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Nikko Pass Trip Day 2 Discover The World Heritage Sites Of Nikko

first_imgNikko Pass – Save on Transportation Costs! The terrace of the Boat House Observation Hall offers one of the best points to view Lake Chuzenji and the mountain range in the distance. 9:00 – 9:30 — In the Morning, Visit Lake Chuzenji Boat House Nikko Kanaya Hotel is one of the most sought-for accommodations in Nikko. Its history goes back to the beginnings of the Meiji Period (1868-1912) when Kanaya Zen’chiro opened his home toward visitors operating it as a cottage inn. It was one of the first facilities to open its doors to foreign tourists during the time when Japan intensified its relations with the West at the end of the 19th century.Among the famous international guests that stayed at Nikko Kanaya Hotel were J.C. Hepburn, whom we owe the Hepburn style romanization of Japanese words, Isabella Bird, author of a travel book on Japan, and Albert Einstein. Take a few moments to explore the precincts of the hotel, both inside and outside. Each and every corner is full of history and retro charm. By taking a look at the exhibits, you’ll learn more about the features of Nikko’s natural environment, especially about the many types of trout inhabiting the lake, as well as about the history of this boat house which has been a socializing place for foreign diplomats and other visitors for a long time. Lake Chūzenji View Information10:00 – 11:00 — Learn the History of Nikko during a Boat Cruise on Lake Chuzenji Our recommendation for lunch is the One Hundred Year Curry Rice menu (2,100 yen) offered at the Craft Lounge, the coffee lounge located on the first floor of the main building. Made from a recipe that is one hundred years old, the curry sauce is so smooth and rich that it might just be the best curry you’ll eat in Japan! Nikko Kanaya Hotel View Informationlodging14:00 – 16:45 — Visit the World Heritage Sites of Nikko To reach our next destination, the Lake Chuzenji Boat Cruise Station, take the bus departing at 9:39 for Nikko Station from Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel-Mae bus stop. You’ll reach Fune no Eki Chuzenji bus stop at 9:45. Don’t forget you have to show your Nikko Pass both when you get on and when you get off the bus.The Lake Chuzenji Boat Cruise is also covered by your Nikko Pass so please show your pass to the staff at the ticket office. See what time the next ferry will leave (10:30, on some days the first ship may depart at 10:00) and get in line. Toshogu Shrine is famous for housing the grave of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate (1603 – 1868) which brought peace to Japan after more than a century of internal conflict and political unrest.The history of this shrine is deeply connected to the history of Rinnoji Temple and the Nikkosan. This is why you’ll see a Buddhist five-storied pagoda even after going through the large torii gate that stands at the entrance to the shrine. One of the fascinating sights that can be experienced during the Lake Chuzenji Boat Cruise is Kozuke Island, which is said to be housing the grave of the ancient ascetic Shodo Shonin, the founder of Nikkosan.Shodo Shonin, a monk who lived in the Nara period (710 – 794), came to this area compelled by the vision to build a temple for Buddhist worship in eastern Japan. Once he reached the area that is now Nikko, the ascetic was enraptured by the beauty of this region. In 766, he founded here a temple called Shiunryuji, which is now Rinnoji Temple. In 782, after many hardships, he finally managed to reach the peak of Mt. Nantai and founded a small shrine there which is nowaday’s Futarasan Okunomiya Shrine. Lake Cruise Boat Terminal View Information12:45 – 13:45 — Lunch at Nikko Kanaya Hotel – Arguably the Best Curry Rice in Japan!After the boat cruise, it’s time to leave Lake Chuzenji and Oku-Nikko behind and head to the city. Take the 11:50 bus heading to Nikko Station from Fune no eki Chuzenji bus stop. After a 41-minute ride, get off at Shinkyo bus stop. A few meters away up the hill is our next destination, Nikko Kanaya Hotel, where we suggest stopping for lunch before visiting the World Heritage Sites. The history of Nikko Futarasan Shrine, one of the most influential shrines in Eastern Japan, is also deeply interwined with that of Rinnoji Temple.The main hall of Nikko Futarasan Shrine is located near Rinnoji and Toshogu Shrine. However, visitors to Oku-Nikko will find buildings pertaining to this shrine all around Mt. Nantai, the main object of worship at Futarasan Shrine.The deity enshrined here is considered to be the protector of marriages and human relationships. That is why it is a popular shrine for weddings. The sacred Shinkyo Bridge can be crossed by visitors only halfway through, but the couples who get united at Nikko Futarasan Shrine have the privilege to cross it all the way to the other side. Nikko Futarasan jinja View InformationSuggestions for Your 3rd and 4th Day Traveling with the Nikko PassThis time we introduced recommended itineraries for a trip to Nikko using the Nikko Pass all area. This pass is good for 4 days, so, after spending one day in Oku-Nikko and the second day in Nikko City, how about heading to Kinugawa Onsen or Nikko Edo Wonderland on your third and fourth days?Kinugawa Onsen is a resort area with splendid nature and hot springs. We highly recommend a trek along Kinugawa River through the Ryuokyo Gorge, as well as a visit on Monkey Mountain, a place famous for the monkeys that greet the visitors, using the Kinugawa Onsen Ropeway.As for the 4th day, how about visiting Tobu World Square, an architectural museum with miniature reproductions of 102 famous buildings from all around the world? You could also spend a day at the exciting Nikko Edo Wonderland, a historical theme park. Holders of the Nikko Pass benefit from discount entry fees to these facilities.Enjoy your trip using the Nikko Pass, the most convenient discount ticket for exploring the Nikko area!Nikko Pass Trip Day 2 – Route SummaryChuzenji Kanaya Hotel → Lake Chuzenji Boat House → Lake Chuzenji Boat Cruise → Lunch at Nikko Kanaya Hotel → World Heritage Sites (Toshogu Shrine, Rinnoji Temple, Nikko Futarasan Shrine) → Stay in Nikko or head to Kinugawa OnsenExpensesTransportation: All the bus rides and the Lake Chuzenji Boat Cruise are included in the Nikko Pass (valid for 4 days: 4,520 yen)Lunch: 2,100 yenWorld Heritage Sites entry fees: approx. 2,000 yen in totalFor more information on tourist sites in Nikko and the Nikko Pass, please visit this official webpage dedicated to the Nikko Pass.To find out more about things to enjoy in the Nikko area, please consult this website: http://www.tobujapantrip.com/en/Supported by TOBU Railway Co., LTD. From the many buildings on the grounds of Rinnoji Temple, we especially recommend visiting the Taiyuin Mausoleum erected in honor of Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604 – 1651), the third shogun of the Edo period and grandson of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543 – 1616) who founded the Tokugawa shogunate and is buried at Toshogu Shrine.It had been Iemitsu’s wish to be buried close to his grandfather, whom he admired deeply. It is said that, out of respect for Ieyasu, Iemitsu wanted for his mausoleum to be decorated in a rather subdued manner.Although Taiyuin does not have the opulence of Toshogu Shrine, it is nonetheless a magnificent building. Do take the time to explore it on the inside and its surroundings which are full of Buddhist art and objects with a fascinating historical background. Rin-no-ji Treasure House View InformationToshogu Shrine Nikko Pass Trip: Day 1 – Enjoy The Breathtaking Nature Of Nikko! After your lunch at Nikko Kanaya Hotel, go past Shinkyo Bridge (which is part of Nikko Futarasan Shrine) and up the stairs toward Toshogu Shrine, Rinnoji Temple and the main hall of Nikko Futarasan Shrine.All the buildings in this area used to be part of Nikkosan, a large temple-shrine complex that occupied the entire area of Nikko, including Oku-Nikko (the area around Lake Chuzenji). Ever since the first temple was built here in the 8th century, Nikkosan developed as a center for religious worship. Its main feature was the syncretism of Buddhist and Shinto beliefs. Traces of this syncretism can still be found in the shrines and temples of Nikko.Rinnoji TempleFirst, we recommend visiting the Sanbutsudo Hall of Rinnoji Temple. Although it is being restored now (*1), access is permitted inside the hall. Here, visitors can see three magnificent wooden Buddhist statues which are approximately 7.5 meters high.These are the statues of Amiddha Buddha, Kannon Boddhisatva, and Bato Kannon. These holy figures from the Buddhist pantheon have been associated with Mt. Nantai, Mt. Nyoho and Mt. Taro, the three mountains surrounding Nikko. All used to be worshiped as sacred in ancient times.*1… As of September 2018. Right in front of the Sanbutsudo Hall is the Treasure Hall and Shoyoen Garden, a Japanese garden built for the head priest of Rinnoji Temple, who, in the Edo Period (1603 – 1868), by tradition was to be elected from among the imperial princes that had taken Buddhist vows.The lake in this garden is said to be a miniature image of Lake Biwa as it can be seen from Enryakuji Temple, the most influential Tendai sect temple in Japan. The garden is especially beautiful in autumn. Starting with the gorgeous Yomeimon Gate, the Chinese-style Karamon Gate, the Prayer Hall (Haiden) and the Main Hall (Honden), all the buildings on the precincts of Toshogu Shrine are extremely elaborate and beautiful.No effort was spared to honor Shogun Ieyasu whose rule brought the beginning of a new era for Japan. These buildings are one of the greatest achievements of early Edo Period architecture and art. Nikkō Tōshō-gū View InformationNikko Futarasan Shrine Nikko is an area that boasts both breathtaking nature and a fascinating history which we owe the beautiful World Heritage Sites that made this city famous.The best way to fully enjoy the charm of this area is by spending at least two days here and using the convenient Nikko Pass. As introduced in our previous article, Nikko Pass comes in two versions – the All Area Pass (4,520 yen), valid for 4 days, which includes a round-trip to Nikko from Tokyo and unlimited bus and train transportation in Nikko, Oku-Nikko and Kinugawa Onsen, and the World Heritage Area Pass (2,000 yen), valid for 2 days, which covers a round-trip to Nikko from Tokyo and unlimited bus and train transportation in Nikko and Kinugawa Onsen. For further details on the Nikko Pass, please check this page.After spending your first day in Nikko exploring the beautiful nature that inspired the creation of temples and shrines in the area, we recommend spending your second day learning about the rich history of Nikko and visiting the World Heritage Sites of Toshogu Shrine, Rinnoji Temple and Nikko Futarasan Shrine.Read also During the one-hour cruise, you’ll hear explanations in English about how Lake Chuzenji was formed through a volcanic eruption of Mt. Nantai, as well as about the features of this lake and of the nature surrounding it.Passengers can enjoy the cruise either on the deck or from inside the ferry. The ship called Nantai is provided with a private room which can also be reserved in advance. This room can accommodate up to 8 persons, it includes a private deck and offers a great view of the surroundings. After checking out from Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel, take a few minutes to visit Lake Chuzenji Boat House, which is located right in front of the hotel on the lakeshore.Lake Chuzenji Boat House was built in the 1940s as an international resort. Members of the foreign embassies that owned villas around Lake Chuzenji, as well as tourists, used to enjoy boating, canoeing, and angling here. The facility is now managed by the Nikko Natural Science Museum, housing exhibitions on the fauna and flora of Lake Chuzenji.last_img read more

Iwakuni Castle Yamaguchi Superb Views From The Top

first_img In the castle tower exhibition space swords and armor are displayed. Being able to see the varying lengths of the swords and the different types of blades here is very fascinating. Here are woodblock prints showing how the Kintai bridge and the Iwakuni area looked in the past. At this permanent exhibit you can really get a glimpse at what the region used to look like. If you look in the direction of Nishikigawa River from the castle tower, you’ll be blessed with a gorgeous view of Kintai bridge and its five impressive arches. Nishikigawa, with its meandering path can clearly be seen as well; the river was known as the Tennen no Sotobori (天然の外堀), a natural moat that was a formidable deterrent for any rivals seeking to attack the castle. On a clear day you can see Miyajima in Hiroshima prefecture and farther in the distance, some of the Shikoku region. If you find yourself sightseeing in Yamaguchi, look up at the castle that towers over the mountains and take a trip up to see Iwakuni Castle.Recommended articles Kintaikyō – Crossing Five Beautiful Wooden Arches The Beautiful Cobalt Blue of Beppu Benten Pond, Yamaguchi Cooked on a Roof Tile?! Yamaguchi’s Famous Kawara Soba The JR-WEST RAIL PASS – A Good Deal On Travel In KansaiInformation Iwakuni Castle Address: Yamaguchi, Iwakuni, Yokoyama 3-chome Hours: 9:00-16:45 Closed: Depends on ropeway Wi-fi: – Credit Cards: – Other Languages: – Nearest Station: Kawanishi Station (川西駅), JR Gantoku line Access: 25 minute walk from Kawanishi Station to Ropeway Sanroku Station (ロープウェー山麓駅) Entrance Fee: 260 yen Phone Number: 0827-29-5116 Website: Iwakuni Castle (English link connects to external translation site) Iwakuni city in Yamaguchi prefecture is perhaps best known for its Kintai Bridge. But around this amazing bridge are a great number of interesting sightseeing spots including Iwakuni Castle, a sight not to be missed by visitors to Yamaguchi.Today, let’s take a closer look at Iwakuni Castle and its many charms as it rises from its mountain peak.Iwakuni Castle is a fortress located on the summit of Mount Yokoyama near Kintai Bridge. The base of the castle can be reached via a ropeway (cable car) which costs 550 yen round trip and takes roughly three minutes to reach the top. If you have the time, or have the stamina, it’s also possible to hike from Mount Yokoyama’s neighbor, Mount Anekeyama (姉ガ山). Once you exit the rope-way station, there is a mountain road that leads to Iwakuni castle; this takes five minutes to walk. Surrounded by trees, you’re sure to want to take a few deep breaths of this liberating, clean mountain air. Iwakuni Castle is a fourfold six storey castle built in the Momoyama Nanban-zukuri style. Nanban-zukuri, (also known as Kara-zukuri), refers to an architectural style where the upper floor is wider than the floor below it, where the roof of the upper floor is shortened. This unusual architectural style, as of March 2016, is only found at two castles in all of Japan – Iwakuni Castle and Fukuoka’s Kokura Castle. Iwakuni Castle was built in 1608 and served as the castle for the first feudal lord in Iwakuni, Kikkawa Hiroie. However, on the orders of the Bakufu (the Edo era’s central government), it was demolished after about seven years. The current castle tower’s exterior was restored in 1962. From the remains of the stone walls, moat and so on,it’s possible to catch a glimpse of what the original castle was like. Therefore, for castle fans and history buffs, after visiting the restored castle tower, it’s a good idea to take a closer look around the grounds of Iwakuni Castle.last_img read more

Arita Ware Established 400 Years Ago Still Going Strong

first_imgPimenta-san commented, “Everyone should come to Arita. They are sure to be surprised by what they see, like the first time I came here”.Arita ware not only preserves its traditions, but is constantly evolving at the same time. Come and visit Arita, to find the secret of its appeal.InformationKoraku KilnAddress: Hei 2512, Maruo, Arita-Cho, Nishi Matsuura Gun, SagaHours: 9:00-17:00Station: JR Arita stationAccess:5-minutes by car from JR Arita station.10-minutes by car from Hasami-Arita interchange.Telephone: 0955-42-4121Fax: 0955-43-2627Official website: Koraku Kiln (Japanese)Arita KanAddress: 1-1-1, Kobira, Arita-Cho, Nishimatsuura-Gun, SagaHours: 9:00-17:00Puppet Plays: 9:30-16:30Station: JR Kamiarita StationAccess:20-minute walk from JR Kamiarita Station.7-minute by car from JR Kamiarita Station.Telephone: 0955-41-1300Official website: :Arita KanKyushu Ceramic MuseumAddress: Otsu 3100-1, Toshaku, Arita-Cho, Nishimatsuura-Gun, SagaHours: 9:00-17:00Station: JR Arita StationAccess:12-minute walk from JR Arita StationTelephone: 0955-43-3681Fax: 0955-43-2627Official website: Kyushu Ceramic Museum This is a mechanical porcelain puppet, made from Arita ware, and displayed at the Arita Kan. Visitors marvel at its detail and movement.Kyushu Ceramic MuseumThis toilet bowl at the Kyushu Ceramic Museum is made from Arita ware. The torii (archway), komainu (guardian dogs) of the Suyama shrine, are also made of Arita ware. As you can see, Arita ware isn’t all just teacups.Sending a message to the worldThe artisans of Arita ware are using their imagination, and working on all kinds of projects. Many people from overseas have come to join them, and Sebastiao Pimenta (hereinafter referred to as Pimenta-san), is one of them.Pimenta-san said, “I was shocked when I saw Arita ware. The coloring and shape was exquisite and beautiful. When I came to Arita, I was also shocked to find that most of the work was done by hand, and the town was located in such a remote area.”Pimenta-san can speak five languages. Hoping to spread the word about Arita, he is studying Arita ware, while acting as a guide to the visitors from all over the world, and also using the Internet to send out information.”I love the town of Arita, the Arita ware itself, and the people that live here. I want to keep learning”. Even during the interview, Pimenta-san kept taking notes of the new information he just acquired.How Arita ware is actually madeTo take a look how Arita ware is made, let’s visit Koraku Kiln, where Pimenta-san is studying.1. DesignFirst of all, the designer makes a sketch.2. The moldsA potter’s wheel is often used to make ceramics, but there is also another process, using molds. A “case” is made from the original mold. Then, a number of “second” molds are made by filling the case with gypsum.This is the second mold.3. Applying pressureAfter all the second molds are filled with slip, they are pressed from the top.4. Adjusting the surfaceA wet sponge is used to gently smooth out the rough surface.5 First treatmentAfter the ceramics are dried, they are loaded into the kiln.Inside the kiln, the temperature rises to 900 degrees Celsius.6. GlazingAfter the ceramics cools down……they will be glazed. Covered by vitreous, a shine that is added to the surface of the ceramics. They also become waterproof.After the glazing, they are taken to the main kiln to go through the glaze firing, at 1,300 degrees Celsius.7. Painting and transfer printingAfter the glazed firing, comes the painting……and the transfer printings.This is all done by hand.8. AkaegamaAfterwards, all the pottery are treated at the akaegama, a special kiln with a temperature of 700 degrees Celsius, to make sure that the baking is complete.9. InspectionAll the ceramics are inspected by hand.This is how the Arira ware is made, and many people take part in this process.The constant evolution of Arita wareArita ware keeps evolving, thanks to the artisans. They are not held back by tradition, and create various items with new ideas. The brick fence in the photograph is a “Tonbai Fence.” It is built from parts of a disassembled noborigama (climbing kiln). A noborigama is a kiln built along a slope, to increase the production of ceramics. All around the Arita area in Saga Prefecture, you can see these kinds of fences.This is where “Arita ware,” a white ceramic with delicate drawings, has been produced for more than 400 years.What comes to mind when you hear “Arita Ware”?Although many people may have heard the word Arita ware, they tend to imagine an expensive, antique teacup. This article will reveal the real appeal of Arita ware.last_img read more

5 Hotels To Stay At In Roppongi

first_imgRoppongi is known as the capital of news in Tokyo, where millions of people frequent for both business and leisure. We’ve selected hotels that are both safe and stylish in this area popular with tourists. We’ve also provided the information for each hotel at the very end of the article, so make sure you read all the way until the end!The b RoppongiA one-minute walk from Roppongi Station, this is the most conveniently located hotel on our list. It’s right by Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi Hills, the National Art Center in Tokyo, the Suntory Museum of Art, and the Mori Art Museum. This stylish hotel is safe enough for lone female travelers to stay in.You can feel at home here with their nutritious breakfasts, free Wi-Fi available throughout the building, high-class Simmons beds in every room, an internet corner where you can use a PC for free, and free coffee.Hotel Villa Fontaine RoppongiHotel Villa Fontaine Roppongi is directly connected to Roppongi-itchome Station, and it’s easily within walking distance of Tokyo Midtown, Roppongi Hills, and more. Wi-Fi is free, as well as a free, light breakfast centered around bread and salad that you can enjoy in your spacious room the next morning.Hotel Arca Torre RoppongiThis hotel is conveniently located right next to one of Roppongi Station’s exits and a three-minute walk from Roppongi Hills. Given the quality of the rooms, they’re set at a fairly reasonable price. Rest assured you’ll get good service and be able to use free Wi-Fi in your clean, quiet room.There are also spacious “barrier free rooms” with no stairs so that elderly persons and those with children can feel at ease.The Ritz Carlton TokyoThis world-renowned hotel is situated in the top layer of Midtown Tower, otherwise known as the symbolic tower of Tokyo Midtown. You can enjoy a panoramic view of Tokyo Tower, Mt. Fuji, and more at a staggering 200m above the ground.It’s not only the scenery that makes this hotel world famous; it’s also the spacious rooms, impeccable service, and every lavish detail that your gaze happens to fall upon. With a babysitting service (reservation required) and handicap accessible rooms, The Ritz Carlton is also known for serving people of all ages and sizes.A convenient limousine bus can take you to and from Narita Airport (90 minutes).Grand Hyatt TokyoGrand Hyatt Tokyo is part of Roppongi Hills, a Roppongi landmark that also includes a movie theater, shopping center, the Mori Arts Center Gallery, and more.It is open, urban, and sophisticated. Natural materials were carefully selected to construct each room in order to provide maximum comfort. For those of you staying long-term, there are facilities such as a fitness room and a spa.You can get to and from Tokyo’s airports via limousine bus (120 minutes from Narita Airport, 80 minutes from Haneda Airport).InformationThe b RoppongiAddress: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi 3-9-8Business hours: check in at 3:00pm, check out at 11:00amClosed: N/AWi-Fi: Yes, FreeCredit cards accepted: VISA, JCB, American Express, Diner’s Club, DC, MasterCard, SAISON, Ginren (China)Languages available: EnglishNearest station: Toei Oedo Line Roppongi StationAccess: One minute from Toei Oedo Line Roppongi Station Exit 5, two minutes from Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Roppongi Station Exit 3Price range: 5,000-52,000 yenPhone: +81-3-5412-0451Official website: The b RoppongiHotel Villa Fontaine RoppongiAddress: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi 1-6-2 Izumi GardenBusiness hours: check in at 3:00pm, check out at 11:00amClosed: N/AWi-Fi: Yes, FreeCredit cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard, JCB, American Express, Diner’s Club, etc.Languages available: EnglishNearest station: Namboku Line Roppongi-itchome StationAccess: Connected to Namboku Line Roppongi-itchome Station Exit 2, 15 minutes from Hibiya Line Kamiyacho Station Exit 4b, 10 minutes from Ginza Line/Namboku Line Tameike-sanno Station Exit 13, 15 minute walk from Hibiya Line/Toei Oedo Line Roppongi Station Exit 5Price range: 10,000-30,999 yenPhone:+81-3-3560-1110 (main)+81-3-5339-1200 (automated reservation center 9:00am-10:00pm, open year round)Official website: Hotel Villa Fontaine RoppongiHotel Arca Torre RoppongiAddress: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi 6-1-23Business hours: check in at 3:00pm, check out at 10:30amClosed: N/AWi-Fi: Yes, FreeCredit cards accepted: VISA, JCB, American Express, MasterCard, Diner’s ClubLanguages available: EnglishNearest station: Roppongi Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Toei Oedo Line)Access: left of Exit 3 of Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line/Toei Oedo Line’s Roppongi Station (look for the red flag)Price range: 10,000-20,000 yenPhone: +81-3-3404-5111Official website: Hotel Arca Torre RoppongiThe Ritz Carlton TokyoAddress: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Akasaka 9-7-1 Tokyo MidtownBusiness hours: check in at 3:00pm, check out at 12:00pmClosed: N/AWi-Fi: Yes, FreeCredit cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard, JCB, American Express, Diner’s ClubLanguages available: English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, KoreanNearest station: Roppongi Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Toei Oedo Line)Access: connected via Exit 8 of Toei Oedo Line Roppongi Station, Exit 8 (through exit 4a) of Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Roppongi Station, 3 minutes from Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line Nogizaka Station Exit 3Price range: 54,000-305,000 yenPhone: +81-3-3423-8000Official website: The Ritz Carlton TokyoGrand Hyatt TokyoAddress: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Roppongi 6-10-3Business hours: check in at 3:00pm, check out at 12:00pmClosed: N/AWi-Fi: Yes, FreeCredit cards accepted: VISA, MasterCard, JCB, American Express, Diner’s ClubLanguages available: English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, KoreanNearest station: Roppongi Station (Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, Toei Oedo Line)Access: 3 minutes from Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Roppongi Station Exit 1C, 6 minutes from Toei Oedo Line Roppongi Station Exit 3Price range: 56,000-136,600 yenPhone: +81-3-4333-1234Official website: Grand Hyatt Tokyolast_img read more

How to Enjoy Wakura Onsen

first_imgWakura is a small town, and easy to walk around in a short period of time. This article is for the first-time visitor, introducing a plan to fully enjoy Wakura Onsen (hot springs) after arriving at noon.1 p.m. The Fantastic, Fresh Seafood LunchThanks to the Hokuriku Shinkansen, you will be able to arrive at Wakura on noon, by leaving Tokyo in the morning.For lunch, you have to try the fresh seafood. Wakura Onsen is located by the sea, which provides a fertile fishing ground. However, if you are worried that the dinner at the ryokan (Japansese-style inn) might be the same menu, try something that will not be served for dinner. For instance, sushi or kaisen donburi (a large bowl of rice topped with fresh seafood).Other Articles: Enjoy Noto Peninsula’s Fresh Seaffod at “Janome Sushi”Enjoy Wakura’s Seafood at “Noto Kaisendon Mitone”2 p.m. AshiyuAfter the seafood lunch, let’s take a break. If you find a wooden box too small to be a bathtub, that is the ashiyu (footbath). Take off your shoes and socks, and just enjoy the hot springs. It is an ideal way to rest your feet.Other Articles: Footbath and Handbath at Wakura Onsen3 p.m. Check In at the RyokanAt 3 p.m., most of the ryokan (Japanese-style inn) starts welcoming guests. It will be fun to imagine what kind of a guestroom they have for you. Most of the guestrooms are tatami rooms, so don’t be afraid to ask if you have any questions. The ryokan people will surely answer with a smile.4 p.m. Strolling the Town, and Trying the Delicious SweetsAfter you leave your baggage at the ryokan, why don’t you take a walk? There is still some time until dinner, and you may want a bite. Try Wakura Onsen’s tasty sweets. The check-in counter at the ryokan sells 500 yen “sweets ticket,” and you can get three kinds of sweets in exchange. The sweets will do wonders on your weary body.Other Articles: “Only-In-Wakura” Sweets6 p.m. Enjoying the Sunset from an Open-Air BathYou should try the onsen (hot springs) while it’s still light, in order to enjoy the view. Most of the seaside ryokans have open-air baths which offer a view of the ocean. The sight of the sun setting into the mirror-like Nanao Bay is breathtaking. The view of Nanao Bay changes constantly according to the time, weather, and season. You will be transfixed by it.7 p.m. Food from the Land and Sea: A Japanese-style Full Course DinnerAfter getting warm in the onsen, it’s finally dinner time. This is the true joy of staying at a ryokan. Fish from the Nanao Bay, and other dishes line up on the table. The Wakura soil is fit for growing vegetables, so the dishes are sure to bring a smile to your face.9 p.m. Bar-Hopping in WakuraSince you have travelled far, and it’s still early, let’s take an after-dinner walk. Wakura is a small town, and the bars are located close to each other. The way to enjoy the night life in Wakura is to go bar-hopping. Each bar has a distinctive atmosphere, not to mention speciality dishes and liquor. They are all full of hospitality, so you might find yourself tipsy in no time.Other Articles: Bar-Hopping in the Nighttime Wakura11 p.m. Good NightJapanese ryokans tend to serve breakfast at 7 or 8 a.m., and it’s best to take a morning bath before eating. To enjoy Wakura Onsen fully, you should go to bed early and also get up early.And Last…This article is for those who just arrived at Wakura Onsen, or those planning a short stay. It’s only an example, and there are various ways to enjoy your stay. We will be waiting for your suggestions.last_img read more

Savor Saitamas Local Products 4 Unique Sake Breweries And Wineries

first_imgYao Honten is one of the long-standing breweries in Saitama, with a history of 268 years. The Sake Brewery Museum displays materials about the tools used in the brewery’s early days, so it is worth a visit. After learning the history of sake-making, the visitors can join a brewery tour.Tour participants will be surprised at the magnitude of the sake business. Photograph courtesy of Seiun BreweryThe popular menu at Tamaiya is the Obanzai (*1) course called Tsuki Gozen, which consists of dishes made using local vegetables. It comes with handmade hiryozu (*2), tororo-meshi (grated yam on rice), kasu-jiru soup (*3) and tsukemono (pickled vegetables). The domestic pork used for the main dish is seasoned with miso (fermented soybean paste) mixed with Seiun Brewery sake and sake lees. Customers can choose salmon or another seasonal menu for the main dish.*1: A general term for household dishes using the seasonal products.*2: Deep-fried bean curd made from various vegetables. It is also called “ganmodoki.”*3: A soup made from sake lees, a byproduct of the brewing process. The soup has a distinct, sake-like flavor. Visitors can tour the Buko Brewery, and see how the sake is made, while learning how to appreciate it.The tour ends with a tasting session. Participants can enjoy the rice flavor of junmai-shu (sake made from only rice and yeast), the crisp taste of hon-jozo (sake brewed according to a strict formula) and the deep flavor of muroka genshu (non-filtered, unprocessed sake). They can also try the kome (rice) shochu, kasutori shochu (shochu distilled from sake lees), and sake-based liqueur such as ume (Japanese apricot) liqueur and yuzu (citrus) liqueur. Buko Sake Brewery, located near Chichibu Station, has been producing sake in this area its foundation in 1753. The brewery is located in an elegant Japanese-style house, which has been designated a tangible cultural property by the Japanese Government.The underground water from Mt. Buko seeps into the well at the brewery. This pure spring water was chosen as one of the 100 famed mineral waters of the Heisei era (1989 – present), and is the key to the Buko Sake Brewery products. Yao Honten Sakezukuri no Mori, located in Chichibu city, produces the noted sake brand Chichibu Nishiki. It is also a complex that consists of a brewery, liquor shop and a museum dedicated to sake production. Visitors can participate in a tour of the facilities, and learn about the various processes of sake-making such as rice-milling.At the liquor shop, visitors can buy Tezukuri Seiun (one of the prominent sake brands made by Seiun), dai-ginjo (top-quality sake made from premium rice) and shochu. Tezukuri Seiun is a high-quality junmai-shu with a rich, clear taste that goes well with a wide variety of dishes. Seiun Brewery View Information After the tasting, go look for the brand of your choice at the liquor shop. Buko produces a wide variety of brands to choose from, so there should be one that fits your taste. Buko Brewery View Information2. Yao Honten Sakezukuri no Mori Chichibu Rouge and Chichibu Blanc, the two main brands of Usagida Winery, can be purchased at the wine shop. There are also other brands that can be purchased only at this shop, so be sure to check it out when you visit. Ogawamachi in Saitama has a history of 1,300 years, and is the home of Ogawa Washi, a type of Japanese paper which is still made by traditional methods. Surrounded by mountains, Ogawamachi is blessed with clear waters, and produces delicious rice and vegetables.Seiun Sake Brewery, based in Ogawamachi, makes full use of the local rice and water.Also read:5 Unique Traditional Crafts Of Saitama: Japanese Paper, Silk, Dolls And More! Picture courtesy of Usagida WineryThe Kai Blanc variety of grapes has a clear flavor, while the Seibel grapes have a sweet taste resulting in a wine with a good body. Muscat Bailey A is a type of grape for red wine which was cultivated in Japan, and has a velvety flavor.center_img Usagida Winery also manages the Kamanoue Farm Restaurant, and serves their wine with dishes made from local products. Be sure to spend some time in the spacious restaurant, and enjoy the fine products of Saitama. Chichibu Farmers Factory Usagida Winery View InformationIn ConclusionIf you visit Saitama, be sure to try the local sake and wines along with the local cuisine. They should convince you to make another visit!You May Also LikeEver Seen This Place? 8 Saitama Spots Featured In Popular Anime5 Unique Traditional Crafts Of Saitama: Japanese Paper, Silk, Dolls And More!Saitama’s 7 Best Accomodations: Resort Hotels To Traditional Ryokan6 Amazing Rāmen Restaurants In Saitama8 Special Shopping Destinations in Saitama prefectureSponsored by 埼玉県 Saitama Prefecture is blessed with a rich natural environment, with the Kanto Plain on the east side, and the Kanto mountains, including the Chichibu mountains, on the west side. Saitama offers many spots to enjoy beautiful views, as well as exciting activities such as the Nagatoro River rafting and steam locomotive rides.Saitama is also famous for producing vegetables, rice and fruits. If you have the chance to visit, please try the local products. This article is about four interesting spots where visitors can enjoy the local brews and dishes of Saitama.1. Buko Sake Brewery At the tasting booth, try the famous brands such as Chichibu Nishiki and Masuya Rihei. Picture courtesy of Usagida WineryIn this area rain is scarce and there is a distinct difference in temperature between daytime and nighttime, so it is perfect for the grapes. Usagida Winery cultivates multiple types of grapes, and visitors can tour both the vineyard and the winery. Seiun Sake Brewery believes that “sake should be enjoyed with fine cuisine.”So they started the restaurant Tamaiya, which uses organic vegetables produced locally in Ogawamachi. Picture courtesy of Usagida WineryUsagida Winery, located in western Chichibu, uses locally-produced grapes in making a wide variety of wines. Tamaiya also has a garden and a gallery, where the visitors can spend time in a quiet atmosphere admiring works created by local artists. Tamaiya View Informationrestaurant4. Usagida Winery Chichibu Nishiki, which is a junmai-shu (high-quality sake), has been made for 268 years using the same traditional method. Its mellow taste has been loved by many people, and the brand continues to be popular. Sakezukuri no Mori is a great place to learn about sake, and also have a good time. Yao Honten Brewery Forest View Information3. Seiun Sake Brewerylast_img read more

Tips For Driving With An International Drivers Licence In Japan

first_imgDriving the backroads of Hakkoda Mountains in Aomori PrefectureFor U.S. citizens obtaining an IDP is inexpensive and can be done in one day. Simply go the American Automobile Association (AAA) website and follow the instructions. The cost is only $20.00 and it can be issued in one day. Even if you are overseas, you can mail in your application. The permit is valid for one year.For Australian citizens, see the Australian Embassy’s webpage on obtaining an IDP.Using the IDP and Renting a Vehicle in JapanPreviously, for foreigners it was extremely difficult renting a car and it can still be a bother. Many of the major rental companies such as Toyota Rent a Car or Nissan Rent a Car are very hassle free; but can be somewhat expensive. Renting does provide you more freedom and access to remote areas, but only makes sense if there are two or more travelers to share the cost. Japan has an extensive expressway system expanding every year and, of course, one needs to consider the tolls.Credentials Need for Renting a CarTo rent a car you’ll need to have your passport, stateside driver’s license and your IDP. It’s highly advisable that you opt for high-end insurance coverage. Both the Toyota and Nissan websites provide an excellent explanation on insurance coverage. Toyota Rent a Car website has an excellent instructive guide on qualifications for driving in Japan. If you do decide to drive in Japan, you’ll need to learn the rules of the roads in this country. There are several helpful websites on driving in Japan and the Japan Automobile Federation site is an excellent source of information.JAF Partners and DiscountsJAF partners with AAA, the Australia Motoring Services (AMS) and France’s Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA) and, if you are already a member of one of these organizations, JAF’s multilingual staff will provide you a variety of road services. In addition, you can obtain discounts on lodging, museums and other attractions. Check out JAF’s English website for all the details.Japanese Traffic SignsJapan road signs pretty much conform to international standards and citizens from Europe and most other countries should have no difficulty; however, U.S. citizens should definitely study and become familiar with Japanese traffic signs prior to renting a vehicle. For example, Japan’s traffic sign for Stop ”止まれ” is triangular and resembles the U.S. sign for ”yield”. Most traffic directional signs are in both Japanese and English. The JAF English website has an excellent explanation of all Japanese traffic signs. Be aware that illegal parking can result in a substantial fine.The Car-NaviWhen renting a car, it’s highly recommended that you include a car navigation option which comes in English, Chinese or Korean. Since many of the rural roads of Japan are not well marked, a “car-navi” is indispensable and well worth the extra fee. The rental agency will teach you the basics of operating it. Ensure you have a hard copy map or map book along since in those remote countryside areas the GPS signal may drop out. One also needs to be extra cautious when driving the narrow rural roads where the majority of people are elderly. To have a safe, enjoyable experience driving the back roads of Japan, preparation is essential.Here’s a short quiz on stickers you’ll see attached to vehicles in Japan. Can you match which stickers go with the meaning: Elderly, Handicapped and Hearing Impaired? We wish you a safe and pleasant driving experience in Japan.You May Also LikeAll You Need To Know About Renting A Car In JapanRent A Car For A Convenient Price In Okinawa! Tabirai Car RentalUsing The Affordable National Lodging Networks In JapanOya Stone Mine In Tochigi – Tour Gigantic Subterranean Cathedrals Driving in Japan can be challenging!center_img Japan’s transportation grid is excellent for getting to all those popular sightseeing sites and traveling throughout the major metropolitan areas. However, for those wishing to see the remote, less traveled byways and what’s left of old Japan, it can be very time consuming and expensive using the rail and bus lines. No train or bus service to this beautiful location in rural Iwate PrefectureIn rural Japan, train and bus service can be extremely limited and in some areas non-existent. In the last several years, many unprofitable train and bus lines have been closed such as the recent closure of the Rumoi Main Line in Hokkaido. In order to see and experience some of the most beautiful and interesting areas of Japan’s countryside, an International Driver’s Permit is invaluable.Obtaining and Using an International Driver’s Permit (IDP)last_img read more

Japanese Encyclopedia Suika Wari Watermelon Splitting

first_imgSuika-wari and its HistoryWatermelon or suika are one of the signature foods of summer in Japan, and suika wari is a traditional summer game. This is how the locals play suika wari: one person stands blindfolded holding a long pole or stick, while the group around them shouts out directions so that they can strike the watermelon with the stick, splitting it in half. It’s somewhat similar to play with a pinata.There are various theories as to the origins of suika wari. It is said that a great historical figure may have started it, other experts say it is similar to a custom performed in Africa in order to pray for an abundant harvest.The purest form of watermelon grows in the wild in Africa and by taking these original melons and selectively breeding them, ultimately the ones that have been grown in Japan came about. It is generally accepted that the custom of splitting the pure watermelons in prayer was brought to Japan along with watermelons in the first place.Other theories revolve around Japan’s prominent art of sword-drawing, which may have been practiced on the melons. The art of drawing a sword requires one to draw the sword from its scabbard quickly before attacking; it is one of Japan’s finest martial arts. To demonstrate the degree of skill involved in this art, practitioners would give performances by drawing and slicing fruits and vegetables; it is believed that the game of suika wari came from this.How to enjoy Suika WariMany Japanese people have fond memories of swimming at the beach, walking in the sand and playing suika wari. However you can play suika wari anywhere you like. For those who can’t make it to the beach, any open space with a lawn is just as good. As you have to swing about a rather long pole though, it’s a good idea to play suika wari somewhere open and with few people around.Once you’re sure you have enough space, you put the watermelon down then step about 5 meters away. The person who will split the watermelon stands ready with the stick in hand, then is blindfolded and spun about so that they aren’t sure where the watermelon is. This makes the game even more difficult and fun.The people standing around the watermelon shout out directions to the splitter. “Go straight”, “just to the right”, “a little to the left” and other words of encouragement get the splitter closer to the watermelon. If you’re playing a serious game of suika wari, you definitely need the help of your advisors. But if you’re just having fun, they might steer the splitter in the wrong direction just because.What do you do Afterwards?After the watermelon has been split, everyone takes part in eating it. Since its been split into fan-shaped, bite-sized pieces, the watermelon is easy to eat.Many people in Japan like to eat watermelon with a little salt on it. By putting salt on it the sweetness of the watermelon comes out even more, making it taste even better. Apparently in Italy, many people eat watermelon with lemon on it as the sourness of the lemon brings out the sweetness of the watermelon in the same way. If you’d like to try watermelon in a different way, by all means give these a try.It goes without saying that if you simply split the watermelon on the sand or grass, the watermelon will get dirty, which is just a waste of fruit. By placing the watermelon on a plastic sheet or even a piece of cardboard, the pieces will stay clean and edible. And, since it’s already broken into pieces and laid out on the sheet, you don’t need to worry about any dishes – you can just eat it as is.And once you’re done eating, the rind and seeds can simply be wrapped up in the sheet and disposed of; before heading home make sure that you haven’t left a mess behind. If you would like to experience a uniquely Japanese game in the summer, why not get a group of friends together and play suika wari on the beach?last_img read more

5 Tips For Karuizawa Nagano Weather Bicycle Rental And Trip Planning

first_imgYou’ll notice that Karuizawa’s streets are very wide when walking around outside. The roads are designed for bicycles, so there are lots of paths that are very pleasant to cycle down.Make sure to park your bicycle in the designated areas to help preserve this nice cycling environment. There is free parking for bicycles on Kyukaruizawa Ginza-dori indicated by signs. In places like Kumobaike, special bicycle parking has been set up. Many shops also have bicycle parking, so ask someone in the shops if you don’t know where to park.Recommended Cycling Routes Karuizawa is enjoyable in every season, like offering a respite from summer heat, beautiful fall foliage, and wintertime skiing. However, Karuizawa has a busy tourist season and an off-season. Many stores will be on different schedules depending on the time of year. There may be flurries of snow in March, as well, and there will be very few tourists since the cherry blossoms will not be ready to bloom.Hotels will be quiet and relatively cheap, but it will be difficult to experience the enthusiastic vibe of the shopping arcades, and you should expect restaurants to offer menus that are different from what they serve during busy season. Residents recommend that you come during the fall foliage season and after Golden Week.The weather will be pleasant for walking outside, and there won’t be crowds of visitors. Tourists who want to go to Karuizawa during Golden Week or Obon, two of the busiest times in Japan, should make reservations far in advance.Read also Exit Karuizawa Station and you will see several rental bicycle shops. When we checked, Shironeko Cycle, located on the right-hand side of Karuizawa Station’s north exit, was comparatively cheap (500 yen, or 1,000 yen for a bicycle with an electric motor). You can ride as much as you like until the 17:00 return time.Other shops rent bicycles for around 850 yen to 1,000 yen, and they also offer different options, including renting on a per-hour basis or renting the bicycle for longer. Make sure to choose the rental bicycle shop that best fits your schedule and travel plans.Where Should I Park My Bicycle? August20.020.520.4 2. Weather and Things to Know for Your Trip January -3.5-3.0-3.6 Photo by PIXTA Kyukaruizawa Ginza-dori has lots of tourists, so there are toilets which cost 100-yen to use installed along the street. If you don’t want to use them, try Karuizawa Station, restaurants, the outlet malls, or Kumobaike.5. Convenience Stores Are Not Open 24 Hours If it’s your first time visiting Karuizawa and you’d like to visit the main travel spots, we recommend renting a bicycle near Karuizawa Station, visiting Kyukaruizawa Ginza-dori, Kumobaike, and the Karuizawa Prince Shopping Plaza outlet mall. The time you’ll need to spend at each spot will vary, but if you take this route, you should be able to get back to the bicycle rental shop before evening.A Warning About Riding a Bicycle With Children February-2.4-1.8-2.5 Photo by PIXTA This is a list of the temperatures in Karuizawa over the past three years. Compared to places like Tokyo and Osaka, Karuizawa has comparatively lower temperatures, so make sure to take precautions against the cold if you go out in the wintertime. The operating hours of sightseeing spots also change with the seasons.In particular, most establishments will close around 17:00 in January and February. Snow piles up on the roads, so be aware of snowfall.Average Temperatures April8.08.57.3 May14.113.513.5 Japanese Public Holidays And Long Weekends In 2018 And 2019 June25.61615 Karuizawa’s Scenic Nature Spots – Shiraito Falls And Kumoba Pond July20.619.921.3 November6.53.63.9 December1.10.5-1.8 *This article was translated and re-edited from the original Traditional Chinese. Karuizawa – Top 10 Spots In The Famous Holiday Resort Near Tokyo Photo by PIXTAWe went to Karuizawa in October, March, and June. We do not recommend renting a bicycle in March or during the winter. There is snowfall until early March. Your hands will ache from the cold even just walking outside, so maneuvering a bicycle would be particularly difficult. On top of this is the danger that you could fall over on the snowy roads. The best choice is to go by bus or taxi.However, in spring and summer many people choose to rent a bicycle. From Karuizawa Station, there are bicycle rental shops all along the way to the shotengai shopping street, so take the following points into consideration and think about renting one for yourself.Rental Bicycle Prices and Return Times Vary by Shop Previous average temperatures in degrees Celsius, broken down by month Read also 3. How To Get Around: Walking, Bicycle, or Bus? Photo by PIXTA While we were in Karuizawa, we saw many tourists riding bicycles together with their children. However, this is less secure than riding a bicycle solo, and people who aren’t familiar with the roads can run into unexpected accidents. Make sure to use the bicycle lanes, and look left and right frequently.If you don’t regularly ride a bicycle, take the bus, use a taxi, or walk. In the worst-case scenario, if you get injured overseas and have to go to a hospital, your medical expenses will be significant.4. Pay to Access Kyukaruizawa Ginza-dori Restrooms Month/Year201520162017 Photo by PIXTAKaruizawa has fewer convenience stores than most places in Japan. Following region regulations, business operations at night are restricted, so most of the convenience stores close by 23:00 at the latest. If you want to buy cup ramen or desserts, purchase them in advance. Most restaurants in Karuizawa close by 21:00 as well.The town becomes very quiet at around 19:00 which is very different than the lively atmosphere during the day.Have a Great Trip in KaruizawaKaruizawa, with its great outdoors, delicious food, and a plethora of sightseeing spots, is the perfect place to visit for a quick trip from Tokyo. We hope that these points will be useful on your journey and that you will have a memorable time in Karuizawa! March2.12.20.1 Karuizawa, A Popular Travel DestinationKaruizawa in Nagano Prefecture is renowned for its cool summers, and also boasts stunning natural scenery, elegant wooden churches, souvenir shops, outlet malls, and many other interesting spots.Of course, you can enjoy Karuizawa by visiting without a plan, but we offer five tips to help you make the most of your time there.What’s the best season to visit? How do I navigate through the town? Do you have to pay to use the restrooms on Kyukaruizawa Ginza-dori? Read on for answers to these questions and to prepare for your trip.1. Seasonal Information September15.617.815.6 October10.210.910.1last_img read more

Sendai Castle In Miyagi Prefecture Highlights And Scenic Spots

first_imgWhat is Sendai Castle? Photo courtesy of Sendai International Sightseeing Association Currently, the Sendai Castle ruins are called Mt. Aoba park and are a rest stop for those touring around Sendai and also a place for people to relax. From the honmaru ruins, not only can you see the entire city of Sendai from above, but you can also see the Pacific Ocean in the distance as well. In addition to that, you can see a different view of the castle when the stone walls and the statue of Date Masamune are lit up from sundown to 22:00. For those visiting the castle at night, the restaurant inside the Aoba Castle Honmaru Kaikan is also open until 22:00, so why not have a memorable dinner with a panoramic view of the nightscape of Sendai?Access to Sendai CastleFrom Sendai Station, get on the Loople Sendai Bus from stop 16 from the West exit bus pool and get off at Sendaijo-ato. For more information about getting to Sendai from Tokyo, please read Sendai Travel Guide: 21 Sightseeing Spots, Access, Souvenirs and More! Photo courtesy of Sendai International Sightseeing Association Sendai Castle is located in Sendai in the Tohoku region and was built by the city’s first ruler of the area (hanshu, *1), Date Masamune, in 1601. With the honmaru (*2) surrounded by a cliff on the east side, a forest on the west side, and a valley on the southern side, this castle is constructed using the complicated structures of nature to protect itself.The castle is otherwise known as the Aoba Castle due to the castle being built on Mt. Aoba.Unfortunately, the majority of the castle was lost to a great fire and only its stone walls remain today. However, if you visit the Aoba Castle Honmaru Kaikan built at the ruins of Sendai Castle, you can find historical artifacts related to Sendai Castle and see its past glory.*1 han: An area classification during the Edo period. Feudal lords governed the area and organizations within.*2 honmaru: The most important section of the castle. Normally it is where the lord of the castle lives.Basic Information About Sendai CastleAdmission FeeYou may enter Sendai Castle remains for free. To enter the Aoba Castle Honmaru Kaikan’s museum displays, it costs 700 yen per adult, 500 yen for middle and high school students, and 300 yen for elementary school students.Hours of OperationYou can enter and leave anytime you wish at the Sendai Castle.The museum is open from 9:00-17:00 (to 16:00 between November 4th-March 31st). Last entry is 30 minutes prior to closing time and is open all year around.Highlights of Sendai Castlelast_img read more

Two Places In Kyoto To Visit To Taste Excellent Local Cuisine

first_imgInside, the a la carte and seasonal item menus are written on a blackboard.This is the teishoku menu (English version in the works). Each one is delicious, so you’ll want to try a different one every time you visit. The chef continues to research cooking daily, and apparently he is finally convinced of the quality of his latest tempura batch. You feel his conviction that he wants to serve up the most delicious food possible.In addition, Hattori’s sabazushi (mackerel sushi) is so famous locally that people say “if you want sabazushi, go to Hattori.” The chef has been running the restaurant for 37 years. He told me, “There’s no better job than this, seeing satisfied customers’ smiles and receiving their thanks.”This is a photo of my favorite, the sushi teishoku, priced at 850 yen.The Kameoka-grown rice is lustrous and faintly sweet, to the point that you reflexively want to ask for a second helping. The teishoku sets also make use of locally-grown vegetables and tofu from a local tofu shop, so you can sample plenty of truly local dishes.Finally, the chef has two requests for visitors. On one hand, he wants to serve delicious food to people from all over the world; however, he has gotten older and his stamina isn’t what it used to be, so rather than coming during the busy lunch hour, he recommends that visitors try to come to Hattori on weekday evenings. Also, the shop interior is cramped, so please avoid bringing large suitcases and other bulky luggage items inside.2. Kameoka Hasamu Koppe-panThe second place I want to introduce is Kameoka Hasamu Koppe-pan, a koppe-pan (*1) specialty shop 12 minutes away from Kameoka Station. Apparently the founder wanted to sell something where regional ingredients played a central role, and finally settled on koppe-pan.*1: Koppe-pan is a flat bread roll eaten in Japan, similar to a hot dog bun.Starting from the right-hand side, we have the koppe-pan roll with anko bean jam (*2) and margarine (180 yen). The anko bean jam is made from Tanba Dainagon azuki beans, praised even by Kyoto’s venerable sweets shops. Next is the koppe-pan roll filled with a Kameoka beef croquette (220 yen), which uses Kameoka-brand beef. Finally, there is the shop’s newest creation, with a gentle sweetness that permeates your whole body: the walnut and anko bean jam koppe-pan roll (180 yen).*2: Anko is a jam made by boiling azuki beans together with sugar. This jam is a common filling in Japanese sweets.We asked the shopkeeper, who moved to Kameoka from a different area, about the appeal of Kameoka food.“Maybe it’s because people from Kameoka know what delicious food is because they taste it on a daily basis?”Kameoka has a bountiful array of foodstuffs like vegetables, Kameoka beef, Tanba-brand local chickens, Umaji Dainagon azuki beans, but if you’re from Kameoka, you don’t really notice how wonderful the food is. While the Kameoka area is a bountiful producer, there still aren’t many places you can go to eat locally-sourced food.”I want many people, not just Kameoka residents, to know about the city’s wealth of food.”That affection is packed into the filling of each koppe-pan roll. The rolls are purposely made to be not too large, because the owner wants visitors to try many different flavors, little by little.“I want to transmit the virtues of Kameoka as far as I can.”The shopkeeper puts this lovely sentiment into his koppe-pan rolls. The sight of the staff at Kameoka Hasamu Koppe-pan, carefully filling each roll with Kameoka ingredients, was impressive.Compared to neighboring Kyoto, Kameoka is not yet very well-known. However, when you come to Kyoto, why not stretch your legs a bit? Come visit Kameoka to discover the taste of the local ingredients that sustain Kyoto’s world-famous cuisine.Recommended articles6 MATCHA Articles You Should Read Before Going To KyotoDiscover Kyoto’s Beauty From Your Home With “Indoor View”The Best Souvenirs From Kyoto – 7 Japanese Sweet TreatsSeaside Kyoto – A Guide To The Top Spots In Miyazu City (Part 1)InformationOshokuji-dokoro HattoriAddress: Kyoto, Kameoka City, Oiwake-cho, Baba-dori 6-1Hours: 11:30-13:30, 18:00-21:00Closed: Wednesdays and ThursdaysCredit cards: Cash onlyForeign language menus: Being developedNearest station: JR Kameoka Station (亀岡駅)Access: 3 minutes from the south exit on footPrice: Starting at 750 yenPhone: 0771-23-2130InformationKameoka Hasamu Koppe-panAddress: Kyoto, Kameoka City, Yasumachi Nakahata 167Hours: 9:30-15:00Closed: Sundays, Mondays and public holidaysNearest station: JR Kameoka Station (亀岡駅)Access: 12 minutes from the south exit on footPrice: 150-320 yenPhone: 0771-25-5218Homepage: Kameoka Hasamu Koppe-pan Catch an express train from the JR Kyoto Station, pass through the Hozu-Kyo Ravine, and you will arrive at the neighboring Kameoka City after 20 minutes. Kameoka is also known as the end of the line for the Torokko train line, which departs from Saga-Arashiyama.However, speaking as a native of Kameoka, I think it’s a great shame that many Torokko passengers head back to Arashiyama almost as soon as they arrive in Kameoka.That’s why we’re going to introduce you today to some ways to enjoy the depths of Kameoka’s appeal, as recommended by local people. After this, you’ll definitely come back to Kameoka again and again!Read also: Take A Summer Ride Through Saga-Arashiyama On The Torokko Train (Japanese)Kameoka, Agricultural Backbone of Kyoto’s Culinary SceneKameoka City coexists with the natural landscape and receives nature’s blessing. With more than 2000 hectares of farmland and clean water that produces delicious crops, Kameoka produces a plentiful variety of Kyo vegetables that bear the Kyoto brand.It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Kameoka’s agricultural produce is the backbone that supports Kyoto cuisine. Now, we’ll introduce you to two local favorites where you can taste that Kameoka deliciousness.Two Restaurants Where You Can Eat Special Kameoka Produce1. Oshokuji-dokoro HattoriThe first restaurant, located in front of Kameoka Station, is a little place called Oshokuji-dokoro. At this restaurant, you can enjoy teishoku set meals and alcohol in both the afternoon and in the evening.last_img read more

Ponzu Japanese Encyclopedia

first_imgWhat is Ponzu?Ponzu is a Japanese condiment made from citrus juice such as lemon, lime and yuzu (Japanese citrus fruit) and vinegar, which ensures that the ponzu last longer. Ponzu doesn’t contain oil, which makes it the best condiment for health-conscious people.There are various stories about the origin of the name “ponzu”. Among all, the most popular one is that the Dutch word pons, meaning citrus juice, was changed to “ponzu” in which “su” (“zu”) means “vinegar”.In Japan, many dishes made with vinegar were created in theEdo period. Ponzu was also spread all over Japan and started being used in home cooking along with other types of vinegar. It’s surprising to know that the name of one of the representative condiments in Japanese cuisine comes from a foreign word, isn’t it?What Does Ponzu Taste Like?Unlike other brewed vinegar types, the charm of ponzu is itsmild sour taste andrefreshing scent, as it is made using citrus juice. Moreover, ponzu enhances the flavor of food.Although various ingredients could be used for making ponzu, the most suitable ones are Japanese citrus fruit such as yuzu, kabosu, sudachi and daidai. As you can see, there is a wide range of citrus fruit found only in Japan. This is one of the factors that lead to the creations of this unique condiment called ponzu.It can be hard to find ponzu on the market because it is sold during limited periods of time of year and only in specific areas. But actually you can easily make it by yourself using lemons and grapefruit. You can also make your own recipe based on your taste. The type of citrus fruit you use will influence the degree of sourness and the aroma, an this is one of the fun things about making your own ponzu.Ponzu mixed with soy sauce or dashi stock (*1) is also available, although ponzu with soy sauce is also commonly called just ponzu.*1: Dashi is a soup stock made with kombu (kelp) or bonito.Dishes Served With PonzuPonzu is served with various dishes, for example as a dipping sauce for hotpot cuisine such as shabu-shabu, a topping sauce for sashimi (fresh raw fish sliced into thin pieces), tataki (meat or fish steak served slightly seared), tofu dishes and grilled fish, or as dressing for salads.Oroshi ponzu, which is ponzu mixed with grated daikon radish is also popular, commonly served as a sauce of hamburger steak (Salisbury steak dish in Japan). Ponzu makes these dishes refreshing and light which is really good during the summer when one doesn’t have much appetite.In addition, since ponzu contains citric acid which helps relieving exhaustion, it will be the best ingredient to eat when tired or when you’re suffering from heat illness.Regions Where Ponzu Is ProducedThe most common ingredient needed to make ponzu is yuzu. The area with the largest yuzu production is Kochi prefecture which is located in a warm area, about one hour and 20 minutes by airplane from Tokyo. A wide range of ponzu types are produced in Kochi and you will definitely find your favorite one.Katsuo tataki, or seared bonito (shown in the picture above), which is Kochi’s representative dish, really goes well with ponzu. There are several places serving katsuo tataki within Kochi prefecture. If you want to get to taste authentic ponzu, how about traveling to Kochi prefecture?It will be fun to buy a bottle of ponzu as a souvenir and cook Japanese food back home. Ponzu is a really important condiment in Japanese cooking. Please try it out and cook various dishes with it. Ponzu will make your dish taste better even if you add just a little amount.You May Also Like:Marugoto Kochi – Enjoy Regional Goods In Ginza!9 Common Condiments Used In Japanese Cuisine20 Popular and Tasty Souvenirs From Japan10 Selected Restaurants In Tokyo + Japanese Food Guidelast_img read more

The Creators Community 2k540 AKIOKA ARTISAN

first_imgThe space is based on a black and white theme, and about 50 restaurants, galleries, and clothing shops are lined up under the viaduct.By the way, this place has a pretty weird name, huh? In fact, the name is divided into two separate meanings.’2k540’This is a technical term used by train staff to determine their distance from Tokyo station, where it is set as the rail head.AKI-OKAAKI stands for Akihabara and OKA stands for Okachimachi, the station next to Akihabara. It was named with hopes that many people would come visit this place and create a community.ARTISANThe word “Craftsman” in French. Okachimachi used to be a haven for artisans in the Edo era. Today this haven is heating up again as creators and artisans gather together from all over Japan to display their artwork under the viaduct of the JR Yamanote line. It’s called the 2k540 AKI-OKA ARTISAN. The artisans at these shops are very welcoming and excited to talk to visitors. If you get tired walking, you can find a café to get some rest. The Café ASAN that we introduced before on MATCHA is also located at this street.Enjoy Conversations with ArtisansWhat is really attractive about this place is that visitors are able to communicate with local artisans about the products in front of you. Knowing the background of their products also gives you a taste of artistic appreciation. In a mass consumption society, people should know the facts behind producers’ efforts behind their products. The invisible effort makes the products more valuable and becomes a part of the history of traditional art and craft. This is a unique and modern place to visit and also a good place to make connections with artistic people!Information2k450 AKI-OKA ARTISANAddress: Tokyo, Taito, Ueno 5-9 (Under the viaduct between Akihabara and Okachimachi St.)Hours: 11:00~19:00 (Depends on stores)Closed: every WednesdayAccess: 6 minute walk from JR Akihabara Station, 4 minutes walk from JR Okachimachi Station, 3 minutes walk from Suehirocho Station (Tokyo Metro Ginza Line)HP: http://www.jrtk.jp/2k540/last_img read more

Linkin Park To Be Honored By Rock The Earth

first_imgRock the Earth, a national nonprofit environmental organization that partners with the music industry, today announced the winners of the eighth annual Planet Defender Awards.Based on nominations from the community and Rock the Earth’s national volunteer network, the Planet Defender Awards pay tribute to the exceptional individuals and groups working to protect the Earth and inspire others to action, and recognize winners in three categories: Artist, Community Leader and Grassroots Activist.On Earth Day, Rock the Earth introduced the 2013 Planet Defender Award winners:- Artist: Linkin Park- Community Leader: James Hansen- Grassroots Activist: Caroline Cannon“Environmental work is progressing, but the challenges we have continue. Ongoing education about the Arctic is of critical importance on a national and international level. While there is better awareness now, we must have continued unity around protecting our oceans and the overall well being of who we are,” said Caroline Cannon, grassroots activist and board member of Maniilaq Association and Goldman Prize winner.Planet Defender Award – Artist – Linkin Park
This year’s Planet Defender Award was presented to music artist Linkin Park. Since Linkin Park was formed in 1996, the award-winning band has combined passion for music with passion for the environment, giving back through extensive charity work, donations and benefit concerts around the world.In 2005, Linkin Park founded the charity Music for Relief, with a mission to support disaster relief reduce global warming. Since its inception, Music for Relief has raised more than $5 million for the victims of natural disasters around the world, and helped to plant over 1 million trees to help reduce global warming. The charity’s environmental programs also help educate artists and fans about how they can reduce their carbon footprint and how climate change impacts weather related disasters.Planet Defender Award – Community Leader – James Hansen
NASA climatologist James Hansen received the 2013 Planet Defender Award for Community Leader, recognizing his work educating the community about the environmental impact of climate change. Best known for 30 years of research in the field of climatology, Hansen’s testimony, activism and leadership on the dangers of climate change have helped to raise broad awareness of global warming.Hansen has served as director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University. He also authored the book “Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity”(2009).Planet Defender Award – Grassroots Activist – Caroline Cannon
The 2013 Planet Defender Award for Grassroots Activist recognized environmentalist Caroline Cannon for her work to protect against pollution from the petroleum industry. Born and raised in the native village of Point Hope, Alaska, Cannon embodies the Inupiat community values to care for each other and respect the land and sea. She has been an active leader in Point Hope for more than 30 years, serving as president of Point Hope and on the board of Maniilaq Association, a health organization whose clinics provide medical care in the absence of local hospitals.Cannon has traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak to government officials on behalf of her tribe to share concerns about offshore drilling in the Arctic Ocean. With 26 grandchildren, Cannon is passionate about giving the next generation the opportunity to carry on the way of life she and her ancestors have known in Point Hope.“For seven years, Rock the Earth has recognized the work of some very special people who dedicate their time and passion to defending our planet,” said Marc Ross, executive director and founder of Rock the Earth. “While every day is Earth Day for those of us working to protect the planet, today we honor Linkin Park, James Hansen and Caroline Cannon with the 2013 Planet Defender Awards and thank them for their shared commitment to the environment and our future.”last_img read more

More Stars Join Soccer Aid 2014

first_imgThe brainchild of Robbie Williams and UNICEF UK, this year’s event will once again be hosted by Dermot O’Leary with Kirsty Gallacher pitch side, reporting on all the action as it happens.UNICEF UK Ambassador Robbie Williams will lead the England team with Welsh movie star Michael Sheen returning to captain The Rest of the World.Joining Homeland’s Damian Lewis, Olly Murs, John Bishop, Jonathan Wilkes and Mark Owen in this year’s England squad will be Jack Whitehall, True Blood’s Stephen Moyer and Doctor Who’s Matt Smith. Alongside the familiar faces of TV presenters Paddy McGuinness, Ben Shephard, Bradley Walsh and Heart FM’s Jamie Theakston. The team will be managed by Sam Allardyce and coached by Bradley Walsh.Michael Sheen’s Rest of the World squad welcomes the return of Scottish actor James McAvoy and world famous chef Gordon Ramsay alongside Westlife’s Nicky Byrne, comedian Patrick Kielty, and American new boy Man v Food presenter Adam Richman.Edwin van der Sar, Jaap Stam and Edgar Davids are confirmed to appear for José Mourinho’s The Rest of the World, with many more high-profile names to be announced shortly. English football legends signed so far include Jamie Redknapp, Jamie Carragher, David Seaman and Teddy Sheringham.In the lead up to the big event, UNICEF UK Ambassador Cat Deeley will present a 1×60 minute show from the player’s lounge on ITV. This programme will feature hot off the press moments from the squad’s training sessions, the latest news and gossip, plus unprecedented access to the big names as they prepare to battle it out for the Soccer Aid crown.Money raised through profits from ticket sales and donations made by viewers during the match will go to UNICEF’s invaluable work helping children around the world. This will be the fifth Soccer Aid event, with the previous matches, held at Wembley in 2008 and at Old Trafford in 2006, 2010 and 2012, raising over £12 million in total for UNICEF’s work for children.Soccer Aid 2014 has been commissioned by Elaine Bedell, ITV’s Director of Comedy and Entertainment and Asif Zubairy, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment. The Executive Producers for Initial, an Endemol company are Nic McNeilis and David Staite.Tickets now on sale for Soccer Aid 2014, call 0845 456 2014 or visit manutd.com/socceraid. Calls to this number will be charged at local rates. Go to www.unicef.org.uk/socceraid to find out more. Soccer Aid 2014 has just got a whole lot bigger.One of the greatest football managers of all time and current Chelsea F.C. manager José Mourinho joins latest signings, Hollywood star Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy, The Hurt Locker), Italian footballing legend Alessandro Del Piero and Santiago Cabrera (The Musketeers, Heroes), as the Rest of the World take on England in Soccer Aid 2014 at Manchester’s legendary Old Trafford stadium.The epic sporting event takes place on Sunday 8th June and will broadcast live on ITV. As the nation prepares for a summer of football, the two star-studded squads of football legends and the world’s biggest stars will compete in an electrifying football match all in aid of UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation.As winner of the Champions League, the Uefa Cup, the Premier League, the Primeira Liga, La Liga, Seria A, the FA Cup, the Copa del Rey, the Coppa Italia and the Taça de Portugal, Mourinho will no doubt be keen to add Soccer Aid to his impressive list of successes.José Mourinho added: “Thanks to UNICEF for asking me to manage The Rest of the World at Soccer Aid on Sunday June 8th at Old Trafford. I’m looking forward to beating Robbie Williams’ and Big Sam’s England team and raising money for UNICEF. Buy your tickets at manutd.com/socceraid or call 0845 456 2014. See you there, it will be a special night!”last_img read more

Coal supply to power sector up marginally to 407 MT in April

first_imgNew Delhi: Coal despatches by state-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) to the power sector rose marginally by 1 per cent to 40.7 million tonnes in April 2019 compared to 40.3 million tonnes in the year-ago month, according to official data. However, coal supply by Singareni Collieries Co Ltd (SCCL) declined by 2 per cent to 4.7 million tonnes (MT) last month compared to 4.8 MT in April 2018. The Singareni Collieries Company Limited is jointly owned by the Government of Telangana and the Government of India on a 51:49 equity basis. Public sector mining giant Coal India Ltd had supplied 488 MT of fuel to the power sector in 2018-19, registering an increase of 7.4 per cent over the previous year. The world’s largest coal miner had dispatched 454.2 MT of coal to the power sector in 2017-18. Earlier, Union Coal Minister Piyush Goyal had said that no power plant was facing fuel shortages. The minister had also claimed that none of the thermal power plants have reported any loss of generation due to supply shortages.last_img read more

Algerian Media Calls Morocco Joining ECOWAS Geopolitical Earthquake

Rabat – A “Geopolitical-Economic Earthquake” is how Algerian media outlet El Watan has described Morocco’s recent request to join the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).The El Watan article, entitled “Algeria, The Motionless Shadow That Sends Merkel back in Her Plane and Morocco to ECOWAS,” claimed that Morocco membership in ECOWAS might isolate Algeria from the African continent following the recent step of Morocco to diversify and develop its economic ties within the African continent.Algeria, whose economy has not been able to equal these developments, has become worried about the positive impact that this request that might would have on the Moroccan economy as well as the 15 West African ECOWAS members. Disastrous WeekAccording to the Algerian newspaper, last week Algeria received two slaps in the face, that put Algeria in a difficult situation. First, German Chancellor Angela Merkel cancelled her visit to Algeria due to poor health of the nations’ president Abdelaziz Bouteflika.One day later, the Moroccan Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation’s announcement of Morocco’s desire to join ECOWAS probably made the Algerian media uneasy. The decision prompted them to raise questions about their country’s diplomatic and economic policy toward the world, especially given the precarious health of their president.The El Watan article explained that the cancellation of Merkel’s visit to the country reflected the absence of strategic vision.The publication said that many countries wish to receive Merkel, but Bouteflika’s inability to meet her hinders the development of trade between Germany and Algeria.El Watan pointed to Algeria’s postponement of the Maghreb Arab Union (AMU). Morocco, it said, will look elsewhere, reiterating that this request is a “geopolitical earthquake,” and asserting that King Mohammed VI had already initiated the AMU’s funeral oration during his speech to African leaders at the closing of the 28th Summit of the African Union in Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa in late January. read more

Business leaders participate in UNbacked debate on green economy

Some 200 representatives from business and industry, governments and civil society have concluded United Nations-supported discussions in Paris on the role of the private sector in the global transition towards a low carbon, resource-efficient green economy.The two-day “Business and Industry Global Dialogue” this week was organized by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), in collaboration with the International Chamber of Commerce and the French postal service Le Groupe La Poste, which hosted the event at its Paris headquarters.The event began with opening addresses by Achim Steiner, the UNEP Executive Director, Jean-Guy Carrier, the Secretary General of the International Chamber of Commerce and Jean-Paul Bailly, the Chief Executive Officer of Le Groupe La Poste.Sylvie Lemmet, Director of UNEP’s Paris-based Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, delivered a keynote presentation on UNEP’s Green Economy Report and stressed how engagement from the private sector is crucial for the scaling-up of a green economy on the road to next year’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio 2012).A high-level panel followed with representatives from the UN Global Compact, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Danish foreign ministry and Hungary’s Deputy State Secretary for Green Economy and Climate Change.Members of the private sector later discussed the opportunities and challenges outlined in the report with a panel that included the International Chamber of Commerce Task Force on Green Economy and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.Participants had a chance to envision and map out their contributions to the Rio 2012 conference.During the dialogue, Katrina Destrée Cochran, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at telecommunications company Alcatel-Lucent, stressed the importance of measuring the environmental and economic effects of “business as usual” practices.There were also calls from business leaders to encourage greater investment in sustainable practices.UNEP’s Green Economy Report, released in February, challenges the myth that investing in the environment comes at the expense of economic growth.The report shows how redirecting 2 per cent of global gross domestic product into 10 key sectors – from forests and energy to fisheries and transport – can boost green growth and create more jobs than a “business as usual” model, while using the planet’s resources in a more sustainable way. 14 April 2011Some 200 representatives from business and industry, governments and civil society have concluded United Nations-supported discussions in Paris on the role of the private sector in the global transition towards a low carbon, resource-efficient green economy. read more

British airports to introduce 3D screening for carryon bags

LONDON — Putting small containers of liquids in plastic bags could soon be a thing of the past for airline passengers in Britain after the government announced plans to introduce 3D screening equipment for carry-on luggage at all major airports.Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement Sunday that the new technology will improve security and could also mean “an end to passengers having to use plastic bags or rationing what they take away with them.”The screeners already are being used in trials at London’s Heathrow Airport and they will progressively be rolled out to other British airports.Heathrow CEO John Holland Kaye says the technology “will transform the passenger experience, making air travel simple, streamlined and more secure through the U.K.’s only hub airport.”The Associated Press read more

India alerts Sri Lanka on boats carrying drugs from Karachi

The input which was shared with Indian authorities by NCB was consecutively forwarded to concerned Sri Lankan agencies following which a timely intervention by coast guards prevented the illegal trade. According to Indian intelligence agencies, this drug business is a major source of income for Pakistan ISI and they use this in terror funding.The funds through such trade are also used to fund extremist ideology in Sri Lanka. Indian security agencies had alerted Sri Lanka about two boats carrying banned drugs from the Pakistani coast city of Karachi, the WION news service reported.The two boats were intercepted by Sri Lankan Coast guard yesterday (Wednesday). The successful capture comes after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) shared a specific input with information about two boats carrying banned drugs from Karachi to Sri Lanka. Indian security agencies maintain that the sea route is safest for drug business and boats and ships carry these drugs on a regular basis.Coast Guards of India and Sri Lanka work closely in areas of coastal security and prevention of illegal activities along their maritime boundary. read more