Lóngshānsì 龍山寺 !

by Kazu

This is one of the most famous power spot in Taiwan.
 -from Wikipedia-
Mengjia Longshan Temple (Chinese: 艋舺龍山寺; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Báng-kah Liông-san-sī) is a temple in Wanhua District, Taipei, Taiwan. The temple was built in Taipei in 1738 by settlers from Fujian, China. It served as a place of worship and a gathering place for the Chinese settlers. The temple has been destroyed either in full or in part on numerous earthquakes and fires.
During World War II, on 31 May 1945 it was hit by American bombers during the Raid on Taipei, who claimed the Japanese were hiding armaments inside. The main building and the left corridor were damaged and many precious artifacts and artworks were lost in the ensuing fire.
 Taipei residents have nevertheless consistently rebuilt and renovated it, and did so again after the end of the Second World War a few months later. Longshan is seen as an emblematic example of Taiwanese classical architecture, with southern Chinese influences commonly seen in older buildings.
Like most temples in Taiwan, the Temple worships a mixture of Buddhist, Taoist, and folk deities such as Matsu.
by Kazu again

As a Japanese, I am familiar with the mixture of religions. It can be said that we worship Shinto and Buddhism.
 Every visitors were worshiping with lit incense.
The gate of the temple could be seen nicer from inside than from outside.
 From the left, Tou-san, Mr. Kitazawa, the Secretary General of Hokkaido Sorachi Japan-Taiwan Friendship Association and Mr. Igarashi, the Chair of Iwamizawa Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
My supervisor Mr. Yamane, Director General for Sorachi Sub-prefectural area of Hokkaido is beside the President of the association Mr. Tajima.
It was twenty eight degrees in Celsius at that time but Mr.Yamane felt comfortable even with his Jacket.
To be honest, I was concerned on his health condition because he attended this business jaunt after the days of bar-hopping in Iwamizawa and Sapporo.
I am very relieved that he did not had health problem in this tour.
Every visitor pray for their happiness and the rosy future of the nation, I think.
 The aroma of the incense was not so strong for the number .

At first, Mr. Yamane was lost and I was lost after that on the premises of the temple.
We had to experience the national ceremony later but we did not recognize the weight of the occasion at this moment.

To be continued.


Delegation to Taiwan 4 !

by Kazu

The station building of Taipei is huge and tiny. I remembered the station building of Shinjuku, Tokyo. It also has an atrium inside and the bullet trains start from this station to the south..

 An old-fashioned steam locomotive made in Japan was exhibited in front of the station building. It had been in service until 1982 and retired in theat year.
The garden in front if the station building was trimmed so nicely.
This is the ticket counter for the bullet train HSR in Taiwan.  
This is the atrium inside the station building. Japanese restaurants could be seen on the second floor.
 The roof of the atrium was so high and sunshine from the roof made the atrium bright.
Considering the population of Taipei City, inside the station building was not so crowded.
 The delegation members were so impressed by the transportation system in Taiwan and the chips on the windshield of the automobiles that sent information on how many times and how long the automobiles used the highway.
Anybody knows the name of this beautiful red flowers ?
 There were many old buildings that need to be remodeled in not-so-distanced future.
Remaining the beauty and the taste of old-fashioned buildings, they should be refurbished. I am wondering if the construction companies in Sorachi sub-prefectural area of Hokkaido could give a good try to do that.
The red-brick buildings should be treated carefully, in particular.
The power of rising sun could be seen in Taipei City and it should not be turned off by the wind from the continent, I think.

To be continued.


Delegation to Taiwan 3

 by Kazu

Where do you think the delegation members were when this photo was taken  ?

The tour to "The National Palace Museum" was arranged for us by Taiwanese Government.
 -from Wikipedia-

The National Palace Museum (traditional Chinese: 國立故宮博物院; simplified Chinese: 国立故宫博物院; pinyin: Guólì Gùgōng Bówùyuàn) is an antique museum in Shilin, Taipei, Taiwan. It is one of the national museums of the Republic of China, and has a permanent collection of more than 696,000 pieces of ancient Chinese artifacts and artworks, making it one of the largest in the world. The collection encompasses over 8,000 years of Chinese history from the Neolithic age to the late Qing Dynasty.[4] Most of the collection are high quality pieces collected by China's ancient emperors.

Back from the quotation, it is prohibited to take photos in the museum, please visit Taiwan or the special exhibition of the collection in Tokyo to be held this year.

The neighbors of the National Palace Museum is the high end residential area of Taipei and these condominiums are in front of the gate of the museum.
 The perspectives of the premises is like this.
The National Palace Museum was swamped by Chinese People from the continent on the day. According to the  curator of the museum, since about five years ago, the numbers of visitors from the continent increased so much.
We went through the gate that can be seen over there and arrived at the venue of the lunch.

 "圓山大飯店" The Grand Hotel was used for receiving national guests to Taiwan and actually a variety of celebrities and top brasses of the world stayed and were entertained in this hotel.  
TOU-san on the right of center in this photo gave us superior support for the logistics of the delegation and guided us kindly during our stay in Taipei.
We really appreciate his cooperation and hospitality.
Kudos to TOU-san !
It was 28 degrees in Celsius outside and everybody was so thirsty that the coldTaiwanese beer gave us comfy refresh and revitalized us.
We wanted to enjoy Taiwanese Dim Sam but the Dim Sam cart was not going around the floor and we have to order the dishes from the a la carte menu.
 The delegation members were so satisfied with the official events arranged by Taiwanese Government but they would be surprised at the special arrangement in public later.
One of the two huge restaurant of the hotel has huge red pillars inside.
Sauteed sliced pork and Taiwanese veggies were the starter in this lunch. The pork was very rare part of the meat from the shoulder and the taste was superb !
Each dishes was so nice and of high quality that we were afraid of the situation in which the dishes in the normal Chinese restaurant in Japan including Hokkaido would give us no satisfaction.
I remembered the Chinese restaurant "Mandarin Chinese" in Ottawa Canada where we enjoyed the Dim Sam almost every weekend but the taste did not reached this quality.  
 Every time I have Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine, I was moved by the way how to eat the veggies so nicely.
I am so sorry the quality the photos but can you find the thin brown chips on the meat ?
They are the skin of the pork.  First off the hair on the skin was shaved and grilled so nicely to the extent it turns to be crisp like "Beijing Duck". Actually the meat of duck is under the crisp pork skin on the dish.
 This is like a spring roll but the cover is made of soy beans milk called "Yuba".
Seafood flavored fried rice was divided into small portions and wrapped in the pieces of lettuce.
I love this !
This plate is on the wall and the dignity can be felt from the sign.

The entrance of the restaurant is like this.
Have a great weekend and please be looking forward to the next post !