NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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ホーランエンヤ Horan-enya Horan Enya

Jp En

Horan Enya is a grand ceremony in Bungo Takada, Oita Prefecture, held to celebrate the New Year. This event first began in the mid-Edo period, when this area belonged to Nagasaki Shimabara Han. At that time, rice was collected as tax and transported by boat to warehouses in Shimabara and Osaka. It is said that Horan Enya was started as a ceremony to pray for the safety of the boats carrying the rice.

The Katsura River, which flows through the city, is the center stage for the festival. The 'horai' boat is brilliantly decorated with 'tairyo' (big catch) flags, 'bankoku' (all nations) flags and small bamboo branches with five different colored papers attached to them. The boat is boarded by young men in 'shimekomi' outfits, as well as musicians, dancers and other participants, and leaves from the Konpira Shrine at the mouth of the river. The boat zigzags up the river, and heads for the Wakamiyahachiman Shrine further upstream.

If a gift is presented from a spectator on the way to the shrine, one of the young men rowing the boat jumps determinedly into the chilly waters of the river to receive it. This is followed by a round of grateful applause from the people on the Horai boat.

Around the river is 'Showa Town', a shopping center recreated in Showa period style. Many rare, and nostalgic items can be found at the stores here, making it a great place for a stroll.
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見附島 Mitsuke-jima Mitsukejima Island

Jp En

Mitsukejima Island is a small island, about 30m high, situated off the eastern shores of the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa prefecture.

Because the island looks like the prow of a ship, it is also nicknamed 'gunkan (battleship) island'. When the tide is out, it is possible to cross to the island on foot. The name 'mitsuke' relates to a story in which the famous monk Kōbō Daishi was traveling through Sado on his way to Noto. The first object that met his eyes was this island. In Japanese, 'mitsuke' means 'found or saw', hence its name.

A shrine located on the peak attracts people involved with fishery. There used to be a spring festival, however it no longer takes place these days. Camping sites and bathing beaches are available near the island. Today, Mitsukejima Island is known both as a sightseeing spot and as a beach for leisure activities.
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安土・八幡の水郷 Azuchi・Hachiman-no-Suigou Azuchi-Hachiman's Waterfront

Jp En

There are eight famous major scenic sights in Shiga prefecture. They achieved their fame in particular because they were depicted in famous woodblock prints by Ando Hiroshige in the Edo period.

The eight famous scenic sights are mainly located to the south of Lake Biwa, rather than around the whole lake. In 1950, when Lake Biwa was designated as a National Park, the eight major scenic spots were selected from all the scenery in the district.

One of these scenic spots is the waterfront leading to Nishi Lake from Azuchi to Omi-Hachiman. The maze-like waterfront is located in the middle of Shiga prefecture, to the east of Biwa Lake, and surrounded by peaceful fields and a heavy growth of reed. The waterfront reflects each season, and you enter another world where you can forget the daily noise.

If you take the waterfront tour, which is an imitation of Oda Nobunaga's sailing boat, many wild birds will welcome you with their lovely songs.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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