On December 12, the final race of the 2021 Formula One season, the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, was held. Japanese fans of F1 watched the race with a special emotions. Honda was withdrawing from F1 in 2021 and they were competing with Mercedes for the Constructors’ and Drivers’ titles in the final round. The race was led by Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes from start to finish, but the safety car was came out n the final part of race and Max Verstappen overtook Hamilton on the final lap to win the race. Thus, he won the Drivers’ title and became the F1 World Champion. The constructors’ title went to Mercedes, but it was a great day for Japanese drivers, as Japanese driver Hiroki Tsunoda of Alpha Tauri Honda achieved a personal best result of 4th place in the final race.
Kumamoto Castle was built in the closing years of the Warring States period by Kiyomasa Kato, a daimyo of that period, who was known as a castle construction expert. During the Meiji period, it became a battleground of the Satsuma Rebellion. The government forces holed up in the castle and survived the fierce attack of the Saigo forces. It is also known as a famous place for cherry blossoms. It has been selected as one of Japan’s Top 100 Cherry Blossom Viewing Sites. Kumamoto Castle suffered damage due to the Kumamoto earthquakes that occurred in April 2016. Even today, restoration work is underway.
Nasu is famous for being a town of tourism, agriculture, and forestry located about 180km from Tokyo. In particular, the Nasu Highlands, which stretches from an altitude of several hundred meters above sea level to around 300 meters above sea level, is a popular resort area. There are many sightseeing spots that children and adults can enjoy and experience, such as the huge dairy farming area, the rural scenery of satoyama, and the beautiful scenery of the highlands. Nasu Safari Park, Nasu Highland Park, Nasu Rindo Lake Family Ranch, Nasu Flower World, etc. are recommended sightseeing spots for families.
Ishigaki Island is one of the Yaeyama Islands and is part of Ishigaki City, Okinawa Prefecture. After Okinawa Island and Iriomote Island, it has the third largest land area in Okinawa Prefecture. It is famous as a spot for snorkelling, diving, and surfing. Blessed with the riches of nature, including mango groves, a beautiful cobalt blue sea, and the world-leading blue coral Shiraho Reef, it is one of Okinawa’s popular remote islands.
Finally, the Tokyo Olympics will be held on July 23rd. As you all know, it was originally planned to be carried out a year ago. Due to the influence of COVID-19, events all over the world have been canceled or postponed, but finally, this event which is the world’s largest will be held in Japan. I think there are differing opinions regarding the event, but I hope that people from all over the world will be greatly impressed by it.
Goryokaku, in Hakodate, Hokkaido, was the first western-style castle to be built in Japan. From the viewing platform of Goryokaku Tower, you can look down on the whole of the castle. It is famous as the site of the Battle of Hakodate, which broke out of the Battle of Toba-Fushimi and was the last battle of the Boshin War, fought between the forces of the old Tokugawa Shogunate and the new pro-Imperial forces. The Vice Commander of the Shinsengumi, Hijikata Toshizo, a popular figure in Japanese history, was killed in the battle while fighting for the Shogunate forces.
Kenrokuen is a Japanese garden located in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa. It is one of Japan’s three most famous gardens, and was selected as national place of special scenic beauty. The vast grounds of the park is dotted with mountains, ponds, and tea houses, for some of the most beautiful scenery around. Visit and enjoy the beauty of each season: cherry blossoms in spring, rabbitear iris in early summer, the foliage in autumn, and the hanging snow in winter.
Matsushima is one of the most notable tourist destinations in Miyagi, and is one of the three most scenic areas in Japan. It is home to countless intereesting places, such as the Matsushima sightseeing boat that tours the bay, Zuiganji Temple and Godaido Hall, both of which are related to Date Masamune, and many gourmet spots where you can enjoy the famous oysters. It is not only a beautiful, but a scenic spot where you can get in touch with the history of Japan.
Aoshima is an island connected to the south-eastern edge of Miyazaki City, Miyazaki. Every year many tourists come to visit the island as well as Aoshima Beach on the shore facing the island. On Aoshima, there are over 200 types of rare subtropical plants that inhabit the island. With an appearance reminiscent of a strange giant washboard composed of saw teeth-like rocks, the “Demon’s Washboard” is a national natural monument of Japan.