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Chugoku(Hiroshima)

Against ‘Ise-jingu’ Shinto shrine, which is dominant in the field of ‘Shintoism’ Japan’s native religion, Izumo-taisha with the largest honden main building stands out from others. This shrine was depicted in ‘Kojiki’ and ‘Nihonshoki’, Japan’s oldest history books early in the 8th century. According to these books, the Creator of Japan built this shrine as a token of his...

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In the last days of the Edo period, at the beginning of the 19th century, the number of castles with a full-scale donjon what is called ‘tenshukaku’ was about 70 across Japan. Unfortunately, many of them were intentionally destroyed when Japan’s modernization was ongoing, and were reduced to ashes during the second World War. Only 12 original tenshukakus have survived this tragic drama. Matsue Castle in the picture,...

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Taisha Station was built for the visitors to ‘Izumo-taisha’ Shinto Shrine, one of the leading Shinto shrines in Japan. Present wooden building entirely in Japanese style was completed in 1924, designed after the exterior of nearby Izumo-taisha Shinto shrine. An express train was running between Tokyo and this station though, this service discontinued in 1990 because of the development of Japan’s motorization. Not...

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If you enjoy being outdoors and hiking, then Bitch Matsuyama Castle (備中松山城) is a perfect place to spend an afternoon. It’s one of only 12 original castles in Japan that has fortunately survived orders to be demolished during the early Meiji period. Located in the rural area of Okayama, you’ll certainly get off the beaten tourist path when visiting this castle. Bitchu Matsuyama castle is 430 meters above sea level and is the highest...

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If you are traveling around Japan outside of Tokyo or Kyoto, Hiroshima is an essential stop on any itinerary. Besides being a site of international importance, being the first city in history to be destroyed by a nuclear weapon in 1945, it is also a warm city with lots of character and things to do. Unfortunately, as Hiroshima did fall victim to the bombings during World War II, most of its original buildings and cultural heritage...

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Even though many tourists don’t seem to visit Okayama city, there is actually quite a lot to do there, making it a worthwhile place to see. Located in the Chugoku region of Japan, which is the western part of Honshu, Okayama is right on the coast and a great weekend trip from Osaka or Kyoto. Okayama offers lots of culture, and great food with its local restaurants and bars. One of the most popular attractions is actually Okayama...

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