NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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浪岡城 Namioka-jo Namioka Castle

Jp En

Namioka Castle was built by the Namioka Kitabatake Clan in the 1460s. The clan prospered in the early 1500s when it interacted with Kyoto and built temples and shrines.

But trouble within the clan in 1562 weakened their power base and in 1578 Ora (Tsugaru) Tamenobu attacked them and the castle fell. For the following 400 years, the castle remains were used as fields for growing rice, etc.  On 10 February, 1940, the castle was designated as Aomori prefecture's first national historical site.

The castle's 8 buildings originally spread out like a fan, and were divided by dual moats 20m wide and 5m deep. There were pathways on clay walls. These unique constructions were intended to make the castle more maze-like and to protect it from enemies.

Moreover, more than 40,000 excavated articles have been found on the site, including dishes, cooking equipment, weapons, agricultural tools and artefacts for everyday and religious uses as well as architectural relics.
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奥能登塩田村 Okunoto-endenmura Oku-Noto Salt Pan Village

Jp En

Oku-Noto Salt Pan Village is a facility for experiencing salt-production and a museum with exhibits describing the relation of the Noto people to salt.

Because Japan is surrounded by sea, techniques for extracting salt from sea water developed. Most settlements near the sea had salt-extracting facilities.

Salt-extraction techniques can be divided into two main regional types: 'agehama' and 'irihama'. Along the coasts of Noto Peninsula, salt was produced using the agehama technique. For example, in the town of Suzu, where Oku-Noto Salt Pan Village is located, the 500-year-old agehama technique is still used.

In the agehama technique, you draw sea water into a pail and sprinkle it on the sand many times, then let it dry under the sun. The salt itself is tasty and rich in minerals. Not only that but if you use it in cooking, it will make the food tastier.

At Oku-Noto Salt Pan Village, you can experience this traditional salt-production method and make your own original salt. The experience is available from May to September.
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仁科神明宮 Nishina-shinmeigu Nishina Shrine

Jp En

Nishina Shrine was established by the Nishina Family who ruled the Shinano area from ancient times to the middle ages. The shrine was founded to pay respects and to be a 'mikuriya' shrine for the Grand Shrine of Ise. 'Mikuriya' means a building where food and drink are prepared specifically for the gods worshipped in the shrines.

The exact date of the shrine's completion is not clear but it is said to be around the 2nd year of the Kowa era, during the Heian period.

The main building is constructed using 'kiritsuma-zukuri' and straw-thatching, both typical of 'shinmei-zukuri' architecture. The building was reconstructed every 20 years, but when it became a place mainly used for prayer under the Matsumoto Domain in the Edo period, reconstruction was changed to renovation. The last complete reconstruction was made in 1636.

Nishina Shrine is the oldest 'shinmei-zukuri' style building in Japan, and is designated as a National Treasure. Furthermore, the wooden 'munefuda', dating to 1376, and the bronze Buddha, which are both kept in the shrine, are designated as Important Cultural Treasures.

Traditional events, including divine rites from ancient times for sowing rice, as well as Shinto dance and music performances during the Great Festival of Autumn, are still carried out at this shrine.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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