Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hammy's 2005 Trip To Korea And Japan - Nov 26th

Busy day. Sachie cooked rissoles amongst other things for breakfast. Minimalist but very tasty - diet material. Sachie booked and paid for a taxi to take us to Dejima - the former Dutch factory. The driver wouldn't accept any payment and intimated that it had been paid for. We were forced to take the taxi and the bus came quite irregularly and I think they felt bad about that. No end to the feeling of shame or saving face. Amazing actually.

First Ship Captain's Room at Dejima village reconstruction.

Old Dutch cannon. I think it was a present from the Dutch Government celebrating the 400th anniversary of the Dutch in Japan.

Dejima in miniature.

Can't remember what the bridge is about. Nice spot for a pic though.

The Dutch were made to live on an island so that Christianity wouldn't be spread in Japan. Didn't work. Lovely miniature village. Miky bought some lovely glasses - one for herself, one for Kiyoko and one for Sachie. I'm afraid that Sachie has started something by showing all of her fine china.

Caught a tram to Glover Garden, but it was heading to Spectacles Bridge, but it really headed to Sofukuji. That was on our list of places to visit and it didn't really matter which ordered we visited them in. Miky was unhappy about the 300 Yen entrance fee as it was a Chinese temple in Japan and not high on her list of sights. We like Nagasaki better than Fukuoka as a foreigner-friendly city as there are many signs in English and it isn't too difficult to get around. Just need to pay more attention to the destination of the tram that you are catching.

Sofukuji entrance - Chinese temple in Nagasaki.

The backside of the entrance.

Sofukuji Inner Gate - at national treasure. Built in 1696 it is the only example in Japan of southern Chinese architectural style of complex jointing under the eaves. Pretty good reason to be a national treasure, don't you think?

The temple at Sofukuji.

The shrine - at least part of it in one of the buildings.

Great Cauldron at Sofukuji. It was used to feed 3000-5000 people per day in 1681 after the rice crops failed in 1680. Only reached the status of Municipal Treasure.

Couple of tourists in the background.

An older and anrefurbished part of Sofukuji.

Cemetary. Just a small part of it.

The main shrine. Gorgeous.

There was another shrine, free entry this time, before we went to the Spectacles Bridge. Unfortunately the water was too low for a decent reflection.

Another picturesque gate but I don't recall seeing a sign in English telling me what it was for. There was nothing much behind it.

Free temple entrance.

Somebody important, at least in their own mind, is buried here.

Beaut temple.

Statues out the front looking a little bit weathered. Perhaps the a-bomb 60 years ago has something to do with that.

More statues guarding the entrance to the temple.

These statues are not as colourful as the Korean ones.

Buddha all dressed up for a party. Maybe not.

Huge cemetary. It's so popular that people are just dying to get it.

Huge Buddha and lotus flower inside the shrine.

Spectacles Bridge. Not looking too spectacular.

Sachie had told Miky about a shop that sold Koga dolls and she found it. Everything else in the shop had a price tag but the doll, they are quite famous, only had something written which we expected translated to "You can't afford this so don't pretend you can and don't ask how much!". We stopped for lunch and inside the shopping centre there was a cultural experience with carving, pottery, wall making etc, and Yu-Jin made a dinosaur and used a robot to shoot shuttlecocks.

Yu-Jin's dinosaur.

Ice sculpture - someone has some talent.

Kimono on display.

Pottery at the craft display.


Woodcarving at the craft display.

The finished product. Pretty naff.

Nagasaki tram.

Jumped on the tram to Hotarujaya to visit Ryuji's clinic. He's a neurologist. His plan for the afternoon was to drive us around the sights in the northern part of Nagasaki as they were numerous and not necessarily easy to get to via public transport. Private transport was the go. We picked up Sachie from home and ventured to Urukami Cathedral, the Second Torii Arch at Sanno Shinto Shrine, Peace Park and the Atomic Bomb Museum. Yu-Jin was suitably impressed but felt a little pained by the photos of people with injuries. Worthwhile taking him there. He couldn't understand that the devastation that he could see had taken place in Nagasaki and wanted to see it. How could they have cleaned it up? Well, it took place 60 years ago.

Houses going all the way up the hillside.

View from near Ryuji and Sachie's house.

Remains of statues at Urakami Cathedral.

Not much detail left on the statues.

The one-legged torii plaque.

One-legged torii - Second Torii Arch at Sanno Shinto Shrine. This is 800m from the hypocentre.

The Peace Statue in Peace Park. This was erected in 1955 and is made from bronze. The elevated right hand points to the threat of nuclear weapons, while the outstretched left hand symbolises tranquility and world peace. Divine omnipotence and love are embodied in the sturdy physique and gentle countenance of the statue, and a prayer and repose of the souls of all war victims is expressed in the closed eyes. Also, the folded leg symbolises quiet meditation, while the left leg is poised for action in assisting humanity. Right, so that's what the artist was thinking.

Paper cranes for peace.

Ryuji, Yu-Jin, Miky and me.

Ashes of unknown persons numbering about 7000 from the day of the blast. In 1975 the number of persons had reached 8927.

Peace Statue from a different angle.

Maiden Statue.

The remains of Nagasaki Prison Urakami Branch Prison. Needless to say, there were no survivors from the 134 staff and prisoners.

I think this statue is from Nagasaki City itself.

Ryuji and Peace Statue - Bros.

Then it was off to Natsume Restaurant for a true Japanese meal experience which took place in a tea drinking room. A small door slides open so that the waitpersons can enter and as they have to duck to enter they are in fact bowing to you. The meal consisted of tea, karasumi (Mullet eggs and radish), kai (shellfish), sazae (a shell - nice), ginko nuts, deep fried shrimp paste with bread crumbs, tamagoyaki egg roll, sashimi and squid, miso soup, sharkfin and Japanese zucchini, steamed rice and mushrooms. What an excellent meal. I dare not ask how much it cost. There was a storm and lightning during the meal.

Natsume Restaurant - notice the small door for entry. Ryuji, me and Sachie.

Ginko nuts, shell (nice), something, the radish and salmon.

Deep fried shrimp paste with bread crumbs.

Sashimi - little bit hard to get down without the sauce.

Shark fin soup.

No comments: