Sunday, February 28, 2016

Japan - 8

Hi, The second cruise of our trip took us mostly to Honshu Island with a one day visit to Busan in Korea. The first port of this cruise was Nagasaki.

Our first stop was the Atomic Bomb Museum.

We had an opportunity to meet a survivor of the Atomic Bomb attack.  He related his experience including where the various members of his family were on the morning and how the next day he and his brother went looking for his father whose place of employment was about 150 meters from ground zero.  All they found were his ashes in the shape of a human being.

The museum had numerous photos and this model of the bomb.

There were two stops during the afternoon.  First up was the Dejima, the recreation of the small Dutch trading post that was the sole access point between Japan and the west during Japan's long period of semi-isolation from the rest of the world.

Here is a street view of the complex.

This a closeup of the buckets on the left in the street view.

There were some actors in Japanese period costume (above and below).

Here are some interior views from houses I went into (above and 3 below).

This sculpture is a tribute to six men who contributed to exchanges between Japan and Portugal.

There is a beautiful model of the village as it appeared when it was in use (above and below).

The second stop was the Glover Garden, a park built for Thomas Blake Glover, a Scottish merchant who contributed to the modernization of Japan in shipbuilding, coal mining, and other fields. In it stands the Glover Residence, the oldest Western style house surviving in Japan.

The garden is located on a hillside.  In order to walk down through the garden we took the inclined elevator in the tube shown in the photo above.

Here is another view of the elevator, on the left, a covered viewing area, and a part of the city of Nagasaki.

A small flower shop was located just outside the entrance to the bottom of the elevator.

As we walked toward the garden we passed a number of typical residences.

The Japanese love Koi.  This pond was located at the top of the park.

This western style building was constructed March 1883 as a residence for Justices of the Nagasaki Court of Appeals.  An invaluable example of government architecture influenced by Western styles during the Meiji period, the building was dismantled and reconstructed on the present site in 1979.

Ponds in Japanese gardens frequently have statues in them.

Thomas Glovers house has been preserved in the garden.

Here are two interior views (above and below).

The Japanese do interesting things with trees.

Once we left the garden we walked down a very steep hill

lined with a number of shops (above and below).  Above is a display of cups outside one of them while below is a sign for another.

Thanks for looking.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Japan - 7

Hi, Aomori, our final port on the Hokkaido portion of our cruise proved to be very interesting.

The city has some intriguing buildings and

covered streets downtown.

We visited a fish market (above and four below) where the seafood was so fresh there was no odor.

Octopus tentacles and

what looked like snails were for sale.

Outside was a car with an Akita pup.

Next we viewed what I will call rice plant art from the tower to the left in the photo above.

Also from the tower I spotted this interesting arrangement of roof tiles.

Here is one of the two rice pictures (both based on Gone With the Wind) with part of the second one at right.  They are produced by planting different types of rice.

This a closeup of Tara in the center toward the bottom of the first photo.

Another interesting translation.

Space is at a premium in Japan and therefore is not wasted.  These homes have rice paddies for a backyard.

Ruthe enjoyed photographing some of the homes we passed from our bus.

Before lunch we visited visited the Fujita Memorial Japanese Garden in Hirosaki, the entrance of which is pictured above.

Ruthe and I found the gardens to be photographically very rich (above and six below).

After our visit to the gardens we had lunch in the restaurant located in this building.  The area is Japan's largest apple producer and we sampled two of their pies.  They were not as American as apple pie.

After lunch a garden associated with a castle in town was visited.  The castle had a number of concentric walls and/or moats.  This is the first of the gates and the garden begins inside it.

Japanese castles are very different from their European counterparts.

Our last stop was the Nebuta Mura, a museum devoted to the Nebuta Festival.  The festival includes a parade after dark.  When we arrived a performance was in progress (above and below).

Here is one of the floats that appeared in a past parade.

This young lady was doing drawings for sale in the museum gift shotp.

Outside the museum a large pond with Koi, a decorative Carp, attracted the attention of a class of visiting children.

Thanks for looking.