NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/12/7


桃岩 Momo-iwa Momo Rock

Jp En

Momo (Peach) Rock is located in the southern part of longish Rebun Island in the northern part of Hokkaido. The place where the rock is located was on ancient battle field referred to in an Ainu legend.

The rounded huge rock with sharply wringed top really looks like a peach. The green grass that is covering the rock surface looks velvety as if they were real peach skin. The soft feel of peach skin will come to your mind. It stands magnificently against the blue sky.

The area around this huge rock is covered with colonies of alpine plants peculiar to this island such as Rebun-kozakura (Primula modesta var. matsumurae)and Rebun-kinbaiso (Trollius ledebourii var. polysepalus). You can enjoy viewing these cute flowers from the observatory as well as from the promenade. It will be really refreshing to command this exquisite view in the wind from the Sea of Japan.
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2007/10/29


がんぼう岩 Ganbou-iwa Ganbou Rock

Jp En

Ganbou Rock is a 78-meter-high rock  located near the town of  Engaru in Noboribetsu county, Hokkaido and is designated as one of Hokkaido’s 100 Natural Spots.
There is an observation deck at the top of the rock, which is a 15-minute walk up.
This rock  is  the symbol of Engaru and is popularly known as ‘the rock  that is the first place to receive the morning sun in this town’ or ‘the rock that is settled warmly in the evening sun’.
The name ‘Ganbou’ is derived from the Ainu word ‘Ingarushi’ (which means ‘the place with a fine view’). It is also known as an historic battlefield of the Ainu people. The view from the observation deck gives a marvelous 360-degree panoramic view.
Sun’s Hill Engaru Park, much loved by the town people, marks the starting point of the hike to the top.
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2007/9/6


韮神山三十三観音 Niragami-yama-sanjuu-san-kannon Niragamiyama 33 Kannon Stone Statues

Jp En

A group of stone statues of Kannon stand at the top of Mt. Niragamiyama (94 m) on the outskirts of the Numabe area in Murata Town, Miyagi Prefecture. Mt. Niragamiyama (literally meaning “Chive God Mountain”) was named so because yellow chives grew in the mountain in the old times. The mountain was a battleground during the war between the Northern Fujiwara clan and the forces of Minamoto no Yoritomo in 1189. It is also famous as the place where Matsuo Basho wrote a poem. At the top of the mountain is a stone monument inscribed with a poem written by Fujiwara no Sanekata, a poet in the middle of the Heian period (794-1192). From the observatory at the mountain top, you can command a panoramic view of the Zao Mountain Range and the Shiraishi River.

The 33 Kannon stone statues stand in two rows near the observatory. They were dedicated and erected by several local worshippers in 1846 by modeling after the Saigoku 33 Pilgrim Route. You will feel the contributors’ simple but faithful religious devotion from these old stone statues.
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2007/6/4


鳴海宿 Narumi-juku Narumi-juku

Jp En

Narumi-juku was the 40th of the 53 post stations of the Tokaido Road, which connected Edo (present-day Tokyo) and Kyoto in the Edo period (1603-1868). It was located in current Narumi-cho, Midori-ku, Nagoya City in Aichi Prefecture. Narumi-juku thrived on tie-dyed cotton fabric that was produced in Arimatsu located between Narumi-juku and the next post station, Chiryu-juku. Many shops selling tie-dyed cotton products stood along the road, which was depicted in Ando Hiroshige’s “The Fifty-three Post Stations of the Tokaido Road.”

In Seiganji Temple in the town stands the oldest stone monument in memory of the master poet, Matsuo Basho. The old battle field of Okehazama, where Oda Nobunaga established his reputation in the Warring States period (1493-1573), is located just past this town.

Having traveled about 350 km from Edo, a traveler in tie-dyed haori coat might have set out for the 13 km walk to the next Miya-juku post station, thinking of the remains of the warriors’ dreams as Basho did. This must have been a divine favor that only a traveler can enjoy.
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2007/2/8


二王座 Niouza Niouza

Jp En

Niouza is an historical street of Samurai residences dating to the Azuchi-Momoiro period, and is located in Usuki, Oita Prefecture. It was selected as one of Japan's 100 Best Cityscapes in 1993.

Niouza was originally a road on the ashy slopes of the volcano Mt Aso. It is said that the name 'Niouza' derives from the two deva king guardian statues glaring out from the deva gate to the Gion Shrine (present-day Yasaka Shrine) in this vicinity.

Along the road are many temples, remains of stone paving, samurai residences and old ramparts, which together create a tranquil ambience. Places on the way, such as the Old Shinkou Temple and the Inaba-Hidemichi-Yashiki Ruins, are well worth visiting. You can also see the ruins of the battlefield Kiri-toushi and numerous other points of interest.
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2007/1/17


倶利伽羅峠 源平供養塔 Kurikaratohge Genpeikuyohtoh Kurikara Pass Genpei Memorial

Jp En

Kurikara is a pass between Toyama and Ishikawa prefectures. It is also the site of a battle fought during the famous Genpei War. At the Kurikara battlefield are various historical spots relating to the war, such as the Genpei Memorial.

In 1183, the Minamoto clan blew conches, beat drums and released a stampede of 500 cows against the Heike clan. The Heike clan were exhausted by the long march from Kyoto and their warriors were unprepared. Unable to gather themselves in the darkness and resist, the army retreated to Jigoku valley.

Later, this site was named Kagyu-no-Kei and is recorded in the 'Genpei Josuiki' chronicle. The memorial is located in Sarugababa, which is a few minutes walk toward Oyabe district from Kurikara Park.

In May, the blossom from the cherry trees planted near the memorial glow as if to soothe the spirits of the fallen warriors.
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