Kitsuki City is located at the southern end of the Kunisaki Peninsula, facing north across Oita City and Beppu Bay. During the Edo period, Matsudaira of Kitsuki clan prospered as a castle town of 32,000 koku of rice, and was the political and economic center of the Kunisaki Peninsula until the abolition of the fief.
Video timeline: 00:00 タイトル（Title） 00:18 番所の坂（Bansho no saka slope） 01:01 勘定場の坂（Kanjoba no saka slope） 03:08 大原邸（Ohara Residence） 04:07 酢屋の坂（Suya no saka slope） 04:35 塩屋の坂（Shioya no saka slope） 06:07 酢屋の坂（Suya no saka slope） 07:14 杵築城 （Kitsuki Castle） 09:27 本丁（Honcyo street） 09:48 一松邸（Ichimatsu Residence） 11:51 商人の町（Merchant Town） 12:09 飴屋の坂（Ameya no saka slope） 13:03 裏丁（Uracyo street） 13:35 寺町（Teramachi street） 13:44 長昌寺（Cyosyoji Temple） 14:54 寺町（Teramachi street） 15:20 天神坂（Tenjin zaka slope） 15:46 天満社（Tenmansha shrine） 16:17 杵築市の夕暮れ（Kitsuki city sunset）
Kyushu is said to be the wellspring of Japanese civilization. Yet few tourists visit the southernmost of Japan’s main islands. This documentary contrasts modern Japanese cities with traditional customs in the countryside.
The rail journey begins in Fukuoka – a city with a metro population of 2.5 million – and ends at the southern tip of the island, in the city of Ibusuki. As the train rolls along, it travels through time – and reveals the amazing diversity and contrasts of the most southerly of Japan’s four main islands. The trip provides spectacular landscape views, as well as deep insight into a foreign culture, and its ancient traditions and modern lifestyles. In the West, Kyushu is one of the lesser-known regions in the “Land of the Rising Sun.”
Even for the Japanese, the green, mountainous island is seen mostly as a holiday spot. Europeans rarely visit this part of the country – but there are plenty of restaurants and cafes that have names like “Wolfgang,” “Bavaria,” or “Côte d’Azur.” Travel guides say that these words sound “European” to Japanese.
The family of the emperor, or Tenno, comes from Kyushu as well. This is also where the dynasties of the proud warrior class, the samurai, have their roots. And there are a number of active volcanoes on Kyushu. One of the most famous is Mount Aso. Its caldera – the cauldron-like hollow at the top — has a circumference of about 120 kilometers.
Seisho-ji is a temple located in the Toronomon Hills area of central Tokyo. It is part of the Soto sect of Zen Buddhism and moved to its location on Mount Atago in 1600. It sits among a complex of other Buddhist temples and a Shinto Shrine. The various temples are separated by a set of gardens that wrap in and out of a wealthy urban high-rise office setting.
At the Seisho-ji temple itself, resident monks offer zazen orientation for any level of meditator. Timing is flexible while the temple is open (9:00-17:00). It depends on temple’s schedule; please contact staff (contact below).
Scoop up the rich tapestry of traditional culture and natural beauty of Ojiya, a small city in Niigata Prefecture’s snowy mountains that’s had to scale back as it steers through a global pandemic.
Koi or more specifically nishikigoi, are colored varieties of the Amur carp that are kept for decorative purposes in outdoor koi ponds or water gardens. Koi is an informal name for the colored variants of C. rubrofuscus kept for ornamental purposes.
Sapporo, capital of the mountainous northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, is famous for its beer, skiing and annual Sapporo Snow Festival featuring enormous ice sculptures. The Sapporo Beer Museum traces the city’s brewing history and has tastings and a beer garden. Ski hills and jumps from the 1972 Winter Olympics are scattered within the city limits, and Niseko, a renowned ski resort, is nearby.
It is less than 200 days until the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics are due to get under way, but among the Japanese public, fears over the virus and the spiralling cost of the Games mean most would rather see the event postponed or cancelled altogether.
The weekend’s top news with Monocle’s Tyler Brûlé, Urs Bühler, Eemeli Isoaho and Chandra Kurt, with commentary from our editors in London and Tokyo. Plus: what’s on the pages of Greece’s ‘Kathimerini’ newspaper.
The Ashio Copper Mine (足尾銅山, Ashio Dōzan) was a copper mine located in the town of Ashio, Tochigi, (now part of the city of Nikkō, Tochigi), in the northern Kantō region of Japan. It was significant as the site of Japan’s first major pollution disaster in the 1880s and the scene of the 1907 miners riots. The pollution disaster led to the birth of the Japanese environmental movement and the 1897 Third Mine Pollution Prevention Order. The pollution incident also triggered changes in the mine’s operations that played a role in the 1907 riots, which became part of a string of mining disputes in 1907. During World War Two the mine was worked by POW forced labour.
Tokyo, Japan’s busy capital, mixes the ultramodern and the traditional, from neon-lit skyscrapers to historic temples. The opulent Meiji Shinto Shrine is known for its towering gate and surrounding woods. The Imperial Palace sits amid large public gardens. The city’s many museums offer exhibits ranging from classical art (in the Tokyo National Museum) to a reconstructed kabuki theater (in the Edo-Tokyo Museum).
Hyakusai-ji is the oldest temple in Omi. It was founded by Prince Shotoku in the year 606, more than 1400 years ago. It was created at the mid-point of Mt. Oshitate (771.8 m) for the sake of visitors from the Korean kingdom of Baekje, and drew inspiration from a temple in that nation that was called Ryu’un-ji in Japanese. Hyakusai-ji is located along the 35th parallel north, facing west; 880 kilometers away in that direction, beyond the other temples of Tarabo, Hieizan, and Jirobo (Mt. Kuraya), there lay the kingdom of Baekje. Many Korean visitors are said to have prayed at the temple while thinking of their distant homeland. Furthermore, climbing the stone temple path leads to an appreciation garden known for its spectacular view out over the world below. This is also a famous spot for fall scenery, with the crimson leaves spreading across the mountains of Hiei and Suzuka creating a stunning backdrop.