Showing posts from September, 2015

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Hyogo: Kobe Port Tower

Located in the port city of Kobe in Hyogo Prefecture in Japan, Kobe Port Tower (神戸ポートタワー Kōbe Pōto Tawā) stands as the symbol and most famous landmark of the city.

Kobe Port Tower is a hyperboloid structure which has a height of 108 meters. The tower is famous for its red color and is usually visited by tourists in order for them to see the spectacular view of the bay and Kobe City. You can see this view from the observation deck of the tower which is located at a height of 90.28 meters. If you're planning to go up the viewing deck, you have to pay an entrance fee of Y600.
If the tower provides a beautiful panoramic view of its surroundings by day, the tower itself becomes equally picturesque at night. Being illuminated by probably hundreds of lights, Kobe Port Tower truly presents a unique beauty at night.

The tower is open to tourists every day from 9AM to 8PM. The hours are extended to 9PM every December but is reduced to 6PM during the winter season, particularly on the months of…

Japan Diaries: Day 24

Day 24: January 11, 2015

Good morning Japan! Although fresh from our Mt. Koya tour yesterday, Mr. Toshi told us that we'll be heading to another UNESCO World Heritage Site today. Our destination, according to Mr. Toshi, is the beautiful Himeji Castle which is in Hyogo Prefecture. Our plan is to drive to Kobe City (also in Hyogo Prefecture) then ride the shinkansen at Shinkobe Station going to Himeji Castle.

When we got to Kobe City, we had a brief stop at the city's famous landmark which is the Kobe Port Tower. We didn't stay long there though. After taking several photos we drove off to Shin-Kobe Station. However, before doing so, Mr. Toshi dropped me off at a nearby mall so that I could buy the Kobe City tumbler of Starbucks for my collection.
Upon arrival at Shinkobe Station, we treated Mr. Toshi to lunch. His family, on the other hand, continued on to Himeji by car. They had a head start of about an hour because we had to wait for our train's arrival.
This would be my …

Wakayama: Okunoin

Located in Mt. Koya / Koyasan in Wakayama Prefecture, Okunoin (奥の院) is regarded as the most sacred site in Mt. Koya.

The Okunoin is also the location of the mausoleum of Kukai which would later be known as Kobo Daishi. He is believed to be in eternal meditation since March 21, 835. His mausoleum is regarded as one of the most sacred places in Japan. Because of this a lot of people wanted to be buried near Kobo Daishi once they die. To date, there are over 200,000 tombstones erected as memorials for people from all walks of life throughout Japanese history.
Despite being regarded as a holy site, Okunoin is also one of the most visited tourist sites in Wakayama Prefecture. Aside from the 200,000 tombstones of different designs, there are also other things or places to be seen like:

Gobyo/ The Mausoleum of Kobo Daishi - This is the most important structure in the Okunoin. Every year hundreds of thousands of people make their pilgrimage to Koyasan to visit this sacred mausoleum. It is locate…

Wakayama: Kongobu-ji Temple

Located in Mt. Kōya / Koyasan, Wakayama Prefecture in Japan, Kongōbu-ji Temple (金剛峯寺) is the headquarters of the Koyasan Shingon-shu Buddhism.

The name Kongōbu-ji was originally intended to refer to all of Mt. Kōya and its many sub-temples. The name kongubu actually means Vajra Peak. It is a term found in the title of a Buddhist sutra. 

The original temple built on the site of the present day temple was built in 1593. It memorialized Toyotomi Hideyoshi's mother. It was rebuilt into two temples in 1863. Later on those two temples, Kozanji Temple and Seiganji Temple were combined and was renamed, Kongōbu-ji Temple.

Here are some of our expe

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