Thursday, July 26, 2012

Chijiwa Fault Geopark: Nagasaki Prefecture

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

The 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 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 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:

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Converted Railway Line: Nagasaki Prefecture

The Converted Railway Line in 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, Nagasaki Prefecture.   The road is just 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 Line 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 traveling 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 in 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 Prefecture

The Omura Park Shrine in 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 Park 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 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:

Very scenic indeed

Crowds galore

Full Bloom

Favorite pastime

A very popular place

Great place for a picnic

I can still see you!