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Hamamatsu, Japan: Musical, Natural, Religious, Historical & Industrial center You must visit

April 2012, I went japan for two years & the destination was Hamamatsu in shizuoka, Japan. Hamamatsu is traditional, global, musical, natural, religious, historical and industrial center. Hamamatsu is not so famous as Tokyo, Kyoto or Nagoya, however I found 2 year less in completely exploring this city & nearby. I landed Tokyo on 20th Apr, courier my luggage separately and I took bullet train (Shinkansen) from Tokyo to Hamamatsu. It is amazing that passengers can courier luggage directly to hotel or home rather pulling it on crowed station and train. Tokyo to Hamamastu is three hour by Shinkansen & ticket costs around 10000 Yen. Our dormitory was hardly 400 meters but due to language dialect & tone issue we could not communicate and so hire a taxi, remember taxi is very costly.

Tokyo people understand english little bit, however in Hamamatsu, I realized people don’t know English phrases like “where is station”, “can you help me” etc.; this increases Japanese people’s respect in my heart. During my stay I visited many interesting festivals, beautiful places and shrines and I have listed here the most unforgettable reminiscence below. 

 

Suzuki Plaza

I visited this almost every month just because I was designer there in Suzuki and have designed many global highest selling cars, I used to sit in 5th floor of above image. Opened in 2009 to commemorate the company’s 100th anniversary, “Suzuki Plaza gives visitors a unique look at its antiquity with exhibits ranging from early 20th century weaving looms and motorcycles to a collection of over 40 automobiles. And the factory of Suzuki was built in India, Taiwan, Philippine, Indonesia, Thai, Vietnam, Myanmar, China and so on. Suzuki is founded in 1909 as a loom maker in Japan. Now Suzuki has branched out into motorcycles, automobiles, and outboard motors, and so on.

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Brazilian Samba in Japan

I didn’t expect but it was mesmerizing and wonderful to watch Samba on the street of Hamamatsu, Japan. Around 18,000 are Japanese Brazilians, many from the São Paulo area, drawn to work in the area’s manufacturing industries nearby Hamamatsu. Hamamatsu has unique nature as the city with the most Brazilian residents in Japan to promote Hamamatsu as an Intercultural City throughout the country and to increase the exchange between Japanese and foreign national residents.

 

Matsuri festival

It is all day all night festival, Kite battle in day and march in night. Hamamatsu Matsuri, world famous for its unusual kite-flying battle, in which people fly hulk kites and try to cut each other’s lines, sees more than a million tourists every year, and is one of Japan’s foremost carnivals. The festival has 500 years of history, and through it the tradition of flying a “hatsudako” (“first kite”) to rejoice the birth of a child has been preserved. In the daytime, a “takoage gassen”, or kite-flying encounter, unfolds at Nakatajima Takoage Kaijo (Nakatajima Kite-Flying Event Ground), and at magnificent night, festival-goers are enchanted by the exceptional sight of gorgeous floats being drawn through the streets downtown.   

 

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Downtown Area

Late night is amazing and it became my habit to eat and roam around in these narrow streets. It is too closed to the Hamamatsu station and to the east of this station there stands Act tower that has been the symbol of this city. Walking around the area, the tourists can enjoy drinking, shopping and eating from a variety of shops. Moreover, the Act Tower itself is the biggest building in the region that must be visited. This 45 story building has an observation deck at the height of 185 meters from where you can enjoy a splendid view of the Pacific Ocean and Mt. Fuji.

 

Air Park

The most astonishing experience of jets you can get here. If you are dreaming of riding a jet plane, well, this museum will really allow you to sit on the cockpit. For its free admission, you are getting your dream come true. There are planes, jets, helicopters and more planes to ogle.

 

Flower Park

It’s not a park, it is haven made of flower. Hamamatsu Flower Park is a botanical garden about 30,000 square meters wide and has plants from over 3,000 different species. I visited the flower park in early April during the Spring Festival. The botanical garden at Hamamatsu is primarily for flowers and plant-viewing, but the garden management authorities have endeavored to recreate the gardens into a haven for visitors with some quirky plant-displays, a play area, entertainment and restaurants all designed to appeal to families and groups.

 

Hamamatsu Castle

This castle was destroyed by air bombs in World War 2 by terrorists. The refurbishment is at the original site and exhibits weapons, swords, Armour, a pair of wooden saddles, maps, stamps, family crests made of cloth, photos and a miniature model of historic Hamamatsu. There is a water-well downstairs and upstairs an observatory.

 

Lake Hamana

In a region known for innovative construction, Lake Hamana was its leading great innovation-created via natural phenomena that tore down the barrier between lake and sea. Lake Hamana has always been a hub of activity-a nexus between East and West Japan where cultures mix and people with their wares freely come and go. Lake Hamana itself reflects the charm of the region as a melting pot of fresh and salt water marine life, created when a great earthquake shook apart a barrier of land during the Muromachi period about 500 years ago.

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Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instrument

Just five min walk from station; this is most outstanding music museum in world. Hamamatsu is a city where big music companies such as Yamaha and Kawai produce musical instruments. This museum has more than 1000 instruments from all around the world, categorized and displayed according to their geographic origin. You will get to see instruments from different parts of the world in sections representing Asia, Africa, America, Oceania, Europe and Japan. These include the piano, angklung, drum, violin, thumb piano and so on… the list goes on and on!

 

Gosha Shrine

Large dogs which symbolize guardians are posted near the entrance. Deities attributed to Gosha and Suwa are the God to defend the land and the God of Parenting (babysitting). This shrine is popular on November 15th for Shichi Go San. Shichi Go San is a traditional event which celebrates healthy growth of children. Boys three (san) and five (go) years old and girls three and seven (shichi) years old are dressed in kimonos or dresses by their parents and taken to the shrine for a Shinto purification ritual.

 

Nakatajima Sand Dunes

I visited this every month by cycle and there was a field where we used to play cricket with local (non-Japanese) team. Covering an area of 4 km from east to west, this place is a perfect spot for locals and tourists. The patterns drawn by the winds on sands are simply fabulous. Moreover, the spot presents a beautiful relation between sea and sand. A number of visitors rush to the place for kite flying, playing with fun, riding bicycles and a lot more. The great Hamamatsu Kite Festival is held at this beach that creates a vibrant atmosphere with colorful flying kites.

 

Hamamatsu Fruit Park

It was amazing to 25 different kinds of fruits at same time usually around 15 to 20 fruits are present throughout the year. This park consists of an east area that comprises of a big orchard with different fruit plantations as well as dinosaur square and winery. While the west area has food courts that offers a dessert buffet, with amazing varieties and 300 persons’ seating capacity. And above all the mind blowing Tokinosumika night illumination is also available for the limited time.

 

Ryotan Ji temple

Magnanimous main hall enshrines Akasahagarbha Bodhisattva, a secret Buddhist image that imparts wisdom. This famous Rinzai temple has a history of 1,000 years, and is connected with the Ii family. This ancestral temple honors forty generations of the Ii family, including Ii Naomasa, the leader of the Four “Deva Kings” of the Tokugawa, and Ii Naosuke of the late Edo period. The hallways boards emit a birdlike chirping sound, and the dragon was carved by Hidari Jingoro. The entire Edo period structure has been designated as a Shizuoka Prefectural cultural property.

 

Ryogashido Cave

Interestingly this cave dates back 50 million years, Ryugashido Cavern stands as the largest stalactite cave in Japan. Around 400 m (1,312 ft) of space open to the public and 50 observation points draw visitors here year-round. Admire the stalagmites and stalactites of all shapes and sizes, limestone rooms, and colorful stone walls visually enhanced by tasteful lighting. Highlights include a 30 m (98 ft) high waterfall tumbling from the ancient rocks.

About Author

MIFT ( Mysore Institute of Fashion Technology) students, trainee and scholars study and research about fashion, makeup, forecasting, e commerce, disruptive technologies in fashion & cosmetics industry. The primary research objective is to create open industry modular ecosystem platform for fashion designers and makeup artists to work and earn in hyper personal and local market using IR 4 and 5 ( industrial revolution) technologies to disrupt connected digitalization of mass production. 

Related Search: hamamatsu japan, hamamatsu museum of musical instrument, hamamatsu castle, Hamamatsu attractions, shizuoka prefecture, shizuoka prefecture tourism, shizuoka prefecture things to do

 

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Wëllkomm to Luxembourg, Top 10 tourist places, Gutt Rees

July 2016, we were travelling from Amsterdam to Luxembourg, Being students and having financial constraint, Bus was the best option. Bus took 7 hours and ticket was around 24 pounds. We booked home stay near city center so that we can walk nearby locations. Hotels are comparatively costly. I don’t eat meat or fish, there are lots of Indian restaurants which serve vegetarian food however it is costly. Here I am list my top 10 list, I hope to visit these places again as early as possible.

 

Grund

Astonishingly striking “Grund” is yawning down in the green valley, and the unique design pebble houses are built straight into the rock faces. Major tourist attractions comprise a fifteenth-century bridge, ancient stone fortifications, terraced gardens and vineyards.

 

Walk Through a Fortification Tunnel

Originally built in 963 to protect the citizens, the spot was overrun and conquered by forces from France, Spain, Germany, and Austria, the Bock Casemates were expanded and influenced by some of the greatest architectural minds ever to walk the planet.

 

The Old Town of Luxembourg

The old historic town of Luxembourg is an amazing place to wander around. Enjoy spectacular views of the old city with its stone bridges across the river and the former fortress of the old city of Luxembourg.

 

Echternach

It’s the perfect base camp for exploring the region because of the laid-back “lazy afternoon ramble” atmosphere of the place. Plan to stay here if you’re interested in hiking in Mullertal or Cycling along the River. For the last 500 years, pilgrims come every Whit Tuesday for the dancing procession in honour of the town’s founder, St. Willibrord.

 

Notre Dame Cathedral

Built in the 17th century by Jesuit priests, one of the signature features here is the north gate which is baroque in style and is covered with pretty stained glass that dates from the 19th and 20th centuries. Famous statue of the Madonna and Jesus is present in miniature form that sits over the altar. It is also famous for its crypt which contains graves of members of the Luxembourg royal family and which is guarded by two lion statues.

 

Vianden Castle

Built between the 11th and 14th centuries, the castle now ranks as a monument of not only regional, but European importance.  Inside and out this castle has plenty to see for all ages, and if you walk down into the village you can eat in one of the open nature restaurants along the river.

 

Chemin de la Corniche

Hailed as ‘Europe’s most beautiful balcony’, this pedestrian promenade winds along the course of the 17th-century city ramparts with views across the river canyon towards the hefty fortifications of the Wenzelsmauer (Wenceslas Wall). The rampart-top walk continues along Blvd Victor Thorn to the Dräi Tier (Triple Gate) tower, stretching 600m in total.

 

Esch-sur-Sûre Castle

First built around 920, the castle was originally an eight-meter-tall tower atop the tallest hill in the area, which was subsequently surrounded by farm buildings. It was not until later on in the 13th century that the tower was expanded upon, creating a more traditional castle-like structure. This final expansion of the site was carried out by the final couple of Counts of Esch, who gave the town (and its castle), their name.

 

Müllerthal trail

The Müllerthal trail is a 112 km (69 miles) walking trail in Luxembourg’s ‘Little Switzerland’. For the experienced hikers, there are three loops of 37-38 km (23 miles) each, but some parts of the trail are very easily accessible by car, so you can easily make shorter walks on the nicest parts of the trail.

 

National Museum of History and Art

 In the historic Fish Market area (the old town center), the MNHA collections – art objects, archeological finds, furniture, tools, coins, arms, and documents dealing with the history of the country – are housed in a stunning new building. There’s a particular emphasis on the Gallo-Roman period and displays illustrating the artistic, social, religious, and intellectual life of Luxembourgers from the 16th to the early 20th centuries.

About Author

Author has worked in many different countries such as Japan, UK, Germany, India, China, Italy etc. and currently heading MIFT Research and Development.

MIFT ( Mysore Institute of Fashion Technology) students, trainee and scholars study and research about fashion, makeup, forecasting, e commerce, disruptive technologies in fashion & cosmetics industry. The primary research objective is to create open industry modular ecosystem platform for fashion designers and makeup artists to work and earn in hyper personal and local market using IR 4 and 5 ( industrial revolution) technologies to disrupt connected digitalization of mass production. 

 

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World Fashion & Word Religion  

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The basic invention of religion was done to provide economical environment to flourish its God (DNA) by advertising & selling its food, fashion, language and places by these three Intellectuals + Powerful + Industrialists. Weak God (DNA) could not protect its ancient history (Fashion, Food, and Dialect) and so could not protect its future geography too; and many religions are extinct or in endangered category now. To globally spread nation’s Fashion, Food & Dialect is much more important than investment in army & arms for national security. That’s why women’s face covering is a controversial political (not at all religious) issue in most of the educated countries, it is just a financial plan of a religion (i.e. long term politics).

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Some African countries such as Malawi, Niger, Congo, Zimbabwe etc are erroneously ranked poor, what if they could globally spread and advertise their religion (food, fashion, language and places). If globally people replace European bread/pizza/burger, pant/shirt/coat/gown, English/Mandarin/Hindi/Spanish and religious tourist place in Europe/Middle East/Mexico/Japan by corresponding things in these poor countries – now this is the only and only work of religion.

Judaism

Hinduism

Buddhism

Sikhism

Zoroastrianism

Chinese Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism

Japanese Buddhism and Shintoism

Judaism

The tallit is a Jewish prayer shawl worn while reciting morning prayers as well as in the synagogue on Sabbath and holidays. A kippah or yarmulke (also called a kappel or “skull cap”) is a thin, slightly-rounded skullcap traditionally worn at all times by Orthodox Jewish men. Married Orthodox Jewish women wear a scarf (tichel), a snood, a hat, a beret, or – sometimes – a wig (sheitel). A kittel (Yiddish: קיטל) is a white knee-length cotton robe worn by Jewish prayer leaders.

Hinduism

Hinduism was never a word in ancient Indian religious history, even today Supreme Court of India dictated Hindu as a way of living. Hindu (Etymology Sindhu) is a name of river flowing in north India & now in Pakistan too. The term Hindu became popular & common by Egypt, Greek and Roman ancient time travellers who had to cross Hindu (Sindu) river to reach India. It is the oldest religion in world and it is called Sanatan Dharma (or Eternal Duty), which is now called Hinduism. There is no interference and control of religion on dress in Hinduism, however smaller Indian states, districts and own different dress and costume but still in same religion. So a Hindu of north India wore different dress from a Hindu of south or north-east. Saints, Hermits, Cleric, Priest, Monk and religious men and women has certain custom to wear saffron red or saffron yellow unstitched clothing, robe, shawl and wrap.  There is freedom to choose dress based on custom and tradition over religious dress so in north Dhoti or Pajama, in south lungi, in north east tribal costume etc allowed depending upon local folklore.     

Buddhism

Kaasaaya are the robes of fully ordained Buddhist monks and nuns, named after a brown or saffron dye. Buddhist dresses are said to have originated in India. In Chinese Buddhism, the Indian kāṣāya is called jiāshā (Ch. 袈裟). In Japan, the Indian kāṣāya is called kesa (袈裟).The antarvaasa is the inner robe covering the lower body.  uttaraasanga is a robe covering the upper body. The saṃghāti is a double layers robe of Bhikkhus or Bhikkhunis.

Sikhism

In 1699 Great Guru Gobind Singh Ji commanded Khalsa Sikhs to wear at all times; these items: Kesh (uncut hair), Kangha (a wooden comb for the hair), Kara (an iron bracelet), Kachera (100% cotton tieable undergarment (not an elastic one)) and Kirpan (an iron dagger large enough to defend yourself). Of course different types of turban depending upon occasion and occupation such as Nihang, Dastar, Bunga, Dumalla. 

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Zoroastrianism

Parsi (Zoroastrian) women wear the sārī (robe) in India. sudre and koeshti, The shirt or sudre is made out of white cotton, and is kept scrupulously clean. The cotton is a symbol for the sacredness of the Plant Creation. It looks really like a T-shirt with a V-neck. At the point of the V, over the chest, is a symbolic “pocket.” This pocket is called “the pocket of good deeds” and is the symbolic place where virtuous deeds are stashed. Over the white cotton shirt or “sudre,” and tied around the waist, is a sacred belt called the koeshti.

 

Chinese Religion

Priests often wear red robes. Red is the Chinese colour of good fortune. Taoist monks and nuns can still be found. There are 5,500 Queen Zhen order monks. They live in temples and wear blue cotton jackets and white spats. They are not allowed to cut their long hair which is held up in elaborate topknots. Taoist nuns in Jiangsu wear black pants, bright blue work smocks and coil their hair above their heads. The Scarf of Original Chaos ( 混元巾Hunyuan Jin ) is a kind of headdress usually worn by Daoists. It has a round hard brim of black silk and a hole in the top. The Nine-Fold Scarf ( 九梁巾Jiuliang Jin ) is a kind of hat usually worn by Daoists. It has a lean top like the lean roof of Chinese tiled houses. The front has nine folds and nine beams. It is similar to the Chunyang Scarf (重陽巾 Chongyang Jin ) or the Nine-Fold Huayang Scarf ( 九轉華陽巾Jiuzhuan Huayang Jin ). Ritual Dress ( 法衣Fa Yi ) is the general name of the clothes Daoists wear in rituals.  The Scarlet Robe ( 絳袍Jiangpao ) is a kind of Ritual Dress ( 法衣Fayi ) which the Ritual Master ( 法師Fashi ) wears in large-scale rituals. The term ‘ Daoist Dress’ ( 道衣Dao Yi ) is the general name for the clothes Daoists wear in rituals and daily life. Cloud Shoes ( 雲鞋Yunxie ) are a kind of shoe worn by High Priests ( 高功Gaogong ) in rituals.

Japanese Buddhism and Shintoism

The jōe is essentially a white kariginu, traditional hunting robes worn by nobles during the Heian period. The Shinto priest who wears the jōe is attired in a peaked capcalled tate-eboshi, an outer tunic called the jōe proper, an outer robe called jōe no sodegukuri no o, an undergarment called hitoe, ballooning trousers called sashinuki or nubakama, and a girdle called jōe no ate-obi. The white robes, or ian sokutai 衣冠束帯 were the ceremonial full dress of gentlemen. The priest is holding a small wooden plank called shaku 笏. Hakama 袴 are worn by all sexes like the miko. Hakama are tied at the waist and fall approximately to the ankles. Hakama are worn over a kimono hakamashita.

 

About Author

MIFT ( Mysore Institute of Fashion Technology) students, trainee and scholars study and research about fashion, makeup, forecasting, e commerce, disruptive technologies in fashion & cosmetics industry. The primary research objective is to create open industry modular ecosystem platform for fashion designers and makeup artists to work and earn in hyper personal and local market using IR 4 and 5 ( industrial revolution) technologies to disrupt connected digitalization of mass production. 

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Tokyo’s Best Anime, Yakitori, Temples and Nightlife        

Controlled and calculative equilibrium between positive freedom and negative freedom, ancient technology and modern lifestyle, conservative innovation and futuristic protectionism, atheist religion and religious atheism can be best seen in Tokyo. I have visited Tokyo four times while working as Car Design Manager in Suzuki, Hamamatsu. Hamamatsu is 250 Km south west from Tokyo. We left in morning at 8 in Suzuki Swift; we took rest nearby area of Mount Fuji and Yokohama. On the one side of highway there were green mountain chains and on the other hand ultra-modern villages. Parallel intersecting canals, muddy rice fields, tunnels, local markets and remote petrol bunk shopping malls and various backdrops were coming one by one. We had booked Washington Hotel very near to Shinjuku Market. The city view from the top of hotel was mesmerizing.   

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City View From Hotel Washington

For foreigners, Narita Airport is located in the town of Narita nearly 70km northeast of Tokyo and covered in a separate article. To reach Tokyo city from airport one can take any from Skyliner (Keisei Electric Railway) to Nippori and Ueno Stations, Narita Express (East Japan Railway Company) to Tokyo Station, Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Yokohama Station.

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Omoide Yokocho, Shinjuku

Shinjuku

First we went to “Memory Lane” Omoide Yokocho. It is like 1960s olden Shinjuku. Yakitori are famous for Japanese street food and Friday drinking customs is very common in this area so We were surrounded by Japanese professionals who come to Friday drinking tradition. Yakitori and oden, a one-pot winter dish, tightly crammed into a four-lane space are best here. Then we just roam around the famous red light district, Kabukicho, which has hostess bars and lights. And like us there were many foreigners roaming around. It was completely different from Amsterdam Red List Area.

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Shinjuku Market in night
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Shibuya Crossing 

Shibuya

Koen-dori Street, Yoyogi Koen, Shibuya Mark City were our next target in Shibuya. It has of a large-scale hotel, business floors, and more than eighty shops. We saw in many big fashion stores there were live fashion shows inside. We found an Assam Tea Shop and rest for 30 min.

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Yoyogi Koen
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Imperial Palace

Imperial Palace

Next we decided to visit Imperia; Palace, Marunouchi. It has 17th century Park which is still used by the Imperial family, the Imperial Palace stands on the site where, in 1457, the Feudal Lord Ota Dokan built the first fortress, the focal point from which the city of Tokyo gradually spread. As famous as the palace is the Nijubashi Bridge leading to its interior, a structure that takes its name (“double bridge”) from its reflection in the water.

A two-meter-thick wall surrounding the palace and its gates, one of which leads to the East Higashi Gyoen Garden, one of the few areas opens to the public. Then we visited Edo Castle (Chiyoda Castle), it was built in 1457 and located in Tokyo’s Chiyoda district.

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Imperial Palace
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Akhihabara Top View 

Akihabara

It was alien realization to see sexy dolls, provocative figurines and costumes. Maid cafes were sending sexy Japanese girls dressed as maids to convince customers to follow them into the dark. We saw Innocent little maids in bunnies and kittens costumes.

We went ethical looking cosplay themed restaurants and served food by waitresses, dressed as French maids. Maid cafes are popular in women equally.

Some of the world’s biggest only electronics malls offering everything from computers, cameras, televisions, mobile phones, electronics parts and home appliances to second-hand goods and electronic junk are there. We went Yamada Denki and Akihabara Electric Town near JR Akihabara Station. I bought Nikon Camera from here.

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Akihabara Electronic Market
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Bodhisattva Kannon Goddess

Asakusha

In Asakusha we went Sensō-ji Temple. Sensō-ji is dedicated to the bodhisattva Kannon (Buddhism), and it is now the second-most-visited spiritual site in the world. For information, Every year, almost 4 million pilgrims visit the Vatican, 5.5 million visit the Golden Temple of Amritsar, , over 30 million visit Sensō-ji, and 45 to 55 million visit Sabarimala, a Hindu pilgrimage center in Kerala. Sensō-ji Temple has masks, carvings, combs made of ebony and wood, toys, kimonos, fabrics, and precious paper goods are on sale. Dedicated to Kannon, the Buddhist goddess of compassion, the temple was established in AD 645 and retains its original appearance despite having been rebuilt numerous times. The most striking part was Kaminari-mon Gate with its 3.3-meter-high red paper lantern bearing the inscription Thunder Gate. Then we went o-mikuji stall to know future.  Belief is that the guardian deities of Sensō-ji will take over the bad fortune and protect us.

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Sensō-ji Temple

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Odaiba Beach

Odaiba

Earliest most beautiful artificial island just off Tokyo Bay, Odaiba was constructed in the Edo-era to defend the capital from attack. It has Tokyo’s most popular Venice market, Statue of Liberty, Ship Mall and shopping complex. Connected to Tokyo by the magnificent Rainbow Bridge, Odaiba is a breeze to get to and promises a full day’s worth of excitement.

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A Model of Statue of Liberty, Odaiba

We took a ferry to sight seeingTokyo Bay and Odaiba City. Also the giant wheel, the wheel is 115 meters tall and it takes 15 minutes to complete a turn. Each cabin has six seats.

Next we went to National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan. It is a museum exhibits the latest science and technology. The exhibition includes the globe display called “Geo-Cosmos” and a robot (ASIMO).

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National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation Miraikan
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Ginza Market Night View

Ginza

We took Ginza and Hibiya Subway Line to reach Ginza. High class fashion brand shops and Tsukiji, famous for its seafood market, both are located nearby. Nihonbashi, with famous department stores such as Mitsukoshi and Takashimaya, Ningyo-cho, an area filled with Edo period atmosphere, and Tsukishima, famous for its local dish – monjayaki. We went for shodo (Japanese calligraphy) where we tried to learn it. The staff was assisting us with the writing brush.

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Fish Market, Ginza

 

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Roppongi
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Roppongi has many night clubs like this.

Roppongi

The Roppongi Night Life was the last board of our trip. After WWII, the United States Army and the Allied Powers occupied an area around Roppongi. Many brothels for foreigners were opened in Roppongi and slowly Roppongi became adult entertainment centre that includes nightclubs, and hostess clubs. While staying in Hamamatsu, I read about it so we went there as Roppongi is famous for its bars which have made it a go to place for foreigners from all over the globe.

We saw many Nigerian swindlers. Actually Nigerians came to Japan in the late 1990s and slowly gathered relatives from Nigeria and own bars or adult entertainment shops. They tout aggressively and do crimes in bars like swindling, drink-spiking, and robbing. Well, we were in group and away from such kind of shops, so no issues.

Over all as expected It was most amazing city I have even visited. From mysterious ancient temples to materialistic markets, traditional and modern life style, hills and buildings taller than those hills, night life and cosplay bars. While leaving Tokyo, I started planning to come again and visit places which I could not manage this time. 

 

Below are some bonus images of Sakura Festival. I went Nagoya to feel Sakura Festival Night. In next blog, I will include trips to Nagoya, Kyoto and Sizuoka.

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Vítejte v praze……

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Prague Top View of Charles Bridge and Prague Castle

Compared to other European & other major world capitals, Prague is economical and gives mixed feeling of ancient and modern evolution, architecture and approach.  I and my wife both studying masters in London decided to visit Prague via Netherlands. As we both were studying, sleeper bus from Amsterdam to Prague was economical option but we found it was the best overnight journey as we witnessed gorgeous early morning zephyr, sunflower farms & golf course like curvy green hills. While crossing Germany border, a beautiful young German police office checked passport while crossing border, it hardly took 5 min.

Czech, a consonant-rich Slavic tongue, is one of the most complicated European languages to learn. We found certain sounds very hard to pronounce. Luckily, tourism and global commerce facilitates some Czech’s understand English, particularly in Prague.

As metro train network is very dense inside city, we stayed in Hotel near O2 Arena near Českomoravská. My wife is non-vegetarian so for her it was easy, but I am vegetarian so we decided to eat in an Indian restaurant Spice India on Husitská Road near Florenc Metro Station.

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O2 Arena, Prague

The city centre of Prague is divided into two areas on both banks of the Vltava River. On one side of the river is: the Old Town (Staré Město), with the Old Town Square at its heart; the New Town (Nové Město), with Wenceslas Square at its heart; and the Jewish Quarter (Josefov). On the other side of the river is: the Lesser Town (Malá Strana); and above this, the Castle District (Hradčany), which is dominated by Prague Castle.

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Vltava River Course Divide City

At first we went to see the Disney Castle’s original inspiration. Náměstí Republiky is very near metro train stain, we get down there and asked station staff about the direct. Church of Our Lady before Týn (Chrám Matky Boží před Týnem) is one of the most remarkable Gothic religious buildings in Prague; it was built from the mid-14th to the early 16th centuries. At the end of the 17th century, the interior was reworked in Baroque style. The basilica serves as a wide-ranging gallery of Gothic, Renaissance and Early Baroque works, the most motivating of which comprise altar paintings by Karel Škréta and the tomb of the astronomer Tycho Brahe. The organ, dating from 1673, is the oldest in Prague.

Hradcany Castel and St. Vitus Cathedral , Prague , Czech Republic
City Top View
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John Lennon Wall in Prague
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Old Town Square

We walk towards the Old Town Square where we enjoyed the parade of apostles at the Astronomical Clock thinking of how it is possible that such an old mechanism can still be working. A few steps apart there is an ancient Jewish quarter with its synagogues, the Golem Story and the mysterious antique cemetery and the art-nouveau-style Municipal House and the modern-centre Wenceslas square. Then we went John Lennon Wall.

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Vltava River Bank Market

We sat just in front of castle for 2 hours in evening as lots of street artists were performing there and my wife took Ice-cream backdrop with the Prague castle. The Old Town Hall with the famous Prague Astronomical Clock, The winding lanes of the Jewish Quarter, which you know from the novels of Franz Kafka, steeped in the legend of the Golem.

 

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Vltava River Parallel Bridges

Dancing House was our next target. It is 1.7 Km from Old Town Squire and a must walk on river bank. Though Metro is an option but walking on riverside is best.  There were many street food counters, small gift shops and amazing scenic view of hills, river, tourists’ ferry and gothic bridges. Like lots of tourist, we sat on riverside bench. We took fresh potato spiral spring chips and suddenly lots of pigeon surrounded us. We bought boiled corn for them and for us too.

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Dancing House

Charles Bridge is 1 Km from dancing house. It is the main pedestrian route linking the two sides of Prague. The Gothic Charles Bridge and Church of St. Nicholas in the Lesser Town are the most beautiful Baroque church in world. The Palace Gardens set away from the bustle of the city, Petřín with a lookout tower reminiscent of a small Eiffel Tower and Prague Castle … Each of Prague’s districts has its own characteristic atmosphere and unique charm. Prague presents itself to you as a changeable city, which likes to alternate styles: it is romantic and successful, ancient and modern, but above all it is a city that is cosmopolitan through and through, and is used to welcoming foreigners. It is time to get acquainted.

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Charles Bridge

The Royal Way takes you down to the city, directly to the Charles Bridge, built in the 14th century; during the daytime full of vivid entertainment of street artists and very romantic and quiet at night. And still you are leaving behind the Kampa Island, the Lesser Town and its narrow streets, John Lennon´s wall, the famous Bambino di Praga Little Jesus of Prague.

Our final destination was Prague Castle Cluster; it includes Gothic St Vitus Cathedral, Romanesque Basilica of St. George, a monastery and several palaces, gardens and defence towers. We visited castle houses several museums, including the National Gallery collection of Bohemian baroque and mannerism art, exhibition dedicated to Czech history, Toy Museum and the picture gallery of Prague Castle.

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Daily Security Parade Pic at King Bohemia or Prague Castle

We took Nerudova Street and walk up the picturesque Nerudova Street from Malostranské náměstí and at the top take a sharp right onto Ke Hradu. Then we tur towards Castle Steps (Zámecké schody) which start up Nerudova from Malostranské náměstí and take a quick right onto Zámecká street. Then turn left to climb the romantic Castle Stairs, which will take you to the Garden on the Ramparts (Zahrada na Valech). While retuning we took Old Castle Steps (Staré zámecké schody). It gives most beautiful views of Prague.

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City Top View From Prague Castle Stairs

Prague is certainly the place, straight out of the fairy tale dream. It is a blend of old architecture with most modern facilities and services throughout the city.The city will take you to the old tales of Jewish culture to newly reformed religions.Prague is certainly the most picturesque and affordable country to visit in Europe.

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Above Church and A View  from Inside of Prague Castle