Kansai - Kyushu
By: karel japan

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Sunday, 6-Jun-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Japan May 2004

Osaka by night
red alert
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I flew into Kansai airport and based myself in Kyoto. The Kansai region with cities such as Osaka, Kyoto and Kobe is west of Tokyo and is often considered the cradle of Japanese culture. The first week I looped trough the Kii peninsula in southern Kansai. The second week was dedicated to Kyushu in southern Japan. The last week I stayed close to Kyoto.

I also travelled to :

My best of : karel321.fotopages.com

Monday, 31-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Himeji-jo & Byodo-in

Himeji-jo in the rain
awe inspiring Himeji-jo
elegant Himeji-jo
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Some History.
From 1185 on, Japan's political system was mainly feudal. Local lords (or daimyo) swore allegeance to the shogun (military leader), which they represented in their own territory. A castle was an important symbol of their power. As in early days the threat of rival lords trying to expand their territory was an external military one, such constructions were more crude and defensive. Later as such threat came more from internal intrigues, castles could become more elegant and comfortable. In any case, these seats of power were build to impress. But in 1868, a pivotal date in Japanese history, the Meiji restauration started. Central governement started expanding its control over local lords, and many castles were thorn down to break the power of these local rulers. Later on again, the remaining castles were seen as examples of former splendour. But sadly, restoration was often done with limited respect and undertanding of history. Osaka castle for example is a concrete reconstruction.

Himeji castle is an exception to this. Buid in 1580, this wooden structure was taken apart completely in the 1960's and put back together with traditional materials and methods. It now stands as the most authentic and elaborate castle of Japan. It is easely visited as a day trip from osaka or kyoto ; it's an absolute must.

Byodo-in is a rare example of an early style.

Monday, 24-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark

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kyushu is the southern most of the 4 main islands of japan.

On the rim of an active volcano : Aso-san.

Kagoshima, the Naples of Japan.

Beppu, the onsen-Las-Vegas of Japan. Shiraike jigoku or white pond hell.

Saturday, 15-May-2004 00:00 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Kansai : Koya San and Nara

Kongobu-in on Koya-san
raked garden of Kongobu-in
Okuno-in cemetary on Koya-san
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Koya-san is a boudhist temple mountain and Nara is the first capital of japan.


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