Saturday, December 9, 2017

Karimizu Geopark: Obama, Nagasaki Prefecture

Karimizu Spring Geopark Nagasaki has a cold water natural spring as well as many hot water springs as well.  The Karimizu Mineral Spring located at the Obama Hot Springs Resort Town on the west side of the Shimabara Peninsular is the only spring that comprises a bubbling effect similar to opening a can of soft drink.  The gaseous components in the chloride spring are melted in the shallow ground water and the 25-27℃ carbonated spring contains low quantities of hydro sulfide.

The Karimizu Spring Geopark Nagasaki is officially classified as a Hot Spring because its temperature is above 24 degrees which is the cutoff point for whether a body of water is actually groundwater or not.

It's amazing to see nature at its best working efficiently and even more surprising that the water is cool to touch.  At first, being that you are at a Hot Spring Resort and the spring water is bubbling at the surface, gives one the impression that the water is boiling at 100 degrees.  However the shock of realizing that it is actually a reasonable temperature is gratifying.  The spring water is actually safe to drink but trust me when I say it is not very pleasant.  The carbonated water is clear but has a slight smell from the sulfide and thus is not really a delicious drink but by all means try for yourself, if you are game of course?

Check out the Karimizu Spring Geopark Nagasaki on a map!

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

Lots of great information in English


Interesting to see and feel

Carbonated natural spring

Closeup of the bubble




Please take a look at Karimizu Spring Geopark Nagasaki video on the link provided below:


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Temple Street: Nagasaki City

Nagasaki Tera Machi Temple Street is one of the most famous places within the city limits of Nagasaki.  The centre of Nagasaki City is called Tera-machi, which literally means Temple Street.  It is anchored at either end by Nagasaki's two best-known temples, Sōfuku-ji and Kōfuku-ji, both Chinese in origin and two of the major tourist attractions within the Central Business District.

The distance between them is approximately 600 metres and is home to several smaller temples which obviously has many famous grave sites and unique statues within the perimeter.  Each Temple is unique and worth investigating and without a doubt a surprise around every corner will delight you and keep you intrigued at all times.  That is of course if strolling around gravestones and tombs don't freak you out too much?  As for me, this has never been a problem so I was in my element and roamed freely far and wide.

Tera-Machi and it surrounding area makes for a relaxing stroll around and of course many fabulous pictures are possible.  If you have a couple of hours up you sleeve and want to get a feel of the older areas of Nagasaki then this is the place for you.

Come and check out Tera Machi and its temples on the famous Nagasaki Temple Street on a map!

Click on the photos below to enlarge:


The buildings and details are very impressive



This is an old one!

Lots of good info


Fabulous views from all angles


Greeted by a interesting statues



Come in and have a look around






































Here are a couple of videos of Nagasaki Tera Machi Temple Street, check it out:



Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Sumiyoshi Shrine: Fukuoka City

One of the more popular Shrines in Fukuoka City is Sumiyoshi Shrine which is located within a 1 km  radius of Hakata Station.  Realistically a very close and conveniently located Urban site and quite remarkable that such a quiet and open area can be situated so close to a major Train Station.  You are enclosed in such a nature filled area that you could be confused that you are in the countryside and not a large metropolitan city, such as Fukuoka.

Our walking tours of Fukuoka always includes a Shrine is our travels as it is a great way to connect to Japanese History and Culture.  The Shinto religion encompasses everything Japanese and it is believed that the gods created Japan in its purest form.  Sumo, the National Sport of Japan, was originally performed as a Shinto ritual and the Deity of the Sumiyoshi Shrine worshipped Sumo as a result.

In fact, before the annual Kyushu Basho in Fukuoka every November you can see a Sumo Ceremony at the Sumiyoshi Shrine whereby all the Wrestlers pray for healthy and prosperity for the last tournament of the year.  I haven`t seen this ceremony yet although I have been to many sumo matches in the past.  In the future I will attempt to get some photos and videos of this special and highly respected occasion.

A trip to Sumiyoshi Shrine will be remember for a long time to come.

Check out Sumiyoshi Shrine here on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:








Check out these videos below to learn more about Sumiyoshi Shrine in Fukuoka City:


Friday, October 13, 2017

Okunchi Festival: Nagasaki City

Okunchi is the most famous festival in Nagasaki and one of the top 3 festivals in all of Japan.  It began as a celebration of autumn harvests in the late 16th century and became a shrine festival when Suwa Shrine was founded in 1642. Another purpose was to check for hidden Christians after the ban on Christianity.

This is still evident today in the custom of garden showing when the presenting neighbourhoods open up their homes to public scrutiny. One of the most famous performances of the festival is the Dragon dance which was originally performed on New Years Eve by the Chinese residents of Nagasaki.  From October 7-9 the presentations of the festival, which vividly reflect Nagasaki's colourful history, spill over from the three festival sites into the streets and create an atmosphere of celebration throughout the city.

Without a doubt, the locals of Nagasaki City, people living all over Nagasaki Prefecture and interstate and overseas visitors come from far away to check out the scenes, sights and tastes of Nagasaki during the special time of the year.  There are so many things to see and do that one will be throughly exhausted just by the decision making process of where to go and what to see, as is the norm with any major event.

I was lucky to be in the right place at the right time when i was passing through Chinatown and there was some practise going on with one of the teams.  Although the real event is much more spectacular I was throughly impressed and excited to witness the members going through their moves.

Click on the pics below to enlarge:







Here are some videos below to check out Okunchi for yourself:



........and when you get tired of watching the magical entertainment all around you, of course you want to put your feet up so to speak and sample all the delicious and amazing foods that Chinatown is famous for!  The you are in luck, a plethora of restaurants are all around and food like this is not only delicious but very reasonable as well.




Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Nagasaki Seafood

Without a doubt the best seafood in all of Japan is right here on my doorstep in Nagasaki.  We are blessed with an abundant amount of fresh fish and just about any type of crustacean that you could want and or name.

So, of course when my brother and mother visited me here in Nagasaki, Japan one of their first requests is to eat sushi and sashimi to their hearts content.  Well in fact, more my brothers request rather than my mothers but at least she came and checked out our local fishmonger.

Tanaka San is a bit of a legend in these parts of Nagasaki.  Always going that extra mile to satisfy a customers desires and requests in regards to all things fishy.  My brother got down and dirty and to his credit did a fine job for a first time beginner.  No matter how badly the fish was cut and prepared, in truth it tastes just the same as the impeccably prepared and presented version that Tanaka San does routinely on a daily basis.

Don`t know it this experience will become a regular Tour Nagasaki event but the pictures and video are well worth a look.  Hope you get some pointers and or ideas for your next fish eating and preparation adventure.





Sunday, September 3, 2017

Shusaku Endo`s Literary Museum: Sotome, Nagasaki Prefecture

Please click on the video below to see the trailer of the original author`s new Hollywood Movie called Silence directed by Matin Scorcese.



Please click on the video below to see more of the Shusaku Endo`s Literary Museum




The Shusaku Endo Literature Museum was established in May 2000, with the cooperation of his widow and family, under one premise, that it in built and commands a view of the calm Goto-Nada Sea.  The Museum is located in Sotome, Nagasaki and is known as the area where the Nagasaki Christians were persecuted during the ban on Christianity.  While not originally from Nagasaki, Mr Endo felt a strong bond with the district, in fact he referred to Sotome many times as his 2nd home.

The Museum contains more than 25 000 exhibits as well as the traces of his life. It also displays items connected to Mr. Endo's literature. Born in Tokyo in 1923, Shusaku was baptized as a Catholic at the age of 11. As an adult, he pursued the question of Japan's spiritual climate and Christianity. He was an author who, throughout his lifetime, used the approach of literature to investigate the issue of religion in depth.

My time at the Museum was enjoyable and educational.  I learnt many a new thing about the region, the history of Japan and Nagasaki as well as about the writer of course.  Someone could easily spend 3 or 4 hours just at the Museum itself but with many new attractions in and around Sotome linked to the Hidden Christians of Nagasaki, maybe 1 to 2 hours would be a more than necessary in order to fit more destinations into one`s itinerary

The area is in a rural setting outside of Nagasaki City, so of course a private tour would seem to be the best options in order to navigate this rather out of the way region.  There are buses that frequent the area but they are limited and don`t allow for very much flexibility.


A real find this place especially if you are looking for stories and information about Nagasaki’s Hidden Christians.

Please click here to see the Shusaki Endo Literary Museum of a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:



Amazing views

The Museum

Silence

Mr Endo`s desk

A picture of Martin Scorcese 




The man himself


The Library


Well presented

Plenty to see





Sunday, August 20, 2017

Nagasaki Fat Man Atomic Bomb

The Nagasaki Fat Man Atomic Bomb is the code name for the atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.  It was the second of two nuclear weapons to be used in warfare to date (the other being The little Boy over Hiroshima) and its detonation caused the third man-made nuclear explosion.

Nagasaki Fat Man Atomic Bomb was an implosion type weapon with a plutonium core compared to Hiroshima that was a Uranium type weapon therefore its intensity and detonation impact was expected to be many times more powerful and destructive than that of Hiroshima days earlier.

At the moment of the explosion there was a brilliant flash of light, ten seconds later an enormous roar sounded and a fearful blast swept across the area.  Sharp rays of heat emitted massive amounts of radiation all over Nagasaki within seconds and because there were no barriers to the spread of radiation huge amounts of Nagasaki, were destroyed almost instantaneously.

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

The Fat Man Bomb

 English Subtitles


Teary stories

Interesting displays










People didn't feel anything abnormal, as this radiation didn't produce sound or heat but in actuality it had permeated deep into their bodies and affecting them greatly.  The temperature directly under the explosion was estimated to be somewhere from 3,000 to 4,000 degrees Celsius.  The force of the blast and the heat rays unleashed immediate destructive power and then fires broke out which severely damaged one third of the buildings in the city with all buildings inside a 2 kilometer radius of the explosion burnt to ashes.

Above are a coupe of images that i took from the Nagasaki Peace Park Museum that shows the full destructive powers of the Nagasaki Fat Man Atomic Bomb and its course of destruction.

Please check out the Nagasaki Fat Man Atomic Bomb at the Nagasaki Peace Park Museum here on a map:

Our Private Nagasaki Tours can include a visit to the Atomic Bomb Museum however I warn everyone before hand that some of the exhibits and stories can be quite powerful and tear jerking.  Proceed with caution!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Mojiko Station- Kitakyushu: Fukuoka Prefecture

Well if there are train enthusiasts out there and this is your thing, then I have found the right place for you to visit and its right here in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture.

Mojiko Train is a throw back to the good ole days.  The Station is built in a Neo Renaissance style and is designed to impact feelings of nostalgia with the public.  Mojiko Station was first built in 1914 and is one of only a handful of Wooden Built Stations that still exists in Japan today.

It was a real pleasure to walk around the area which is now aptly called Mojiko Retro.  There are many old restored buildings and a rather beautiful broadwalk with fabulous water views.  However the real magic is inside the Station itself.  Many old pictures hanging on the walls, videos to be viewed and waiting rooms that are designed to transport you back in time to a period where train travel was the highlight of ones trip.

Interestingly enough, there is a Starbucks in the Station that also shows many older styles of Logo`s from its beginning days, so if you are a Starbucks fan then this will just add to your satisfaction levels.  There is also a nice restaurant upstairs and although I didn`t eat here I have been told by many people that the food is excellent and as an old fashioned feel to it.

Overall, I was rather delighted with this visit and plan to make it a regular attraction on my Fukuoka Day Tours itinerary.

Please click here to see Mojiko Station on a map:

Please click on the pictures below to enlarge:























Please click on the video`s to see more of Mojiko Station: