Kyoto - Lighting Tour

By: Photographer - Mario Hirano and Marcia Assay.

On December 8th, the Kyoto Illumination 2018 tour was held, a tour full of joy, fun and culture, among many familiar faces of the Japan Tour. Our friend and guide Luis, presents the tour ready, with total assistance to the passengers of this incredible tour.

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Gallery - Mario here.

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Gallery - Marcia here.

Hiroshima Tour 2018 - Marcia Assay

By: Marcia Assay - Japan Tour.

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Hiroshima 2018 Tour - New Year, see amazing photos here.

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Photo gallery here.

Excursion - Shimizu Lighting

By: Japan Tour - Photographer: Mario Hirano.

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Shimizu Lighting - tour held on January 4th, 2019.

Itinerary: Bridge, Monte O'muro and Illumination.

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"The Port of Shimizu, in Shizuoka City, displays one of the greatest winter illuminations in the Tokai region.

The Shimizu Telfer, a kind of horizontal crane, was built in 1928 as advanced technology for the time. It is considered a tangible cultural property of the country, so important. It is all lit up providing charm for visitors to the S-Pulse Dream Plaza in Shizuoka.

The Sea Light Harbor lighting creates an atmosphere of harmony with the waters of the harbor, which reflect the color.

The dome received white and blue lights bringing stars from the snow for visitors to gape at the beauty.

Every 15 minutes there is a music show with lights, from 16 pm to 21 pm."

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Photo gallery here

Japan Tour 2019 Shinnenkai

By: Mario Hirano - Photographer | Japan Tour - January 5, 2019.

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Gallery of photos here.

Kyoto Sakura Attractions

By: Photographer -Mario Hirano.

Excursion held on 02/04/2019.

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Gallery of photos here.

Tour to Sakura, Mount Fuje and Waterfalls

By: Photographer- Mario Hirano.

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On Saturday 6 April 2019, the Japan Tour held a very interesting tour.

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In the itinerary of the tour we had several extra places to visit, according to the schedule of the script, the execution group had a lot of fun.

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We visit:

Sakura Wanizuka of 300 years, in the city Nirazaki in Yamanashi-ken.
Sakura Yamataka Jidai of 2.000 years, in the city Hokudo in Yamanashi-ken.
Itogawa - with tasting of freshly picked strawberries.
Waterfall - Shiraito at Taki Waterfalls.

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Okinawa Tour

By: Photographer - Mario Hirano | Japan Tour.

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The early history of Okinawa is defined by the midden or shell culture and is divided into Old, Middle and Late Mount periods. The Early Shell Mound period was a hunter-gatherer society, with Jomon pottery that looked like a wave. In the latter part of this period, archaeological sites moved close to the coast, suggesting people's involvement in fishing. In Okinawa, rice was not cultivated until the Middle Shell Mound period. Shell rings for weapons made from shells obtained on the Sakishima Islands, namely Miyakojima and Yaeyama Islands, were imported into Japan. In these islands, the presence of shell axes, 2500 years ago, suggests the influence of a Southeast Pacific culture.

After the Late Shell Mound period, agriculture began around the 1th century, with the center moving from the coast to higher ground. This period is called the Gusuku period. Gusuku is the term used for Ryukyuan's distinctive form of castles or fortresses. Many gusuku and related cultural remains in the Ryukyu Islands have been classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site under the title of Gusuku Sites and Related Properties of the Ryukyu Kingdom. There are three perspectives on the nature of the gusukus: 2) a sacred place, 3) dwellings surrounded by stones, 1291) a castle of a leader of people. In this period, porcelain trade between Okinawa and other countries became busy, and Okinawa became an important relay point in East Asian trade. Ryukyuan kings, such as Shunten and Eiso, were important rulers. An attempted Mongol invasion in 1265 during the Eiso dynasty ended in failure. Hiragana was imported from Japan by Ganjin in XNUMX. Noro, village priestesses of the Ryukyuan religion, appeared.

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The Sanzan period began in 1314, when the kingdoms of Hokuzan and Nanzan declared independence from Chūzan. The three kingdoms competed with each other for recognition and trade with Ming China. King Satto, leader in Chūzan, was very successful in establishing relations with Korea and Southeast Asia as well as China. Emperor Hongwu sent 36 families from Fujian in 1392 at the request of King Ryukyuan. His job was to manage the maritime transactions in the kingdom. Many Ryukyuan officers were descendants of these Chinese immigrants, born in China or with Chinese ancestors. They helped the Ryukyuans develop their technology and diplomatic relations. In 1407, however, a man named Hashi overthrew Satto's descendant, King Bunei, and installed his own father, Shishō, as king of Chūzan. After his father died, Hashi became king, and Emperor Xuande of China gave him the surname "Shō" (Chinese: Shang).

In 1429, King Shō Hashi completed the unification of the three kingdoms and founded the kingdom of Ryukyu with its capital at Shuri Castle. Their descendants would conquer the Amami Islands. In 1469, King Shō Taikyū died, so the royal government chose a man named Kanemaru as the new king, who chose the name Shō En and established the Second Shō Dynasty. His son, Shō Shin, would conquer the Sakishima Islands and centralize the royal government, the military and the Norwegian priestesses.

In 1609, the Japanese rule of Satsuma launched an invasion of Ryukyu's kingdom, capturing the king and his capital after a long struggle. Ryukyu was forced to relinquish the Amami Islands and become a vassal of Satsuma. The kingdom became a tributary of China and a tributary of Japan. Since China would not make a formal trade agreement unless a country was a tributary state, the kingdom was a convenient loophole for Japanese trade with China. When Japan officially closed trade with the European nations except the Dutch, Nagasaki, Tsushima and Kagoshima, it became the only Japanese trading port offering connections to the outside world.

A number of Europeans visited Ryukyu from the end of the 1816th century onwards. The most important visits to Okinawa were by Captain Basil Chamberlain in 1852 and by Commodore Matthew C. Perry in 1846. A Christian missionary, Bernard Jean Bettelheim, lived at the Gokoku-ji Temple in Naha from 1854 to XNUMX.

In 1879, Japan annexed the entire Ryukyu archipelago. The Meiji government then established Okinawa Prefecture. The monarchy in Shuri was abolished and the deposed king Shō Tai (1843-1901) was forced to move to Tokyo.

Hostility against Japan increased in the islands immediately after annexation, in part due to Japan's systematic attempt to eliminate Ryukyuan culture, including language, religion, and cultural practices.

The island of Okinawa was the site of most of the land warfare in the Battle of Okinawa during World War II, when US Army and Marine Corps troops fought a long and bloody battle to capture Okinawa, to be used as the main air force and troop base for the planned invasion of Japan. During this 82-day battle, around 95.000 Japanese Imperial Army troops and 12.510 Americans were killed. The cornerstone of peace in Okinawa Prefecture's Memorial Peace Park lists 149.193 people of Okinawa origin - approximately a quarter of the civilian population - who were killed or committed suicide during the Battle of Okinawa and the Pacific War.

During the American military occupation of Japan (1945-1952), which followed the Japanese imperial surrender on September 2, 1945, in Tokyo Bay, the United States controlled Okinawa Island and the rest of the Ryukyu Islands. The Amami Islands were returned to Japanese control in 1953, but the remainder remained in American possession until June 17, 1972, with numerous Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force bases.

Discover Okinawa with Japan Tour – see photos.

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Gallery of photos here.

Source | credits: Photos - Japan Tour | Mario Hirano - with information from

Excursion - Fukui Mizushima Beach

By: Photographer - Mario Hirano. | Japan Tour.

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31 August 2019 Day On Saturday, we had the Japan Tour tour at Mizushima Beach in the city of Turuga in Fukui.

The island of Mizushima is on the shores of the Japanese Sea.

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The peak season followed from the 13th of July to the 31st of August 2019. Luckily, we were able to follow the last day of the season. Also, we went to Matsuri in Gifu, "Miyama River Festival", 12th Matsuri festival, at Seibugi Bridge, Miyama-cho, Yamagata-shi, Gifu.

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Gallery of photos here.

Tour - Korea - Busan - Seoul

By: Photographer - Mario Hirano | Japan Tour.

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Photo gallery here

Osaka and Kobe Universal Tour and Ride

By: Japan Tour - Mario Hirano – Photographer.

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Universal tour and ride to Osaka and Kobe.

On the 3rd of May on Saturday - public holiday ( Goold Wilk ), there was a Japan Tour tour to Universal - "amusement park" and also a beautiful tour to Osaka and Kobe.

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Osaka script - went to Shinsekai Tower | Osaka Castle | Umeda Sky Building and Shinsai-Bashi.

Kobe's script - Port of Kobe with incredible lighting at night.

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However, taking advantage of the weather I went to Chinatown in Kobe.

Gallery of photos here.

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