NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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九品寺 Kuhon-ji Kuhon-ji Temple

Jp En

Kuhon-ji Temple belongs to the Jodo-chionin sect and is located on the east side of Mt Katsuragi in Nara Prefecture. As a mountain temple it is known as Kaina-yama, and is also called Temple of Stone Buddhas.

Gyogi-osho founded the temple following a proclamation by the Shomu Emperor in the Nara period. It flourished again as a Kaina-senbo temple when Kukai (Kobo Daishi) came here.

The main statue of the temple is a wooden Amida-nyorai seated figure made in the late Heian period and has been designated as an Important National Cultural Asset.

The temple is also famous for its many stone Buddha statues. 1800 stone Buddha statues called the '1000 Stone Buddhas' line the way up the mountain to the temple. They are said to have been dedicated to console soldiers of the Narahara Clan who died in the battle against the North Imperial Court.

You can see the Three Yamato Mountains from high points on the mountain, and Kuhon-ji Temple is also popular as a great scenic spot.
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唐川城 Karakawa-jo Karakawa Castle

Jp En

From its position 120m up a hill, Karakawa Castle faces the cliffs and valleys of the Kara and Sannobo rivers, and takes advantage of the natural landforms around it.

The castle is divided into three areas by two east-west moats. There remain some traces of mounds and old wells.

In former times, Jusan Lake was a leading port and when it was used by the Ando Naval Force, it flourished with the population growing to some 100,000 in the Kamakura period.

Karakawa Castle is the biggest of Ando's several sub-castles. The area has many relics and ruins that relate to the Ando family, and is one of the best places for a romantic tour of Tohoku history.

From the observation deck on the hill, you can see Jusan Lake, Onuma Lake, Mt Iwaki and the Japan Sea.
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友泉亭公園 Yusentei-kouen Yusentei Park and Villa

Jp En

Yusentei Park, located in Jonan-ku, Fukuoka City, is an historical area that includes the former villa of the Chikuzen-Kuroda clan. The villa was originally built in the mid-Edo period (1754) for Tsugitaka Kuroda, the 6th domain head of the Kuroda clan.

Yusentei ('friendly fountain villa') gets its name from a tanka poem written by a later lord, that goes: 'A fountain ('sen') does not know the heat that people cannot endure, The fountain is friendly ('yu') with a hermitage.'

It is wonderful to find such a genuine Japanese garden such as this. It includes a pond, as well as trees and flowers that include maple, beech, camellia and wisteria. The flora vary throughout the seasons. The view of the garden from the main building is splendid. The fall leaves are very beautiful and thousands of carp swim in the pond.

This park is like a sanctuary that calms us in our busy daily lives.
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舞鶴公園 Maizuru-kouen Maizuru Park

Jp En

Maizuru Park is located in Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City and is the site of Fukuoka Castle (Maizuru Castle).

Before the Second World War, this park was the headquarters of the 24th infantry regiment. After Fukuoka City acquired the site, Yaroku Miyoshi, the Fukuoka mayor at that time, renamed it 'Peace Hill' Park in order to 'make a sound and peaceful society, and to recover from war damage through sports'.

Peace Hill Sports Park is situated within the park, and includes Peace Hill Baseball Ground. Included in the park is a track field for athletics and tennis courts.

In spring, the cherry and apricot trees bloom and many people come to see them. The apricot blooms some time between February and March; the 'hirado' azalea in April; the moutan, wisteria, peony and calamus in May; hydrangea in June; and lotus in August. Indeed, Maizuru Park is where you can enjoy flowers throughout the four seasons.
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権現滝 Gongendaki Gongen Waterfall

Jp En

Gongen Waterfall is located near the town of Suzaka in Nagano Prefecture. Due to its vigor and majesty, it has been selected as one of Japan’s 100 best waterfalls. The stream that leads to the waterfall originates in Mount Neko and Azumaya Mountain. Gongen waterfall has a height of 38 meters, and falls from a plate-shaped cliff that was formed by Azumaya Volcano. Gongendaki and Fudou waterfalls are called the Great Yonago Waterfalls. The grand roar of the waterfall in the quiet valley perfectly captures the mood of a hidden scenic spot. Fudou and Gonngen falls are also named Fuufudaki, or ‘Married Couple Waterfall’. The Fudou Waterfall has a low water runoff and falls like mist, which gives it a gentle feminine image; on the other hand, the Gonngen Waterfall falls dynamically and straight, giving it a powerful masculine image. Recently, the two waterfalls have been referred to as the ‘Two Lovers Waterfall’. These two waterfalls can be seen together between Yonagokouzannatochi (Yonago Mine Site) and Azumaya, making it a popular viewpoint.
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