Friday, June 29, 2012

Arita Porcelain Park Nagasaki

Arita Porcelain Park Nagasaki, although not technically in Nagasaki, borders Nagasaki so closely that one could be forgiven to think that you were still in the same Prefecture.  A mere hop, skip and jump from Nagasaki and you are in Saga and one of the most famous pottery producing areas in all of Japan.

Arita is known for producing Arita Porcelain, one of the traditional handicrafts of Japan.  It also holds the largest ceramic fair in Western Japan, called the Arita Ceramic Fair. This event is held from April 29th to May 5th every year and has thousands of stores and stalls lining the six-kilometer main street.

One of the best well known places is the Arita Porcelain Park Nagasaki, where a replica of Dresden's Zwinger (Baroque palace) houses a collection of Arita and European porcelain.  A very interesting place to wander around and appreciate real beauty, not only are the buildings wonderful to gaze at but the blue and white porcelain pieces on display are to be seen to be believed.  A MUST for all art lovers!

I spent around 2 hours here just wandering and looking at all things beautiful.  There was so many things that I wanted to buy but alas I was not cashed up sufficiently to buy at my hearts request.  Without a doubt I will be back as the Porcelain pieces keep calling for my return and no doubt a large cash flow will be needed at that time.  There are just too many wonderful things to see and buy here so please come prepared and you won't leave disappointed!

Check out the Arita Porcelain Park Nagasaki on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

Picture Perfect Scene

European Styling
One of the museums
Old style buildings
Cups and Saucers
Some porcelain figurines

Check out the Arita Porcelain Park Nagasaki below in the video:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Futagoiwa Nagasaki Geopark

Futagoiwa Nagasaki Geopark is a place that you must check out for yourself otherwise you may be disappointed .  This unique rock, called Futagoiwa in Japanese (Twin Rock in English) was made by mudflow sediment from many hundreds and thousands of years ago.  Over the years the Twin Rock has been eroded by waves.  It contains large quantities of Andesite from volcanic activity on the  Kunisaki Peninsula 1.5 million years ago and although there were other similar rock towers once, they have been broken by sea erosion and the passage of time and slowly diminished bit by bit.

However, Futagoiwa Nagasaki Geopark still today stands proudly on the west side of the Tachibana Bay between Unzen and Minamishimabara Cities and is a great example of geology explaining the history of the area from many years ago.  A huge plus for anyone who has an interest in geology or just a nature lover who needs their regular nature fix!

I drive this stretch of road many times within the week and it is always such a striking feature that makes so want to pull over and further inspect every nook and cranny that mother nature has been able to impact on this structure over time.  It will be a sad day when the rock no longer exists so I urge everyone to visit before it is lost forever!

Check out Futagoiwa Nagasaki Geopark on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

Futagoiwa Nagasaki Geopark The last 2 rocks standing
Futagoiwa Nagasaki Geopark
The main rock

Friday, June 15, 2012

Nagasaki Peace Park

Nagasaki Peace Park The view of this peaceful park

Nagasaki Peace Park was born from the infamous day forever etched into history and the minds of those associated with this disaster.  The death toll was 74,000 people, with another 75,000 suffering injuries.  Within a 1 kilometer radius of the hypocenter almost 90% of the people died.  Burns caused by the heat rays of the atomic bomb were severe, with the surface skin being completely burned and falling off thus leaving tissue and bone exposed.  People were thrown by the force of the blast and countless pieces of glass and other debris pierced their skin.  The radiation penetrated deep into people's bodies causing them to suffer injuries and diseases such as cancer and leukemia to this very day.

Nagasaki Peace Park Children and the symbol of Peace

The original target for the bomb was the city of Kokura but obscuring clouds necessitated changing course to the alternative target, Nagasaki.  However because of poor visibility due to cloud cover the bomb missed its intended detonation point which was the Mitsubishi Shipyards and exploded over the suburban area of Urakami,  in effect killing mostly women and children and not the factory manufacturing area of War Machinery.  In many ways it is this misfortune that will label Nagasaki forever in history!

Nagasaki Peace Park today is a very peaceful place to stroll about and reflect on this frightening event in mankind's history.  Let's hope that the mistakes of the past are never repeated again and the world can live peacefully without Nuclear threats of destruction.  A walk around this solemn but special place always provides me with the strength and resolve that the mistakes of the past happen again and we should always do everything humanly possible to make this happen as a human race.

Check out the Nagasaki Peace Park on a map!

Nagasaki Peace Park Statue for World Peace
Nagasaki Peace Park
Haunting statue of Mother and Baby as time stands still!

Please have a look at the video below to see more of the Nagasaki Peace Park:

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Famous Nagasaki Pottery

Famous Nagasaki Pottery is one of the areas biggest draw cards and bring in thousands of tourists every year.  Nagasaki Pottery began at the end of the 16th century, the feudal lord of the Omura clan accompanied Toyotomi Hideyoshi (the Shogunate of Japan at the time) on one of his campaigns to the Korean Peninsular.  On his return he brought back some Korean potters with him and they began making pottery in Hasami, Nagasaki.  By the beginning of the 17th century porcelain was being made  such as cups and plates, various kinds of containers like sake (Japanese rice wine) flasks were also being produced.

The degree of detail, the cobalt blue motifs, and the beautiful translucent quality of the porcelain are what makes Hasami ware so special. It is also very reasonably priced and designs have been adapted over the years, so that now a great variety of items are offered, some of which are traditional while others are modern in character.  With 30 government recognized Master Craftsmen among their ranks, 2,500 people are employed by the 120 firms still producing this attractive porcelain.

A must for any pottery fans and it isn't just the pottery that makes people return over and over again.  The people and the scenic beauty of this quaint rural town is such an enchanting experience to wander around and just lose yourself in the process whilst picking up a bargain or that piece of work that you have always been looking for.  There are many shops to browse to pick up the special piece that you will never forget.

Come and check out Famous Nagasaki Pottery on a map!

Click to enlarge the photos below:

Famous Nagasaki Pottery Famous Hasami Hyakkusan Pottery
Famous Nagasaki Pottery
Close up of the wall

Famous Nagasaki Pottery The wall of mistakes

Famous Nagasaki Pottery Close up of the Wall of Shame