Friday, July 5, 2013

It was a long day...22 hours traveling with lay overs in Seattle Washington.. Flew out of Kansai Airport

 Stayed at The New Miyako Hotel in Kyoto from July 1st - July 4th

  1. New Miyako

  2. Accommodation
      Boasting a prime location within a two-minute walking distance from Hachijoguchi exit of "Kyoto Station" - the gateway to the ancient capital of Kyoto - the New Miyako Hotel offers an ideal base and various package plans for leisure and business travelers.

    Restaurants & Bar

      The hotel provides an array of dining and drinking options including a stylish dining café & bar, a buffet-style restaurant serving over 100 different dishes, an authentic Sichuan restaurant and a Japanese restaurant specializing in Kyoto cuisine.

    Banquet & Meeting

      The New Miyako Hotel offers a splendid atmosphere for memorable occasions such as conferences, reunions, and anniversary parties.


      The hotel has ample facilities for the convenience of hotel guests and event participants, including a business center, courier service counter and the shopping mall "MIYAKO Avenue", with Kyoto souvenir shops, clothing and accessory stores, and a convenience store.

    Local Attractions

      Experience a slice of some of Kyoto's top seasonal attractions including famous ancient temples and shrines. 


      Boasting a prime location within a two-minute walking distance from Hachijoguchi exit of "Kyoto Station" - the gateway to the ancient capital of Kyoto.

    In the 1960s, when the Kansai region was rapidly losing trade to Tokyo, planners proposed a new airport near Kobe and Osaka. Osaka International Airport, located in the densely populated suburbs of Itami and Toyonaka, was surrounded by buildings; it could not be expanded, and many of its neighbors had filed complaints because of noise pollution problems.
    After the protests surrounding New Tokyo International Airport (now Narita International Airport), which was built with expropriated land in a rural part of Chiba Prefecture, planners decided to build the airport offshore. The new airport was part of a number of new developments to revitalize Osaka, which had lost economic and cultural ground to Tokyo for most of the century.[9]
    Initially, the airport was planned to be built near Kobe, but the city of Kobe refused the plan, so the airport was moved to a more southerly location on Osaka Bay. There it could be open 24 hours per day, unlike its predecessor in the city.


    Satellite photo of Kansai Airport (lower-right island) in Osaka BayKobe Airport is being built on the unfinished island near the middle of the photo. Central Osaka is in the upper-right corner, along with Osaka International.

    Closeup of the artificial island
    An artificial island, 4 km (2.5 mi) long and 2.5 km (1.6 mi) wide, was proposed. Engineers needed to overcome the extremely high risks of earthquakes and typhoons (withstorm surges of up to 3 m (10 ft)).
    Construction started in 1987. The sea wall was finished in 1989 (made of rock and 48,000 tetrahedral concrete blocks). Three mountains were excavated for 21,000,000 m3(27,000,000 cu yd) of landfill. 10,000 workers and 10 million work hours over three years, using eighty ships, were needed to complete the 30-metre (98 ft) layer of earth over the sea floor and inside the sea wall. In 1990, a three kilometer bridge was completed to connect the island to the mainland at Rinku Town, at a cost of $1 billion. Completion of the artificial island increased the area of Osaka Prefecture just enough to move it past Kagawa Prefecture in size (leaving Kagawa as the smallest by area in Japan).
    The bidding and construction of the airport was a source of international trade friction during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone responded toAmerican concerns, particularly from Senator Frank Murkowski, that bids would be rigged in Japanese companies' favor by providing special offices for prospective international contractors,[10] which ultimately did little to ease the participation of foreign contractors in the bidding process.[11] Later, foreign airlines complained that two-thirds of the departure hall counter space had been allocated to Japanese carriers, disproportionately to the actual carriage of passengers through the airport.[12]
    The island had been predicted to sink 5.7 m (19 ft) by the most optimistic estimate as the weight of the material used for construction compressed the seabed silts. However, by this time,[when?] the island had sunk 8.2 m (27 ft) - much more than predicted. The project became the most expensive civil works project in modern history after twenty years of planning, three years of construction and several billion dollars of investment. Much of what was learned went into the successful artificial islands in silt deposits forNew Kitakyushu AirportKobe Airport, and Chūbu Centrair International Airport. The lessons of Kansai Airport were also applied in the construction of Hong Kong International Airport.[13]
    In 1991, the terminal construction commenced. To compensate for the sinking of the island, adjustable columns were designed to support the terminal building. These are extended by inserting thick metal plates at their bases. Government officials proposed reducing the length of the terminal to cut costs, but architect Renzo Piano insisted on keeping the terminal at its full planned length.[14] The airport opened in 1994.
    On 17 January 1995, Japan was struck by the Kobe earthquake, whose epicenter was about 20 km (12 mi) away from KIX and killed 6,434 people on Japan's main island ofHonshū. Due to its earthquake engineering, the airport emerged unscathed, mostly due to the use of sliding joints. Even the glass in the windows remained intact. In 1998, the airport survived a typhoon with wind speeds of up to 200 km/h (120 mph).
    On 19 April 2001, the airport was one of ten structures given the "Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium" award by the American Society of Civil Engineers.[15]
    As of 2008, the total cost of Kansai Airport is $20 billion. This includes land reclamation, two runways, terminal and facilities. Most additional costs were initially due to the island sinking, expected due to the soft soils of Osaka Bay. After construction the rate of sinking was considered so severe that the airport was widely criticized as a geotechnical engineering disaster. The sink rate has since fallen from 50 cm (20 in) during 1994 to 7 cm (2.8 in) in 2008.[16]

    Checked out of the hotel on the 4th took a Limousine bus service to

     Kansai International Airport..

    Arrived in Seattle at 10:30 lay over  3 hours to Detroit plane boarded at 1;15 took  off at 1:50 got to Detroit at 8:50PM   HOME SWEET HOME

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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Farewell to Japan.. Japanese Restaurant and Garden Ganko Takasegawa Nijoen

Farewell to Japan

Oh what graciousness you offered
along my Journey of enlightenment
every path I travelled another gift awaited
your offerings of truth, peace and understanding
encircled me in harmony lifting me to great heights
the need to be more, to give more and receive more
I say Farewell Japan and old but comfortable friend
for I am truly grateful of your gifts
and will carefully unwrap them, 
each and everyday through out eternity
Farewell Japan

Laura Irene Wayne 2013

We had a meeting  for the closure of our Tour of Japan with other IEJ/teachers.. sharing thoughts and views of Japan and the Japanese Educational System. Had the afternoon to ourselves.. Then had a formal dinner at Japanese true word or pictures can describe this experience... but I hope I have given you insight to the Beauty, peace, love, knowledge and harmony that Japan illuminates... Shine on Japan.

Ganko Takasegawa Nijoen: Kyoto City Hall
Ganko Takasegawa Nijoen
Kyoto: Kyoto City Hall / Japanese
Kiyamachi-dori Nijo-sagaru. [on Kiyamachi-dori just S of Nijo] Open 11:30am-10pm daily.
Sun: Open Sundays
decor: Notable decor
This sprawling building was once the private mansion of one of Kyoto's leading merchants, and its beautiful garden and riverfront setting make it a popular spot for parties and banquets - this is really the kind of place to go with a group of people. Set meals start at around Y3000.

A Traditional Japanese Garden in Kyoto with No Admission Fee.

This is an introduction of a very wonderful Japanese traditional garden called "TAKASEGAWA-GENRYU-TEIEN; Takasegawa river source garden" set aside Japanese food restaurant "Ganko Takasegawa Nijo-en."

You can stroll in this beautiful garden whether you are a customer of the restaurant or not. Everybody is welcome when he will ask the restaurant employees to visit the garden for walking. Of course, admission fees etc. are not charged at all. 

PictureClick and watch a picture of the garden in summer.

There was a small standing signboard written in Japanese "Welcome anybody strolling in the garden without eating or shopping in restaurant, ask employees to walk in."
At first, I didn't think it is valuable to walk into the garden because it is tatally free, but it was surprisingly beautiful garden comparable to a few of well known traditional garden of the shrine or temples in Kyoto.

As is the case with traditional temples garden, you can enjoy the four seasons flowers and plants, and artificial brook and ponds decorated by stones.
Some of the staffs sometimes will talk to you (in Japanese) to explain the meanings of those stuffs in the traditional garden, and mount view you can watch from the garden.

Plum and cherry blossoms will sprout in spring. Firefly flies over the brook in summer.
Many trees colored red or yellow in autumn. By chance you can watch white snowed garden from warm restaurant seat in winter.
…Last case you need to be a customer in the restaurant ;-).

I recommend you to look around the garden to find the meanings of garden stones set along the walking road or brook.
It is intriguing to watch the shape and trace the old Japanese peoples' imagination.

"Tora-ishi", it means tiger stone, having a tiger like stripes are sculptured on its surface by river water found in Setagawa river in Shiga prefecture.
"Tagasode-no-Tsukubai" means the hand washing place stone set in front of the tea ceremony room, "Tsukibai," in this case it looks like a sleeve of woman's Kimono.
"Sazare-ishi" means small stones, it is a stone spontaneously made by small stone flakes connected by calcification, and it is loved by old Japanese Kizoku people because it will make a lovely sound when you set in artificial brook.
"Fuku-kaeru no ishi" (Fortune frog stone) naming derived from the Chinese legend of frog which will bring you fortune if that frog lives in your home garden.

Isn't it interesting? Japanese people loved to find a world and four seasons in their home garden to watch everything anytime if you want.
You can also find "Bakedourou," monster stone lantern made by naturally shaped stones, "Azumaya-dourou", the biggest stone lantern in Japan, a very old plum tree aged more than 150 years etc.
Personally, I love to watch the big carps in the pond as if they are suffering from metabolic syndrome ;).

Ganko Takasegawa-Nijoen Takasegawa Genryu Teien;This garden was made by Kadokura Ryoui, the wealthy merchant at Keicho 16 (), and sold to Yamagata Aritomo, who was a prime minister of Japan in 19th century, called "Daini-Murin-An", and bought by Kawata Koichiro, who was a president of Nippon Ginkou, and then bought by prime minister Abe Nobuyuki, and then now, Mr. Ooiwa is a owner of this traditional garden and house, who are using them for his restaurant now calling it "The Residence Ooiwa".

You need to ask restaurant employee to let you walk in the garden.
"Oniwa misete kudasai."It means "Let us stroll in your garden, please.
" Or if you speak slowly, they will understand English.
"May I walk in your Japanese garden?" is O.K. :.And you must get off your shoes at first and you can only use Japanese sandals prepared by the restaurant to stroll in the garden.
The largest sandals size is 9.5 or 10 at US size, so that please be patient to strolling in the garden for a half hour or so.
Anyway it's completely free and sometimes employee will give you a souvenir like Sushi shaped candy or a tiny amusement stuff free. It's great!
Most of the Japanese sight-seeing people do not know this information ;).

“Ganko Takasegawa-Nijoen Takasegawa Genryu Teien”
Kyotoshi Nakagyoku Kiyamachitori Nijo-kudaru Higashiikesuchou 484-6