#Japan By Sea

Posted on Posted in 2017, Cruise Ship, Japan, Kanazawa, Kimono, Maizuru, Matsue, Shimane, Tottori, Travel

This is a collection of images taken during the filming of #Japan By Sea around Shimane prefecture. Anita Kapoor (Singapore), Andy Kho (Malaysia) and the filming crew from TSK San-In Chuo TV traveled around by sea onboard cruise ship Costa neoRomantica. The filming took a total of one week. These are the images that were exhibited during the #Japan By Sea roadshow in Tokyo Street Pavilion KL in Jan 2018. #Japan By Sea was aired on TV9 between Jan – Feb 2018 around Asia. The roadshow and photo exhibition was organized by TSK San-In Chuo Television Broadcasting (Fuji TV Japan) and my photo exhibition was sponsored by Epson Malaysia.


Matsue city

A shrine in Matsue castle compound.

 

Matsue castle ( aka Matsuejō ) is one of only twelve castles in Japan that remains in it’s original state; it survived fire, earthquake and anti-feudal demolition in the Meiji period. Matsuejō is sometimes called the “black castle” due to its dark colored austere exterior. It was completed in 1611 right after the last battle of feudal Japan. This castle never saw battle.

 

Descendent of the samurai. Visitors to Matsue castle will be greeted by this samurai as they enter the main gate and he will guide visitors through the castle.

 

Display of different samurai armor inside Matsue castle.

 

Bird’s eye view of Matsue city and lake Shinji from the top of Matsue castle.

 

Soba (Japanese buckwheat noodle) from the best soba restaurant in Matsue called Yakumoan. This is where lord Matsudaira used to eat his favourite soba. The Yakumoan is located next to the formal residence of lord Matsudaira. The Matsudaira clan’s reign lasted 10 generations, a total of 234 years. Bukeyashiki. Matsue city.

 

The serene Japanese garden in Bukeyashiki soba restaurant.

 

Golden koi fish.

 

Entrance to the famous soba restaurant in Bukeyashiki.

 

A wooden bridge over Matsue castle’s moat.

 

Guide of the boat cruise along Matsue castle’s moat.

 

Gesshoji teahouse at Gesshoji temple.

 

Japanese garden at Gesshoji temple. This is the final resting place of the Matsudaira clan after 200 years of reign in Matsue. Part of the Gesshoji temple is a teahouse and a Japanese garden.

 

Part of the Japanese garden in Gesshoji teahouse.

 

Travel host Anita Kapoor enjoying the calm surroundings of the Japanese garden in Gesshoji teahouse.

 

A view of the Japanese garden from inside the Gesshoji teahouse.

 

One of the top 100 sunset locations in the world. Lake Shinji Sunset Spot in Matsue city.

 

 


Tottori

20th Century Pear Museum

A well preserved pear tree with a branches that span as wide as 20 meters Tottori Nijisseiki Pear Museum.

 

A collection of difference species of pear from around the world. Tottori Nijisseiki Pear Museum.


Mizuki Shigeru Road

A bronze statue of Spooky Kitaro in Mizuki Shigeru road. This is the hometown of the manga artist who created Spooky Kitaro and is famous amongst children and adults.

 

A mini manhole cover in Mizuki Shigeru road. Each manhole is designed with a character from his manga.

 

One of the characters from the manga Spooky Kitaro called Nezumi-Otoko (“Rat Man“) is a rodent-like half-yōkai and one of the main characters of the series. He is Kitarō‘s self-proclaimed best friend and a notorious trickster.

 

Shops along Mizuki Shigeru road. This road is 800 meters long and there are 153 bronze statues of Spooky Kitaro’s characters.

 

A shop selling the traditional wooden footwear that resembles flip-flop called “geta” in Mizuki Shigeru road. The main character Kitaro is always seen wearing a “geta” in the manga and his “geta” can fly!

 

The owner of the shop with his wife. This shop has been around since 1915.

 


Fukuoka

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine

The “bridge of wisdom” crosses over the pond made in the shape of the Japanese character for the word “heart”. As you passed through the torri gate at the entrance you walk through the path that leads you through the islands that represent “past”, “present” and “future”. Trees as old as 500 years surround this temple ground. They are about 6,000 plum trees of 197 varieties in this compound.

 

Auxiliary shrine known as “sessha”or “massha” on the compound of Dazaifu tenmangu shrine.

 

“Tōrō” is Japanese stone lanterns. Mostly used in shrines to light the path.

 

It is believed that if you touched the head of the ox you will gain wisdom.

 

The miko (shrine maiden) were once seen as female shaman but in the modern day, their role as a shrine maiden range from sacred cleansing rituals to performing sacred kagura dance. The traditional attire of the miko is a pair of “hakama” (a long divided pants) or a long slightly pleated skirt with a bow and a white kimono jacket called “haori”.

 

A miko (shrine maiden) performing the cleansing ritual at the temizuya (purification fountain) before entering the shrine. A visitor will first scoop the water using the hishaku, pour it onto his right hand then the left hand. He will then pour some water into the left hand again to rinse the mouth and spit it out beside the fountain. The remaining water in the hishaku is to be dripped back down the handle before placing it back on the temizuya. This last step of purifying the hishaku is known as “purification by moving water”.

 

Boundary to the honden (main shrine) of Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine. The shimenawa (straw robe with white zig zag paper strips) above the passage way marks the boundary to the sacred courtyard.

 

The honden of Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine. This is one of the 2 most important shrines throughout Japan. This honden dates back to 1591. On the right of the honden is the legendary tobiume (flying plum tree).

 

A high school girl tying the “omikuji” at Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine courtyard. Omikuji is a strip of paper that visitors randomly draw at the shrine, containing predictions ranging from “daikichi” which means “great good luck” to “daikyo” which means “great bad luck”. Whichever prediction you get, by tying it there it is believed that the prediction of great luck will come true while the great bad luck will be cast away.

 

Wooden plaques known as “ema” which visitors write their wishes on and leave them at the shrine in hopes that their wishes will come true. Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine is popular amongst students especially during entrance exams seasons.

 

Wooden window on the honden (main shrine). As the shrine is surrounded by 6,000 plums trees, the golden ume (plum blossom) marks the shrine’s emblem.

 

A shrine maiden aka “miko” reciting prayers in front of the altar in Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine.

 

Japanese koi fish and coin offering in a pond in Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine.

 

Visitors dressed in kimono walking around the shrine grounds.

 

The last torii gate before the honden (main shrine) of Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine.

 

The shopping streets leading to Dazaifu Tenmangu shrine. From Dazaifu station, it’s about 250 meters walk along this street to the main gate.

 

Umegaemochi being made. Umegaemochi is a local delicacy in Fukuoka. Best eaten fresh and warm, the umegaemochi is a bun made of mochi with red bean filling.

 


Fukuoka Tower

Fukuoka tower from the highway.

 

Fukuoka tower – The tallest seaside tower in Japan stand tall at the height of 234 meters and took only 14 months to construct at the cost of ¥6,000,000,000 (MYR 213,433,000). The best time to visit is during sunset as you get a 360-degree panoramic view of the whole of Fukuoka. There is an observation lounge, sky lounge restaurant, and even a lover’s sanctuary where many ladies were proposed to. Fukuoka Tower is illuminated after dark.

 

Constructed mainly of steel “I” beam on the inside, this tallest seaside tower in Japan was built on the reclaimed land out of the Hakata bay area.

 

Bird’s eye view of Muromi river (west side of Fukuoka) from the observation deck of Fukuoka tower.

 

Bird’s eye view of the east side of Fukuoka from the observation deck of Fukuoka tower.

 

Bird’s eye view of the south side of Fukuoka from the observation deck of Fukuoka tower.

 

Fukuoka tower guide Maki-chan and travel host Anita Kapoor at the south side observation deck of Fukuoka tower.

 

Momochi Seaside Park on the north side of Fukuoka tower. Marizon is part of Momochi seaside park and is a popular dating spot in Fukuoka. There are seafood restaurants, sports shops and even an event space with wedding chapel for wedding functions.


North Kyoto

Amanohashidate

Amanohashidate.

 

Panoramic view of Amanohashidate. Shot with Huawei Mate 9.

 

Amanohashidate means “bridge in heaven”. It spans 3.4km across Miyazu bay. You can walk the whole stretch if you are up for some adventure.

 

Standing as tall as 8.5 meters above the hilltop the Hiryukan-kairo (Viewing sky path) is a 250 meter long viewing sky path built in a shape of a dragon.

 

Enjoying the scenery on the “cycle-car” in Amanohashidate Viewland. Not recommended for those who are really scared of heights.

 

A visitor performing the “matanozoki”.

 

Amanohashidate means “bridge in heaven”. This pine tree covered sandbar spans across the mouth of Miyazu bay and is one of Japan’s three most scenic locations. One must perform the “matanozoki” in order to see this pathway between heaven and earth. Matanozoki means bending over and looking through between you legs, hence this upside down photo was shot.

 

To reach to top of Amonohashidate Viewland, visitors can either take the cable car or the cable chair.


Kanemasu No Shichirin Yaki

Miyazu Kanemasu no shichirin yaki. A seafood restaurant that specializes in a traditional way of cooking local seafood such as crabs, oysters, yellowtail and winter shads. A rare delicacy here is the red snapper slightly air-dried and carefully cooked over charcoal.

 

Air-dried red snapper being slowly cooked over charcoal in Miyazu Kanemasu no shichirin yaki.

 

Red snapper freshly cooked on charcoal grill.


Kanazawa

Higashichaya

A Japanese sparrowhawk, known by the locals as “tonbi”, circling above a pine tree by the river looking for fish for lunch. Shot with Huawei Mate 9.

 

Japanese sparrowhawk hunting in Asano river.

 

 

 

Many visitors who came to Higashi Chaya wore rented kimono.

 

Visitors in kimono walking up the main street in Higashichaya Old town. Kanazawa.

 

Famous Japanese sweet “kichihashi” and matcha at the traditional Japanese teahouse in Higashichaya.

 

Gold leaf ice-cream in Higashichaya. As Kanazawa produces 99% of domestic gold leaf, eating gold with ice-cream is part of the fun while visiting Higashichaya.

 

Making gold leaf lacquer in Higashichaya.

 

A visitor in Higashichaya taking picture of the native inhabitant, the Japanese cat.

 

 

 

 

Cats are out to play once it’s sunset as there are less people on the streets of Higashichaya old town. These “neko” (cat in Japanese) rule the streets after dark.

 

 

A shrine in Higashichaya.

 

A small street in Higashichaya.

 

The main street of Higashi chaya after sunset in early autumn. Higashi chaya is designated as one of Japan’s cultural asset. Most of this chaya houses are over 180 years old. Chaya is the traditional place of entertainment and feasts in the Edo period.

 

A religious possession in Higashichaya.

 

 

Another busy day at the 300 year old Omicho market.

 

A transaction between customer and fish mongers in a 300 year old fresh food market. Kanazawa is a coastal city so fresh produce from The Sea of Japan is brought in fresh daily for the last 300 years. Omicho market.

 


Coata neoRomantica

Cruise ship Costa neoRomantica at Fukuoka port. This is one of the ways to explore Japan by sea.

 

The aft deck of the cruise ship Costa Neo Romantica. For most people, traveling around Japan involves air travel or by train. I traveled Japan by Sea. Sea of Japan.

 

Sunset over the Sea of Japan.

 

Sunset on the Sea of Japan off the coast of Fukuoka.

 

 

Cruise ship crew engaging in fun activities with the passengers while en-route to the next destination.

 

The coast of Japan from the porthole of a cruise ship. One of the great things about exploring Japan by sea is that each day, you wake up to a new destination. Off the coast of Kanazawa.

 

Village by the sea in Kanazawa. A scenic view as we are cruising into port from Sea of Japan.