Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Harvested terraced rice fields - Abukuma river

Previously I posted about the terraced rice fields in the Abukuma river area in southern Miyagi prefecture near Sendai city.

The pictures below are of the rice terraces after they have been harvested. They have been harvested by hand as they are being hung to dry on stands - machine harvesting is done differently.

Below is a small god like statue in a creek near a small shrine near the terraced rice fields in the Abukuma river area.

Some dog like statues at a small shrine.
A small Tori - shrine gate - near the terraced rice fields in the Abukuma river area of Miyagi.
Another Abukuma river post can be read.

Monday, 23 February 2009

The shrine of the main Tori on lake Ashinoko Hakone

If you like the color red you certainly would like Japan and it's interesting and and nicely painted red shrine gates, otherwise known as Tori.

The following photos are of the big shrine which sits behind the large Tori that stands in lake Ashinoko in the Hakone mountain area near Tokyo.

Looking toward lake Ashinoko from the top of the shrine grounds.

Some Koi fish in a pond near Lake Ahinoko.

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Hakone mountain area and lake Ashinoko

The Hakone mountain area west of Tokyo has some good sights such as Mt Fuji, a big lake with tori gates in the water and nice hotsprings. A zigzagging train can be taken up a mountain and then a series of cable cars and ropeways to the summit and then to the lake. The photos below show in order what can be seen in the Hakone Ashinoko lake area.

The zigzag train as seen from within and from the platform.

On a foggy day riding the ropeway looks like flying up into the sky as you can see the ropes extending into the mist and fog.
Heading down from the summit towards lake Ashinoko in Hakone.

Some interesting ships can be boarded to cross lake Ashinoko.

The main tori gate on lake Ashinoko in Hakone.
As it was foggy and wet we didn't have a chance to see Mt Fuji, but the Hakone mountain area had enough to see to entertain. More on Hakone later...

Monday, 16 February 2009

The Old Hiroshima Bank of Japan Building

The old bank of Japan building in Hiroshima still stands today after surviving the nuclear bomb attack in 1945. Thanks to the beautiful construction of the building and designed for its purpose of storing valuables it does look impressive.
The inside can be viewed including the safe area where money etc used to be stored, photos and the upper levels which have been preserved. It is located near the peace park museum and is a short stroll from the Comfort Inn hotel where we stayed.
Above the old bank of Japan building stands dwarfed by newer and taller buildings. Below is a photo as it looked after the bombing.

Below is the interior of the street level which used to be the main teller section.

Below is the main safe area which is a few floors below the building. The security guard gave us a good tour of the safe area and the building.

In the photo below the circled section shows damage to the security gate hinge which was damaged in the blast of the bombing. The blast came down the elevator shaft and blew out through the doors damaging the lower half of the hinge.

The photo above shows reconstruction of the old bank building while below the photo shows the street level teller section as it used to be.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Art in Tokyo

Back in November 2008 I went to Tokyo to see some art for a couple of days. First was a stop in Ueno to see the Rimpa exhibition that was dedicated to Ogata Korin at the Tokyo National Museum. Although it was crowded it was good to see some famous Rinpa screen art. I enjoy the art of the Edo period and painters such as Korin, Sotatsu, Suzuki, and Hoitsu are well known by art enthusiasts and historians.

Below are some paintings that were displayed in a gallery near the Tokyo musem which were free to see. I am not sure who painted them but the Japanese landscapes were very good.
Some coloured oil paintings at the same gallery.
Next I visited the Yamatane Museum of Art: http://www.yamatane-museum.or.jp/ which was displaying some nice Rinpa screens by Hoitsu and Gyoshu which can be seen on their webpage. It was a small gallery but had very good Japanese art to see and the large golden screens of Rinpa style were so relaxing to just sit and look at.

The second day I visited Roppongi Midtown to see the Picasso exhibition that was held in the Suntory Museum of art. The complete exhibition was held at two locatons in Roppongi not far from each other. Each part of the exhibition was an exhibition in itself as there were many paintings and drawings to see. There was even a metal statue of a goat with body parts and all if you know what I mean.

The Roppongi midtown center above.
A street in Roppongi with the Roppongi Midtown center to the left and Tokyo tower in the background.
The entrance to a small gallery in Naka Meguro where the painting below was seen. I went to this gallery after seeing the Picasso exhibitions.

Small street scene with a historical looking restaurant bar looking place in Naka Meguro Tokyo.

Hotel Kanyo Minami Sanriku Miyagi

Hotel Kanyo in Miyagi prefecture near Sendai City and Kesenuma city, which is in the Minami Sanriku coastal area, is a nice place to spend some free time by the ocean. The hotel has hotspring baths outside and inside and the view of the ocean is calm and refreshing. Oysters are grown in the bay near the hotel and the many plots can be seen as lines in the water. The website can be visited in Japanese only but has information on how to get there: http://www.mkanyo.jp/
Below is the room we stayed in.

The train station near Hotel Kanyo with snow on the tracks on new years eve.