Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 13, from Hiroshima to Hyogo, Japan

Kon Ni chi Wa...
Good morning ...........welcome to Japan ( Nippon or "Land of the Rising Sun). Did you know that Japan comprises over 3,000 islands?? We will visit selected areas before we leave Asia

It is my dear friend, Nopi's birthday today....:-)
Χρόνια πολλά σε εσάς

Χρόνια πολλά σε εσάς
Χρόνια πολλά αγαπημένο Nopi
Χρόνια πολλά σε εσάς
αγκαλιές και φιλιά από όλους μας

Hold on, Nopi wants to open a gift that Sita and I bought for her at the airport.....its a big box of Meltykiss, a distinctly Japanese chocolate treat in Precious Cocoa and Strawberry flavours......sorry Nopi, couldn't find white Toblerone......Nopi has her sugar fix and is ready to see the sights of let's GO.....travelling by bullet train sure makes things so convenient and super quick ;-)

We are standing in front of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome), the only structure left standing in the area where the first atomic bomb exploded on 6 August 1945. Wow, it has been preserved in the same state as immediately after the bombing. Not only is it a stark and powerful symbol of the most destructive force ever created by humankind; it also expresses the hope for world peace and the ultimate elimination of all nuclear weapons.
We say a little prayer for all those who perished that tragic day and then move on to Itsukushima Shrine

This is a Shinto shrine on the island of Itsukushima (popularly known as Miyajima) in the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Himeji Castle is a flatland-mountain Japanese castle complex located in Himeji in Hyogo Prefecture and comprising 83 wooden buildings.
It is occasionally known as Hakurojo or Shirasagijo ("White Heron Castle") because of its brilliant white exterior.
It was registered as the first Japanese National Cultural Treasure by UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Japanese National Cultural Treasure in December, 1993.
It is one of Japan's "Three Famous Castles", and is the most visited castle in Japan.

Himeji-jo is the finest surviving example of early 17th-century Japanese castle architecture with highly developed systems of defence and ingenious protection devices dating from the beginning of the Shogun period.
It is a masterpiece of construction in wood, combining function with aesthetic appeal, both in its elegant appearance unified by the white plastered earthen walls and in the subtlety of the relationships between the building masses and the multiple roof layers.

Does it look familiar? Perhaps you saw it in a movie??

In the James Bond film You Only Live Twice (1967), Himeji Castle appears as Tiger Tanaka's secret ninja training school and rocket weapons development centre.
The Last Samurai (2003), starring Tom Cruise, was shot on location at Himeji using artificial snow.

A very big Thank you (a ri ga to u) to the following Japanese postcrossers for their contribution to this journey through JAPAN :-)
and especially to Sayaka for taking us through South Korea as well.

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