tomocchi

Exploring Nagasaki with Open-Top bus “Sora-Kaze”!

31Aug 2021 tomocchi

 

Why don’t you look around Nagasaki  by Open-Top bus while feeling the breeze and clear sky?

The first Open-Top Bus “Sora-Kaze Bus” in Nagasaki prefecture was launched in Nagasaki city from July 22nd.

Let me introduce this amazing tour!

 

 

Hop abroad at Dejima Omote-Mon (Main gate).

The expert guide gives you fascinating information.

 

 

You can see Nagasaki’s distinct landscape from Mt. Inasa trail.

 

 

The breeze feels great!

Pass through Megami Ohashi bridge, cable-stayed bridge, looking out Nagasaki Port on both sides.

 

 

‘Look up in the sky, the colossal comes into your eyes!

It is breathtaking!

 

 

And now, off the bridge, you can see the back of a pier.

It’s just like “Megami Ohashi bridge, Should See It from the Side or the Bottom?” …to made a parody of a famous Japanese movie, “Fireworks, Should See It from the Side or the Bottom?”

 

 

The bus is open top and well ventilated.

When it begins to rain, the hood covers the top, so sudden weather change is never a problem.

There’ no better way to tour Nagasaki than with this open-top bus tour.

Grand Opening promotion now! (until the end of September)

 

Shimenguu Goshuin Tour around Shimabara peninsula and Isahaya city.

31Jul 2021 tomocchi

 

Goshuin is a seal stamp which proves that you visited a certain temple or shrine.
The event which you can visit 10 shrines in Shimabara Peninsula and Isahaya city and collecting the stamps called Goshuin is  being held.

In Nara era, about 1300 years ago, the shrine, “Shimenguu”, which was built in Unzen,  is the master guardian shrine of Kyushu.  The branch shrines were built all over Shimabara peninsula and Isahaya city.

In Meiji era, most of them changed their names such as ‘Hot spring(Onsen) shrine’.

“Shimenguu Goshuin Tour” is a special event.  In this event, you visit 10 shrines out of
25 shirines, which used to be Shimenguu.  You can collect the smaller stamps called
Mame Goshuin in each shrine.

I went to some shrines so I’ll introduce the atmosphere of them.

Unzen Hot Spring Shrine ( The Grand Head Shrine )

 

 

Unzen Hot Spring Shrine, which is located in the center of hot springs in Unzen, is the grand head shrine of other hot spring shrines in Shimabara peninsula and Isahahaya city.

It is known as the shrine for good buisness and safe driving.

 

 

First of all, I went and prayed at the shrine.

 

 

Married Couple Persimmon Tree'(Meoto-Gaki) is a sacred place, which can bring safety for children and good fortune in love.

It is said that you can make your wishes will come true if you hold two trees together, raise your hands, say your wishes and pray!

 

 

You can collect goshuin at a shrine office.  ( 9:00 am – 5:00pm)

How to reveive mame goshuin:  to take it from the award box and donate ceremony fee, hatsuho-ryo in the offering box.

 

 

UIn Shimenguu Goshuin Tour,  all the Goshuin is very wonderful because of using elegant Japanese papers with decoration.nzen Hot Spring Shrine is the grand head shrine so the size of goshuin is twice as big as others.

( It is a sticker so that it can be easily attached. )

 

 

I met a beautiful cat.

 

 

Unzen Hot Spring Shrine is in the center of spa.   It is in the entrance of Unzen Jigoku, so you can also enjoy hot springs and Jigoku tour.  Unzen Jigoku, also known as Unzen Hell, is one of the best places to enjoy natural hot spring in Nagasaki Prefecture.

 

 

 

 

Hot Spring Kumano Shrine

 

A surburb of Shimabara city

I came to Hot Spring Kumano Shrine, which is surrounded by greenery  with the
nostalgic atmosphere

 

 

The main shrine is very classic because it has a historic atmosphere

I really like the curved Karahahu roof and decoration!

In addition, we decorate the entrances of our homes with ‘Shimenawakazari’, a small rope made from rice straws, during the New Years season to word off evil spirits in Japan.
Especially in Shimabara Peninsula,’Shimenawakazari’ is on the entrances of shrines and houses all year round.  This shows that people living in the house are not a christian.

The big camphor tree next to the main shrine is 400 years old.  It is  designated as a
natural monument in Nagasaki.

In the precinct of the shrine, clean water is gushing out and it is popular as a ‘avatar of
water’ among  local people.  It is a sacred place with a lot of negative ions.

How to reveive goshuin: to take it from the award box in the entrance of the main shrine and donate ceremony fee, hatsuho-ryo in the offering box.

 

 

Arie Hot Spring Shrine

 

The Arie district has a charming cityscape such as a historic sake brewery.

 

 

This is my best spot since I visited “Arie Kura Tour”, the first opening of warehouse after New Year, for the first time.  It is held every spring.

I can feel comfortable ‘energy’ like negative ions.  This shrine is a landmark in Arie town.

 

 

Memorial goshuin

If you collect 10 mame goshuin and 1 mame sign ( given by Tourism Association of Shimabara Peninsula), you can receive a memorial goshuin at  Unzen Hot Spring Shirine or Isahaya Shirine.

 

Memorial goshuin receiving place: Unzen Hot Spring Shirine or Isahaya Shirine.

Donate ceremony fee, hatsuho-ryo:800 JPY

Receiving Place:  Shrine office  ( 9:00 am – 5:00pm)

Contact:  Each shrines or Shimengu office ( Shrine agency: only weekdays TEL 095-827-5689)

Shimenguu Goshuin Tour around Shimabara peninsula and Isahaya city.

How about taking your time visiting various shirines, enjoying hot springs and cuisine?

Hydrangea, speaking of the rainy season in Nagasaki / Nagasaki tram “Minato”

30Jun 2021 tomocchi

 

It’s rainy again today in Nagasaki.

It’s difficult to travel far away due to virus pandemic, but  beautiful hydrangea blooming in Nagasaki prefectual office can heal us.

 

 

” The statue of Siebold in his young days ( by Naoki Tominaga )”  nearby hydrangea

 

 

Hydrangea is the flower that Siebold loved.  He was a Dutch doctor in Nagasaki.

Siebold married Japanese woman named “Otaki-san”.  Shiebold named this beautiful flower “Otakusa” after his loved Japanese wife “Otaki-san”.Therefore, the scientific name of hydrangea is “Otakusa”

In 1968,  hydrangea was selected as a symbolic flower of Nagasaki city.

Hydrangea has been loved by the citizens as a symbolic flower in Nagasaki since then.

Nagasaki tram, “Minato”

 

 

By the way, Nagasaki tram, the historic transportation is familiar to local people.

In Nagasaki city, you can get on the tram just only  ¥130.  It’s very cheap and convenient.

What I recommend the most for tram is “Minato”.

This tram  is a very cute design with a lot of attractive points of Nagasaki.

“Minato” was designed  by Mr. Eiji Mitooka, who is in charge of designing a lot of trains such as  a luxuary sleeper train of JR Kyushu, “Nanatsuboshi in Kyushu”.

Same as well for Minato, you can get on the tram with only  ¥130 for adult, and just ¥70 for children!

It is a lucky news for you, isn’t it?

In spite of  such gorgeous looks,  you can get on “Minato” as a normal train,  not a special train.

The exterior of “Minato” is the color of Metallic blue matched the image of a harbor town, Nagasaki.

 

 

The body of “Minato” has an illustration of  “Omagari neko” ( a cat with kinked tail).  You can often meet this type of cat in Nagasaki.

This is a lucky cat which brings luck to you with its kinked tail!!

 

 

A lot of timber is used for the interior decoration.

Every color and pattern of seats is nostalgic and  fantastic.  So you can’t choose where to sit, all the seats are nice!Japanese Wood Crafting Technique Art called ‘Kumiko’ is beautiful.  You can see it behind a driver’s seat.

 

 

A stained glass is used  for a part of the windows as inspired from churches in Nagasaki.

 

 

Even the ceiling is gorgeous that it would catch your eyes.

 

 

You can enjoy an illustration of “Jaodori”(dragon dance), which is popular in Nagasaki Kunchi festival.

Do you  want to get on “Minato”?  Do you want to know where and when “Minato” is running?

If you are interested, please check out the homepage of  Nagasaki electric Tramway Co., Ltd.   You can use the Internet service, “Dokone”, which can tell you the current location of “Minato”.

http://www.otter.jp/naga-den/pc/maps.php

The tram, “Minato” filled with charms of Nagasaki

Why don’t you get on “Minato” when you get around the city?

 

 

 

The official mascot of Nagasaki electric Tramway Co., Ltd,  “Naganyan”

“I am a fairy cat living in a tram. Meow〜”

 

Hirado, a place noted in connection with Anjin Miura (William Adams)

26Mar 2021 tomocchi

 

Hirado, Nagasaki Prefecture is a town where international exchange was performed as a first Western trading port in Japan.

Do you know a blue-eyed Samurai, Anjin Miura (William Adams) who is deeply associated with this town?

He was an Englishman who did a remarkable work under the absolute confidence of Ieyasu Tokugawa at the beginning of the Edo period.

He was a navigation officer who drifted to the shore of Japan in the year of 1600 (Keicho 5) just before the battle of Sekigahara. He rendered great services in Japan so that he was later given a Japanese name of Anjin Miura as well as a status of Samurai.

He came to Hirado in 1613 (Keicho 18) and made a great contribution to the opening of Dutch and English factories in Hirado.

Later he did a remarkable work under Richard Cocks, the Head of the Hirado English factory. He died from disease in Hirado in 1620 (Genna 6).

 

 

Hirado Tsutaya (Mansion of Anjin)

 

 

Typical sweets are “Kasudosu”, gold shining renowned confectionery (right) and “Gobo Mochi (left)

 

“Kasudosu” is said to have been brought by the Portuguese who visited Hirado. It is made by dipping “Kasutera”, a sponge cake, in the yolk and then coated with heated syrup and finally covered by sugar. What a gorgeous confectionery! Rich and luxurious sweetness!

 

My favorite is “Gobo Mochi” (right).

It is said to have been named “Gobo” because its shape resembles a burdock root (Gobo). However, it is a simple Hirado confectionery made only from rice wheat and sugar. They say they were cut long, in old days, like a burdock root and served depending on the number of the guests. It is outstanding that no matter how many guests may come, we can cope with it just by changing the depth just the same as a roll cake. Plump and sticky and the same feel in the mouth with “Uiro”, a sweet rice jelly. Poppy seeds with bubble wrap texture become an accent.

Both confectionaries are not only served during the tea ceremony of samurai Chinshin school but also distributed during happy events and memorial services in ordinal houses.

 

 

 

You can enjoy them with coffee and relax in the Japanese style room in the back. It is recommended to take a break with traditional sweets after strolling round the castle town of Hirado during the Age of Discovery.

 

 

Picture 6 The tomb of Anjin Miura (Sakikata Park)

 

 

The tomb of Anjin Miura had not been certain for many years. In was rather recently broadcasted that there is a high possibility that it is in Sakikata Park, Hirado city where human bones had been discovered during an excavation in 2019. A tomb of Anjin Miura was built in 1954 (Showa 29) in Sakikata Park which had been considered to be the tomb site of Anjin. Later in 1964 (Showa 39) as the 400th anniversary of his birth, stones from the graveyard of her wife in England were sent for as a symbol of her soul and buried together. A mound for the husband and wife was also constructed in the park.

 

Sweeping view townscape of Hirado downtown.

 

It is also famous for cherry blossoms and azalea. So, the coming season will be especially good for paying a visit.

 

Cover story of a movie, “Tengaramon” set in Nagasaki now open to the public

26Feb 2021 tomocchi

 

“Tengaramon”, released nationwide on December 11, 2020 is a story of

Tomoatsu Godai (1836-1885) who played an active role

during the last days of Tokugawa Shogunate and the beginning of the Meiji era. Have you seen it already?

Many noted spots in Nagasaki appear in the drama.

 

“Nagasaki tabinet” is now running a special feature on “Tengaramon”!

 

In addition to the introduction of the film, noted places of Nagasaki that appear in the movie as well as the areas associated with Tomoatsu Godai are covered.

 

 

 

 

Introduction of the film:

At the end of Tokugawa Shogunate, when whole Japan was terrified by the visit of Commander Matthew Perry, four young samurai ran through the west end of Japan, Nagasaki, sensing the arrival of new era of Japan.

The film features Saisuke Godai (Future Tomoatsu, by Shunma Miura) and Ryoma Sakamoto (Shohei Miura). A crowd of samurai were trying to kill them for some unknown reason. At this instant, their lives started to correspond.

Antiforeign policy or opening of the country to the rest of the world? Godai took no notice to the internal battle but turned his eyes to the world. During those days, he happened to meet a prostitute, Haru (by Aoi Morikawa), and was driven to dream a free way of life. He then shared his vision with Ryoma Sakamoto, Yataro Iwasaki (Takanori Nishikawa), Hirobumi Ito (Yuki Morinaga) to realize a country where everyone can have a free dream of his own.

(Cast) Haruma Miura, Shohei Miura, Takanori Nishikama, Morinaga Yuki, Aoi Morikawa, Misako Renbutsu and others

Directed by Mitsutoshi Tanaka, Screenplay by Eriko Komatsu

Produced by ©2020 Production Committee of the film “Tomoatsu Godai”.

Distributed by Giggly Box Co., Ltd.

Released nationwide on December 11, 2020.

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