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 approximately 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



Beautiful scene

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

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Hasami Ceramics Park: Hasami Town, 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: