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:

The last 2 rocks standing
The main rock

Please check out the video below of the Futogoiwa Nagasaki Geopark:

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 Hasami Hyakkusan Potter

Close up of the wall

The wall of mistakes

Close up of the Wall of Shame