Toshodai-ji is a Buddhist temple of the Ritsu sect in Nara. It was founded in 759 ,by a Chinese priest Ganjin who underwent tremendous hardships in his attempts to visit Japan and spread Buddhism for Japanese people. Ganjin ended his life at this temple. The statue of Ganjin is a national treasure, and the temple has designated as World Heritage Site "Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara by UNESCO.
Nago Sakura Festival will be held on January 30th and 31st at Nago Chuo Park located in Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture. This is the earliest sakura festival in Japan. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful sakura blossoms as well as the a youth's art festival, competitive costume parades, and minyo performances by the local citizens.
At the foot of Mt.Zozu in Kotohira of Shikoku, an old fashioned wooden theater stands there. The theater is called Ex-Kompira Oshibai Kabuki Theater(also known as Kanamaru-za). It is the oldest Kabuki Theater remaining in Japan. It was originally constructed in 1835. Famous Kabuki actors are invited from Tokyo or Osaka in kabuki season every year. The theatre was designated as an Important Cultural Property in 1970
Japan’s first Protestant Church of England was built in 1862 on a hill in the Higashi-yamate of Nagasaki. Many European people who lived in Nagasaki walked along the slope to the church to worship every Sunday. Most people of Nagasaki in those days referred to all Europe people as “Hollanders, because of the influence of the Dutch who lived on Dejima Settlement during Edo period.. Therefore, they called the slope which foreigners often walked along Hollander Slopes.
Ａｎａｏｊｉ is a Buddhist temple of Tendai School located in Kameoka City,Kyoto Prefectur. Anaoji Temple is one of the pilgrimage of thirty-three Buddhist temples in the Kansai region. On January 3rd, a good luck event, called Hukutabae, will be held at this temple. Visitors try to catch 3,000 pieces of fortune bills containing three red ones , which are scattered with a fan by the chief priest from the temple’s roof-top. It is said that the person who picked the red bill up can spend happily for the coming year.
Gachirinji-Yakushido is a Buddhist temple in Yamaguchi City,Yamaguchi prefecture. It was built by the monk Chogen in 1189 with the support of Fujiwara no Kanezane ,also known as Gachirin , who was the Chief Minister of the Heian government . This temple is the oldest wooden structure in Yamaguchi Prefecture. It is designated as a National Important Cultural Asset.
Daisen-Kofun in Sakai City , Osaka Prefecture is considered to be Emperor Nintoku’s tomb. Emperor Nintoku was the 16th emperor of Japan in the Kofun Period, This keyhole-shaped tomb with two wide, water-filled moats is the biggest one in the world. It is guarded and administered by the Imperial Household Agency.
Dogo Onsen is a hot spring in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. Dogo Onsen is one of the oldest hot springs in Japan It is famous for the place in a classic Japanese book, Botchan that was written by renowned novelist Natsume Soseki: Sōseki wrote Botchan while working in Matsuyama as a teacher. Botchan, the main character of this novel visited frequently to the springs.
Arima Onsen is a hot springs in Kita-ku, Kobe-Shi, Japan, behind Mount Rokko. Arima Onsen is said to be the oldest onsen in Japan. Toyotomi Hideyoshi who was a great daimyo and later unified the political factions of Japan in the Sengoku period ,visited this onsen several times. Arima onsen contains lots of minerals and natural ingredients. It has two kinds of springs, kinsen and ginsen. The former has water colored yellow-brown and the later is colorless.
Every month on the 21st ,a huge market called Kobo-Ichi is held at Toji Temple. The first temple market of the year will be held on January 21. A large number of stalls will be open in the temple precinct and many people will come to enjoy them.
The Yamaguchi Xavier Memorial Church was originally built in 1952 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Xavier's visit to Yamaguchi but It was destroyed by fire in1991. The present church was reconstructed in 1998. Saint Francis Xavier was a Spanish pioneering Roman Catholic missionary. Xavier spent six months in Yamaguchi after Ouchi Yoshitaka granted permission him to promulgate his faith.
The Keio Line is a 37.9 km railway line owned and operated by the Keio Corporation. It runs between Shinjuku and Hachioji. Five types of rapid services(Special Express, Semi Special Express, Express, Commuter Rapid and Rapid) are operated on the Keio Line.
Nasu no Yoichi was one of the Genji warriors who was famous for his actions at the Battle of Yashima in 1185. Minamoto no Yoshitsune mounted a surprise attack against the Heike at Yashima on February 19, 1185. After a fierce battle lasted for hours, the Heike jumped into their boats and sailed off. A fair vessel parted from the Heike warships and stopped about 80 m from the beach when the sun was setting.. A beautiful court lady appeared from the cabin, and placed a fan atop the mast. She dared the Genji to knock it off.
Kotohiragu, commonly known as Kompirasan, is the main shrine of Kotohira shrines throughout Japan that are dedicated to sailors and seafaring. It is located on the slop of Mount Zozu in Kotohira Town of Kagawa Prefecture. Visitors must climb 785 stone steps before reaching the Main Shrine.
Marugame City is situated in the central part of Kagawa Prefecture of Shikoku Island. The city is along the Seto Inland Sea. The Marugame City was born in April, 1899. Marugame is famous for Marugame Castle. It was built by Ikoma Chikamasa, the lord of the Sanuki area, However, it was decomissioned as part of the one castle per country law in 1615. Marugame Castle was resurrected by Yamazaki Ieharu in 1641. Marugame is also famed for its uchiwa(fan) production.
The Chizu Express Company is a Japanese third railway that connects Hyogo, Okayama and Tottori prefectures running a total of 56.1 kilometers. The limited expresses Super Hakuto,operated the Chizu Express Company which runs between Kyoto and kurayoshi ,and Super Inaba ,operated by JR West which runs between Okayama and Tottori.run on this line.
Yashima is a peninsula situated to the east of Takamatsu City in Kagawa Prefecture. It is a lava plateau that is a kind of the mesa. Yashima ,about 290 m high, 3 km wide, protrudes out into the Seto Inland Sea. Yashima has a flat top that looks like a roof. It is famous as the site of a battleground where a general from the Genji clan Minamoto-no-Yoshitsune defeated the Heike. Visitors can be overlooking the archipelago of the Inland Sea from the hilltop.
Shimojishima Airport, operated by Okinawa Prefecture, is located on Shimojishima Island of Miyakojima Islands, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The airport is classified as a third class airport. It is used as a training facility for Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways.
The second Monday of January is a Japanese holiday named Coming of Age Day . The day is held in order to congratulate all those who have reached the age of majority over the past year, and to help them realize that they have become adults.
Toka Ebisu Grand Festival is held on 10 January at all Ebisu shrines throughout Japan . People make first visit to Ebisu shrine to pray to the God of Wealth for success in business in the coming year. The Ebisu Shrine has been a guardian shrine for the business. On the festival day, the shrine is crowded with visitors and worshippers from the early morning. The geisha-girls and movie stars who are riding in decorated beautifully kago (litter),named Hoe-Kago, parade in a street. Bamboo grasses with good and bad omen are sold in the precincts.
The Seikan Tunnel is a railway tunnel between Aomori Prefecture and Hokkaido running beneath the seabed of the Tsugaru Strait. The tunnel has a 23.3-kilometre long portion under the seabed. It is the longest undersea tunnel in the world. The tunnel was opened in March 1988.
The Toden Arakawa Line ,operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan Bureau of Transportation ,is a streetcar line in Tokyo, Japan. The Toden Arakawa Line operates between Minowabashi Station and Waseda Station. The single driver-operated cars make the 12.2 km trip.
Hikawa -jinja is a Shinto shrine located in the Omiya district of Saitama City,Saitama Prefecture. It is the ｈeadquarters of all Hikawa-jinja throughout the Japan. According to a legend, the shrine was established in 473 . The legend tells us that Yamato Takeru who visited the shrine following directions of an old man who appeared in his dream when he injured his leg during his crusade to the East. After worshiping, he was able to stand on his own.
Tachibanadera Temple,located in Asuka Village ,Takaichi District, Nara, Japan, is believed to be the birth-place of Prince Shotoku. Prince Shotoku is said to establish 7 temples in total in his life. This is said to be one of them. When the temple was founded in the 8th century, it had 66 halls in its precincts. All that remains is the foundation stones of the pagodas and buildings now. The existing temple is from the Edo period.
Hassenmai Ogoma-ku will be held at the main hall of Sekizanzenin Temple on January 5. A famous monk of Enryaku-ji Temple will come and hold a special prayer to rid humans of desire and misfortune and bring good luck. Sekizanzenin Temple of the Tendai sect., founded in 888, is a sub-temple of Enryakuji Temple on the western base of Mt. Hiei.
Kemari Hajime ceremony will be held at Shimogamo-jinja Shrine on January 4. Kemari is an ancient Japanese foot ball game, originated from the Chinese sport of Cuju. Male aristocrats used to play in the Heian period . They were kicking a ball covered in deerskin to keep it up in the air.
The annual New Year's event, "Karuta Hajime" will be held on January 3 at the Noh stage of Yasaka Shrine in Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto City. Women dressed in court costumes of the Heian period will play Karuta card games while lining up face-to-face in pairs and compete to see who can get the most cards. Noh theatre play will be held in the precinct on the same day.