Visiting Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum (Part 3 of 3)

Note:
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.

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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)

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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

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

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Detailed description of Dotombori

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Kaomise at Dotombori (Naka-za Theatre)

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Kaomise at Kado-za Theatre

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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.

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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.

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About Ukiyoe paintings

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Paints Used for Ukiyoe paintings

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Different color information used for Ukiyoe paintings

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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”.

–Wikipedia

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.

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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.

–osakaprints.com

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

Arashi Rikan Lineage by Yoshikuni

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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

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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.

–Wikipedia

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Sugawara Denju Tenarai Kagami

Shinpan Kikugoro Zukushi

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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.

–OsakaPrints.com

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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.

–Wikipedia

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Azumakagami Mikari no Maki

Hadekurabe Ise Monogatari

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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

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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

 

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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.

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Don Quijote Store Dotombori

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At Tomori River Cruise Boarding Point

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Passing Tazaemon Bridge from boarding point

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Tazaeomon Bridge coming from Aiai Bridge

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On the way to Nihon Bridge

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Under Nihon Bridge

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Dotonbori from Dotonbori River

Towards Aiai Bridge

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At Tombori River Walk

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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.

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On the way to Ebisu Bridge

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People watching entertainment along Tombori River Walk

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Performing Entertainment Artist at Tombori River Walk

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The famous Glico Sign near Ebisu Bridge

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On the way to Daikoku Bridge

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Namba Hatch and Daikoku Bridge

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On the way to Fukari Bridge

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Namba Hatch

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Canal Terrace Horie

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

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Sumiyoshi Bridge

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

 

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Namba Hatch (Minatomachi River Place)

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Naniwa Exploration Cruise Boat at Minatomachi Dock

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Daikoku Bridge

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Shin-Ebisu Bridge

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Ebisu Bridge

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At Tombori River Cruise Boarding Point

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Sennichimae Street

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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.

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Walking bridge (Ukiniwa Bridge) near Namba Hatch

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

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Dotonbori River with Ukiniwa Bridge and Canal Terrace Horie

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Dotonbori River, Canal Terrace Horie and Tombori River Cruise Boat

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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.

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Daikoku Bridge

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

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Along Dotonbori

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Dotombori-bashi

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

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Shin-Ebisu Bridge

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

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The other end of Dotonbori

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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.

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Osaka Shochikuza Theatre

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Along Dotonbori

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At Dotonbori near Ebisu Bridge

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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.

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Ebisu-Bashi-Suji

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Shin Sai-Bashi Suji

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A walk inside Shin saibashi Suji

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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.

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At 8th Floor towards the museum

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

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

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The restored General Douglas MacArthur Room / Office

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

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

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MacArthur Chambers

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

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

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

Until then.

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

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

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Riverside Centre Tour and More

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

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

 

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One One One Eagle Street

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

Riverside Centre Tour

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

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Riverside Centre from Riverside Quarter

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“Winterwind” sculpture by Norman Carlberg

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Color Wall-frame Display

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Our Tour Guide in Riverside Centre

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Riverside Centre Tower Model with Riverside Quarter at its bottom

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

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With Brisbane River and Story Bridge

 

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Nearby Buildings Surrounds Brisbane River

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

 

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Nearby Buildngs Surrounds Brisbane River from Riverside Quarter

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Riverside Quarter

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Story Bridge from Riverside Quarter

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Customs House from Riverside Quarter

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Kookabura Showboat Cruises Ferry Terminal at Eagle Street Pier

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

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

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

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

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Takatsuki Walks : A Trek to Kabusanji Temple

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

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Landing at Kansai International Airport

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

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Nankai Line Limited Express Rapi:t train

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Kansai Airport Station

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

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

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

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

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

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

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At Kabusanguchi Bus Stop

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The map I saw after crossing the road

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The unknown road that I took towards the mountain

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

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The shortest walking trail to Kabusanji Temple – First Trail

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One of the lasting Azalea flower

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Around the temple gate

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Temple Cafeteria

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To Honzanji Trail (Right Side Road)

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

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King Deva at Niomon (Main Gate)

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

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Jakujo-in Temple (Left) and stairs towards Hondo

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Kejyo-in

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Hotoin

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On the way to Hondo

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Mizuko Jizo

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Before reaching Hondo

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Hondo (Main Hall)

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Shakado

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Kaisando

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Kannondo

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Reihoin

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

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Jakujo-in Temple

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Jakujo-in Temple Garden

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

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Remote town of Takatsuki with farms

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

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

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Kabusanguchi Bus Stop towards JR Takatsuki Station

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

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

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Akutagawa River

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

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Near Al Plaza beside Takatsuki Station

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