Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chijiwa Fault Nagasaki Geopark

Chijiwa Fault Nagasaki Geopark is one of the more interesting Geopark attractions in Shimabara, Nagasaki, Japan.

Nagasaki Geopark consists of the Unzen Volcanic Area and covers the entire area of the Shimabara Peninsula in Nagasaki Prefecture.  There are three cities in this Geopark, Shimabara, Unzen and Minami Shimabara City and about 150,000 people live in the Geopark.  One of the more interesting area of the Unzen Geopark is the Chijiwa Fault as it is the largest active fault on the Peninsula.

This fault was formed by north and south tearing of the peninsula's basement.  The maximum displacement, accumulated  over 300,000 years, reaches 450 m.  Today the displacement occurs at a rate of 1.5 mm/y.

The Chijiwa fault Nagasaki Geopark is a beauty of nature and amazing to look at from all angles.  I took these photos from the Obama side along a coastal road but I am told that the best place to view this unique phenom is from the House of Nature located at the top of a peak bisecting Obama and Chijiwa.  I will attempt to add these pictures to my collection someday as my trials and tribulations into the area that i have not yet mastered have sparked a fire deep inside me to learn more and find out specific details about this amazing place I live in called the Shimabara Peninsular.

Check out the Chijiwa Fault Nagasaki Geopark for yourself on a map!

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Chijiwa Beach below
The view across the bay
Chijiwa Fault
View from the port


Here is a video showing the Chijiwa Fault Nagasaki Geopark:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tachibana Shrine Chijiwa Nagasaki

Tachibana Shrine Chijiwa Nagasaki is dedicated to army lieutenant colonel Shuta Tachibana who became famous in the Russo-Japanese War which occurred during the beginning on the 20th century.  Tachibana Shrine Chijiwa Nagasaki is a noted place for the viewing of cherry tree blossoms and many people come and visit this exquisite flower viewing  place in spring.

For New Year, the world's biggest New Year's pine and bamboo decorations more than 11m in height are installed at the entrance to a shrine.  They have caught the attention of many followers including the Guinness Book of Records who have noted the fact!

The Shrine and the surrounding Park area are just beautiful, esthetically pleasing and at many times of the year (cherry blossoms in spring and maple leaves in autumn) are picture perfect.  Whenever I have visitors from overseas and from other places in Japan, Tachibana Shrine is always on the top of my list of preferred tourist destinations.  On this day, nearing the middle of summer, the birds were chirping, the cicada's making a roaring noise, the sun was shining intensely but I was in my element.  A picture perfect day and and some amazing photos and video to show for it.  Definitely worth and look and tour of the area.

Check out Tachibana Shrine Chijiwa Nagasaki on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:



Group blessing

Shinto Praying Style

Peaceful location

Sunset perfection


The entrance

3 lovely ladies posing

Water purifying


3 2 1 Bow


















Please check out the Tachibana Shrine in Chijiwa, Nagasaki on this video:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Converted Railway Line Nagasaki

Converted Railway Line Nagasaki is a coastal road now called route 201 and is located between the towns of Obama and Chijiwa on the Eastern side of the Shimabara Peninsular.   The road is just a beautiful and is one of the most relaxing drives you will ever encounter (although i prefer to cycle)  it is a winding meandering road and at each turn in the road leads to another unbelievable lookout of the Tachibana Bay far below.

The  abandoned railway line has been transformed into a road or may I say a small version of a road as 2 vehicles are barely able to pass each other without pulling over to the side of the road.  The 3 tunnels that link the road are in themselves a unique feature of the converted Railway Lone Nagasaki as they really only allow 1 large car or 2 medium sized cars to pass each other.  I can't tell you how many times I have seen cars reversing out of the tunnel in order for another car already inside the tunnel to pass safely.

However, I believe this is a small price to pay to see such a beautiful and amazing view of the Tachibana Bay and the feeling of travelling along a old country style road is just exhilarating and worth the occasional hassle of stopping halfway through the tunnel and reversing backwards to the start.

Check out the Converted Railway line Nagasaki on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

Pretty as a picture
Now a beautiful drive/ cycle course
Overhanging foliage





Below are a couple of video highlighting the scenic beauty of the Converted Railway Line Nagasaki:



Thursday, July 5, 2012

Omura Park Shrine Nagasaki

Omura Park Shrine Nagasaki was founded in 587  but the present main building of the shrine dates to 1705. The Botansugi (Japanese Cedar Tree) behind the main building is considered sacred and said to be 1000 years old.  It has been designated as a national natural monuments.  According to legend, the tree top is said to shine at times of emergencies, thus because of this the tree is also called an Eternal flame.

The entrance to the Shrine is simple yet with the Shrine built on the ruins of Omura Castle it has a strong historical connection .  Also, there is something about walking through many brightly coloured red torii (gate entrances) that puts you in a trance like state.  For me there is something magical, as if i have stepped back in time to the 17th or 18th century.

Because Omura Shrine Park Nagasaki is built on the ruins of Omura Castle the walking paths are numerous and extensive.  I could walk for hours and hours and still not be able to locate every area of the park.  At certain times of the year Omura Park Shrine is inundated with tourists and visitors, the Spring Cherry Blossoms and June Irises are not to be missed.

Well worth a look!

Check out Omura Park Shrine Nagasaki on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

The entrance
The remains of the old Castle
Around the outer walls
Lots of red gate entrances
Red gates in a row