Kosuke Tashiro / Power Projects & Infrastructure Division
* In this column, Marubeni Group staff provide a glimpse of the cities in which they are living and working.
Ireland is an island country on the farthest reaches of Europe. While a great many people travel to England for work and pleasure, I suspect not many come as far as Ireland from Japan.
The capital city of Dublin is home to a third of Ireland’s 4.5 million residents and is the country’s political, economic, and cultural heart. I would like to introduce to you some of the many attractions of this city.
Our first stop is Trinity College Dublin, founded in 1592. The stone paved campus with its blue round clock and wooden arched entrance provides the ideal rendezvous point. The beautiful college library is worth a look; particularly the Book of Kells, a ninth century hand-written gospel manuscript said to be the most beautiful book in the world.
Situated within an hour’s drive from central Dublin are an array of attractions including the Hill of Tara, the Celtic holy land made famous in Gone with the Wind, Trim Castle, where parts of the film Braveheart were shot, Newgrange, a Neolithic ancient temple predating the Egyptian pyramids, and Glendalough, an early Christian monastic settlement surrounded by woodland and lakes.
For those who can travel a little farther, I recommend the 214 meter -high Cliffs of Moher. Located approximately three hours’ drive west of Dublin and without any safety barriers, you can experience a thrilling view of the Atlantic Ocean by peering over the precipice. If you drive north for two hours, you will cross the border into Northern Ireland. Here, the Giant’s Causeway, listed as a World Heritage Site, is a must-see. These standing hexagonal basalt columns were formed as the result of an ancient volcanic eruption.
So far it was a quick rundown of Ireland’s historical and natural attractions, but I guess you can’t talk about Ireland without mentioning pubs. If you ask Dubliners what Dublin’s tourist spots are, the answers you will hear after Trinity College Dublin and Dublin Castle, are traditional Irish pubs. Pubs aren’t exclusive to Dublin; it can be said that there is at least one pub in every small village across the country. You get the impression that towns were built around the pubs where people congregated.
Working here in Ireland means that you often see people inviting their colleagues to stop for a pint after work. Once you step inside a pub, you feel as though pubs are an integral part of the lives of those who live here. Everyone has their own favorite haunt and it is common to see families patronizing the same pub over generations.
These pubs are where you can meet a diverse range of people: at breakfast an elderly couple sit at the bar counter eating sandwiches; just after lunch a businessman in a suit spreads out his papers and talks business while a group of ladies enjoy tea at the table beside him; in the afternoon a family with children order fish and chips; and at night a group of men stand with a glass of Guinness in their hands, engrossed in the televised rugby game.
Pubs serve an important role in business, neighborly ties, schools’ parent councils, and groups of mothers. It makes sense then that the origin of the word pub comes from “public house”. It is the place to be if you want a simulated experience of the genuine Irish who love to drink, sing, and chat – sláinte!
Marubeni Group communication site “MS+ (MS Plus)” (March 2, 2015)