HIP-HIS­TOR­I­CAL HAWAII

A SOOTH­ING TREAT ON THE EYES AND SAKÉ TREATS FOR THE PALATE

Escape! Malaysia - - Contents -

Ex­plore the sites that make up the his­tory and cul­ture of Hawaii while you peek into one of its most iconic palaces

KURASHIKI BIKAN HIS­TOR­I­CAL QUAR­TER

Your search for the bu­colic, rus­tic scenes of olden Ja­pan will prob­a­bly hit its peak when vis­it­ing the

Kurashiki Bikan His­tor­i­cal Quar­ter lo­cated in the Okayama Pre­fec­ture of Chugoku. De­spite be­ing one of the largest in­dus­trial towns in Western Ja­pan, the town’s his­tor­i­cal sites have re­sisted devel­op­ment re­mark­ably well with 17th to 20th-cen­tury struc­tures stand­ing strong against the vi­cis­si­tudes of time. With white earthen-walled ware­houses, serene flow­ing rivers and weep­ing wil­lows float­ing gen­tly above still wa­ters, one can­not help but feel trans­ported back to a time where women in ki­monos flooded the streets and daimyos (lord) ruled over towns.

While vis­it­ing the town, why not spend time at Ja­pan’s first mu­seum of Western art, the Ohara

Mu­seum which fea­tures many of the clas­sic paint­ings of Monet, Matisse, Gau­guin and Renoir.

OKAYAMA KORAKUEN GAR­DEN

While mod­ern ex­ec­u­tives and masters of the uni­verse may en­joy their wine and dine at Club Med or the lat­est Star­wood Ho­tels, in­flu­en­tial daimyos in 17th cen­tury Ja­pan did so in pri­vate re­treats such as their own parks.

While many sprung up in Ja­pan dur­ing the 17th cen­tury, few if any matched the splen­dor and beauty of the Okayama Korakuen Gar­dens. Given the top rank by the Miche­lin Green Guide and known as one of Ja­pan’s three great gar­dens, the Korakuen Gar­dens is one of the few gar­dens that has re­tained its orig­i­nal ap­pear­ance from the Edo Pe­riod up to the present day. The gar­den was con­structed in 1700 by Tsuda Na­gatada, re­tainer to the daimyo Ikeda Tsuna­masa. In the past, the gar­den was used as a place to en­ter­tain im­por­tant guests and also as a re­treat for the daimyo.

The gar­den has gained a spe­cial place in the heart of the Ja­panese peo­ple as it was des­ig­nated as a Spe­cial Place of Scenic Beauty in 1952 and is man­aged as a his­tor­i­cal cul­tural as­set.

HIMEJI CAS­TLE

Dat­ing back to the 14th cen­tury, the Himeji Cas­tle is the largest and most vis­ited cas­tles in all of Ja­pan. Con­sid­ered one of Ja­pan’s three premier cas­tles along­side Mat­sumoto and Ku­mamoto cas­tle, it is also con­sid­ered one of Ja­pan’s most iconic cas­tles due to its im­pos­ing struc­tures and well-pre­served cas­tle grounds. In­ter­est­ingly, the cas­tle has never been de­stroyed by war, earth­quake or any other nat­u­ral dis­as­ters and stands as one of Ja­pan’s twelve orig­i­nal cas­tles. A hall­mark of Ja­panese cas­tles is the or­na­men­tal fish-shaped roofs that are be­lieved to pro­tect the cas­tle from fire. A pop­u­lar time for vis­i­tors to visit the cas­tle is dur­ing April dur­ing the Cherry Blos­som sea­son, Golden week and the sum­mer hol­i­days.

KOBE SHUSHINKAN BREW­ERY

Sit­u­ated in the Nada Re­gion of Kobe, the Kobe Shushinkan Brew­ery is blessed with ex­treme swings in tem­per­a­ture which pro­vide an ideal en­vi­ron­ment for grow­ing sake rice. The ba­sic in­gre­di­ents sup­plied through a com­bi­na­tion of cold winds which slow down the fer­men­ta­tion process and lo­cal moun­tain streams which pro­vide min­eral rich pure wa­ter have stayed the same for nearly 3 cen­turies. The brew­ery is re­spon­si­ble for pro­duc­ing the leg­endary Fu­juku brand of sake which have won nu­mer­ous awards at in­ter­na­tional sake chal­lenges. The name Fu­juku is de­rived from one of the seven lucky gods in Ja­panese mythol­ogy, ‘Fukurokuju’, which bears the mean­ing of hap­pi­ness, wealth and longevity.

The brew­ery houses a brew­ing fa­cil­ity and a Ja­panese restau­rant fo­cus­ing on fine cui­sine com­ple­mented by its very own fine sake for those who wish to en­joy the fare.

UNIVERSAL STU­DIOS JA­PAN

Opened on March 31, 2001, Universal Stu­dios

Ja­pan is the world’s fastest amuse­ment park to have achieved the mile­stone of 10 mil­lion vis­i­tors. Av­er­ag­ing about 8 mil­lion vis­i­tors a year, the amuse­ment park wel­comes a di­verse group of vis­i­tors mainly from Asian coun­tries. Re­cent news re­ports have sug­gested that Nin­tendo would be col­lab­o­rat­ing with Osaka’s Universal Stu­dios Ja­pan in 2020 to form the Su­per Nin­tendo World and will fea­ture many Nin­tendo ti­tled based at­trac­tions. In ad­di­tion, the theme park has also an­nounced plans for an­other pop­u­lar game se­ries by Square Enix Co called ‘Dragon Quest’. Thus far, Universal Stu­dio’s most im­pres­sive at­trac­tion to-date is “The Wiz­ard­ing World of Harry

Pot­ter” which opened back in 2014. Among the key fea­tures of the at­trac­tion are the Hog­warts Cas­tle Walk, a roller coaster ride named Flight of the Hip­pogriff and Harry Pot­ter’s For­bid­den Jour­ney in 4K3D. Re­mem­ber also to try its iconic

But­ter­beer, a sweet non-al­co­holic bev­er­age tast­ing of short­bread and but­ter­scotch.

EXPOCITY JA­PAN

Be a part of his­tory when you visit western Ja­pan’s largest multi-use en­ter­tain­ment com­plex. At 172,000 square me­tres with eight large-scale en­ter­tain­ment fa­cil­i­ties and 305 shops, Expocity is set to ful­fil the in­ter­ests of shop­pers, gamers, theme-park en­thu­si­asts and movie-go­ers. Shop­pers will have their pock­ets feel­ing much lighter af­ter a visit to the Lala­port Expocity which fea­tures many in­ter­na­tional and Ja­panese brands such as Loft, ZARA, Adi­das, Uniqlo and so on. Gamers should not miss the op­por­tu­nity to visit Orbi Osaka, an en­ter­tain­ment area pro­duced by Sega. The Expocity also fea­tures Ja­pan’s tallest Fer­ris Wheel. Prayer fa­cil­i­ties are also avail­able in the mall for Mus­lim vis­i­tors and in­di­vid­u­als of other faiths to con­duct their prayers within the premises.

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