Thousands of candle lights in the bamboo lamp (Azumino Kami Akari/安曇野神竹灯, Hodaka Shrine/穂高神社)

In the beginning of December, the festival called Kami Akari (神竹灯) held at Hodaka shrine (穂高神社) in Azumino city.

Kami akari means "Lights of god".

The candles are present from the god in far mountain, Sobo yama mountain in Takeda city, Oita prefecture. The god's name is Toyotama hime (豊玉姫).

Oita prefecture is in Kyushu island, the south island in Japan.

This festival had started five years ago, and there are 8,000 lamps in the shrine this year.
As I wrote in past article in my blog, the people have relationships with Kyushu island.
The ancestor came from Kyushu island.

Kamikouchi (上高地), the beautiful mountain field guarded by ancient ocean god (Boat festival held at Myoujin pond / 明神池, Hodaka temple / 穂高神社)

Not only watching the lights, people were praying at main shrine.
I did, too!

In closer look, the lamps were like this.

There was small sized shrine here.

The picture and texts are carved to bamboo.

As the lights were not electric, so I thought they are soft and gentle.

As it was so beautiful, I felt like hard to leave the place.

It's getting cold in this few days in Japan.
Please take care not to catch a cold.

Thank you for reading!
Have a nice weekend!

穂高神社, 安曇野, 神竹灯


Do you know wasabi and how they grown? (Daiou Wasabi-en / 大王わさび園)

When eating Japanese food, you may be see green paste added to plates.
They are called "Wasabi (わさび/山葵)".

Wasabi, Japanese horseradish needs a lot of clean water.
There are many wasabi farms in Japan, and there are 3 famous places.
Hikimi in Shimane prefecture, Utogi in Shizuoka prefecture, and Azumino in Nagano prefecture.

I went to Azumino, Daiou Wasabi-en (大王わさび園).
Azumino is a largest wasabi producing place in Japan.

As wasabi is pastel green color when eating, but it is root vegetable.
It looks like this after harvested.

After peeling coats, grate them and it becomes commonly seen wasabi.

This day was cloudy cold day, but can see inside of the farm.
Clean water streams could seen every where in this farm.

Stream are all spring water from Japan Alps.
120,000 tons of water springs water goes through this farm everyday.
This volume of water is same as 230000 people's using a day!!

The leaves of wasabi.

As this place was also famous for ancient king.
He was said so huge and strong.
There were small shrine and sandal for him.

As he was too strong, central king of Japan in that age have on him, and sent large forces to this land. The king of Azumino fought bravery, but got killed at last.

People lives here still remember and enshrines him.

The caves were here and could get inside.

Inside of the cave was like this.

Small shrine was on large rocks.

This day may be the last which I could see red leaves of this year.

The baby wasabis.

There were statue of wasabi.
The ice cream which this boy eating is wasabi flavor.

In the souvenir shop, you also can buy several size of wasabis.

You also can buy grater here, too.

This graters were made of shark's skin.

How about buying them for souvenir?

Thank you for reading!
Have a nice weekend!

わさび, 山葵, ワサビ, 大王わさび園, 安曇野,


Meiji-mura museum 5: Western world brought transportation technology (Shinagawa lighthouse/品川燈台, steam train/上蒸気機関車, Uji-Yamada Post office/宇治山田郵便局 )

Inuyama city, where Meiji-mura park placed, is in the mountain.
As there were a lake in the park, I was surprised when I saw a light house.

The lighthouse was first built at Shinagawa port, where only 2 stations from Tokyo station.
When Japan had opened the country to abroad, the port were made to several places.
Shinagawa port was one of them. A French man named Verny built lighthouse here.
The lighthouse's name was "Shinagawa lighthouse (品川燈台)".

Japanese woodblock print also had left with building.

In the museum near the lighthouse, huge light bulbs were displayed.

It was first time I saw the light bulb of lighthouse, so I got surprised of their size.

Now the lighthouse is placed on the top of hill, looking down a lake and mountains.
Verny would never thought that lighthouse will be move in the mountain.

Not only the sea transporting, the land transporting had also changed.

Steam train had imported to Japan, and run from Shinbashi, the station next to Tokyo, to Yokohama.

 This train is brought to Japan in year 1874 from England.
The company's name was "Sharp Stewart & Co.".

When turning around, it is done by man's power.

Two men pushing the train with part of railroad.

As the transportation performance had advanced, the postal service also had evolved.
Postal service had started in year 1870. The first post office was built in Tokyo.

Ujiyamada postal office, the picture below, had opened in year 1909, Ise city, Mie prefecture.
The office was used for 60 years, and moved to Meiji-mura museum in 1969.

In the office, you can see the letter boxes which used in each ages.

In the behind of these boxes, there are real office is in service. You can send a letter from here to anywhere in the world.

There are more and more buildings and heritages here in this museum.
If you have a chance to go Nagoya, and have extra times, I will recommend going here.

You can see the moment which the Western culture had blended into Japanese culture.

Thank you for reading!
Good night!

明治村, 灯台, 蒸気機関車


Meiji-mura museum 4: Meiji era, Churches came to Japan with western culture (St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral / ザビエル天主堂, St. John's Church / 聖ヨハネ教会堂)

As feudal government in Edo era closed the country from abroad for few hundred years, Christianity were also stopped in Japan.

When the Meiji-era started, the Christianity also restarted.

In Meiji-mura, some Churches also had removed from several places in Japan.
As earthquakes often occurs in Japan, most of old the buildings in Japan were made with flexible woods. If the buildings are built with stones and rocks, they may can't let the power of quakes, and will broke down. Flexible woods preferred and used for buildings in past Japan.
(Technology had advanced and now we can use concretes and cements for buildings.)

The churches in Meiji-era seemed that built using both woods and concretes.

St. Francis Xavier's Cathedral (ザビエル天主堂), was built in 1890, in Kyoto.
Outer wall was built with bricks, and inner roofs and pillars were woods.

I sometimes saw the churches built with stones and woods in Europe, so I felt that it is not special building. If I have a chance to meet people from Europe countries, I would like to ask about it.

The frames of stained glasses were also made with woods.
Thinking of intensity, I think the churches in Europe may uses steels here.

Appearance of this church is like this.
It reminded me Sacré-Cœur chapel in Montmartre, Paris. (Only the color resemble, though...)

There were writings in Latin? or French? in the entrance, and could't read them.

The next church, St. John's Church (聖ヨハネ教会堂), may be unique building.

In the explanation, it is said that first floor was built with bricks, second and third floor were built with woods.

Earthquake is really annoying and scary thing....

My first impression was that this building is little looks like Tokyo station.

Getting inside, stairs and window frames were made with woods.

Going upstairs, shapes of roofs and door frames were exiting to me, feeling going to roof spaces.

The hall was larger than I thought, and there were some organs were displayed.
They might be kept since Meiji-era, too.

It takes lot's of times and moneys to go Europe from Japan, so it maybe good to go this place if you want to feel the European atmosphere.

Thank you for reading!
Have a nice weekend!

明治村, 教会, オルガン