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Monday, September 28, 2015

Bund Sightseeing Tunnel in Shanghai

Images from archive... Since these image were taken in China, I decided to post here...


It was summertime in 2013 when I was in Shanghai for the conference and I had a chance to walk around downtown. 


Bund sightseeing tunnel lies under the Huangpu river (黄浦江), connecting the Bund and Lujiazui area of Pudong district.


After paying 50 yuan, unmanned transparent compartments will take you to the bizarre world. It takes about 4 minutes to run 646 meter tunnel. 


It's open from 8:00 to 22:30 (from May to October) or from 8:00 to 22:00 (from November to April).




Sunday, September 20, 2015

Kashiigu

Kashiigu (香椎宮) is the shrine located in Fukuoka city, Kyushu (= nine provinces). I've long wanted to explore Kyushu area and eventually had an opportunity to visit shrines, although I had only two days. 



As you can tell from the photos, it's been raining when I visited Kashiigu:(




You may realize that in Kyushu area a myriad of shrines enshrine Emperor Chuai/Tarashinakatsuhikono sumeramikoto (仲哀天皇/帯中日子天皇), his wife Empress Jingu/Okunagatarashihimenomikoto (神功皇后/息長帯比売命), and their offspring, Emperor Ohjin/Hondawakenomikoto (応神天皇/誉田別尊) because Emperor Chuai's troops visited many places in Kyushu.

They stayed in Tsukushi Province (筑紫郡) that was located within Fukuoka Prefecture to conquer Kumaso (熊襲), a rebel against Emperor's dynasty, who were settled mostly in southern part of Kyushu. 



Stone monument of Chuai's HQ settlement

When Emperor Chuai headquartered in Tsukushi province, his wife Empress Jingu was suddenly struck a condition called "spirit possession" and that's when she received a divine message. However, Emperor Chuai didn't take it into consideration and blamed the deity. Owing to his faithfulness deed, he passed away there a year later after the divine message. Widow Jingu built his mausoleum in a place called Furumiya (= old palace/古宮). It was AD200... 


Furumiya - Chuai's original mausoleum
In AD724, Empress Jingu's mausoleum was built there, too. That's why Kashiigu was considered to be the mausoleum and therefore it's been called "Kashii (香椎) byo (=mausoleum/廟) until 10th Century. It wasn't an ordinary shrine then.


View from the middle gate
Main hall (本殿) is registered as important cultural property of Japan (重要文化財) because the hall is built in an unique structure called "Kashii tsukuri (香椎造)".

Haiden hall
Needless to say, Kashiigu enshrines Emperor Chuai and Empress Jingu as primary deities, Emperor Ohjin and Sumiyoshi Ohkami (住吉大神) as subordinates. Why Sumiyoshi Ohkami enshrined??? Don't worry. I will explain later in the upcoming entry!




I've never seen Komainu (狛犬) having such a small face! It's so muscular that reminds me of Gozirra.




Monday, September 7, 2015

Kintai Bridge

When I returned from the trip to Mijamija Island, I stopped by at one of the most famous (in a bizarre way) bridges in Japan. It is called Kintai bridge (or Kintaikyo bridge/錦帯橋橋) that was built in 1673.



The bridge consists of five arches made of wood. The bridge has 193.3 meter long and 5 meter width to spans across Nishiki river (錦川),  




Until Meiji restoration only Samurai and wealthy local merchants were allowed to cross the bridge. At present, fee to cross bridge costs 300 JPY (adult). The toll gate is open from 8 to 17, however, it is possible to cross bridge before/after opening hours as long as you drop entrance fee in the box located at toll gate.





Alternatively you can cross river by boat!