NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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2007/2/14


岡崎城址 Okazaki-jyoushi Remains of Okazaki Castle

Jp En

The remains of Okazaki Castle are in Okazaki, Aichi Prefecture.
  
In the 15th century, the lord of Okusa Castle, Saigo Yoritsugu, built Okazaki Castle as defence against the Matsudaira Clan, who were heading south.
  
Then, in 1524, Matsudaira Kiyoyasu, the grandfather of Tokugawa Ieyasu, was given the castle and he moved it to its present place. Ieyasu was born at this castle and made it his base when he founded the Edo government.
  
In the Meiji period, Okazaki Castle was destroyed but in Meiji 34, it was restored as a symbol of Okazaki at the request of the locals.
  
The name of Okazaki Castle is now Okazaki Park and in spring, 2500 cherry trees blossom. The site has been chosen as one of Japan's top 100 places to see cherry blossom.

On the site, there are the remains of the Heian period Okazaki Castle, which was built by Okazaki Shiro. There is also the Muryoji-temple at the place of the donjon.
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2007/1/30


若宮大路 Wakamiya-ooji Wakamiya Road

Jp En

Wakamiya Road is an old temple route located in Komachi, Kamakura, Kanagawa Prefecture. It is included as one of Japan's top 100 roads, and is also one of the 20 best scenic views in Kanagawa Prefecture.

Wakamiya Road starts from Yuigahama within Kamakura City, and leads to Tsuruoka Hachimangu. Established in the 2nd year of the Yowa era (1182), the road was built by Yoritomo Minamoto (and refers to Suzaku-oji road in Kyoto) in order to pray for his wife Masako's safe delivery of a child.

The road is currently part of Kanagawa State Road number 21 from Yokohama to Kamakura. There are three torii gates along the road: namely the 'first', 'second' and 'third' torii starting from the Yuigahama side. The distance between the second and third torii is called the 'dannkazura', literally translated as 'terraced tongue'. This is because of a certain type of construction method that was used to elevate the central part of the road. This construction method makes the road narrower on the Tsuruoka Hachimangu side, and creates a perspective that makes the road look longer than it truly is.

The Wakamiya Road continues to be the center of Kamakura, and is a road that is loved by all citizens.
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内成棚田 Uchinari-tanada Uchinari Rice Terraces

Jp En

The Uchinari Rice Terraces are ricefields with a stair-like formation in the Uchinari district, Hamawaki, located south of Beppu in Oita Prefecture.

In 1999, the Uchinari Rice Terraces were selected as among the top 100 Rice Terrace of Japan by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.

The terraces consist of 1000 fields and the area is some 42 hectares wide, making it the fifth widest of the top 100 rice terraced areas in Japan. The terraces are also the largest and most beautiful in Kyushu.

The Uchinari district has a long history and is first recorded during the Kamakura period. Even today, rice cultivation continues in areas such as Seba, Taromaru and Kajiwara. These places use spring water that has its source at Sekijo Temple.

There are no fallow rice fields here, and they are managed by the whole settlement. The Uchinari Rice Terraces are sustained by various efforts such as participatory agricultural events, the chance to own a rice terrace, and distribution of the rice harvested here.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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