Japan Cruise – Mar-Apr 2023 – Aburatsu, Japan

We took a 2 week cruise on Holland America’s MS Westerdam ship starting from Yokohama and stopping at Naha and Ishigaki in Okinawa, Hualien and Keelung in Taiwan and Kagoshima, Aburatsu, Kochi, Osaka and Shimizu in Japan before returning to Yokohama.

Aburatsu, Japan.

We took a taxi the short distance into the town of Aburatsu from the port and started at the Aburatsu Red Brick House which is one of the architectural landmarks of Aburatsu. We wandered the small streets and along the canal finding a lovely small orange tree fully laden with fruit in a small shared garden area.

We visited the Ahiratsu Shrine which was situated next to the canal. Ahiratsu Shrine was originally dedicated to Otohime, a goddess of the sea who appears in many folk tales, sometimes together with her two companions: a monkey and a pheasant. Twin statues of these animals still guard the approach to the shrine, which was renamed for Princess Ahiratsu following the Meiji Restoration of 1868. The government of Emperor Meiji (1852– 1912) institutionalized Shinto as the state religion and encouraged the worship and maintenance of sites associated with native mythology and the origin legends of the imperial family. In this context, it made sense for the people of Aburatsu to make the wife of Emperor Jimmu the primary deity of their shrine.

The Horikawa Bridge was an old stone bridge next to the shrine and which had been recently restored.

We continued our walk into the centre of the small town, stopping for lunch in a small cafe. A smaller canal had some very nice Sakura trees in blossom.

We returned to the ship after a brief visit to the small shopping mall as it was raining again. From the ship I took some photos of the harbour and the headland before our departure.

Passionate Photographer …. Lost in Asia

Stuart Taylor of HighlanderImages Photography has been making images for over 30 years and can offer a diverse range of photo imaging services with a focus on Asia and a documentary/photojournalistic style. These services include planning and executing a photo shoot on location but importantly all the post-processing and image preparation needed for the specific finished media format required by the customer. Stuart’s experience and knowledge in all of these aspects make HighlanderImages Photography a one-stop-shop for a comprehensive and professional image production service.

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