NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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余呉湖 Yogoko Yogoko Lake

Jp En

Yogoko Lake is located in Yogo, Ika, in Shiga Prefecture. The total area of the lake is approximately 1.8km2. The deepest part of the lake is about 13m.

Yogoko Lake is associated with the history and cultural artifacts of the battle of Shizugatake, which took place here during the Warring States Period, as well as the Hagoromo legend. This legend tells of a celestial maiden who descended from the heavens and hung her robe on a willow that still exists today and is known as the 'koromokake-yanagi (robe-covered willow)'.

Yogoko Lake is designated as the Biwako Quasi-national Park and is also known as the 'mirror lake' because of the way its surface reflects the scenery and ambiance of the four seasons.

The shores of the lake feature various places for recreation, such as smelt-fishing, and outdoor spots like the Shizugatake hiking area and trails.

Yogoko Lake is actually managed and initiated as a dam to prevent flooding of the Yogo River and for irrigation purposes.
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倉敷 Kurashiki Kurashiki

Jp En

Because of its preserved streets, its history and its natural scenery, Kurashiki is the foremost sightseeing spot of Okayama Prefecture. In 1979, the Kurashiki Bikan Historical Area was designated as a Preservation District of Historical Buildings.

The old town of Kurashiki embodies the atmosphere of the Edo period. The town has a subtle harmony of white walls, black 'hongawarabuki', 'nameko' ('sea cucumber') walls, warehouses, lattice windows and the willow-lined river. The town also has many cultural attractions, such as the Ohara Museum of Art. Beautiful buildings, such as the Kurashiki Museum of Folk Craft and the Kurashiki Museum of Archaeology, may be visited. In addition, the Kibi Tumulus is an historic site dating to the ancient Kibi kingdom, which prospered in past.

Other sites around Kurashiki that are popular to visit include Mt Kijo, the birthplace of Momotaro, as well as the historic Kibi-Tsu shrines. Moreover, Kurashiki is known for its scenic views of the beautiful Seto Inland Sea. From the peak of Mt Washu, there is a splendid view of scattered islands among silent waves and the magnificent Seto Ohashi Bridge.
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木之本地蔵院 Kinomotojizoin Kinomoto Jizōin Temple

Jp En

Kinamoto Jizōin Temple lies within huge grounds in the center of Kinamoto town, in Ika, Shiga prefecture. It is famous as a temple where people can pray for long-life and cures for eye diseases.

The temple was founded by the priest Soren who, legend has it, found a statue of Jizō in Osaka Bay and venerated it under a willow tree. In fact, the name 'Kinomoto' derives from the story that the Jizō was worshiped under such a tree.

The wooden Jizō statue is 162 cm high with an ulna between its eyebrows. There are two statues beside it: Enma (Lord of Death) and Gushoujin (Enma's Aide). The statues were all designated as important cultural assets in 1899.

There are other important treasures in the temple, including an astonishing 6m-high statue of Jizō, one of the largest in Japan. From ancient times, it is believed that there lives at the temple a frog that answers certain human wishes. For this reason, many artificial frogs have been laid by supplicants beneath the Jizō sculpture.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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