Monday, December 3, 2018

Peace Park Statue: Nagasaki City

The Nagasaki Peace Park Main Statue is usually only viewed from one angle, that being from a straight on view but I decided to take another approach and see it was a different viewpoint.  A quick little walk around the back of the statues really does offer a completely opposite visual reference.

Of course the normal view of the Nagasaki Peace Park main statue is a powerful one, undeniably a moving experience and packed with sorrow but at the same time hope for the future.  The reverse side however holds all the above but also in addition there is a feeling of doubt that mankind and humanity can actually learn from its mistakes and not go down that narrow windy path of devastation that the nuclear arms race has headed in the past and still does to some degree in this age of the 21st century.

I am not sure if these feelings creeped up on my from my subconscious or whether it was because of the positioning of the sun and the dark images that resulted in my feelings of doom and gloom but it is something that we all should and need to feel once in a while to face reality to keep everything at face value and in check.

A special and important place for everyone to visit in their lifetime.

Please click on this link to see Nagasaki Peace Park Main Statues on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:



Amazing silhouette

Imposing figure

The sun was at a perfect angle

Another angle

Message

















Click on the video link below to see more of Nagasaki Peace Park Main Statue:

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Henna Hotel: Huis Ten Bosch, Nagasaki Prefecture

Henna in Japanese refers to the meaning of strange or different.  Therefore it is evident that the designers and architects of this unique place have definitely achieved their intended result.  It is quite evident that the Henna Hotel is not a normal hotel in any sense of the word, each step and turn will surprise you with the maximum effect.

It actually is quite surprising that there aren`t more of these types of hotels in Japan and around the world!  In fact, the company who implemented the 1st fully robotic hotel here in Huis Ten Bosch, Nagasaki have 2 fully functioning hotels in Tokyo and many more are planned throughout Japan and probably the world.

Here is what you will expect upon your arrival:


At the front desk, you will be greeted by multi-lingual robots that will help you check in or check out. At the cloakroom, the robotic arm will store your luggage for you. Mechanic yet somehow human, those fun moments with the robots will warm your heart. Furthermore, once you register your face with our face recognition system, you will be free from the hassle of carrying the room key around or worrying about losing it. 


Not only has this robotic technology freed up training and hiring staff but the technologies that have been implemented such as automatic lighting, face recognition, energy usage and wastage prevention not to mention the use of all natural and latest superior building materials to fit in with the concept of the Dutch Theme Park, Huis Ten Bosch which means House in the Woods.

Both times I have been to the Henna Hotel I have either been too early or too late to get the check in and check out process on video.  I am sure my next visit will get this necessary and interesting part on video.

Click here to see the Nagasaki Henna Hotel on a map:

Click on the pictures below to enlarge:


Even the sign is different

The first robot you will meet

The Cloak Room is robotic too

One of the receptionists- of course a robot

This robot takes your suitcases to your room


Click on the video below to see the Nagasaki Henna Hotel in all its glory:


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Kagami Lookout in Karatsu: Saga Prefecture

One of the best Observation decks and lookouts in Kyushu without a doubt is Mount Kagami located in Karatsu in Saga Prefecture.  It is only located approx. an hours drive from Fukuoka City and when combined with other great attractions in the area makes for a spectacular day out.

Anytime of the day is recommended but the highlights are obviously sunrise or sunset in order to maximize on the unique and special views.  The Observation Deck gives unparalleled 270 degree Panoramic views of the Karatsu Bay far below with the magnificent and largely untouched 5km long Black Pine Forest which is one of the longest and most pristine in all of Japan.

The walk from the car park to the Observation Desk is also quite magnificent with various Shrines and Ponds in plain view and really the location just oozes natural beauty that is hard to find these days.

I will attempt to come back another day and try and get a sunrise under my belt to compare with the photos below:

Please click here if you would like to see the Kagami Lookout on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:





View to the right










Karatsu Bay

Beautiful evening

Walking paths







Picturesque


Entrance




Beautiful scene



Please click on the videos below to see more of the Kagamiyama Observatory Lookout:



Saturday, November 10, 2018

Hasami Ceramics Park: Nagasaki Prefecture

Hasami Ceramics Park Nagasaki is a great location to start your day and pursue all things ceramic and porcelain.  Hasami is a town with a population of 15 000 citizens and is surrounded by mountains and rolling hills of greenery.  Although it is very popular with the tourists it has still been able to maintain its rich history and strike a balance between traditional life and achieving a certain amount of modernism.

Hasami town has kept its tradition of producing daily-use ceramics for over four hundred years.  To date, Hasami ceramics have 13% of the domestic market share in ceramics for everyday use in Japan. The Ceramics Park, which was coordinated by the legendary ceramic designer Masahiro Mori is definitely one of the highlights of the entire region.  The park is extremely well laid out, has an easy walking course and allows for many amazing photos.

I was able to gain a lot of knowledge during my visit to the Hasami Ceramics Park not because of any signs posted in English but because everything is well organized and simple to process the information.  I never knew that there so many types of kilns that existed and for one it was a great lesson in the history of pottery making in Japan and all over the world.

Anyone interested in pottery will absolutely enjoy the Hasami Ceramics Park, lots of history and information to be obtained.  Along with all the cafes and small ceramic shops located within the Hasami District the Hasami Ceramic Park is included in all Private Day Tours of the region.

Please check out Hasami Ceramics Park Nagasaki on a map:

Click on the photos below to enlarge:



Lots to see and do

The bottle kilns are impressive



A cut away version of the kilns

Lots of kilns to see and touch


The name says it all!






Check out the videos below of Hasami Ceramic Park Nagasaki:



Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Samurai Street: Shimabara, Nagasaki Prefecture

Shimabara Samurai Street Nagasaki commemorates the old samurai section of Shimabara City on the Shimabara Peninsular.  This famous street is lined with stone walls and a spring water canal running down its center.  Three samurai houses have been restored and opened as exhibits to the public to restore the image and the traditions of this old Samurai town.  It is an extremely picturesque setting and perfect for a great photo shoot as images of feudal Japan came racing back into your consciousness from many of those movies and books you have read from your youth.

There aren't too many places left in Japan where one can step back in time and literally feel what it was like to live in these exciting yet dangerous times in Japan where the Samurai yielded ultimate power and demanded total respect.  The houses are basic and it is evident that living was quite antiquated and very traditional.   The kitchen too was very rudimentary and of course a lot on ingenuity was needed to cook and prepare the food for the huge number of immediate family as well as extended family, guest and of course acquaintances that visited the house every now and then.

The canal was used by all of the district and the water source was controlled and looked after communally.  A great example of group dynamics where everyone within the community helped each other unlike today's society that is built on greed, destroying the natural resources around us and lacking compassion of our fellow man.  Sometimes i think it wouldn't have been too bad to live in these feudal times especially when comparing to the issues that we face today.

This site always rates highly on our Private Nagasaki Tours.

Check out the Shimabara Samurai Street Nagasaki on a map:

Click on the photos below to enlarge:

A restored Samurai House



Samurai Kitchen

Natural Spring water running the length of the street









Traditional Samurai setting











Taking a closer look


Family setting

Typical Samurai Pose



Water for the community


Old thatched roofs

From the outside



About the family


Please take a look at the Shimabara Samurai Street Nagasaki here on this video:



Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Nanzoin Temple: Fukuoka Prefecture

Situated in the remote countryside on the outskirts of Fukuoka City, is one of the most remarkable places you will find in Nanzoin Temple.  I have been to hundreds of ho hum Temples all over Japan but without a doubt this Temple has been absolutely the most amazing place you could hope to visit.

The Nanzoin Temple is home to the largest Recling Buddha in Japan and possibly the world.  The actual dimensions of the Statue are 41 metres long by 11 metres in height and it weighs in at 300 tons, so as you can see it ain`t small!

A Reclining Buddha is a relatively rare site in Japan as most are sitting or standing.  Sitting indicates that the Buddha is meditating whilst the reclining pose represents the fact that the Buddha is just about to die and enter the state of Nirvana.  This state is much more common in South East Asian countries such as Thailand and Laos, so we have discovered a rare find here in the rural confines of Fukuoka.

Not only is the Temple well known for its Reclining Buddha but in fact the rest of the Temple is pretty spectacular in itself.  Every twist and turn (there are many) unfolds another attraction, another place or worship and another set of Statues, although obviously not as big as the reclining Buddha.

I have been here more than a dozen times now and each time is just as special as the first.  I haven`t had a customer and or a friend complain or say anything at is isn`t an adjective or a positive comment about this incredible Temple.  I am sure you will feel the same way upon your visit!

Nanzoin Temple is a great start to an amazing day that you will have with your group privately touring the best that Fukuoka has to offer.

Here is Nanzoin Temple on a map, click here to see:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:


Interesting figures





Amazing feet

Guardian

Very Rural location


The Head of the Buddha


Add caption



Absolutely Massive


Interesting 


Full shot

Breathtaking Shot




Please click on the videos below to view: