Visiting Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum (Part 3 of 3)

I do apologize for more than 6 months rest from writing my travel adventures, had been busy, but still got a chance to visit some cities in USA and even got a chance to return to Japan for a while. This post is a continuation of my previous post that focusing about Dotonbori.

Before leaving Dotonbori, I visited a museum which included in the Osaka Pass that I bought. Since I love museum, I was curious what to see inside of Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum.


One of the Ukiyoe Prints with the name of museum (sorry as it was blurred one)

Finding the museum was quite a challenge, I used my GPS in my phone and I knew that I was in front of it, but I was not sure since I did not see immediately the English Version name of the building (which can be seen only at one side) as I stand in the corner of it. The museum is a two-storey small and narrow building, because of that I had doubts if it’s the museum. Then, I entered the building and asked someone if it’s the museum that I was looking for, the Japanese lady confirmed to me that it was. Next, I showed my Osaka Pass to the lady in the counter and she exchanged it to a ticket. Then, I took upstairs to see the current exhibit displayed at that time.

Dotombori (Dotonbori)


As part of my learning in the museum, “Kamigata” refers to Kansai region where Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe belong but not used anymore when Emperor Meiji moved to Edo (now Tokyo).

Some of the display that I found describes the old days of Dotombori (Dotonbori). The exhibits displays the entertainment information of the area including theatre descriptions and maps. Here, I understood why Dotombori is called as Japanese Broadway, because the best theatres in the country can be found in the area. Other displays even shows how busy and festive Dotombori area at its earlier times.

Settsu Meisho Zue



Settsu Meisho Zue (illustrated famous-place picture collection which introduced Osaka’s famous place)


Detailed description of Dotombori



Kaomise at Dotombori (Naka-za Theatre)



Kaomise at Kado-za Theatre



Takeda-no-shibashi (Takeda Theatre)

A piece of history every time I discover it made me sad because a piece or part of history has been destroyed because of war. Below mentioned that almost all theatres were gone during the air raid in March 1945.


And the Best Theatres to see in Dotombori during its old days (where some of it still exist as of this time).

Ukiyoe Paintings (Prints)

Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum is a private museum and mainly focused to display traditional Ukiyo-e artwork depicting Kabuki performers. Kamigata Ukiyo-e was produced mainly in Osaka during Edo period. The museum changed their display from time to time. At the time of my visit, they are displaying ukiyo-e paintings with the theme of “Actor’s Make-up in Ukiyo-e paintings”. It means that the exhibits features the make-up of kabuki actors.


About Ukiyoe paintings




Paints Used for Ukiyoe paintings


Different color information used for Ukiyoe paintings


Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese art which flourished from the 17th through 19th centuries. Its artists produced woodblock prints and paintings of such subjects as female beauties; kabuki actors and sumo wrestlers; scenes from history and folk tales; travel scenes and landscapes; flora and fauna; and erotica. The term ukiyo-e (浮世絵) translates as “picture[s] of the floating world”.


Kokusenya Kassen

One of the display found in the exhibit was Kokusenya Kassen (The Battle of Coxinga) Ukiyoe print. It shows the puppet play created by Chikamatsu Monzaemon which portrays the historical figure named Koxinga or Coxinga (Chinese Ming loyalist resisted Qing) and depicts a jidaimono play (historical episode) restoring the rightful dynasty of China. Utagawa  Yoshitaki (also known as Ichiyosai Yoshitaki) is a famous Japanese designer of ukiyoe woodblock prints in Osaka whom created more than 1200 ukiyoe prints during his time and commonly portrays kabuki (classic Japanese dance-drama) actors.


Kokusenya Kassen (The Battle of Coxinga)

Hagi wa Sendai Na wa Matsumoto (Matsumoto and the famous autumn flowers of Sendai)

The story of the play was said to be a rework of another play called “Meiboku sendai hagi” (Bush clover, the famous tree of Sendai) which dramatize the intrigues over the succession within Date clan of Sendai. One of the main character named Nikki Danjo conspired to overthrow Ashikaga (represents the Date Clan) Yorikane which in the end was slain. This was made by Shunkōsai Hokushū whom recognized as the most important artist in Osaka.

The ghostly rodent is actually Nikki in metamorphosis — he possesses magical powers, including the ability to turn himself into a giant rat. Nikki holds his hands in the manner associated with nercromancy as the rat emerges from his human form (note the lighter shading of the tail and hindquarters, indicating that the transformation is still in progress). Nikki is a prime example of an important role type known as jitsuaku (or tategataki) — unrepentant evil samurai who plot to overthrow their lords. They are also referred to as kuni kuzushi (“demolisher of nations”) to signify their intention to usurp an emperor’s throne or a daimyô’s domain.

The rat clenches with his teeth a scroll containing a list of conspirators planning to wrest power from Yorikane. Later, pretending to have reformed, Nikki will substitute another list and offer it as trumped-up evidence of the conspiracy, only to remove a dagger hidden within the scroll and mortally wound a counsel and ally of Yorikane’s son.



Hagi wa Sendai Na wa Matsumoto (Matsumoto and the famous autumn flowers of Sendai)

Arashi Rikan Lineage by Yoshikuni


Arashi Rikan Lineage by Yoshikuni (Portrait of different roles of Arashi Rikan)

Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (Yoshitsune and the Thousand Cherry Trees)

Sato Tadanobu, Yoshisune’s follower who has accompanied Yoshisune’s lover, Shizuka Gozen, is in fact a fox. It has transformed into Sato Tadanobu because the drum-head of Yoshitsune’s drum was made from the fox’s parent’s skin. Finally. Shizuka Gozen finds it out.

–Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum

One of the three most popular and famous in the Kabuki repertoire

— Wikipedia


Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura

Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy)

Same with Yoshitsune Senbon Zakura (above) ukiyoe, Sugawara Denjun Tenarai Kagami is one of the most popular play in kabuki repertoire. In the act III of this play where it titled as “The Struggle for the Carriage (Kurumabiki)”.

This famous scene, “a classic example of Kabuki’s stylized beauty”,[13] takes place in front of the Yoshida Shrine in Kyoto. The scene opens as Umeōmaru and Sakuramaru try to stop Shihei’s carriage, and are confronted by Matsuōmaru, a member of the entourage. As the pair begin to unlash the oxen and tear apart the carriage, Shihei emerges, his blue face makeup marking him as a villain. He glares at them malevolently, halting their attack.



Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami

Shinpan Kikugoro Zukushi


Shinpan Kikugoro Zukushi (created by Kuniyasu)

The memorial performance for Danzuo IV

Is a 9/1824 tsuizen-e depicting Ichikawa Danzo V (1788-1845) on the stage of the Kado Theater commemorating the 17th anniversary of the passing of his celebrated forebear Danzo IV (1745-1808). The 17th anniversary (actually falling in the 16th year, due to the way Japanese count such things) is an important milestone in ancestor worship. Beyond that date the deceased’s generation is understood to seriously drop off in numbers; so does interest, one can assume, even within a family.

Danzo IV (known as Shiko) had the final curtain drawn on him before single sheet Osaka printmaking had reached its flowering.* Perhaps this is one reason why Umetatsu (n.d.), an otherwise unrecorded artist, inserted him so strongly, peering down in ferocious mie from inside the triple black frame — actually the mimasu crest of the Ichikawa acting family.

Also of interest is the jaw line of the kneeling Danzo V. Thanks to regional differences in actor portraiture, the same thespian’s face was usually drawn thin and angular in Edo and soft and pudgy in Osaka.

In this case, though the print lists an Osaka publisher, Danzo V’s visage (pointedly sans make-up) betrays the narrower Edo look.

One possible reason may lie in the first part of Umetatsu’s signature — “Azumaya,” or “Easterner.” If the artist was visiting from Edo, (where he presumably would have used a different name, and where, incidentally, both Danzos were hugely celebrated), that could explain both the obscurity of the signature, and the actor’s severe jaw line.

It might also explain the rarity of this print. True, Danzo V was not performing in Osaka at the time, but one would still expect a special Ichikawa lineage tribute image like this to sell well. Perhaps Osakans reacted particularly negatively to the cut of his jaw.



The memorial performance for Danzuo IV

Azumakagami Mikari no Maki

The Ukiyoe print shown below is portion of the play of Azumakagami Mikari no Maki designed by Syunko.

Azuma Kagami is medieval text chronicles events of the Kamakura Shogunate from Minamoto no Yoritomo’s rebellion against Taira clan. It was compiled after 1266 under the directive of the Hojo shikken. It is an enormously detailed record of different activities centering on the shōgun with almost daily entries that include even notes on the weather.



Azumakagami Mikari no Maki

Hadekurabe Ise Monogatari


Hadekurabe Ise Monogatari

Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami (Sugawara and the Secrets of Calligraphy)

From the scene IV of the play Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami, a print depicts the scene from Tempaizan (Mount Tempai). The ukiyoe print designed by Syunko

Kan Shojo who is leading his quiet life in exile goes to Anrakuji temple to hear the story that the ume (plum) tree that he loved in Kyoto came flying overnight. Umeomaru arrives at the scene and tells Kan Shojo about Fujiwara no Shihei’s conspiracy in Kyoto. Kan Shojo transforms into a thunder spirit from anger and ascends to heaven.

–Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum


Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami by Syunko

Tenmangu Natane no Gokuh (The Rapeseed Offerings at Tenmangu Shrine)

The ukiyoe print was based from pure kabuki play entitled Tenmangu Natane no Gokuh which is one of the play that was written more to exploit the principles of feudal loyalty than to depict court romances.

–Rising from the Flames: The Rebirth of Theater in Occupied Japan, 1945-1952

The print displays the Kabuki actor Nakamura Shikan III is in the role of magician Ki no Haseo in the play, “Tenmangu Natane no Goku” performed at Naka Theater. The print designed by  Utagawa Sadaihiro, a Japanese artist that produced portraits from the beginning of his career. He was said to be a student of Kunisada, but then changed his name to Hirosada and became student under Sadamasu. He was active artist from 1830 to 1850.


Nakamuraza Sankai no Zu (The Third Floor of the Nakamura Theater)

Another ukiyoe displayed was made by Utagawa Kunisada, the most popular and most commercially successfully designer of ukiyoe during 19th century in Japan. The print depicts the kabuki actors in the third floor of Nakamura Theater.


Nakamuraza Sankai no Zu (The Third Floor of the Nakamura Theater)


The museum also showcases a display and information of the old Dotonbori. Through exhibits, it can learned that Dotonbori was a large scale entertainment district and the south side of Dotonbori called as “play side”. Dotonbori has not only kabuki theaters, but also as puppet theaters, and even place for acrobatics or sumo matches. “Settsu Meisho Zue” (1796-1798) the picture collection of Osaka’s famous place illustrates famous places, temples, shrines, events, customs, and traditions in the particular area.


Other stuff that found being exhibit in the museum are below:


Notes :
Plan to visit Osaka ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Osaka, Japan
Directions / Transportation to Osaka :
1. For official access to Osaka coming from anywhere in Japan, please check here.
Official Website : Osaka Info

Plan to visit Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum? Please check latest information here.
Location : 1-chōme-6-4 Nanba, Chūō-ku, Osaka, 542-0076, Japan
Directions / Transportation to Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum:
1. For trains, there are four Namba Stations where different train lines stops near Dotonbori.
a. Take Yamatoji Line for JR Namba Station or
b. Take Hanshin-Namba or Kintetsu Limited Express or Kintetsu-Nara Line for Osaka-Namba Station or
c. Take Modosuji Line or Sen-Nichimae Line or Yotsubashi Line (all subway lines) for Namba Station or
d. Take Nankai Line or Nankai-Koya Line or Nankain Limited Express for Namba Station
2. From different station, follow the walking path towards Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum
3. For official access link, please refer here.
Official Website : Kamigata Ukiyoe MuseumDotonbori


Experiencing Tombori River Cruise (Part 2 of 3)

While in Dotonbori, I took the Tombori River Cruise, using Osaka Pass, to see the popular tourist district in another perspective which is from Dotonbori River itself. The boarding point of the river tour is near in Don Quijote Store Dotombori which is under construction at the time of my visit.

I checked if the queue was manageable, when I saw that there were few people waiting, I redeemed my pass to a ticket and got myself on the queue. After few minutes of waiting, we boarded the Tombori River Cruise boat. The cruise was 20 minutes which started from boarding point near Tazaemon Bridge and we moved towards Nihon Bridge. We passed Tazaemon Bridge, Aiai Bridge and Nihon Bridge, before we returned and cruised towards Minatomachi River Place. The cruise gave me another look of Dotonbori.



Don Quijote Store Dotombori



At Tomori River Cruise Boarding Point


Passing Tazaemon Bridge from boarding point


Tazaeomon Bridge coming from Aiai Bridge


On the way to Nihon Bridge


Under Nihon Bridge


Dotonbori from Dotonbori River

Towards Aiai Bridge


At Tombori River Walk


Tombori River Cruise Boarding Point

On our way to Minatomachi River Place, when we approached Ebisu Bridge, I found lots of people having photo shots in popular bridge. At the left side of Tombori River Walk, there were Japanese entertainment shows being performed and tourist can freely watch and enjoy them. I saw group of women performing like a K-Pop girl group version of Japan while singing and dancing.

The river cruise ended and I did enjoy a quick trip with the boat. Next, I did a few walks from Tazaemon Bridge towards Sinnichimae Street to explore the other parts of shopping area in Dotonbori.




On the way to Ebisu Bridge


People watching entertainment along Tombori River Walk



Performing Entertainment Artist at Tombori River Walk


The famous Glico Sign near Ebisu Bridge


On the way to Daikoku Bridge


Namba Hatch and Daikoku Bridge


On the way to Fukari Bridge



Namba Hatch



Canal Terrace Horie


Ukiniwa Bridge while some of us waves with other people in Canal Terrace Horie



Sumiyoshi Bridge



From Dotonbori River, Ukiniwa Bridge with Canal Terrace Horie and Namba Hatch (Minatomachi River Place)


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Namba Hatch (Minatomachi River Place)


Naniwa Exploration Cruise Boat at Minatomachi Dock



Daikoku Bridge


Shin-Ebisu Bridge



Ebisu Bridge



At Tombori River Cruise Boarding Point



Sennichimae Street



Along Dotonbori

Before completely leaving Dotonbori, I visited Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum, a museum that I can use my Osaka Pass to further explore Dotonbori regarding its culture and arts through Ukiyoe prints.

Until then.

Notes :
Plan to visit Osaka ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Osaka, Japan
Directions / Transportation to Osaka :
1. For official access to Osaka coming from anywhere in Japan, please check here.
Official Website : Osaka Info

Plan to visit Dotonbori ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0071, Japan
Directions / Transportation to Dotonbori :
1. For trains, there are four Namba Stations where different train lines stops near Dotonbori.
a. Take Yamatoji Line for JR Namba Station or
b. Take Hanshin-Namba or Kintetsu Limited Express or Kintetsu-Nara Line for Osaka-Namba Station or
c. Take Modosuji Line or Sen-Nichimae Line or Yotsubashi Line (all subway lines) for Namba Station or
d. Take Nankai Line or Nankai-Koya Line or Nankain Limited Express for Namba Station
2. From different station, follow the walking path towards Dotonbori
3. For official access link please refer here.
Official Website : Tombori River WalkDotonbori

Walking in Dotonbori “The Japanese Broadway” (Part 1 of 3)

I left Namba City, walked beside the road where Hanshin Expressway can be seen at the top. I followed my GPS in my phone and crossed multiple roads until I found myself near in Namba Hatch or Minatomachi River Place. It was the first place for the day that I took out my camera and played with it. It was late Saturday morning before lunch time, but the place was still pretty quiet. I walked around Namba Hatch and enjoyed taking photos of the place since it stands beside Dotonbori River. I sensed through different restaurants that surrounds it, that the place is likely busy at night.



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Namba Hatch

From the ground outside Namba Hatch, I took stairs to cross lovely walking bridge (Ukiniwa Bridge). At the bridge I had a 360 degree view and I took photos around the place where I enjoyed scenery of Dotonbori River, Namba Hatch and Minatomachi River Place. It was a relaxing place to see.


Walking bridge (Ukiniwa Bridge) near Namba Hatch


Dotonbori River with Sumiyoshi Bridge (peach bridge) and Naniwa-Suji (blue bridge)


Dotonbori River with Ukiniwa Bridge and Canal Terrace Horie


Dotonbori River, Canal Terrace Horie and Tombori River Cruise Boat


Dotonbori River with Fukari Bridge (blue bridge) and Hanshin Expressway (road at the top)

After enjoying Namba Hatch, Canal Terrace Horie and Minatomachi River Place from Ukiniwa Bridge, I walked towards Dotonbori where majority of people can be found. I crossed Fukari Bridge and stopped in Daikoku Bridge where I had a chance of photo shots of Dotonbori River.

Then, I walked towards Shin-Ebisu Bridge and had couple of photos of famous Dotonbori and Dotonbori River. I explored Dotonbori continuously, the shopping, food and entertainment district of Osaka.


Daikoku Bridge



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Dotonbori River with Shin-Ebisu Bridge and Dotombori Bridge from Daikoku Bridge







Along Dotonbori





Namba Hatch, Daikoku Bridge, Hanshin Expressway (road at the top) and Dotonbori River from Shin-Ebisu Bridge


Shin-Ebisu Bridge


Namba Hatch, Daikoku Bridge, Hanshin Expressway (road at the top), Shin-Ebisu Bridge and Dotonbori River from Dotombori-bashi


The other end of Dotonbori


Namba Hips

I crossed a major road to reach the other half of Dotonbori, the most populous area of the shopping district. But before crossing, I saw a unique building called Namba Hips. My stroll in Dotonbori continued and my curiosity still with me while taking photos of the streets. At the other side of Dotonbori, the first thing that greeted me was the Osaka Shochikuza Theatre. Then, I passed the famous crab cuisine restaurant called Kani Doraku Dotombori Hoten. Then followed by walking towards Ebisu Bridge where lots of people take their photos as it was the great spot to say to the world that you are in Dotonbori – the popular dining and theatre district in Japan. Dotonbori is the Japanese version of American Broadway.






Osaka Shochikuza Theatre


Along Dotonbori



At Dotonbori near Ebisu Bridge


At Ebisu Bridge looking towards Tombori Walk River with Tazaemon Bridge

From famous Ebisu Bridge, there were shopping avenues to enjoy. The Shansai-Bashi-Suji and Ebisu-Bashi-Suji. I peeked both avenues from Ebisu Bridge and I chose Shansai-Bashi-Suji as it seems it is the most exciting to walk, because of too many people passing on it. I walked partially in Shinsaibashisuji shopping arcade, then, I returned to Ebisu Bridge before walking to Soemoncho Street.







Shin Sai-Bashi Suji



A walk inside Shin saibashi Suji



After walking the shopping and market street in Dotonbori, I tried to see the place via boat.

Until then.

Notes :
Plan to visit Osaka ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Osaka, Japan
Directions / Transportation to Osaka :
1. For official access to Osaka coming from anywhere in Japan, please check here.
Official Website : Osaka Info

Plan to visit Dotonbori ? Please check latest information here.
Location : Chuo Ward, Osaka, 542-0071, Japan
Directions / Transportation to Dotonbori :
1. For trains, there are four Namba Stations where different train lines stops near Dotonbori.
a. Take Yamatoji Line for JR Namba Station or
b. Take Hanshin-Namba or Kintetsu Limited Express or Kintetsu-Nara Line for Osaka-Namba Station or
c. Take Modosuji Line or Sen-Nichimae Line or Yotsubashi Line (all subway lines) for Namba Station or
d. Take Nankai Line or Nankai-Koya Line or Nankain Limited Express for Namba Station
2. From different station, follow the walking path towards Dotonbori
3. For official access link please refer here.
Official Website : Dotonbori

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.


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.




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.





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

Follow  The Hidden Panorama or Follow Me :

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


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.


Riverside Centre from Riverside Quarter




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“Winterwind” sculpture by Norman Carlberg


Color Wall-frame Display


Our Tour Guide in Riverside Centre


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


Story Bridge from Riverside Quarter


Customs House from Riverside Quarter





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

Follow  The Hidden Panorama or Follow Me :

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.



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.



Nankai Line Limited Express Rapi:t train


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.


At Kabusanguchi Bus Stop


The map I saw after crossing the road


The unknown road that I took towards the mountain


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




The shortest walking trail to Kabusanji Temple – First Trail


One of the lasting Azalea flower


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.




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)




Around the temple gate



Temple Cafeteria


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.




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.



Jakujo-in Temple (Left) and stairs towards Hondo







On the way to Hondo


Mizuko Jizo





Before reaching Hondo









Hondo (Main Hall)















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.


Jakujo-in Temple


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.








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.


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.


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.



Near Al Plaza beside Takatsuki Station





Takatsuki Bus Stop and Takatsuki Station

Tips :

There are two things that I usually used during my trip in Japan, visit 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

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.


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



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.


Shin Kong Life Tower and Guanquian Road


National Taiwan Museum of Railways


Zhongxiao West Road from Beimen Memorial Park


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


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”


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


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




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


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


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.


Taipei Prefecture


South Gate Details




West Gate Details


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





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.


Kyoto Sightseeing Day Pass


Kyoto Station



Kyoto Tower from Kyoto Ekimae Bus Stop

We bought a sightseeing 1 day pass and went outside of the station. We walked towards Kyoto Bus Stop and we looked at each bus stop until we found that goes to Gion. The bus terminal which just beside the train station is strategic and convenient for passengers specifically for visitors that wanted to explore the city on their own. Like my family whom traveling in a budget. The queue to the bus was a bit long which means one thing, there were many tourist coming to Kyoto to see this historical and traditional city of Japan. We waited a bit in the queue until it’s our turn to get on the bus. The bus was full pack of people and there were even standing at the center aisle of the bus. Inside the bus, there were some locals and foreigners wearing kimono, the traditional Japanese clothing, and to be honest I liked seeing people wearing traditional clothes, because it’s just fitting to the place like Kyoto, as the city still has an ambiance of slow life-like an old Japanese time.

We got off at Gion bus stop. And we walked towards Shinbashi Dori. When we were near Shinbashi Dori, we crossed the road to reach Chion-in-michi, the road that led us to reach the first temple we visited in Kyoto – Chion-In Temple.

Chion-In Temple – 17th Century Temple Headquarters of Jodo Shu Buddhism


When we reached the temple gate along the Higashi Oji Dori, I just observed that there were lots of tourist came in bus, as they arrived at the front gate of the temple called Sanmon while my family and I walked to reach the gate. When we were near in Sanmon there were many visitors astray in the ground. We started our walk in the temple ground from Sanmon. We explored the surrounding areas that are free to public as there are locations in the temple that requires payment to be able to access the area like garden, but we decided to take a look at the surroundings that are already available.




After passing Sanmon, which is the main gate of the temple, we took another stairs to reach buildings. Unfortunately, during the visit, the main hall named Mieido is under renovation, which prevented us to see it as it is fully covered by nice and neat metal building. I admired Japanese on how they renovate a temple. For me, it only means one thing, they really take good care of what they considered national treasures of their country. We approached buildings near Mieido, one is called Kyozo where it has a nice garden beside it. We also walked towards a building called Amida-do.





Mieido – Under Renovation


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Kyozo Garden



We took another stairs but its longer and has more steps than the previous one. It looks tiring just thinking how many steps it has to reach the top. But, even that was the case, three of us in the family took challenge except for my mother whom just rested in Mieido area. When we reached the end of the stairs, we saw Seishido Temple at the left. Then, we walked at the right side and explore Isshin-in Temple and beside a cemetery can be found.

Coming from Isshin-In Temple, we descended the stairs until we returned to Mieido area. We walked towards Kyozo Temple and approached Tahoto Pagoda too. When we reached Shuedo, we went inside the building out of curiosity. But because it’s not allowed to take photos inside the temple. We just silently observed people came inside it where most of them rendered their prayers.














Tahoto Pagoda



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After we left Shuedo Temple, we decided to end our tour in Chion-in Temple to see other places within Gion District. While walking along Higashi Oji Dori, we looked for restaurants. Not far from the exit of the Chion-in Temple, we found a local diners where we had our lunch. The experience we had been quite interesting, even the restaurant was just few walk away from tourist spot, their customers were most likely foreigners and not just locals. But surprisingly, a language that is a common barrier between the customer and local diners had found a solution to address it. We never requested our order through talking to a person but we put our orders via machine (like vending machine) where it shows the available menus and corresponding combos in English/Japanese language. I was really amazed with their strategy to solve the communication issues.

We took our time for lunch and when we were full, we left the restaurant to continue our family’s journey around the area. In just few minutes walk from local diner, we reached another temple called Yasaka Shrine.

Yasaka Shrine – 1350 Year Old Shrine

I had visited this Shrine, twice. First, was during my family visit in Kyoto in September 2015 and second, was during my solo trip in the city last May 2017 as part of Night Tour in Gion.


Main Entrance Gate (Ro-mon)

We generally knew that Japan has their own religious belief that originates in their own land and Yasaka Shrine convey this as well. Yasaka Jinja or Yasaka Shrine is a Shinto Shrine. The gate of the shrine cannot be ignored since it has a lively red-orange color which seems to be pretty common to see in most of their shrines or temples. We passed the gate and saw many visitors and tourist a like that came around the shrine. And some people visited the place wears kimono as the place is just perfect for classic photo souvenir.

We explored the area and observed as much as we can. Yasaka Shrine is more than 1300+ years old as it was built in year 656. And a lot of people visited this shrine for Gion Matsuri Festival which celebrated every year for more than a thousand years. The following buildings we saw insinde Yasaka Shrine were : Main Hall or Main Sanctuary, Main Dance Stage, Noh Stage, South Gate (Minami-romon) and Utsukushii Gozen-sha.


Main Hall or Main Sanctuary



Main Hall with People doing their prayer


Main Hall at Night



Main Dance Stage


South Gate (Minami-romon) and Mai Dance Stage


Mai Dance Stage with illuminated lantern



Noh Stage and South Gate (Minami-romon)


South Gate (Minami-romon)


Shinto Shrine and Noh Stage


Utsukushii Gozen-sha

Kiyomizu-dera Temple – Historic Temple with Picturesque Views

The last but not the least temple that the whole family visited in Gion District was Kiyomizu-dera Temple. From Yasaka Shrine, we walked along Higashi Oji Dori, until we reached where we noticed lots of people come and go which is in Matsubara Dori. Following my GPS in the phone, we noticed that we were near in a temple. Though we were unaware what kind of temple we will see, but we were very curious as to why there were so many people come to the temple.

Comparing the number we had seen in Chion-In Temple and Yasaka Shrine, we were overwhelmed because from the time we walked in Matsubara Dori (one of the walking paths to Kiyomizu-dera Temple) until we reached the first gate of Kiyomizu-dera Temple called Nio mon, if we will not be careful, we will bumped to lots of people along the way. Everywhere I directed my eyes, there were lots of people, as if there some kind of celebration or rally. I was not sure if there were special events at that time but I thought there was none, it’s just that too many people visiting the temple or it is just that the temple too popular.


At Matsubara Dori





Nio mon



Sai mon (West Gate) at the front and Three Story Pagoda at the back


Nio mon, Sai mon and 3 Story Pagoda



Bell Tower




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Three Story Pagoda


Zuigu-do hall



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Hon do (Main Hall)

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Lovely Scenery and Koyasu Pagoda from Hon-do (Main Hall)

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Kyoto City from Hon do (Main Hall)

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At Hon do (Main Hall)

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Around the Hon do (Main Hall)

We followed the walking trails from Hondo to other temple buildings until we reached Koyasu Pagoda where we had a chance to see the pagoda upclose. And from the same area, we followed the walking trail to descend until we returned to the same Niomon. Along the walking trail, we had a chance to see temple buildings like Hondo (Main Hall) from the ground, which gave us a chance to see the wooden pillars that support it. Then, we saw a pond where we found a turtles on it.



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Fushimi Inari Taisha – One of the Most Iconic Sights in Kyoto and in Japan

The four of us came back to our accommodation in Kyoto coming from a visit of Kiyomizu-dera Temple. But my parents wanted to rest for the day. My youngest sister and I decided to visit another place before we concluded the day. The last place that we visited was the famous Fushimi Inari Taisha, a Shinto Shrine. But before we pushed our plan, we checked if the shrine still open as it’s almost evening when we thought that we wanted to go there. And we were lucky as it is always open.

Since the shrine is near in train station, we took JR Nara Line train and got off at Inari Station. It’s almost dark when we arrived at the shrine, but to our surprise, there were still lots of people like us exploring the ground at that time. And because it’s famous, we tried to find what we were looking for – the famous “Senbon Torii” or “Thousand Torii” gateways. We followed the walking path where we found Torii Taisha Fushimi Inari, Romon, Worship Hall, Hall of Shinto Music and Dance, Senbon Torii, Okumiya and Tamayama Inarisha.

At first we followed the Senbon Torii tracks as we were excited when we saw the vermilion red color of thousand torii gateways but because it’s getting dark at that time, even I wanted to reached the end or peak of the walking trail, I decided not to push it  anymore as first we don’t have headlamp and I was not aware how long it will take to reach the end. Therefore, we decided to return and end the walks in Senbon Torii.

Here were the few things we had a chance to see while exploring Fushimi Inari Taisha.



Torii Taisha Fushimi Inari with Romon








Worship Hall


Hall of Shinto Music and Dance



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Senbon Torii




Captured along Torii Gates


Tamayama Inarisha

We finished the day exploring the colorful and amazing temples and shrines that can be found in Kyoto. Indeed a day is not enough to see Kyoto but the first travel we had, was very limited as other time we had was also spent in other places. Until next visit again in this old capital of Japan – Kyoto.

Notes :
1. Plan to visit Chion-In Temple? Check here. How about Yasaka Shrine? Here’s their official site. Explore Kiyomizu-dera Temple ? Go here. And Fushimi Inari Taisha? Visit here.

2. Directions to Chion-In Temple :
Location : 400 Rinkachō, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-8686, Japan
Transportation :
a. Take Raku Bus #100 from Kyoto Station that goes to Higashiyama Area, then get           off at Gion Bus Stop or
b. Take bus #12, 46, 201, 202, 203 or 206
c. Visit the official access link to reach the temple here.
Official Website : Chion-In Temple

3. Directions to Yasaka Shrine :
Location : 625 Gionmachi Kitagawa, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-0073, Japan
Transportation :
a. Take Raku Bus #100 from Kyoto Station that goes to Higashiyama Area, then get          off at Gion Bus Stop or
b. Take bus #12, 46, 201, 202, 203 or 206
c. Visit the official access link to reach the shrine here.
Official Website : Yasaka Shrine

4. Directions to Kiyomizu-dera Temple
Location : Seikanji Kiyomizukamiyamacho, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 605-0000, Japan
Transportation :
a. Take Raku Bus #100 from Kyoto Station that goes to Higashiyama Area, then get          off at Kiyomizu-michi Bus Stop or Gojozaka Bust Stop
b. Take bus #202, 206 or 207
c. Visit the official access link to reach the temple here.
Official Website : Kiyomizu-dera Temple

5. Directions to Fushimi Inari Taisha
Location : 68 Fukakusa Yabunouchichō, Fushimi-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 612-0882, Japan
Transportation :
a. Take JR Nara Line towards Nara and get off at Inari Station
b. Visit the official access link to reach the shrine here.
Official Website : Fushimi Inari Taisha

Rottnest Island – Its Perfections and Imperfections

The fourth and last day tour that I had while in Perth. And while completing my writings for my travel post which started in Perth, I just realized that I almost did a counter-clockwise travel from the said city. First tour was going south, second tour was going east, third tour was going north, and last but not the least, the last day tour was going west.

Perth is already at the west side, which place I was referring to that means my tour was going west? If the three tours were all by land, the last tour was involved with crossing the sea. I took a ferry that goes back and forth from Perth to the island named Rottnest. I still booked a tour to the island since my flight returning to Manila happened at the evening. It was my last day in Perth, or let say my last day in Australia since I must return to my country that night. That day for me like, every moment counts because I am not sure when I will be able to return to the third country which became my home for more than 1.5 years.

It was Sunday and I did checked-out in my hotel. Then, I temporarily left all my luggage at the hotel lobby as I will picked them back again after my last day tour. Since it was Sunday and like my usual Sunday, I attended personal activity early in the morning. Then, I took an Uber to reach Hillarys Boat Harbour as my tour will commence from the said harbour. I reached the harbour and I was thankful that I had a bit of familiarity of it since the night before, I had a chance to drive to the harbour with the help of Patricia (my tour guide from previous tour). When I got-off the car, at first, I thought I had to go to straight to the jetty where the boat will pickup their passenger. Then, I inquired some people whom I thought will be doing the same tour in the island and then I learned that I have to go the ticket booth first to exchange my booking. I was glad that I had time and I did exchange my booking for the actual ticket. Then, I went to the boarding area and realized that the boarding had already started. I approached the staff in the area and shown my exchanged ticket. And after inspecting my ticket, I was allowed to enter in the gate and walked to the ferry, I was very excited to get on-board.


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Hillarys Boat Harbour at Night

While traveling via ferry, it was already an adventure because the ferry captain announces if they found a whales along the way so that people on-board will have a chance to see them in their natural environment. At first announcements, I missed to see them, but after third or fourth announcement, I had a chance to see them playing in the water. Unfortunately because of immediate appearance of the whales, I was not able to capture photos of them.

The travel time from Hillarys Boat Harbour to Rottnest Island is around 45 minutes. We left the harbour just few minutes after 10AM and reached the island just after more than 45 minutes. When I arrived the island that was the time I realized how popular the island to people. At the time of tour in Rottnest Island, there was bike racing event and it can be the main reason why lots of people were there at that time. Most of the visitors brought or rented a bike, a one way to enjoy and explore the island for less.



Thomson Bay



Salt Store


Walking Trails featured in Rottnest

The tour that I booked was Grand Island package where there was an assigned tour guide. As I had limited time, I took the said option. And honestly, I never regret that I took that Grand Island tour because I was able to maximize my time exploring Rottnest.

From the Main Jetty (ferry terminal), I walked and followed the path to meet the tour guide as described in the brochures that was given to me when I exchanged my booking to a ticket. And the walking path was easy to follow. Then, at first, I was hesitant because I met the tour guide and he said, we just need to wait a couple of minutes to see if there are other guests that will join the tour. And in few minutes, two female adult joined the tour. We were exactly three people in the tour.

Rottnest Island offers bus options but it was different compared with the tour that I booked. Because, the bus that we had were designated on the tour while the other bus options is operating as hop on / hop off. This means that passengers has to wait to the drop-off/pick-up point to be able to take a bus. And at the time of the visit, it will take some time to wait for the bus. While on my end, since it was a tour, our bus was right there, we were able to easily navigate and explore every corner of the island which for me was a great choice, as I don’t have so much luxury of time to see all of what Rottnest Island has to offer.

The tour started at the center of Thomson Bay Settlement area where the Main Bus Stop terminal is located. Our tour started and our tour guide started telling us information about the island. He mentioned that at that day, all the accommodations in the island was fully booked and he added that if in case we plan to book accommodations in the island, it has to be done months before your holiday to get vacancy.


Bickley Swamp

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The railway from Oliver Hill Station to Settlement Station (Left) or Kingstown Station (Right)

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Dyer Island from Parker Point Road

We took Parker Point Road from Brand Way. And along the road, we saw Bickley Swamp, a crossing rail-tracks and some set of accommodation units. Following the road track of Parker Point Road, we saw Dyer Island from a distance and our tour bus had a quick stop at Henrietta Rocks where we saw “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.

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At Henrietta Rocks with Dyer Island



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The Shark Wreck


A bay scenery near Henrietta Rocks

Since we never get-off the bus, our tour guide continued driving along Parker Point Road until we reach Parker Point itself. It was the first stop in the tour where a part of its stunning turquoise water bay greeted us. Parker Point has white sand beach and some portion of turquoise water, I can say it’s a great spot for short distance swimming and snorkeling to enjoy the water. At the time of the visit, there were just couple of boats nearby the coast. Based from our guide, during peak season, it’s normal to see lots of boats in Parker Point. But for me, I can say that I was lucky seeing Parker Point with few boat as it honestly lovely.

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Porpoise Bay from Parker Point Road


Almost near at Parker Point







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At Parker Point

After appreciating the beauty of Porpoise Bay that surrounds Parker Point, we found the famous creature exist in Rottnest Island near of Perth, Bald Island near Albany and isolated scattered populations in forest and coastal heath between Perth and Albany. That animal is none other than Quokka. We found one of them drinking water (though it is advised not to give them food and water) by some bikers that were resting in Parker Point.


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At Jeannies Lookout

After Parker Point, we had a short drive to Jeannies Lookout where different pools between reefs are visible from the lookout.  Then, we passed Little Salmon Bay (one of the best site to snorkel and to swim), Eastern Osprey Nest (one of the 14 nest site of Eastern Osprey – a wild large eagle bird shape in Rottnest) and Salmon Bay (where beached boasted its beauties and offers lots of underwater sites to enjoy snorkeling and swimming) wherein all the photos were captured while inside the bus.





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Little Salmon Bay



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Eastern Osprey Nest









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Salmon Bay

Next destination that we stopped for a while for another great scenery was Cape Vlamingh. It was the same place where we ate our packed lunch. In that same location, where I enjoyed second incident of up-close observation of flying silver gull with the beautiful backdrop around it.



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Fish Hook Bay while at Cape Vlamingh



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At Cape Vlamingh Viewing Platform with scenery and silver gull



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At Cape Vlamingh

Not far from Cape Vlamingh is Cathedral Rocks where we had another stop in the island. This is 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.





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At Cathedral Rocks with New Zealand Fur Seal


West End (Between Cape Vlamingh and Cathedral Rocks) – Near the corner of Aitken Way and Digby Drive

The tour continues around the island and to be honest, I was really glad that I joined the tour, because of limited time that I had, I was able to see more in short period of time. Another places that I saw and appreciate while inside the bus were : Rocky Bay, Stark Bay, Ricey Beach and Catherine Bay Beach.



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Rocky Bay


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Stark Bay


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Ricey Beach


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Catherine Bay Beach

Taking Bovell Highway

While we took Bovell Highway, I was able to see from a distance the Wadjemup Lighthouse, Lake Vincent, Lake Baghdad, Geordie Bay and Rottnest Wind Turbine.


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Wadjemup Lighthouse


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Lake Vincent


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Lake Vincent and Wadjemup Lighthouse


Lake Baghdad/Lake Vincent Wadjemup Lighthouse