Autumn Leaves in Western Japan
cKyoto Convention Bureau
Places of interest
Glover Garden, Nagasaki
Glover Garden is a park in Nagasaki, inclusive of Glover residence, Ringer House and Alt House. The first owner of Glover Garden is a Scottish merchant in the end of 19th century who has made a fortune by selling weapons to Samurai of Satsuma(kagoshima prefecture), Choshu(Yamagata prefecture) and Tosa(Kochi prefecture). His wife was a Japanese known for the inspiration for Puccini's opera "Madam Butterfly". His son, Tomisaburo Kuraba was a Fisheries biologist however committed suicide in 1945 after suffering from the accusations of spying.
Unzen is the name of a mountain range in Nagasaki Prefecture and was designated as a national cultural asset in 1928. Unzen is believed to hold over 150 species of plant with leaves changing colors in Autumn. The view from the peak of Mt. Kunimi-dake is the best of the surrounding area.
It may be no exaggeration to say that all Japanese, young and old, male and female, love hot springs. Hot spring water baths come indoors, outdoors and in many different sizes. Outdoor baths are called rotemburo. While some baths are wooden or stone tubs, others are built to resemble or are actually natural hot spring pools. Some outdoor baths are spectacularly situated in the mountains, valleys or along rivers, lake or sea shores.
Kumamoto Castle, Kumamoto
Constructed in the beginning of 17th century, Kumamoto castle is one of Japan's great castle which had been belonged to Kiyomasa Kato, famous feudal lord, a hero for Japanese people but a nation's enemy for Korean people: he was a General in the time of Japanese invasion of Korea in 1592-1598.
One the second floor of the castle, you can try lunch set "Honmarugozen", which consists of several dishes, mainly cooked according to the recipe written by Kumamoto clan for their Samurai.
Atomic Bomb Dome, Hiroshima
The building now called the Atomic Bomb Dome, has been preserved for future generations, forever to pass on the horror and misery caused by the weapon of mass destruction used there for the first time in human history.
Itsukushima Shrine, Hiroshima
Itsukushima Shrine is known worldwide for its "floating torii gate". Constructed originally in 593, the present shrine pavilions were built by Taira no Kiyomori, a general of Heike clan in the 12th century attempted to create a paradise in this world. If you do not belong to the Heike you are not human ? so the Heike boasted once. But their prosperity vanished in 1185 at the battle of Dannoura, located around Kanmon Channel close to this shrine. Despairing Samurai of Heike clan and their women including Emperor Antoku, who was only eight years old threw themselves into the sea and it is said all over the sea was colored with beautiful kimonos of such poor women that looked like a painting in fantasy.
Gion is Kyoto's most famous geisha district filled with shops, restaurants and tea houses where geisha entertain. Entertained by geisha while dining is an ultimate experience for ordinary Japanese as their services are expensive and exclusive, traditionally requiring an introduction from an existing customer. If you expect to see a geisha, stroll Hanami-koji street in the dusk, and just remember to respect them and not harass or stalk them.
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