantly into the air from the ground and the boiling spring water.  Because of the sulfur, plants cannot grow here and the atmosphere is dense with steam which makes you think as if it is a scene right out of hell but don't worry within minutes of leaving the area the sulfur smell will have dissipated from your clothes and your pores.

One can walk around the area within a reasonable amount of time (approx 30 to 40 mins), take a multitude of photos of plant and bird life around the hells area and also enjoy sulfur infused boiled eggs cooked within minutes right in front of your eyes.  These eggs taste amazing and combined with just the right amount of salt for added tasting pleasure they are out of this world and will be absolutely the best boiled eggs you will ever taste in your life!

Look at Unzen Jigoku Hells Nagasaki on a map!

Click on the photo below to enlarge:

Steam and sulfur everywhere you look

Have a look at Unzen Jigoku Hells Nagasaki on the videos below:

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Shimabara Water House Nagasaki

Shimabara is a city of abundant spring water and has been selected as one of the top 100 natural water sources in Japan.  Since the Edo Period (16th century) the rich natural blessing of spring water has been maintained and the systems used for this remain to this day.  Clean, clear water bubbles up from springs located all over the city, the spring water enriching residents’ daily lives and the landscape. 

Building structures that incorporate spring wells into Japanese-style houses and watercourses with swimming carp are popular sights in the city.  Tourists from all around Japan and even the world come to Shimabara to see and feel for themselves how a city and town can be developed with Springwater in mind as the main attraction and one of its life bloods and key to its existence and continual development for the future.

On this fine winters day I decided to bring one of my visiting friends and my kids to check out and see for themselves that water is one of most precious resources and it must be cherished and maintained at the highest level as so to encourage other communities to treat water with the highest regards.

The Water House as its known in English, is a fine example of this type of respect that is shown to the Natural Springwater of Shimabara.  A house built directly on top of one of the many water features in Shimabara to allow people to appreciate and interact with nature the way it was intended to be.  One can also appreciate Japanese cultural assets and materials that are on display in the house and of course what else but a delicious free sample of Japanese Green Tea, straight from the water source below.  There is nothing better than a cup of fresh hot green water on a cold winters day.  It was so good that we asked for another and the impeccably dressed host for the day in an absolutely beautiful traditional Kimono was happy to oblige.

I will be back!
A huge thumbs up from me and my accompanied guests.

Click here to see Shimabara Water House Nagasaki on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Carp everywhere

Complimentary Green Tea 

Beautiful decorations

A great place to chill

Picture Perfect

Pure springwater

Lots of carp to admire

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Obama Marina Sunset Nagasaki

I have come to the conclusion that everywhere in Obama great sunsets are a given.  From all angles and viewpoints the photos and the results are just tremendous, as you will see in the photo below!

Click here to see Obama Marina Sunset on a map!