Nov 29, 2012

Beppu Today, Mix Bathing World 2012

  At the beginning of this month, I took pictures of the towers of Babel in the street of  Sol Paseo Ginza St. and Yayoi Tengu dori (the towers are a part of arts in Mix Bathing World 2012).  At that time, I found just five towers. I came back to the streets and tried to fine the rest of them, I could not do though. The pictures shown below are what I found today.
  This is just my opinion but, it is the "tower year" this year here in Japan because Tokyo Skytree opened this spring and it has been attracting many tourists from all over Japan and some from foreign countries. Towers and the sceneries from them are always attractive for us who cannot fly like a bird.
   Coincidentally, we have almost 20 artistic towers in Beppu.  They are not so high but they all have a presence because they use the items in the shops. I felt that they are alive because they are placed in the right place. I was very happy. 

The tower of fluorescent lights is in front of old photos of Beppu.

The tower in the pharmacy uses bottles of energy drink

The tower is in front of a Japanese Kimono shop

The tower is in a Japanese Kimono shop

The tower is in a Japanese sweet shop

The tower in a restaurant

The tower in a cake shop

Nov 28, 2012

Beppu Today (Nov . 27th 2012) Minami Tateishi Park

  At the beginning of this month, the foliage season came in the nearby mountains in Beppu,
and now Beppu city is at the height of the foliage.
  Today I walked in Minami Tateishi park and enjoyed seeing beautiful colored leaves.
It was sunny and the sky was blue. I couldn't expect something more to make leaves more beautiful.

The contrast between red leaves
 and pine trees was beautiful

a ginkgo tree and the blue sky

a Japanese wax tree

I don't know the name of this tree
<Access to Minami Tateishi Koen(park) from Beppu JR Station>
   From Beppu Station West Exit, take Kamenoi Bus (Bus Number 3) and get off at Minami Tateishi Koen Mae, it takes 12 minutes.
   From Beppu Station East Exit, take Kamenoi Bus (Bus Number 15, 16, 17) and get off at Minami Tateishi Koen Mae, it takes about 20 minutes.                                                                                   


Nov 27, 2012

Asami Shrine

Shrines and temples are essential for the Japanese. It is a traditional custom that the Japanese visit there and make wishes for health, happiness and success, especially during the first three days of the New Year.

Hachiman Asami Shrine is one of the popular shrines in Beppu and known as the shrine of the guardian god of Beppu. 

The main pavilion

Since it was established in 1196, it had been watching over Beppu. The historic buildings and solemn atmosphere surrounded by trees make Beppu citizen feel comfortable.

The shrine has a long approach, a stone-paved street after passing through the first gate (torii).

The first gate 
The front approach                                        
The approach has several oral traditions.
In the middle of the approach, you might see some unique stones. It is said that if people step on these stones on the first visit of the year to the shrine, they secure good luck for the year.
The Gourd Stone
The Cup Stone
At the end of the approach (on the top of the stairs), you will see two big cedars reaching up to the sky like a gate. It is said that if two persons pass between these two trees together, they will be married. These trees are also called "the cedar couple" among local people.

The cedar couple seen from the front approach

The cedar couple seen from  the main pavilion

The brochure written in English for more information about the shrine is available there. 

Try drawing a sacred lot (omikuji) written in English 
to learn your fortune for the year ! 
It takes 20 minutes to get there from Beppu station. Please ask FTIO offices about how to get there.

Nov 25, 2012

Beppu Today (Nov. 25th 2012)

<Kitahama Marché   (monthly outdoor market)>

Kitahama Marché of this month was held today. Fresh vegetables, healthy breads and so on were sold. A mobile cafe was also open there. It was good weather for a walk and a tea break outside. 


●Kitahama Marché

<OPEN>     the 4th Sunday of each month  from 8:30 to 13:30  
                     ※ It will not be held in Dec. 2012
<PLACE>   Kitahama Park 
          ※ Kitahama park sits on Route 10, near TOKIWA department.
                           It takes 10 minutes walk from Beppu station to get there.

                                                 Kitahama park
Kitahama park

Nov 14, 2012

Global Tower in Beppu

  Global Tower is a symbol of the convention facility, “B-Con Plaza.”
  The tower is 125m high so the views of it from different places with different objects at different times are attractive.

B-Con Plaza and Global Tower
B-Con Plaza and Global Tower
from Fujimi street

The view of B-Con Plaza
from Beppu Park 

from directly below

    The height of the observation deck is 100m.
A 360-degree view of Beppu is enjoyable.

Observation deck
The ceiling is open
Fujimi St. and Beppu Park

Beppu bay and Mt. Takasaki

The ferry at the center of photo
docks at Beppu International port 
View of mountain side.
Mt. Tsurumi and Mt. Ohgi
can be seen.

   <Access> 20 minutes on foot from Beppu station west exit, walking through Beppu park.
Kamenoi Bus is also available from Beppu station west exit, taking bus No 3 and getting off at Bcon Plaza.
   <  Open    >   9:00 -  21:00    (from March to November)
                          9:00 - 19:00    (from December to February)

   < Admission >  Adults  :  300 yen
                        Children :  200 yen


  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --

   Just for your information about the place near the tower, there are a Sushi restaurant and a shopping mall.
   The restaurant is a Kaiten zushi style.
   In the Shopping mall, there are a 100 yen shop, a fresh food super market, a second-hand shop, a clothing shop for kids, a barbershop and a bakery.

a Sushi restaurant

a Shopping mall


Nov 7, 2012

The foliage season 2012

The foliage season has arrived in the nearby mountains in Beppu. The pictures below were taken at  Lake Shidaka (altitude 600 meters).

The maple leaves are just changing color to yellow and red.

The pictures below were taken around 'Kogen Eki' of Beppu Ropeway (altitude 500 meters). 


Now is a good time to see the foliage at the top of Mt. Tsurumi (altitude 1375 meters), around 'Sanjyo Eki' of Beppu Ropeway. The leaves of lower altitudes are about begin to change color. 

FTIO offices offer you information about how to get Lake Shidaka and Beppu Ropeway.

Nov 6, 2012

Beppu today, November 2012 (revised on Nov 6th)

< Komomaki in Beppu Park : Nov 6th> 

  The trunks of pine trees in Beppu Park are wrapped with rice straw-mats. We call them KOMOMAKI.
  Komomaki is a trap band for matsugareha or pine caterpillars that is applied this time of year and removed at the beginning of next spring.
   It is said that this method was developed several hundred years ago in Japan.
  I like komomaki because they look like thermal blankets to keep pine trees warm in the winter.


<Mix Bathing World 2012 : Nov 4th>
   "Mixed Bathing World 2012" is taking place in Beppu until Dec. 2nd. According to the web site, There are eight projects. I've already visited Project 01 and Project 03.
    Project 01 was in a mystical space in the 100 year-old Japanese house. The floor was cobbled with beautiful marbles and LED lights illuminated it from underneath. It was said to be created by the inspiration of  "tenkuu no niwa (the garden in the sky (a direct translation))." The atmosphere made me feel relieved and wanted to stay there as long as possible.
    Project 03 took place in "the first subterranean dining and drinking district." I enjoyed thinking what image the artist had when she made this art hearing the very short phrases that came from several thousands of mikes in the dark. It was a very precious experience for me.
    Today, I walked in the streets of Kusunoki Gintengai Shopping mall, Sol Paseo Ginza St. and Yayoi Tengu dori street in down town Beppu.
     I heard from a member of the staff of this event that one of the concepts is "Enjoy Beppu." Yes, the streets were very enjoyable.
     <Kusunoki Gintengai Shopping mall>
     The street was decolated with the artistic objects. The street will be the stage of dance performance on Dec 1st and 2nd. .                                                                                                                                 

      < Sol Paseo Ginza St. and Yayoi Tengu dori street >
      There were the towers of Babel in Beppu in or in front of some shops. 

A board put by every tower that describes
"This is exhibited for Tsuyoshi OZAWA,
The Tower of Babel in Beppu, 2012"

The tower in the showcase of a coffee shop was mede of coffee beans.
The tower in the ice cream shop was made of ice cream cones.
I found only four towers today but there are eighteen.
I will come  back and find all of them.

Tower made of coffee beans
Tower made of ice cream cones

Tower made of school uniforms

Tower made of Japanese traditional sweets


<Sen-tohmyo  :   Nov 3rd >
  "Sen-tohmyo" (Festival of Sacred Lanterns) was held tonight (Nov. 3rd) in Beppu park.
Around six o'clock, the opening ceremony started attended by the mayor of Beppu, organizers and visitors.
   In the opening address, I got to know that there were 2,000 candles that were prepared by 500 volunteers spent 2 months.

Opening ceremony

Firework at the opening ceremony
I also got to know that this festival was the Children's festival because many students from nursery schools to junior high schools made their unique lanterns.

Lanterns made by nursery
             school students were cute  --->.
Lanterns in the dark were beautiful.

The tent-like objects turned to  --->
light sources that made the area a fantastic world.

Japanese umbrellas hung from the pine trees created Japanese atmosphere.  

The bamboo grove was lit up by lanterns using "packages of milk."
The lanterns used Kirie (cut paper) technique so they were elegant and relized finelly designated images.

Lantern with Kirie
The  bamboo grove

On the stage at the central square, a singer sang children songs with kids.
It was really nice.

I'm looking forward to visiting again next year.