Monday, 9 February 2009

The Bluff

This is a continuation from a post last week, The Three Towers. Picking up from where I left, here's one more photo from Kannai (関内) before I move on to Yamate (山手).

Yokohama: Museum of Cultural History

This is the Yokohama Museum of Cultural History, facing Bashamichi (馬車路). The building was at first Yokohama Specie Bank (now Mitsubishi UFJ). Like most of the buildings in the area, it was destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake. In 1967, restoration work was carried out and the place was converted into a museum.

The photo was merged from two shots. If anyone is kind enough to be considering of buying me an early birthday present, I have a suggestion. Get me a full-frame DSLR. Or if you have a tight budget, an ultra-wide lens will do. (Grin)

From Kannai, it was a 20-minute walk in the sea breeze down Yamashita Park (山下公園), and all the way to the hilly Yamate area (山手), which is also known as "the Bluff". It is a genteel residential area mostly for expatriates, and includes the famous Foreigners' Cemetery. Over 4500 people from more than 40 countries are buried here, many among them famous persons who were involved in writing the history of Yokohama, and even that of Japan.

The vicinity is an ideal escapade from the suffocating city life in Tokyo and Yokohama. Instead of skyscrapers and monolithic ferris wheels, it's all about European-styled houses and church spires. I'm sure it's a scene you don't get elsewhere in Japan.

Sunday Excursion
It was a lovely Sunday so, where to, if not the church? This photo above is the Catholic Yamate Church. It's the third reconstruction of the first Catholic church in Japan that opened in Yamashita.

Yamate: Church
This one is the Yokohama Christ Church, with an English-speaking Anglican congregation in Yokohama. Equally magnificent. Rebuilt a couple of times (thanks to a fire and the Kanto earthquake), it is one of the earliest church in the area.

Just in case you're wondering, I'm not converted, for goodness sake. Still an atheist, will be an atheist. (If there's anything, it's rather my growing aggressiveness against blind faith that's unbecoming.) It's simply the beauty of the architecture that I admire. After all, only blind faith alone can drive men into building breathtaking cathedrals of lavish proportions.

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