Daibutsu, Kamakura

Daibutsu, Kamakura
Daibutsu in Kamakura, June 2010. There were thousands of school kids visiting that day. It was still great fun.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

More Nikko, Japan pics

Here are some more pictures of the Toshogu Shrines in Nikko. Here is the link to the Nikko Tourist Association: http://www.nikko-jp.org/english/chuzenji/index.html

The Okusha Hoto was originally a wooden building when first constructed in 1622, but was remodeled into a stone structure in 1641. The bronze pagoda, which we see now, is a 1683 reconstruction, built after an earthquake destroyed the stone building. In order to keep dry the remains of Tokugawa Ieyasu, enshrined underground beneath the pagoda, the stone bedded floor is sloped to drain outward and the joints of the stone blocks constituting the stepped foundation are sealed with lead to block the penetration of rainwater.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Nikko, Japan pics

Here are some amazing pictures of the famous Nikko shrines in Tochigi Prefecture. These shrines are a World Heritage Site and they were created for the great Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Bell Mall in Utsunomiya, Tochigi, Japan

While in Japan in May, I visited the Bell Mall in Utsunomiya several times. It's a great mall, very clean with a nice food court. Here is some information about Bell Mall.

Bell Mall is located near the center of Utsunomiya City which is a large regional city in the North Kanto region. The mall is about 2km East of the Utsunomiya JR station. It is a fairly large mall with about 80,000 sq. meters of space. It has many ratail shops including sporting goods, clothing, books and music stores. The mall also has a cinema.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Otawara, Tochigi, Japan

Here is some information about Otawara (Source: Wikipedia 8/22/2006)

Ōtawara (大田原市; -shi) is a city located in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan which is in the northern part of the Kanto region north of Tokyo. Otawara is northeast of Utsunomiya which is the capital of Tochigi Prefecture.
Sometimes spelled Ootawara or Ohtawara. As of April 1, 2005, the city has an estimated population of 78,698. Otawara has an average temperature of 1.2 degrees Celsius in January up to 23.1 degrees Celsius in August. Otawara averages approximately 1,460 millimeters of precipitation per year with the wettest months being June through September. About 50% of Otawara is covered by rice fields with about 12% being mountains and forests. The official flower of Otawara is the chrysanthemum. Otawara is accessed by the Tohoku Expressway or Nasushiobara Shinkansen Station of the Tohoku Shinkansen line on the westside of the city.
The city was founded on December 1, 1954. Otawara Castle was built in the year 1545 and it prospered during the Edo Period (1603-1867) as Otawara Castle Town. Otawara Prefecture was born in 1871 and afterwards it was integrated into Tochigi Prefecture. The town was known as Ota Haramachi in 1889. In December of 1954, Ota Haramachi and Kin Tamura combined into Otawara City. Later, Nozaki Village and part of Nishi Nasuno Town merged with the City in November 1955. In 2005, Otawara merged with Yuzugami City and Kurobane Town to form the present day Otawara City.
The largest sporting event the city hosts is the Otawara Marathon which is held annually on November 23rd. There are ten golf courses in the Otawara area. They include both public courses and private country clubs such the New St. Andrews Golf Club which is a Jack Nicklaus design course.
The city also is home to corporations such as Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation which sells medical equipment worldwide including CT Scans and other medical imaging equipment and Mochida Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. which specializes in the sales of pharmaceuticals, medical equipment and skincare products. Tochigi Nikon Corporation is also located in Otawara. Tochigi Nikon Corporation is a member of the Nikon Group and specializes in the development, design and manufacture of optical products and electronic imaging equipment; design and manufacture of semiconductor manufacturing equipment and optical lenses.
The International University of Health and Welfare is located in Otawara. The university was established in 1995, with the aim of training experts in the field of health and welfare.

Friday, August 18, 2006

More pictures from my 2006 Japan trip

Here I am at the Castle in Aizuwakamatsu.

Tower from Kawagoe which is about 25 to 30 miles from the center of Tokyo. This area is very busy as well as the areas surrounding it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

More pictures from Japan

Here are some pictures from Otawara, Tochigi, Japan.

Here is the entrance to the local temple in Otawara.

2006 trip to Japan

I am back from my trip to Japan where I spent three weeks with my wife and baby visiting her family. I had a great time as I always do when I visit Japan. Her famliy lives in relatively rural Tochigi prefecture. They live in a small city called Otawara and also in famous Nikko in Nikko National Park also in Tochigi.

There is nothing remakable about Otawara where we stayed with her parents. It is just a nice and pleasent city. I took many walks around her neighborhood and to the main street. I enjoy seeing the way people live compared to America, their home and shops, etc.

We also went to a few shopping malls. Although I can go to shopping malls anytime here in LA, it is still fun to go to them in Japan because they are similar of course but they are also different. The stores are different and cleaner and the people tend to be more polite. I don't have to deal with punks and a-holes that often populate American malls. It is intersting that the stores in Japanese malls are basically wide open to the main part of the mall. They don't have narrow entrances like in America. American store entrances are set up that way for security reasons, to control the exit to help prevent shoplifters. Japan obviously does not have a large problem with shoplifters. Stores in America would be looted if they were set up like Japanese mall stores. The food courts also have places such as McDonld's but also have delicious Japanese food stands.

We also visited Kawagoe which is near Hachioji and the American Yokota Airbase in the northern Tokyo area. Kawagoe is a very historic old district in Saitama about 30 minutes from tokyo with shops along narrow busy streets. Just like all other areas in and around Tokyo, it is a busy and bustling area. It is known locally as Little Edo (Edo is the old name for Tokyo during the Tokugawa Shogunate period). A great place to visit.

Later in the trip, we visited Aizuwakamatsu area and toured the local castle there. A great place to visit if you are in that region. Aizuwakamatsu is located in Fukushima prefecture north of Tochigi. Here you will find a very interesting castle that was originally built around 1384. During the Edo period it was the seat of power of the daimyo Aizu Han and was an important stronghold of the Tokugawa Shogun in the Tohoku region of central Japan. At the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the castle was surrounded and destroyed by the Imperial Forces. The current castle was rebuilt in 1965 on the original base or foundation.