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Kobe Harbour
An evening at Kobe Harbour Kobe Harbour

An evening at Kobe Harbour

Mani & I took the train to Kobe to check out the stunning illuminated harbor but we were sucked into the Bon Odori festivities happening on the same day. Food and beer stalls were everywhere. Surrounded by a sea of Kimono clad couples, on a small wooden stage, a group of lovely ladies were dancing to traditional music. It was great fun watching this 500-year-old tradition that is celebrated yearly to honor the spirits of their ancestors.

Tougyoku Dolls Museum
The cute dolls of Tougyoku Doll Museum Tougyoku Dolls Museum

The cute dolls of Tougyoku Doll Museum

We landed in Iwatsuki today to see the amazing Togyoku dolls. The collection at Tougyoku Dolls Museum is diverse and the exhibits include imperial court dolls and hina dolls among others. The town of Iwatsuki is famous for its cute dolls and is said to have over 300 doll-makers. They’ve been making dolls here since the 1700s when it was discovered that the Paulownia trees here are excellent for woodcarving. Soon the town became a center for the production of hina dolls, and the tradition continues to this day.

Godzilla Tambo Art
Inakadate Tanbo Art Godzilla Tambo Art

Inakadate Tanbo Art

We took the train to Inakadate to witness the Tambo Art. Tambo Art is an art form originating in Japan where people plant rice of various types and colors to create a giant picture in a paddy field. The massive pictures are elaborately designed using perspective drawing methods to make them look their best when seen from a nearby observation platform.

Watchtower at Sannai Maruyama Ruins
Ruins of Sannai-Maruyama Watchtower at Sannai Maruyama Ruins

Ruins of Sannai-Maruyama

We step back in time to the Jōmon period at the Sannai-Maruyama Ruins. The ruins in the southwest of Aomori is the largest ruins of a Jōmon-period village in Japan. Most of the excavated items have been reburied for preservation, but a few excavation sites and artifacts are on display along with reconstructed dwellings, giving us a sense of the daily life of ancient times.

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