Blogs from Hyogo, Japan, Asia

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Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Kobe September 7th 2019

8-17-2019 Kobe, Japan Kobe nam tren island of Honshu thuoc Hyogo Prefecture, khoang 1.5 trieu dan va la thanh pho lon thu 6 nuoc Nhat. Vao nam 1995 tran dong dat lon nhat Japan sau tran 1923, xay ra tai day voi 6,000 bi giet va 300,000 can nha bi sap. Dong dat 6.9 xay ra ngay 1-17-1995 tan pha Kobe mat $200 ty My Kim. Dong dat keo dai 20 giay. Day la tran dong dat lon nhat cua Nhat trong 100 nam sau tran dong dat o Great Kanto nam 1023 giet chet 105,000 nguoi. Kobe la thanh pho lon thu 6 cua Nhat. Co 1.5 trieu dan song tai day. Truoc ten la Kanbe den nam 1956 doi thanh Kobe. Tran dong dat 1995 tan pha hau het Kobe. Kobe cung co ten ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji August 24th 2019

Summer came, the humidity rose and the termperatures became unusual in that days were 34. 35. 36 instead of just 30 but alas the humidity sat between 80 and 95%!!!! So have wonderful friends come to visit. Two things collide happily - its summer and holidays for Japanese people and lots of those who live in the northern hemishphere and holiday in their school summer holidays in Japan so there is lots of entertainment; and Jacinta could join in the fun, somewhat free from work but not completely on holidays as Australian teachers would be. I've never managed to be in the right place at the right time to see the internationally famous puppet company based in Osaka called Banraku. They do travel, but we managed to go with my friends Ea and Molly. For readers ... read more
the stage photo of our performance
the puppeteers and a puppet off stage
the stage for a performance from the brochure

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji July 19th 2019

. Last night we joined Mitchie and Shingo for dinner and a concert. The performers were two highly skilled and fantastic performers who played shamisen. Yes they wore the kimono in their poster for the first half of their two hour concert I enjoyed it so much I thought I’d give you access to them if you’re interested.The blog can’t host the video, but these links should help from u tube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXE-qTbYvFI&feature https://youtu.be/RcqO0zkyQRo... read more

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji July 9th 2019

To reacclimatise to Himeji, Jacinta organised for me to attend a cultural performance at the Sosha Shrine which is in the heart of Himeji, just below the castle. We were accompanied by Kasumi who is a member of the shrine. Two amazing facts about the visit: It was the first I'd heard of Gagaku, and the whole event was catered to English speaking tourists - a first in Himeji for me. Unfortunately we were the only two obvious ones at the event and consequently have been immortalised on many digital recordings of the event. Gagaku is music and dance from about 1500 years ago formerly performed in the Imperial court. I think this would have been in Kyoto. However, the company bringing back this cultural art form are from Kobe city, about 30 minutes away by ... read more
our performance MC and English interpreter
one of the drummers
Ryuteri player

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Kobe May 25th 2019

Kobe was a safe haven for Jews fleeing Europe in 1940 and 1941. Jews started coming to Japan in the 1860s, when Japan was opened to trade. There quickly became a small population of Jewish businessmen in Kobe, along with the other port cities of Yokohama and Nagasaki. By the early 1900s there existed a Zionist organization and well established Jewish community in Kobe, and its first synagogue, Ohel Shelemo, was constructed in 1912. When trade with Russia declined in Nagasaki prior to the Russo-Japanese War and the great Kanto earthquake struck Yokohama in 1923, the majority of the Jewish population in Japan ended up in Kobe. As the Jews fled Europe and settled in Kobe, there was a well-off Jewish community of about 1000 people and 50 families. The community was composed primarily of Sephardim ... read more
Ohel Shlomo synagogue in Kobe Kitano

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Kobe May 24th 2019

Our last touring day in Japan! We went down to breakfast. We had told the hotel that we were vegetarian, and that we ate no meat but we would eat fruit and salad. Our breakfast arrived. We were each given a huge tray on which were five different fruit juices, a bowl of coconut milk with semolina, a small bowl of yoghurt, a big bowl of fruit. Then a third tray arrived and was placed between our trays on the table. On that tray was a box of bread, a tray of baguettes, a pot of coffee, a saucer with three different butters and preserves. We are not takers of food pictures, but we had to take pictures of this breakfast!! See it pictured on Day 21, our last monring in Kobe. . Sated, at 9 ... read more
Weathercock House from original European settlers
Starbucks now in an old European house
Kitano Tenjin shrine with Plum symbol

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji May 23rd 2019

Today we started the last leg of our journey through a small part of Japan. We were going to Kobe, via Himeji. Every travel company we had spoken to recommended a day’s trip (at least) and to the castle. Third castle in a row, but they do differ by their history and layout. So it was back on the Shinkansen for the last time. . We got off at Himeji and discovered a bus which tours the city so we bought our tickets. We found the correct bus stop and set off to explore the the castle. The outside is very impressive. The castle dates back to 1333 when it was built as a hill fort. In 1346 it was dismantled and rebuilt as a castle, and then two centuries later it was remodelled again as ... read more
Himeji Castle moat
castle complex and city from Himeji Castle 6th floor
strong wood frame structure of Himeji Castle

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji March 5th 2019

Returning to Japan for the fourth year, and to Himeji for the second year is proving to be an excellent beginning to my retirement from teaching. Being greeted with hugs from Japanese women colleagues from 9 years ago was a most unexpected gift. I have been surprised and delighted with how easy these first two months have been. The school year ends in Japan in late March and so I arrived in time to teach the last few classes and set exams for the Year 12’s (三年生). Yesterday was their graduation ceremony: a formal, solemn and moving end to their school days, followed by beaming faces, oodles of photos and a dance display at the school entrance. I was moved to tears by the rousing thanks each class gave their home room teacher. Shogai Daigaku (university ... read more
Welcome Party
Dream House
Playing the hand drum

Asia » Japan » Hyogo April 20th 2018

How about some word association. Kobe? Beef. We arrive a bit further south to the place where beef is centre-stage on all the resto sandwich boards, tour highlights and websites. But how about the Kobe earthquake? It was only in 1995, killed 6400 and had 40,000 casualties. Richter placed it as 7.9 and a big chase extended from the port waterfront up a kilometre or more into the city centre. Neither of us has a clear recollection of it - how can that be? We visit the port waterfront where a walking park peninsula passes a section of the rubble of the old port, with topsy turvy lampposts and broken, upended concrete piers giving testament to the destruction. Information plaques and outdoor video terminals start our education. The earthquake museum was tough to find. We understood ... read more
Notice in the bulletin train
Kobe beef teppanyaki grill
The main event

Asia » Japan » Hyogo » Himeji September 17th 2017

Sunday, 17th September 2017 Nagoya >> Himeji (278.3km, 93 mins, 8,610 Yen) The weather was forgiving as I woke up shortly after six this morning. The rains that plagued since yesterday had miraculously stopped as the skies gave an all clear signal. The weatherman from NHK had announced that the typhoon had already made landfalls in the southern part of Kyushu early morning and was soon on its way to sweep through the rest of Japan within the next 24 hours or so. With perfect weather before the impending storm, I jumped onto the opportunity for a whirlwind Shinkansen excursion to Himeji and Kyoto for the day. Home to the magnificent white castle, the beautiful Himeji-Jo was evident as soon as I made my way out of the train station. I strolled my way through the ... read more
Himeji Station concourse
The imposing modern facade
Himeji-Jo




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