The little Kyoto, Izushi-cho – - -popular sightseeing spots !!

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Izushi-town is called a little Kyoto since it still retains old housing and atmosphere with which entertain many tourists. In addition, Izushi-town is a famous production center of Izushi-Yaki which is traditional porcelain produced with local pottery stone. Because of its tradition and history, it is designated by the Japanese Government as Traditional Craft Products .
It was a castle town during the Edo period, of which a part of the castle was reconstructed. Along the main street, visitors enjoy shopping at old reformed merchants’ houses and the oldest clock tower, “Shinkoro” in Japan.

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Spring Pottery Festival in Tanba-Yaki (Hyogo)

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The end of April thru the beginning of May is Spring Holiday Season, called a Golden Week in Japan. Many ceramics production centers in Japan set special events to exhibit and to sell their characteristic pottery and porcelain products. Tanba-Yaki (Hyogo) is not exception. They held Haru Monogatari or “A Story in Spring” to open their work studios to the public and to show the old climbing kiln firing products by members of potters and volunteer.
The climbing kiln is 47 meters long and 2 meters wide having 9 chambers

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Cherry trees in full bloom now !!

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The cherry blossoms in the Sakitama-kofun Park near my place are in full bloom. Many people visit the park to see the cherry blossoms here.
There is a quite good artificial hill, which is actually Maruhakayama Kofun or ancient tomb. This is Japan’s largest circular one with 105m in diameter and 19m in height.

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Famous sightseeing spot, Asakusa area !!

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Asakusa is a well-known sightseeing spot in Tokyo, which is reminiscent of the old Japan .Kaminarimon or “Thunder Gate” is very famous as a landmark of its huge red lantern. On either side, there are two large statues, Fujin and Raijin or “Wind and Thunder deities.
There is Nakamise Shppping Street between Kaminarimon and Sensoji Temple where we can buy lots of interesting souvenirs.
The Tokyo Skytree, the tallest tower in the world is 20 minute walk from the Kaminarimon.

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The 16th Konosu Fireworks Display !!

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One of Japanese traditional arts, fireworks displays are held all over the Japan
at this time of the year. We enjoyed amazing sizes and numbers of fireworks at the Konosu Fireworks Display on the dark sky October 8, 2017. One of the biggest fireworks was “4 Shaku Dama (or Ball)”, about 1 feet or 120cm in Diameter. It was about 800 meters across when it explodes.

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Unique Mumyoi-Yaki pottery at Sado !!

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Mumyoi-Yaki is unique pottery formed with Mumyoi red clay, which is produced at only Sado gold mine and fired at high temperature. A the Ed period, it was said that the clay was used as blood-forming medicine because of its iron-rich content. Only potters living in the Sado Iskand are eligible to use the red clay.

The Aikawa area has many sightseeing spots such as remains of the gold mine and gold refinery, a magistrate’s office and so on. Long time ago, the Sado Island was isolated and accommodated many criminals for gold mining.

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Kurashiki beautiful sight area !!

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Kurashiki (Okayma) was the Edo Shogunate’s (Government ‘s) demesne in the Edo period. There are many merchant Kuras (or warehouses) with white walls reserved around the Kurashiki River. The area is designated as Kurashiki Bikan Chiku (Kurashiki beautiful sight area) by the government.
Sakatsu-Yaki was started,by Suekichi Okamoto, one of the richest merchants, using local good clay in the early Meiji Era here.

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Onta-Yaki produced at nostalgic village !!

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Onta-Yaki is produced at Hita City in Oita prefecture. The Onta Village is one of the most unique villages in many ways, consisting ten (10) potter’s families only. Surprisingly, no modern machinery is used in the pottery making process.
Once we walk into the village, we notice nostalgically rhythmical sounds from a device called “Karausu” or (Chinese mortar) powered by water of the river here and there. This is used to pound and to make fine clay for pottery.
The Onta-Yaki was started in the mid Edo Shogunate, by an assistance of Koishiwara-Yaki’s potters and handed down within the limited potters.

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Little Edo / Kawagoe with landmark buildings and temples !!

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Koedo (Little Edo) –Kawagoe (Saitama) is a sight-seeing town with the culture and aroma of Edo era, situated at only less than one hour train ride from Tokyo. There are many historical merchant houses and buildings which are still actively in use.
The main zone for tourists to visit will be “Old storehouse zone” where many old storehouse merchant houses are lined up and selling various goods in them, and “Toki no Kane” (or Tower of Time Bell) which still tells time in Kawagoe. Another area is “Kashiya Yokocho” (or Penny Candy Alley) with 22 traditional style Japanese candy stores with nostalgic taste of days gone by.

Photos : Old Storehouse Marchant House Zone, Tower of Time Bell, Penny Cndy Alley

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