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  • Tenjinyama Castle (Tottori)

    Tenjinyama Castle was a stronghold of the Inaba Yamana clan. It was also known as Fuse-Tenjinyama Castle (布勢天神山城 Fuse-tenjinyamajō). The notion that Yamana Katsutoyo (山名勝豊), the fifth shugo (military governor) of Inaba, constructed the castle in 1466 seems unlikely, given that Katsutoyo died in...
  • Yamana Clan

    In the Muromachi Period (1336-1467), the Yamana clan (山名氏 Yamana-shi) was one of the most powerful samurai families of Japan. The Yamana held the position of shugo (military governors on behalf of the shōgun) over eleven provinces. At the peak of their power in the early Muromachi Period, they...
  • Izushi Castle Town

    Located in northern Hyōgo Prefecture, Izushi (出石) is also known as the "Little Kyōto of Tajima". The small castle town - merged into Toyooka in 2005 - is famous for its nostalgic atmosphere, its traditional Japanese architecture, and its very own kind of buckwheat noodles: Izushi-soba. History...
  • Kanazawa Bunko

    Kanazawa Bunko (金沢文庫), also known as the Kanesawa (or Kanezawa) Bunko, is a library located in Kanazawa-chō, Kanazawa-ku, in the city of Yokohama. Along with the Ashikaga Gakkō library, it was one of the two most important centres of learning in medieval Japan. Nowadays, it is a private museum...
  • Koban: Japanese police boxes

    Kōban (交番), translated as “police box”, are the ubiquitous urban police stations in Japan usually located next to train stations, shopping centres, busy intersections, but also throughout residential districts. Originally called hashutsusho (派出所, “despatch station” or “local police station”) in...
  • Wakasa-Onigajo Castle

    The ruins of Wakasa-Oniga Castle (若桜鬼ヶ城 Wakasa Onigajō) are located in Wakasa Town, Yazu District, Tottori Prefecture. The castle sits on top of Mt. Tsuruo and overlooks the Wakasa Highway that linked Harima (modern-day Hyōgo Prefecture) and Tajima (nowadays Kyōto Prefecture) to Inaba in...
  • Toyooka Travel Guide

    Toyooka (豊岡市) is located in northern Hyōgo Prefecture in the centre of the San'in Kaigan Geopark (山陰海岸ジオパーク). While the city stretches over 700 square kilometres after its merger with the surrounding towns of Hidaka, Izushi, Kinosaki, Takeno, and Tantō in 2005, the actual town centre is quite...
  • Ibaraki Travel Guide

    Ibaraki Prefecture (茨城県 Ibaraki-ken) is located in central Honshū and bounded by Fukushima Prefecture to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the east, and Tochigi and Saitama prefectures to the west. The northern part is occupied by mountains of the Abukuma (阿武隈山地) and Yamizo (八溝山地) mountain ranges,...
  • Fukushima Travel Guide

    Fukushima is the southernmost prefecture of the Tōhoku Region in northern Honshū and consists of three subregions: the Aizu Region (会津), or Aizu District, in the west with the principal city of Aizuwakamatsu, the Nakadōri Region (中通り), or the Ken-nan District, in the centre with the principal...
  • Nomura Samurai House

    The former residence of the Nomura family (野村家) is located in Nagamachi, the bukeyashiki or samurai quarter of Kanazawa, a quiet district characterised by its long straight mud-daub walls topped with traditional wooden slats called kobaita (小羽 板) and covered with straw mats (こも komo) in winter....
  • Oyama Shrine Kanazawa

    Oyama Shrine (尾山神社 Oyama-jinja) is located in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, just west of Kanazawa Castle Park. It commemorates Maeda Toshiie (前田 利家, 1538-1599), the first daimyō of Kaga Domain and was constructed in 1599 by his son and successor, Maeda Toshinaga, at Utatsuyama (卯辰山). For that...
  • Kanazawa Travel Guide

    Kanazawa (金沢) is the capital of Ishikawa Prefecture and the political, economic, and cultural centre of the Hokuriku Region. Kanazawa developed in the 15th century as a de facto autonomous temple town of the Ikkō sect. In 1580, the Ikkō movement was destroyed by Sakuma Morimasa, who built...
  • Kinosaki Onsen

    Kinosaki Onsen (城崎温泉) is one of the oldest onsen resorts in Japan with a history that dates back to the 8th century. Kinosaki is located in northern Hyōgo Prefecture and was merged with Toyooka City (豊岡市) in 2005. The hot springs of Kinosaki are said to have healing properties, a fact that was...
  • Kageishi Castle

    Kageishi Castle (景石城 Kageishi-jō) was located in former Inaba Province near the post station of Mochigase-shuku (用瀬宿) along Inaba Kaidō (因幡街道) at the confluence of Sendai River and Sajigawa River. Inaba Kaidō connected the province of Harima (modern-day Okayama Prefecture) with Tottori. The map...
  • Kanazawa Castle Park

    Kanazawa Castle Park is located next to Kenroku-en. Originally, Kenroku-en was an outlying garden of the castle before it was opened to the public in 1871. Kanazawa Castle (金沢城 Kanazawa-jō) was the seat of the powerful Maeda clan who ruled the Kaga Domain for fourteen generations from 1583 until...
  • Kansai Travel Guide

    The Kansai Region (関西地方 Kansai-chihō), sometimes coterminous with the official geographical designation “Kinki Region” (近畿地方 Kinki-chihō), comprises the prefectures of Kansai Region Shiga (滋賀県 Shiga-ken) Mie (三重県 Mie-ken) Nara (奈良県 Nara-ken) Kyoto (京都府 Kyōto-fu) Wakayama (和歌山県 Wakayama-ken)...
  • Kenrokuen Garden

    Kenroku-en (兼六園, "The Garden of the Six Attributes") is one of the three Great Gardens of Japan, along with Kairaku-en in Mito and Kōraku-en in Okayama. Kenroku-en is located in Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefecture, and was founded in the early 17th century the Maeda clan who ruled the Kaga Domain...
  • Kawahara Castle

    Kawahara Castle (河原城 Kawahara-jō) is a hilltop castle located in the former town of Kawahara-machi about 10 kilometres south of Tottori City at the confluence of the Sendai and the Hatto rivers. Kawahara-machi was merged into Tottori City in 2004. The castle is also known as Maruyama Castle...
  • Ukiyo-e Ota Memorial Museum of Art

    The Ukiyo-e Ōta Memorial Museum of Art (浮世絵 太田記念美術館 Ukiyo-e Ōta kinen bijutsukan) is a small museum located in Harajuku that houses the woodblock print (ukiyo-e) collection of Ōta Seizo V (1893-1977), a former president of Tōhō Insurance. He amassed over 12,000 pieces of prints that are...
  • Visiting a Japanese garden

    Japanese gardens are widely known for a particular design following a unique aesthetic and philosophical concept. Tokyo hosts several of these gardens to be visited and enjoyed not just by garden fanatics but also by the ordinary tourist to encounter a new garden design as well as the regular...
  • Hedgehog cafés in Tokyo

    Animal and pet cafés remain very popular in Tokyo, for locals and tourists alike. They are now to be found in almost every neighbourhood. The range of animals to be touched, fed and cuddled is wide and not any longer restricted to the usual cats and dogs. Depending on your preferences for fur,...
  • Ishikawa Travel Guide

    Ishikawa Prefecture (石川県 Ishikawa-ken) is located in the Chūbu region in central Honshū and bounded by the Sea of Japan on the west and the north, Toyama Bay and Toyama and Gifu prefectures on the east, and Fukui Prefecture on the south. It is divided into the Kaga region to the south and the...
  • Tipping in Japan

    Most travel guides on Japan state that it is not customary to give tips. As gratuity is already included in bills and prices in the form of a 10 to 15 per cent service charge, many are not aware of the fact that they do pay tips. Therefore, the notion of “service = free of charge” is deeply...
  • Sengakuji Temple

    Sengaku-ji (泉岳寺) is a Sōtō Zen Buddhist temple located in Minato-ku, Tōkyō, close to Sengakuji Station on Toei Asakusa Line and Shinagawa Station. The temple is famous because of its association with the Akō-gishi (the Forty-Seven Rōnin) who rest in the temple precinct along with their master...
  • Edo Castle

    Edo Castle (江戸城 Edo-jō) was built by Ōta Dōkan (太田道灌, 1432-1486) in 1457. In the Edo Period (1603-1868), it was the administrative headquarters of the Tokugawa Shogunate, the residence of the shōgun, and the largest castle in Japan at its time. Although it is classified as a flatland castle (平城...
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