NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/1/25


井倉峡 Ikurakyo Ikura Valley

Jp En

The Takahashi River flows through the karst landscape of Atetsu Plateau, and has carved out the V-shaped Ikura Valley. It is a beautiful and dynamic valley, designated as a Natural Monument of Okayama Prefecture.

One of the three major limestone caves of Japan, and also a designated Natural Monument of Okayama Prefecture, Ikura Cave opens on to a limestone bluff some 1,200m long and 240m high. Inside the cave, the earth's presence can be felt from the three waterfalls, made by nature over hundreds of millions of years.

The Ikura Valley has always attracted people, ever since the Takase boat went back and forth among the bizarre rocks and subtle valleys. On visiting the Ikura Valley in 1929, Akiko Yosana composed the tanka: 'The bluff gazes up into the sky with such dignity, even the maple leaves get frightened'.
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2007/1/23


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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俳聖殿 Haiseiden Haisei-den

Jp En

Haisei-den was built in 1942 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the birth of the famous haiku poet Matsuo Basho. It is located in Iga City, Mie prefecture. The building has been designated as a Cultural Asset of Iga.

Haisei-den is in Ueno Park (the site of Iga Ueno Castle). The building has an unusual design: it is in the shape of Basho on one of his trips. A roof corresponds to his hat, the octagonal eaves to his sash, the pillars to his stick, and a wooden frame to his face. Inside, there is a life-sized statue in Iga ware of Basho seated.

Katsu Kawasaki, a councillor born in Mie, built this strange and magnificent building with money from his own pocket.

On October 12 every year, on the anniversary of Basho's death, a Basho Festival is held to honor his memory and achievements. Moreover, haiku and renku poems from all over Japan are dedicated to Basho's statue, and the statue is opened to the public on this day only.

This building expresses both the traveler and architecture at the same time. There is no similar example and Haisei-den is a masterpiece of unusual architectural art.
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NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - 日本語に切り替える NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉 - to english

"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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