Japan

Discussion in 'Asia' started by leelai, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank you Andrew! It really is a very interesting country and the more you interact with the people the more they will open up and talk to you.

    Some had even heard of our bush fires here and enquired about them.....I thought that very nice!
     
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  2. Richard Brown
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    Richard Brown Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Let's add a wow, Leelai.

    Our neighbour loved her trip to Japan. Sadly we cannot now travel long haul. However your great photos and words have virtually transported us there.

    Cheers

    Richard :)


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  3. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank you Richard!

    That is such a shame you cannot travel long distances now and I'm so glad this is showing you something of Japan.

    Every one who I've met who has been to Japan have all loved it......I just don't know why it's taken us this long to go. ;)
     
  4. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Kyoto

    A trip to Japan would just not be complete without seeing this culturally significant city. In fact many would say that this is the heartland of this country and if you want to understand its people then you must experience their culture and history......Kyoto is all this and more and really is a delight. Kyoto was once also the Capital of Japan from 794 until 1868 and is the capital of the Kyoto Prefecture.

    Over the centuries Kyoto has been destroyed many times by wars and fires but luckily due to its historic significance was struck off the list of target cities for the atomic bomb and was also not chosen for air raids during World War II.

    We again stayed within the Kyoto Train Station Complex which is one of the country's largest buildings incorporating the Granvia Hotel, a shopping mall, a movie theatre, department stores as well as local Government facilities.

    A view of Kyoto train station ........views of Kyoto


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    In front of the train stations are the buses which cover all the major areas on their routes throughout Kyoto and run continuously approximately every 10 minutes throughout the day. You can purchase an all day pass which will come with a map and use these buses all day long. The routes have stops in front of all the major sites along the way and really are a great way to explore. There are also subway stations throughout the city but we preferred the buses as you get to see so much more of the area.


    Our first stop was Nishi Honganji Temple which represents the Jodo-Shin Sect (True Pure Land Sect) one of Japan's largest Buddhist sects and was built in 1591. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    There are 2 main buildings, 1 the Founders Hall, the Goeido and the other the Hall of Amida Buddha, the Amidado.



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    Nijo Castle

    Nijo Castle which was built in 1603 for Tokugawa leyasu, the first Shogun of the Edo Period. The Castle Palace buildings were completed by his grandson 23 years later.



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    This Shogunate fell in 1867 and the Castle was used as an Imperial Palace for some time before being donated to the city. It's palace buildings are some of the best surviving examples of Castle Palace architecture and were deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1994.



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    There are 2 Palaces here, the Ninomaru Palace and the Honmaru Palace (which is closed) as well as many other buildings and are surrounded by Japanese gardens and ponds.



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    The original Honmaru Palace as well as a 5 story Castle keep were destroyed by fires in the 18th century and never rebuilt. After this Shogunate fell, an Imperial residence was moved to this site and is now known as Honmaru Palace. This Palace also has beautiful gardens and is surrounded by an inner moat. The whole site is then surrounded by another outer moat.



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    Here again your shoes must come off before entering as the Palace rooms have tatami mats and photos are not permitted inside the Palace. It consists of multiple buildings which are connected to each other by long wide corridors. As you walk these corridors they give off a bell like squeak. This is by design as a security measure against intruders and are called Nightingale floors. Many other Imperial residences we visited also had these floors. No matter how we tried we just could not stop these squeaks which had us thinking back to early Samurai movies.

    The rooms though mostly empty do display figures dressed in authentic costumes of the day. The ceilings are beautifully decorated and also have painted sliding doors.

    There are many beautiful gardens and ponds with tree lined paths around the entire site. The moats have an abundance of fish waiting for any scraps to fall.



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    Our next site was Kinkaku......It is also part of a temple named Rokuon-ji Temple but commonly called Kinkakuji Temple or Temple of the Golden Pavilion. It was originally the site of a villa called Kitayama-dai but was acquired by a shogun, Ashikaga Yoshimitsu who then built his own villa and named it Kitayama-den

    According to his will, on his death in 1408 it became a Zen Temple of the Rinzai sect. The Temple's name Rokuon-ji was derived from the name Yoshimitsu was given for the next world, Rokuon-in-den.



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    It was built overlooking a pond and has burned down numerous times in its history, the last of which was when it was set on fire by a fanatical monk in 1950 and was then rebuilt in 1955.



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    Each floor represents a different style of architecture, the first floor being built in the Shinden style used for Palace buildings. The second floor is built in the Bukke style used in Samurai residences and the third floor is built in the style of a Chinese Zen Hall. The upper 2 floors are completely covered in gold leaf and is capped by a golden phoenix. The third floor is also internally covered in gold leaf. Many statues are in the Pavilion - Shaka Buddha, a seated Kannon Bodhisattva and statues of the Four Heavenly Kings, these are not shown to the public but if you peer intently at the pavilion from across the pond, you will be able to glimpse them as the windows are always kept open. It is the only building left of Yoshimitsu's original complex and was registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site in 1994.



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    This is a very popular site and has beautiful gardens which go up the hill behind the Pavilion. The former living quarters of the Head Priest are also here as well as a Sekkatei Teahouse.



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    Outside the exit you will also find souvenir shops, a small tea garden and Fudo Hall.

    Many people still wear traditional Japanese attire, both men and women all over Japan but we found it was more of a custom here and was both lovely and interesting to see.



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    Ryokan ji Temple

    This Temple is the site of Japan's most famous Rock Garden. It was once an aristocrat's villa but was converted to a Zen Temple in 1450.



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    The garden is a rectangular plot of pebbles surrounded on 3 sides by low earthen walls. There are only 15 rocks which have been placed in small groups and surrounded by moss. An interesting design of the Garden is that when viewing or trying to photograph the garden, 1 rock will always be out of view. The history of the garden is uncertain in regards to the designer and the date of construction.



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    The meaning of the garden is also unclear, some believe the garden represents the theme of a tiger carrying its cubs across a pond, or some believe it is an abstract concept such as infinity. Whatever, it is, it is up to you to find its meaning yourself. It is quite simple, yet beautiful in its design. It's lovely to just sit and admire the garden from different angles and you will find many doing just this.



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    The garden is viewed from the Hojo, the head Priest's former residence which has beautiful paintings on its sliding doors (Fusuma).



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    The grounds have walking paths around beautiful gardens and a very large pond, which can be viewed from all sides.



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    Fushimi Inari Shrine

    Fushimi Inari is a very revered Shinto shrine and is famous for its many thousands of vermillion Tori gates which straddle the trails up to the sacred Mount Inari.



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    It is the most revered of several thousand shrines dedicated to Inari, the Shinto God of rice. You will find many Fox statues throughout the site as they are thought to be the messengers of Inari.



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    The Shrine has ancient origins predating the Capitals move to Kyoto in 794.

    You will find writing on each of the gates and this is the names of the many people and corporations who have donated the Tori Gates, they are also dated.



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    At the Shrines entrance stands the Romon Gate which was donated in 1589 by the famous leader Toyotomi Hideyoshi.



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    This is the Praying Hall (Haiden), you'll notice those ropes hanging down across the front. These are attached to large bells at the top and you are meant to ring the bells by pulling the rope side to side, say a prayer and give a donation by throwing coins into a receptacle in front of you. It's not an easy feat to get that bell ringing loudly.

    There are many many shrines throughout your journey up the mountain and you'll even find a large pond surrounded on one side by shrines. There are very old shops here from where you can buy miniature Tori gates and bells to put on the many shrines or take home as souvenirs. There is also food stalls here and there are also market stalls selling souvenirs at the bottom of the shrine which you will see on the way out.



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    There is also a stall selling cheap kimonos where a lady will dress you....it's all quite fun. Kimonos are very expensive, running up into the thousands for a good quality one and you will find that most are handed down through generations for this reason. The Obi (sash) which is worn around the waist can be up to 13 feet long and there is an art in how this is worn.

    Ginkakuji Temple - Temple of the Silver Pavilion

    This Temple is reached by walking up a small street where there are many shops....restaurants, souvenir shops and small eateries.



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    The Temple was built (1482) by Ashikaga Yoshimasa and was modelled on his Grandfathers residence Kinkakuji Temple (Golden Pavilion). It was also built as a retirement villa and also became a Zen Temple at his behest on his death.



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    The Silver Pavilion has 2 levels, each built in a different architectural style and is not open to the public. It was to have been covered in silver leaf but this never came to be. It was originally covered in black lacquer and in the moonlight gave off a silvery appearance. The Pavilion and only 1 other building have survived the many fires and earthquakes over the centuries and is meticulously maintained with the last renovation work being completed in 2010.

    This Temple was by far our favourite of all, not because of the Temple itself which is just lovely but for it's gardens and ponds....dry sand gardens and moss gardens. They are just beautiful and everywhere you turn you will be struck by the beauty of it all again and again.



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    When we visited the first dry sand garden was being raked. This is an arduous and lengthy task and it was so very interesting watching how this is done. Then there is a large expanse of sand known as the 'Sea of Silver Sand' and then a massive cone of sand named 'Moon Viewing Platform' which is just amazing to see. It is said to be a symbol of Mt Fuji.



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    You then take a circuitous route past the Temple, the Hondo (main hall), the Togudo (another Temple) then the moss gardens, which feature many ponds with islands and beautiful old bridges. You then climb a hill to find lovely views of the entire Temple grounds and the city beyond.



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    The Philosophers Path is a stone path, approxinately 2 kilometres long which follows a canal and is also lined with hundreds of Cherry Blossom trees.



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    It is so named after Nishida Kitaro, a famous Philosopher of Japan, who was said to practice meditation on his walk along this path to Kyoto University every day.

    It begins at the bottom of the street which takes you to the Silver Pavilion and is a very pleasant walk past many restaurants and small boutiques as well as many smaller Temples.

    Gion

    Gion is one of Kyoto's most famous districts and is known for its Geishas. You will find many shops, restaurants and Teahouses here where Geiko (Kyoto dialect for Geisha) and Maiko (Geiko apprentices) entertain their patrons. We found that Kyoto did have its own dialect for many words.



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    It is a very old area with traditional wooden machiya merchant houses. These houses were built very narrow but very long due to property taxes which are based on the size of the street frontage. They can be up to twenty metres in from the street.



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    It is a very expensive area to dine as it serves Kaiseki ryori (Japanese haute cuisine) and other international and local dishes.



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    Intermingled with the many restaurants are the teahouses (Ochaya) they are the most exclusive of Kyoto's dining establishments and guests are also entertained by Maiko and Geiko. They are expert hostesses and make sure everyone enjoys their time by entertaining with traditional music and dance, serving drinks, playing drinking games and engaging in light conversation. These services are very expensive and exclusive and traditionally require an introduction from an existing customer.



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    We loved Kyoto and would have loved to have spent more time here as there are literally hundreds of Temples and Shrines in this city. Although you may think you are 'Templed Out' each one offers something new and different and it's worthwhile to just walk the different areas to savour the culture.

    Next stop is Hiroshima and our first trip on a 'bullet' train in Japan.

    References : Site Brochures, Japan Guide
     
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  5. The OB
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    The OB Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thank you leelai, just finished savouring that magnificent Kyoto travelogue...just amazing. Your informative well-documented record could, in book form, grace any coffee table. Nice piece of work, including photography. Just makes one want to travel there to experience it. You mean there's more coming? Can't wait:)
    Andrew


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  6. scifan57
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    scifan57 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks, leelai, for sharing with us your trip to Japan. The photos and write up are the next best thing to being there. :):):)
     
  7. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank you Andrew! I'm so glad you're enjoying it....... Maybe you will go one day! :)

    Don't know about any coffee book though. ;).
     
  8. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks Sci! I really wish I could do it all over again! ;)
     
  9. skimonkey
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    Leelai--what a wonderful addition to your Travel Log! Your narration and all of the pictures are just stunning. I really feel a sense of actually being there as you walk us through the gardens and temples with your descriptions. Everything is such an art form there. How the trees are manicured, the gardens, the temples, the Structural designs and the traditional clothing. It is all so rich in history.

    Again thanks for adding on to this log. Wonderful read! :)
     
  10. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank you Ski! I'm so glad that you can see the art forms here, I was very impressed by it all and with just how beautifully balanced everything is.

    These gardens in themselves were truly works of art! :)
     
  11. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Hiroshima

    This city was a 'must see' for us, not that we have any personal reasons or connections but more to do with world history and what happened here. It also touched us in a very special way and we learnt here just how wonderful the people of Japan can be.

    We again stayed close to the train station (across the street) at the Sheraton Hotel as we needed to leave very early and didn't want to waste precious time with more travelling to train stations.

    Views over Hiroshima from our Hotel room

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    Right outside the Train station you will find a tram system which travels to many different areas of Hiroshima. It is from here that you can take a tram to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. It's an approx 15 minute ride and the appropriate stop is only a short walk to the Atomic Bomb Dome.



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    It was here right in front of the Dome that my hubby turned to me and said 'where's my bag'. His bag, which held our passports, was still on the tram, on the luggage rack, above the seats, where he had left it. We rushed back to the station, which is really just a fenced off area where the trams stop for passengers to alight to find another tram just pulling in.

    So many horrible things were going through both our heads as we tried to explain to the tram driver (who didn't speak a word of english) what we had done. We discovered that sign language really is a universal language as I pointed to my bag and the racks. Thank goodness he understood us, got off the train and used a phone which we hadn't even seen to call what we assume was their office (there is a phone at each of these stations).

    He then pointed to the ground in front of us and then at us and held up his fingers. We were to wait there for 10 minutes, what for, we didn't know. He then of course got back on his tram and left. Within 10 minutes another man arrived out of nowhere and came to us......we went through the same gestures, this time coming up with 20 minutes.

    Yet another man joined him and they both spoke to someone else using the same phone. Within 20 minutes a car pulled up from which another man alighted carrying our bag.

    Words cannot describe how grateful we were to all these people who had gone out of their way to help us. To think of all that must have taken place to bring our bag to us is simply amazing. The fact that our bag was still even on that tram and had not already been stolen is another astonishing thing. This truly showed us the nature of the Japanese people.....where else in the world could this happen in this day and age.

    Hiroshima Bomb Dome (formerly the Genbaku Dome)



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    The Dome is a very special place to visit, a poignant place to sit and wonder at the destruction and loss of life that took place here so long ago. The building itself is eerie and has been diligently kept in much the same condition as the day the bomb detonated. We circled the building as everyone does, reading the many plaques telling the history of the Dome.



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    Directly across the Motoyasu-Gawain River from the A-bomb Dome is the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park which is one of the most prominent features of this city. To reach the park you cross the 'T' shaped Aioi Bridge which was the main target for the bombing as it was easily recognisable from the air. The bridge was not destroyed but did sustain heavy damage and was rebuilt after the war and remained in service for almost four decades before being replaced with a new 'replica' bridge.

    This area was once the political and commercial heart of the city and why it was chosen as the target. It was not until 4 years after the dropping of the bomb that it was decided that this area should be developed into a lasting Peace Memorial facility.



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    There are many buildings and Memorials which form part of this Park. The main facility being the Peace Memorial Museum which is dedicated to the events of that August day.

    Between the museum and the A - bomb Dome and near the centre of the park is the Cenotaph for the A Bomb Victims. It is an arched shaped house symbolising the 'sheltering of Souls' for those who died on that day or from exposure to radiation immediately afterwards. Below this arch is a stone chest which holds a list of the names of all who perished in this event......of which there are over 220,000 names. There is also a plaque in Japanese which translates to:-

    Let all the souls here rest in peace for we shall not repeat the evil.



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    You will notice looking directly through this Arch and over the Pond of Peace, the A-bomb Dome is perfectly aligned. Looking back in the opposite direction the Arch aligns perfectly again with the Peace Flame. This flame has burnt continuously since it was lit in 1964. It will remain lit until all nuclear bombs on the planet are destroyed and the planet is free from the threat of nuclear annihilation.

    Children's Peace Monument

    The first thing you notice when viewing this monument are the display cases in a semi circle behind it. They are filled with origami cranes, thousand upon thousands of them in beautiful bright colours.



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    This monument was built to commemorate the thousands of children who lost their lives through the bomb and in particular a little girl named Sadako Sasaki.

    Sadako was 2 when she was exposed to the A bomb, she had no apparent injuries and grew up to be strong and healthy. At 11 years of age she fell ill with leukemia. She believed that folding paper cranes would help her recover and she kept folding them until her death some eight months later. It is ancient Japanese tradition that to those who fold one thousand cranes, one wish is granted. Sadly her wish was never granted but through her efforts the World heard of her story and the making of cranes began in earnest.

    Her death was the catalyst behind building this monument and funds were raised by school children all over Japan. The cranes became a symbol of peace and some 10 million cranes are offered each year to the Children's Peace Monument on Children's Day.



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    Sadako is immortalised on top of the monument holding a crane.

    When we visited children were singing before the memorial and offering up thousands of colourful cranes they had bought with them.



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    Peace Bell

    There are 3 Peace Bells within Peace Park with the most significant one standing near the Children's Peace Monument. It is a beautiful large bell which has a World map with no boundaries inscribed on it symbolising One World. To ring it you pull back on a wooden log.....the area where the log hits the bell shows the atomic energy symbol, expressing hope that all atomic and hydrogen bombs be abolished. On the opposite side of the bell is a mirror to reflect the heart of the person who rings the bell. The bell was built as a spiritual symbol with the hope that the bell will resound in each corner of the World and reach the hearts of every human being.



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    Surrounding the bell is a pond in which lotus seeds have been planted. Lotus leaves were placed on people's wounds to reduce the pain of the burns in the aftermath of the bomb. Each year at the time of Peace Memorial Day these flowers bloom as if to remind everyone of the part they played on that tragic day. Everyone is encouraged to ring the bell......and you will find many waiting to do just this.



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    There is an Atomic Bomb Memorial Mound surrounded by a small fence. It is a large grass covered mound which is said to contain the ashes of 70,000 unidentified victims.
    Sorry, no photos of this.....it just didn't seem right.

    National Peace Memorial Hall

    This hall was built in 2002 to mourn the atomic bomb victims. There is another of these Halls in Nagasaki for the same purpose.




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    Here they are collecting the stories from the survivors of the victims. They are collecting the names and photographs of these victims in order to build a reservoir of memories in order to mourn their loss.


    We were fortunate to meet a survivor of this day.....his mother was 5 months pregnant with him when the bomb was dropped.....she was very fortunate to have been away visiting relatives but came the next day to witness for herself what had happened. She also eventually died of a form of cancer years later. His father and grandfather were killed instantly when the bomb exploded. He himself has suffered ill health all his life and now spends his time telling others of what transpired that day.



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    He asked us to sign his Visitors book and asked our Nationality, when we told him Australian, he broke into a smile as he opened his book to show us that of all the many thousands of people he had spoken to, Australians numbered the largest. We found this heartwarming on an otherwise sad and heart searching day.

    Miyajima

    Miyajima is a small island a short trip outside Hiroshima. It is considered one of the most scenic spots in Japan and is famous for its Shrines and Temples and more so for it's giant Tori Gates which appear to float when the tide is full. It's traditional name is Itsukushima but is commonly referred to as Miyajima (Shrine Island). It is a beautiful, island with so much to see and do and many will stay the night in a Ryokan (traditional Japanese Lodging).

    There are also many deer here, which was delightful to see again. Where we were able to buy wafers to feed the deer in Nara, it has been banned here to keep the numbers in check so watch out for any food you have as they are even more forthright and sneaky trying to get into your bags for food and yes, I got nabbed yet again!



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    The island is the most famous of Japan's many islands and is the only one that is a World Cultural Heritage Site. It has been considered a Holy place through most of it's history.



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    Women once were not allowed on the island and old infirm people were shipped elsewhere to die so that the ritual purity of the island would not be spoiled.



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    It is a short train ride (approx 26 minutes) from Hiroshima from where you connect with a ferry to the island. Alternatively, the trams available beside the train station also service this area and although the trip is more scenic, it does takes much longer.

    Bicyles are for hire at the Ferry terminal and hubby and I thought we'd have a go much to the amusement of many Japanese who are very proficient riders. But it is a fun way to get around the island to see the many attractions. We weren't too good on the many hilly areas though. ;)

    There are many many souvenir shops which do mostly sell the same wares and at the same price. What you will find many of is rice scoops and you will come upon the Worlds largest rice scoop/spatula at over 5 metres long.



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    There are many little restaurants and vendors selling food....if you like seafood, this is the place to be. They are well known for their fresh grilled oysters and you just have to try Momiji Manjū. A small cake in the shape of a maple leaf which traditionally has sweet bean paste within them, but cheese, chocolate, custard and other variations are available. You will see them making these cakes at the front of a few shops.

    You can also buy these cakes fried (Age Momji). The outside becomes crispy and the inside very soft and sweet....truly delicious!

    Itsukushima Shrine is Miyajima's key Shrine and is also referred to as The Floating Shrine on the Sea. It was said to be built in 593 and is a large red lacquered complex of many halls and pathways and was built on stilts so that commoners could visit the site without defiling the island with their footsteps. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.



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    The O-Torii Gate

    The Tori Gates of Itsukushima Shrine are designated as a National Important Cultural Property and is probably the most recognised symbol of Japan. The present O-Torii is the eighth since the Heian period and were erected in 1875. They are approximately 16.6 metres in height and weigh about 60 tons. The main pillars are of natural camphor with the four supporting pillars being made of cedar. The top rail of the tori has a hollow space and stones the size of your fist have been inserted to add more weight to the gate itself. The gate is just sitting on the sea floor under its own weight. It's best to view the Gates at high tide to see the full effect of them floating.



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    Five Storied Pagoda

    Said to have been built in 1407 and is 28 metres high and combines the Japanese and Chinese styles of Arrchitecture.



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    There is just so much to see on this island whether it be the Shrines and Temples or just the landscape which was just beautiful.



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    Mt Misen

    The highest mountain on Miyajima and covered with pristine primeval forests and rises 535 metres above sea level. It is regarded as sacred and an object of worship itself since ancient times. Near the summit you will find Temples relating to Buddhist worship. Many like to hike up this mountain and there is also a Ropeway (Cable Car) which you can take almost to the summit. Its a 2 leg journey of connecting cable cars. It's well worth the trip to see stunningly beautiful views over the Seto Inland Sea from a few vantage points. There are trails which will take you to the summit.



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    There are mini buses which you can catch to the start of the Ropeways. We decided to walk, not a good decision as it's mostly all uphill. We even had to run the last 50 metres so that we could make the last Cable car up the mountain.

    We wished we had taken the journey up the mountain much earlier to get the most of the views but at any time of the day it is well worth it. The last car comes down at 5.45, if you miss it, you are left on the mountain all night which I definitely would not recommend. It gets pitch black up there and is very steep, there is also a community of monkeys which roam the mountain and are still considered wild. If you do encounter any of these monkeys, mind your belongings and do not look at them directly.....this will be seen as an aggressive act.....at the very least they will scare the bejesus out of you with a big fanged snarl!



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    Peace Pagoda, Hiroshima

    A Peace Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa, a monument to inspire peace. Most Peace Pagodas built since the end of World War II have been built under the guidance of Nichidatsu Fuji who was greatly inspired from having met Mahatma Gandhi. He began building Peace Pagodas as shrines to World peace in 1947. By the year 2000 over 80 of these Pagodas had been built all over the world in Europe, Asia and the United States.

    The Peace Pagoda as seen from our Hotel room.



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    Our next top is Hakone which is a wonderful town from where, if you're lucky, you can view Mt Fuji.

    References: Site Brochures, Japan Guide
     
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  12. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Sorry this took so long to complete the next installment.....I've had a few technical difficulties with formatting and inserting photos.

    All good now! I hope you enjoy it!
     
  13. skimonkey
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    skimonkey Administrator Staff Member

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    Such beautiful pictures Leelai. The O-Torii Gate is beautiful. It looks very similar to what one see's at Epcot at Walt Disney. I wasn't aware of the history behind it. I love the story of your bags being returned also. That must have been quite a scare at the time when that happened, but something I probably would do while enjoying the scenic views! Thank you for sharing! :)
     
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  14. leelai
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    leelai Administrator Staff Member

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    Thank you Ski! Yes the O-Torii gate is very beautiful and very large, photos just don't do it justice. Now I'll have to go to Walt Disney to see their Gate! That shouldn't be too much of an imposition! ;). Would love to go there!

    It was a big scare for us with our bag, hubby just isn't used to carrying anything, I'm usually the 'pack horse' on our trips so this was the first time he even had a bag. After that I checked each time he put it down anywhere and we changed what was in the bag just in case! I was in charge of the passports from then on! ;)
     
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  15. skimonkey
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    When we go to Disney this June--I will have to look at the Gate more closely when we are at the Park. I am pretty sure it is a replica of the gate you are showing here.

    I am the same with keeping tabs on everyone's carry-on. I usually will do a count total before we leave and periodically check through the trip to make sure everything is accounted for. I always make sure when leaving a seat to turn and look back to make sure that I/we haven't left anything. :)
     
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