Sushi

19 May 2024 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Bon appétit Reading Time:  7 minutes

© Nesnad/cc-by-2.5

© Nesnad/cc-by-2.5

Sushi is a Japanese dish of prepared vinegared rice (sushi-meshi), usually with some sugar and salt, plus a variety of ingredients (neta), such as vegetables, and any meat, but most commonly seafood (often raw but can be cooked). Styles of sushi and its presentation vary widely, but the one key ingredient is “sushi rice”, also referred to as shari, or sumeshi.   read more…

Yokohama Landmark Tower in Japan

1 February 2024 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, House of the Month Reading Time:  5 minutes

Nippon Maru tallship in front of the Yokohama Landmark Tower © flickr.com - ken H/cc-by-sa-2.0

Nippon Maru tallship in front of the Yokohama Landmark Tower © flickr.com – ken H/cc-by-sa-2.0

The Yokohama Landmark Tower (Yokohama Randomāku Tawā) is the third tallest building and fifth tallest structure in Japan, standing 296.3 m (972 ft) high. Until surpassed by Abeno Harukas in 2014, it stood as the tallest building in Japan. It is located in the Minato Mirai 21 district of Yokohama city, next to the Yokohama Museum of Art.   read more…

Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto

1 December 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  11 minutes

© Jaycangel/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Jaycangel/cc-by-sa-3.0

Kinkaku-ji (literally “Temple of the Golden Pavilion”), officially named Rokuon-ji (lit. Deer Garden Temple), is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan. It is one of the most popular buildings in Kyoto, attracting many visitors annually. It is designated as a National Special Historic Site, a National Special Landscape and is one of 17 locations making up the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto which are World Heritage Sites. Kinkaku-ji was ranked the No. 85 Most Holy Place on Earth by religious leaders, writers and scholars in the Patheos multi-faith religion project Sacred Spaces: The 100 Most Holy Places on Earth.   read more…

Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region

4 September 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  6 minutes

Remains of Villages on Nozaki Island © Pachopi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Remains of Villages on Nozaki Island © Pachopi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Hidden Christian Sites in the Nagasaki Region is a group of twelve sites in Nagasaki Prefecture and Kumamoto Prefecture relating to the history of Christianity in Japan. The Nagasaki churches are unique in the sense that each tells a story about the revival of Christianity after a long period of official suppression. Proposed jointly in 2007 for inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List under criteria ii, iii, iv, v, and vi, the submission named at the time Churches and Christian Sites in Nagasaki on the Tentative List, was recognized on January 30, 2018, as a World Heritage Site.   read more…

Takayama in Japan

26 February 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Presentation of floats during Sannō Matsuri © Chme82/cc-by-sa-4.0

Presentation of floats during Sannō Matsuri © Chme82/cc-by-sa-4.0

Takayama is a city located in Gifu, Japan. As of 1 January 2019, the city had an estimated population of 88,473 in 35,644 households, and a population density of 41 persons per km2. The total area of the city was 2,177.61 square kilometres (840.78 sq mi) making it the largest city by area in Japan. The high altitude and separation from other areas of Japan kept the area fairly isolated, allowing Takayama to develop its own culture over about a 300-year period. The city is popularly known as Hida-Takayama in reference to the old Hida Province to differentiate it from other places named Takayama. The name ‘Takayama’ means ‘tall mountain’. Takayama is located in northern Gifu Prefecture, in the heart of the Japan Alps. Mount Hotakadake is the highest point in the city at 3,190 metres (10,470 ft). The city has the largest geographic area of any municipality in Japan. The economy of Takayama is strongly based on tours, agriculture and woodworking.   read more…

Theme Week Tokyo – Ginza

29 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  12 minutes

Wako store © Kakidai/cc-by-sa-4.0

Wako store © Kakidai/cc-by-sa-4.0

Ginza is a district of Chūō, Tokyo, located south of Yaesu and Kyōbashi, west of Tsukiji, east of Yūrakuchō and Uchisaiwaichō, and north of Shinbashi. It is a popular upscale shopping area of Tokyo, with numerous internationally renowned department stores, boutiques, restaurants and coffeehouses located in its vicinity. It is considered to be one of the most expensive, elegant, and luxurious city districts in the world. Ginza was a part of the old Kyobashi ward of Tokyo City, which, together with Nihonbashi and Kanda, formed the core of Shitamachi,> the original downtown center of Edo (Tokyo). Each Saturday and Sunday, from 12:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., the main street through Ginza is closed off to road traffic, allowing people to walk freely. This is called Hokōsha Tengoku or Hokoten for short, literally meaning “pedestrian heaven”. There are some people who do street performance such as magic and playing instruments. As a famous photo spot, some cats sleep on signs, where people can put their own cats onto these signs. The location where cats are is different depending on the date.   read more…

Theme Week Tokyo – Sensō-ji temple

28 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

© jreysp/cc-by-sa-4.0

© jreysp/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sensō-ji (Kinryū-zan Sensō-ji) is an ancient Buddhist temple located in Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan. It is Tokyo’s oldest temple, and one of its most significant. Formerly associated with the Tendai sect of Buddhism, it became independent after World War II. Adjacent to the temple is a five-story pagoda, the Asakusa Shinto shrine, as well as many shops with traditional goods in the Nakamise-dōri. The Sensoji Kannon temple is dedicated to Kannon Bosatsu, the Bodhisattva of compassion, and is the most widely visited spiritual site in the world with over 30 million visitors annually. The temple has a titanium tiled roof that maintains the historic image but is stronger and lighter.   read more…

Theme Week Tokyo – National Museum

27 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  9 minutes

The Hyokeikan © Kakidai/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Hyokeikan © Kakidai/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Tokyo National Museum or TNM is an art museum in Ueno Park in the Taitō ward of Tokyo, Japan. It is one of the four museums operated by the National Institutes for Cultural Heritage, is considered the oldest national museum in Japan, is the largest art museum in Japan, and is one of the largest art museums in the world. The museum collects, preserves, and displays a comprehensive collection of artwork and cultural objects from Asia, with a focus on ancient and medieval Japanese art and Asian art along the Silk Road.   read more…

Theme Week Tokyo – Imperial Palace

26 January 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks Reading Time:  12 minutes

Suwa-no-chaya Tea House © flickr.com - Rob Young/cc-by-2.0

Suwa-no-chaya Tea House © flickr.com – Rob Young/cc-by-2.0

The Tokyo Imperial Palace (Kōkyo, literally “Imperial Residence”) is the main residence of the Emperor of Japan. It is a large park-like area located in the Chiyoda district of the Chiyoda ward of Tokyo and contains several buildings including the main palace (Kyūden), some residences of the Imperial Family, an archive, museums and administrative offices. It is built on the site of the old Edo Castle. The total area including the gardens is 1.15 square kilometres (0.44 sq mi). During the height of the 1980s Japanese property bubble, the palace grounds were valued by some to be more than the value of all of the real estate in the state of California.   read more…

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