Before the midnight of New Year's Eve, temple bells(joya no kane) are starting to strike 108 times. According to teaching of Buddhism, 108 is the number of desires of people. The bell ringing is believed to sweep them away.
Namahage is a Japanese ritual which passed down from ancient times throughout Oga Peninsula, Akita Prefecture,Japan. On New Year's Eve, a group of village young men dressed up as Namahage or demon ,wearing large masks, straw raincoats and waist-bands, holding wooden knives and pails, visit each house in the village, shouting: "Any misbehaving kids live here?" The parents answer to Namahage that they have no bad child in their house, and the head of the family in formal dress offers food or sake to the demons. Namahage promise that the family will be blessed with good health when they take leave of that house.
The Okera Matsuri festival will be held at Yasaka-jinja Shrine in Kyoto from late at night on New Year's Eve to New Year's Day. Okera refers to the medicinal herb Atractylis ovate. It is believed to cast away the evil energy of the past year. On New Year's Eve, kagaribi are lit by setting the sacred flame from the Chinka-shiki Fire Ritual held on the 28th to the medicinal herb's roots and Okera toro placed in 3 different places in the shrine precincts are lit by this fire. People take back some of the embers of this fire to their homes and cook zoni ,soup containing vegetables and rice cakes for New Year's Day, by this fire. It is called "Okera Mairi" to make visit to this festival.
Kinkaku-ji is a Zen Buddhist temple in Kita-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan. The Kinkaku-ji was originally built in 1397. It was a retirement villa for Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu, The temple was burned down twice during the Onin War which was a civil war from 1467 to 1477 during the Muromachi period . The present structure dates from 1955 because the pavilion was burned down by a monk on July 2, 1950.
was opened September in 2004. It is a commercial complex built just north of JR Tokyo Station. The commercial building houses 24 restaurants and bars from the first floor to the sixth floor, and a bookstore ,one of the biggest in Japan run by Maruzen Co. The 205-room Marunouchi Hotel is there, from the seventh floor to the 17th floor.
The Aoimori Railway Line is a 25.9 km rail line operated by the Aoimori Railway Company, a third sector company. It runs from Metoki Station to Hachinohe Station. When the Tohoku Shinkansen was opened in 2002, the portion of the Tohoku Main Line located in Aomori Prefecture from the Iwate border to Hachinohe Station became the Aoimori Railway Line.
Kitano no Tenjinsan is a Shinto shrine located in Bakuro-cho, Kamigyo-ku,Kyoto. The deity of this shrine is Sugawara no Michizane, a scholar, poet, and politician in the Heian Period. Michizane was born and died on 25th of the month ,and so the flea market is held every month on the 25th in the precincts of this shrine. Tthe last shrine market of the year is called Shimai Tenjin. A large number of stalls are open from early in the morning on this day.
The Iwate Ginga Railway Line is a 82.0 km rail line operated by the Iwate Galaxy Railway Company, a third sector company,in Iwate Prefecture. It runs from Morioka Station to Metoki Station in Sannohe, Aomori. It was part of the Tohoku Main Line of East Japan Railway Company. The line was separated from JR in 2002 when the Tohoku Shinkansen was opened.
The Emperor's Birthday is a national holiday in Japan. It is celebrated on December 23. Emperor Akihito was born on December 23 ,1933. One this day, the Nijubashiis open to the public. The Emperor and the family make a personal appearance on the second-floor balcony of the Imperial Palace to greet people.
Ikegami Sone Iseki is the ruins of the large village of the Yayoi Period. The Yayoi period is an era in the history of Japan from about 500 BC to 300 AD. Ikegami Sone Iseki is located in Ikegam -cho ,Izumi City and Sone- cho ,Izumiotsu City ,Osaka Prefecture, extending 1.5km from north and south and 1.5km from east and west. It is one of the most prominent in Japan.
Around Jinbocho Station subway on the Hanzomon Line and Toei Shinjuku Line. Over 170 bookstores selling new and second hand books are there. The stores are located on Yasukuni and Hakusan Avenue. As many colleges and universities such as Meiji University、Chuo University Senshu University and so were established in the neighborhoods around Kanda and Jimbocho in the late 19th century , the bookstore started business one after another in this area and a bookstore town was soon formed.
Zentsu-ji is the head temple of the Shingonshu Zentsuji sect, located in Zentsu-ji City, Kagawa Prefecture. The temple is the 75th Fudasho on the Shikoku Pilgrimage route to 88 Holy Sites. Zentsuji Temple is the birthplace of Kobo Daishi, or "Kukai.". Kobo Daishi built this temple himself in 813 after he returned from China.
Karasu-no-miya is a Shinto shrine located in Konohana-Ku,Osaka-Shi,Japan. The shrine was founded in 1215 as Morisu-Jinja in the center of Dempo-mura to pray the prosperity of the village and its port. It is said that a crow with three legs appears from the forest of the main shrine and showed many good omen when Toyotomi Hideyoshi visited the shrine in 1592 to pray for the safety of the trip. Hideyoshi who returned home peacefully gave the shrine the name of "Karasu- no -miya,"or the shrine of crow.
The Yasukuni Shrine is a Shinto shrine located in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo. About 2.5 million soldiers and others who died fighting are enshrined here as Kami. It is known for its beautiful cherry blossoms in the spring.
Osaka Gas Building, known as Gas Biru locally, was completed in 1933. The building was designed by Yasui Takeo as the main office building for Osaka Gas Co.,Ltd.. It is the first office building built along Mido-Suji Boulevard, the primary main street in central Osaka. It was designated as a Registered Tangible Cultural Property in 2003. The Gas Building Dining Room was established at the time on the 8th floor of the Osaka Gas Building, A real European-style lunch attracted many people. The lunch was composed of cheese toast, corn potage, chicken grilled on silver skewers, ice cream, bread, and coffee.
There is a famous statue of “The Little Girl wearing Red Shoes .” in Yamashita Park of Yokohama City. The statue represents the subject of a famous poem called “Akai Kutsu” (“Red Shoes”) written by Noguchi Ujo in 1921. The poem was composed by Moto-ori Nagayo in 1922. The lyrical song tells us that a little girl with red shoes on was taken by a foreigner from the Pier of Yokohama.
Yokohama Marine Tower is located in Naka Ward, Yokohama City, Japan. It is a 106 meters high framework tower. Yokohama Marine Tower was opened in 1961 as the monument which symbolizes the Port of Yokohama and also the tallest lighthouse in the world. In 2006, Marine Tower temporarily shut its doors and after the renovations, the tower was reopened in May ,2009 for 150th anniversary of opening of the port.
On December 14‚ 1702‚ the 47 Ako Ronin broke into the residence of Lord Kira Kozuke-no -suke to avenge the death of their Lord Asano Takumi-no-kami. In commemoration of this event‚ Gishi-e Memorial Ceremony is held at Hoju-ji Temple,located in higashiyana-Ku, Kyoto, on December 14. There are wooden statues of 47 samurai in the temple. After the memorial service, tea ceremony service is held by maiko. Soba noodles will be offered to the visitors.
The Hanshin Namba Line is a rail line operated by Hanshin Electric Railway connecting Amagasaki Station and Osaka Namba Station. On March 20, 2009 ,the line was opened. There are through rapid express operations between Sannomiya Station and Kintetsu Nara Station.
Kiyomizu-dera is an independent Buddhist temple located in Kiyomizu ,Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-Shi, Japan. It is part of the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) UNESCO World Heritage site. It is said that the temple was founded in 798 by Sakanoue no Tamuramaro, the general of the early Heian Period. Its present buildings were constructed in 1633, ordered by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third shogun of the Tokugawa dynasty. The main hall has a large veranda called Kiyomizu no Butai(the stage at Kiyomizu). It is supported by 139 pillars. Beneath the main hall is the Otowa waterfall. The water of Otowa is called prolongation of human life water.
Osanbashi Pier is the main and oldest pier at the Port of Yokohama. It is located in Naka Ward, Yokohama City, Japan. Osanbashi was originally constructed in1896. The present Osanbashi is the newly reconstructed passenger terminal constructed in 2002.
When Tokugawa shogunate opened the port of Yokohama, a foreign settlement was established in Kannai to prevent foreigners from entering Kanagawa-juku. A road was built from Kanagawa-juku to Yokohama-mura. On this road, the Yoshida Bridge was built across Yoshida River and a kanmom(a checkpoint) was arranged on this Yoshida Bridge. The area inside the Kanmon (the Yokohama side) was called Kannai. At that time , horse-drawn carriages carrying foreigners was a common sight on this road and thus local people gave it the name Bashamichi (Horse-drawn Carriage Street).
Yokohama Chinatown is located in Yamashita-Cho,Naka-Ku,Yokohama-Shi, Japan. It is the largest Chinatown in Japan. There are more than 200 restaurants. It is becoming a major sightseeing spot in Yokohama.
Hari-kuyo is held on December 8 at Hari -jinja which is a branch shrine of Hatae Hachiman-gu located in Sakyo-Ku,Kyoto-Shi. People take old, broken, and dull needles to the shrine on that day.. They stick the needles into konnyaku that are placed on altars in the shrine. Shinto priests recite prayers called norito. People pray and thank for the needles.
Hikawa Maru is a Japanese trans-Pacific Liner that was launched on 30 September 1929. She was built for the Nippon Yusen KK line. Hikawa Maru was operating as a passenger ship between Yokohama and Seattle before the war. During World War Ⅱ,she became a hospital ship. In 1961 Hikawa Maru was refitted to become a floating youth hostel and a maritime museum at the port of Kokohama. She has been open to the public since its renovation in 2008.
Sanpo-ji Temple,also known as Narutaki no Myoken-san, is a Buddhist temple of Nichiren sect founded in December 8 ,1628 by the Minister of the Right ,Imadegawa Tsunesuke and the Councillor, Nakayama Tamehisa. It is located in Matsumoto-cho Narutaki ,Ukyo-ku,Kyoto-Shi. On the first Sat and Sun in December, Daikon (white radish) Memorial Service is held at this temple to commemorate the anniversary of the death of Nichiren and the foundation of the temple. Prayers are offered the boiled daikon to ward off misfortune.
f Minato no mieru oka koen (Harbour View Park) is one of the Yokohama municipal management Parks,located in Yamate,Naka-Ku,Yokohama. It is the hilltop park overlooking Yokohama Port. The park is called the best view point for Yokohama Bay Bridge. A rose blossoms garden is there but the blossoms in the garden are at their best in spring and fall.
Shin Yokohama Ramen Museum ,located in Shin Yokohama, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture,is a ramen amusement park. Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish, served in a meat- or fish-based broth and uses toppings such as sliced pork, dried seaweed, kamaboko, green onions and even corn.
The museum has old downtown streets in the 1950s and '60s style reproduced and visitors can always find about nine famous and popular ramen shops from all over Japan along the old-fashioned streets.