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Fukushima

During the Edo period of Japan, Ouchijuku was no more than a small post station; it has since then been a well preserved village mostly untouched by time. Located in the Shimogo, Fukushima, Ouchijuku is a historically preserved district that shows us a glimpse back in time to the Old World Japan. The thatched roofs of the village houses in this modest town are mostly made of dried straw. These settlements were known as a central hub...

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As a secluded stage in a mountainous region or a distribution center for rice, this town thrived in former times, however it had faded in a gradual manner since the Meiji Restration, Japan’s modernization times, because of its location far away from a new main highway of this region. In order to maintain the thatched old houses, ‘Ouchi-juku’ was designated as an Important Preservation District for Groups of...

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‘Sazae-do’ in the picture, whose formal name is ‘Entsu-sanso-do’, can be seen halfway up ‘Iimori-yama’ Hill in Aizu-wakamatsu,Fukusima Prefecture. This eccentric wooden building built late in the 18th century is placed on the list of important cultural assets. The inside of the hexagonal building, a clockwise rising ramp runs from the entrance to the top then it becomes a descending spiral ramp from...

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Centering on Aomori Prefecture, a fruit farmer in the Tohoku Region makes use of a small bee called ‘mamekobachi’ for an apple or a cherry fruition. This way of pollination was invented after the end of the Second World War and now is prevailing across the country. Many bundles of straw dangling under the eaves in the picture are nests of the bee seen in ‘Ouchijuku’ near ‘Aizu-Wakamatsu’, Fukusima...

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The latest huge eruption cased the great collapse of the north side of ‘Bandai-san’ volcano, which dammed up a nearby river to form hundreds of inland waters. Tens of smaller swamps among them are called ‘Goshiki-numa’ that are filled with various hues,green,red or blue, because of the difference of minerals and water plants in each water. The beautiful swamp in the picture is ‘Bishamon-numa’,the...

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‘Aizu-wakamatsu’ was ruled by a branch family of the Tokugawa shogun after 17th century and the last lord of this castle was charged with maintaining peace and security in Kyoto, emperor’s capital, to clamp down on the guerilla army against the central government in Edo, today’s Tokyo. Thus, this city was reduced to ashes by the allied revolutionary army in the last days of the Tokugawa government. After that,...

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