Archive for September, 2012

A Long Ride from Sapporo

September 26, 2012 Leave a comment

After riding through Shiroishi Cycling Road, we arrived at Namporo town.

Signs of autumn wer already in the air in the rural area.

The opposite side of the road in Namporo.

Into Iwamizawa City, whose official flower is rose!

The big wheel of “Hokkaido Green Land” in Iwamizawa can be seen in the back.

Going into Ebetsu city through R12.

R 12 was unexpectedly quite comfortable to go on a bike.

Back to Sapporo.

It’s getting dark and dark.

The sunset on Mt. Teine (where 1972 Sapporo winter olympic games were held)

on Autumnal Equinox Day.

Today’s route: Sapporo – Shiroishi Cycling Road – Kitahiroshima City – Namporo Town –

Iwamizawa City – Ebetsu City – Sapporo

Today’s travel distance: 115 km!




Aomori Revisited

September 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Again I was in Aomori Prefecture to prepare for my next work.

The picture above shows “Kusumike jutaku” (house of the Kusumi family) built in 1886

in Goshogawara city, Aomori Prefecture.

This is the gallery of “Tsugaru kanayama yaki” (Tsugaru kanayama pottery),

a well-known local pottery.

Inside of the gallery.

Tsugaru Kanayama Pottery Dog!

Kilns.  The place provides a hands-on experience.

Visitors can buy freshly made potteries with inexpensive prices.

The Inner East Gate of Hirosaki Castle in Hirosaki City.

Hirosaki Castle.  Built in 1810.

The mascot character of Hirosaki Castle, “Takamaru-kun”.

He says “Welcome to Hirosaki Castle: Hirosaki is the city of castle, cherry blossoms, and apples”.

The castle is in the Hirosaki Park.

Goshogawara Tachineputa!!

At “Tachineputa no Yakata” (Tachineputa museum), visitors can look at three 22m high lantern floats

that are used for the traditional annual Neputa festival of Goshogawara city.

Amazingly high!  The good thing about this museum is that visitors can not only see

all those “Tachineputa” but also learn about the history of this traditional festival

and people’s passion and efforts to revive Tachineputa.

Seiryu-ji (Seiryu Temple) in Aomori city, Aomori Prefecture.

Five-story pagoda at Seiryu Temple.

Showa Daibutsu (Great Showa Buddha).

This bronze 21.35 meter high 220 tons statue was built in 1984.

“Nebuta no Sato” (the villege of nebuta).

Visitors can look at lantern floats (nebuta) that were used for the

Nebuta festival in Aomori city.

Beautiful and strong Aomori “Nebuta”, and a bit different from Goshogawara “Tachineputa”.

Aomori city can be seen from the mountain station of ropeway at Mt. Hakkoda.

Jomon is the origin of otaku culture?

September 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Could be.

The Jomon can be called Japan’s fundamental culture.

It was a highly developed hunting, gathering and fishing population

(established about 13,000 years ago and essentially unchanged over a 10,000 year period),

and the Jomon produced a complex material culture

including the world’s first pottery, stone circles and clay figure.

(The picture above is “jomon tissue” 🙂 with an illustration of the face of national treasure

“Kakku”, a clay figure that was created about 3,500 years ago)

“Kakku” water bottle. 🙂

The real Kakku.

(in Hakodate Jomon Culture Center)

I visited 18 Jomon archaeological sites and several Jomon museums in Hokkaido and

Northern Tohoku in September for my work.

All those clay figures and stone circles were especially interesting!

Now Hokkaido and Northern Tohoku are aiming for world heritage registration of

those 18 Jomon archaeological sites.

This is  Gassho-Dogu (Clay Figurine with clasping hands) in Korekawa site, Aomori Prefecture.

This clay figure, too,  is a national treasure.

“Goggle eyed clay figure” at Kamegaoka site in Aomori Prefecture.

Clay figures with or without goggle eyes.

Wild boar shaped clay figure!  Cute!!

Earthenware with a human face!

Clay tablet with a face and holes that possibly express numbers.

At goshono site in Iwate Prefecture.

Clay figure at Sannai-maruyama site, the largest Jomon settlement remains.

Also at Sannai Maruyama Site, reconstructed six-pillar supported building and pit dwellings.

A mysterious stone circle at Isedotai site in Akita Prefecture.

A stone circle at Oyu stone circle in Akita Prefecture.

Also at Oyu stone circle.  Stone circle and reconstructed jomon buildings.

Almost all the stones that are used at Oyu stone circle are quartz diorite porphyrite.

Stone circle at Washinoki Site in Hokkaido.

Kitakogane shell mound in Hokkaido welcomes you with its character “Okonshibe-kun”!