Sunday, July 11, 2010

Japan Day 9. 28/06

Mr Donut breakfast and we then walked to V's who took us to see some old buildings I wanted to look at. One had some marvellous miniature buildings around the exterior. There must have been a couple of dozen of them.

We went into the old Aomori Bank building as there was a bit of a museum there. Very little English signage.

Next stop was the tourist information centre near other civic buildings such as the town administration and the court house.

We had a nice lunch at a cafe and V left to go to work and R and I decided to look at the street of temples. It was decent walk away and we even walked a bit past it and had to backtrack. I had two maps of very different styles and layouts and they confused me. The street is lined with temples on either side and businesses that deal in death. Many temples were quite new and some under construction or renovation. At the end of the street was a very old temple and from what I could work out, it dated back to the 17th century. It was partly closed while works were happening. We caught a cab back to the hotel and rested before eating at the Hirosaki Gusto with V. R and I walked to Hirosaki Park to see the castle illuminated, but only made it to a gatehouse. It was quite dark and spooky in the park.

We walked to V's work as she was just finishing and went back to her place for a drink.

While there are outdoor areas for bicycle storage at stations for free, for the winter there is a pay station under Hirosaki Station for bicycles. You aren't allowed to take a bike on a train, so some people have two bikes, one at each station they use. While you have to walk up the steps with from the underground station, your bike doesn't have to be carried. It rides on the moving belt.

A private local train which is not part of the main system.

An exhibition of Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara's work work was held in Newcastle in England when we visited two years ago, the first photo. He is a local person from Hirosaki and in the second picture is one of his works he donated to the city. The dog is a bit over two metres tall.

These mini buildings were very well done.

The old Aomori Bank branch, now a museum.

Another fine building.

Float models previously used in the annual Neputa parade.

No English signage, but the car is a Subaru, perhaps the first. It had its engine in the rear.

Just another beautifully designed garden.

The possibly 1600s temple.


  1. The miniatures look great, kudos to those who had the patience to build them.
    Private train?
    Can we have, please?

  2. Two bikes one at each end? Do they padlock them for overnight or what?

  3. oh i love that bike thing, those Japanese think of EVERYTHING. You're so inspiring me to go to Japan, some day.

  4. Awesome buildings, even the minature I must sit and read over your blog when I am done with sleeping off this final night shift :)

  5. And there were so many of them Jayne.

    MC, only about half the people bother locking their bikes at all, ever.

    Certainly an interesting place Fen.

    Pretty full on for you at the moment I guess Cazzi.

  6. I love that bike escalator too! And great that they don't need to lock their bikes. Sad reflection of us here that we most definitely do.

  7. I expect you know KN what it is like to lug a bike upstairs.

  8. Anonymous11:23 pm

    Sorry to disappoint but bike theft is quite common here. Nearly all bikes have registration stickers and police regularly check parked bikes to make sure they haven't been reported lost or stolen. V.

  9. So why don't people lock them up V? Even in Tokyo many are left unlocked.

  10. Anonymous7:21 pm

    Bikes are usually locked up. You were probably looking for chains, like those used in Australia, but most bikes here come with a keyed lock attached to a wheel. They're kind of small and unobtrusive. V.

  11. I saw them V. They are used here too now,along with a kind of U bolt lock, but no, many were unlocked. Was yours locked....splutter, why would you.