11/30/2017

The brilliant autumn leaves at Soginotaki

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Overlooking Soginotaki(曽木の滝/Sogi Fall)from the observatory

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The width of the waterfall is 210 meters, and its height is 12 meters.

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The autumn leaves on the riverbank were brilliant. It had rained the day before,so the amount of water increased. As I came near the river, the mist came down on my face.

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On the downstream side,there is Shin-Sogi Bridge(新曽木大橋). Previously it was on the upstream of the river, but was rebuilt due to landscape problem. It is 204 meters in length and completed on November 5, 2011.

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There is a view terrace on the riverbank. A transparent acrylic board is spread under the feet.The height of the fall seems to exceed 10 meters,but it is horrible to look down at the water surface.

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The autumn leaves information of Japan Weather Association's app is accurate!

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The honorable monument of Horinouchi Ryoganbo(堀之内良眼房)

Soginotaki Park(曽木の滝公園、伊佐市/Isa City) has a waterfall called "Oriental Niagara". In the park, you can enjoy the cherry blossoms in spring,and autumn leaves.There are also many restaurants and souvenir shops.

The fall is in Sendai River(川内川), and during the Edo period(江戸時代), Nengumai was shipped on the river. In order to facilitate the transportation of them,Kawazarae had began. Thanks to the construction, many farmers had been able to easily pay Nengumai. In the park, the monument of Horinouchi Ryoganbo erects, who made a great contribution to the construction.

Nengumai(年貢米)
A system that farmers pay taxes in rice.

Kawazarae(川浚え)
A construction that makes the bottom of the river smoother to advance the boat easily.

09/29/2017

Remains of the summer

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It’s a sunny day and good for surfing.

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A good sea breeze blows to the coast.

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Oh,splaaaash!

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Do not miss the chance.

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Fukiagehama Sunset Bridge

There is Fukiagehama Beach(吹上浜)along the East China Sea in Kagoshima Prefecture, and the length is around 50 kilometers. A good sea breeze blows against the beach at the mouth of Manose River(万之瀬川) in Minamisatsuma City(南さつま市), so windsurfing and kitesurfing are actively performed.

The mouth of the river belongs to Fukiagehama Prefectural Natural Park(吹上浜県立自然公園). Both banks of the river are connected by Fukiagehama Sunset Bridge. The bridge is 405 meters long and 6 meters wide, completed in July 1993.

There are event plaza, pool, campground, bird observation facility, Nansatsu Youth Learning Center(南薩少年自然の家),etc. in the park.There is also a service of bicycle rental, and it can be used only within the cycling road in the park. In addition,Fukiagehama Sand Sculpture Festival(吹上浜砂の祭典)runs every May.

05/20/2017

Kareigawa Station

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JR Kareigawa Station,Kirishima City(嘉例川駅/霧島市)

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Fresh green and blue sky of May

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The limited express Hayato no Kaze(はやとの風)has just arrived.

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The stoppage time is short.Take a commemorative photograph in a hurry!

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The train bound for Kagoshima Chuo Station(鹿児島中央駅) is about to depart.

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Tranquility has returned to the station.


JR Kareigawa Station is the oldest wooden station building in Kagoshima prefecture. It has opened since 1903, and was more than 100 years old.Although it is now unmanned station,the old-fashioned building attracts many tourists. The limited express train (Hayato no Kaze) stops here. Ekiben(駅弁) are sold only at weekends,but they are popular with tourists.

The Hisatsu Line(肥薩線)
The section of the Hisatsu Line is from Yatsushiro Station(八代駅),Yatsushiro City to Hayato Station(隼人駅),Kirishima City.And Kareigawa station is on the line.

The Construction of the line began in 1899, and the section between Hitoyoshi(人吉)and Yoshimatsu(吉松) was completed in 1909. This meant that the railway was finally connected from Yatsushiro to Kagoshima.

At that time, it was called The Kagoshima main line(鹿児島本線), but when another line started along the coast in 1927, the new line became the Kagoshima main line, and the original section's name was changed to the Hisatsu Line.

03/05/2017

Chiran Samurai Residences

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The main street of Chiran samurai residences(知覧武家屋敷群) in Minamikyusyu City(南九州市)
Chiran samurai residences are called "little Kyoto of Satsuma(薩摩の小京都)"where there is a feminine and elegant atmosphere.

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Saigo Keiichiro(西郷恵一郎邸) garden the style of which is called"karesansui"(dry garden).

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Hirayama Katsumi(平山克己邸) garden is also karesansui. Mt.hahagatake(母ヶ岳) can be seen beyond the garden, and the landscape appears to be continuous.This is called "shakkei"or "borrowed landscape".

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You can see Mt.Hahagatake from the main street too.

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This stone is called "sekkanto(石敢當)", and is set at the crossroad of the three-way street. It is a kind of amulet, which has been transmitted from China to Satsuma via Ryukyu.


In the Edo era,Shimazu clan(島津氏) divided Satsuma Domain(薩摩藩) into 102 districts called "tojyo(外城)",and created samurai settlements called "fumoto(麓)". Shimazu intended not to concentrate samurai in Kagoshima, but to disperse to districts.It meant to prepare for external attacks.Chiran was one of them.

The landscape of stone wall and hedge along the main street of Chiran samurai residences has well-balanced and fabulous, and was designated as an Important Preservation Districts for Groups of Traditional Buildings(重要伝統的建造物群保存地区) of Japan in 1981.

The seven gardens of the samurai residences are also designated as a scenic spot(名勝) of Japan as being valuable for knowing the propagation of garden culture.

Karesansui(枯山水)
karesansui is a garden that does not use water,and is a style that expresses mountains, forests,seas and rivers using stones, sand, plants and moss,etc. It is a garden of abstract expressions developed at Zen temple in the Muromachi period.

Shakkei(借景)
Shakkei has no boundaries between the garden and the outside landscape. In other words, it is a garden-building technique in which the artificial garden and the nature such as mountains and forests in the background are integrated.

07/24/2016

Sakurajima

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A stunning view of Sakurajima from Shiroyama Observatory(城山展望所).

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Yunohira Observatory(湯之平展望所) of Sakurajima.

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At Yunohira Observatory. The high-speed ship heads toward Tanegashima, Yakushima from South Pier of Kagoshima City.

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Akamizu Observatory Square(赤水展望広場).The name of the statue is "Portrait of a Scream", and tourists are taking commemorative photos next to the statue.


Sakurajima is about 4 kilometers far from Kagoshima City side, and it takes about 15 minutes from Kagoshima Port to Sakurajima Port by ferry. The altitude of Sakurajima is 1,117 m, and the circumference is about 55 km.

Sakurajima is one of the most active volcanoes of the world, and was originally an island, but the explosion in 1914 leaked the lava, flooded the sea,and connected with Osumi Peninsula(大隅半島). The magnificent figure on the sea is overwhelming and is one of the symbols of Kagoshima.

07/19/2016

Kirishima Open-Air Museum

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Art Hall,Kirishima Open-Air Museum(Yusui Town/湧水町)

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"Right Sheep" by Tsubaki Noboru(椿昇)

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"High Heel" by Kusama Yayoi(草間彌生)

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"MALE/FEMALE" by Jonathan Borofsky

Kirishima Open-Air Museum(霧島アートの森)has opened in the middle of Mt.Kurinodake(栗野岳),Kirishima mountain range(霧島連山)since October 2000.The works are mainly contemporary arts,and unique works by renowned artists from all over the world,have exhibited in the vast park.

The works that made of various materials,such as stone ,iron, and plastic,have placed in well-balanced,and are taking advantage of the original terrain and trees.Visitors can appreciate sculptures in Art Hall,and there are also library and cafeteria.


Other Sights
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Kirishima Hot Springs(霧島温泉郷)
Kirishima and Ibusuki are two major hot spring resorts in Kagoshima, and Kirishima Hot Springs are the core of Kirishima tourism.It is 22.3 kilometers away from Kagoshima Airport,and it takes about 35 minutes by car.


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Kirishima International Concert Hall(みやまコンセール)
Kirishima International Music Festival(霧島国際音楽祭) is held in every summer,and this is the main venue. Classical music workshops and concerts are held during that period.The hall is close to Kirishima Hot Springs.

05/25/2016

Hirakawa Zoo

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Hirakawa Zoo(平川動物公園) in Kagoshima City(鹿児島市)has opened since 1972. However,it was more than 30 years old, and needed to renew facilities, the reconstruction began in 2009 and ended in 2017.As a result,many exhibition facilities have become new, the inclination of roads has become gentle.Visitors can use minibuses to move through inside the zoo. The fare is free.


Other Sights
Kagoshima Aquarium
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Kagoshima Aquarium has opened since May 30, 1997.It is located on the waterfront of Kagoshima City,and close to downtown,Tenmonkan. Sakurajima ferry terminal and commercial complex "Dolphin Port" are nearby.

05/14/2016

Bekko Tombo in Imuta-ike

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The whole view of Imuta-ike(藺牟田池)

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Imuta-ike and wetland

Imuta-ike is a crater lake in Satsumasendai City(薩摩川内市). It is surrounded by mountains around 500 meters in altitude and the circumference is about 4 kilometers. This type of lake was made by accumulating rain water at the crater site.

On the west side of the lake,there are wetlands, and you can see many peat islets. Peat was made from dead plant such as tree and moss, carbonized without corrosion, and have accumulated over thousands of years.The wetlands were designated a Ramsar Site in 2005.

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Annual Blue Eyed Grass(In early May)

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Buttercup(In early May)

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"Bekko Tombo(鼈甲蜻蛉)" The scientific name is Libellula angelina,which is a type of dragonfly classified as a dragonfly family.In the Red List of the Ministry of the Environment, it is designated as "endangered IA class (CR)". Capture is prohibited.The observation period is from mid April to late June.


In 2009, Imuta-ike suffered severe drought and the survival of Bekko Tombo became dangerous. The wetlands in the lake dried up, so the egg hatching was at risk. However, creatures make various efforts for the preservation of species, I thought that Beko Tombo would not be extinct. In the spring of 2011, the appearance of Bekko Tombos were confirmed.

02/29/2016

Sengan-en

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The view of Sakurajima(桜島) from Sengan-en(仙巌園) is unparalleled beauty.

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Iso Goten(磯御殿) is in Sengan-en and was a separate residence of the Lord of Satsuma Domain(薩摩藩).

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Taiwan Cherry blossoms(緋寒桜) are in full bloom around the middle of February every year.

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Chrysanthemum Festival(菊まつり) is held every November. At this time, you can enjoy the colorful chrysanthemum flowers. The cross in a circle is the Shimazu's family crest.

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Remains of Reverberatory furnace 
This was the facility to make cannon barrels based on the Dutch technical manual. 

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Replica of 150 pound gun

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Museum Shoko Shuseikan(尚古集成館)  
Next to Sengan-en, there is Museum Shoko Shuseikan for introducing Shuseikan Project(集成館事業).

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Former Kagoshima Foreign Engineer's Residence(旧鹿児島紡績所技師館)
Satsuma built the first Western spinning factory of Japan in1867. This was built for the residence of seven British who were invited as engineers there.


Sengan-en was the villa of Shimazu Clan(島津氏) which was built by Shimazu Mitsuhisa(島津光久,1616~1695) in 1658 ,who was the 2nd lord of Satsuma Domain.The Japanese garden uses techniques of shakkei(借景/ borrowing scenery).Sakurajima and Kagoshima Bay(鹿児島湾) spread to the background of the garden, and you can enjoy a dynamic landscape.

Shimazu family loved Sengan-en, especially Shimazu Nariakira(島津斉彬,1809~1858)of the 11th lord cherished this place. Satsuma was the gateway of the south of Japan, and the influence of Chinese culture has been seen in the garden.

Next to Sengan-en, there is Museum Shoko Shuseikan for introducing Shuseikan Project which was started by the lord of Shimazu Clan,Shimazu Nariakira, where the materials of technical and industrial power of modern Japan have been displaying.

Anglo-Satsuma War broke out between Satsuma and the British Empire in 1863. At that time,Satsuma was astonished at the destructive power of European modern weapons. And as this triggered,Satsuma had strengthened "A Rich Country and a Strong Military"(富国強兵) slogan and "Increase Production and Promote Industry"(殖産興業)policy.

In those days,on the periphery of Sengan-en,there were Reverberatory furnace,machinery factory,and spinning engineer's residence. The European technologies were introduced from the British Empire, and engineers were also British .We can understand Satsuma's enthusiasm from those facilities.

The components of these historic sites and buildings were designated as World Heritage "Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution: Iron and Steel, Shipbuilding and Coal Mining"in July 2015.

01/19/2016

Mt.Kaimon

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At Nishi-Oyama station(西大山駅)in Ibusuki City(指宿市). This is JR station at the southernmost of Japan.Mt.Kaimon(開聞岳) is approaching your eyes. I do not know the station of such a wonderful view.

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The platform of the station was crowded with enthusiastic railway fans and tourists.

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Everyone is fascinated by the graceful mountain.

Nanohana
Every year, "Ibusuki Nanohana Marathon" starts on the second Sunday of January.Along the roadside, nanohana(rape blossoms/菜の花) bloom in full,and this time the combination of Mt.Kaimon, Lake Ikeda(池田湖), and nanohana is amazing!

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At Sebira Park, Ei-cho, Minami Kyushu City(南九州市頴娃町、瀬平公園). The view of the mountain from the park is also superb.


Mt.Kaimon is located at the southernmost of Satsuma Peninsula in Kagoshima Prefecture, and the altitude is 924 m. It is one of the 100 famous mountains in Japan(日本百名山). The shape of the mountain resembles Mt. Fuji, so it is also called Satsuma Fuji(薩摩富士).Satsuma is the old name of Kagoshima.

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