Chromatic Outlook : ANZAC Square Shrine of Remembrance

Chromatic Outlook (Post#57) : ANZAC Square Shrine of Remembrance

Photos of the day are all about ANZAC Square Shrine of Remembrance which located in heritage listed ANZAC Square which can be found between Ann Street and Adelaide Street. If coming from Central Station and exited in Ann Street, ANZAC Square will greet just across the road. This was the third ANZAC related structure that I had seen so far while exploring Australia. And the similar fact that I learned about this war memorial and others from other major cities of Australia was that lot of Australian soldier fought and died during World War I. This specific town square was built to honor the Queenslander soldiers fought in the war. These photos are part of Brisbane Open House Event Tour last October 2013.

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Notes : 
Photo : war memorial, ANZAC Square Shrine of Remembrance, Shrine of Remembrance (Brisbane)
Location : 285 Ann St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
Directions / Transportation :
– Take any translink train and get off at Central Station. Exit at Ann Street, cross the road and walk straight to ANZAC
Official Website : ANZAC Square Shrine of Remembrance

MacArthur Museum Brisbane – A Familiar History Museum

While walking within business district of the city, there was a museum that I never expected that it will be familiar to me. The name MacArthur knocked something in my head, but I was not sure what it was at first. I decided to visit MacArthur Museum since it was near where I was at that time and the building was included in the Brisbane Open House anyway. I walked along Queen Street coming from taking photos of Hotel Embassy.

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At 8th Floor towards the museum

At the time of the visit, the building ground was being renovated, that was why I just have few photos of the building that includes the ground. I went upstairs and followed the way to the museum itself. The moment I entered the museum, I was surprised as  I never thought that the name of MacArthur will be the same person that I was familiar with because of my country’s history.

During rudimentary and intermediate school, I learned about the notable quote that American General made during Japanese invasion in Philippines and I am referring to General MacArthur whom announced to the Filipino and Allied forces “I came through and I shall return” during his great escape as Japanese forces able to gain control the country at that time. Since I learned the history quite a long time ago, I was reminded or probably learned that MacArthur went to Australia after leaving Philippines to think again how to retaliate the enemy which made him able to come back to my country and able conquer Japanese forces.

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The restored General Douglas MacArthur Room / Office

The first thing that caught my interest is the room that General MacArthur used which still reflects what it was before. When I saw the room, I just thought that it was pretty simple and functional. Well, luxury has no room during war time.

Based on the Brisbane Open House guide book that I bought, the MacArthur Museum Brisbane is a heritage listed MacArthur Chambers built between 1931-1934 as the Queensland headquarter of Australian Mutual Provident Society. The building was used as the headquarter of Allied forces  in South-West Pacific during World War II. The AMP Society stayed at basement and ground floor while Commander In Chief of Allied Forces in South-West Pacific Area General Douglas MacArthur, occupied the Boardroom and his staff used the rest of the building.

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MacArthur Chambers

After the war, the building reverted its former use by AMP Society until 1978. Then, the building was named as MacArthur Chambers to honor the American General.

I also explored the museum in a short period of time and it showcase the history related to General MacArthur, the World War II, and the role of the Brisbane City during that time. But one thing was for sure that I learned when I visited the museum, the city has a huge role to help and to enable General MacArthur with Allied forces to win back the World War II and that was the moment that my country was waiting, that the American General was able to fulfill his promised and able to return to Philippines to fight back against Japanese.

As museum is my weakness in every of my travel, as I had this tendency to stay longer to read and check almost every displays in the museum but I controlled myself because of limited time that I had. I still wanted to explore other parts of the city, I left the museum and continued exploring other buildings that still part of Brisbane Open House event.

Until then.

Notes :
Plan to visit Brisbane ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Directions / Transportation to Brisbane Central Business District :
1. Within Brisbane take any translink train and get off at Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
2. Check the access link to the city here.
Official Website : Brisbane

Plan to visit MacArthur Museum? Check here.
Location : MacArthur Chambers, 201 Edward St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
Directions / Transportation to MacArthur Museum Brisbane :
1. From Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
2. Cross Ann Street and walk straight towards ANZAC Square and ANZAC Memorial until reaching Adelaide Street
3. Cross Adelaide Street and walk straight towards Sir William Glasgow Memorial until reaching Queen Street
4. Turn right at Queen Street until reaching Edward Street
5. Turn left at Edward Street and walk few meters to reach MacArthur Museum Brisbane or
6. From Ann Street, turn right to Edward Street.
7. Walk along Edward Street until crossing Street. Then, walk few meters to reach MacArthur Museum Brisbane
8. Check the access link to the museum here.
Official Website : MacArthur Museum Brisbane

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Riverside Centre Tour and More

Summary :
One One One Eagle Street
Riparian Plaza
Riverside Centre
Brisbane River
Story Bridge
Customs House
Riverside Quarter
Kookabura Showboat Cruises

The first pre-booked tour that I had while I was in Brisbane is Riverside Centre. I was lucky to be chosen to enter the building. Coming from Central Station, I followed my GPS to walk towards the building that I was intended to be for a free building tour during Brisbane Open House.

 

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One One One Eagle Street

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Riparian Plaza (left) and One One One Eagle Street (right)

Riverside Centre Tour

From Elizabeth Street, I turned right to Creek Street, when I am near Riverside Centre, I saw other towers beside it which is Riparian Plaza and One One One Eagle Street, combining it to Riverside Centre, almost completes the city’s famous ‘Golden Triangle’ precinct. Then, I went inside the building where we were instructed to wait in the lobby as I was few minutes earlier before 11:00 AM. While waiting, as I was fascinated with the arts that are part of the foyer interior, I took a couple of photos. At the lobby entrance, I found the Norman Carlberg sculpture described as seen against exposed rib structure with title of “Winterwind” and a colorful wall frame display that definitely gives life to the monotone color of the wall.

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Riverside Centre from Riverside Quarter

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“Winterwind” sculpture by Norman Carlberg

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Color Wall-frame Display

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Our Tour Guide in Riverside Centre

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Riverside Centre Tower Model with Riverside Quarter at its bottom

When the time was up, a woman approached us in the foyer, introduced herself and asked who were going to join her in the building tour. And she checked us like counting us and then, she started an introduction of the building. After her introduction, we followed her to the elevator and went to one of the vacant floor at that time and we went straight to wall window where the city was view-able. Most of us visitors spent time taking photos of city scenery where Brisbane River and Story Bridge can be seen. After we enjoyed the scenery of the city from the top, we went to Auditorium and our guide also explained other facilities and amenities that the building is offering to its clients as Riverside Centre is a commercial space for work and offices located within the “Golden Triangle”, a precinct which is the prime location within Brisbane central business district.

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With Brisbane River and Story Bridge

 

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Nearby Buildings Surrounds Brisbane River

After the building tour, I spent time in Riverside Quarter which for me is really a great spot to chill and relax. The location is so charming as it offers the Brisbane River views which really fantastic and the Story Bridge which added beauty to natural settings of the river. Riverside Quarter is commercial district where lots of restaurants are located which anyone can enjoy with the view. Walking here can see and appreciate the beauty that surrounds it. Here, aside from Brisbane River and Story Bridge, I was able to see Customs House and Kookabura Showboat Cruises Ferry Terminal at Eagle Street Pier.

 

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Nearby Buildngs Surrounds Brisbane River from Riverside Quarter

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Riverside Quarter

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Story Bridge from Riverside Quarter

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Customs House from Riverside Quarter

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Kookabura Showboat Cruises Ferry Terminal at Eagle Street Pier

My walks continued in city central where lots of buildings opened to the public during event, and I was even more excited just knowing it. Until then.

Notes :
Plan to visit Brisbane ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Directions / Transportation to Brisbane Central Business District :
1. Within Brisbane take any translink train and get off at Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
2. Check the access link to the city here.
Official Website : Brisbane

Plan to visit Riverside Centre? Check here.
Location : 123 Eagle St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
Directions / Transportation to Riverside Centre :
1. From Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
2. Cross Ann Street and walk straight towards ANZAC Square and ANZAC Memorial until reaching Adelaide Street
3. Cross Adelaide Street and walk straight towards Sir William Glasgow Memorial until reaching Queen Street
4. Cross Queen Street and walk in pedestrian way within General Post Office until reaching Elizabeth Street.
5. Turn left at Elizabeth Street until reaching Eagle Street where Riverside Centre is located or simply
6. Turn left at Ann Street from Central Station, then turn right at Creek Street until reaching Eagle Street.
7. Check the access link to the city here.
Official Website : Riverside Centre

Summary :
One One One Eagle Street
Riparian Plaza
Riverside Centre
Brisbane River
Story Bridge
Customs House
Riverside Quarter
Kookabura Showboat Cruises

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14 Amazing Bays, Beaches & Pool to Enjoy in Rottnest

As Rottnest surrounded by water for being an island, therefore it is understandable that it has plenty of bays, beaches and even pool that fascinates every water adventure enthusiast. It has total of 63 beaches and what I had seen so far were just few of it. Whether you are a rookie swimmer, seasoned snorkeler or expert diver, or just wanted to go fishing or watching sunset with sea, the island offers a lot of water spots to enjoy with different activities. The list below is partial list that I was able to see from the ground and just waiting to be explored. And do not take for granted Rottnest as it is “One of the Most Luxurious Snorkelling Spots in the World” according to Expedia’s Listopedia.

1. Thomson Bay

The bay named after Robert Thomson who farmed salt from the island in 1841. Arriving in Thomson Bay is the first thing to experience in the island. You will immediately see jetties on this bay. The Main Jetty, Fuel Jetty and Hotel Jetty are all located in Thomson Bay. Additional feature of the bay is its historical settlement area where it boast its interesting Colonial Buildings that are more than 100 years old standing until today which mostly converted and used as guest houses, accommodations and hotels nowadays. From the settlement, there is sheltered waters of Thomson Bay that can be enjoyed for swimming. There is aquapark as well that can enjoy inflatable equipment for any ages.

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2. Henrietta Rocks & The Shark Wreck

Henrietta Rocks is a lookout where it can easily see “The Shark” shipwreck which said to be the easiest shipwreck to enjoy around the island for diving and for snorkeling as it is accessible 50 meters from the beach. There is small beach under the lookout that can be enjoyed for swimming. Whether you enjoy the beach alone or snorkel in short distance, the place is perfect for both. Henrietta Rocks Lookout, Dyer Island can be seen closer than any other points in the island.

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3. Parker Point and Purpoise Bay

Parker Point does not only offer scenic views of stunning bay and beaches from its lookout, the white sand beach at the bottom is lovely, the turquoise water is great for swimming. Parker Point beach is one of the most popular beach in the island. And Purpose Bay is wonderful for boating experience. The bay is one of the great spot for snorkeling since Parker Point is one out of five marine sanctuary exist in Rottnest.

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4. Jeannies Pool

A beautiful pool can be seen in Jeannies lookout. The pool is a series of holes in the reefs between Parker Point and Little Salmon Bay and only recommended to swim if the wind is light. From the lookout, the pool scenery is unique compared to other viewpoint.

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5. Little Salmon Bay

When I had a chance to see Little Salmon Bay from a distance, I can say that the small beach was amazing. Its clear water still visible from afar that looks so lovely for swimming.

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6. Salmon Bay

Salmon Bay is the longest bay in Rottnest where the long stretch of shoreline consist of beaches boasted its beauties and offers lots of underwater sites to enjoy snorkeling and swimming.

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7. Fish Hook Bay

This bay near at Cape Vlamingh looks similar to Jeannies Pool from the lookout which also said to be a great place for snorkelling. It is said that this bay can enjoy lots of fishes and even turtles.

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8. Cape Vlamingh

At Cape Vlamingh Viewing Platform I enjoyed the waves that breaks into the reef and an up-close observation of flying silver gull. During migration season, this is one of the best spots to enjoy watching whales.

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9. Cathedral Rocks

Not far from Cape Vlamingh is Cathedral Rocks where the New Zealand Fur Seals (local residents of the island) can be observed from the viewing platform or from the boat that can go nearer to these wilds at short distance. If lucky, will have a chance to see them playing around in the water like what I witnessed during the visit.

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Other bays and beach that I found while exploring the island are : Rocky Bay , Stark Bay, Ricey Beach, Catherine Bay Beach and Geordie Bay.

10. Rocky Bay

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11. Stark Bay

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12. Ricey Beach

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13. Catherine Bay Beach

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14. Geordie Bay

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Notes :
1. Plan to visit Rottnest Island ? Please check latest information here.
2. Location : Rottnest Island, WA 6161, Australia
3. Directions to Rottnest Island :
Transportation :
a. Join Day Tours from Perth or
b. Go to Barrack Street Jetty Elizabeth Quay terminal and take Rottnest Express
ferry
c. Go to Hillarys Ferry Terminal and take Rottnest Fast Ferries boat
d. Go to Northport Rous Head Harbour or  B Shed Victoria Quay in Fremantle and
take Rottnest Express ferry or
e. Go to B Shed Victoria Quay in Fremantle and take Sealink Rottnest Island ferry
Official Website : Rottnest Island

 

Structure : National Australia Bank

Structure (Post#23) : National Australia Bank

Photos of the day are all about National Australia Bank, another heritage building exist along Queen Street. It was a former Queensland National Bank head office built in 1885. The building symbolizes the close relationship of Queensland Bank and Queensland Government. It was designed by Architect FDG Stanley in Classical Revival Style. The Giant order columns of Oamaru (New Zealand) limestone dominates the Queen and Creek Street. These photos are part of Brisbane Open House Event Tour last October 2013.

The building has a distinct Palladian influence with careful classical detailing and giant order columns. It is built on a corner, and the two facades are dominated by bays of Corinthian columns which rise through the upper two storeys. This portion of the Queen Street facade protrudes in the form of a porch while the similar colonnade on Creek Street is recessed.

— Wikipedia

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Notes : 
Photo : National Australia Bank, NAB Branch
Location : 308-322 Queen St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
Directions / Transportation :
1. Take any translink train and get off at Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
a. Turn right along Ann Street, next turn left at Edward Street, then turn left at Queen Street or
b. Turn left along Ann Street, next turn right at Creek Street, then turn right at Queen Street
Official Website : None

Interior : Brisbane Arcade

Interior (Post#13) : Brisbane Arcade

Photos of the day are all about interior design of Brisbane Arcade. The building was built to reflect the archetype of the traditional European shopping arcades of the late 18th century and it is said that the Brisbane Arcade is the only remaining example of it. It showcase the Edwardian Baroque style street facades, original terrazzo stairs, dado panelling and lead lighting and balustrading. At the time of the visit, Brisbane Arcade celebrates 90th anniversary. These photos are part of Brisbane Open House Event Tour last October 2013.

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Central Walkway from Queen Street towards Adelaide Street with terrazzo flooring and leading to gallery stores on each side

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Central Walkway from the upper level showing the terrazo flooring

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Roof structure with lightweight exposed steel trusses and clerestory windows on both sides to admit light naturally

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Lead Light windows in each gallery store on both levels and ballustrades at the upper level

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Central Walkway towards Adelaide Street displaying the ‘Mirage’ 1978, Stainless Steel and Bronsze by Gidon Graetz.

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With Ballustre at the upper level

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With Chandelier Hanging Lights

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Balluster at the upper level with gallery store on the side

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With lead-light windows on each gallery stores at the upper level, ballusters, and chandelier lights

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Some of the stores inside Brisbane Arcade

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Inside of one of the store

Notes : 
Photo : Interior inside Brisbane Arcade, interior design
Location : 160 Queen St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
Directions / Transportation :
1. Take any translink train and get off at Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
a. Turn right along Ann Street, next turn left at Albert Street, then turn left at Adelaide Street or
b. Turn left along Ann Street, next turn right at Edward Street, then turn right at Adelaide Street
Official Website : Brisbane Arcade

Takatsuki Walks : A Trek to Kabusanji Temple

My second trip to Japan started from Kansai Region which located at the middle of Honshu Island, the largest island in Japan. My flight was booked 6 months ago prior to travel schedule through Jetstar airline from Manila to Osaka.

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Landing at Kansai International Airport

From the time I landed in Kansai International Airport. I knew that I have to plan my day. I had rough plan where to go, but I was not in the mood to be in a busy area where most tourist go, so I checked the other itineraries that I had in my phone while walking inside the airport. After passing immigration area, I picked-up the pocket WiFi I rented together when I bought Japan Rail Pass at JAL ABC counter at Terminal 1. And then I connect to the internet immediately. I withdraw few thousand yen as my initial budget. While sitting in waiting area as I was checking my phone within the Terminal 1, I heard my name was being called. And the call was repeated. I felt nervous that time, I wondered why they calling my name. Then, I went to the information and I told them my name was called. Then, they presented my blue wallet where my old passport was and other stuff. That was the time I realized I was missing of it. Then, they requested me some ID and I presented my current passport. I was very thankful that my stuff was returned to me. It was a relief. It was the second time during my travel in Japan, that a lost item returned to me. I remembered my jacket of my father which also lost in Narita Airport in Tokyo after we passed the immigration area last 2015, which also returned to us. Japan has great credibility in terms of helping someone who lost something.

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Nankai Line Limited Express Rapi:t train

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Kansai Airport Station

After my wallet incident, I checked everything and when felt settled, I went outside the terminal and walked towards Kansai-airport Station. I bought ticket to reach my hotel first as my week JR Pass is not yet activated. I took Nankai Line Limited Express Rapi:t train from Terminal 1 to Namba Station in Osaka, it stopped at Shin-Imamiya Station where my hotel that I booked for 3 nights in the city was located.

I was able to use my Agoda points to have an affordable single room in the city. The accommodation is quite expensive during my travel in Japan because it’s Spring-Summer season. I arrived to my intended Station and looked for my accommodation which is just few steps from JR Shin-Imamiya Station, the Hotel Shin-Imamiya. At the hotel, I approached the hotel lobby and talked to the customer officers and informed them that I will leave my luggage since it still early for my check-in. Instead of waiting for my check-in time,  I started exploring the city.

I left the hotel still thinking what to do for that day. And I go back to my notes of tentative plan while in Osaka in my phone. I have this notes of climbing or hiking which is away from Osaka metropolis. I found the itinerary of climbing a bit to the temple though there are other trekking trails available but I just decided to do a bit of trekking up only to the Buddhist temple. I followed the instructions mentioned in the website how to get there.

I used one of my pasmo cards that I brought which I bought during my first trip in Japan with my family last 2015. I told the gate officer that I wanted to top-up my card and they allowed me to get in so I can top-up my card. Then after topping up, I went back to the gate and started using it. Then, I transferred to the JR gate which was wrong because I entered the first gate is Nankai Line which different from JR Lines, one of the things not to mix with train line. My card alarmed which I don’t understand at first then I approached the gate with officer so they can check my recently topped-up card. And they fix it in just few seconds.

I took JR Osaka Loop Line train and transferred at Osaka station. Next, I took rapid train JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line and get off at Takatsuki Station. I walked from train station to the bus terminal (JR Takatsuki ekikita Bus Stop) just outside the JR station. At first I got a challenge which bus that I should take. Looking at the bus numbers and my google maps, I was quite confused. Even though I don’t speak Japanese, I still tried to asked help while speaking in English. I showed to them the website that I was looking for and showed them the temple photo and they seem to understand, I am telling them the name of the bus stop based on the Google Map information I had.  The Japanese seems to understand which place that I wanted to go and the one I was talking to, talked to the bus driver that I got in and I felt he told him where he can drop me off.

While inside the bus, I used Google maps with enabling GPS in my phone. It helped me to track where I am at the moment and I will know if I am near the bus top that I should be getting off.  I always check the screen near the driver as it tells me exactly the next bus stop. I got-off at Kabusanguchi Bus Stop. Then, I found myself in a small town which located and surrounded by hills and farms. And the temple that I was looking for is located in one of the hills. I crossed the road and I walked following the tracks using Google Directions in my phone.

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At Kabusanguchi Bus Stop

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The map I saw after crossing the road

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The unknown road that I took towards the mountain

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A spot where I found the First Trail (not in the picture) as start of walking / trekking trail to Kabusanji Temple

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The shortest walking trail to Kabusanji Temple – First Trail

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One of the lasting Azalea flower

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Mountain Gate (Torii Gate) towards Kabusanji Temple – Second Trail

There are two walking trails available to reach Kabusanji Temple that I saw. First is walking trail only for people and another one starting from the Mountain Gate or Torii Gate where vehicles can pass through as well. These two trails will combine to the mountain road towards the temple before reaching the parking lot. Since I hesitated to take the shortest trail, I ended up following the longest trail where the Mountain Gate is. Along the way, I saw some people who do regular exercise and coming down from the mountain.  Then, some few cars going the same directions that I was which is going up to the temple.

The walk was not arduous since I mostly walk in the road which I can say a gradual climb to the temple. While I was walking, I was wondering, what I was thinking and did the trekking by myself. Then, I answered my own question, I just wanted to go to the place where few people is visiting. But because I wanted to do a trekking, even though my destination is a temple of another faith, I still pushed the plan, not only because I wanted to hike a bit, but to see the place,  nature and its surroundings.

Based from official website of Osaka, check here, the temple named Kabusanji Temple has been in the mountain for over 1300 years and there was a belief that the dragons are said to live. Well different faith has different beliefs when it comes to mountains. Even myself has another way to view about mountains.

I passed the parking lot, which means that I was halfway distance to the temple. Before I reached the gate of the temple, I saw a cafeteria just beside it. And there were few people in the cafeteria and looking at me which seems wondering why a foreigner like me was there in the first place.

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Niomon (With Koimainu – statue pairs of lion-like creatures guarding the entrance and Gate of Deva – A Deva King image is enshrined in this gate)

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Around the temple gate

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Temple Cafeteria

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To Honzanji Trail (Right Side Road)

I continued my walk until I found a familiar structure nearby, I knew that I already found the one that I was looking for as I had seen the gate of the temple that I saw in internet. I took a couple of photos of surrounding areas where I had seen a cafeteria not far from Niomon or Main Gate. I entered the gate where a pair of Koinamu displayed at both sides and the Gate of Deva.

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King Deva at Niomon (Main Gate)

I explored the surroundings as I entered the Niomon or Main Gate. And in every couple of steps that I made, I took photos. I crossed with few people on my walks whom visited the temple mostly for prayers and not for touristm as what I do. Within the temple I saw sub-temples or buildings.

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Jakujo-in Temple (Left) and stairs towards Hondo

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Kejyo-in

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Hotoin

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On the way to Hondo

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Mizuko Jizo

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Before reaching Hondo

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Hondo (Main Hall)

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Shakado

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Kaisando

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Kannondo

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Reihoin

I walked around the temple, without knowing if I am doing something bad while I was there. Based on the information I got, from official tourism website of Osaka, the main temple has the Buddha, but because I have to make reservation and pay to enter and see it, I was not able to see it. I am not a Buddhist so I just quietly walk around the garden of the main building.

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Jakujo-in Temple

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Jakujo-in Temple Garden

While returning to the bus stop. I took sometime to appreciate the farm area. And the mountains that surrounds the small town. For me, the scenery is very relaxing.

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Remote town of Takatsuki with farms

My next destination was still around Takatsuki area which is to see Akutagawa River, the famous place during cherry blossom season but because its late spring, no cherry flower can be seen, even though that was the case, I followed the information since I was around the city.

While at Kabu sanguchi, I looked for the bus stop sign, but I cannot find it. I am trying to find the same sign of the bus stop that I got off  at the other side, when I went to the Kabusanji Temple. But I was having a hard time to find it. I approached the old Japanese man and asked him if he can help me find the bus stop sign. Then, he looked for it and he cannot find it as well. So he called the younger male and even asked for help to find the bus stop. I was ashamed a bit because I knew that I bothered these people but, they helped me to find the bus stop sign. The reason I cannot find the bus stop sign is because the sign is dusty and stands in not so noticeable spot. That explains why I cannot find it immediately, the young male even told me what time bus will arrive. I was very thankful to them, I just told them “Sumimasen” saying sorry politely as I bothered them by asking for help.

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Kabusanguchi Bus Stop towards JR Takatsuki Station

I waited for the bus and after 5-10 minutes, I took the next bus came and then I got off at Hattori bus stop. Like the same thing that I do, I looked for Google Maps and tried to look for the destination that I wanted to be which is Akutagawa River. I walked a lot already so I planned that the Akutagawa River to be my last destination to enjoy in the area even though there are still 2 more suggested places to see in Takatsuki.

I walked from Hattori bus stop and I turned right and follow the directions that Google Maps it telling me. One thing that I enjoyed about the walk even though I started to feel exhausted with my feet were the flowing water that are soothing to the ears. The sound is very natural and that’s what the website tells me as well. Though I still don’t see the river, I can really feel that it’s just nearby. I found the river and there I took some photos and rested a bit.

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Akutagawa River

Then, I walked back to the bus stop that I can possibly hopped on that will send me back to Takatsuki Station. When I reached Takatsuki Station, I walked a bit in the nearby station before going back to my hotel and end my day since I haven’t got much sleep as I traveled early in the morning.

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Near Al Plaza beside Takatsuki Station

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Takatsuki Bus Stop and Takatsuki Station

Tips :

There are two things that I usually used during my trip in Japan, visit Hyperdia.com and Google Maps to see where I am and its Directions to see how I will go to the specific destination that I wanted to be. Google Maps information seems to be reliable when I checked Hyperdia specifically for the next trains that I can hopped-on.

Notes :
Plan to visit Takatsuki City ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan
Directions / Transportation to Takatsuki :
1. Take JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line and get off at Takatsuki Station
Official Website : Takatsuki City

Plan to visit Kabusanji Temple? Please check latest information here.
Location : 3360 Hara, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-1051, Japan
Directions / Transportation to Kabusanji Temple :
1. Take JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line and get off at Takatsuki Station
2. Take bus Haraohashi 53 and get off at Kabu Sanguchi Bus Stop
3. Follow the walking trails from bus stop to Kabusanji Temple
4. Visit the official access link to reach the temple here.
Official Website : Kabusanji Temple

Bloom : Azalea

Bloom (Post#3) : Azalea

Photo of the day is all about azalea flower that I was able to capture on my way to Kabusanji Temple in Takatsuki City. I never visited Japan during spring season as I wanted to avoid peak season where too many tourist in Japan. That is why, I seldom to see spring flowers. And when I did a trek towards the temple, I guess I was lucky to still find Azalea. These flowers are spring flowers that last longer than others. The photo is part of Walking and Trekking in Takatsuki last May 2017.

Toxicity
In addition to being renowned for its beauty, the azalea is also highly toxic—it contains andromedotoxins in both its leaves and nectar, including honey from the nectar. Bees are deliberately fed on Azalea/Rhododendron nectar in some parts of Turkey, producing a mind-altering, potentially medicinal, and occasionally lethal honey known as “mad honey”. According to the ancient Roman historian Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, an army invading Pontus in Turkey was poisoned with such honey, resulting in their defeat.

–Wikipedia

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Notes :
Photo : Flower, Azalea
Location : 3360 Hara, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-1051, Japan
Directions / Transportation :
1. Take JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line and get off at Takatsuki Station
2. Take bus Haraohashi 53 and get off at Kabu Sanguchi Bus Stop
3. Follow the walking trails from bus stop to Kabusanji Temple
4. Visit the official access link to reach the temple here.
Official Website : Kabusanji Temple

Discovery : Kabusanji (Mount Kabu) Temple

Discovery (Post#70) : Kabusanji (Mount Kabu) Temple

Photos of the day are all about Kabusanji Temple or Mount Kabu Temple. Learning about something regarding the temple, made it more interesting. I remembered Yasaka Jinja in Kyoto (not really far from Osaka) which more than 1300 years old, Kabusanji Temple is same old as well. From their official site, the temple is Japan’s first Satsumon Tenden Temple Nemurozan Shrine and it is an example of syncretization of Shinto and Buddhism which I understand that it happens while traveling around Japan. Temple inside the mountain probably a challenge but for me, finding them with nature makes it more appealing for me. These photos are part of Walking and Trekking in Takatsuki last May 2017.

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Notes :
Photo : Kabusanji Temple, Mount Kabu Temple, temple,
Location : 3360 Hara, Takatsuki, Osaka 569-1051, Japan
Directions / Transportation :
1. Take JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line and get off at Takatsuki Station
2. Take bus Haraohashi 53 and get off at Kabu Sanguchi Bus Stop
3. Follow the walking trails from bus stop to Kabusanji Temple
4. Visit the official access link to reach the temple here.
Official Website : Kabusanji Temple

View At My Window : A Bit of Takatsuki

View At My Window (Post#46) : A Bit of Takatsuki

Photos of the day are all about Takatsuki City. The first place that I spent my time the moment I returned to Japan. As I wanted to do trekking and be far from metropolis on first day of my second trip, I came to the city which developed from being a commuter town. Previously it was a town where most people live and then commute either for Kyoto or Osaka.  I was able to capture a scenic Takatsuki with farms not far from Kabusanji Temple. These photos are part of Walking and Trekking in Takatsuki last May 2017.

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Notes :
Photo : Takatsuki
Location : Takatsuki, Osaka, Japan
Directions / Transportation :
Take JR Tokaido-Sanyo Line and get off at Takatsuki Station
Official Website : Takatsuki

Name Of The Place : Brisbane Arcade And Shocking History of Founders’ Family

Name Of The Place (Post#62) : Brisbane Arcade And Shocking History of Founders Family

Photos of the day are all about the name of Brisbane Arcade which built in 1923. The building is now part of Queensland heritage asset. Even I had seen four arcade shopping  centers across Australia, but I can still see uniqueness of the arcade from the other traditional shopping arcade as it reflects the style in Europe arcades during late 18th century. And while checking more information about Brisbane Arcade, I had learned in the process from their official website the shocking story behind the father of the founder of the arcade. These photos are part of Brisbane Open House Event Tour last October 2013.

Brisbane Arcade was established by Dr James Mayne and his sister Mary Emelia Mayne. Their father named Patrick Mayne sets up his family home and butcher shop in Queen Street where the arcade standing today in 1849. And before Patrick died, in 1865, he confessed that he murdered and robbed timber cutter Robert Cox in 1848. This confession shunned the Mayne family and none of his children marries or has children.

The Mayne siblings became great benefactors to the University of Queensland. He gave the university the land for their St Lucia campus. Brisbane Arcade was also established in a Trust and proceeds from the Trust still benefit the University of Queensland Medical School and medical research.

–brisbanearcade.com.au

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Notes : 
Photo : Brisbane Arcade, traditional shopping arcade
Location : 160 Queen St, Brisbane City QLD 4000, Australia
Directions / Transportation :
1. Take any translink train and get off at Central Station. Exit at Ann Street
a. Turn right along Ann Street, next turn left at Albert Street, then turn left at Adelaide Street or
b. Turn left along Ann Street, next turn right at Edward Street, then turn right at Adelaide Street
Official Website : Brisbane Arcade

Taipei Walks : Taipei Main Station, North Gate and Beimen Memorial Park

It was my first 100% free flight, as I used my GetGo Cebu Pacific through my points that accumulated in my account. I took a late night Saturday flight to Taipei during my second visit to Taiwan. Therefore, it was obvious that I will arrived in the city at early morning the next day. Like what I did during my first visit, just eight months earlier, I rented a pocket WI-FI with the same provider I had before and picked it up at the same convenience store at the basement of the airport which opens 24 hours (as other provider are closed after 8 PM). After that, I went straight to the bus terminal, bought a ticket and waited for the next bus that brought me to Taipei. I checked-in to the same hotel that I had before since it is comfortable place to rest and near in Taipei Main Station.

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Since it was Sunday, I had personal commitment in the morning, then I used the rest of Sunday exploring nearby places from my accommodation in Taipei, a walk-able tourist spot that I can visit in the afternoon. I started my walk from a well know station in the country, none other than Taipei Main Station.

Taipei Main Station

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I came from in Xinzhuang District, New Taipei City for my morning commitment, I arrived in Taipei Main Station Bus Stop near  Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Taipei Station Store and cross the road to reach the South Entrance / Exit of Taipei Main Station. I explored the station as I need to exchange the 3 Days Taiwan High-Speed Rail Unlimited Pass that I bought few days earlier before my scheduled flight to Taiwan. I bought the pass as I planned to explore places outside Taipei, to explore other parts of Taiwan. And while walking inside the station, I saw lots of people gathered at the center of the station, an open space which at first I thought that there were events happening but it was none.

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That moment, I realized, most people came there in the open hall were mostly my countrymen. I remembered, it was Sunday – the common rest day of my fellow Filipinos that works in Taiwan. And then, I remembered the similar situation that I experienced when I worked in Singapore. Sunday is the rest day for most Filipinos that works as domestic helper and commonly meet up in Lucky Plaza in Orchard Road in Singapore. I learned it was the place where my countrymen usually meet up in Taiwan – Taipei Main Station it is. Observing them just like they were there, sitting together with acquaintances and friends, it was a social place that I thought maybe made them feel at ease as they with familiar faces back home.

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Taiwan Railway LDK58 Steam Train, Displayed at Taipei Main Station East 2 Exit

I went outside the station from East Exit and there I still saw Filipinos, just sitting around, spending their time to chill. Next, I saw a Taiwan Railway LDK58 Steam Train, displayed near East 2 Entrance / Exit of the station. And people came near the steam train to do a selfie photos with it. After taking couple photos of the steam train, I walked around from East part to South part  of the station. At that time, I was still thinking where to go and then, I thought the first place to see where I can play with my DSLR camera, that was the North Gate.

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Shin Kong Life Tower and Guanquian Road

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National Taiwan Museum of Railways

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Zhongxiao West Road from Beimen Memorial Park

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Bo’ai Road (left) and Yanping South Road (right) from Beimen Memorial Park

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Beimen Post Office

North Gate (Traditional 19th Century Gatehouse) 

North Gate is just few minutes walk from Taipei Station. During my first visit in the city, I had seen North Gate from a distance while taking bus and just passing the gate. In my second visit in the country, I freely enjoyed taking photos of North Gate that stands within Beimen Memorial Park.

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North Gate (Cheng’en men)

I did not realize that I will learn something about the Taipei City Wall while walking in Beimen Memorial Park. There were displays at the ground explaining the Cultural Significance of Old Taipei City’s “Axial Lines”, History of Taipei City Wall, how the city wall were built, its materials and structural features, how the stones quarried used to build the city wall and it also features the planting and paving design of the park itself which still conveys cultural significance related to North Gate. I honestly enjoyed my walk in the park.

Beimen Memorial Park (North Gate Square / North Gate Plaza)

The Cultural Significance of Old Taipei City’s “Axial Lines”

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The Cultural Significance of Old Taipei City’s “Axial Lines”

Qing Dynasty Taipei City’s “Axial Lines” reveal two main strands of cultural significance. Taipei City’s “ceremonial axis” was constructed to run north-south from in front of the Taipei Yamen (government) to Wen and Wu Temples, along Chongqing South Road (then called Fuqian Street in the north and Wenwu Street in the south). This central axis and all north-south streets where directly aligned toward the North Star, forming a chessboard grid with east-west streets,Taipei’s fortified city was Taiwan’s only Qing Dynasty city to be laid out rectangularly. This spatial pattern manifest the city’s “ceremonial system” according to the “royal city” layout prescribed in the Book of Rites.

The History of Taipei City Wall

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The History of Taipei City Wall

Plans to build Taipei City Wall were instituted by Chen Hsing-chu, the Magistrate of Taipei Prefecture, in 1879. Rough 5000 meters long, 5.76 meters high, 3.84 meters thick, and battlemented, it was topped by a horse path and surrounded by a moat.

Five gates served passage through the wall; Chen’enmen (the North Gate), Jingfumen (the East Gate), Baochengmen (the West Gate), Lizhenmen (the Main South Gate) and Chongximen (the Little South Gate). The North and West Gates were fortified on the exterior with enceintes. Built of stone, it was Taiwan’s only rectangular city wall, surpassing all others in height and magnificence. Construction of the wall and gate towers was completed in 1884.

How Stone Was Quarried for Taipei City Wall

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How Stone Was Quarried for Taipei City Wall

The stone materials for the wall and gates were obtained locally. The foundation slabs came from Beishihu in Dazhi, cut from the hill stones using small chisels. To extract each 12-foot-long slab, the workmen first chiseled out 7-8 equidistant square holes in the stone surface. They then placed 5-to-6 flat chisels 3 inches into the holes, obliquely inserted half-inch-thick iron plates on two sides of the chisels, and struck the chisels with 15-pound hammers to split off long stone bars. Finally, they cut the stone bars into small slabs, measuring one foot wide by four to five feel long, for ease of transportation.

Planting and Paving Design Concepts

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Planting and Paving Design Concepts

The North Gate has the greatest historic significance among Taipei’s five gates. It was the most used tea merchants and foreign traders who congregated in Dadaocheng outside the wall. Governor Liu Ming-chuan built the train station nearby and the tax office machinery bureau and many foreign firms were located in the gate’s vicinity. The Qing government ceremonial arch for the reception of officials was set outside it.

The landscape design of the North Gate Square not only beautified the square but also gave expression to Taipei’s history and cultural essence. The paving and planting tell the story of each landscape element.

Jasmin Flowers

The tea trading firms in Dadaocheng enjoyed booming prosperity at that time. The jasmine used for scenting tea became a signature plant of the Dadaocheng tea industry.

Roadside Trees under Japanese Rule

The Japanese authorities removed the city wall to make way for the building the park like three-lane road – a symbol of modern urban planning. The carefully selected roadside tress, such as Bischofia javanica (bishopwood) and Cinnamomum camphora, hold special significance in the development of Taipei’s avenues.

The Building Materials and Structural Features of Taipei City Wall

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The Building Materials and Structural Features of Taipei City Wall

Two kinds of stone were used to build the Taipei City Wall. The underground foundations were built with sandstone take from the Beishihu in Dazhi (then called Qili’an stone), while harder grey-black andesite (Guanyinshan stone) was used for the wall’s protective facing.
To solve the challenge of the ground’s soft upper stratum, Chinese fir foundation piles were driven down to the hard soil sever meters below ground. Then, beams 3-5 meters long were placed horizontally to form a platform on which ten layers of sandstone labs were laid in a right-angled criss-cross pattern. The wall was about 3.6 meters thick. To form a strong protective shield, the wall was faced with andesite laid in a Flemish double-stretcher bond. Its interior was filled with pebbles and rammed earth.

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About Taipei Prefecture

There is information displayed at the ground of Beimen Memorial Park regarding the Taipei Prefecture which was formed when Japanese takeover Taiwan where it has three business center : Taipei inner region , Monga (Southwest) and Dadaocheng (Northwest) outside of the city wall. Information also describes details of the prefecture, by mentioning what can be seen in every part of it. It mentioned what to be seen coming from South Gate, West Gate and North Gate regarding its old streets, temples and buildings.

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Taipei Prefecture

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South Gate Details

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West Gate Details

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North Gate Details

It was a relaxing walk in Beimen Memorial Park or The North Gate Square or The North Gate Plaza. It was also worth knowing that North Gate and the park itself was just recently renovated and improve as part of cultural preservation of Taipei. But I truly admired what Taiwan government did when they removed the elevated highway just to make emphasis of the historic North Gate as one of the symbol cultural heritage of the city.

Notes :
1. Plan to visit Taipei ? Please check latest information here. Plan to visit Beimen Memorial Park or North Gate Square or North Gate Plaza? Check here.
2. Location : Section 1, Zhongxiao West Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
3. Directions / Transportation to Beimen Memorial Park / North Gate :
a. From Taipei Main Station, get off at South Exit/Entrance of the train
b. Turn right and walk beside the Zhongxiao West Road and the gate can immediately be seen along the road.
Website : Taipei , Beimen Memorial Park / North Gate

 

 

 

 

Structure : Taipei City Gate – The North Gate (Chengenmen)

Structure (Post#22) : Taipei City Gate – The North Gate (Chengenmen)

Photos of the day are all about The North Gate or Chengenmen. The name of “Chengen” means “to inherit the grace of the heavens”. In all five historic gates of the old Taipei City Wall, The North Gate is the only one that still intact from its original Qing Dynasty architectural style while other gates were renovated into Chinese palace style. Historically, North Gate was important gateway during its old days but even that was the case, it was still planned for demolition but because of the scholars petition, it was decided to preserve. It was amazing to know that previously there was elevated highway beside it which removed to showcase how important cultural heritage The North Gate is. Currently, it is the most valuable state-designated historic sites in Taipei. These photos are part of Second Taipei Tour last August 2017.

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Notes :
Photo : The North Gate, Cheng’enmen, Taipei City Gate North Gate,
Location : Section 1, Zhongxiao West Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Directions / Transportation :
From Taipei Main Station, get off at South Exit/Entrance of the train, then turn right and walk beside the Zhongxiao West Road and the gate can immediately be seen along the road.
Website : Beimen Memorial Park / North Gate

Transportation : Taiwan Railway LDK58 Steam Train

Transportation (Post#19) : Taiwan Railway LDK58 Steam Train

Photos of the day are all about Taiwan Railway LDK58 Steam Train, a narrow-gauge steam locomotive which can be found being displayed near at Taipei Main Station East 2 Exit. The information found related to the displayed steam train are from the board display at the front of it. These photos are part of Second Taipei Tour last August 2017.

TRA LDK58 Steam Locomotive
LDK58 steam locomotive was manufactured by Nippon Rolling Stock Japan in 1923. It weighs 21.6 tons and has 5030 kg power, equipped with a central buffer couple, 4 power axles and water tanks on its sides. In the early days, it ran on the line between Hualien and Taitung, playing a major role in providing services.

It was retired in June 1982 when the gauge of the line between Hualien and Taitung was widened from 762mm to 1067mm. On July 7, 1985, it was shipped to Makong, Panhu as a gift for Panhu County Hall and exhibited in the county’s cultural center.

To preserve railway cultural heritage, TRA shipped it back to Taipei Railway Workshop in October 1999 and restore it before the year 2000 railway festival (June 9). On the very day of railway festival a brand new LDK58 was exhibited on the east square of Taipei Railway Station. It was shipped to Taipei Railway Workshop for preservation.

–Display board of TRA LDK58 Steam Locomotive on display in front of Taipei Railway Station

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Taiwan Railway LDK58 Steam Train, Displayed at Taipei Main Station East 2 Exit

Notes :
Photo : Taiwan Railway LDK58 Steam Train, Steam Train,
Location : Taipei station, No. 3, Beiping West Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
Directions / Transportation :
Majority of public transportation in Taiwan and in Taipei City starts and ends in Taipei Main Station.
Website : None

In The Middle Of Somewhere : Inside of Taipei Main Station

In The Middle Of Somewhere (Post#13) : Inside of Taipei Main Station

Photos of the day are all about moments that I captured inside of Taipei Main Station during my second time in Taiwan. I went inside Taipei Main Station and explored it as I need to exchange the 3 Days Taiwan High-Speed Rail Unlimited Pass that I bought few days earlier before my scheduled flight. And while walking inside the station, I saw lots of people gathered at the center of the station, an open space which at first I thought that there was event happening but it was not. I came closed to the center and realized, most people gathered in the open hall were mostly my countrymen. That day, I learned the place where my countrymen usually meet up in Taiwan, indeed it is at Taipei Main Station. I considered the station as the best place of everything, it is a public transportation hub surrounding by shopping stores and restaurants, and all in one place. These photos are part of Second Taipei Tour last August 2017.

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Notes :
Photo : Inside of Taipei Main Station
Location : No. 8, Zhengzhou Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 103
Directions / Transportation :
Majority of public transportation in Taiwan and in Taipei City starts and ends in this station.
Website : None

Chromatic Outlook : Story Bridge

Chromatic Outlook (Post#56) : Story Bridge

Photos of the day are all about Story Bridge which an iconic bridge in Brisbane that crosses Brisbane River. This bridge is heritage-listed and holds the longest cantilever bridge in Australia. It was built in 1940 and creates years of employment in the city during Great Depression. Its name was came from John Douglas Story, a prominent and influential public servant whom advocated the construction of the bridge. These photos are part of Brisbane Open House Event Tour last October 2013.

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Notes : 
Photo : Bridge, Story Bridge, Cantilever Bridge, Longest Cantilever Bridge in Australia.
Location : State Route 15, New Farm QLD 4169, Australia
Directions / Transportation (Seen from Eagle Street Pier, Riverside Ferry Terminal and Waterfront Place) :
1. Take any translink train and get off at Central Station. Exit at Ann Street, then turn left, then turn right at Creek Street and walk up to its ends, then continue walking to Eagle Street.
2. Choose which place to view the Story Bridge : Eagle Street Pier, Riverside Ferry Terminal or Waterfront Place.
Official Website : Story Bridge

Transportation : Brisbane, Queensland – Kookaburra Queen Paddle Wheeler

Transportation (Post#18) : Brisbane, Queensland – Kookaburra Queen Paddle Wheeler

Photos of the day are all about Kookaburra Queen Paddle Wheeler boat that I saw while walking along Riverside Quarter, after attending Riverside Centre building tour that I was lucky to participate. Paddle Wheeler, is one of the unique boat that I saw used for cruising. These photos are part of Brisbane Open House Even Tour last October 2013.

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Notes : 
Photo : Cruising boat, Paddle Wheeler, Kookaburra Queen Paddle Wheeler
Location : Eagle Street Pier, 1 Eagle St, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Directions / Transportation :
Take any translink train and get off at Central Station. Exit at Ann Street, then turn left, then turn right at Creek Street and walk up to its ends, then continue walking to Eagle Street, then turn left and walk at the Jetty to reach Kookabura Showboat Cruises Terminal
Official Website : Kookabura Showboat Cruises

Kyoto Walks : From Chion-In Temple to Yasaka Shrine to Kiyomizu-dera Temple to Fushimi Inari Taisha

The last part of my travel in Japan that was left unpublished during the first tour with my family was all about Kyoto Prefecture. After a day tour in Universal Studios in Osaka, the next day was focused in Kyoto, our second to the last day in Japan. The exploration time that we spent in Kyoto was very limited to a day since the next day, we have to go back to Tokyo. When the adventure was limited to one day, this caused me a bit of sadness because there are lots of places to see and enjoy in Kyoto and we were running out of time again, I wished that we can stay longer but we can’t.

From Kyoto Station, we reserved our JR bullet train ticket for the next day travel to Tokyo as we planned to leave the city early in the morning. Next, we went to the tourist information center inside the station. Information center is one of the places that I really enjoyed and spent some time because it helped me and gave me ideas where to go, it is like a starting point before going anywhere in the city. As usual, I picked a lot of brochures again. I approached one of the personnel at the center and inquired some thoughts where to go in Kyoto for the day. She picked-up a map and showed us some interesting places to see and how to go there. Then, she introduced a day pass since our JR Pass cannot be used in local bus within the old city. After few more minutes of discussion with the volunteer in the visitor center, we started our adventure in Kyoto by following the recommended places that we must visit as starter.

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Kyoto Sightseeing Day Pass

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