Attractions

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Shitennoji
Osaka Castle
Osaka Dome
Osaka Grand Cube
Universal Studios Japan
Hiroshima Peace Memorial
Shukkeien Garden
Sanjusangendo
Golden Pavilion
Heian Shrine
Nara
Todaiji
Kasuga Taisha
Toji Temple
Nishi Hongwanji
Toshogu Shrine
Irohazaka Drive
Meiji Shrine
Asakusa Kannon
Girl with Red Shoes On
Hikawa Maru
Marine Rouge Cruise
Kaiko Promenade
Yokohama Museums

These pages describe the various tourist attractions we visited as part of the Hamden Rotary tour and later on our own in Yokohama. These included:

  • Shitennō-ji Temple in Osaka, which we visited on May 23, 2004

  • Osaka Castle, also visited on May 23

  • Peace Memorial Park and the Hiroshima Peace Museum, May 27

  • Shukkei-en Garden, Hiroshima, May 27

  • Rengeo-in Temple (Sanju-sangen-do), Kyoto, May 28

  • Rokuon-ji Temple, including Kinkaku-ji (Golden Pavilion), Kyoto, May 28

  • Heian Jingu Shrine, Kyoto, May 28

  • Nara Park, May 29

  • Tōdaiji Temple, Nara, May 29

  • Kasuga Shrine, Nara, May 29

  • Tōji Temple, Kyoto, May 29

  • Nishi Hongwanji Temple, Kyoto, May 30

  • Fifth Station of Mount Fuji, May 31

  • Tōshōgu Shrine, Nikko, June 1

  • The Irohazaka Drive to Lake Chezenji, with stops at Ryuzu Falls and Kegon Falls, Nikko, June 1

  • Meiji Jingu Shrine, Tokyo, June 2

  • Senso-ji Temple (Asakusa Kannon), Tokyo, June 2

  • Hikawa Maru luxury line museum, Yokohama, June 3

  • Marine Rouge cruise around Yokohama Harbor, June 4

  • The Little Girl with Red Shoes On (Akai Kutsu), statue in Yamashita Park in Yokohama, June 37

  • Kaikō Promenade, Yokohama, June 4 and 5

  • Museums: Yokohama Archives of History, June 4; Yokohama Doll Museum, June 6; and Yokohama Silk Museum, June 6

Superlatives

It appeared to me that most of the tourist attractions on the Hamden tour had been chosen with Texans or Bostonians in mind: everything we saw seemed to be the biggest or oldest of its kindor at least to represent some other superlative. Glenn also pointed out some superlatives to be seen in Yokohama. At least we know we hit the high spots!

Following are some of the superlatives we saw:

Oldest officially administered temple in Japan: Shitennōji (Osaka)

Longest wooden structure in the world: Sanju-sangen-dō (Kyoto)

Thousand images of Kannon: Sanju-sangen-dō (Kyoto)

Largest torii (shrine gate) in Japan: Heian Jingu (Kyoto)

Largest single wooden structure in the world and largest bronze Buddha in the world: Tōdaiji (Nara)

Largest Niō (Benevolent Kings) statues in Japan: Nandaimon of Tōdaiji (Nara)

Tallest pagoda in Japan: Tōji (Kyoto)

Oldest temple in Tokyo: Asakusa Kannon (Senso-ji)

Only mainstream Japanese passenger liner to survive World War II: Hikawa Maru

Tallest building in Japan (but only #33 in the world): Yokohama Landmark Tower (built in 1993, 70 stories, 296 meters = 971 feet)

Tallest lighthouse in the world: Marine Tower in Yokohama (106 meters = 324 feet)

Largest clock-type Ferris wheel in the world (and once the tallest Ferris wheel, though its now down to about #9): Cosmo Clock 21 in Yokohama (113 meters = 371 feet)

One of the largest suspension bridges in the world: Yokohama Bay Bridge. Im pretty sure I ran across this description somewhere; in fact, however, according to Wikipedia, it is a cable-stayed bridge rather than a suspension bridge, and at 460 meters (1,510 feet) for the longest span, it ranks only #12.