Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 Japan Autumn Trip 04: Fushimi Inari Shrine and Senbon-torii (Thousands of Torii)

Lets go to Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷神社) today! This was the place where foreigners liked the most in Japan. (Accodring to the survey conducted by tripadvisor in 2015). So lets take a look how special it is. (By the way, I have one of the most unforgettable experiences in my trip right here too!)

Outside Inari Station. Red huge torii could be viewed from the station.

The pathway towards ni-no-torii (二の鳥居) and rou-mon (楼門, Two-storied Gate)

Small shrines at the side of pathway

Rou-mon, built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi in 1589, to pray for his mother's health.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2015 Japan Autumn Trip 03: Kasuga-Taisha Shrine

Heading south from Tamukeyama Shrine (手向山神社), you will reach another major tourist spot in Nara, Kasuga Taisha (春日大社, or Kasuga Grand Shrine).

First you will pass through Mt. Wakakusa (若草山). This small hill, which covered by sheets of grass, is recognized as one of the new three major night view of Japan. You could have a nice night view of Nara if you are on top of it. During Edo period, it was famous with its Mikasayama-yuki (三笠山雪, snowy Mt. Mikasa) and listed as one of the Eight Views of Southern Capital (南都八景). This is also the place that held the famous burning-hill ceremony (山焼き) in every January.

The hilltop was covered by thick mist. It looks like the heaven is just a few steps away.

Friday, January 1, 2016

2015 Japan Autumn Trip 02: Autumn Look of Todai-ji, Nara

A lot of Buddhism temples are still well preserved currently in Nara city, an imperial capital about 1300 years ago. This is my second times visiting this city. I had visited Kofuku-ji and Todai-ji these two temples early this year. So, if you are interested in their history and how the sakura blooming in these two temples, please kindly refer to the link provided. :)

This post will let you experience the scenic red leaves from Nara station to Todai-ji, and Nigatsu-do, a temple hall located at the east of Todai-ji where you could see the entire view of Nara city.

Outside Nara station, few days ago was Ritual of Returning to Main Hall (正迁宫祭) of Kasuga Taisha

Red leaves along Sanjyo-dori street

Jokyo-ji, a temple hidden in modern buildings along Sanjyo-dori

Red leaves outside Kofuku-ji

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

2015 Taiwan Summer Trip 10: New Taipei City Gold Museum, the Golden Age of Jinguashi

After having breakfast at second day at Jioufen, we started our journey of searching gold.

The breakfast cooked by the homestay owner herself

After leaving from the entrance of Jioufen Old Street, we took bus from the opposite bus station to Gold Museum at Jinguashi. The road to Jinguashi is very narrow, sometimes the driver need to let the vehicles at opposite way to pass through first.
Entrance of Gold Museum

Monday, July 20, 2015

2015 Taiwan Summer Trip 09: Lively Jioufen Old Street, Enjoy Tea at Amei Teahouse

After taking ferry from Green Island back to Taitung, we then took Puyuma Express, a new express train which operates at east coast of Taiwan, from Taitung to Songshan. It was another 3 hour and 22 minute train. Since we arrived at Taiwan, we had traveled around the whole island. 

Outside Taitung Station

The aboriginal sculpture at ticket entrance

Sunday, July 19, 2015

2015 Taiwan Summer Trip 08: Astonishing Scenery and Seaweed Food at Green Island

On the second day at Green Island, we had our lunch at a restaurant called "18 Haili". The food was quite nice compared with the braised rice (or Huifan in Mandarin) bought the day before. There is a large window facing towards the sea in the restaurant. Customers could enjoy their meals and the beautiful sea view at the same time.

18 Haili Restaurant

Peanut Tofu (highly recommended), it tastes like yam cake in Malaysia or Singapore, the meat paste is made by deer meat (I did not intend to eat it, but only realized after tasted....)

Fried egg with seaweed, it's so huge in size and what we ordered was small one

Saturday, July 18, 2015

2015 Taiwan Summer Trip 07: The Prisons of White Terror, New Life Correction Center and Oasis Villa

At the morning of second day on Green Island, my brother and I went for snorkeling. This is the second times I snorkeled, the last times was 9 years ago at Redang Island. Compared with the snorkeling at Redang, it is required to wear diving suit and boots here. The snorkeling area was just at sea shore, so we walked into the sea directly. In Redang, we need to take ferry to an area further away from the Island for snorkeling.

The snorkeling was quite nice. The fishes were so colorful. One of them was so special with its long tip at its head. The coach let us to feed those fishes with bread. Those fishes just hurried to our surroundings once the bread drop into sea. They moved so fast till I couldn't see them clearly. However, it must be careful to feed them as their teeth were quite sharp. My brother's finger was hurt when feeding them. For the corals, it isn't pretty as what I imagined.

After lunch, we started to explore each interesting sites on the island. Due to the overwhelming number of sites, two posts will be used to describe these places. The first one is about the Green Island under White Terror, while the second one is about the natural scenery of the island.

Green Island is one of the offshore islands at east side of Taiwan. It was used as prisons to imprison political inmates during the reign of Martial Law (1974 - 1987). During this 38 years of rule by White Terror, two political prisons were set up in this island. The first one was the New Life Correction Center (1951 - 1965), operated by the Taiwan Security Command, while the second prison was the Ministry of National Defense Green Island Reform and Reeducation Prison (1972 - 1987), also known as Oasis Villa.

Oasis Villa Rock, behind was Elephant's Trunk Rock, or known as "Devil's Gate" by the prisoners during the period of New Life Correction Center. There was a checkpoint set between these two rocks. The prisoners must pass the checkpoint first before entering the area of New Life Correction Center. Since there was almost no hope to be released, the prisoners treated the checkpoint as a gate to death.