Dotonbori (Dotombori) – Osaka’s Famous Historical Entertainment District

During the second day in Osaka, I decided to explore the bustling tourist area of the city which I started from Namba Station. From Shin-Imamiya Station where my hotel is just beside it, I took Nankai train line and went out at Namba Station where Namba City is connected. My plan was walk around Namba, I told myself, wherever my feet brings me, I will be there. I visited the Information Center in Namba to find out what I can see and do in Osaka. I checked out travel brochures, picked-up some that caught my interest, then asked volunteers about a day pass in the city and I bought one before leaving the tourist centre.

To avoid lengthy post, I divided the travel post into three parts. First, was the walk done in Dotonbori. Next, was Tombori River Cruise and last but not the least was the visit in Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum. There are other stuffs that you can enjoy in Dotonbori and what I did were just the few of them. The following posts below details the simple adventures that I did in Dotonbori.

Have fun reading while enjoying Osaka photos.

IMG_2359_sWalking in Dotonbori “The Japanese Broadway” (Part 1)

Experiencing Tombori River Cruise (Part 2)

Visiting Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum (Part 3)

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

Plan to visit Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum? Please check latest information here.
Location : 1-chōme-6-4 Nanba, Chūō-ku, Osaka, 542-0076, Japan
1. From different Namba Station, follow the walking path towards Kamigata Ukiyoe Museum
2. For official access link, please refer here.
Official Website : Kamigata Ukiyoe MuseumDotonbori

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

Brisbane Open House (Day 1) : Discover the City’s Hidden Radiance and Elegance

Summary :
Brisbane Domestic Airport
Brisbane Airport Station
Brisbane Central Station
Brisbane City Hall
One One One Eagle Street
Riparian Plaza
Riverside Centre
Brisbane River
Story Bridge
Customs House
Riverside Quarter
Kookabura Showboat Cruises
Brisbane Polo Club – Naldham House
Hotel Embassy
The General Douglas MacArthur Room
MacArthur Museum Brisbane
Queen Street
Visitor Information Center Brisbane
Tattersall Club
Brisbane Arcade
General Post Office
The Manor Apartments
National Australia Bank
ANZAC Square Memorial
Ecosciences Precinct

When I lived in Australia between 2013-2014, I received impression about Brisbane from colleagues and friends that there was nothing to see in the city. I did not heard so much good and enthusiastic feedback about Brisbane. Most people whom I talked that had been in the city just advised me that Melbourne still far better, then they will follow a suggestion to visit Gold Coast instead of Brisbane. But, I was still curious and eager to see the city. I wondered why it is a capital of Queensland instead of Gold Coast.

I searched the internet to check what to see in Brisbane, looked for popular and interesting place to see. During the search, I came across an event that made me pushed to materialize my plan. The event is called Brisbane Open House happened last October 2013. When I learned about it, I felt excited because it will give me a chance to see more of Brisbane.

I visited the official website of Brisbane Open House (please check here) and ordered the guide-book that only cost $5AUD. I signed up for the event and registered for buildings with limited visitors. I registered in three buildings, two out of three, I was successfully selected. The two buildings were Riverside Centre and Translational Research Institute. Unfortunately, I was not lucky to be chosen to visit One One One Eagle Street. When I received the guide-book, I was more excited and looked forward to the event.

A month before the scheduled open house, I booked my flight and my accommodation. But few days before my scheduled flight to TigerAir (one of the budget airline in Australia), they canceled my inbound flight to Brisbane without explanation and I was furious of what the airline did because I had few days left before the Brisbane Open House event and booking that was tight to the schedule is more expensive than early booking. I requested TigerAir to compensate the additional cost that I incurred to the other airline where I booked my new inbound flight to the city. I flew via Virgin Australia. My supposed arrival in the city at 8:15 AM in the morning of Saturday has changed to 9:10 AM.

I visited Brisbane for the Open House event which happened over the weekend. As I only spent one night in the city, I never brought a luggage which reduced the cost of my flight. It was a short flight from Melbourne. After more than 2 hours in the air, we touched down at Brisbane Airport. I disembarked the plane and walked out of the departure terminal. When I reached outside of the terminal, I was glad to find a train terminal that I can use as public transportation to reach the city center cheaper and easier. My arrival time in the airport was timely and I still had enough time to commute to the city before my scheduled building tour in Riverside Centre at 11:00AM. I took from the Airport Station and went out at Central Station.



Brisbane Domestic Airport



Domestic Airport from Airport Station





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Brisbane Airport Station




Different Stations that the train passed on the way to Central Station from Airport Station


Brisbane Central Station

I walked from Central Station towards Riverside Centre. I exited in Ann Street and turned right. I turned left at Albert Street where I saw Museum of Brisbane and Brisbane City Hall. From Albert Street, I turned left to Elizabeth Street while trying to find my way to Riverside Centre.



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Brisbane City Hall with Clock Tower


One One One Eagle Street


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

I reached Riverside Centre and had amazing building tour with a bonus of exploring Riverside Quarter, the ground building. For the detailed building tour, check here.


Riverside Centre


Riverside Centre from Riverside Quarter


With Brisbane River and Story Bridge from the top


Nearby Buildings Surrounds Brisbane River from Riverside Quarter


Riverside Quarter


Story Bridge from Riverside Quarter


Customs House from Riverside Quarter


Kookabura Showboat Cruises Ferry Terminal at Eagle Street Pier


Bavarian Pier Cafe

Coming from Riverside Quarter, my walks led me from Eagle Street Pier to Mary Street where I passed some restaurants like Bavarian Pier Cafe. Next, I saw Brisbane Polo Club which was a former Naldham House, a former two-storey office building built in 1866 through Australasian Steam Navigation Company. As little bit history of it, the building undergone renovations under several shipping companies that took over the building, until it became under MacDonald Hamilton and Co. which managed the building from 1914 until 1986. In 1989, the building was purchased by AMP and leased to polo players until it was sold to them in 2003.



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Brisbane Polo Club – Naldham House

My walk continued from Mary Street to Albert Street where I found a heritage building called Hotel Embassy. Below are the excerpts that I found about it.

The Embassy Hotel was built in 1928 during Brisbane’s interwar building boom. It is one of eight remaining pre-World War II corner hotels in Brisbane’s Central Business District (CBD), and the only one erected during the interwar period. Designed in the Interwar Commercial Palazzo style, the building is an unusual example of architect Jack Donoghue’s work and, along with Invicta House and Pioneer House, provides the south side intersection of Edward and Elizabeth Street with a distinct interwar presence.

–Heritage Brisbane


Hotel Embassy

Walking within central business district of the city, I found a museum, a museum that I never expected that I will be familiar to it. I went to MacArthur Museum Brisbane. For the quick tour to the museum, please check here.


The General Douglas MacArthur Room/Office at MacArthur Museum Brisbane


MacArthur Chamber




Queen Street near Brisbane Arcade


Visitor Information Center Brisbane

While walking at Edward Street, I turned left at Queen Street where I had a chance to see Tattersall Club and Brisbane Arcade. Tatters All club was formed in 1865 by group of men prominent in business and horse-racing in Queensland. Then, a three-storey building was built in 1926 and to provide billiard, card, reading and dining rooms for its members. The building has been extended in 1936 to be able to contain new dining rooms and kitchen. In 1990, it was refurbished again for redevelopment that will include fine dining restaurant, large function rooms, 18 accommodation rooms, gymnasium, indoor heated swimming pool, a library and administration offices. The building is architecturally important because of the period interiors which features the use of materials from Queensland. The building’s facade in Queen and Edward Streets are good examples of Classical Revival and Art Deco styles.


Tattersall Club

My walks continued at Queen Street until I saw Brisbane Arcade. The name was familiar as I had visited similar arcades in Melbourne and Sydney. And the thought excited me at that time because I knew I will discover another arcades in Australia which became additional collection for me about traditional arcade shopping center in the country.



Brisbane Arcade

When I entered the arcade, I felt amazed because of interior design of the building. These kind of interiors can be only seen in old and historical buildings. The design of the arcade are said to be based on traditional arcade shopping in Europe during late 18th century. For the detailed photos of the Brisbane Arcade and its interiors, please check here.


Central Walkway from the upper level showing the terrazo flooring Queen Street towards Adelaide Street with terrazzo flooring and leading to gallery stores on each side


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


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


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


One of the stores inside Brisbane Arcade

Brisbane Arcade was built in 1923 and founded by Maine family. Even though the family has interesting story related to the arcade which detailed in the history section of their official website of the building. In my own opinion, if I will understand what the Maine family are doing, because of what father of the family did, they wanted to pay forward of the sins of their father by giving the fortunes of the arcade back to community such as helping University of Queensland Medical School.

Queen Street has lots of important buildings, another one is General Post Office which is a heritage building considered today as one of Brisbane’s finest historic landmarks.



General Post Office

While walking along Queen Street, another noticeable building to be seen just beside General Post Office is The Manor Apartments, though it was not included on the list of building for Open House Brisbane event, the external design of the building was captivating and it was registered as heritage with its gargoyles and elegant bronze semi-circular windows overlooking Queen St. It was the tallest building in the city when built in 1931.


The Manor Apartments

National Australia Bank, another heritage building exist along Queen Street. It was a former Queensland National Bank head office built in 1885. The building symbolizes the close relationship of Queensland Bank and Queensland Government. It was designed by Architect FDG Stanley in Classical Revival Style. The Giant order columns of Oamaru (New Zealand) limestone dominates the Queen and Creek Street. Please check here to see detailed post on building tour.


National Australia Bank

ANZAC Square Shrine of Remembrance which located in heritage listed ANZAC Square which can be found between Ann Street and Adelaide Street. If coming from Central Station and exited in Ann Street, ANZAC Square can be seen immediately. This was the third ANZAC related structure that I had seen so far while exploring Australia. The first was in Melbourne and second was in Canberra. The town square was built to honor the Queenslander soldiers fought in the war.



ANZAC Square Shrine of Remembrance

Before ending my tour in the city which still part of Brisbane Open House, I left the business district to travel to Dutton Park where Ecosciences Precinct is located. I return to Central Station to reach Park Road Railway Station. From that station I walked towards my destination which is a science building.



I was excited that there are science buildings that were open anytime for vistors during the city’s open house event. And I was really glad that the Ecosciences Precinct was not included in pre-book tours wherein only selected people that registered can come to the building. I came late in afternoon and hoping I was still able to catch-up the schedules before it ends the day. To see detailed post about the building’s interior, please check here.


At the back of Ecosciences Precinct


At the front of Ecosciences Precinct


Scenery from the roof of Ecosciences Precinct


Translational Research Institute (left)


The Gabba (left)

Summary :
Brisbane Domestic Airport
Brisbane Airport Station
Brisbane Central Station
Brisbane City Hall
One One One Eagle Street
Riparian Plaza
Riverside Centre
Brisbane River
Story Bridge
Customs House
Riverside Quarter
Kookabura Showboat Cruises
Brisbane Polo Club – Naldham House
Hotel Embassy
The General Douglas MacArthur Room
MacArthur Museum Brisbane
Queen Street
Visitor Information Center Brisbane
Tattersall Club
Brisbane Arcade
General Post Office
The Manor Apartments
National Australia Bank
ANZAC Square Memorial
Ecosciences Precinct

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

Follow  The Hidden Panorama or Follow Me :

Keelung Walks : Heping (Peace) Island, Shen’ao Fishing Port and Port of Keelung

Second day was spent in Northern Taiwan, in Keelung City. Since Keelung is not far from Taipei, I traveled to the city with regular train which is TRA train. I used the EasyCard that I bought and previously used from my first trip in Taiwan, I made sure that it has more than enough cash loaded into it for my round trip to Keelung. I checked the amount of train fare to the city and I knew that I am safe to travel without worries regarding the ticket fare.

I traveled from Taipei Main Station to Keelung Station. Then, arrived at Keelung City almost 10AM. I got off at North Exit, and returned. Next, I went out at South Exit of the station where the Visitor Center is located. Before I reached the Visitor Centre, a shuttle tourist bus arrived and I quickly inquired to tourism officers about the shuttle day pass available.


At Keelung Station

I bought a tour bus pass for TWD50 and has complimentary small brochure as guide to Keelung Tourist Spots where the touris shuttle bus will stop. One of the tourism officers explained to me that there are two zone options to choose when taking the tourist shuttle bus day pass in the city. The Keelung Shuttle Bus West Line route goes to Yehliu Geopark and the Keelung Shuttle Bus East Line route goes to Heping Island. I knew that Yehliu Geopark is famous tourist spot, therefore I chose another route which is the West Line Route. At that time, I was more curious to see Heping Island Park. I also learned that the tourism shuttle bus system in Keelung Station operates in one zone option. This means that, when you choose East Line Route, that means visitors can enjoy all tourist spots in the said route. If the visitor wanted to take the West Line Route, the same rules applies. But before buying tickets for both lines. Make sure you will be able to visit all the places in both zones as the ticket is only valid for the day. There is a schedule that the bus is following. It is operating like hop-on hop off bus. The two lines only meet at Keelung station, it does not intersect in other routes from other zone. If the visitor wanted to visit specific place in other zone, you will return to Keelung Station to transfer to another route and you will have to pay for  tourish shuttle bus pass. When I looked at my time, I just decided to go to West Line only and see if I still have time to see the East Line route.

After quick orientation, I went out the Visitor Centre and jumped on the East Line bus. While inside the bus, I just observed that there were just few tourist. I took a seat at the back and felt excited as I was looking forward to see Heping Island Park. When we left Keelung Station, I checked again my GPS to see my current location while traveling. The shuttle bus stopped based on the route destination defined in the East Line Route. The first stop was Miaokou Night Market, second stop was Zhongzheng Park and third stop was Indigenous Cultural Hall before reaching the Heping Island Park bus stop. I bypassed the three stops as I wanted to go straight to Heping Island Park.

Heping Island Park (formerly known as Sheliao Island)


The tourist shuttle bus that I took crossed Sheliao Bridge  The said bridge is one of the bridge that connects Heping Island to the mainland aside from Heping Bridge. I got off the Heping Island Park Bus Stop which still around 5-10 minutes walk to reach the gate or entrance to the park. While walking, I checked my phone to see where I was and to see the directions that I was following. I tried to approached few people along Pingyi Road to verify that I was in the right direction but some people don’t know how to respond to me, so I walked again and again following my GPS in my phone. From Pingyi Road, I reached a gate and walked inside of it. I went to the park for photography and curiosity to the place. I spent at least an hour to see the park.


At Sheliao Bridge

Heping Island was called Sheliao Island in the past. It is located at the north of Taiwan. Heping Bridge connects the island to Keelung City. In 1626, the Spanish army built castles, churches and fortresses, preparing to do business with China and Japan. The castle on the southwest is called San Salvador, the saint savior. This is the first and currently the only castle in Keelung. During the Spanish occupation, Heping Island had busy trading activities with Southeast Asia. After World War II, the island was renamed Heping Island. Today, it is a famous tourist attraction.

Heping Island is perfect for diving and sea fishing. With years of erosion by the wind and sea, the eroded rocks and coasts have formed special shapes. The Keelung government has made Heping Island a coastal park with swimming pool, tour track, tourism service center and food and beverages.


Inside the park island, the first thing that I saw was the castle fortress like structure which is the Visitor Centre of the park where the building design was imitation of the Spanish style San Salvador City since the place has been occupied by Spanish for decades. It was the place where I started my short exploration of the park. I walked not far from the Visitor Centre where I saw the mushroom like rocks in the coast where special shapes had formed due to thousand years of erosion which is one of the fascinating things to see in the park.



Visitor Centre coming from the entrance of the park




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Mushroom Rocks from Little Camp



Mushroom Rocks with Keelung Islet (background island)


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Mushroom Rocks


Little Camp with View of Mushroom Rocks



With View of Mushroom Rocks from Little Camp area

Kiddie Pool

One of the shallow seawater swimming pool is the Kiddie Pool where adult can safely allow young ones to play with the water without worries of waves from the sea and be drowned as they watch children from a distance. The nice thing about the pool is that sea and natural ecology can be introduced to young ones in enjoyable way.




Kiddie Pool


Kiddie Pool from Angel to the Sea Marina (Upper Board Walk)

Blue Ocean Pool



Another interesting to learn about the Blue Ocean Pool aside of being part of the sea is the opportunity of the swimmer to swim together with tropical fish, crabs and other marine creatures in the blue water. Is it not that fun? The pool was transformed from natural seawater into the waterway to a pool.


Blue Ocean Pool from Angel to the Sea Marina (Upper Board Walk)


Summer Stay Beach

The island also offers beach where visitors can enjoy the scorching heat from the sun and can play with the sand. Walking the upper board walk which is called as Angel to the Sea Marina, gives the visitor a chance to explore the park in a different perspective to enjoy the scenery that surrounds it.



Visitor Centre


Bush Island

While exploring the park, I thought that I saw everything that was why I decided to leave the park, but before I reached the gate where I entered the park, I saw a road that seems to lead somewhere, therefore I checked it out and wondering if I could see something in that area. Wan Shan Gong and Ryukyuan Fisherman Monument were found in the area. But I really enjoyed the rock formations on the shore and the colors of it where


Wan Shan Gong


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Surroundings near Wan Shan Gong


Ryukyuan Fisherman Monument



Surroundings near Ryukyuan Fisherman Monument

The one thing that I regret in my visit in Heping Island Park was unable to explore it completely. As I had rough idea what is being offered by the park, I missed to explore the mountain trail where scenic pavilion is located to be able to see more of the sea-erosion landscape which I missed. During the visit, there were some constructions going. And I was not aware that I can walked beyong the shore where most of the mushroom like rocks can be seen. If will given a chance again, I will return to this place to explore the park completely.

Shen’ao Fishing Port


I left Heping Island by taking the same East Line shuttle bus that goes to Riufang Station route as I wanted to visit Shen’ao Fishing Port. I came to the port expecting that there were too many people on it, but, to my surprise I saw few people around the port. I was not sure if it’s the port was on holiday during my visit, all I knew was it was Monday. I had a quick look of the port but this was the second place that I missed an important tourist spot because I was not aware that there was such thing in the port. What I did in the area was to walk around the port and took some couple of photos.






Ruifang District Fisheries Association



Shen’ao Fishing Port







Shen’ao Fishing Port with Keelung Mountain at the back


Shen’ao Fishing Port Viewing Platform


Shen’ao Fishing Port Bus Stop

Port of Keelung



Port of Keelung Scenery from Keelung Station (Maritime Plaza) Bus Stop



Keelung Station (Maritime Plaza) Bus Stop


Yangming Marine Culture and Art Museum (left building) and beside it is City Bus Terminal


Along Zhongyi Road with Boat Marina Harbourside Leisure Hall (right building)


Keelung Station South (left) with Yangming Marine Culture and Art Museum (right)


Keelung Station South

The last place that I visited which part of East Line Route was Shen’ao Fishing Port. From the bus stop where I went off was the same bus stop I waited for the bus that will return to Keelung Station. We took the same route and we picked-up other passengers like me in other bus stop. The bus route ended at Keelung Station (Maritime Plaza), where I had a chance to see the beauty that Port of Keelung is offering. And I really like what I saw. I can say that the center of Keelung City revolves around Keelung Station and places that surrounds it such as Port of Keelung. Before I totally left the city, I took few minutes to enjoy the port.

Until then.

Notes :
1. Plan to visit Keelung ? Please check latest information here. Plan to visit Heping Island Park? Check here. How about Shen’ao Fishing Port? See this.
2. Location : 360, Pingyi Road, Zhongzheng District, Keelung City
3. Directions / Transportation to Heping Island Park :
a. From Taipei Main Station, take TRA train to Keelung Station. TRA Train website here.
b. From Keelung Station, go to Visitor Centre where the tourist shuttle bus waits. Keelung Shuttle Bus website here.
c. Choose which Zone option you wanted to visit and enjoy.
d. Please visit the access link to the island park here.
Website : Keelung, Heping Island, Shen’ao Fishing Port

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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.



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