Showing posts with label hyogo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hyogo. Show all posts

Friday, September 1, 2023

Kinosaki Onsen Ropeway


Kinosaki is a very popular hot spring resort near the Sea of Japan in northern Hyogo that is easily accessible from the big cities of Kansai by regular express trains.

Occupying a narrow valley that runs into the Maruyama River and from the top end of the town there is a ropeway running up Mount Daishi.

The top station is at 230 meters above sea level and from it you have great views down on the town and out to the sea. There is also a cafe here and the okunoin of Onsenji Temple. There is a hiking path down the mountain to the temple and then on down to the town as well as further up into the mountains.

The length of the ropeway is just 676 meters and it takes just 7 minutes. 

Unusual for ropeways, the Kinosaki Ropeway stops at an intermediary station on its way up and down. Onsenji Station is adjacent to the main buildings of Onsenji Temple.

Previously I have posted a brief introduction to Kinosaki Onsen. Another ropeway I posted about recently was the Kankakei Gorge Ropeway on Shodshima.

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Shopfronts of Izushi Castle Town

Shopfronts of Izushi Castle Town

Izushi in northern Hyogo is a former castle town that has enough of its traditional architecture left remaining to qualify as a Preservation District. The actual title is Groups of Traditional Buildings, but I prefer preservation district and often historic streetscape.


Before showing some general views of the district I thought I would show you one specific feature of traditional Japanese architecture that I quite like, the frontages with their pleasing ratios and composition.

The top photo is a sake brewery. The second a touristy shop selling souvenirs, and the third a soba-restaurant. There are an inordinate number of little soba noodle restaurants in this little town, and several shop windows show the noodles being made by hand.

Most of the shops and restaurants have the noren hanging curtains.

There vis not much left of the castle, but I did post on it earlier.

Shop Japan

Friday, April 23, 2021

Izushi Castle


Izushi Castle in northern Hyogo was built in 1604 by Koide Yoshihide after he took of the domain formerly controlled by the Yamana Clan. The Yamana had built a small castle on the mountaintop, and Yoshhide built fortifications down at the base of the mountain.

A few years later the Tokugawa government outlawed domains having more than one castle so Yoshihide dismantled the castle on top of the mountain and strengthened the defences of the lower castle, although he never built a keep. A path goes up to the top of the mountain to where the earlier castle stood.

A town, Izushi, grew up around the castle. Like most Japanese castles it was dismantled in the first years of the Meiji Period, though in 1968 two turrets, yagura in Japanese were reconstructed and later still the castle gate.

There are now two shrines in the cstle grounds, and from the castle great views looking over the old castle town and to the north.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Hiyoriyama Seacoast

The Hiyoriyama Seacoast is a stretch of scenic coastline in Toyooka in northern Hyogo around the mouth of the Maruyama River.

It is part of the UNESCO Global Geopark of San'n Kaigan that stretches from Tottori to Kyoto.

There are numerous sites in the Toyooka area included in the Geopark including the town and coastal area of Takeno.

It's a fairly scenic and dramatic stretch of coast, though to my mind we have better further west.....

Friday, June 19, 2020


Japan has almost 30,000 kilometers of coastline, which ranks it 7th in the world, so it is not surprising that it has thousands of coastal settlements. Takeno is a small town on the Sea of Japan coast in Hyogo.

There is a lovely, white sandy beach that is popular in the summer. Takeno is part of the UNESCO San'in Kaigan Global Geopark.

Now still operating as a fishing harbor, in former times it was a stop along the Kitamaebune trade route that ran all the way down the Japan Sea Coast from Hokkaido, round through the straits at Shimonoseki and then through the Inland Sea to Osaka.

In many ways it is typical of such seaside villages, with narrow alleys between weatherbeaten wooden houses. Pleasant enough for a stroll and exploration

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Ando's Spiral Staircase revisited


One of the features of Tadao Ando's Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art is the exterior spiral staircase.


I posted some other photos of it previously here


Spiral staircases are extremely easy to take good photos of...... its in their nature....


But I was also fortunate to catch it with some strong light and shadows....


Other posts on the museum here and here

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Akashi Kaikyo Bridge


Higashiura is a town at the northern end of Awaji Island and its manhole cover depicts the nearby Akashi kaikyo Bridge which connects Awaji to the mainland.


It is a suspension bridge that has the longest central span of any suspension bridge in the world and it opened in 1998.


The central span is 1,991 meters, but was originally planned to be 1,990 but during construction in 1995 the area was hit by the Kobe Earthquake and the two bridge towers moved 1 meter apart.


The bridge is 3,911 meters long in total.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art part 2


The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art in Kobe is usually pictured from the sea front, but the entrance is at the back of ther building on the road and while it is less dramatic it is also interesting.


Photos of thye front can be found here


It was designed by tadao Ando and opened in 2002.


The museums collection is of modern art, both japanese and foreign, with special emphasis on sculpture and prints.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art revisited


The Hyogo Prefectural Museum of Art sits on the waterfront in Kobe and was constructed in 2002 as part of the cities post-earthquake revitalization.


Earlier I posted on one of the features of the architecture, the spiral staircase


The museum primarily consists of 3 glass structures each with an overhanging roof. The 3 structures are set on a base of white granite with steps that lead down to the waterfront.


The museum was designed by Tadao Ando and has more than a passing resemblance to his Fort Worth Museum he built a little later.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

P & G Building


Rokko Island is an artificial island constructed in the bay off Kobe and after twenty years of construction was completed in 1992.


Proctor & Gamble, the giant multinational corporation started by an Englishman and an Irishman built their Japan headquarters there.


131 meters high, with 31 floors, it was completed in 1993.


I have seen it described as a rip-off of Norman Foster, and it was designed by the Takenaka Corporation.