A Close Look At The Bandai Bridge Niigatas Symbol

first_imgAt the foot of the Bandai Bridge is a tall building called Media Ship, and from its observation deck directly overhead, you can get a close-up view of the bridge. Crossing over the Shinano River which winds its way through the heart of Niigata city, the Bandai Bridge is considered to be an important transportation hub for those coming and going along this waterway. Extending the full 306.9m length of the bridge, the six arches continuing one after the other are graceful and lend an air of symmetry to the structure. Both the construction techniques and the design have been recognized by the government and it’s been designated a nationally important cultural property. A walking trail was built along the river bank, and in the spring the cherry blossoms and tulips in full bloom are bright and colorful, creating an unforgettable scenery. There are several cafes dotting the side of the river, so why not take a short breather as you gaze out at the Bandai Bridge?History of the Shinano River and the Bandai Bridge When you look out from the observation deck on the opposite side, a sprawling commercial/residential area spreads out below your eyes, and off in the distance but still within view, is the Echigo Mountain Range. From late autumn until winter, you can see the mountains’ beautiful snow-covered peaks.In Closing The original version of the bridge was built in 1886. However, a large fire burnt down most of the bridge resulting in the building of the second incarnation in 1909. The third incarnation was a shorter version of the previous two bridges, due to various projects that caused the narrowing of the river’s width. Niigata prefecture’s Niigata city is the largest city on the Sea of Japan coast. It’s a city blessed with an abundance of nature and surrounded by sea, river and mountains, and even today remnants of its past when it flourished as a port city, still remain. Today we’re going to take a close look at one of Niigata city’s icons, the Bandai Bridge, a landmark that’s popular with both local residents and visitors alike.What Kind of Structure Is the Bandai Bridge? So what did you think of Niigata city’s symbol? The Bandai Bridge serves as an important link joining Niigata city’s urban areas, and it’s not going too far to say that if you’re traveling in the city you’ll most likely be crossing over this bridge. But it’s a bit of a waste to just simply cross over it, so by all means take the time to stop and appreciate its impressive view! Bandaibashi View Information The current Bandai Bridge is the third incarnation, and was erected in 1929. Built using reinforced concrete, the sides are decorated with granite giving the structure a grand and dignified appearance. Near the bridge there’s an underground passage called Bandai Crossing. Pillars that were excavated from the original bridge are now on display here, showing that the original structure was made of wood.An Observation Deck Commands a View of the Bridge From Media Ship you can see the Bandai bridge crossing the calm waters of the Shinano River directly down below, and if you look a bit beyond the bridge the Sea of Japan comes into view. When the weather cooperates, you can see as far as Sado Island, which sits on the Sea of Japan. Also, since you’re facing west, make sure not to miss the stunning view of the evening sun as it slowly sinks into the sea. Today there’s a monument standing at the site of the original bridge. The observation deck is free of charge and from it’s wide open space you get a panoramic view of Niigata city. Adjoining the observation area is a cafeteria and we recommend taking a short break here during your Niigata sightseeing trip.last_img read more

Japan Off The Beaten Path 3 Izu Oshima Volcanoes And Cherry Blossoms

first_imgSix Great Aerial Vantage Points From Atop Chichijima Island Early on a Saturday morning, I boarded the Tokai Kisen jetfoil ferry for the 90-minute journey to Oshima. Jetfoil ferries use jet engines to travel above the water’s surface, reaching speeds of over 70kph, and I’d like to claim I enjoyed the ride, but the smooth hum of the engines put me to sleep almost immediately. However, I enjoyed the nap! After circling the crater rim and looking in from the highest point (with no sign of Godzilla) I climbed down the far side of Mt. Mihara, hoping I’d have time to climb a smaller neighboring mountain called Mt. Kushigata (Kushigatayama) and still catch the final bus back to Motomachi.The barren surface of Mt. Kushigata felt almost like hiking on the surface of the moon or Mars (though, fortunately, with oxygen). On the summit, I reveled in the spectacular views of Mt. Mihara and the surrounding lava fields.A second check of the trail map revealed that I didn’t have to race for the bus at the Miharayama trailhead. Instead, I followed another trail across the lava fields to the bus stop at Miharayama Onsen—another bonus. After the ten kilometer hike, I was more than ready for a soak in a hot spring bath. I woke up early Sunday morning, hoping to visit the Oshima Zoo and the island’s famous camellia garden before my afternoon ferry back to Tokyo. The day dawned bright and warm, but very windy. The ocean was whipped into meter-high waves that exploded into spray against the breakwaters near the shore.As it turned out, the windy weather had done me another favor: the ferry port had shifted to Okata, the closest port to both the zoo and the camellia garden. I left my suitcase at the Okata tourist office and hiked up the hill away from the port in search of Shima-Jima, a bakery I’d discovered on Google Maps the night before. I ended up on a residential street, and was about to turn back, thinking I was lost, when an elderly woman emerged from a nearby house with a bag of pastries in her hand. She smiled and gestured to a small sign on the house that read “Shima-Jima” in Japanese.Inside, the entry had been converted into a tiny pastry shop, with baskets of golden pan sale (a tender salty bread), fragrant cinnamon rolls, and rows of hot dogs wrapped in flaky crusts. I made my selections and returned to the port, where I found an empty bench and enjoyed an open-air breakfast with a spectacular view of Mt. Fuji rising on the far side of the white-capped waves. The volcanic island of Oshima rises from the sea 120 km south of Tokyo. Although best known for its winter-blooming camellias, I visited in early spring, when the weather was right for visiting Oshima’s other famous feature: Mount Mihara (Miharayama).The live volcano rises at the center of the island and acquired pop-culture fame when it featured in two Godzilla movies, as well as the Japanese horror novel Ring. An avid volcano climber, I looked forward to standing on the summit and looking down into the smoking crater. Japan, Off The Beaten Path (2) – In Search Of Plum Blossoms, North And South After breakfast, I headed off to the Oshima Zoo. The zoo’s location on a coastal hillside dotted with blooming sakura and camellia trees made it beautiful as well as fun to visit.I arrived at the enormous walk-in aviary just before feeding time. The flamingos followed the keeper around as he cleaned the pond, but the crafty peacocks sneaked around behind him to steal an early breakfast from the buckets of food he left beside the gate.Farther along the path, another keeper visited with the Bactrian camel, who seemed to enjoy his company, and three adorable red pandas munched a meal of bamboo leaves. A Two-Day Trip To Izu Oshima, Tokyo’s Beautiful Island Of Camellias Read also From the trailhead, I hiked across a long, flat valley and up the steep, curved path to the summit. According to the trail map, it takes an hour to reach the crater rim, but the pleasant, overcast day and my excitement made me move much faster. Thirty-five minutes after leaving the trailhead, I stood before the wooden torii (sacred Shinto gate) at the entrance to Mihara Shrine, which honors the deities of Mt. Mihara. The Unique Wildlife And Food Culture Of Chichijima Island, Ogasawara After visiting the shrine, I continued along the rocky path around the crater rim. As I hiked, I looked at the rocky shoreline far below me and, beyond it, at the ocean swells that mirrored the gray of the cloudy sky. A fresh sea breeze carried away the sulfurous smell of the fumaroles (volcanic vents) that sent up plumes of smoke from various places near the crater. Read also I woke up as the ferry docked at Motomachi Port, on Oshima’s western coast. The island has two ferry ports—Motomachi and Okata—with the port of arrival decided daily based on the weather. I was delighted to land at Motomachi, the closest port to my hotel and to the Mt. Mihara trailhead.Unfortunately, I took too long storing my suitcase in a locker (I should remember to carry change!) and missed the first bus to the trailhead. Rather than wait another hour, I hopped in a taxi for a 15-minute ride up the Oshima Skyline, a scenic road with spectacular views of the ocean and the coast. Japan, Off The Beaten Path (1) – To Heaven And Hell In Beppu The taxi driver also pointed out the new Memorial Park and the blooming wild yamazakura (mountain cherry) trees. At a distance, their puffy white flowers looked like giant popcorn kernels. Close up, their delicate petals were so beautiful that I could have gazed at them all day—except that I had a volcano to climb. Later, I visited the massive camellia garden, which features more than three hundred different species of camellia trees. Camellias normally bloom between late December and early March, but a surprising number were still blooming when I visited. Better still, the park was filled with the spectacular pink and white blossoms of cherry trees. I was the only visitor that morning, so I got to enjoy a private hanami (flower viewing).When I boarded my jetfoil ferry back to Tokyo, I was sorry my time had already come to an end, but I promised myself I would return to visit lovely Oshima again.Text and photos by Susan SpannSusan Spann is the author of the Hiro Hattori mystery novels. She lives in Tokyo, but frequently travels across Japan, climbing mountains and seeking adventures off the beaten path. You can find her online at www.susanspann.com.last_img read more

7 Stunning Spots Around The Seto Inland Sea Ocean Sunsets And Nature

first_img Myokengu ShrineView Map Where To Stay In Kagawa – 7 Lodgings By The Sea And Mountains View InformationMyokengu Shrine {“map_code”:{“pin”:[{“title”:”1107 Bo Nio, Mitoyo, Kagawa”,”code”:”34.21833635215976, 133.6449130004944″}],”center”:”34.21833635215976, 133.6449130004944″,”zoom”:”16″,”latitude”:”34.21833635215976″,”longitude”:”133.6449130004944″}} Nearest station JR Takuma Station However, avoid heading inside the cave during bad weather because it can be dangerous.Turn at the sign that reads Fureai Plaza Nio (pictured above) to find parking. Then hike up the mountain for half an hour to reach the temple hall. Take your order to the terrace seats to revel in the sights and sounds of the sprawling sea as you enjoy your meal.During the winter season, gratin and other warm dishes are served. A 20-minute-drive away from Chichibugahama Beach, it is a great place to wait for the sunset. Picture courtesy of Akiyoshi KuramotoSurrounded by clear blue waters, Maruyama Island is an uninhabited island accessible only during low tide. Every once in a while, you will find locals fishing and gathering seashells here. Picture courtesy of DraworthWith 700 healthy olive trees planted around the Kanran, their fragrance will further enrich your stay at the inn.Kanran offers meals made by a traveling chef who uses fresh local ingredients. Eggplants and lemons are famously produced around the Shonai Peninsula. If you are interested in tasting the local gastronomy, we advise you to ask the inn upon making a reservation.In addition to Kanran, the peninsula’s other popular places to stay include the log cabin Bay Wind and the guesthouse Hiuchi. For details on these lodgings, check out our article on the MATCHA site. Kanran -Hygge dig i Setouchi- View InformationlodgingRead also In the legend of Urashima Taro, the protagonist returns from the underwater palace to find the world several centuries ahead in the future. When he opens the box previously gifted to him, he himself rapidly ages.What do you think is the moral of the story? People have offered countless interpretations over the years. One theory posits that the protagonist started a new life as an immortal swan and reunited with the underwater princess.Personally, the writer of the article not only felt refreshed but also as if new beginning unfolded after experiencing the beautiful nature that surrounds and fills the Shonai Peninsula. If you are feeling stagnant in life, we highly recommend taking some time off to reset at the Shonai Peninsula.In cooperation with Classico Setouchi Coffee, Sun Cafe, Draworth The island’s Urashima Shrine was named after the Japanese legend of Urashima Taro and is maintained by the local community. If you come to pray at this longstanding shrine, you may feel cleansed and energized by the sea. Maruyama Island View Information3. Flower Park Urashima – A Flower Garden, Sea, and Mountains Accepted Credit Cards From Mt. Shiude you can get a full view of the Setouchi Islands. The sea and the mountain’s flowers—cherry blossoms from March to April and hydrangeas from June to July—make for a marvelous composition. Since the cave is quite narrow, leave your bags at the entrance and be prepared for your clothing to get dirty.In the Japanese Buddhist tradition, praying at underground shrines symbolized a newborn infant coming out of the mother’s womb and is seen as a rebirth ritual. There are a number of shrines around the country that have similar underground prayer spots.There are few places aside from the Cave of Good Fortune that will fill you with a sense of danger. Devoid of any sunlight, you are forced to confront your fears, but the experience might just leave you feeling refreshed. Drive ten minutes from Chichibugahama Beach to arrive at the tropical inspired Sun Cafe. 7. Myokengu Shrine – Enter the Mystical Cave of Good Fortune Access to the Shonai PeninsulaTo get around the Shonai Peninsula, we recommend renting a car or taking the bus.When Renting a Car The owner of this cafe fell in love with the people, food, and nature that the Shonai Peninsula has to offer. The cafe makes its pizzas and pastas from ingredients from local farmers and fishers. WiFi Not Available Picture courtesy of Mitoyo CityThe Setouchi Islands was ranked 7th in the New York Times article “52 Places to Go in 2019.” According to the article, Mt. Shiude is a highlight of the Seto Inland Sea. Travel to western Kagawa Prefecture and you will find Japan’s best sunset view at Chichibugahama Beach. Neighboring it is the Shonai Peninsula. From Mt. Shiude to the Seto Inland Sea to the abundant nature encompassing it, this area is home to spectacular scenery.The frequent sunny days in the Seto Inland Sea resemble the Mediterranean climate. The Shonai Peninsula, in particular, has beautiful beaches that are little known to the public. Come here to relax and just listen to the sound of the waves.This article will introduce things to do around the Shonai Peninsula and how to get to each spot.7 Things to Do Near the Serene Mt. Shiude Myokengu Shrine is said to be one of the places where Kukai, the Buddhist monk who paved the Ohenro pilgrimage path of the 88 sacred spots of Shikoku, trained.Be sure to see the Cave of Good Fortune when you visit. In the boulder to the right of the hall pictured above has space wide enough for one person to fit. Legend says that walking through it will bring good luck. A Once-In-A-Lifetime Visit To Kagawa’s Kotohira Shrine Not Available Address 1107 Bo Nio, Mitoyo, Kagawa Picture courtesy of Mitoyo CityThe Flower Park Urashima is a flower garden managed by the Shonai Peninsula. Pot marigolds color the fields from late March to early April. The marguerite daisy blossoms from mid-April to late May, poppies and godetias in May, and cosmos are in season from mid-September to mid-October. Cars will be your best option when getting around the peninsula. You will find numerous rental car services at Takamatsu Airport and around the city of Takamatsu. One example is Heisei Car Rentals, where you can make a reservation in languages besides Japanese.Although most services around the peninsula will likely only understand Japanese, you can make a reservation at the Open Air Rental Car and Bike (Japanese) ahead of time and pick up your vehicle at JR Takuma Station.Mt. Shiude may restrict traffic during the cherry blossom season. For more information, visit the Mitoyo Tourism website (Japanese).When Using Public TransportationFor public transportation, take the local buses from JR Takuma Station. Use either the Takuma Line (Japanese) (14 rides per day from Monday to Saturday) or the Shonai Line (Japanese) (15 total eastbound and westbound rides per day from Monday to Saturday).For instance, if you are visiting Mt. Shiude between Monday and Saturday, first take the Takuma Bus Line from Takuma Station at 8:48 and get off at Ohama bus stop at 9:16. Take the eastbound Shonai Bus Line from Ohama at 10:06 to arrive at the foot of Mt. Shiude by 10:36.Bicycles Are Also RecommendedThe Shonai Peninsula is a popular cycling course. At the aforementioned Open Air Rental Car and Bike (Japanese), you can rent electric bicycles. This is a great way to get around for those into cycling.Feel Refreshed After Visiting This Place of New Beginnings Picture courtesy of DraworthFor lodging, we recommend the Kanran Hygge dig i Setouchi. Through its large glass wall, you can admire the nighttime view of the Seto Inland Sea. A Gorgeous Sunset! 5 Ways To Enjoy Chichibugahama Beach In Kagawa The Shonai Peninsula is the setting for the classic Japanese folklore “Urashima Taro.” The tale is about a kindhearted young man who saves a turtle, becomes invited to live in an underwater palace, and eventually returns back to land.As you listen to the gentle waves and bathe in the sunlight shining over the peninsula, you may feel as if you are being transported into a fantasy world where time runs slower. Thanks to the locals, the peninsula’s nature is well-preserved, with many beaches remaining as they were originally.We will first recommend seven places to visit, starting from Mt. Shiude and onto cafes, lodging, and spiritual spots.1. Mt. Shiude – Head to the Cafe Overlooking the Seto Inland Sea Access A 20-minute drive from Takuma Station. The recommended item on the menu is the Nio Limone (1,380 yen with tax). This pizza uses lemons grown locally and pork raised with Kagawa olives. They also serve oyster dishes, which are a speciality of the region, in the winter.Near the Sun Cafe is Free Cloud, an outdoor area where you can enjoy sea kayaking and stand-up paddle-boarding. Sun Cafe View Informationcafe6. Kanran – Spend the Night Surrounded by Olive Fields Read also Operating next to the Urashima Flower Park is the cafe Classico Setouchi Coffee. The owner, who is from Takamatsu, opened this cafe in 2018 upon moving to the peninsula. We recommend trying coffee from the owner’s handpicked selection and bread delivered fresh from a popular local bakery. Shonai Peninsula and Mt. Shiude – Great Sunset Spots on the Seto Inland Sea The Mt. Shiude Archaeological Museum near the summit has a cafe that overlooks the sea. With a drink in hand, enjoy the glistening waters of the Seto Inland Sea.The Mt. Shiude Archaeological Museum displays stoneware used by inhabitants from two millennia ago. At this mountain, you can appreciate both the scenery and history. Mt. Shiude Archaeological Museum and Cafe 紫雲出山遺跡館喫茶コーナー View Informationcafestore2. Maruyama Island – A Mystical Island That Can Only Be Reached at Low Tide Picture courtesy of Mitoyo CityWith the Seto Inland Sea and the mountains in the background, the flower garden is a marvelous sight. You can also enjoy caravanning, although it requires a reservation over the phone in Japanese. Flower Park Urashima View Information4. Classico Setouchi Coffee – Savor a Cup of Coffee and Listen to the Waves Art And Surreal Nature! Awashima And Shishijima Islands In Kagawa Classico implements a self-serve system where customers order at one end of the counter and pick up their food from the other. The menu is written in both Japanese and English.The cafe is busiest during the weekends and holidays from late March to August, so we recommend coming on a weekday for a quieter experience. CLASSICOセトウチ珈琲 View Informationcafe5. Sun Cafe – Try Their Signature Pizzas and Pastas Stunning Art! Setouchi Triennale 2019 – Highlights, Access, And Ticket Informationlast_img read more

Chiba Road Trip Enjoy Shopping Amusement And Seafood

first_imgStrawberry picking (January to May) and blueberry picking (August) are also popular at the farm. The fruits can be eaten at the farm, so visitors can enjoy both the great view and the food.Mother Farm offers a wide variety of attractions such as the Big Sheep March, where you can watch 150 sheep running around, and an ice cream workshop. The farm also serves original yogurt and confectionery. Mother Farm View Informationamusement_parklodgingIchihara SA: Enjoy a Seafood LunchFrom Narita Airport, the drive to Mother Farm takes about an hour and a half on the expressway heading for Kimitsu Interchange. After driving for about an hour, take a break at Ichihara SA along the way.This SA is on the Boso Peninsula, in the southern region of Chiba. As the peninsula is known for its seafood, Ichihara SA serves various dishes utilizing fish and ingredients from the ocean. Chiba – Nature, Shopping and Fine Cuisine Picture from Renting A Car In Japan – Guide To Rental Costs, Licenses, And DrivingThere are a wide variety of activities to choose from in Chiba. As the sightseeing spots are spread out across the prefecture, using a rental car is one of the best ways to enjoy the area. With a car, you will not need to switch trains or buses, and large baggage can be stowed away in the trunk.However, driving in an unfamiliar area may make you feel tired. Make sure to take breaks along the way, utilizing the many service areas (SA) and parking areas (PA) by the expressway.Service Areas and Parking Areas: Take a Break while Sightseeing Picture from Sightsee On The Way – Rest Stops Between Tokyo and KaruizawaThe Service Areas and Parking Areas have restrooms, kiosks, restaurants and service stations. They are primarily rest stops, but most SA and PA also have shops offering local specialties and souvenirs, making them a fun part of sightseeing for those driving.This article recommends places in Chiba, along with the nearby SA and PA, to help travelers heading to their first sightseeing spot from Narita Airport, or those heading back to the airport after sightseeing.Read also Sightsee On The Way – Rest Stops Between Tokyo and Karuizawa Mt. Nokogiriyama. Picture from From Narita Airport: Seafood And Hot Springs In Minami Boso, ChibaChiba Prefecture, located east of Tokyo, is where Narita Airport is located. The prefecture has many sightseeing spots, such as mountains that are great for trekking and hiking destinations, recreational facilities offering seasonal fruits and one of the largest outlet malls in eastern Japan.Chiba is famous for fresh seafood and sweets made with peanuts, a regional specialty. There are many hotels with onsen (hot springs), making Chiba a popular destination for visitors from Tokyo.Travel in Chiba with a Rental Car Mother Farm and Ichihara SA Enjoy The Service Areas On Japan’s Expressways Picture from Family Road Trip From Narita Airport! Sightseeing In Chiba With KidsAfter visiting Mother Farm and Ichihara SA, why not spend a night in the area? Ryugujo Spa Hotel Mikazuki, where guests can enjoy a wonderful onsen is forty minutes away by car from Ichihara SA.The hotel offers more than ten types of baths, and guests can bathe leisurely while taking in great ocean views. There are both indoor and open-air pools as well, so those who want to experience a tropical feeling should try this hotel. Ryugujo Spa Hotel Mikazuki View InformationlodgingspaVisit an Outlet Mall and Shisui PA Special Kaisen-don (1,350 yen including tax)/Picture courtesy of Nex-area Company LimitedDaisho Suisan, one of the restaurants in the food court, serves donburi and teishoku meals prepared with fresh seafood. Be sure to try the regional specialties here. Sponsored by Nex-area Company Limited.center_img The Zao Mountains In Yamagata: Experience The Excellent Service Areas! Picture courtesy of Nex-area Company LimitedThe charm of the Boso Peninsula is reflected in the design of the SA buildings, with the light-blue roof, white walls and the use of wood-grain material.As there are unique beaches along the peninsula, a tropical theme is prevalent in the facilities. In fact, many people stop by Ichihara SA on their way to enjoy swimming, surfing, and other marine sports.The kiosk sells various items for beachgoers, so those who suddenly decide to go swimming need not worry. Renting A Car In Japan – Guide To Rental Costs, Licenses, And Driving Picture courtesy of Mother FarmAfter arriving at Narita Airport, let’s visit one of the scenic places of Chiba. At Mother Farm, located in the southern region of the prefecture, visitors can enjoy different flowers every season. Momoiro Toiki (petunia), shown in the photograph above, can be viewed from May to September. Picture from Enjoy The Service Areas On Japan’s ExpresswaysSAs are along the expressway at around every fifty to sixty kilometers. PAs are fifteen to twenty kilometers. They all offer different things to enjoy, so we suggest stopping by each for a unique experience.SA and PA facilities also differ depending on which side of the route it is located. For example, there is another Ichihara SA along the inbound route which serves a delicious saba sandwich, consisting of fried mackerel in between rice flour bread.At Makuhari PA along the outbound route from Tokyo to Chiba, vegetables, and fruit raised by the local farmers are sold. Also, the Makuhari PA on the opposite side has a shopping mall selling goods produced in Chiba.Be sure to stop by SA and PA during the drive to enjoy all that Chiba offers.Read also Picture from From Narita Airport: Rent A Car And Enjoy The Great Views Of Chiba!Those who plan to fly home from Narita Airport should visit MITSUI OUTLET PARK KISARAZU, one of the largest outlet malls in the Kanto Region. The mall is located near Tokyo Bay Aqua-Line, which connects Chiba to the Tokyo and Kanagawa areas, so it is also accessible on the way back from sightseeing in Tokyo. MITSUI OUTLET PARK KISARAZU View Informationshopping_mallDuty-free Shopping at Shisui PA Picture courtesy of Nex-area Company LimitedIt is a seventy-minute drive to Narita Airport from MITSUI OUTLET PARK KISARAZU. Drivers using the expressway should head for the Narita Interchange. Along the way, we recommend stopping by the Shisui PA. Picture courtesy of Nex-area Company LimitedShisui PA sells duty-free items, and smartphone apps such as Alipay and WeChatPay can also be used for payment. There are kiosks and a food court, so this may be one of your last chances to enjoy Japanese food. (This information is current as of February 1, 2019.) Shisui PA (Outbound) View InformationRent a Car and Explore Chiba! Picture courtesy of Nex-area Company LimitedSouvenirs such as peanut butter, a local specialty, and Max Coffee Cookie, can be found as well. Max Coffee is rare and used to only be sold in the Chiba area. This is your chance to buy a one and only souvenir. Ichihara SA (Outbound) View InformationStay at an Onsen Hotel with a Poollast_img read more

Get Ready For NatsuComi A Checklist Of Essentials You Should Bring

first_imgHow to Prepare for NatsuComi, the Summer Comic MarketComic Market (Comiket) is Japan’s largest event that unites gamers and anime lovers under one roof. It is held twice a year in the summer and winter.The Summer Comic Market, widely known as NatsuComi, is scheduled annually during the hottest time in Japan. Whether you’re looking forward to fully enjoying the event or planning to go as a casual attendee, it’s important for event-goers to make preparations in advance.Here’s a checklist of essential items you should bring to NatsuComi. While waiting for the event to start, there’ll be moments you’re in silence, sitting, watching the sunrise, and eventually gazing at clouds passing by. Ah, how boring! Products to pass time, like a novel you’ve begun reading or a game, are a must. If you prefer chatting with friends on your phone, don’t forget to bring a portable charger.Additional Items for the Circle Area1. Loose Change and CashThe people in circles that sell their doujinshi and goods are ordinary people like us. They are neither affiliated with shops nor corporations, so they have a limited amount of change they can prepare. If you pay with the right amount of money, both parties will be able to have a smooth transaction.A doujinshi is priced between 400 – 800 yen. The currency commonly used are 100 and 500 yen coins and 1,000 yen banknotes. Make an effort to not use money outside of these coins and bills.2. ID or Passport Read also Comic Market Complete Guide – Enjoy Manga, Cosplay, And Pop Culture At Comiket 【COMIKET】3 Things to prepare for Comiket in Winter Akihabara Travel Guide: Visit Japan’s Electronics And Otaku Center! Some doujinshi works on sale will have an established age limit for its readers, resulting in situations where the circle will have to verify your age. Be sure to prepare an ID or passport that clearly states your date of birth.3. A Pouch for Small Change and Your ID When you’re sweating, you should be careful of heatstroke caused by dehydration. Because your body loses both water and salt when you sweat, drinking a sports drink is better than mineral water. Additionally, the proper way to rehydrate is to slowly consume small amounts of water. If you start feeling sick, avoid chugging your drink all at once.If you’ll be stopping by the event in the afternoon, a 500 ml bottle will be more than enough. There are also vending machines available in the halls. However, for those who’ll be lining up in the morning, aim at bringing a one-liter bottle. There’s also a technique to freeze your drinks beforehand. Before the ice melts, you can place your bottle on your forehead to fend off the heat.Prepare snacks, packed meals, onigiri (rice balls), or sandwiches so you’ll be able to satisfy your stomach while waiting in line. You must, however, remember to bring your trash home with you.4. Block the Sun with a Hat or Parasol Picture from Tokyo Weather In July And August – Recommended Summer ClothingSun protective products are also important items to have. A parasol will be fine if you won’t be lining up. However, for those who are, it would be better to wear a hat to not bother your neighbors. If you’re wearing short-sleeved clothing, you can prevent sunburns with arm covers. Sunglasses are also helpful to have on hand.Sunscreen is also a must-have item. If you’ll be lining up in the morning, you will especially feel at ease reapplying your sunscreen as you wait in line. Photo by PixtaWhen you’re under the blazing sun with nowhere to escape in a crowd of people, you’ll naturally be dripping with sweat. A towel to wipe off the sweat is an essential item, but the size and amount you’ll need to prepare will depend on the person and timeframe. If you’re someone that sweats profusely, please prepare a larger towel. If you’ll be waiting in line for a long time, please bring two or more towels.For the first train crowd—who will be in line for up to five hours—bring two to three face towels. If you own a large towel, you’ll be able to wrap it around your head better than a handkerchief to effectively block out the sun as you wait to enter the convention.Bring another towel if you plan on bringing cold drinks. The water from condensation may cause your belongings to get wet, so be sure to wrap a towel around the bottle to prevent this.3. Drinks Why Should You Come Prepared? 15 Popular And Less Common Things To Do In Ikebukuro A folded or round fan is an essential item for counteracting the heat. We also recommend having a small, portable electric fan. It would also be helpful to have cooling products like cooling sprays, antiperspirant sheets, and cooling gel sheets.If you won’t be in the morning lines, you’ll be fine preparing one of these items when awaiting to make purchases at the venue. However, if you’ll be in the early morning crowd, you won’t have to worry if you bring two or three items based on your waiting time.Read also 5 Types Of Japanese Sunscreen – Comparison And Recommended Items Read also Comic Market Complete Guide – Enjoy Manga, Cosplay, And Pop Culture At Comiket Read also Read also The event venue is very spacious and split into several halls. In order to avoid wasting time by either getting lost in the venue or being unable to find the circle you’re looking for, it would be best to compile all your information beforehand.So we’d like to suggest buying the Comiket catalog. A map of the venue is printed inside. Simply detach the map and carry it with you without making your bags bulky (if you’ve purchased the DVD-ROM version, you can print out the map instead).If you have several things you want to buy, it would be reassuring to make a shopping list ahead of time. It’d also be a good idea to directly write your list on your map. In other words, try to make your shopping list easy to read.We also recommend buying the catalog in advance, rather than on the day of the event, to devise your shopping list. The catalog can be purchased at around 2,500 yen at participating manga and anime shops (Animate, Comic Toranoana, Melonbooks (Japanese)) or as a DVD-ROM for an even cheaper price.*Comikets held between July 2019 – July 2020 will enforce an entry fee. Please refer to the changes published in the article below. 5 Products To Help You Survive The Summer Heat In Japan Over the course of three days, there are over 500,000 people clustering in the venue, forming long lines even at the break of dawn. Some people may have already heard such rumors about Comiket.Well, these rumors are unmistakable facts. In addition, those attending NatsuComi will have to deal with intense heat. Around the time of the convention, the temperature in Japan exceeds 30°C and sometimes reaches between 38 – 40°C depending on the day.NatsuComi attendees will inescapably find themselves fighting against a stampede of hundreds of thousands of people under the blazing sun. Thus, participants must make flawless preparations in order to safely enjoy the event.You may be intimidated by the information we’ve provided so far. We will now introduce the essentials you’ll need into four groups based on the type of attendee you are.Just like how there will be a variety of people attending the convention—from those who prefer not to line up early in the morning to others that only want to shop around for doujinshi (*1) in the circle areas—the essential items will also vary slightly for each individual.First, let’s check what type of attendee you are. Based on your personal preferences and physical condition, you may make slight adjustments to your list.*1 Doujinshi: a magazine depicting a manga or anime that is produced by a team of people at their own expense. Table of Contents1. Essential Items for All Attendees2. Additional Items for the First Train Crowd3. Additional Items for the Circle Area4. Not Necessary, But Good Items to Have on HandEssentials Items for All Attendees1. Comiket Catalog or Shopping List 2. Handkerchief and Towels The scalding midsummer sun in Japan can be quite severe. Please be prepared to avoid becoming bright red from sunburn by the time you’re heading home.5. Counteract the Heat with a Fan Another useful item to have on a hot, sweltering day is shio ame (salt candy) that will protect your body against mineral insufficiency. These candies—with the kanji character for salt printed on its packaging—are found in convenience stores.2. Large Plastic Bags and RaincoatsIn Japan, it will occasionally rain in the midsummer. Be safe and prepare a plastic bag to prevent your purchased goodies from getting wet. Choose a size suitable for the amount you’ll be buying. Some people even bring large bags that can hold any sort of personal belongings.The rain doesn’t necessarily fall on the days of the annual event, so it isn’t always a must to prepare beforehand. Additionally, if your bag already has a waterproof finish, there is no need to have a plastic bag.Raincoats, on the other hand, are used when it unexpectedly rains while you’re waiting in line for the event to open. The line stretches on without any gaps, so it would not only be a hindrance to your neighbors to open an umbrella, but also dangerous if a strong wind were to blow. As such, simply bring a raincoat to wear.3. Tickets for Watching Stage EventsAt Comiket, special events are frequently hosted by various corporation booths. The subjects of each event are diverse and include talk shows with anime directors, voice actors, mini concerts, and more.Most events will have a limit to their audience and will often distribute numbered tickets that are separate from your Comiket pass. One to two months before the convention, check the newsfeed of your favorite company to obtain information on whether there will be a special event or if they’ll be handing out tickets.4. Digital and Phone CamerasPicture from What’s The Difference Between Comiket And Events Abroad? An Interview With OtakusFrom eye-catching costumes to attires that will make you as yourself “How did it turn out like this?,” large crowds of cosplayers gather at every annual Comiket.There is also a cosplay area inside the event venue where picture photography is allowed (when taking a picture, please obtain the cosplayer’s permission and have good manners). Please be aware that photography outside of this area is not allowed.Enjoy NatsuComi with Perfect Preparation!On top of being an event where huge amounts of attendees will gather, NatsuComi is held during the hottest time of the year. It is sometimes even called a battleground. Those heading to this “battleground” must tackle the event with flawless preparation.Preparations will be different depending on what type of attendee you are and your own physical condition. For example, those in the first train crowd that plan to attend before the event opens should be more heavily equipped than someone stopping by in the afternoon. If you’re someone that isn’t good with the sun or the heat, please go to the venue only after taking the proper measures.What’s important above all else is adequate sleep. Please fully restore your energy to enjoy NatsuComi to the fullest!NatsuComi Essentials ChecklistBelow is the NatsuComi essentials checklist. Please use this list by making a memo on your phone or printing it out.Essentials for All Attendees- Comiket catalog or shopping list- Handkerchief or towel- Drinks- Sun protection products like hats or a parasol- Heat preventive goods like a folded fan- A portable charger- Transportation IC cardAdditional Items for Early Morning Attendees- A bag to hold your food, drinks, and trash- A collapsible chair, paper, or plastic sheet that you can sit on- Your preferred item to pass the timeAdditional Items for the Circle Area- Small change and money- ID or passport- A pouch for your change and ID- Shopping bag- Snacks or a letter for your favorite circleNot Necessary, But Good Items to Have on Hand- Shio ame (salt candy)- A large plastic bag or raincoat- Numbered tickets to watch stage events- Digital camera or phone cameraOriginal author: Akihito Usui*This article is a rewritten version of an article originally published on August 5, 2014. Picture from Traveler’s Factory Goods At Tokyo Station – The Perfect Gifts!As mentioned above, the people selling their creative works through a circle are ordinary people and won’t provide a bag for you to place your purchases in. Prepare a suitable shopping bag for what’s on your shopping list.If you’re planning to do a small amount of shopping, then you’ll be fine with either a shoulder or eco bag. However, if you plan to make many purchases, then you will need a backpack or small suitcase. When using these types of bags, please be careful not to bump into the people around you.5. Presents and Letters for Circles You Adore Picture from Visit Nippon CHACHACHA Near Shinjuku Station For Japanese Gifts!When shopping in the circle area, you will often continue to shop at neighboring tables. To ensure a smooth transaction, be sure to place and separate your coins or 1,000 yen bills in a small pouch.Additionally, place your ID with your money to swiftly display it when requested.4. Shopping Bags While this isn’t necessary, if a circle you love will be attending the event, you can send encouragements by writing a simple letter or providing them with snacks!For snacks, choose something that is commonly sold and packaged individually in an unopened state so both parties can have a pleasant interaction. At the venue, it will be hot and snacks will easily spoil, so choose something that won’t go bad in the heat. It would also be a great idea to pack an assortment of snacks.Not Necessary, But Good Items to Have on Hand1. Shio Ame (Salt Candy) Comic Market Complete Guide – Enjoy Manga, Cosplay, And Pop Culture At Comiket 6. A Portable ChargerIn this day and age, smartphones are a must-have accessory we can’t detach ourselves no matter where we go. You’ll run into a problem if your phone runs out of battery in the middle of the day. You’ll actively be using your smartphone to check the train schedules from the venue, event information, and to follow the latest updates shared by circles.You might also go off on your own or end up separated from your friends in the middle of a swarm of people. It would be tragic and turn into a huge problem if your battery ran out when this unfolds. For the first train crowd, smartphones are also a particularly indispensable item as they wait in line, trying to use their device until its last remaining battery power.7. Transportation IC CardPicture from How To Charge Your SuicaWhile it’s perfectly fine to buy your train tickets, a transportation IC card—like Suica or Pasmo—is especially convenient to use on busy days like Comiket. To access the venue, you’ll be using the train stations to at least travel to the nearest station to Tokyo Big Sight. Please make sure to charge your transportation card in advance.If you’ll be using tickets, be sure to buy your return ticket beforehand as well. However, you may change your destination after the event and go somewhere else with your friends. If that happens, it’s a bit difficult to have your ticket refunded and repurchase a new ticket, so having an IC card is still the best option.Prioritize Comfortable Clothing!Because this event is a fight against intense heat and overwhelming crowds, it’s unavoidable to keep your daily appearance from becoming slightly ruined. For your safety, remember to wear comfortable clothing that is easy to move in and suitable for the summer.For example, avoid wearing clothes with decorations that may catch onto the people around you, heels and stilettos that are difficult to walk in, and wear breathable clothing. For the early morning crowd who will be standing in strong and direct sunlight, avoid wearing clothes that expose your skin.Additional Items for the First Train Crowd1. A Bag to Hold Your Food, Drinks, and TrashMany people in the first train crowd may not be able to eat breakfast. You will also have to wait in line for five hours, causing your health to decline and your body to become faint if you don’t eat anything. For this reason, be sure to bring something light to eat while waiting for the event to open.For example, we recommend onigiri, sandwiches, and drinks. Aside from light meals, it would also be a good idea to have nutritionally fortified snacks like CalorieMate. For additional information on drinks, please refer to “Section 3. Drinks” above.The main point is to have a plastic bag to bring home the trash you produce while eating.2. A Collapsible Chair, Paper or Plastic Sheet to Sit OnConstantly standing for over two to three hours is extremely difficult! Once the event begins, you’ll be walking around to shop, so standing in line for a prolonged time period might badly affect your health. Therefore, it would be beneficial to have items you can sit on.Plastic sheets, newspapers, and even parts of the event catalog that you won’t use can be thrown away once you’ve entered the venue, so they won’t get in the way. If you have a small collapsible chair that fits in your bag or backpack, that would be even more comfortable. On the other hand, this will increase your belongings, so please carefully prioritize on what items to bring.3. Products to Effectively Pass Timelast_img read more

Taste Five Types Of Japanese Sake For 500 Yen Ponshukan In Niigata

first_imgNiigata – The Home of Japanese SakeNiigata is the prefecture with the highest number of sake breweries and sake storage cellars in Japan and is also the third largest distributor of sake as well. Japanese sake manufacturing is one of the prefecture’s major industries (source: Ministry of Economy’s Industrial Statistical Chart of 2010). Trying delicious Japanese sake is a must when visiting Niigata.Many would like to drink Japanese sake in Niigata, but it is hard to drink a whole isshobin (*1) bottle. You may also want to try different brands, but that would become very costly. For those who wish to try different varieties of Japanese sake for a reasonable price, there is a great place to go.Ponshukan, located inside Niigata Station, has Japanese sake from 92 producers within the prefecture and you can try five varieties for only 500 yen.*1 isshobin: A 1.8-liter bottle used to store sake.Taste 5 Types of Japanese Sake for 500 Yen!Ponshukan is a minute walk away from Niigata Station and is usually filled with many tourists and locals. First, let us introduce how to taste sake for only 500 yen.All you have to do is pay 500 yen at the counter and receive five coins and an ochoko (*2) cup.*2 ochoko: A small cup commonly used for drinking sake.In the shop, you will find special machines set to pour the sake.On the machines you will find specific sake labels. Find one that catches your interest and set your cup under it. Insert a coin and press the yellow button, then you can enjoy your sake.This time, we tried the Kamonishiki. It is a sake made in Kamo city, Niigata, which also happens to be the hometown of the Japanese writer of this article.It had a very refreshing taste and was delicious.In Japan, types of sake with a sweeter taste are called amakuchi (sweet taste) and ones that are less sweet are referred to as karakuchi (spicy taste). However, the sake itself is not spicy; karakuchi in this case means ‘dry’.Next, we tried the most popular Echigo Tsuru-kame. It had a faint sweetness and went down smooth like water.There was even a sake called COWBOY. This one was also very tasty and left us feeling rather tipsy, but relaxed.In the shop, you can find a popular sake ranking chart. The labels on the machines have the names of the sake written clearly, so you can check the brands on the board to find the popular ones. Even if you cannot read Japanese, you can match the written characters with the labels to find the most popular ones easily.If you are unsure of what to drink, why not check the ranking or ask for recommendations?Along with the drinks, you can find some side dishes such as miso (*3) from all over Japan along with some salt to cleanse your palette while drinking.*3 miso: A traditional Japanese seasoning made from fermented soybeans.Those who managed to drink all 92 types of sake receive a certificate and their name will be placed on the shop wall.Another Ponshukan branch is located at Echigo Yuzawa Station, in a popular hot spring area. It is a great place to stop by after a skiing or snowboarding trip.Once you are done drinking, please return your ochoko cup.How to Get to Ponshukan from Niigata StationAfter getting out of the west exit of Niigata Station, go to the end and turn right.Continue going straight until you spot the building of Yodobashi Camera, then turn right.On your left-hand side, you will find the entrance to Ponshukan right beside Hotel Mets.After going past the shop area within Ponshukan, you will find the sake tasting area. You are also welcome to explore the shop and purchase any Japanese sake you liked during the tasting too.InformationPonshukanAddress: Niigata city, Chuo, Hanazono 1-96-47Hours: 09:00-21:00Closed: Open all yearWiFi: Not AvailableAccepted Credit Cards: -Languages: N/AMenu/Pamphlets in Other Languages: N/ANearest station: Niigata StationAccess: 1-minute walk from Niigata Station West exit.Price: Up to 999 YenReligion: -Telephone number: +81-025-240-7090Website: Ponshukan (Japanese)last_img read more

Little Known Cycling Paths Over The Seto Inland Sea Tobishima Route

first_imgRead also:The Perfect View: Everything About The Shimanami KaidōJapanese Encyclopedia: Chūgoku RegionClosest to Honshu: Akinada Great BridgeThe Akinada Long Bridge is 1175 meters long and the first one you will need to cross when heading out on the Tobishima Coastal Highway from Kure city in Hiroshima. If you are crossing this bridge, make sure to take a moment to look at the small islands located below the bridge, you might notice that they resemble a cat – hence their name, Meneko Island.After you cross Akinada Long Bridge you will have reached the entrance to Shimokamagari Island and the gateway to the Tobishima Coastal Highway.Align your cursor with the picture above and then click and drag. The surrounding scenery will change and you feel like you’re actually there.Kamagari Great Bridge: Ocean Leisure Spot that Reaches Shimokamagari IslandLocated in the eastern side of Shimokamagari Island is the 480 meter long Kamagari Great Bridge. Of all seven of the coastal highway bridges, this one was the first to open – on October 13th, 1979.Shimokamagari Island has one of the many ocean leisure spots found in Hiroshima prefecture. On the southern part of the island there’s a 200 meter long white sand beach. Here you can enjoy the magnificent contrasts of the blue ocean, white sand, and surrounding greenery.Toyo Island Great Bridge: Home of the Hiroshima LoonMoving on, the next bridge in our journey is the 903.2 meter long suspension bridge, the Toyo Island Great Bridge that connects Shimokamagari Island and Toyo Island.The bird symbol of Hiroshima, the loon, has a great number of nesting sites stretching across this island. The locals in this area affectionately call the bridge ‘Abi Great Bridge’ with one another, because the Japanese word for “loon” is “abi”.Toyohama Great Bridge: Pay Attention to the Loon Relief!Connecting Toyo Island and Osakishimo Island is the 543 meter long Toyohama Great Bridge. It was opened on November 30th, 1992.On the handrails on the pedestrian walkway there are over 270 loon reliefs. When crossing the Toyohama Great Bridge your heart might skip a beat looking at all the adorable designs.Heira Bridge: Tobishima Coastal Highway’s Only Concrete BridgeThe three bridges that connect Osakishimo Island to Okamura Island (Heira Bridge, Nakanoseto Great Bridge, and Okamura Great Bridge) are generally referred to together as the “Akinada Orange Line”.As the only concrete bridge on the Tobishima Kaido, Heira Bridge, which spans from Osakishimo and Heira islands, is only 98.5 meters long. This makes it the shortest of the seven bridges and thus not a ‘Great Bridge’.The height of this bridge is also quite low to the surface of the ocean, meaning that only fishing vessels can safely pass under this span.Nakanoseto and Okamura Great Bridges: Wrapping Up Your Ride with the Arch BridgesThe Nakanoseto Great Bridge, at 251 meters long, hangs between Heira Island and Nakano Islands, which are both located right in the middle of the Akinada Orange Line. It’s an arch bridge that can easily be seen from the Seto neighborhood.Just beyond Nakano Island is Okamura Island, a part of Imabari city in Ehime prefecture. Both islands are connected to one another by the Okamura Great Bridge, an arch bridge which spans 228 meters. Past Nakano Island is Okamura Island located in Ehime prefectures Imabari city. A bridge like this that passes through prefectural boundaries over the ocean and through farmland is something you can’t see just while walking around Japan.This surrounding area is within the Seto Inland Sea National Park’s district limits. That’s why this area is made in neutral, light grey tones – to blend in with the natural settings.Day Trips are Ok! Cycle at Ease Along the Tobishima Coastal HighwayThe Tobishima Coastal Highway is a cycling road that crosses both Hiroshima and Ehime prefectures. If you take the “Tobishima Liner” (Kamagari, Toyohama, Toyo route) from the Hiroshima bus center you’ll get to Tobishima Coastal Highway’s various islands in around a hour and a half. If you want to enjoy cycling you should get off at the Mitodai bus stop. This is roughly halfway through the total distance of the Shimanami Coastal Highway, making it 30 kilometers one way and gives you enough time to cycle round trip over the Tobishima Kaido in one day. If you would like to see something different from the sights of the Shimanami Coastal Highway, this is the way to go.*This article was provided by Street View Blog. The Tobishima Kaido, a coastal highway, is approximately 31 kilometers long and ties together seven floating islands (Shimokamagari, Kamikamagari, Toyo, Osakishimo, Heira, Nakano and Okamura islands) found in Kure and Akinada cities in Hiroshima prefecture, in the Chugoku region. The entirety of the Tobishima highway is famous for its citrus fruit production, and if you visit during the growing season, you will be able to see the mountains tinted in shades of orange and vivid green.On the Honshu side, there are seven bridges: Akinada Great Bridge, Kamagari Great Bridge, Toyo Island Great Bridge, Toyohama Great Bridge, Heira Bridge, Seto Great Bridge and Okamura Great Bridge. By crossing these 7 bridges you will find yourself standing in Okamura Island, a part of Imabari city in Ehime prefecture.Along with the Shimanami Coastal Highway, the Tobishima Kaido is highly recommended as a cycling road and many cyclists from all across Japan gather here to ride and enjoy the scenic views. Let’s take a look at this interesting region via Google Street View!last_img read more

Amazing Scenery Niigatas MustVisit Places Food And Fun Activities

first_imgPicture courtesy of Niigata Prefectural Tourist AssociationOn the coastal Sado Island, you can experience a ride on this tarai bune (tub boat) yourself. This fun activity allows you to experience firsthand what it feels like to be a local fisherman. Why not check out this traditional experience that is special to Sado?Tarai Bune (Yajima Experience Exchange Hall)Address: Niigata, Sado, Ogi 365-1 Google MapBusiness Hours: 8:00 – 17:00 (closed on October 21, November – March)Official Website: http://enjoyniigata.com/en/detail/page/detail/5119Read also Picture courtesy of Sado City Department of Industry and Tourism Agriculture Policy DivisionThe Toki Rapport Plaza situated inside the park is a recreated environment where the crested ibises currently inhabit. Visitors can directly see the ibises in graceful flight within the cage’s premises or pecking in search for loaches in the pond. If you want to learn more about the crested ibises, head to the Toki Materials Exhibition Hall. There, educational panels, video materials, and stuffed specimen are on display.Toki Forest ParkAddress: Niigata, Sado, Niibonagaune 383-2 Google MapBusiness Hours: 8:30 – 17:00 Closed on Mondays (No closures during March – November) and during the New Year’s holidayOfficial Website: http://tokinotayori.com/en/tokipark/4 Must Eat Dishes in NiigataSeafood Picture courtesy of Sado City Department of Industry and Tourism Agriculture Policy DivisionDo you know of a bird called toki, or the crested ibis? It is a bird species that once inhabited various regions in Asia but is now extinct in Japan due to overhunting and land development. Currently, the surviving offspring of crested ibises gifted from China are the only ibises to have survived the extinction.The Sado Island is where the crested ibises lived in the wild until now. Toki Forest Park is where you can actually meet these scarce birds. Picture from Make Your Own Senbei Crackers At The Niigata Senbei Kingdom!You can draw whatever you want on your senbei using soy sauce to finish creating your one-of-a-kind rice cracker. Good luck in making your own senbei!Niigata Senbei KingdomAddress: Niigata, Niigata, Kita, Niizaki 2661 Google MapBusiness Hours: 9:30 – 17:00Official Website: http://senbei-oukoku.jp/ (Japanese)Read also Picture courtesy of Niigata Prefectural Tourist AssociationRanked as one of Japan’s three major fireworks festivals, the Nagaoka Festival Grand Fireworks Show launches approximately 20,000 fireworks over a span of two days! It is a large-scale fireworks show hosted at the Shinano River—Japan’s longest and widest river—with over a million people visiting each year. 4. The Retro and Trendy Nuttari Terrace Street Picture from Taste Five Types of Japanese Sake For 500 Yen! Ponshukan In NiigataOne of Japan’s largest rice producers, Niigata is also famous for their Japanese sake. They boast the highest number of sake breweries in the country and have been renowned for its rice wine since old times. It is befitting that Niigata has a facility where you can drink and compare five kinds of sake for just 500 yen. Picture from Taste Five Types of Japanese Sake For 500 Yen! Ponshukan In NiigataPonshukan is a museum dedicated to local Niigata sake. It is loctaed the Niigata, Nagaoka, and Echigo-Yuzawa stations. Aside from taste testing, you can also purchase your favorite sake and local specialty products.If you’re worried about what to get for souvenirs, you’ll be sure to find great products when visiting Ponshukan.Ponshukan Niigata StationAddress: Niigata, Niigata, Chuo, Hanazono 1-96-47 Google MapOfficial Website: https://www.ponshukan-niigata.com/ (Japanese)Ponshukan Nagaoka Meihinkan (in Nagaoka Station)Address: Niigata, Nagaoka, Jonaicho 1-611-1 CoCoLo Nagaoka 2F Google MapOfficial Website: https://www.ponshukan-niigata.com/ (Japanese)Ponshukan Echigo-Yuzawa StationAddress: Niigata, Minamiuonuma, Yuzawa-machi, Yuzawa 2427-3 Google MapOfficial Website: https://www.ponshukan.com/ (Japanese)Read also Experience The Warmth Of The Locals At Nuttari NARI In Niigata Picture courtesy of Niigata Prefectural Tourist AssociationKatsudon eaten in Niigata is somewhat different from the katsudon often eaten in Japan. The typical katsudon is a fried pork culet that is simmered in a sweet soy sauce-based dashi stock and then served over rice with a beaten egg. However, the katsudon well-known among Niigata citizens is tare katsudon: a quick-fried pork cutlet steeped in a sweet and salty glaze.The pork cutlet, covering the majority of the bowl, is permeated with a soy-sauce-based glaze that makes people consecutively fall in love with the dish once they try it. Please be sure to fully savor this regional dish when you visit Niigata.Read also One Of Japan’s Top 3 Night Cherry Blossom Views: Takada Park, Niigata Picture from Niigata’s Retro-Cute Nuttari Terrace Street: Charming Cafés And ShopsNuttari Terrace Street is gaining prominence for bringing new shops to an area that was once reduced to a street of shutters after several stores permanently closed.A large variety of eclectic shops line the street. These include Aotogama, a shop that sells handmade ceramics, small goods, and accessories; ISANA, that sells not only furniture and hand dyed textiles but also where you can leisurely sip coffee; and Taruhi Glass Works, where visitors can try their hand at making glass beads.Aside from shopping, another appeal of these quaintly-lined shops is directly talking with the store owners. While experiencing the warmth from conversing with others, why not take a stroll through Nuttari Terrace Street?Nuttari Terrace StreetAddress: Niigata, Niigata, Chuo, Nuttari Higashi 3-5 Google MapOfficial Website: http://nuttari.jp/welcome-to-nuttari-terrace-street/Read also Taste Five Types Of Japanese Sake For 500 Yen! Ponshukan In Niigata Learn How Soy Sauce Is Made At This Free Factory Tour In Niigata Niigata’s Retro-Cute Nuttari Terrace Street: Charming Cafes And Shops 5. Enjoy Fresh Seafood at Teradomari Fish Market Kitazawa Flotation Plant Picture courtesy of Sado City World Heritage Promotion SectionDoyu no Wareto, an open mining site dating back to the Edo period, is a notable photo spot at Sado Gold Mine. It is said that the mountain was split into a V-shape as they dug into a gigantic vein of gold.Approximately seven minutes by car from the gold mine is the Kitazawa Flotation Plant. This location is reminiscent of the backdrop in the Ghibli animation film “Laputa: Castle in the Sky.”This was also the first facility in Japan where the technology used in the copper manufacturing process was implememted on gold and silver. It is said that the plant processed over 50,000 tons of ores in one month.Sado Gold MineAddress: Niigata, Sado, Shimoaikawa 1305 Google MapOfficial Website: https://www.sado-goldmine.jp/eng/12. Toki Forest Park – Meet Scarce Birds like the Crested Ibises Picture courtesy of Niigata City Aquarium Marinepia NihonkaiNiigata City Aquarium Marinepia Nihonkai is a facility that can be enjoyed by all ages. They have adorable penguins, seals, and other aquatic animals along with interactive tanks where visitors can touch live sea creatures.The Marine Tunnel, which runs through the bottom of a gigantic water tank, will undoubtedly feel as if you’re underwater. Additionally, you can encounter many aquatic life forms that inhabit the Sea of Japan here.Niigata City Aquarium Marinepia NihonkaiAddress: Niigata, Chuo, Nishifunamicho 5932-445 Google MapBusiness Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (ticket sales open until 16:30) Closed December 29 – January 1, the first Thursday of March and the following dayOfficial Website: https://www.marinepia.or.jp/mlg/en7. Niigata Senbei Kingdom – Make Your Own Original Rice Cracker! Fully Enjoy Niigata Whenever You Visit!Niigata Prefecture is a place that boasts a unique atmosphere thanks to its charms spannnig from stunning scenery to historical sites where the regional culture is deeply rooted. All four seasons have their own respective sights that you are sure to enjoy no matter how many times you visit.If you’re tired of the major sightseeing areas, why not consider taking a trip to fully enjoy the amazing scenery and dishes in Niigata?Read also Make Your Own Senbei Crackers At The Niigata Senbei Kingdom! 1. Feel Like a Fisherman – Take a Tarai Bune Boat Ride 10. Takada Park – 4,000 Cherry Trees in Full Bloom Picture courtesy of Niigata Prefectural Tourist AssociationNiigata faces out towards the Sea of Japan and is where various fish species—such as red sea bream, Pacific bluefin tuna, and winter yellowtail—are locally caught.Freshly caught seafood possesses delicious flavor that would impress any foodie. Because of its locality, you can savor delectable fish at relatively low prices. Picture courtesy of Niigata Prefectural Tourist AssociationHegisoba, a regional Niigata dish, is a type of soba (buckwheat noodles) made from a tsunagi (*2) of funori seaweed that is rounded into bite-sized bundles, then served in a container referred to as hegi.The noodle dish’s strong points are its smooth slide down your throat when you swallow and springy texture. It will undoubtedly become addictive. Funori seaweed is full of vitamins and minerals; it’s also said to help lower your blood cholesterol.*2 Tsunagi: a substance used to stabilize something that crumbles or falls apart easily.Murakami Beef 8. Snow Activities at Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort Picture courtesy of Niigata Prefectural Tourist AssociationSado Island is the largest island in the Sea of Japan on the western part of Niigata, reachable in approximately two hours by ferry from Niigata Port. Aside from being abundant in nature, the regional culture and traditions have been firmly passed down over the years.One of Sado Isalnd’s long-standing traditions is Isonegi fishing. It is a traditional fishing method that requires a glass box to search underwater while the fisherman is aboard a tub boat. The fishermen simultaneously use tools with sharp metal fittings to effectively catch seaweed and seafood. Picture courtesy of Niigata Prefectural Tourist AssociationFurthermore, Niigata is Japan’s premier producer of rice. Sushi made from this locally caught seafood and topnotch rice is a Niigata dish you certainly must sample.Hegisoba Noodles Hong Kong to NiigataFind the best time to travel, no matter when you’re traveling.Search for flights to Niigata Sweet, Salty and Addictive! Tare Katsudon In Niigata City Picture from Setsugekka Train – An Unforgettable Three-Hour Ride Through Niigata’s Breathtaking NatureNiigata is a treasure trove of amazing sights and regional cuisine. Renowned as Japan’s leading producer of top-notch rice and Japanese sake, you can also expect to eat amazing seafood here because Niigata Prefecture overlooks the Sea of Japan.Niigata PrefectureNiigata is located in the Chubu region of Japan’s main island Honshu. Stretching long and thin from north to south, the prefecture is largely split into three areas starting from the west called Joetsu, Chuetsu, and Kaetsu, respectively.There are direct flights operating from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to Niigata Airport, making it easily accessible for overseas visitors. For those traveling by train, it takes about two hours via the shinkansen (bullet train) from JR Tokyo Station to Niigata Station, which also makes it convenient to visit while traveling through Japan.In this article, we’ll be introducing Niigata cuisine and must-see destinations within the prefecture. Takada Castle Triple Turret (picture right) and the night blossoms. Picture from One Of Japan’s Top 3 Night Cherry Blossom Views: Takada Park, NiigataAn popular event called “Takada Castle Cherry Blossom Viewing for One Million People” is held around the time these seasonal blossoms bloom. During this annual event, colorful illuminations will light up in the evenings, giving it a romantic atmosphere that is different from the daytime. In particular, the stunning view of the triple turret castle and cherry blossoms reflecting on the water is something you’ll want to capture with your camera.Shuttle buses to the venue are available from the East Exit of Joetsumyoko Station—situated along the Hokuriku Shinkansen. The easy accessibility is yet another appeal to Takada Park.Takada ParkAddress: Niigata, Joetsu, Motoshirocho 44-1 Google MapOfficial Website: https://www.city.joetsu.niigata.jp/soshiki/toshiseibi/takada-park.html (Japanese)Read also Picture from One Of Japan’s Top 3 Night Cherry Blossom Views: Takada Park, NiigataTakada Park in Joetsu, Niigata is one of the top three famous night cherry blossom spots in Japan. It is a park where approximately 4,000 cherry blossom trees are in full bloom across 50 hectares of land. These blooming cherry blossoms that can be seen throughout the park are certainly a stunning sight.Inside, you’ll find Sakura Road, a natural tunnel created by cherry blossom trees, as well the park’s symbolic triple turret Takada Castle. Both attractions are perfect for taking pictures alongside the cherry blossoms. Japan’s Outlying Islands – 5 Picturesque Spots On Sado Island, Niigata Picture courtesy of Niigata Prefectural Tourist AssociationNiigata is a famous rice producing region in Japan. However, unlike the flat stretching rice paddies typically seen in the Japanese countryside, there are many terraced rice fields that use small plots of land for rice cultivation in Tokamachi City. The reason behind these scenic rice fields is that farmers could not secure enough land to plant rice in this mountainous area.In the Hoshitoge Rice Terraces, there are 200 tiered rice terraces of varying sizes spread on the slopes. When the fields become filled with water, this photogenic scenery emanates a beauty that truly makes it seem as if you’re in another world.In addition, the Hoshitoge Rice Terraces show a different scenery for every season and, in fact, every time throughout the day. In other words, these renowned rice terraces aren’t something you’ll grow tired of—regardless of when or how many times you visit. Not surprisingly, there are people who visit here several times a year.Likewise, as the terraced rice fields are where farmers cultivate rice, please be mindful when visiting and practice good manners. These include staying behind the ropes placed around the fields, not entering the secured premises, and bringing home your trash.Hoshitoge Rice TerracesAddress: Niigata, Tokamachi, Toge Google MapOfficial Website: http://www.tokamachishikankou.jp/en/nature/3. A Spectacular Display! The Nagaoka Festival Grand Fireworks Show Niigata – A Treasure Trove of Beautiful Scenery and Local Food Doyu no Wareto (the gold mine’s split mountaintop). Picture courtesy of Sado City World Heritage Promotion SectionThe Sado Gold Mine on Sado Island was Japan’s largest gold and silver mine during the early modern period. It reached the height of prosperity during the Edo period (1603-1868) until it permanently closed in 1989—putting a close to its roughly 400-year heritage.Once inside the Sado Gold Mine, you can see the mining site meticulously recreated with puppets. The tunnels, mine carts, and factory infrastructures actually used during its operation have also been preserved, which allows for a look into what the mine was like at the time.Furthermore, these tunnels and mining sites have been designated as Important Cultural Properties as well as a Heritage of Industrial Modernization in Japan. It is also a prospective World Heritage Site. How To Travel To Niigata, A Port City With A Rich History Picture courtesy of Teradomari Tourism AssociationSome shops also operate during lunchtime, so it’d be a good opportunity to sample various foods while walking or enjoy a rice bowl topped with seafood. While soaking in the lively market atmosphere, you’ll easily be able to eat high-quality sea bounty like blackthroat seaperch, squid, and broiled fish grilled on the beach.Teradomari Fish Market Address: Niigata, Nagaoka, Teradomari, Shimoaramachi Google MapBusiness Hours: 8:30 – 17:00 no holidaysOfficial Website: http://enjoyniigata.com/en/detail/page/detail/51136. Niigata City Aquarium Marinepia Nihonkai – Perfect for Couples and Families Picture courtesy of Niigata Prefectural Tourist AssociationThe highlight of the show is the Sho-Sanjakudama (*1), a spectacular burst of fireworks measuring 650 meters in diameter, and the Phoenix Fireworks that are launched one after another between a 1.7 kilometer span. The Phoenix Fireworks emerged after the devastating 2004 earthquake that hit the Chuetsu region—where Nagaoka is located—as an uplifting wish for recovery.Once you see this show, the illuminating fireworks spanning across your eyes are sure to be an unforgettable sight. Even if your visit to Japan is only to see the Nagaoka Festival Grand Fireworks Show, you certainly won’t regret it.*1 Sho-Sanjakudama: a type of shell firework with a 90-centimeter diameter and weighing 300 kilograms. It is the largest legally recognized firework (as of 2019). Nagaoka Festival Grand Fireworks ShowVenue: Niigata, Nagaoka, Chosei Bridge, Downstream from the bank of the Shinano River Google MapOfficial Website: https://nagaokamatsuri.com/ (Japanese)Read also Kanjiki Tour Picture from GALA YUZAWA – A Classic Ski Slope 90 Minutes From Tokyo!Ski lessons are conducted in English, Chinese, and Thai, so you need not to worry if you don’t understand Japanese. Many participants have never seen snow before, which makes this a safe experience for skiing beginners.Access is great as it’s 90 minutes by shinkansen from JR Tokyo Station. Another great factor is that Gala Yuzawa Station is directly connected to the ski resort. How about experiencing your first time skiing in Niigata?Gala Yuzawa Ski ResortAddress: Niigata, Minamiuonuma, Yuzawa-machi, Yuzawa 1039-2 Google MapBusiness Hours: 8:00 – 17:00 (This may change depending on the weather and season, so it is necessary to check the website)Official Website: https://gala.co.jp/winter/english/Read also Giant 650 Meter Fireworks! Nagaoka Hanabi in Niigata 9. Ponshukan – Sample Various Types of Japanese Sake Picture courtesy of Niigata Prefectural Tourist AssociationMurakami beef has a sweet, melt-in-your-mouth flavor. Murakami is also the name of a city in northern Niigata, where cattle are given feed made with Koshihikari rice straw and raised in a nature abundant environment.Murakami beef—which can, naturally, be sampled in Murakami as well as in Niigata City—can be eaten in various ways from yakiniku (Japanese barbeque) and steak to sukiyaki and grilled skewers. It would be great to find this variety of wagyu at your favorite restaurants.Tare Katsudon (Pork Cutlet) 2. The Always-Beautiful Hoshitoge Rice Terraces GALA YUZAWA – A Classic Ski Slope 90 Minutes From Tokyo! Picture from Make Your Own Senbei Crackers At The Niigata Senbei Kingdom!When it comes to Japanese snacks, senbei comes to mind. A ubiquitous cracker made from rice, senbei is a well-known snack among Japanese people.Niigata Senbei Kingdom is a fun facility where you can bake your own original senbei. Making a gigantic senbei measuring 25 centimeters in diameter—typically the size of a human face—will surely be a memorable activity. Picture courtesy of Teradomari Tourism AssociationTeradomari Fish Market, affectionately called “Fish Ameyoko,” is where fresh local seafood and an array of marine products from across the country converge. 11. Sado Gold Mine – A Historical Photo Spot Picture from GALA YUZAWA – A Classic Ski Slope 90 Minutes From Tokyo!When speaking of winter, everyone thinks of soft, fluffy snow. There must be many overseas visitors looking forward to skiing and other snow activities when they visit Japan in the wintertime.Gala Yuzawa Ski Resort in Niigata not only offers ski lessons for beginners, but also has plenty of other activities you can enjoy, such as a walking excursion through the snowy mountains while wearing traditional snowshoes called kanjiki.last_img read more

Enjoy a Vegetarian Lunch at Cafe Guri Kamakurabori Assembly Hall

first_imgOn the first floor of the museum, you can find the café, guri. This café was made for people to actually dine and enjoy using Kamakura lacquerware.The inside has a comforting atmosphere with tables made with natural wood and chairs painted with lacquer. Here, you can enjoy coffee, desserts and a Shojin ryori-style (*1) lunch provided on a selection of beautiful Kamakura lacquerware plates and utensils.*1 Shojin ryori: a type of vegetarian cuisine derived from the dietary habits of Buddhist monks, there are no meat or fish ingredients involved in this cooking technique.Meal Made with Selected Japanese Products in Beautiful Dishes Kamakurabori, otherwise known as Kamakura carved works or Kamakura lacquerware, are one of the many traditional handicrafts found throughout Japan. The detailed engravings and refined lacquerware together create a strikingly beautiful contrast of light and dark in each piece. This traditional art was created in Kamakura, Kanagawa prefecture and its techniques have been passed down through generations to this day. In recent years these skills have been even used to make kitchenware and other household goods as well.The Kamakura Lacquerware Museum and Café Anmitsu hitoshizuku with candied mandarin orange peels (580 yen before tax)This was their seasonal dessert for the summer of 2016: anmitsu with candied mandarin orange peels. Anmitsu is a Japanese dessert featuring small agar jelly cubes with red bean paste, boiled sweetened peas and fruit. The candied mandarin orange peels on the side are cut in large slices and still have pieces of the fruit on them. At the café, you can also enjoy coffee, herbal tea and other desserts such as pound cake. Toki gozen 1500 yen (before tax)There are three types of lunch dishes you can select from. There is the guri burger, which features a patty made from tofu curd, carrots, and onions (1200 yen before tax), chicken, maitake mushrooms with yuba (*2) on rice (830 yen before tax), and the Toki gozen (1500 yen before tax).This photo is of the Toki gozen. In this dish you can enjoy rice from Kyoto, kenchinjiru (*3) from Kamakura’s Kencho-ji Temple, and Koya-dofu (*4) with seasonal vegetables. Each dish is made exclusively from Japanese ingredients and, following the traditional practices of Buddhist cuisine, are served in multiple Kamakura lacquerware bowls and placed on an ozen (*5) tray, which make the presentation beautiful and all the more enticing to eat.Each tableware used in the café is an original creation, custom-made so that the dishes served will look delicious; they have been crafted from the size right down to the curve of the plates themselves. Not only do the meals look appealing, but the light and smooth texture of the tableware gives them an entirely different impression than standard plates or bowls.*2 Yuba: tofu skin; a traditional ingredient made by boiling soy milk and removing the top layer.*3 Kenchinjiru: a soup made from kelp and shiitake mushroom stock, with carrots, daikon radish, burdock and tofu in it.*4 Koya-dofu: a dish featuring freeze dried tofu.*5 Ozen: a tray on which multiple dishes comprising a single meal are served. Kōya-dofu and seasonal vegetable sidesThe seasoning of the dishes is simple, which allows you to taste the flavors of each ingredient easily. Especially the vegetables! The kenchinjiru soup is served in a bowl that is slightly larger than the standard Japanese soup bowl; the size has been calculated in order to make it easier to enjoy the pleasant aroma of the Japanese soup broth right from the bowl.center_img This time, we would like to introduce to you the café located inside the Kamakurabori Assembly Hall where you can actually use the lacquerware.Read also:Kamakura Carvings – The Perfect Souvenir From The Kamakurabori Assembly HallA Relaxing Café with Kamakura Lacquerware Photo courtesy of: guriYou can also purchase the trays and utensils used in the café in the shop right next to it. Kamakura lacquerware is made of wood, so it is very light and easy to use. Aside from the contrast in the color on the engravings, the color and appearance of each dish will gradually change over time with use. The price of each piece is slightly on the higher side, but these dishes can be used for years and years. They also make for an excellent souvenir of your stay in Japan.The Kamakura Lacquerware Museum hopes that more people, not only in Japan but around the world, will be able to use and enjoy Kamakura lacquerware in their daily lives. Please feel free to stop by anytime to enjoy the café, shop or even just to look around. If you happen to be spending the day in Kamakura, why not take a short break and visit this interesting hall?Read also:Kamakura Carvings – The Perfect Souvenir From The Kamakurabori Assembly HallInformationKamakurabori Assembly HallAddress: 2-15-13 Komachi, Kamakura City, KanagawaHours: 1st, 2nd and 4th floors 9:30-17:00, 3rd floor 9:30-17:00 (last entry 16:30)Closed: Mondays (if a national holiday, the next day is closed, refer to website for details); Culture class closed in summer and New Year’s holidaysWi-fi: AvailableCredit cards: –Other Languages: -Nearest Station: Kamakura Station, JR Yokosuka Line or Enoshima DentetsuAccess: 5 minute walk from east exit of Kamakura Station.Price Range: Free (3rd Floor Museum has an admission fee)Phone Number: 0467-25-1500Homepage:Kamakurabori Assembly Hall (Japanese)last_img read more

Stroll Around Kagurazaka With A Pekochan Snack From Fujiya

first_imgWho is Peko-chan?Japanese sweets are famous all over the world, and many people have probably seen the face of Peko-chan, the cover character on the packages of Milky. Milky is a milk-flavored soft candy that is made using condensed milk from Hokkaido.Photo: Milky package with Peko-chan from the official homepageThe slogan “Milky tastes like mom” is quite well-known in Japan. Milky’s gentle flavor evokes the warmth of a mother’s love, and the candy is supposed to evoke the nostalgic feeling of mother’s milk (from their website). Milky is beloved by many Japanese people, and they also love the cute character Peko-chan, with her puffed-up cheeks, wide eyes and stuck-out tongue. Developed in 1950, she has actively served as the storefront mascot for Fujiya ever since.Peko-chan Greets You at the FrontFujiya, the company that makes Milky, has expanded its group of sweets shops throughout Japan. These shops sell cakes, soft serve ice cream and other sweets, and some branches even offer all-you-can-eat cake buffets.However, you’ll only lay your eyes on Peko-chanyaki here at the Kagurazaka branch.On this day, a clown-attired Peko-chan came to greet us! Peko-chan’s outfit changes along with the seasons and various occasions. Variations on her outfits have increased throughout the ages. Peko-chan might be six years old forever, but she’s a very stylish kid.There are so many delicious cakes inside the shop! Two of the most popular items are the “Peko-chan’s Cheek” mini-cake and the pure white Milky cream roll.Peko-chanyaki is Only Available in KagurazakaPeko-chanyaki is obanyaki (*1) molded into the shape of Peko-chan’s face.*1 Obanyaki: a Japanese sweet made of flour, sugar and eggs, poured into a round mold and baked. It contains bean paste or some other filling.As you look through the glass pane and watch the Peko-chanyaki cook, your stomach will start to growl. They give off a tantalizing aroma.There are typically six varieties lined up on display. In addition to the standard four, there are also seasonal items and daily/monthly special items. In general, there will be a total of 21 items in the rotation. Every time you visit, you’ll be greeted by different flavors, making you struggle to decide on your purchase.Peko-chanyaki was actually created around 40 years ago, and sold at Fujiya branches all across Japan. However, the shops selling it gradually started to go out of business, and at present, only the Kagurazaka branch sells Peko-chanyaki.Let’s Try Some Freshly Baked Peko-chanyakiWell, then, let’s sample the real thing! The shop always has a line, and is bustling with customers buying cakes to take home.The take-home bags are cute, too.They look exactly like Peko-chan!Price for reference: 125-135 yenIt’s a bit scary, isn’t it? It’s so cute we almost couldn’t bear to eat it! If you’re lucky, you might find Poko-chanyaki, shaped like Peko-chan’s boyfriend Poko-chan, in stock.First is the popular cream cheese flavor. We apologized to Peko-chan as we broke her in half, and an ample amount of cream oozed out of the fluffy dough!The exterior of a freshly baked Peko-chanyaki is crispy, and the dough is fluffy like a sponge cake. The thick cream filling pairs well with the dough. There is just the right amount of saltiness contained within the sweet cream, making it an addictive flavor.There is a soft bean paste filling inside the green tea-flavored Peko-chan. It uses green tea from Uji in Kyoto, giving it a refined sweetness.There Are Savory Peko-chan Flavors TooAfter eating something sweet, you want to follow it up with something savory, and Peko-chan has more than just sweet flavors. In addition to the 21 standard varieties, there is a robust menu of savory fillings. Vegetable curry, bolognese, German potato, beef stew, and onion curry are on a daily rotation. When we went, the beef stew Peko-chan was giving us the eye as if to say “Eat me!” We bought it, and it was full of a strongly-flavored beef stew.In ClosingKagurazaka, with its refined townscapes, is the perfect place to go for a walk. You should stroll from Kagurazaka to Kitanomaru Park, a route which will take you through the Imperial Palace Plaza. Why not take a Peko-chanyaki along with you for a snack?InformationFujiya, Iidabashi Kagurazaka BranchAddress: Tokyo, Shinjuku, Kagurazaka 1-12Hours (All months except August): Mon-Thurs 10:00-21:00, Fri 10:00-22:00, Weekends/Holidays 10:00-20:00(August: Weekdays and weekends 10:00-20:00)*The shop stops making Pekochan-yaki about two hours before closing.Closed: No fixed holidaysNearest Station: Iidabashi Station (JR and subway lines)Access: To the right of the B3 exit of Iidabashi Station (subway), two minutes from JR Iidabashi’s west exit (JR)Phone: 03-3269-1526Homepage: Peko-chanyakilast_img read more

Just Add Water Ochazuke A Simple And Delicious Dish

first_imgRice is the staple food of Japan. There are so many different ways in which it is used in Japan, featuring in dishes ranging from onigiri to mochi cakes and even amazake.Another popular way to enjoy rice is ochazuke style. This is a very simple dish where cooked white rice is placed in a bowl, some toppings (such as dried plums or fish) are added to it, then hot Japanese tea is poured over the entire mix. While it might sound strange at first to eat your rice covered in tea, it has been a traditional dish in Japan since ancient times, and remains to this day a very popular dish all year round.Other than using Japanese tea, there are also some types of ochazuke that use hot dashi stock, or even ones made with cold tea! The choices for toppings are vast, and there are even some regional varieties that you will only find in restaurants outside the greater Tokyo area. If you are interested in trying ochazuke for yourself, then a good place to start is at a Japanese supermarket, where you will find a great selection of popular ochazuke topping sets available. They are typically located in the same area as the packs of instant rice, but if you are having a hard time finding it, just ask the staff: “ochazuke no mono wa doko desuka?” (Where is the ochazuke mix?)Today, let’s make our own simple ochazuke using a mix from a store. All you need to do is pour water into it. Simple, right?1. Fill Your Bowl with RiceFill your bowl with rice. Since you will be adding water to this, you will want to use a slightly larger bowl than usual, or put less rice into a standard bowl. Although it depends on your appetite, most will fill their bowl to about 70% capacity with rice when having ochazuke.2. Put Ochazuke Mix on the RiceFirst, open the package of ochazuke mix by tearing or cutting open the top, then dump the contents onto the rice.Here you can see the mix in greater detail; those light green grains are actually dried tea powder, while the longer yellow ones are called arare and are made from grilled mochi. You can also see small strips of roasted nori seaweed in this kit as well.3. Add the WaterAll that’s left to do it pour boiled water over the dish. Try to pour it directly onto the powder itself so that it will dissolve evenly through the dish. You should add enough water to cover the rice completely, although how much you want depends on your preferences. Since it’s your first time trying it, follow these directions and see what you think!4. Enjoy!Once everything is dissolved, you will notice that the rice has soften and really absorbed the flavors of the ochazuke mix well. You may find it hard to eat with chopsticks, so it’s a good idea to enjoy this dish with a spoon instead.A simple, delicious and hearty dish, ochazuke is a very popular breakfast choice for many. You can use leftover rice from the night before to quickly and easily fill up and start your day. It also makes for a great late night meal when you don’t really feel like eating a lot. As we’ve said, there are many different options available when it comes to flavors, so why not find one that suits your tastes? Ochazuke is also a very light and convenient souvenir that you can easily put in a suitcase, carry-on or even a small purse!last_img read more

Tateyama Mountain Range At A Glance Murodo Plateau in Toyama

first_imgThe Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route is a sightseeing route that runs through the Hida mountains in Japan.There are famous places along the route, such as the Kurobe Dam and the Yuki no Otani snow wall, where tourists from all over the world visit during the sightseeing season. The following article is about the attractions found at Murodo Plateau, another famous spot, and how to get there.The Tateyama Cable CarTo reach Murodo Plateau, visitors must use the cable car and bus. But first, use the JR lines and the Toyama Chiho Railway, and go to the Tateyama Station. It takes about 80 minutes by train from the Dentesu-Toyama Station, located right next to the JR Toyama Station. There are also buses headed for Tateyama Station from Toyama Airport and JR Toyama Station.The route map above shows the fares to each destination. To reach Murodo, the round-trip fare including the Tateyama Cable Car and bus is 4,310 yen for adults, and 2,160 yen for children.If you are planning to visit the Kurobe Dam, it will take eight to nine hours to make a round-trip, so it’s best to leave early in the morning. The Kurobe Dam round-trip fare is 10,790 yen for adults.The ticket can be purchased at this corner. A single ticket covers both the cable car and bus.Please note that reservations are required, and the ticket specifies the departure time of the cable car.This is the ticket gate. The cable car’s seats are limited, so those who wish to sit should get in line early.The Cable Car Ride This is the first place the visotors should go, where they can enjoy Tateyama’s spring water. The water is cool even in summer, and most of the visitors had bottles ready for the trek afterwards. The cable car platform is not flat, but has steps.This is the Tateyama Cable Car. It is used for both passengers and freight, a feature which is unique in Japan.This is the passenger car.We were lucky to be seated in the front row.This is called “zaimokuseki.” The lava from the Tateyama volcano cooled down, and turned into these pillar-shaped rocks. During the ride, there will be an announcement about them, so keep your ears open. Views like the photographs above constantly appear. The 3,000-meter mountains which can be seen from the bus is breathtaking, and we just kept taking photographs.Arriving at Murodo PlateauThis is Murodo Plateau. The temperature is lower than the Tateyama Station, so visitors should have a jacket ready, even in summer.center_img There are tunnels along the way, and the sight of other cable cars as well, so even though it takes only a few minutes, the ride can be fun.This is the terminus.Switching to the BusThe next step is getting on the bus.There is a sign for the bus going to Murodo, so passengers wait in line here.To board the bus, passengers are required to show their tickets, just like the cable car. The bus ride to Murodo takes about an hour.There are quite a few highlights along the way, such as the tall Japanese cedar tree and the big waterfall, where the bus slows down for the benefit of the passengers. To enjoy the view, take the seats on the left hand side. After a short walk, Mikurigaike Pond comes into sight. This pond is said to be the most beautiful crater lake in the Japanese Northern Alps. Its perimeter is about 630 meters, and the depth is about 15 meters. The surface of the pond mirrors the surrounding 3,000-meter mountains, which makes this spot the perfect place to take photographs.There are other ponds such as the Midorigaike and Chi no ike (“Blood Pond”), and even a hot spring, as well. A slow trek will take about two hours, so it might be a good idea to enjoy the fresh air and the cool spring water, while leisurely taking in the view.Recommended articlesSee The World’s Most Beautiful Bay! Cycling Through ToyamaToyama Glass Art Museum (1): The Beauty of Kengo Kuma’s ArchitectureAutumn In Japan On Video! Great Scenic Spots With Fall LeavesFeel Spiritually Refreshed At Japan’s Three Sacred MountainsIwakuni Castle, Yamaguchi – Superb Views From The TopInformationTateyama StationAddress: Toyama-ken, Nakaniikawa-gun, Tateyama-machi, Senjugahara 2Telephone: +81-76-481-1145Website/Homepage: Tateyama Stationlast_img read more

Ukiyoe Mandala And More Tokyo National Museum

first_imgThe exhibition starts from the Jomon Period, Yayoi Period (BC) and the Kofun Period (3rd century AD). Pottery, Dotaku bell-shaped bronzes and haniwa figurines are displayed in this area. This item called the “heart-shaped dogu (clay figurine)” has a heart shaped face as its name suggests. Haniwa faces seem sort of cute if you look close enough. Dogu mainly are shaped as female figurines, and is considered to be made by people of that period upon pray for good harvest. Buddhist art starts from the next room. Buddhism was introduced into Japan in the Asuka Period (6th century) from China.Buddhist statues are definitely worth seeing, but you shouldn’t miss this mandala of esoteric Buddhism art either! Esoteric Buddhism is a type of Buddhism that is said to have more mystical, spiritual, and symbolic aspects. The mandala is so detailed and fine that you might get a little sick if you stare at it too much. It does have a mystical air.Going on, samurai possessions come into sight. Valuable swords, armor, and other samurai items are exhibited in this area.Grand-scale traditional folding screens and sliding paper doors are displayed in this area. The golden background makes the bright white and red stand out even more.The Ukiyo-e room comes last on the 2nd floor . Ukiyo-e is known to have a vast influence on western art. There are many types of ukiyo-e, for example beautiful ladies and kabuki actors, but the ones with beautiful ladies are interesting. Most of the ladies are drawn with an “oval face” which was deemed as beautiful at that time. Looking at it now, you might think, “This is beautiful…?” Checking out the fashion and hairstyle is another way to enjoy ukiyo-e art. Genre Exhibition and the Heisei BuildingIf you have finished the 2nd floor and still have time, go to the special exhibition on the 1st floor, or the Heisei-kan where there are archaeology exhibitions.The theme of special exhibition on the 1st floor changes from time to time. The “Family Gallery Looking at Buddhist Statues: Statues of the Kamakura Period” displays powerful Buddhist statues and is held till August 31, 2014. There are many Buddhist statues, but this Nehan (涅槃) style statue is a must see, almost as if it is lying down to watch TV. “Nehan” means the day that Guatama Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, passed away from this world. You can move on to the Heisei-kan through the communication passage from the 1st floor. In the Heisei-kan archaeology exhibition, you can see a more enhanced collection of Dogus and Haniwas. This is a famous Dogu that most Japanese will have seen in school textbooks. It looks as though it has sunglasses on, isn’t that mysterious?Haniwas, which were made to bury in burial mounds in the Kofun Period, vary in expression from smiling faces to somewhat worried faces like the one below. Looking at each haniwa face to compare differences may be fun! Drawings, arms and armor, Buddhist statues and kimonos, you can see an entire scoop of mysterious and unique Japanese art all in one day. Why not find your own favorite piece?InformationTokyo National MuseumAddress: 13-9 Ueno Park, Taito, Tokyo, 110-8712, JapanHours: 9:30 – 17:00 (last admission at 16:30)Closed on Mondays and year-end holidays; if Monday is a national holiday, closed on TuesdayWi-Fi: Softbank Wi-Fi spot available at front gate, main building entrance and hallAdmission Fee: Adults: 620 yen, University Students: 410 yenCredit Cards: Acceptable (Visa, MasterCard, JCB, AMEX, Diners, DISCOVER)Language: Japanese, English, Chinese, KoreanDescription Language: English, Chinese, Korean (German, French, and Spanish pamphlets available)Nearest Station: JR Yamanote line Ueno stationAccess: Get out from “park exit” of Ueno station, go past the National Museum of Western Art, and turn right at the square with the fountain.Phone Number: 03-5777-8600Website: http://www.tnm.jp/ The Tokyo National Museum in Ueno is a must-see spot when you come to Tokyo. The museum collects and displays art works & cultural assets from Japan as well as other Asian countries. Exhibitions change from time to time, but the total collection consiss of over 110,000 items! Enjoy the depth of Japanese art from fascinating beautiful items to humorous and unique items, here in the Tokyo National Museum.Main Building 2FIn the Tokyo National Museum, Japanese art is exhibited in the main building (Honkan, 本館), Asian art in the Asian building (Toyo-kan, 東洋館), and archaeological art in the Heisei building (Heisei-kan, 平成館). If you look through everything it will take a whole day. For those who want a shorter course, I recommend seeing the 2nd floor of the main building. Go through the entrance and climb up the majestic staircase. last_img read more

Orizuru Tower Enjoy The View Over Hiroshima From A PeaceThemed Tower

first_imgFollow the signs, and you will reach the observatory of the Orizuru Tower called “Hiroshima Hills.”The spacious observatory is decorated with fragrant wood such as Japanese cypress and cedar. The design motif is that of a Japanese shrine, and three of the four walls are wide open.The observatory is one of the few places where you can look down on the Genbaku Dome. The Itsukushima Shrine on Miyajima island can also be seen in the distance.The 12th Floor: Learning Hiroshima’s History and the Peace MovementAfter enjoying the view, go to the twelfth floor, where exhibits about the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima and the peace movements organized in the past are displayed. Here are some examples:Ground Zero Praying for Peace at the “Orizuru Wall”At the “Orizuru Wall” on the 12th floor, visitors can post an orizuru in the glass wall for 500 yen, something that can be experienced only at this tower. Orizuru Tower: A New Sightseeing SpotHiroshima Prefecture has two World Heritage sites, the Genbaku (A-bomb) Dome and Miyajima island. In Hiroshima, the prefectural capital city, a new sightseeing spot for both the Japanese citizens and visitors from abroad has been built. It is called the Orizuru Tower, introduced in this article.Orizuru (*1) Tower contains an observatory, an information center and a souvenir shop. Standing next to the Genbaku Dome and located near the shopping streets, it is the ideal spot to drop by during a sightseeing tour.*1 Orizuru… A folded-paper (origami) crane.Tourist Information: A Place to Gather Travel InformationThe first place we would like to introduce is the Tourist Information. Located on the first floor of the Orizuru Tower, visitors from abroad can gather sightseeing and travel information about Hiroshima, in both Japanese and English. Special transportation tickets can be purchased here. In addition, you can look for special information not listed in ordinary guides, such as plans for an ideal tour, or the right spots to visit during your free time.View Miyajima from the ObservatoryThe main attraction of the Orizuru Tower is the observatory on the top floor. Visitors can view the city of Hiroshima, and on a clear day, even Miyajima.This is how you can enjoy the tower.Go to the ticket machine on the first floor. It can be operated in four languages: Japanese, English, Korean and Simplified Chinese.The admission is 1,700 yen for adults (over 18 years old), 900 yen for teens (from 12 to 17 years old), 700 yen for children (from 6 to 11 years old), and 500 yen for preschool children (from 4 years old).After buying the tickets, go to the gate located on the opposite side of the entrance. Head for the top floor, using either the elevator or the slope. Our recommendation is to use the elevator to the top, and the slope when coming down.After getting on the elevator, head for the observatory on the top floor. This manga is about the war, and how Hiroshima recovered from it. The story starts from the top floor, and ends on the first floor.Souvenir Select “Hito to Ki”A souvenir shop which handles over 1,000 items, including the items recommended by the local residents, is located on the first floor. From the opening on the south side, visitors can see ground zero, where the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima exploded.Now, a hospital stands (next to the blue building) at the site. On July 6th, 1945, the bomb exploded 600 meters above the hospital.Photographs of that day are also on display.Orizuru: A Symbol of PeaceIn Japan, orizuru, created from folding a small piece of paper, is regarded as a symbol of peace. Originally, it was an item to wish for recovery from illness. Now, people who pray for world peace come to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park and offer orizuru.Visitors can experience the orizuru culture in this zone. They can create an orizuru crane using the instructions displayed on the digital panel, and also interact with the cranes.You can create an orizuru on this screen.The process is displayed neatly.This is a kaleidoscopic display, with an orizuru motif.Children love this display, as the orizuru cranes gather up and create the shape of the children’s body.Digital Display: The History of HiroshimaThere is one more digital display in this building.Visitors can see how Hiroshima has changed over the years from a bird’s-eye view.center_img The orizuru cranes on the wall can be seen from the outside. They all convey their creators’ wishes for a peaceful world. If you’re heart was moved by the exhibition, do post your own orizuru crane on this wall.Head Down the Slope to the First Floor At Orizuru Tower, visitors can gather sightseeing information, buy souvenirs and learn about Hiroshima’s history, which is everything you need in order to enjoy your visit to this city. We hope that not only visitors from abroad, but also Japanese citizens and local residents will visit the tower. Hiroshima Orizuru Tower View Informationcafestore One of the appeals of the Orizuru Tower is the slope from the top to the first floor. Take this route on your way down.There is a slide along the way.last_img read more

10 Winter Things To Do In Japan Hot Springs Festivals And Glistening

first_imgPicture courtesy of JNTO Japan Photo LibraryIlluminations in Japan are often associated with the Christmas season, but they usually last the entirety of winter. These types of light up displays are common around train stations, shopping areas, and city streets. Amusement parks, including Tokyo Disney Resort also have illumination installments, so if you are looking for something fun and romantic, make sure to stay until the evening!If you like art, put the Sapporo Snow Festival on your travel itinerary. Sapporo brings in countless visitors annually for its snow festival, in which three areas of the city feature huge snow and ice sculptures created by talented artists. Previous years have featured everything from castles to scenes from popular works like “Attack on Titan” and “Star Wars” recreated out of ice. There are colorful illuminations at night which create an even more magnificent scene.In 2019 the Sapporo Snow Festival will be held from February 4 to February 11. This is an event not to miss if you are in Japan during this time.Read also Creamy Japanese-Style Hot Chocolate At Dandelion Chocolate In Kuramae 6. Eat Seasonal – Fresh Crab, Strawberries, and Mikan Oranges 10. Appreciate Chocolates on Valentine’s Day and White Day 5 Plum Flavored Treats You Have To Try At A Plum Festival Read also Setsubun/Mame Maki – Japanese Encyclopedia 13 Budget-Friendly Souvenir Shops Near Stations In Tokyo Picture from Shinsaibashi Shopping Guide – Fashion, Cosmetics, And Local Dishes In Osaka!The week after the New Year holidays is known for lucky bags (fukubukuro) and big discounts. However, sales continue to be held February and into March, when Japan’s fiscal year ends. Department stores and shopping malls in Japan are heated and will keep you warm and entertained during the chilly winter days.In Tokyo, neighborhoods like Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ikebukuro will have many stores offering discounts. In Osaka, we suggest heading to Shinsaibashi to find sales.Be sure to keep an eye out for signs with information on deals and shop smart!Read also Pictures courtesy of JNTO Japan Photo LibraryAlong with its cool temperatures, Japan’s winter offers everything from relaxing hot springs and thrilling winter sports to delicious cuisine. Visitors can also enjoy the coziness of the indoors, the clear skies and ideal weather outside. This article introduces 10 things you can look forward to during the beautiful cold season.1. Soak in Picture-Perfect Hot Springs Picture from Impress Your Loved One With Homemade Chocolate This Valentine’s DayYou can celebrate two holidays dedicated to love in the winter in Japan. Valentine’s Day is on February 14 and White Day is on March 14. On Valentine’s Day, females typically give chocolates to males, and on White Day, males return the favor. However, it is also normal to give and receive chocolates amongst family and friends, so anyone is welcome to enjoy these holidays. Make sure to look for special themed chocolates and desserts.There are also a number of cafes and chocolate-specialty establishments in Japan where you can treat yourself to something sweet and seasonal. In Tokyo, Dandelion Chocolate is known for its high-quality chocolate bars and hot chocolate infused with Japanese green tea. Celebrate these holidays of love with special chocolate for yourself or with someone special.Read also Jogai Market, Sapporo: Come Eat Fresh Hokkaido Crab And Shrimp! Picture from Plum Blossoms – The Original Japanese Sign Of SpringBefore the sakura season, the sweetly fragrant and delicate plum blossoms come into bloom in February. Known as “ume” in Japanese, these flowers are thought to be one of the first signals of winter ending. You can view plum blossoms throughout Japan, and there are also festivals held to commemorate the flower, too.In particular, Kairakuen in Ibaraki Prefecture is famous for its 3,000 plum trees that come into full bloom from mid-February to late March. This festival runs from February 16 to March 31, 2019. There are also areas in and around Tokyo where you can view these lovely flowers, like Setagaya Ward in Tokyo and Odawara in Kanagawa Prefecture.You can enjoy the plum blossom season will all five senses. Try the unique flavor of plum-inspired Japanese treats with tea, rice balls, and mochi. Limited-edition products will be often sold at festivals but can easily be found in supermarkets and convenience stores, too. Sales In Japan – Annual Guide On When To Buy What Sapporo Snow Festival 2020 – An Extravaganza Of Snow And Ice The Best 10 Onsen In Japan To Visit In The Winter Picture from Shabu-Shabu, Sukiyaki, Hot Pot: The Differences, Recipes, And More!Savoring some hot pot cuisine at the end of the day is one of the best pleasures during winter. Japan has shabu-shabu, sukiyaki, and nabe, which are all body-warming hot pot dishes with hearty meat, seafood, and vegetables. Nabe and sukiyaki are commonly made in homes in Japan. If you go to a supermarket, you will often find packages of vegetables and meat for the purpose of making nabe. These are easily prepared and customizable to different tastes.Shabu-shabu, on the other hand, is more common to enjoy when dining out. This type of dish is fun for sharing with a group of friends or family, as diners can actively participate in making their own food. After cooking the ingredient briefly in the flavored stock, you can add flavor by dipping it into a citrus flavored or sesame flavored sauce.These hot pot dishes are filled with wholesome ingredients, taste exquisite, and will warm your entire body. Make sure to experience this traditional cuisine in the wintertime!Read also Enjoy the Japanese Winter by Eating Nabe, a Tasty Hot-Pot Dish! All The Charms Of Japan In One Place! 10 Things To Enjoy In Fukushima Dive into Winter in Japan! Picture courtesy of JNTO Japan Photo LibraryThere is no shortage of tasty ingredients and fruit in the winter. One of the most famous winter foods in Japan is Matsuba crab from Tottori Prefecture. This crab is internationally renowned for its fresh flavor and large size. The best place to find this crab is by going to Tottori, of course, but the crab is also distributed, so you will find it on the menus of restaurants across Japan. Fukui and Hokkaido prefectures are also known for their delectable crab.In addition to seafood, strawberries, mikan oranges, and yuzu are in season during this time. At many farms, you can go strawberry picking and find high-quality strawberries and unique varieties, like white strawberries. Citrus fruit like mikan oranges and yuzu-flavored foods are thought to be good for health and fighting off colds.Read also Picture from 5 Ski Resorts To Enjoy On A Day Trip from Tokyo In 2018-2019Japan is known for its powder snow, ideal for skiing and snowboarding, drawing many winter sports enthusiasts during the season (late November to early May, depending on the region) every year. There are many regions with slopes that both beginners and experienced skiers and snowboarders can enjoy. Some of the more popular areas to enjoy winter sports are as follows:In Hokkaido, Niseko is internationally renowned for its good quality snow and great slopes. There is also Sapporo Kokusai Ski Resort, which is conveniently accessible from the city of Sapporo. GALA Yuzawa Snow Resort in Niigata Prefecture is just 75 minutes via bullet train from Tokyo and is a popular choice for enjoying winter sports. Nagano Prefecture is also famous for its slopes.Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned winter sports athlete, these resorts are great for warming up your body through exercise and enjoying the snowy scene.Read also Visit Japan in the Winter!The coldest months out of the year in Japan are during winter, but this doesn’t mean you can’t make the most out of travel during this season. From indoor activities to nature, there is so much to see and do during this time. We hope you enjoy this magical time of year. Picture from Ginzan Onsen, A Traditional Resort: Access, One-Day Trips, And MoreBathing in an onsen, or natural hot spring, is a highly-recommended activity in Japan during any time of the year. Winter, in particular, is a great time to take a dip and warm up at the end of a cold day. Here are suggestions for onsen where you can gaze out at the snowy scenery as you bathe, either through a window or by being in an outdoor bath.Ginzan Onsen in Yamagata Prefecture is a renowned hot spring town with high-quality springs and snow piled tall. The inn architecture and bright red bridge are said to resemble that of Studio Ghibli’s “Spirited Away”. In Nagano Prefecture in central Japan, Shibu Onsen, is a popular hot spring known for its adorable snow monkeys bathing in the onsen at Jigokudani Wild Monkey Park. After quietly observing the monkeys, you can warm up too in the nearby hot springs district.In western Japan, the picturesque hot spring district in Kinosaki Onsen in Hyogo Prefecture becomes blanketed with snow in the winter. It is easily accessible from Kyoto, Osaka, and Kobe.After a full day of traveling in the cold, make sure to unwind and warm up in the relaxing water!Read alsocenter_img Picture courtesy of JNTO Japan Photo LibraryTraditional Japanese festivities occur in the winter, just as they do during other times of the year. In particular, you can look forward to winter mochi pounding around the New Year holidays and Setsubun, a holiday welcoming spring, in early February.Setsubun festivals are in early February and are held at temples and shrines. In Tokyo, Sensoji Temple in Asakusa and Kanda Myojin near Akihabara have large-scale events featuring bean throwing (mame maki), which is meant to keep out evil spirits and bring in good luck. Both will be held on Feburary 3, 2019.Read also 5 Ski Resorts For A Day Trip From Tokyo 2019-2020 8. See the Dainty Plum Blossoms! 4 Japanese Items That Make Cold Winter Days More Pleasant Read also Shinsaibashi Shopping Guide – Fashion, Cosmetics, And Local Dishes In Osaka! The 5 Best Plum Blossom Viewing Spots In The Tokyo Area 7. Experience Wintertime Festivals 3. Explore Japan’s Mysterious Snowscapes Top 5 Ski Resorts In Snowy Hokkaido For Winter 2019-2020 2. Go Skiing and Snowboarding! Picture courtesy of JNTO Japan Photo LibraryAnother way to have fun in the snow is to take in the phenomenal landscape that forms naturally. Venture beyond major cities and you will be able to discover how stunning the outdoors are in the winter.North in Zao, Yamagata Prefecture (pictured above), mysterious hoarfrost on the trees appears from late December to March. Visitors can view this magical scene from a ropeway that operates during the day and night. In addition, the JR Tadami Line that connects Niigata Prefecture and Aizuwakamatsu in Fukushima Prefecture is a spectacular train ride to take in the winter months. The surrounding ice and snow-covered landscape is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and is sure to take your breath away.Another must-see is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Shirakawago Village in Gifu Prefecture, central Japan, which transforms into a romantic snowy scene in the winter. The thatched roofs of the traditional Japanese huts get covered in a thick, sparkling white snow.Bundle up and go explore Japan’s great outdoors in the snow!Read also 4. See Light Up Displays and Larger-than-Life Ice Art Warm Up Inside And Out – Japan’s Favorite Winter Dishes Zao Onsen, Yamagata – Stunning Hot Springs And Mystical Snowy Trees Valentine’s Day In Japan – How To Celebrate It Like The Locals 9. Shop Until You Drop! Setagaya Plum Blossom Festival – Relish The First Signs Of Spring Visiting Japan In Winter 2019-2020: Temperatures, Clothing, Travel Tips 5. Warm Up with Delicious Japanese Hot Pot Shabu-Shabu In Tokyo – 4 Spots To Enjoy This Delicious Hot Pot Dish! Spring In Japan: Traveling, Clothing And Weather In March-Maylast_img read more

Kaley Cuoco Talks Animal Advocacy With HSUS

first_imgBig Bang Theory Actress Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting has talked with The Humane Society’s All Animals Magazine about her animal advocacy work.You’ve said you want to accompany The HSUS to the Canadian ice floes, where the Protect Seals team documents the hunt each year. What compelled that desire?I think as a — I hate even using this — as a “celebrity,” people think we say a few things, and then that’s it, and we put it to bed. I need to show my fans, and people that agree with me and disagree with me, that I’m willing to go out there. I want to see it face to face. I’m not just saying that I believe in this campaign, and I want the hunt to end, and blah, blah, blah. I want to go there, so I can show them, “No, I was there. These are my own pictures. This is what happened, this is what I saw and this is what I believe in.”How did you get started in animal advocacy work?
I’ve always loved animals. As a kid we had dogs. But my passion got very strong maybe eight years ago when I rescued my first dog [a pit bull named Norman].I went to a rescue. And he walked in, and he jumped up on me and almost pushed me over. It was love at first sight. I don’t know what happened that day, but I became this pit bull lover. Now we actually have three, and I love them more than life itself. I think they’re absolutely amazing, and I want to promote rescue as much as possible. I walk into these shelters, and there’s thousands and thousands—and most of them are pit bulls that need rescue. It’s just become a big passion of mine, and it will be for the rest of my life.Do animal issues ever get discussed on set?Everyone that I work with knows how I feel about animals. Even this day that I was obsessed with the seal hunt, I was literally in the corner at work, and they’re like, “What’s going on?” I’m like, “seal hunt.” I was obsessed. And we’ve got a ton of animal lovers at work, but I think the biggest conversations and wars I have seem to be on Twitter, so bring it at me.Read more herelast_img read more

Fisher leaders disappointed over outcome of talks

“Both India and Sri Lanka failed to note it was the livelihood issue of Tamil Nadu fishermen and it has to be approached with a humanitarian touch,” he told The Hindu. (Colombo Gazette) “The whole exercise turned out to be futile and it was totally disappointing,” U. Arulanandham, president of the Alliance for the Release of Innocent Fishermen (ARIF), told The Hindu . It was shocking that Ms. Swaraj could not prevail upon the Sri Lankan government to secure the release of 115 boats detained in the island nation for more than one-and-a-half years, he said. A cross-section of fisher leaders has expressed disappointment over the outcome of the recent high-level meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in Delhi to find a solution to the long-standing ‘livelihood issue’ of Tamil Nadu fishermen, The Hindu newspaper reported.“We are not at all satisfied with the decision to set up a Joint Working Group (JWG), joint patrolling and hotline between the Coast Guards of the two countries to address the issue as none of the measure would help to find a solution to the issue,” a leader who was part of the delegation that held talks with their Sri Lankan counterparts, ahead of the high-level meeting, said. It was also distressing to note that Ms. Swaraj could not secure the release of the mechanised and country boats held in Sri Lanka, he said.Mr. M. Ilango, leader of the National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF), said the decision to set up a JWG was only an eyewash. “If Ms. Swaraj and Mr. Samaraweera could not decide on securing the release of the boats, it will be foolish to hope the JWG will secure the release,” he said.The decision to set up joint patrolling and establish hotline between the two coast guards was aimed at chasing away the Tamil Nadu fishermen, he said. No doubt Ms. Swaraj, recovering from an illness, took sincere efforts to find a solution, but the exercise went in favour of the Sri Lankan fishermen, he alleged. Most of the boats were badly damaged and the fishermen would receive only some wooden planks and scraps when the Sri Lankan authorities returned the boats, he rued. The Tamil fishermen from northern Sri Lanka, who were crying foul about destruction of marine resources, should understand the steps taken by the State government to protect the marine resources, he said.Mr. P. Sesu Raja said it was unfortunate that the Indian government, which wrested an assurance from the Sri Lankan government that the fishermen would not be attacked, failed to secure an assurance that they would not be arrested till alternative arrangements were made. The leaders had high hopes that the two governments would work out a solution and allow Tamil Nadu fishermen to fish in the Lankan waters in the Palk Bay for specific period till they switched over to deep-sea fishing or phased out bottom trawling; but, they were disappointed. read more

Volkswagen to launch more electric cars after diesel scandal

by David McHugh, The Associated Press Posted Jun 16, 2016 4:22 am MDT Last Updated Jun 16, 2016 at 11:00 am MDT AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email Volkswagen AG, CEO, Matthias Mueller, attends a news conference at the company’s headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, Thursday June 16, 2016. German automaker Volkswagen plans to intensify its push into electric vehicles as it fights to bounce back from a scandal over diesel cars rigged to cheat on emissions tests. CEO Matthias Mueller said Thursday the company plans to introduce more than 30 electric-powered vehicles by 2025, and to sell 2 to 3 million of them a year. ( Reflection caused by camera light. ( Julian Stratenschulte/dpa via AP) FRANKFURT – German automaker Volkswagen plans to ramp up its offerings of electric vehicles as it fights to bounce back from a scandal over diesel cars rigged to cheat on emissions tests.The electric campaign is part of a wide-ranging review of the company’s strategy that also includes increasing profitability, investing in new ways of getting around that don’t necessarily involve owning a car, and making the company’s management more open and trustworthy.CEO Matthias Mueller said Thursday the company plans to introduce more than 30 electric-powered vehicles by 2025, and to sell 2 to 3 million of them a year. To support that ambitious plan, the company wants to increase its in-house expertise in battery technology. Improving battery range is expected to be a key factor in getting more people to buy electric cars.Mueller made the announcement as he unveiled the results of a top-to-bottom review triggered by the scandal that erupted in September 2015 and dubbed “Together – Strategy 2025.”The new plan includes a focus on digital mobility, which could include things like ride-sharing or car-sharing based on smartphone apps, for instance.The company also set as a goal increasing the profitability and controlling costs. That was particularly true of the core Volkswagen brand, which is barely making money; most of the company’s profits in the first quarter came from its luxury brands Audi and Porsche, which tend to have much higher profit margins. Mueller said the company intended to increase operating profit margins for the entire group from the current 6 per cent to 7-8 per cent by 2025.Volkswagen costs are higher in part because it has powerful employee representatives under German law who make it harder to shed workers, outsource work or move production. With around 610,000 employees, it sold just slightly fewer cars last year than Toyota, which has 344,000 employees.The company also sought to make its management more open and less convinced it knows best how to do things without consulting partners or outside advice.“Our most important currency is trust,” Mueller said at a news conference at the company’s Autostadt, or Auto City, visitor centre next door to its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany. He acknowledged the difficulty of winning back public confidence after the scandal.Mueller said the company would need more electric vehicles to meet increasingly tight government limits on emissions of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas blamed by scientists for global warming, and other pollutants. He said, however, that the company would keep a major focus on developing and selling internal combustion engines.Volkswagen bet heavily on diesels to meeting car emissions goals. But that strategy suffered a blow after the company was discovered to have met emissions tests using engine control software that turned emission controls on when the car was on a test stand and turned them off in everyday driving.The company is currently working out a settlement with U.S. authorities in federal court in San Francisco to repair or replace some 500,000 cars with the problematic software. Some 11 million cars were sold with the software worldwide.A federal judge in San Francisco on Wednesday gave Volkswagen and attorneys for vehicle owners affected by the company’s emissions cheating scandal more time — until June 28 — to reach a final settlement proposal. The deadline also applies to any agreements Volkswagen reaches with the U.S. Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission.The company has set aside at least 16.2 billion euros ($18.1 billion) from last year’s earnings to cover the costs of recalls and fixes. Mueller said Thursday that he had no reason to increase that sum based on what he knows now, but that that could change after the U.S. settlement is finally agreed. Volkswagen to launch more electric cars after diesel scandal read more