Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Kannon Waterfall: Nagasaki Prefecture

Kannon no Taki Nagasaki is one of those places that you come around once in a lifetime and realize that you can visit a thousand places that are on the tourist trail but nothing compares to a place like this off the beaten path, that only the locals know about and then again maybe they don`t!!

I have heard from many sources that this is a place that even Nagasaki residents haven`t heard about and located well up the mountainous areas between Nagasaki and Isahaya City it is an amazing place to witness Buddhist artifacts and of course Japanese wilderness and nature, especially after heavy rains.

So, here I was at the end of September with a free day at my disposal, with 3 to 4 days of perpetual rain passed due to the typhoon bombarding the Nagasaki Coast and a eagerness to get out of the house and explore some areas of Nagasaki not yet accomplished.  Low and behold the Kannon Waterfall in Nagasaki came to me and off I was in a flash to get my nature and Buddhist symbolic fix.

Not really knowing what to expect except for the fact that there would be a huge waterfall as a result of all the rain my expectations were`t that big and anything would be better than nothing mentality was my state of mind at the time.  But as the pictures show there was more than enough good stuff at the Kannon Waterfall to keep me occupied for at least an hour or so.  Lots of paths, statues, symbolic symbols, worships of nature and of course a massive waterfall flowing like it would never stop no matter how long the drought was.

I was thrilled with my decision to come here on the perfect occasion as indicated by the smile on my face all day that day.  I would love to come back in 2 or 3 months, around the end of November to view all the maple trees in their full bloom of autumn as iIam sure this would add to the mystic of the area and puts it in another level beyond anything i have seen before.

Please check out the Kannon Waterfall here on a map:

Please click on the photos below to enlarge:

The protectors of the area

Natures paradise

Lots of statues and monuments to observe

Connecting nature

Click on the link below to see videos of Kannon no Taki Nagasaki at its best:

Friday, September 12, 2014

Isahaya Bay Dike Road: Nagasaki Prefecture

The Isahaya Bay Dike Road in Nagasaki is one of those projects that creates a divide between the interested parties, tears up the local community and the outlying areas of concern as well as creating a lose/lose situation whereby everyone involved feels like they have been wronged by the forces against them.  It is this sort of project, a white elephant so to speak that pins friend against friend, allocated money to those that dare not speak up and most of all ruins and completely destroys a pristine environment and habitat that has been lost to big business and Japan INC.

The Ariake Sea which flows into the Isahaya Bay is a large shallow sea bay with many estuaries and the largest area of intertidal mudflats in Japan. The mudflats extend in fingers for up to 7 km out from the estuaries of the many rivers entering the bay. The total area of mudflats continues to decrease as more and more land is retained within concrete banks and reclaimed for agriculture.  The average depth of water in the bay is 20m (maximum of 130m), and the maximum tidal variation is 5-7 m.

Isahaya Bay, one of those four major mudflat areas, has now been dried up since the official shutdown of 7-km-long Sea Wall on the 14th April 1997.

The sea wall cut off the water of Isahaya Inner Bay from the Ariake Sea. Isahaya Bay deserves the status of a wetland of international importance however the Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries claims that the project is inevitable for flood control and more agricultural lands.

Although many of Japan's wetlands have disappeared as a result of rapid development in the recent past, the country still possesses a wide diversity of wetland ecosystems of considerable importance for wildlife including a number of threatened species. Many protected areas have been established, and considerable efforts are being made by the conservation bodies to prevent further wetland loss. However, the pressure on wetlands remains severe, particularly from canalization of river channels and conversion of coastal marshes and mudflats to agricultural land and industrial development.

Although in some regard this project has saved lives and created a new road that has reduced traffic congestion in the area, the project itself cannot be justified as a result of the damaged caused and the ongoing internal struggles of the community as a whole to rectify the conflict and solve the issue of remuneration and compensation to those groups that have been affected over the 30 year project life.

An issue that isn`t going away and probably won`t for many years to come.

I nearly always drive across the Isahaya Bay Dike Road on my Private Nagasaki Tours as its a beautiful straight road, has amazing scenery and gives everyone a chance to stretch their legs and have the all important bathroom break.

Please check out the Isahaya Bay Dike Road Nagasaki here on a map    Click the photos below to enlarge:

Birds eye view
Nice signposting

Great views to be had

6.5km long and straight

Quite a view

Lots to see

Spectacular light

Take a look and feel of the Isahaya Bay Dike Road Nagasaki from a birds eye view on the videos below: