Travel into the Paleolithic/Jomon period!
I went to Fukui Cave Museum which was opened in April, 2021 in Sasebo city. Sasebo city has the most number of cave ruins in Japan.
Fukui Cave Museum is the best place to learn about Fukui Cave while having fun, the ruin shows the change from Paleolithic period to Jomon period.
This museum is complex with Yoshii branch of Sasebo City Hall and Yoshii Area Community Center.
The building has just completed!
Taking a step inside, a diorama of the excavation site of Fukui cave (actual see!) welcomes you.
Introduced changing of Fukui cave over several tens of thousands of years by very beautiful, impressive images and sounds.
First of all, watch a five-minute summary video. Then it’s about time to take a tour!
Look all things thoroughly no matter how it’s small. There are so many treasures here and there.
‘ The moment I stepped into the entrance, I was surprised to find there were displayed national important cultural property.
Way more than I expected….
A row of national important properties!
“National Treasures” are displayed generously.
This is a hunting tool which was made 19,000 years ago!
Sparkle and beautifully sharp graver!
excavated from 13th layer/ the first trench
There are about 400 pieces of stoneware and earthenware.(included national important cultural property)
This is a strip tearing off from actual stratum of Fukui cave.
From looking at this, you can feel and see the flow of the tens of thousand years.
The cosplay photo shooting with Naumann elephant!
Taking funny photos feeling like Paleolithic and Jomon people.(Free)
On the left clothes is made of Ezo Deer’s fur.(Hokkaido Sika Deer)
It’s heavy, feel so real.
On the right clothes is made of hemp for children and men. Why don’t you take a family photo for memories of the trip?
Experience of making a fire, knitting in ancient times and making Magatama (comma-shaped beads). （※Reservation required）
I thought it was hard to understand about ascent times, but I could feel a sense of romance because of understandable display with illustrations and videos.
Well, after learning at the museum, let’s explore the cave!
If you come by public transportation like MR Matsuura train, I suggest trying “Bicycle Rental Service.”
A power assisted bicycle makes you easy to ride on a bumpy road.
It takes about 20min, 4km to Fukui cave.
Around this area, there are some good tourist spots like “Senryuu Falls”(feel cool and refreshing), Ohashi Kannon”(famous as autumn leaves) and “Gozou pond”(drawing attention as photogenic spot).
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)
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
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.
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?
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”.
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, 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.