See Japan's castles the easy way
Article posted on Tuesday, May, 3rd, 2011 at 10:58 am
Below is a photo of a manhole cover I took from my recent trip to the city of Karasu. Kewl-lookin', it features a stylized depiction of the Niji-no-matsubara.
What the Niji-no-matsubara actually is, is a 4km-long strip of grotesquely-contorted & growth-stunted pines that act as a barrier to the strong winds coming in off the bay; the wind causing the deformations.
The twisted forest
So, back in November, 2007, myself & a couple of workmates headed up to Karatsu to take in the sites. One of our main goals was actually to sample the Karatsu burger.
We found a burger-serving van in a car-park on the side of the road that passes through the forest. The pepper-mayo garnished (run-of-mill) hamburger was phenomenal, the 30-minute wait & small serving less so.
After polishing off our meals (snacks), we walked through the forest in search of weirdness. In amongst the weirdness, we found a dragon. (Not this first picture, and not the last one either. You’ll know it when you see it.)
The final destination for the day was the local castle where, as can be seen, shenanigans ensued. For information about the castle check out its profile page: Karatsu castle.
Article posted on Monday, April, 25th, 2011 at 5:11 pm
Have you heard the expression to laugh like a drain? It’s not a phrase I actually use, but I do like the mental picture that it conjurers. For those interested in this type of thing, I suspect it has its origins in British English.
How about the song Singing in the Drain? Or the movie Drainman? Surely, you’ll not have forgotten Dustin Hoffman’s Academy-award-winning performance.
I don’t see why drains should get all the attention when it’s their covers doing the hard yards, keeping a lid on things best left unobserved.
In an attempt to correct this imbalance, I invite you to consider the life of the drain cover a moment, as you view this fine example from Odawara.
Article posted on Tuesday, August, 31st, 2010 at 3:19 pm
The very first destination of my recent trip was the city of Odawara in Kanagawa Prefecture. Did I visit Odawara castle? Of course. On this particular trip I was determined not to miss out on any more of these decorative manhole covers as it would be fair to say, they have gained a certain notoriety in recent times.
There exist more far more colourful & detailed ones than the one below but we have to start somewhere I guess. There is something a little odd about the picture of this one, have a good look at it. What do you think?
Are the people in the foreground trying to escape the Geisha/Dalek? Or perhaps, one was turned into a pillar of salt when they turned and laid there eyes upon what they had left behind?
Nah, it probably just is a Dalek. Exterminate!
edit: The above picture has since received the JapanDave.com polish.
Article posted on Wednesday, April, 21st, 2010 at 9:24 pm
I was going through some of my photos from earlier this year and came across this one. Recognise it? That’s right, it’s from Hitoyoshi castle. I snapped it just outside the train station after having visited the castle grounds. The image is of one of the traditional water craft that are still used on the Kuma river at the castle’s edge
I’ve got a bit of a confession to make. When I finally reached the Honmaru (the central defensive enclosure), I was actually glad there was nothing else to see, I was that exhausted. Yet another confession. I do wish this post was a bit (a lot) meatier, but the drastic reduction in my free-time has lead to less posts, less twittering & less updates in general. Have got some things in the works though (been reading up on Konishi Yukinaga’s exploits in Korea in the 1590′s.)
Hope everyone is keeping well. :)
Article posted on Thursday, March, 4th, 2010 at 10:58 am
Posts about manhole covers seem to be all the rage of late, so I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon too. Admittedly, a quick google search highlights the fact that the cover below is pretty unremarkable, but this one suits me just fine!
Could you make out the picture? The image is that of the surviving gate of Saiki castle amongst flowers.