Entsuin Temple is a historic temple that belongs to the Myoshinji school of the Rinzai sect of Buddhism. It is the 1st Holy Place of 33 Kannon Pilgrimage in Sanriku. Located in Matsushima, one of Japan’s Three Finest Views, the temple is popularly called “Rose Temple” or “Moss Temple.”
In the precinct is Otamaya (the mausoleum) named Sankeiden, where Date Mitsumune, a grandson of Date Masamune, is buried. Constructed in 1647, it is the oldest mausoleum structure in the precinct. It is a square building with a pyramid-styled tiled roof. The railing is built around the building. It is one of the few 3-bay square mausoleums in the Tohoku region.
Inside the mausoleum is Zushi (a miniature Buddhist shrine) housing the statue of Mitsumune on the horse. The painted decoration given on Zushi is very gorgeous. Interestingly, some Western-styled patterns influenced by the Kirishitan (Christianity) culture can be seen among the decorations.
The mausoleum had been closed to the public for 350 years. However, it was open to the public since it was designated as an Important Cultural Property by the national government.
Seikatei is a historic building at North 7, West 7, in Kita-ku, Sapporo City, Hokkaido. Like the Hoheikan and Sapporo Clock Tower, this is one of the oldest western-style building in Hokkaido. This building was constructed in 1880 for receiving distinguished guests of the Hokkaido Development Commission in Kairakuen Park, which was Hokkaido’s first public park also created by the commission in 1871. Emperor Meiji took a rest here in 1881 when he visited Sapporo.
The building has a fine combination of the American architectural style and the traditional Japanese style. The building had been used in many ways such as a house for let or municipal lodging. However, in 1961, the city of Sapporo acknowledged its historic and architectural value and designated it as a municipal tangible cultural property. In 1978, the repair works were given to restore the building to its original forms.
Aizu Buke-yashiki is an outdoor museum consisting of a Samurai residence complex which contains many historical buildings, including the house of Saigou Tanomo, chief retainer of the Azuma clan; Nakahata-jinya, formerly a local governor’s house (designated as an Important Cultural Asset by Fukushima Prefecture); a Suukiya style tea house and the Aizu clan’s rice mill. The Aizu clan was established by Hoshina Masayuki who was a younger brother of Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third Shougun of the Edo government. Throughout the Edo period, the Aizu clan rose in prominence and became a leading clan in northeast Japan controlling other ruling Daimyo families. However, caught in the midst of the turmoil at the end of the Edo period, the Aizu castle town burned down and many of its buildings were destroyed. The original 38-room house of the chief retainer was built using the most skilled and advanced architectural techniques available in the middle of the Edo period. The reconstructed house employs wax figures to realistically recreate samurai life during that period. The museum also contains the Aizu History Museum; an Art Museum which exhibits local Buddhism paintings; stores that sell local specialties from Aizu and Fukushima, and a restaurant that serves local dishes.
Rokkaen is a garden located in Kuwana-shi, Mie Prefecture, which contains a mansion that splendidly harmonizes Japanese and Western building styles. It was built in 1913 as the residence of the second generation Moroto Seiroku.
Josiah Conder, who became famous for designing Rokumeikan (the Deer Cry Pavilion), was responsible for planning Rokkaen as well. The layout of the house consists of a two-story European-style building with four small rooms inside a tower, a natural slate roof, a Japanese-style building and a shed, as well as a garden around a pond.
Currently the house is open to the public, and tourists may come here to relax, or chat with other visitors. In 1997, Rokkaen was designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan. In 2001, the garden, excluding one section, was nominated as a scenic spot of Japan.
The Rokkaen is a precious cultural heritage which represents the fusion of Japanese and Western architectural styles popular in the late Meiji and Taisho periods. It is a classic example of period architecture encapsulating Taisho romance and passion.
Oyama Shrine used to be called Utatsu Hachiman Shrine. Maeda Toshinaga established it in 1599 to honor Maeda Toshiie, the former clan lord of Kaga. Later in 1873, it was moved to the present place from Mt Utatsu.
A Dutch designer, Holtman, designed the entrance gate to Oyama Shrine. The gate blends three architectural styles: Western, Chinese and Japanese. The stone arch in the first section has a structure of wood and seems to be something akin to Ryūgū-jō. The Dutch five-colored stained-glass windows on the top floor are beautiful.
At one time, the gateway was used as a lighthouse for Kaneishi port. It has a height of 25m, including the lightning conductor. In 1950, it was designated as an important cultural asset.
“Wafuuya” sells goods and modern merchandise that have been reworked from used fabrics and materials such as kimono and obi-belts. Oranku-Koubou is a store in Osaka that started to sell online as “Wafuuya” and has been gaining in popularity all over the country.
The store sells bags as well as interior, home and kitchen-ware. There is a wide range of products that are not stereotypically “Japanese-style, and include maternity passbook cases and room shoes, too. Their modern and elegant designs recall the Taisho romantic style and also look back to the Showa period.
Wafuuya also remakes old kimonos that have passed from generation to generation. By bringing these back to life, it’s possible to create a fascinating and unique look.