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Thread: More sake ??

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    Jun 2008
    Sunbury Victoria Australia
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    Default More sake ??

    The ship, Diamond Princess was a designed and built specifically for the Japanese market, though she does cruise in some other parts of the globe.

    Many of the on board signs are in Japanese but this does not distract from day to day living for others.
    The Japanese rise early, exercise, bathe then eat. Eating to them is much like an Olympic sport, higher, wider, deeper the food consumption being well ahead of any western man. But they remain slim as most of what they eat is low calorie food and the exercise burns up much of it. Noodles, vegetables, seaweedfruit and a variety of nuts provides most of their main meals. Ther eat Sushi but not in the way those of the West do, not ready rolled, rather taking the seaweed sheet and a number of ingredients and eating as part of another meal.Though they do at times indulge in western food with a great liking for bacon and eggs often with fresh fruit on the same plate. A bread that does not appear to be fully cooked on the inside, a bread which many western doctors believe is the cause of stomach Cancer, a disease that is more common in Japan than any other country.
    Dancing appears to be the favorite form of entertainment for them and some of the dancers were certainly of world class ballroom standard.

    Leaving Yokohama the ship spent a day at sea reaching South Korea the following day, a country for a separate report. Then on to Yokkaichi, a first time in this port for the ship.
    A warm welcoming committee to greet us with singers and dancers all along the quay.

    The town like so many in this part of the world steeped in history, an area where the majority of the 'Green Tea' is grown. Climate here is most suitable for growth and it provides a very large industry as the Japanese drink Green Tea at an amazing rate.

    Not far from the town center is the First National treasure Building, Isshindencho developed as a temple town around Senjuli, the head temple of the Shinshu Takada sect.
    The region is also known for the Jkake, locally brewed Sake, which has been produced here since the Nara period.. Much of the town can be traced back to the Neolithic period of the world.

    From here back to Yokohama, often considered to be the second capital of Japan after Tokyo.
    A city much like any other in a western country where workers live and work. Like all the cities clean to a level which could be almost clinical. A transport system so simple to use, we traveled the subway without difficulty. Most signs are in both Japanese and English so it is very easy to get around They also drive on the left.
    A city with many gardens, though not large they are so well maintained with staff dedicated to perfection when it comes to the style and shape of so many trees and bushes. It takes great patience and time to achieve this.

    Like all Japanese cities and towns a Shrine is the center of life for so many, honoring those who have gone before is one of the greatest things they can do according to the culture of the nation. They are kept in pristine condition to such an extent that it is often hard to realize how old some of the head stones are.

    Returning from our second time in S. Korea and going through immigration, in total 10 times in 14 days, we were off to the next port of call in Japan, Aburatu.
    An interesting city which houses one of the more important Shrines in Japan. But to reach it, sitting on a cliffs edge, one had first to negotiate 850 steps, many going up hill, and of course the same on return.
    A long slow journey but one filled with interest as along the way numerous other artifacts to see.
    The climb is well worth it once at the Shrine. Built around the 14th century it is filled with artifacts and banners depicting much of life in Japan at that time. Built for a nation that takes the national religious dedication in a serious manner.

    From there we traveled to Obi. Castles in Japan are not as we in the west understand them to be, this one is undergoing renovation in an attempt to bring it back to something close to the original. Building began in 1198 when the Ito family ruled the area. In 1577 the clan was forced to flee to Bungo by the Shimazu Clan of Kagoshima, however in 1587 they were able to regain ownership.

    Much of that still stands today though in need of renovation but still in good condition.
    The inside is not like European castles, no heavy stone walls, mainly wooden and divided into many rooms. In each now sit artifacts of the times. Samurai amour, earthenware jugs and bowls, tools and numerous banners adorn the walls.

    In the region is Sunshesse Nichian where one could wonder if you had been transformed by some time machine. In Chile many centuries ago there was a severe earthquake, a number of Japanese living in the region assisted in medical aid and later clearing the rubble away.
    As a gift for their efforts the gov of Chile presented them with a dozen replicas of the Moai that are on Easter Island.

    Sakaiminato is a very different town, dedicated to one man Mizuki in Shinguru Road.
    All along this road there are numerous models of a characterize created by this man, it is considered that from this came the Emoticons we now have on our computers, the little faces with all manner of expressions. The eye in all of these miniatures is the central point and following the trail the faces change expression until at the end all that there is of the face is one very large eye staring at you.

    From here we took the free service shuttle bus to the gardens, the village of Peonies and Unshu Ginseng. In full bloom some 250types of Japanese Peonies grow here and the color is something hard ti imagine prior to seeing. Abundant blooms in a range of wonderful colors take the breath away at the sheer beauty of it all. A garden showing the vivid colors of four seasons, something only seen in such a manner in Japan.
    Japan is famous for two things, Shrines which abound in numerous numbers and gardens, some of the worlds finest can be found here.

    On then to Kanazaw, where we were to experience another form of Japanese garden, this one considered to be the second best in the country. Well manicured trees and shrubs in designs one considers very hard to achieve taking many years of patient cutting and triming to reach the desired shape.
    Groves of various trees, tea hoses where the local refresh them selves on Green Tea, a national beverage. Cheery trees in full bloom stun the eye with their beauty, Almond groves and trees only seen in Japan complete the gardens.
    Fountains and steams with well designed wooden bridges adorn the gardens, pools with large Golden Carp leisurely swimming around, a number of colors, from golden to Grey white and even pure black.
    Families spend the day here relaxing and admirimg the wonders of nature.

    Then on to the house of the Nomura family. An ancient Samurai house.

    A very well maintained collection of Samurai armour including horse ones as well. All laid out to show how over some time the design had changed. It looks very heavy but touching some on the horse and others one comes to understand that much of it is made of wicker work, but capable of withstanding sword cuts. Japan has over the centuries been a war torn nation with many disputes between varioud sectors. Now thankfully a very peaceful one.
    The last port of call was Sakata, famous fop r the world renowned Sakata Rice Cracker. It is also the home of the major Sake distilery in Japan.
    Sake here is distiled in three strengths.
    Low at about 18 proof, medium at about 25 proof and blow your balls off at about 50 proof.
    I was given a sample of this one, about half a tea spoon full, drink enough and you could fly to the moon without a rocket.

    We then took the shuttle bus into town to visit the Ghesia market. A collection of shops set in the style of long ago. People in period costume taken around by Rickshaw, believed to have begun life in Japan before being taken by other nations as a means of transport. Young ladies in traditional Ghesia dress, colorful and appealing, a younger man would certainly have considered one very nice for afters.
    The shops laid out much as they were so many years long past with many items rarely seen today.

    Leaving port we were serenaded by a number of local groups sining traditional songs, drummers beating out numerous tunes whilst a dragon of enormous size paraded around the quay side.

    We sailed away for home with manmy memories of Japan and the people.
    A nation that has put WW2 behind them to create the new Japan whilst still holding on to the history and culture of earlier times. Cultures that ensure an orderly manner of living whilst enjoying life to the full. A friendly people who make travelers welcome, a country of intrigue and fascination, one that calls out to say return again.
    Last edited by happy daze john in oz; 9th July 2018 at 06:35 AM.
    Happy daze John in Oz.

    Life is too short to blend in.

    John Strange R737787
    World Traveller

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