Carlton Gardens – Home of Royal Exhibition Building and Melbourne Museum – Melbourne Walking Tour – Part 4

Even I stayed in Melbourne for quite sometime, the time was still not enough to see, to enjoy and to explore everything in the city. Because I traveled to Melbourne due to work assignment, my chances to go around this one of the famous city in the world was only during weekends as I have to work during weekdays. But I was thankful that I had given a chance to see this part of the world.

What to see around in Carlton Gardens? Carlton Gardens is itself a World Heritage site because of its scientific botanical significance. I got some photos of the garden together with Royal Exhibition Building. There are two significant tourist spot to enjoy around the place aside from the gardens. First is, Royal Exhibition Building and second is Melbourne Museum.

ROYAL EXHIBITION BUILDING

For Royal Exhibition Building, I tried many times to check the availability of the building for tourist and it wasn’t easy for me to schedule it since the building usually used for major events, if there are events that means the regular tour in the building is canceled.

When I found out the event about Motorclassica is happening that year in Royal Exhibition Building, I got interested because I will be able to see the old and classic cars or vehicles and the building itself. Therefore, I grabbed my chance and bought ticket to attend the event.

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For this post I will not detail the Motorclassica events that I attended in the building, but to show couple of snapshots of the building which when I got a chance to walk around the area after visiting Melbourne Museum. The building was already closed since its past 5PM when I got out of the museum. What I can only do was to take photos of the building from the outside.

I read some historical facts of the building and learned that for the past century the building has been used for the same purpose which exhibition events. As per Wikipedia, the building was built to host Melbourne International Exhibition happened in 1880-1881 and hosted the first Parliament of Australia in 1901. The building is the first to awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in Australia and now its one of the remaining 19th century exhibition building. A very interesting facts to treasure.

MELBOURNE MUSEUM

Next structure to appreciate for the people who like museums and discovering things is Melbourne Museum. To be honest, I spent more than half a day in the museum but still I haven’t had enough time to see all of it. Time flies so fast when I visited the museum. I wanted to read everything but I knew it’s really impossible. I am one of the last people whom left the museum. Here are few of the photos I got inside the museum which mostly reflects what was Melbourne city look like before.

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Since I have few photos from the museum, I cannot elaborate so much about what I saw inside but one thing is for sure, it’s one of the best museum I had visited, I had been in the museum around 12PM and left past 5PM because the museum is closing, if not I definitely staying longer than that.

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A Bomb Dome – Symbol of ‘Peace City’ – Hiroshima City

Hiroshima City was the place where first atomic bomb was dropped during World War II. Based on history, the building was blown-up as well because its location is not far from hypo-center (where the bomb was dropped and exploded up in the air). The building was formerly used as Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall and now representing people’s prayers for a lasting peace (reference information – visithiroshima.net)

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Atomic Bomb Dome

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Atomic Bomb Dome and Motoyasu-gawa River

There were two loops available for Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus or “Hiroshima meipuru~pu” where the bus terminal can be found near Hiroshima Station at Shinkansen Entrance. First loop is Orange where it is called as “via Peace Memorial Park and Art Gallery” and the second loop is Green and it is called as Peace Memorial Park and Okonimi-mura”. We started our adventure in the city and we took the Orange loop.  We got off A-Bomb Dome bus stop. From the bus stop, it’s just few walks away. When we saw the building, we saw a lot of tourist a like and they surrounded the building. Because of too many tourist, we took our time with the dome as we wanted a bit of exclusivity of the building, we waited until most of them were gone.

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Atomic Bomb Dome (Part 1)

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Atomic Bomb Dome (Part 2)

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Atomic Bomb Dome (Part 2)

Atomic Bomb Dome and Motoyasu-gawa River

While looking at the building, I can’t stop thinking at that time when the atomic bomb had been dropped in the city and how cruel it can be specially for the innocent people whom died in vain during that time. I knew it is somewhat a sensitive topic to discuss because people divided on its belief whether what happened was wrong or right, there are lots of topics that will arise of righteousness of the decision made to do it. When the Second World War broke last 1939, it was not only one country suffered, there were lots and my home country was not alone to suffer. It was a hurtful thing to think about and even to remember but there was a human hope that this kind of history will not repeat again. As I watching the building in different angles, whenever I look at it, I hope that human will always remember that living in peace are more important than other things. I will not condemn anyone but I hope that we learned our lessons on the history and make our world more livable. I admired Japanese because the world thought that this area of Hiroshima will be gone and will not be livable but after 70 years that had been passed the city and its outskirt proven that a city can be a reborn again and that what’s the impression that left in my memory after visiting the said city.

 

Hiroshima – A Reborn City and A ‘Peace City’

I can say that people who got a chance to study world history definitely knows the place named Hiroshima. Every time I encountered the name, two things that comes into my mind: first was World War II and second was the atomic bomb that dropped in the city. The world was rocked when US and its allied forces decided to drop the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki when Japan ignores the calls of Allied forces to surrender. As the Second World War reaches its final stages, the atomic bomb triggered the end of Japan emperialism.

I knew that the there’s always debate about the atomic bomb whether at that time it was right or not. While visiting Hiroshima, I read some historical archives that Japanese regrets what’s happened in Hiroshima but they also accepted or acknowledged that their government was also responsible for what had been happened because they recognized the impact that the decisions they made at that time. This is one of the character that I admired in Japan. I remembered that integrity is a key character that Japanese really cares for. That is why when they knew they made mistakes, they took responsibility by taking their lives just to preserve their honor and integrity (Harakiri).

When we got a chance to visit Hiroshima, I was curious what the city looks like after seven decades that had been passed after the atomic bomb was dropped in the city and its surrounding areas.

We spent an overnight in our hotel in Hiroshima downtown. In the morning we prepared early and we packed our stuff back again to our luggages and left it in the hotel and we picked it up again before took train to Kyoto.

Because we have few hours left in the city before our train schedule to Kyoto in the afternoon. We grabbed our chance to see a bit of Hiroshima. From morning until early afternoon, a city famous of its historical structures and ruins left by World War II and destructive atomic bomb that still standing as of today and to continue exploring the downtown by combining the city bus tour and walking tour.

From the hotel, we went to Hiroshima Station where the bus tour – Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus (Hiroshima Meipuru~pu) in the city starts. There are two routes available to tour around the downtown of Hiroshima. The first route is Orange Route – Peace Memorial Park and Art Gallery and the second route is Green Route – Peace Memorial Park and Okonomi-mura. We got a chance to take both routes but we haven’t completed the overall route because of limited time we had. When we got the Japan Rail Pass, the Hiroshima Sightseeing Loop Bus is included, that was why when we were in Hiroshima, we used the pass to get the bus tour.

The following places we had a chance to see in the city were:

1. A-Bomb Dome

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2. Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park

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3. Hiroshima Castle

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Mount Misen – A Bit of Trek to Miyajima Island’s Sacred Mountain

Instead of exploring first the Itsukushima Shrine, I decided to visit the Mount Misen because it seems that we need to spend more time in the mountain than in the shrine as I am expecting that there some part of the mountain that we may need to trek or climb. From the viewing area of O-Torii which just below or near Toyokuni Shrine, we followed the pathway to Momijidani Station wherein we passed the 5 Storied Pagoda, Itsukushima Shrine, office of Itsukushimi Shrine and a small town nearby. In Momijidani Station, there is a regular mini-bus available that pick-ups the visitors of Mount Misen. The bus will dropped all the passengers at Momidijani Park Entrance where the Momijidani Ropeway Station is just near. The mini bus is a regular service back and forth between stations. When I was looking at the map of Miyajima, I just realized that the park within the mountain seems a great place to discover as well but due to limited time we have, I snapped out the idea and focus on reaching the top or summit of the mountain.

While waiting for the bus, one of the local store owners approached us and showed us that we can buy ticket in their store and it seems the person is legitimate, we bought the ticket for our Mount Misen adventure in their store and other people does as well. The bus arrived and the good thing about it, all the four of us able to hopped on the bus from the queue we lined-up. It’s not really a long distance travel but because the area is already part of the mountain, the walk or let’s say the trek will not be an easy. We reached the bus stop and we walked-up a bit to Momijidani Ropeway Station. At the station, there is an office that you can also buy the tickets, since we already bought ours, we went straight to the stairs up to where the cable car is.

 

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There are two types of cable car that we rode up to the Shishiiwa Station. First was a Gondola lift and second was Aerial Tramway. In Gondola lift, only the four of us got in which means we have exclusivity in the ride and we enjoyed our flightseeing up to the  to of the mountain. When we reached the middle station or Kayatani Station, we transferred to another lift and we took the aerial tramway where it fits more people. We are the last group to get in the tram and that means we do not have great position to take photo during flightseeing but our eyes enjoyed the scenery on our way to Shishiiwa Station.

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Shishiiwa Station Observatory Hall

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Shishiiwa Station Observatory Hall (captured after descending the summit)

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Shishiiwa Observatory

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Mount Misen Map

We reached Shishiiwa Station where there is great observatory nearby. We spent time taking photos in the observatory and of course we took time to enjoy the sceneries. We found a map that Shishiiwa Station was not yet the summit of the mountain. I talked to my family and asked everyone who wants to see more of the mountain. Three of us agreed to come to the top and my mother decided to stay in Shishiiwa, she just stayed inside the station.

 

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Sceneries at Shishiiwa Observatory (Part 1)

 

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Sceneries at Shishiiwa Observatory (Part 2)

 

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Sceneries at Shishiiwa Observatory (Part 3)

 

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Sceneries at Shishiiwa Observatory (Part 4)

Our adventure continues in the mountain together with my sister and my father. We followed the track and the stairs to the summit. We reached the first place where we can rest and from the map it was the place where the following halls stands: Akaido Hall, Misenhondo Hall and Rekaido Hall (Eternal Fire Hall). With regards to Rekaido Hall or Eternal Fire Hall and sometimes called as Eternal Flame Hall is believed that the fire exist with more than 1200 years, if that was really true then its an amazing facts about the hall. My sister got tired and I decided to go up all the way to the summit. I thought that I am the only one who want to go up to the summit until I saw my father  following me. Along the way, we saw another halls in the mountain: Sankido Hall, Kanondo Hall and Munjudo Hall. I thought the trek will never end until I just arrived in the summit of the mountain where Mount Misen Observatory located.

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Captured on the way before reaching Eternal Fire Hall area

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Misenhondo Hall

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Reikado Hall (Eternal Fire Hall)

 

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Sankido Hall

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Kannondo Hall and Munjudo Hall

 

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Scenery near Kannondo Hall and Munjudo Hall

At the summit we enjoyed the beautiful sceneries that surrounds the island. My father and I took photos of each other together with sceneries as our souvenir in the summit. After sometime we both decided to descend the summit since the time announcement that the last trip of the aerial tramway is up to 5PM in the afternoon. If we will missed it, it means that we will trek the mountain with our own legs and I was not sure if my family will be able to do that. When we descended the mountain, we used the same trail though based on the map there was another trail to go down the mountain and we never took that as we need to meet my mother back to Shishiiwa Station and we have to take the same lift we had when going up the mountain to go down too.

 

Fudo-iwa (Acala Rock)

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Kuguri-iwa (Duck under rock)

 

 

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At Mount Misen Summit Sceneries

 

At Mount Misen Summit

 

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Mount Misen Observatory

We took the aerial tram and gondola lift from Shishiiwa Station to Kayatani Station and gondola lift again to Momijidani Station. We waited for the bus and go back to the bus stop where we started earlier our trip to the top of the mountain.

 

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On our way to the ground

We passed few local stores and the office of Itsukushima Shrine. After mountain adventure, next stop was the World Heritage Site – Itsukushima Shrine.

Itsukushima Shrine – The Famous Floating Shrine

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Itsukushima Shrine on our way to Mount Misen

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Sori-bashi (Arched Bridge)

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Tenjin Shrine

We descended Mount Misen past 5PM in the afternoon. Before we reach the Exit of the shrine, we had seen some part of the shrine from the outside such as Sori-bashi or Arched Bridge and Tenjin Shrine. We started the exploration of Itsukushima Shrine from the Exit. We do not entered the shrine in a normal way. At the exit or what they called West Corridor, there was a sign that it was an exit and no entry and we broke that instructions. Because we were nearer in Exit than in the Entrance of the shrine, I decided to enter the shrine using the exit walkway. I just decided to pay our ticket once we reached the entrance. I knew that it was wrong and I admitted that as an honestly mistake.

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West Corridor

While walking along the corridor of the shrine and seeing around the place, I can say that it is interesting to have such structure with lively colors similar to O-Torii and also stands in the sea. The shrine was registered as World Heritage site few years after the Second World War and it was mentioned based on their history that the main shrine was built around 6th century. Looking in a such place that stands by time, natural weather changes and even calamities such as typhoons and earth quakes amazed me how great such structure to stand a long time. Of course I understand that it is being maintained but to last it until our time for me is wonderful. The shrine is a Buddhist shrine and they may believe that it is because of divine intervention, the other people may believe because of the science behind how the shrine was built, whatever the reason is, I myself wish that this kind of structure stands longer so that the next generation will still witness the historical building still standing in the sea.

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Nishi Kairo (West Corridor)

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Noh Stage

 

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Nishi-Kairo (West Corridor)

We followed the corridor and continued our walk. Along the way, we saw the stone lanterns which sometimes dismantled and placed in corridor so that during high tide, it prevent to raise the floor due to the sea. Next we saw were Noh Stage, Taka-Butai and Marodo Shrine. We reached the open stage or Hira-Butai where we enjoyed viewing O-Torii and the sea, we stopped there a bit to take photos of the beautiful scenery that surrounds the shrine.

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Taka-Butai

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Marodo Shrine

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To Higashi-Kairo (East Corridor)

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One of the stone water basin we found

From the open stage or Hira-Butai, we walked back to the corridor until we found the main shrine which called Honden located at the center of the shrine just straight from Taka-Butai. We spent time to looked and observed what’s inside the main shrine and I took some photos of it. From Honden, we walked again in a corridor called Higashi Kairo (East Corridor) until we passed the Marodo Shrine. Then, we found another stone water basin where we tried to drink the fresh water on it. We reached the entrance and we paid our tickets for the shrine.

 

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Main Shrine (Honden)

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Lantern we found near the Main Shrine and Walkway (to Higashi Kairo – East Corridor)

 

Higashi Kairo – East Corridor

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The Entrance

 

Precious Moment In The Mountain : Mount Misen

Precious Moment In The Mountain (Post#24) : Mount Misen

While roaming around in Japan, one of the mountain that we had a chance to visit and even had a chance to trek a bit was Mount Misen. Mount Misen is considered as sacred mountain in Miyajima Island (Itsukushima Island). We enjoyed the scenery while we were on our way to the top through gondola and tram lift. And more when I reached the summit of the mountain. The photo above shows some of the islands that are visible from the mountain. Photo snapshot captured last September 2015.

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