Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has expressed his dismay with the state of the pitch at the temporary home of AZ, calling it one of the worst he has seen. United are set to take on the Dutch side in the Europa League on Thursday at Cars Jeans Stadion in The Hague. The game is not being held at AZ’s normal home ground AFAS Stadion because a section of the roof recently collapsed. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career And Solskjaer has hit out at the artificial pitch at AZ’s temporary home ground, saying he does not understand why a stadium in the Netherlands needed to move away from a grass surface. “I’m surprised they’ve chosen to play on this pitch when I’ve looked at it,” Solskjaer said. ”I’m used to it from Norway. It’s not the best I’ve seen.“It’s one of the worst ones I’ve seen for a long while. We’ve al got standards back home in Norway anyway. It’s safe, I’m not saying it’s not. It’s not the newest.“It’s just on the floor so on the carpet more or less, so when you pull the grass up you do that loads, there’s more bounce.“It seems like it’s been used a lot but with my knees I’ve not enjoyed astro turf anyway.“I’m surprised that in this climate you have to use astro turf. It’s OK when you live in the North Pole like we more or less do in Norway and can’t play in March, November or December. But here, I’m surprised.”United played on an artificial surface in last year’s Champions League, defeating Swiss side Young Boys 3-0. And midfielder Juan Mata has said he and his team-mates will have to adjust to the surface quickly, as the home side will be more used to playing on it. “It’s a completely different game [to Young Boys] but we need to start from the beginning ready for them. They’re [AZ] used to playing in these conditions and from the beginning they will be dangerous.”We will train today to try and adapt to the pitch and hopefully after the game we can not say it was an excuse and we’ve won the three points.”After defeating Astana 1-0 in their Europa League opener, United currently sit in first place in Group L, two points ahead of AZ and FK Partizan. Following Thursday’s game, United will face a quick turnaround when they travel to face Newcastle in Premier League action on Sunday.
There are approximately 161,560 kofun in Japan. A kofun is a tomb of a powerful family made in ancient Japan.They can be found in various sizes, and the Nintoku-tennō-ryo Kofun (Kofun of Emperor Nintoku) in Sakai, Osaka, is said to be the largest with an area of 470,000 square meters. There are also various types: some are circle-shaped, others are square. The zenpō-kōen-fun or keyhole-shaped kofun has characteristics of both. Kofun shapes differ depending on the era and area in which they were built.There are also areas where kofun are concentrated, indicating to us that there used to be a culture that flourished there long ago. Sakitama Kofun Park (Sakitama Kofun Kōen) in Saitama prefecture is also one of those concentrated kofun areas. It is now known as Kofun park and is well-loved by the locals leaving near it. Today we’ll be using Google Street View to explore Sakitama Kofun Park.Futagoyama KofunFutagoyama Kofun is the only kofun in the park that is surrounded by a moat. Unfortunately you can’t step inside it but it’s the largest kofun in the park, so you can admire the magnificent hill from afar.Who’s entombed with this kofun is unknown, but being extremely large, and as countless cylindrical haniwa (*1) have been found from around it, it’s thought to be the grave of a highly powerful person, perhaps even royal. It is thought to have been made around the 6th century.*1 Haniwa: unglazed clay figures of humans, horses, and others shapes; typically funerary goods.At present, in order to prevent erosion of the kofun, the water of the moat has been drained and it is under construction to become a dry moat.Maruhakayama KofunUnlike the Futagoyama Kofun, the Maruhakayama Kofun has a circular shape.This place was made camp in the 16th century by the military in order to attack the Oshijō Castle that used to stand not far from here. The “Oshijō-zeme” (Attack of Oshijō), where the castle was surrounded by water, is well-known to Japanese history-fans.The road on the left side of the screen is the remains of the “Ishida-Dutsumi”, the levee that was made during the Attack on Oshijō. The Maruhakayama Kofun is a stage of history.This is the view from the top of Maruhakayama Kofun.Maruhakayama Kofun is known not only as one of Japan’s largest round kofun, it’s also famous for being climbable. The only climbable kofun in Saitama prefecture are the Inariyama Kofun found in the same park, and the Maruhakayama Kofun.Inariyama KofunThis kofun is thought to be very important archaeologically as well. Many artifacts including the Inariyama Sword (Inariyama Tekken) have been found here. Many of the artifacts found from this kofun are designated as a national treasure as “Artifacts from the Saitama Inariyama Kofun”. This kofun is the oldest of the Saitama kofun group, and is thought to have been made in the late 5th century.Unfortunately, part of the front has been lost by erosion.It’s a large keyhole shaped kofun, so just walking around it is enjoyable. It’s said that if the center line of it is extended it will reach Mt. Fuji. Mt. Fuji may have already been believed to be a sacred mountain even in this early era.In ConclusionWhat do you think?Today we introduced three of the most famous kofun, but there are six other kofun in Sakitama Kofun Park. There is also a museum where artifacts from the kofun and area are on display, so we encourage you to visit and check out the rest with your own eyes.InformationSakitama Kofun ParkAddress: Saitama Gyōda-shi SamaOther Languages: NoMenus in other languages: NoNearest Station: JR Gyōda Station or Gyōdashi Station, Chichibu RailwayAccess: 15 minutes by city loop bus (sightseeing hub tour course) from Gyōda station East exit, get off at Saitama Kofun Koen Mae and walk 2 minutes21 minutes by city loop bus (sightseeing hub tour course) from Gyōdashi station, get off at Saitama Kofun Koen Mae and walk 2 minutesPrice range: FreePhone number: +81-48-559-1111Website: Sakitama Kofun Park