Thursday, 22 January 2009

Old Kuroiso Bank building - Tochigi prefecture Japan

The old Kuroiso Bank building which was built in 1916 is an impressive historical building which now stands as a cafe. It is made from Oya stone which was mined near Utsunomiya which is about 50 minutes away by train. Just a few minutes walk from the station it is a nice place to pass some time while waiting for a train. Inside, there is still the original clock on the wall which wasn't working when I visited, but it looked good. Kuroiso is on the main train line between Tokyo and Fukushima north of Tokyo.

The original clock in the old Kuroiso bank building.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Oya Stone Mine Tochigi Japan

The Oya stone mine can be found near Utsunomiya city in Tochigi prefecture Japan. The mine is now a museum and can be viewed by simply walking into the building and paying a fee.

Some items are on display in the building plus photos of the old days of the mining industry there. Then you can take your time exploring the mine itself. Walking down into it is not too dificult and just requires you to negotiate some stairs before you are met with a great view of the inside of a hill and a mine.

The Oya stone is a stone that was mined for the purposes of building and many buildings in the area can be found made from the stone - the Utsunomiya Catholic church is just one example. The Oya Peace kannon is just a short walk from the mine.

The mine can be reached by bus in about half an hour.

The Oya mine museum where the entrance to the mine is.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Nikko - World Heritage site Japan

Nikko in Japan is a world heritage site worth visiting if you are in Japan. There are many shrine and temple buildings to see which are beautifully painted and adorned with interesting images and statues carved from wood. Below are photos of the carvings and buildings which were seen in January 2nd which had large crowds for the new year festivities which were taking place.

Nikko is a day trip north of Tokyo, but better visited with a stay in Utsunomiya city where you can see other sites such as the Oya stone mine and Peace kannon statue. Utsunomiya is 40 minutes from Nikko by train.

New year crowds at Nikko world heritage site.

The JR train to Nikko from Utsunomiya station. In Utsunomiya there are two stations that have trains going to Nikko. If you are connecting with the Shinkansen (bullet train) take the JR train. There is a private rail company TOBU which has a shopping centre in Utsunomiya and the station can be found there, but it is far from the JR station.

The famous Nikko bridge near the world heritage site.
Nikko JR station is of historical quality and far more charming than the Tobu station in Nikko.

A bus can be caught from the JR station which stops at the Tobu station and then goes to the world heritage site. It takes about 10 minutes.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

A book about dating Japanese women

There isn't a lot of information about dating Japanese women from a cultural point of view. Many books touch on part of the subject but lack the specific focus on the topic leaving English speaking men confused when they have Japanese girlfriends. Fortunately though, someone has written a book giving a good informative cultural education on how Japanese women should be approached when trying to date them or form a relationship with them. It's not a book about one night stands rather a very helpful guide to building and growing a relationship.

The book can be purchased quickly as an e-book from Japan Dating Tips. It has even been featured in the Japan times due to its relevance and quality of information.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Churches in Japan

There aren't a lot of churches in Japan but at times one can come across a nice Church especially when not seeking to. Below are two churches that I came across when visiting Nikko and Utsunomiya in Tochigi prefecture.

The Bove church is the Episcopal church of Nikko town which can be found near the main World Heritage site that has interesting historical shrines connected to the shogunate of the Edo period. The church looks very much like a western or European one and is made of stone which gives it an older look and feel, especially from a distance.

Below are photos of the Utsunomiya Catholic church which is near the main shopping area and Tobu station. It is constructed with Oya stone that is mined near Utsunomiya city and the large Peace Kannon statue.

Above the cross is the moon in daylight.
The main entrance of the Utsunomiya Catholic church.
These are two of the better looking churches have seen in Japan.