The Melting Pot of Exotic Cultures Spain Zaka The Spanish Incline

first_imgThe Spain Zaka (“Spanish Incline”) is a small flat hill that expands approximately 100m from Inokashira street to Parco SHIBUYA. The hill itself is a short walk but has many fun stores and shops that are worth a visit.Why is it called “Spanish” Hill? Daichu offers a variety of Chinese and other Asian merchandizing items. AMO’S STYLE displays a wide array of lingeries for young girls and women. Hula girl has stylish sunglasses, accessories, socks and vintage clothing. Stores for such major brands as PARCO, UNIQLO, CROCS can also be found here. The Daichu Store. PARTY LAND The name Spain Zaka (“Spanish Incline”) was given by an owner of a café that stood by the hill, just around the time when Parco opened in 1973. It is said that the scenery of the hill, with its staircases and narrow twisty streets, reminded him of a Spanish town and that is why the café owner named the hill as such.Sadly the café that the man used to own no longer exists, but rumor has it that the café also had an Spanish interior designs. The above-mentioned Spanish Restaurant, “Bidro”.Exotic scents and scenes fill up the tiny street. CROCS Shibuya Store.InformationThe Nearest Station: Shibuya Hachiko Exitlast_img read more

Meet Kozee The Human Google Maps Pin

first_imgImmediately after our interview, Kozee graciously offered to perform right in front of the Kaminarimon gate in Tokyo’s Asakusa area. True to his earlier comments, he purposely tries not to become the center of attention. Instead, Kozee quietly, and in his own characteristic way, slipped into a crowd of people taking pictures of the Kaminarimon gate, and then assumed the ‘sasaru’ position (above).Apparently, it was the first time for Kozee to perform in front of Sensoji Temple’s Kaminarimon gate, a famous sightseeing landmark. He looked delighted, knowing that his pose became someone’s commemorative photo.A ‘Sasaru’ Pose in Front of Sensoji’s Main Building Next, he ‘sasaru’-ed for us in front of Sensoji Temple’s main building. Notice that his slightly slanted, hands-free headstand does indeed make his body look like it’s poking into the ground!Here you can find a large incense burner called Jokoro, popular with visitors to Japan. According to local tradition, the smoke from the incense burner has health benefits, and can heal physical ailments if it blows over and touches the affected body part.A ‘Sasaru’ Pose with Skytree in the Background A ‘Sasaru’ Pose in Front of the Kaminarimon Gate When you think of Japanese people making their mark in the world, who usually comes to mind? In the realm of sports, Ichiro (baseball), Keisuke Honda (soccer), and Shinji Kagawa (soccer), are all famous. Others, such as artist Taro Okamoto and film director Akira Kurosawa, continue to remain internationally well known, long after their passing.Here we introduce a fellow named Kozee. He’s embarked on a rather unusual project that will probably make him world-famous as well.The focus of our interview is on his SASARU Project–Marking Places on Planet Earth.Who’s This Guy That Looks Like a Google Maps Pin?Kozee is a performance artist from Tokyo’s Harajuku area. He appeared in a Google Android commercial that caused quite a stir and has since attracted his fair share of attention.The Reason Behind His Sasaru Movementcenter_img ── Could you tell us how this idea of “poking into the ground like a Google Maps pin” came about?Kozee:Well, I originally did some break dancing, and someone once took a picture of me while I was performing. Later on, when I took a look at the picture of myself doing a headstand, I commented to my friend that it looked almost like my body was poking into the ground, and this eventually planted the seed for my future project and performances. But honestly speaking, at the time I was just simply enjoying the picture, and it really didn’t go much beyond that.After that, while living in New York city I became interested in foreign cultures, and it got me thinking about doing an around-the-world trip.One day while I was sitting in front of my computer, inserting pins into Google Maps of all the places I wanted to visit, for some reason it suddenly occurred to me that I could become the human form of those pins! So from that moment on, the idea of doing a headstand to look like a Google Maps pin began.After starting my SASARU project, I sent in some pictures of me doing my hands-free headstand to SNS, which led to my appearance in a commercial (CM) for Google. As a result, it caught the attention of many people, including some who reached out to me over various social media platforms, and the SASARU project gradually started to gain some traction.── Are any strong emotions tied into this idea of ‘Sasaru’?Kozee:Well first of all, I’d like to popularize the word SASARU so that it becomes a household name around the world. In its literal sense, the Japanese word, sasaru, means to ‘stick in’ or ‘stick into’. In a more figurative sense, it can also mean impacting someone in a certain way, such as in the expression, kokoro (heart and mind) ni sasaru.For example, the word kawaii (cute), is now acknowledged by non-Japanese people as a word that helps to transmit Japanese culture to the world. In a similar fashion, I think it would be fantastic if the word ‘sasaru’ came to be used by people around the world, whenever they saw something cool in Japan or had some kind of moving experience. Oh! SASARU! (Wow! Isn’t that great!).I’m currently engaged with the SASARU project, but on a more personal level, whenever I’ve been impacted and influenced by a certain country, person, kind of food and so on, I make it a point to ‘sasaru’ my body (do a headstand) at that place. It’s a personal reminder that this is where something meaningful happened, a way of leaving my mark for posterity.── When you ‘sasaru’, is there anything that you consciously do or think about?Kozee:In my own case, I don’t usually communicate with the people nearby hoping that they’ll take a picture of me, and I purposely try not to be the center of attention. I do consciously try to ‘sasaru’ my body in a crowded, public place or in the main part of a city, but always in a natural, unobtrusive kind of way.In every instance, whenever someone’s watching me, there’s someone else not paying attention and doing something completely different. I think that this surrealistic kind of picture is really interesting. The fact that while everyone is going about their daily business, there’s someone in public doing a headstand and looking like he’s poking into the ground, that’s also fascinating to me.── From here on, in what kind of places would you like to ‘sasaru’?Kozee:So far I’ve visited a total of ninety-one countries and have mainly focused on ‘sasaru’-ing my body in those places. But from now on, I’d like to focus my attention more on Japan, because there are so many interesting places here. If by doing my performance, visitors can learn more about Japan and what’s going on here, that would be great! Today’s final picture (above) features our guest in the ‘sasaru’ position, with the imposing Skytree in the background. Kozee’s body, which appears to be sticking right on the top of the wall, looks to be about the same height as the 634 meter-tall Skytree. This outrageously large ‘pin’ has marked the Skytree area, and now serves as a signpost for both visitors and locals alike.In this fashion, Kozee circles the globe, stopping when necessary to do his famous headstand, leaving his imprint on the world.For those of you who are intrigued and would like to learn more, watch Kozee’s You Tube videos and follow him on Instagram!android:complete photo collection (Google Android CM)Kozee Kido (Facebook)sasarukozee (Instagram)SASARU Project-Marking Places on Planet Earth (YouTube)last_img read more

Tea Ceremony En In Kyoto Experience The World Of Tea Ceremony

first_imgYou can check-in in the doma (*1) area after entering the entryway. A group tea ceremony experience is 2500 yen per one person (plus tax). A private tea ceremony experience is also offered for those who would like a thorough learning experience and is 4500 yen for one person (plus tax).*1 Doma: A space left with its ground exposed and without flooring located in an area after entering the entryway. Tea Ceremony En is located in an area that is slightly difficult to find. Head towards Yasaka Shrine, famous for its Gion Festival, one of Japan’s greatest festivals, and continue left; it will be in a small alleyway to the left side of Chionin’s large Shinmon Gate. The owner, with the thought of, “I would like (visitors) to enjoy tea ceremony in tranquility,” had searched for a location where noise pollution would be as limited as possible.The word “en” can be written in two different ways: either with the kanji character for “connection or relation” or with the character for “round.” The origin of the shop’s name comes from the kanji “en” for the link between people and places and “en” for round and contiguous. The interior design and tearooms are handmade not only by the owner, but by the staff as well. Come enjoy Japanese culture at the meticulous Tea Ceremony En!Let’s Check Out the Tea Ceremony Experience Class Sado (lit. “The Way of Tea”) is a traditional cultural practice of Japan. It is a ceremony of entertaining the guests with tea, performed from a convention established in the beauty of form, the spirit of hospitality towards others, and the rules of etiquette. There is a shop where you can readily experience the difficult practice of tea ceremony after learning the necessary rules of etiquette in Kyoto.last_img read more

Yakitori For 90 Yen Try Japanese Grilled Chicken At Iseya In Kichijoji

first_imgSoybean Farm In Kichijoji: Come Try Western Fusion Miso Cuisine! On this particular visit, we ordered the Mixed Yakitori Plate (4 yakitori varieties for 360 yen). You can also order skewers individually for 90 yen each.The liver yakitori, which is part of the Mixed Yakitori Plate, has a clean, refreshing taste. Even those not used to liver can enjoy this skewer. Read also Iseya has three locations in Kichijoji. Due to deterioration, the building that housed the original main shop was rebuilt on the present site. It has the same atmosphere and flavor of the original building. The exterior in particular has been faithfully reproduced.People of all ages line up in front of Iseya in order to buy yakitori daily. You can also see the hard-working staff members grilling the chicken yakitori, completely focused on the task at hand.Regular Customers are Called by Nickname! When first-time customers take a look at the shop’s menu, they are usually surprised. At other shops, one bamboo skewer of yakitori is usually more than 100 yen. But here at Iseya, all yakitori is priced at 90 yen!Menus are available in Chinese, English, and Korean, so international visitors can place their orders worry-free. Kichijoji – A Haven Full of Delicious Dishes for Those on a BudgetKichijoji is known for its shopping districts with shops and drugstores. Just twenty minutes away from Shinjuku and Shibuya, it’s also for its many reasonably-priced restaurants.This article introduces Iseya, a must-visit Japanese grilled chicken, or yakitori restaurant located along the route from Kichijoji Station to Inokashira Onshi Park.Read more to learn about this restaurant and its exquisite yakitori, popular with residents for decades.Iseya – A Local Restaurant with a 90-Year History You can choose between salt or tare (savory sauce) for the skewer flavor. The sauce, made on the restaurant premises, comes from a secret recipe.Each skewer has a great taste that will keep you satisfied bite after bite.A Special Menu for Regular CustomersThere is a plate-of-the-day available exclusively for regular customers. The Day’s Surprise Dish is decided upon each day by the shop staff and features dishes besides yakitori. During the winter, warm, comforting foods and even beef bowls (gyudon) are served.One of the ways in which regular customers enjoy their Iseya experience is to first sit in their usual seat, then order a cold beer to accompany The Day’s Surprise Dish. Iseya, which appears in the popular Japanese drama “GTO,” and the movie “Ten Ten,” starring famous actor Joe Odagiri, is one of Kichijoji’s favorite places to eat for residents.It started out as a butcher shop when it opened in 1928 but later began to serve food. It eventually became a yakitori restaurant upon customer requests.Iseya stays open year-round, even when there’s a typhoon or heavy rain. In fact, many regular customers will visit regardless of the poor weather. Harmonica Alley, A Kichijoji Landmark: Have Fun Getting Lost! In addition, regular customers can personally choose who they would like to cook their food. By doing so, customers can ensure that the flavor of the yakitori they enjoyed on their previous visit, will be duplicated this time as well. There’s no additional charge for this service!Enjoy Local Dining at IseyaIseya has a friendly environment with residents and many regular customers, and is a welcoming space that even solo diners can feel comfortable visiting.Take your time and savor this delicious and reasonably-priced food and the restaurant’s distinct atmosphere. Iseya View Informationrestaurant*This article was originally written in Chinese (traditional version), then translated and re-edited first into Japanese before into English. Kichijoji – Top 10 Places To Visit, From Inokashira Park To Ghibli Museum! With almost thirty years of work experience at this location, we asked employees what is special about Iseya.The restaurant manager told us: “Here, everyone treats one another as friends, whether they’re staff members or customers. Regular customers are greeted by the nicknames we give them. Many regulars have been coming to Iseya for more than ten years and they tend to drop in at a certain time of day. If they don’t show up when they’re supposed to, we actually start to worry about them!”Selling 3,000 Skewers Daily of Delicious Yakitori “Furisode,” or shoulder meat, is tender but also has a satisfying firm texture. It is flavorful and will keep you wanting more.The vegetables served at Iseya are grown in Japan. The negi (green onions), which are also grilled on a skewer, have a thin texture and natural sweetness; a charcoal-grilled aroma fills your mouth as soon as you take a bite.last_img read more

Taro Okamoto Museum Of Art Meet The Artist Behind The Myth of

first_imgThe tower you can see in the background is the symbolic monument of the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art: “Mother’s Tower”. This impactful symbol welcomes you as you pass through the entrance. This art museum is an overwhelming, powerful space that transforms daily life and invites its visitors into the unusual world of the works on exhibition. After walking for about 17 minutes from Mukogaoka-Yuen Station, you will come to the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art. What Was Taro Okamoto Like?Taro Okamoto (1911-1996) was a Japanese artist. His style is considered to be avant-garde, a rarity in the traditionally-centered Japanese art world, and his energetic works were often rooted in ethnology and cultural anthropology.Two of his most internationally well-known pieces are Osaka’s “Tower of the Sun” and “The Myth of Tomorrow” which is located in Tokyo’s Shibuya Station, among others.Read also: Play With Art: The Taro Okamoto Memorial Museum, AoyamaThe Charms of the Taro Okamoto Museum of ArtThe best place to interact with Taro Okamoto’s works is at the Taro Okamoto Museum of Art found in Kawasaki, Kanagawa prefecture.This was the birthplace of Taro Okamoto and many of the works housed here were donated by Okamoto himself. In the immediate Ikuta Ryokuchi area you will also find the Nihon Minka-en Folklore Museum as well as the Fujiko F. Fujio Museum, which makes this a great place to spend a culturally enriching day.The nearest station to this art museum is Mukogaoka-Yuen Station on the Odakyu line, which is about a twenty minute train ride away from Shinjuku Station. This is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll and sightsee. This is the permanent exhibition space. The art museum is divided into two areas: the permanent exhibition space, and a special exhibition space wherein works both by Okamoto and those connected to them are shown in curated exhibits.These exhibitions are changed four times a year which makes this a museum that you will find yourself wanting to visit over and over again.last_img read more

Tottoris Top 8 Cherry Blossom Spots Mt Daisen Temples And More

first_imgPicture courtesy of Tottori PrefectureThe embankment of Chizu’s Sendaigawa River in southern Tottori City, is one of Tottori’s leading spots for blossom viewing. A festival is held here when the one hundred and eighty trees planted along the river bank are blooming. At night the area is illuminated, allowing visitors to enjoy the mystical atmosphere of these blossoms.Best Viewing Time:Early April to mid-AprilCherry Blossoms on the Banks of the Sendaigawa RiverAddress: Tottori prefecture, Yazugun Chizucho, Chizu Google MapAccess: 10 minutes on foot from Chizu StationOfficial Homepage: Chizu Sakura4. Shikano Castle Ruins Park -500 Cherry Trees Come Into Full Bloom Western Tottori Prefecture7. A Perfect Spot in Yonago -See Cherry Blossoms with Mt. Daisen in the Background Supported by Tottori Prefecture Picture courtesy of Tottori PrefectureLocated in Tottori City, Kannon-in Temple is a lesser-known spot where you can view stunning cherry blossoms. The temple’s landscaped garden was built during the Genroku Period (1688-1707). The garden has a pond filled with rocks arranged to represent islands and a waterfall, creating a microcosm of nature.When the cherry blossom season arrives, the precincts of Kannon-in Temple become bright and colorful. Seasonal sweets and matcha green tea are also served, here, so you can have a relaxing time admiring the blossoms.Best Viewing Time:The end of March to early-AprilKannon-in Temple GardenAddress: Tottori, Tottori, Uemachi 162 Google MapAccess: 10 minutes by car from JR Tottori StationOfficial Homepage: Kannon-in Temple Garden (Japanese)3. Sakura on the Sendaigawa River Embankment -Visit the Cherry Blossom Festival in Chizu Picture courtesy of Tottori PrefectureWakasa Railway is a local railway line that operates for 19.2 kilometers, connecting Tottori prefecture’s Wakasa Station and Koge Station. At Wakasa Station, the terminal stop, you can admire the station’s classic wooden Showa Period (1926-1989) structure and also a steam locomotive (SL). If you’re a railway enthusiast, then this is definitely one spot worth visiting.In the springtime, colorful pink sakura blossom behind the locomotive, creating a stirring image of the train’s sparkling black body and the delightful flowers lining the sides of the railway tracks.Best Viewing Time:The end of March to early AprilWakasa Station (Wakasa Railway)Address: Tottori, Yazu, Wakasa, Aza Rengyojishita-mo 345-2 Google MapAccess: Wakasa Station (along Tottori’s Wakasa Train Line)Official Homepage: Wakasa Railway (Japanese)Read also Eastern Tottori Prefecture1. Kyusho Park – Cherry Blossoms with Historical Buildings in the Background Enjoy the Cherry Blossoms in Tottori, a Prefecture Stretching East to West!In Tottori, a prefecture filled with magnificent nature, there are numerous places where visitors can enjoy gorgeous cherry blossoms.For the most part, the ideal time to see the blossoms is from the end of March to mid-April. Many spring festivals and hanami (cherry blossom viewing) events are also held during this time, so you can celebrate the coming of spring with the locals.In this article we’ll introduce our top 8 recommended viewing spots, including places in Tottori City in Eastern Tottori, Kurayoshi City in Central Tottori, and Yonago and Sakaiminato cities in Western Tottori.Be sure not to miss evening light-ups and other events that showcase each region!Read also 8. Sakai Daiba Park -Illuminated Evening Sakura and a Lighthouse The Climate Of Tottori Prefecture – Seasons And What To Wear Picture courtesy of Tottori PrefectureUtsubuki Park is twenty to thirty minutes away from JR Kurayoshi Station via bus and walking. The park was built in 1904 to commemorate Emperor Taisho’s visit to the area when he was still the crown prince.With the arrival of spring, many varieties of cherry trees and azaleas bloom, bringing cheer to all who visit. Also, at night the park is lit up with five hundred paper lanterns (bombori), so visitors can enjoy the magical atmosphere.The park has many highlights, including a picturesque pond, and a zoo with goats, rabbits, and other small animals.This park is also listed among the top 100 city parks for flower viewing in Japan. There is bright green foliage in the summer, beautiful colorful leaves in the fall, and camellia flowers in the winter. Visitors can enjoy the stunning nature of each distinct season here.Best Viewing Time:The end of March to early AprilUtsubuki ParkAddress: Tottori, Kurayoshi, Nakano Google MapAccess: Take a 12 minute bus ride from JR Kurayoshi Station, get off at the Akagawara/Shirakabe Storehouses bus stop, then walk for 10 minutes. Or from JR Kurayoshi Station take a 15-minute bus ride (stops at city hall) to Shiyakusho-Utsubuki Koen bus stop. The park is right in front of the bus stop.Official Homepage: Utsubuki ParkRead also The Charms Of Eastern Tottori – Beautiful Places, Cuisine, Access And More! The Tottori Daisen Tour – From Fine Cuisine To Museums Picture courtesy of Tottori PrefectureSakai Daiba Park, located in Sakaiminato, is a popular cherry blossom spot in western Tottori Prefecture. Coinciding with the blossom viewing period, the Sakai Daiba Park Sakura Festival is held annually from the end of March until early April. The festival features traditional dances and taiko drum performances.In the evening, the two hundred and fifty Somei Yoshino cherry trees in the park and Sakai Daiba Park’s landmark lighthouse, are all lit-up. The special view of Sakaiminato’s distinctive cherry trees beside the ocean will be forever etched in your memory.Best Viewing Time:The end of March to early AprilSakai Daiba ParkAddress: Tottori, Sakaiminato, Hanamachi, Daiba Park Google MapAccess: 5 minutes by car from JR Sakaiminato StationOfficial Homepage: Sakai Daiba ParkRead also The Tottori Daisen Tour – From Fine Cuisine To Museumscenter_img Wakasa Railway – Feel The Local Charm Of Tottori! Seasonal Events In Tottori: Cherry Blossoms, Autumn Leaves, Festivals A View of Mt. Daisen from Minatoyama Park – Pictures courtesy of Tottori PrefectureIn the area around Yonago, a major city in western Tottori prefecture, there are also many cherry blossom viewing spots.When spring arrives in Minatoyama Park, just a fifteen-minute walk from JR Yonago Station, about five hundred cherry trees come into full bloom. From Minatoyama Park, visitors can admire a view of the blossoms with the majestic Mt. Daisen in the background. Mt. Daisen, a very popular destination in Tottori, is not far from Yonago.Just a thirty-minute bus ride from JR Yonago Station is Jozan Park, situated along the banks of the Hossho-ji River. This is an especially popular viewing spot in Tottori. Near the Hossho-ji Castle Ruins area is a sakura-lined path with more than seven hundred cherry trees adorns the banks of the river.Also near Mt. Daisen is Tottori Prefectural Flower Park, Japan’s largest floral park. In the Sakura Square you can enjoy looking at many varieties of cherry tree blossoms, including Somei Yoshino, Sendai-shidare, and Surugadai-nioi, to name just a few.Best Viewing Time:The end of March to mid-AprilMinatoyama ParkAddress: Tottori, Yonago, Nishi 133-1 Google MapAccess: 15 minutes on foot from JR Yonago StationOfficial Homepage: Minatoyama ParkJozan Park / Blossoms on the Hossho-ji River EmbankmentAddress: Tottori, Saihaku, Nanbu, Kamobe 1587-1 Google MapAccess: From JR Yonago Station take a bus for 30 minutes, get off at Toshokanmae bus stop and walk for 5 minutes.Official Homepage: Jozan Park / Hossho-ji RiverTottori Prefectural Flower ParkAddress: Tottori, Saihaku, Nanbu, Tsuruta 110 Google MapAccess: 25 minutes by car from JR Yonago StationOfficial Homepage: Tottori Flower ParkRead also Take in Tottori’s Cherry Blossoms!Tottori Prefecture boasts magnificent views, gourmet food, outdoor activities, hot springs, and Japanese animation-related sightseeing spots. Events during the cherry blossom peak period in each region add even more excitement to spring. Plan a visit to Tottori in March or April to fully enjoy this special season.Access Tottori Prefecture’s official homepage to discover many other local highlights as well: Tottori Tourism GuideAlso, don’t forget to take a look at Matcha’s Special Tottori Feature!Read also Picture courtesy of Tottori PrefectureShikano Castle Ruins Park is in the southern part of Tottori City. Shikano Castle, which once proudly stood here, was ruled by the feudal lord Kamei Korenori during the Sengoku Period. Even today, the remaining castle moat retains traces of that era.The castle moat is lined with about five hundred cherry trees. During the peak season, the reflection of the flowers on the surface of the water is magnificent.Best Viewing Time:Early April to mid-AprilShikano Castle Ruins ParkAddress: Tottori, Tottori, Shikano, Shikano Google MapAccess: 30 minutes by car from JR Tottori StationOfficial Homepage: Shikano Castle SakuraRead also The Highlights Of Western Tottori: Museums, Temples, And Travel Tips! Picture courtesy of Tottori PrefectureKyusho Park is located at the foot of Mt. Kyushozan in central Tottori City. There are many things to explore in the park, such as the Tottori Castle Ruins, designated a national historic site by the Japanese government, Jinpukaku, a western-style building that was constructed during the Meiji Period, and the Tottori Prefectural Museum.When spring arrives, the inside of the park is transformed by the over four hundred Somei Yoshino cherry trees in full bloom.With the historic buildings in the background, this site will take your breath away with its beauty.Best Viewing Time:The end of March to early AprilKyusho ParkAddress: Tottori, Tottori, Higashi-machi 2 Google MapAccess: Take an 8-minute bus ride from JR Tottori Station, get off at Nishi-machi and walk 5 minutes. Or, take a 100-yen bus and get off at the Jinpukaku or Tottori Prefectural Museum bus stop. Kyusho Park is directly in front of the bus stops.Official Homepage: Kyusho Park2. Kannon-in Temple Garden -Sip on Tea while Admiring the Cherry Blossoms Central Tottori Prefecture5. Utsubuki Park (Kurayoshi City) -Endless Sakura and Azaleas! Tottori Travel Guide: From Sand Dunes To Local Cuisine And More! 6. Wakasa Railway’s Wakasa Station -See a Steam Locomotive with Cherry Blossoms! Seasonal Events In Tottori: Cherry Blossoms, Autumn Leaves, Festivals Central Tottori Sightseeing Guide – Historical Sites, Local Food And More!last_img read more

Yokohama Kobe Nagasaki Comparing Japans Three Chinatowns

first_imgPlease click and drag the image on the screen. You can change the scenery, and it will look like you’re taking a walk through Chinatown. Now, lets enter through the Zenrin gate. As you go through the gate there’s the main street which continues for 300 meters. It’s a street lined with Chinese style buildings, where you can see views that you wouldn’t think of as being from Japan.For more details please take a look at the Official Website of Yokohama Chinatown.The Largest Chinese Population in Japan – Kobe’s Nankin TownNext is Kobe. The Chinatown in Kobe is called the Nankin Town. It’s smaller in scale compared to Yokohama’s Chinatown, but it has double the Chinese population and prides itself on being number one in Japan in terms of Chinese residents. Kobe developed as a town where the Japanese people and the Chinese people live as neighbors, so there are currently many people of Chinese origin living there. Inside the area of 200 meters east to west and 110 meters south to north, many Chinese stores, designed with a preference for red color, are lined up in a row. Yokohama, Kobe, and Nagasaki have flourished as port cities and Japan’s gateways to the world. These places are home to “Japan’s Three Large Chinatowns” that are well-known throughout the country. Even if they’re called Chinatowns, each of them has its own specific features. In this article, we’ll be using Google Street View to compare the three Chinatowns.1. Japan’s Largest Chinese Town – Yokohama ChinatownYokohama’s Chinatown takes up the whole neighborhood of Yamashita in Yokohama’s Chuo ward. It’s 500 square meters wide and prides itself on being the Chinatown covering the largest area.The four directions of the Chinatown are surrounded by a total of ten gates with the four gates in the east, west, south, and north holding the deepest meanings. Their architecture is based on China’s traditional philosophy and they are built so as to stop evil from coming into the town. The gates are colored in blue, red, white, and black, and they have different designs too, making it fun to compare them.Besides the four gates in the east, west, south, and north, there are two gates on the market street, as well as Tencho gate, Chikyu gate, Seiyo gate, and Zenrin gate. Built in 1955, the Zenrin gate stands as the symbol of Yokohama’s Chinatown. The Seian Gate is on the west side of the Nankin town, the Kaiei Gate is on the south side, and the Choan Gate is on the east side. This is what the entrance area to the Choan Gate looks like.If you go through the Choan Gate and walk for a while you’ll arrive at an open space. During events like the Chinese New Year’s Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival, there are various shows such as the “lion dance” being performed. This area gives off the mood of a festival. In the Nankin Town there are various areas, such as the Macau town, the Shukai town, the Choshin town, and the Hong Kong town. Being able to enjoy the different atmospheres of these towns is one of the special appeals of the Nakin Town.For more information on Nankin Town please take a look at the Official Website of Nankin.Many Chinese Temples in the Area! Nagasaki Shinchi ChinatownThe official name of Nagasaki’s Chinatown is Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown. Nagasaki, along with Dejima, are famous for being the only two places where foreign trade was allowed during the Sakoku period (a time in history when Japan limited their exchanges with other countries). The Japanese were only allowed to trade with China and Holland. Traces that remind one of Japan’s seclusion period are still left and even now Chinese style townscapes can be seen around Nagasaki. Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown is smaller in scale compared to the ones in Yokohama and Kobe. There are only approximately 30 stores linked together. The four directions of the Chinatown are marked by the east gate, west gate, north gate, and south gate. This is what it’s like around the south gate.Minato Park can be seen across the road and on the opposite side of the south gate. It’s the main stage for the Chinese New Year’s Festival and is held every time at the beginning of the Lunar New Year. The 50 centimeter high stone pavement stage made of granite and stone located in front and at the back of the gates comes from the architectural style of China’s Suzhou district. As you go through the south gate, there are Chinese stores lined next to each other. Of course, there are also stores where the Nagasaki specialty, Nagasaki Chanpon plate udon, is offered.Also, in the surrounding area of Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown, there are many traditional Chinese mansions and temples such as To Temple, Seijuyama Takashifuku Temple, and Tomeisan Kokufuku Temple, where you can feel a distinct connection to China. If you have an interest in Nagasaki and China, how about coming over here?For more information please check out the Official Website of Nagasaki Shinchi Chinatown.In ConclusionThere are many Chinese residents living in Yokohama, Kobe, and Nagasaki. Their delicious Chinese foods, the unique atmosphere of the stores, the widespread use of Chinese language, and the strong distinctive feel of vermilion red, make the Chinatowns important spots where you can feel like you’re in a different country within Japan.Additionally, in every direction of a Chinatown there are gates built considering the principles of Feng Shui. Their designs are really exquisite, making it fun to watch them closely. These places will help you imagine the authentic Chinese (or Taiwanese) townscapes, and being here will be like taking an imaginary journey across the seas.last_img read more

Lets Try ReadyMade Curry At The Curry Embassy In Kuramae

first_imgThe Curry Embassy’s concept is that it is an independent curry kingdom from England. As a result, the interior has a uniform Western feel to it. The Curry Embassy is located in the town of Kuramae where wholesale toy and fireworks stores line the streets. A sign that you’ve found the Curry Embassy is when you find yourself on a old downtown Japanese street near a building with flashy yellow and black posters. The shop is located on the second floor of the building. This area is where the Curry Ambassador performs his duties. It also serves as a photo spot.Over 100 Kinds of Ready-Made Curry The Curry Embassy offers well-known major curries as well as local curries that are sold in their respective regions of Japan. The types of curries available differ depending on the time of year. We will introduce a few popular local curries.Please note that the prices of ready-made curries will differ based on the individual product. For more details, please check the price tag located in front of the product. From left to right is wasabi curry, a product from Shizuoka made with wasabi; melon curry, a product from Ibaraki where most of Japan’s melons are produced; and tonkotsu curry from the ramen shop Kuromonya located in central Osaka. All products were made using famous produce from each region.center_img You can eat the ready-made curries sold inside the shop itself (the price of the ready-made curry + 500 yen) or purchase them as souvenirs to take home.If you will be eating it at home or at the hotel, please take the curry pouch from the packaging, put the curry itself in a microwave safe container and heat it for 2-5 minutes. You can also prepare it by boiling it in its retort package in hot water.Local ready-made curry is often made using famous ingredients from its respective region and is an even simpler cooking method than standard curries. They also make perfect souvenir purchases. This cute Daijayama Mandarin Orange Curry in Hello Kitty packaging is a curry made using mandarin orange juice harvested from Omuta, Shizuoka.Daijayama refers to dashi (*1) that are used in a festival that is held every summer in Omuta called the Daijayama Festival. It may be fun to choose Omuta as your next destination if you’re intrigued by the packaging.*1 Dashi: A float or vehicle that is decorated and loaded with large taiko drums which is then pulled during the festival.Eat Inside or Give as Souvenirs! Curry rice is one of Japan’s most beloved foods. In Japan, there are specialty curry shops as well as a growth in the culture of ready-made curry, or curry that can easily be eaten even at home.The Curry Embassy is a shop located near Kuramae Station, one stop away from Asakusa, where you can enjoy Japanese curry and the ready-made curry culture. You can not only enjoy various flavors from the curry buffet, but the shop also offers locally produced ready-made curry from each prefecture of Japan.The Curry Kingdom: Curries From All Over Japanlast_img read more

Dive into Ancient Japanese Sprituality at Yamagatas Mount Haguro

first_imgThe Heartland of Mountain Worship: Mount HaguroToday we’ll show you around Mount Haguro, a mountain in Yamagata Prefecture in Japan’s Tohoku Region.Mount Haguro is one of the “Three Mountains of Dewa”, sacred sites for worshipping mountains. While the other two mountains, Mount Gassan and Mount Yudono, are only open for short periods (July thru September and April thru November, respectively), Mount Haguro is open all year round.Mountain worship is a faith with roots in Buddhist and Japanese Shinto religion. People who partake in mountain worship are known as “Yamabushi” and are characterized by their seasonal training pilgrimages into the mountains. Trainees wear white robes like those in the photo. The object in his hands is called a “Horagai”, or trumpet shell, and is used to give orders by sound.Mount Haguro is a 40-minute bus ride from Tsuruoka Station.The entrance to the Mount Haguro district is marked by a giant red Torii Gate. This is to show that the area beyond the gate is a sacred zone. Getting off at the “Suishinmon” bus stop will land you right next to the entrance.Now, Let Us Venture Forth…This is “Suishinmon”, at the entrance of Mount Haguro. Once you pass this gate, you are officially on mountain grounds.As soon as you pass through the gate, you will see the Haraigawa River. It is said that long ago, visitors to Mount Haguro would first cleanse themselves in this river.Take In the Michelin Guide ViewIt is said that the cedar trees lining both sides of the path are 350–500 years old. These cedar trees received three stars in the “Michelin Green Guide Japan”.This five-story Pagoda has been designated as a Japanese National Treasure. It is said to be the oldest in the Tohoku Region.In front of the pagoda is the “Jijisugi”, or Grandpa Cedar. This tree is over 1000 years old.There are several trails through the mountain, known as the Ichinozaka, Ninozaka, and Sannozaka Trails.There are 2446 stairs total spread throughout these trails.A Quick Break with Green Tea and MochiAlong the way on the fastest route, Ninozaka, is a tea house called “Ninozaka Chaya”.Their specialty, Chikara Mochi, comes in anko, kinako, or natto flavors. These flavors make for an outstanding combination with the slightly bitter green tea. Take a breather while viewing the sprawling landscape before your eyes.Arrival at the Summit!It takes approximately one hour to get from Suishinmon to the summit.On the summit is the primary Dewa Shrine, where all of the gods of the Three Mountains of Dewa (Hagawa, Gessan, and Yudono) are enshrined.Even in Japan, it is unusual to have multiple gods enshrined in the one shrine. This tradition seems to have originated for the sake of pilgrimagers wishing to visit the gods of Mount Gessan and Mount Yudono, as their opening times are restricted.If you’re interested in the mountains of Japan, we recommend taking a few days to explore the other two mountains as well. Even if you’re an inexperienced hiker, you can climb Mount Haguro with ease. It’s a great hike if you want to experience some of Japanese history and culture firsthand.InformationMount HaguroAddress: Haguromachi Touge, Tsuruoka-shi, YamagataNearest Station(s): JR Tsuruoka StationAccess: Suishinmon Stop, 40-minute Bus from JR Tsuruoka Station by Shonai Koutsu Bus (Haguro/Gessan Line)Phone Number: +81(0)235-62-4727 (Haguro Tourist Association)Official Website: Haguro Tourist Associationlast_img read more

Oshiruko Japanese Encyclopedia

first_imgOshiruko is a sweet-flavored dish made from anko (red bean paste) cooked with water and sugar. Mochi (sweet rice cakes) and shiratama(*1) are included in it. It’s a staple Japanese dish in the winter, that will warm your body and soul.There are types made from koshian (smooth red bean paste) and others from tsubuan (red bean paste that contains bean pieces). The name and type of the dish differs depending on whether you are in east or west Japan. Oshiruko is a standard winter favorite in Japan. Let’s check out what kinds of oshiruko there are and when to eat them.*Shiratama: A food made from shiratamako, a type of rice flour. It has a unique chewy texture.What’s the Difference Between Oshiruko and Zenzai? To be even more precise, the names of the dishes are as follows.(East Japan) Tsubuan → Gozen Shiruko / Tsubuan → Inaka Shiruko / Tsubuan (without soup) → zenzai(West Japan) Koshian → Shiruko / Tsubuan → Zenzai / Tsubuan (without soup) → KameyamaHowever, these may differ in other areas and restaurants, so if you are a traveler from overseas, you just need to know that there’s a delicious dish called “oshiruko” or “zenzai” that you can enjoy in the winter.Oshiruko and zenzai are both sweet and warm foods that are great in the cold season. If you come across the words “oshiruko” or “zenzai” when traveling Japan in the winter, we recommend you stop by and try it.Now, where exactly can you find and enjoy oshiruko/zenzai?Where and What to Buy Before the cold of winter arrives, you will be able to find oshiruko products being sold at various places around town. For example, the anko section of grocery stores will start to offer freeze-dry oshiruko or other packed items, as well as ready-made products in cups or cans by the register.Freeze-dry products can be eaten just by pouring some hot water on top, and ready-made products can be eaten instantly.Another sight you are sure to see when winter is coming, is oshiruko cans in vending machines. If you can’t read Japanese, you should check out the design. If the product has a picture of oshiruko on it, or has a reddish-brown color, it’s probably oshiruko.Other than that, oshiruko can be found at rest areas with Japanese sweets shops or inside Japanese gardens. If you go to a shrine during the New Year holiday season, the facility may be handing out oshiruko to visitors. Make sure you try some if you find it!Perfect as a Souvenir: Kaichu Jiruko There is a dish very similar to oshiruko called “zenzai”.Even many Japanese people don’t know the difference between oshiruko and zenzai, but it is actually pretty clear.The name differs depending on the region as well. It is somewhat confusing, but in the Kanto region, koshian and tsubuan are both considered oshiruko, while in the Kansai region, koshian is called oshiruko, and tsubuan is considered zenzai.Koshian is a smooth anko in which the red beans have been mashed. On the other hand, tsubuan is anko in which the beans remain almost whole. Oshiruko is also perfect as a souvenir, but you can’t take home prepared oshiruko, and cans will take up space. That’s why we recommend instant shiruko.Instant products that can be made with just hot water such as freeze-dry and cups have become more and more popular. We especially recommend the “Kaichu Jiruko”, the pioneer of instant shiruko. It’s a monaka (thinly cooked wafers made from sticky rice) product with dried anko inside. The instant food has been around for a long time.Oshiruko is a traditional sweet dish that gives you a feel of the Japanese winter. Do give it a try if you come to Japan during the winter!last_img read more

Onigajō Mie A World Heritage Site Created by the Rocks and the

first_imgIf you travel to Kumano, Mie prefecture, a site that you absolutely can’t afford to miss is Onigajō (鬼ヶ城). Here you can witness the natural works of art created by the winds and stormy seas.The Origin of OnigajōOnigajō extends for about 1 kilometer along the coast and, thanks to the interwoven action of both earthquakes and marine erosion over centuries, this coastline has an otherworldly, peculiar atmosphere to it.The whole area was historically governed by a warrior family called Arima, and it was here that Arima Tadachika built a castle upon the 153 meter tall summit that was formerly called Oni no iwaya (鬼岩屋). This is the origin of the current name of this structure – Onigajō (“Ogre Castle”).Oni no iwaya was the largest mountain castle in this region. A legend says that it was a hideout for pirates and that ultimately it was the place where one of the Emperors during the Heian period is said to have dispatched his armies in order to exterminate all the pirates in Japan.Highlights of Onigajō – Night and DayAt the entrance to Onigajō stands the Onigajō Center, a tourist information center where you can find pamphlets on this area, buy souvenirs and other famous goods from Kumano city and also enjoy a cafe and restaurant. Kumano’s sister city is Sorrento in Italy, that is why the cafe within the center has been named Sorrento.As you walk up the railed stone slope, you can really get a feel for the effects nature has had on Onigajō. There are rocks that look like ogres groaning and strange ones that resemble crocodiles too.Along the path you will find various forms of marine erosion including some that look like waves frozen in time.In the spring, four different varieties of cherry blossoms bloom at the summit, making for a gorgeous display of color against the rough stone and sea backdrop.All along the Onigajō walking route you get a superb view of the ocean. On clear days, the ocean breeze and sea air here is something you have to experience to believe. It’s a feeling of total bliss.The sound of the waves as they roar and crash against the rocks is truly peaceful. Incidentally, this flat projection of stone is said to be part of the pirates’ legendary hideouts.Photographer: Yutaka Matsubara Design: Sony Digital EntertainmentWhen the weather is clear, the starry night sky visible from Onigajō will surely leave you speechless.At night it is quite dark here and there are very few people around. You will feel as though you can enjoy the whole starry sky just by yourself, a rather romantic sort of feeling, don’t you think? But don’t forget to bring a flashlight with you, just in case.Onigajō and Kumano’s Strange Scenery, the Powerful ShishiiwaShishiiwa (獅子岩, “Lion Rock”) is the tourist spot that comes to mind when thinking of the neighboring area of Onigajō, Kumano. Standing 25 meters tall, this rock formation resembles a lion (shishi) roaring at the sea. Shishiiwa, thanks to the peculiar marine erosion that took place here, was formed completely naturally, which once again leaves you impressed with the sheer power of Mother Nature. An ancient belief still held in Japan is that gods and goddesses reside inside giant stones, thus Shishiiwa has always been considered to be an incredibly important place.Shishiiwa is a very popular spot for photography buffs. If you’re lucky,ssyou will see the stupendous but fleeting sight of the great stone lion holding the sun in its mouth in the morning.Every August 17th a large fireworks display takes place here, with over 170,000 people from all over in attendance. At this event the fireworks are launched from boats on the ocean. The powerful sight of Shishiiwa standing tall against a backdrop of brilliant fireworks is a photograph that everyone hopes to take.But perhaps the most sought-after and most difficult to take photograph of Shishiiwa is that of the lion holding the full moon in its mouth. Every year from November to January many photographers gather here, hoping to catch that fleeting moment on film. According to photographers, the perfect moment when the full moon sits perfectly inside the lion’s mouth only happens a few times each year.Bare Rock as Far as the Eye Can See – Shichiri-mihamaIf you pass by Shishiiwa, you will find yourself far from the rugged rock landscape standing on a smooth, gently sloping sandy beach. This is Shichiri-mihama.Spanning from Kumano city to Kihōchō, this 22 kilometer long beach is the longest pebble beach in all of Japan. The picturesque scenery of this beach has been chosen as one of the “Top 100 Sites to Preserve for the 21st Century” in Japan.On May 5th, when the Japanese celebrate Kodomo no Hi (Children’s Day), streamers of koinobori (*1) are hung along the beach; the sight of untold numbers of the koinobori flags waving against the bright blue sky and sea is impressive.Strolling along, relaxing on the beach, seeing the curious natural scenery – here you are certain to find the perfect way to enjoy yourself.Onigajō, a wonder of nature,, has been recognized as World Heritage. It is still a little-known site overseas, and a place where you can truly enjoy yourself. If you are someone who is tired of the same old tourist spots, then, without a doubt, Onigajō in Kumano, Mie prefecture, is the place for you.*1 Koinobori: a flag designed to look like a Japanese common carp; a decoration used to pray for the healthy growth of children, especially boys. Woul you like to know more about Mie prefecture? Check out Shiho’s breathtaking scenery guide and introduction to Mie here: Shiho’s Breathtaking Scenery Trip – Mie EditionSponsored by Sony Digital Entertainment ServiceRead also: Ways To Travel From Tokyo To Nagoya! A Thorough ComparisonMie – What to See, Eat and Do in Ago Bay, Japan’s Aegean Sea Mie – The Fabulous Illuminations in Nabana no SatoInformationOnigajōAddress: Mie, Kumano, Kinomotochō 1835-7Hours: 9:00 – 17:00 (restaurant from 11:00)Closed: -Wi-fi: YesCredit Cards:Wi-Fi: YesCredit cards: YesOther Languages: Basic English, ChineseNearest Station: JR Kumanoshi station (JR 熊野市駅)Access: From JR Kiseihonsen line (JR紀勢本線) Kumanoshi station take the Mie Bus for about 10 minutes to the Onigajō West Exit bus stop (鬼ヶ城西口) and then walk for 5 minutes.Phone Number: 0597-89-1502Homepage: UNESCO Site Onigajō: Onigajō Center (Japanese)last_img read more

Meguros Hiiragi Cooking up Some Crispy Delectable Taiyaki

first_imgPrice: Free/Monthly Fee (480 yen)Distribution: iTunes Store, Google Play※To find the app, search TERIYAKI[ITunes Store]Https://Appsto.Re/i6gv8tL [Android]Http://Teriyaki.Me [official Facebook]Https://Www.Facebook.Com/gourmet.Teriyaki [official Twitter]HTTPS: // twitter. com / teriyaki_tweet Hiyashi are sold until December 19th. From December 20th, they will be selling “ohagi”, which is a Japanese rice ball covered with sweet bean paste, or sesame and salt. The ohagi is also absolutely worth checking out. You can find more information at the shop’s official website: Meguro Hiiragi.Closing RemarksBefore leaving, we got to talk with the owner, Mr. Nakano.”For Japanese people, real Japanese sweets are something that’s rich, and a little bit of a splurge item. On the other hand, taiyaki is something that’s more everyday, and local, so I’d really love for foreign travelers to be able to try it, without it having to treat it like it’s a big deal.”This might be the opposite of “everyday” for many travelers that visit Japan. For Japanese people though, it truly is close to home, and has been loved from way back in the day.Next time you come to Japan, how about trying some of Japan’s taiyaki at Meguro Hiiragi?InformationMeguro HiiragiAddress: 3-18-3 Takaban, Meguro-ko, Tokyo-toHours: Weekdays 11:00-20:00Sundays・Holidays 11:00-19:00Closed: TuesdayWi-Fi availability: N/ACredit cards accepted: N/ALanguages spoken: JapaneseMulti-lingual Menu Availability: N/ANearest station: Gakugei Daigaku Station Tokyo Toyoko LineAccess: 3-minute walk from the Gakugei Daigaku West ExitPrice range: 150~400円Religious considerations: N/ATelephone: 03-6412-7945Official website: Meguro HiiragiIn cooperation with TERIYAKI to help you find just the restaurants you’re looking for After splitting the taiyaki in half, you can see the pasty filled to the brim with anko. Taking a bite, you can taste the flavor of the azuki, and the precisely sweetened anko covers all corners of your mouth.Next, we try out the chilled dorayaki (two pancakes with anko in the middle), from the summer seasonal menu.They had two types of dorayaki: matcha, and cinnamon.This sweet has anko as well as whipped cream with either matcha, or cinnamon powder mixed into the cream; all this wrapped by a chilled pancake. The soft, fluffy pancakes taste as though the batter was mixed specifically for the chilled dorayaki.center_img If there’s one thing that overseas tourist have high expectations of when coming to Japan, it’s food.Unfortunately though, real-deal Japanese food and sweets are usually quite expensive. In light of this, here we’ll tell you about Taiyaki, a Japanese sweet that is inexpensive, and relatively easy to find.See Also: Taiyaki, Fish-Shaped Japanese SweetsTaiyaki is sold pretty much everywhere in Japan. But, since you’ve come all the way here, we’ll tell you about a restaurant that serves up some truly tasty taiyaki.If this is your first time trying taiyaki in Japan, we recommend Meguro Hiiragi, a taiyaki shop in Tokyo.Your local, friendly taiyaki shopMeguro Hiiragi is located approximately a 3-minute walk from Gakugei Daigaku Station (Tokyu Toyoko Line).The sign with “taiyaki” (たいやき) written on it acts as this store’s landmark.There’s a bench set up outside of the store, so you you can sit here and stuff your cheeks full of this Japanese sweet there, if you’d like.The day we stopped by the store, we saw a fair amount of regulars purchasing the taiyaki. Families, students stopping by the on their way home from school; we caught view of quite a couple of locals during our time there. It seems like this store is really loved by it’s local patrons.How they get that perfectly crispy outsideThis time around, we got special permission to go behind the grills, and see how the taiyaki are made.In this store, they boast the use of their anko, which has just the right balance of delicateness, and sweetness. Anko is a sweet red bean paste made by adding sugar to boiling azuki (sweet red beans). The formula for the azuki that the store uses, was derived from 4 to 5 years of compiled efforts.Extreme care also went into the creation of the batter. The batter is made from the shop’s own original blend of flours, and cooked for 30 minutes on the taiyaki grills, to achieve the perfect crispy crust.The sweet smell of the baking pastry wafts about the air around the shop. We can’t wait to dig into the taiyaki.Having a go at their famous taiyaki, and some seasonal menu itemsLet’s dig into the freshly cooked taiyaki.last_img read more

The Setting of Princess Mononoke Shiratani Unsuikyō Yakushima

first_imgIt is said that the mossy rich forest in the Studio Ghibli film “Princess Mononoke” was inspired by the World Heritage site, Shiratani Unsuikyō (白谷雲水峡) of Yakushima in Kagoshima prefecture.Today we will be introducing spots that influenced the film while we stroll through Shiratani Unsuikyō.Read also:Ways To Travel To Yakushima, Japan’s First World Heritage Site Hiking Beginners Welcome – Shiratani UnsuikyōShiratani Unsuikyō is located in the northern part of Yakushima, and was designated as a forest for recreational use by the Forestry Agency in 1979. The gorge which the Miyanoura River runs through is a forest covered in moss.As it’s only a 30-minute drive from Miyanoura Port, the front door to Yakushima, and an easy hike even for beginners, Shiratani Unsuikyō has become a highly popular tourist spot in Yakushima, along with the Jōmon Sugi (a cedar tree more than 2000 years old).A Hiking Course Full of NatureAs we start our hike, we first walk along the well-maintained walkway.Some rugged granite rocks and the Ikoi-no-Ōiwa (憩いの大岩) appear. The granite rocks (*1) of Yakushima are close-grained, so you shouldn’t have to worry about slipping while you walk on them.*1. Granite: Rocks that are white or gray and have black dots. They are formed by the crystallization of magma when it cools deep underground.The waterfall called the Hiryū Otoshi Falls comes into view. This waterfall was formed by the erosion of granite by the Miyanoura River.After crossing the suspension bridge, the walkway ends. We will now head into the forest along the mountain trail called the Kusugawa Hodō (楠川歩道).The Unique YakusugiIn Yakushima, cedar trees over 1000 years old are called “Yakusugi” (屋久杉).A cedar tree with 7 huge branches, called the Nanahonsugi (七本杉), towers over the trail in Shiratani Unsuikyō. The 7th branch is said to be hard to find even for an experienced tour guide. We encourage you to try to find it for yourself.The Kugurisugi (くぐり杉) has an arch-shaped trunk. It is said that there used to be a tree lying where the hole is, but it has decayed away and made room for a hole big enough for people to pass through.A stump that was cut down about 300 years ago is called Shika no Yado, which means “The Deers’ Lodging” in Japanese. The inside of the stump has become hollow, and they say that deer come here occasionally to get out of the rain.The Moss Covered Forest, Setting of “Princess Mononoke”Going further along the trail, suddenly before you are rocks and trees that are covered in moss, and we find ourselves entering a world of green.Extending in front of our eyes is the mystical green forest that the characters of “Princess Mononoke” wandered into.The Okkotonushi (乙事主), the boar god from the movie is said to be modeled after this old tree stump. It looks like its nose is on the right, and the bump is an eye.It’s very quiet, and everywhere you look is covered in moss. The atmosphere is such you would think that the Shishigami (the god with a deer-like appearance) or kodama spirits actually just might appear.The Adorable Forest PlantsThere are many trees other than the Japanese cedar in the forest. There’s a large fir tree, the type of tree better known as the Christmas tree, and you’ll be amazed by its vitality.The Kakuremino (Dendropanx trifidus) grows 3 different types of leaves from 1 tree. It’s also called the Rock Paper Scissors tree because they are shaped like each hand shape: rock, paper, and scissors.The Himeshara (Stewartia monadelpha) is called the princess of the forest because of its vivid orange bark. This Himeshara’s bump looks like a person’s face.This bark from a Himeshara also looks like a human face, and it’s as if a kodama spirit has appeared.In Order to Enjoy Shiratani UnsuikyōThe hiking route to the moss covered forest of Shiratani Unsuikyō is approximately 4 kilometers long, which is about a 3-hour hike round trip. Starting at an elevation of 600 meters, there isn’t much difference in elevation to the mossy forest, which is at about 900 meters, thus making it an enjoyable hike for beginners too. But, you’ll be walking through some dense forest and on mountain trails, so be sure to put on your climbing shoes and sportswear. Don’t forget to bring drinking water and some extra food with you, too.Were you able to feel the world of “Princess Mononoke”? Looking at photos is no match to really standing in the moss forest yourself. You can feel the air of the movie, just as it’s shown in the film. Even if you’re not a fan of the movie, we assure you’ll be moved at the mystical sight. How about visiting Shiratani Unsuikyō for your next vacation?InformationShiratani UnsuikyōAddress: Kagoshima, Kumage District, Yakushima-chō, Miyanoura-dake, Ishizuka KokuyūrinHours: 8:30 – 16:30Closed: During times of bad weather, such as typhoonsWi-Fi: NoCredit Cards: NoLanguages: JapaneseMenu Available in Other Languages: NoNearest Station: Shiratani Unsuikyō bus stop (白谷雲水峡) of Matsubanda Kōtsū (まつばんだ交通), Tanegashima -Yakushima Kōtsū (種子島・屋久島交通)Access: 35 minutes from Miyanoura Port (宮之浦港) by bus. 5 buses a day.Price Range: 300 yen (pay in cash on entrance as cooperative fund for the promotion of forest environment development)Religion: -Phone Number: +81-99-742-3508 (Yakushima Forest of Recreation Conservation Council)Official Website: Shiratani Unsuikyō Japanese Chinese Koreanlast_img read more

Munakata Taisha In Fukuoka A World Heritage Site With Ancient Roots

first_imgMunakata Taisha Shrine – Fukuoka’s Famous World Heritage Site Kushida Shrine In Hakata – 5 Highlights And Access Information The most important place on the grounds of Munakata Taisha, and the one we strongly recommend visiting, is the Takamiya Saijo (Takamiya ceremony site).Because it is a sacred place, it is usually guarded by a fence so that no one can enter. Visitors to Japan, or those just interested in this country, have surely heard about Fukuoka, a place famous for its stunning sights and delicious local food. Various types of ramen, tasty tarako (walleye pollack roe), and many other irresistible dishes are the pride of Fukuoka.Now that you’ve learned the story of Munakata Taisha, how about visiting this sacred shrine when traveling to Fukuoka and get a blessing for your journey?Munakata Taisha is not very difficult to reach. Just take the bus departing from Tenjin in Fukuoka and enjoy the sights along the ride to the Munakata Taisha-mae bus stop. After visiting this shrine, all of your further rides and trips should be very pleasant. Munakata Shrine View InformationIn cooperation with Munakata Taisha Fukuoka-Hakata – Six Wonderful Things To Enjoy In This Area Picture courtesy of Munakata Taisha ShrineFirst, we would like to introduce the main hall (honden) of the Hetsumiya Shrine, where the main deity is enshrined.Okitsumiya and Nakatsumiya, the other two shrines in the Munakata Taisha complex are located on islands so they may be a bit difficult to reach. In order to visit all three shrines of Munakata Taisha, one would have to cross the sea to get to the designated places, which could be quite a challenging adventure.On the grounds of Hetsumiya, you’ll be able to find to shrines that represent Okitsumiya and Nakatsumiya, which are comparatively difficult to reach.These two shrines that represent the sister shrines of Hetsumiya are called Teinigu (The Second Shrine) and Teisangu (The Third Shrine).If you would like to visit Teinigu and Teisangu, follow the Takamiya path found by the main shrine hall. It is a lovely and tranquil path with greenery along the way. You will surely enjoy your five-minute walk to the two shrines.It would be a pity for those who cannot pay a visit to the original shrines to miss the chance to see their replicas. In the picture above, the shrine on the right is Teinigu and the one on the left is Teisangu.Takamiya – Munakata Taisha’s Sacred Ceremony Site Picture courtesy of Munakata Taisha ShrineMunakata Taisha enshrines the Munakata Sanjin, the three deities of Munakata. According to the ancient chronicles, these three deities are the daughters of Amaterasu Oomikami, the most celebrated deity in the Shinto pantheon.Actually, each of the three goddesses is enshrined in a different shrine within the Munakata Taisha complex: Okitsumiya, Nakatsumiya, and Hetsumiya. The name “Munakata Taisha” refers to all three shrines together.It is said that, originally, this shrine protected sailors on their voyages. With the spread of the automobiles and other transportation vehicles, people started praying for traffic safety in general. Munakata Taisha became known as the protector of travelers. The word has spread even outside Japan, so the shrine is often visited by travelers from various countries.A Visit to Munakata Taisha’s Hetsumiya Shrine It might not stand out through anything at first sight, but wait until you hear the legend about it! It is believed that this is the place where the three deities of Munakata Taisha have descended upon. Various ceremonies and rituals have been held at this spot recreating the moment when the three deities made their appearance here.These rituals are still being held each October. It is the only time when visitors to the shrine are allowed to enter the sacred ceremonial site of Takamiya.Warifu-mamori Charms – Great Souvenirs from Munakata TaishaYou might notice these small wooden plates around the Takamiya ceremonial site. They are called warifu-mamori, and they are a type of Shinto talismans.Two separate wooden plates that are bound together to form a warifu-mamori charm.What makes them truly exceptional is their peculiar use. First, you have to write down your name and the age on the front, then you should write your wish on the back of the lucky charm.Next comes the magical spell. You break the charm into two by separating the two halves so that you can leave one at the shrine and take the other one with you. In fact, you should attach it to your bag or somewhere else so that you keep it with you wherever you go.It’s as if you’ve entrusted your wish with the deity and left half of the charm as a “reminder”! What do you think?This is a very rare type of Shinto talisman that you won’t be able to find anywhere else. You can get it for your loved ones as a unique souvenir, or for yourself to pray for a safe trip. Either way, it will be a precious, deeply meaningful keepsake of your visit to Munakata Taisha Shrine.For Love-Related Wishes, Visit the Twin OakA fascinating sight might catch your attention on your way back to the main shrine hall from the ceremonial site of Takamiya. Behold the twin oak tree!No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you – those really are two tree trunks that gradually became one as they grew taller.As charming and miraculous as it sounds, it does suggest the image of a couple becoming one upon entering into marriage, which is why this tree is said to bring good fortune to married couples and strengthen the bond between lovers.Visit Munakata Taisha, Fukuoka’s Sacred Shrine Read also Picture courtesy of Munakata Taisha ShrineIn Japan, those who have deep wishes often visit a shrine. It is believed that Shinto deities listen to the people’s sincere wishes, be it business-related, love-related, or something else.Munakata Taisha, the great shrine of Munakata City in Fukuoka, is famous for answering prayers related to travel safety. This magnificent shrine is mentioned in Japan’s oldest history chronicles – “Kojiki” (“Records of Ancient Matters”) and “Nihon Shoki” (“The Chronicles of Japan”), which were compiled in the eighth century.A shrine with an impressive tradition of beliefs that stand at the core of Japanese spirituality, Munakata Taisha preserves thousands of precious artifacts from ancient times. In 2017, it has been designated a World Heritage site within the Sacred Island of Okinoshima and Associated Sites in the Munakata Region.Munakata Taisha – The Main Features of the Shrine Enjoy Sightseeing and Delicious Food In Fukuoka! A Two-Day Itinerarylast_img read more

You Will See These Koinobori Carp Streamers More Often In The Future

first_imgPhoto from: by Takahiro UranoKoinobori carp streamers can be found all around Japan during spring. If you already know what the koinobori carp streamers represent, when you see one, you might find yourself appreciating the arrival of spring or wondering whether there’s a child in the family flying the streamer.Today we’ll be introducing the traditional customs regarding koinobori which have been around since the Edo period.What Is a Koinobori?Photo from: by Teruhide TomoriA koinobori is a carp-shaped windsock, usually flown in high places, making them look as if they are swimming in the sky.You’ll find them in the city, in the countryside, tourist attractions and local neighborhoods, basically everywhere in Japan. Larger ones reach up to eight meters in length, and are very impressive when seen up close.Origin of KoinoboriPhoto from: by HUANG!Wishing for the Healthy Growth of BoysKoinobori streamers are said to have originated to pray for the healthy growth of boys. Koinobori first appeared in the time of the samurai, when the wish of the parents of a boy was for him to grow up to be a strong man in battle. At present, it has become a custom to put up koinobori if the family has a child, regardless of gender.Why a Streamer?The first koinobori were made by the common people of the mid-Edo period, based on the nobori flags that were used in battle during the Sengoku period to distinguish friend and foe.Why a Carp?In China, legend has it that when a carp climbs up a rushing waterfall it becomes a dragon. Thus the people of the Edo period used the carp as a lucky charm for children.More and More KoinoboriPhoto from: by Yoichi_As aforementioned, koinobori are flown with the wish that children will grow healthily. After the end of the war when the population in Japan began to increase, these streamers began to be put up around the country. They were flown above my home as well. It was just the right size for our home in a danchi housing complex. According to my father, he would visit his hometown in May to see the impressive koinobori swimming in the sky.In recent years, it’s said that the sight of flying koinobori has become less and less in local homes, parks, and tourist areas. This may be due to the declining birthrate.However, you may have noticed a change in the latest three or four years. The windsocks have become popular again. It’s a symbol of hope for the next generation.Some may still say that the number of koinobori have been on the decline. Of course, the declining birthrate is a major issue, but adults can still put up the carps to remember their childhood or even hand over their old streamers to a new generation.Photo from: by gullevekThis is something my mother told me. Danchi-size koinobori consist of a father, mother, and child carp, each one becoming a little smaller in size. When a new family member is born, an even smaller carp is added, but it’s difficult to find something smaller than a danchi-sized carp. In that case, many will go to the supermarket to buy a snack that comes with a tiny toy koinobori and add it to the collection. You might see one of these small ones flying in the air next door.As long as adults don’t forget, we can pass on the koinobori custom to the next generation, even if the birthrate is indeed declining.Photo from: by Tatsuo YamashitaThe situation regarding koinobori and the aging society in Japan is interesting. You can visit a traditional danchi housing complex and find koinobori being flown, even if the family doesn’t really have children.last_img read more

Rent A Kobelin Bicycle To Freely Explore Kobes Streets

first_img Kobelin Cycle Port MapView Map Price 100 to 1000 yen View InformationKobelin Cycle Port Map {“map_code”:{“pin”:[{“title”:”\u795e\u6238\u5e02\u4e2d\u592e\u533a\u8107\u6d5c\u6d77\u5cb8\u901a1\u4e01\u76ee1\u22121″,”code”:”34.6992492, 135.21785339999997″},{“title”:”\u795e\u6238\u5e02\u4e2d\u592e\u533a\u52a0\u7d0d\u753a1\u4e01\u76ee3″,”code”:”34.7052424, 135.19463589999998″},{“title”:”\u795e\u6238\u5e02\u4e2d\u592e\u533a\u5317\u91ce\u753a3\u4e01\u76ee10″,”code”:”34.7008733, 135.18972250000002″},{“title”:”\u795e\u6238\u5e02\u4e2d\u592e\u533a\u4e2d\u5c71\u624b\u901a3\u4e01\u76ee17″,”code”:”34.6955295, 135.1870007″},{“title”:”\u795e\u6238\u5e02\u4e2d\u592e\u533a\u5c0f\u91ce\u67c4\u901a4\u4e01\u76ee1″,”code”:”34.6945132, 135.19895799999995″},{“title”:”\u795e\u6238\u5e02\u4e2d\u592e\u533a\u4e09\u5bae\u753a1\u4e01\u76ee10″,”code”:”34.6931382, 135.19362520000004″},{“title”:”\u795e\u6238\u5e02\u4e2d\u592e\u533a\u52a0\u7d0d\u753a6-5-1″,”code”:”34.6896803, 135.19488350000006″},{“title”:”\u795e\u6238\u5e02\u4e2d\u592e\u533a\u5143\u753a\u9ad8\u67b6\u901a”,”code”:”34.6900607, 135.18868129999998″},{“title”:”\u795e\u6238\u5e02\u4e2d\u592e\u533a\u6ce2\u6b62\u5834\u753a2″,”code”:”34.6838003, 135.1890287″},{“title”:”\u795e\u6238\u5e02\u4e2d\u592e\u533a\u6771\u5ddd\u5d0e\u753a1\u4e01\u76ee8″,”code”:”34.6802173, 135.1814849″}],”center”:”34.6802173, 135.1814849″,”zoom”:”11″,”latitude”:”34.6802173″,”longitude”:”135.1814849″}} Business Time 24 hour service WiFi Not Available Accepted Credit Cards When sightseeing in a new place, some people like strolling around on foot to see where their mood takes them, while other people like renting a car and driving around to see as many places as possible. There are lots of different ways of travel.If you’re not sure how to explore a city in Japan, how about using a cheap and swift rental bicycle? This time, we’ll introduce you to Kobelin, a convenient community rental bicycle service for visitors to Kobe.Kobelin’s selling points are easy-to-use bicycles that feel as though you’re riding your own bicycle, and notably cheap rental fees. You can rent a bicycle freely via Cycle Ports located throughout the city, and use it as much as you like. When it’s time to return it, you can drop it off at any Cycle Port. There are 10 Kobelin Cycle Ports, so there’s no need to worry after your ride is over. Fees start at an hour for 100 yen, so you can plan how much to spend depending on your travel itinerary.Kobe City’s topography has many steep slopes going northward. For that reason, tourists traveling between the north and south primarily take buses. However, on a bicycle, you can smoothly cruise to your destination. Your Kobelin bicycle is sure to become your best ally on the streets of Kobe.Let’s Rent a BicycleLet’s actually take a Kobelin bicycle for a spin. We’ve divided the process into steps.1. Register on the HomepageFirst, you’ll need to register on the Kobelin homepage. You can register an IC card or get a new passcode issued every time you rent.This time, we will look into the latter option, which is more convenient for tourists.To register, you’ll need to input an email address and your credit card information. You can rent in increments of 100 yen an hour, but we recommend the full-day rental plan, which is a bargain at 500 yen. After registering, a list will be displayed on the homepage, showing the currently available bicycles at each Cycle Port.2. Reserve Your Bicycle and Confirm Your PasscodeMake your reservation and an unlock code will be displayed, as in the picture.The passcode will also be sent to the email address you registered with. Be aware that if you reserve a bicycle and do not activate it within 20 minutes, the reservation will be automatically canceled.3. Go to a Cycle Port and Enter Your PasscodePunch the passcode into the panel on the back of the bicycle to unlock it.All Cycle Ports have information posted in English, Chinese, and Korean, so you can refer to them for assistance.Hop on Your Bicycle and Go for a RideKobelin bicycles are outfitted with electric pedal-assist motors, making it comfortable to ride them even for long distances. The battery charge is more than enough to last for a full day.You can change speeds using the right handlebar, and there are three speeds.A battery control panel is mounted on the left handlebar, with the power button (round green), light switch (yellow), pedal-assist power adjustment buttons (green triangles) and the battery gauge display. Twist the bell to ring it.Be Considerate When Parking Your BicycleYou can temporarily park your bike when dropping by a store or a tourist spot. Make sure there aren’t any no-parking signs (駐輪禁止) nearby, and take care not to block traffic.Once you’ve parked in a safe spot, manually activate the wheel-lock on the back of the bike. When you’re ready to restart your journey, use the passcode to unlock the bike again, like you did when you first picked it up.When Returning the BikeYou can return your bicycle to any Cycle Port, and the procedure is simple. Find an open space on the Cycle Port and push the front wheel all the way into the rack. Next, activate the wheel lock manually and enter your passcode. You will soon get an email notifying you of a successful return.Riding a rental bicycle is faster than walking, cheaper than taking a train or car, and lets you easily make detours. All across Japan, more and more places are offering rental bicycle services, making it even easier and more convenient to go sightseeing. When you come to Kobe, by all means, try out the Kobelin rental bicycle service. VISA,MASTER,JCB,American Express,Diners Club,銀聯Card Menu/Pamphlets in Other Languages English, Chinese, Korean Telephone number 0120-040-587 Website Kobelin Cycle Portlast_img read more

Yoshitakaya Arima Onsen Popular Souvenir Shop In A Hot Spring Town

first_imgThese colorful coasters are exclusively available for a limited time only. They feature an adorable design with a wide range of patterns, such as seasonal flowers, Arima cider bottles, and black cats (350 yen before tax). At Yoshitakaya, you can also find an abundance of original cosmetic products that are unique to hot springs.The most popular cosmetic product is the above pictured Bihada Soap (700 yen before tax). This soap is made from Arima Onsen’s fresh hot spring water through a natural maturing process of 80 to 90 days. Yoshitakaya for Souvenir Shopping Around Arima Onsen One of the reasons behind Yoshitakaya’s success with customers is due to the abundance of tastefully and uniquely-designed goods!At Yoshitakaya, you can find different items, from classic travel souvenirs to unique and original goods. Although the shop is located slightly away from the heart of Arima Onsen, the town is small and you can get to Yoshitakaya with a 5-minute walk. Make sure to refer to the map on the information board for instructions.Find the Perfect Souvenir Just For You! Another highly recommended product is the Facial Cleansing Soap (1,000 yen before tax). The packaging might seem perplexing. In cooperation with Yoshitakaya The top of our list is a bath additive known as Kame Shiru Raw Bath Mineral (1 box comes with 5 packets for 1,000 yen before tax).Bath goods are a popular souvenir choice when visiting hot springs in Japan. By simply adding the product into hot water, you will instantly greeted by the aromatic scent of hot springs. Bath additives are a simple and easy way to achieve an authentic hot spring experience at home. Another highly recommended bath product is Teppo Water Bath (250 yen before tax). It shares an uncanny resemblance with Japan’s traditional tablet-shaped candy, Ramune, but Teppo Water Bath actually contains bath tablets.The package says Arima cider scent. Kobe Electric Railway (Arima Onsen Station)Yoshitakaya is located along the narrow alley road that leads up to Kobe Electric Railway’s Arima Onsen Station. Its location makes it convenient for tourists traveling by train to drop by to purchase souvenirs and gifts before returning home. The Kansai region is home to many onsens (hot springs) in Japan, and located in Hyogo Prefecture is Arima Onsen. This town is known for its narrow hill roads and maze-like alleyways containing cafes, restaurants, and shops.There are many different souvenir and gift shops at Arima Onsen that are perfect for sightseeing and exploring. We would like to recommend one in particular. You can find products such as hair pins and adorable animal goods, such as frogs and owls, at an affordable price. The crackers are lightly sweetened and contain a crisp and light texture. They are also a healthy, egg-free option. This snack can be enjoyed by both the old and young. They are addictive crackers that will keep you coming back for more.At Yoshitakaya you will find many different brands of tansan senbei produced by different local manufacturers. Each brand has a unique flavor. We recommend Yu No Hana Do in particular. With plenty of samples to taste from, be sure to try sample some from each brand before deciding on the tansan senbei to purchase.Access These summer-friendly Japanese style patterned pouches would pair perfectly pairing with yukata (Japanese summer kimono) (2,000 yen before tax).Arima Onsen’s Classic Souvenirs Packed with collagen and deep moisturizing content, this soap can be used for both face and body. Many customers have claimed to have much softer and dewy skin after using this soap. One classic souvenir at Arima Onsen is Tansan Senbei (carbonic acid crackers).The name “tansan” comes from the sparkling carbonic acid hot spring water used to make the crackers.center_img Kinsen Foot Bath located next to Kin No Yu (Arima Golden Hot Spring Spa)At Yoshitakaya, there are two types of bath additives available to choose from: kinsen (gold water) and ginsen (silver water).Kinsen and ginsen are two well-known hot spring waters at Arima Onsen. Kinsen is a brown colored hot spring water that is rich in iron. It turns brown as a result of oxidization when it comes in contact with air. It is highly effective in moisturizing and facilitating body warmth retention. Ginsen is a clear hot spring water that has moisturizing properties that keeps one’s skin healthy.At Yoshitakaya, you can find bath additives Kinyu and Ginyu. Kinyu has similar properties to Kinsen, as they both contain a blend of sodium chloride and iron. Ginyu contains a blend sharing the same properties as Ginsen. These bath goods allow you to create a close to identical kinsen and ginsen hot spring experience in the comfort of your own home. With Kinyu, not only are you able to re-create kinsen’s color, but you can also indulge in its authentic scent.Kinyu is also manufactured professionally so customers are able to enjoy its natural color without worrying about bathtub discoloration. There are also many different kinds of towel products such as face towels, body towels, and tenugui (thin cotton towels). The variety gives customers the freedom to choose their favorite size and design. 5 Recommended Onsen From Osaka Or Kyoto For A Day Trip! Yoshitakaya, established in 1868, is one of Arima Onsen’s oldest souvenir shop, easily distinguished by its entrance. As you explore deeper in the shop, you can find even more animal designed products, including these felt coasters that are almost too cute to use (600 yen before tax). These are also popular beauty and heathcare items.On the left, we see a face mask. This face mask is made from 70 percent of hot spring water from Arima Onsen. By putting this mask on overnight, you will see much smoother and supple skin the next morning! Each packet comes with 1 sheet and costs 380 yen (before tax).On the top right, is a jar of hand cream. This hand cream is made from a mixture of hot spring water, mineral oil, and yuzu (a citrus fruit) peel oil (550 yen before tax). During summer, it is recommended to place it in the refrigerator before use for an extra refreshing effect.On the bottom right is facial mist made from hot spring water, hyaluronic acid, and silkworm cocoon extract (1,500 yen before tax).Cute Toys and Gifts In this article, we will be introducing a range of popular hot spring exclusive bath and cosmetic products and a range of miscellaneous goods selected by the shop owner. Without further ado, let’s dive into the fascinating world of this small souvenir shop.Prices listed are at the time of coverage and are subject to change without prior notice.Re-Create a Hot Spring Experience at Home! Fun and charming souvenir shop Yoshitakaya is the perfect place to find a memento for your trip to Arima Onsen.If you ever visit Arima Onsen, be sure to make a visit to Yoshitakaya! 吉高屋 View InformationstoreRead also The shop is located a 5-minute walk away from the heart of Arima Onsen. At MATCHA, our writer has visited Arima Onsen multiple times since childhood and always makes a visit to Yoshitakaya. However, you will find a squishy, jelly-like soap inside. Made with ingredients like potato starch and mannan, this soap is filled with beautifying benefits and is far softer to the touch than any ordinary soap. Over 30% of its content contain ingredients including collagen, hyaluronic acid, and coconut oil.To use the soap, gently massage it directly onto your skin. Just using the soft and silky soap is entertaining. After cleansing, your skin will be soft and supple. This is a bath product that will enhance your everyday routine!Inside the shop you can also find sample products to try before purchasing. Arima Onsen – Complete Guide To Japan’s Oldest Hot Spring Town At Yoshitakaya, you can also find an overwhelming variety of adorable toys, gifts, and miscellaneous goods. How To Enjoy The Fascinating City Of Kobe Arima Cider, Photography: Tick TacCider is a signature drink of Arima Onsen. You can find bottles of sweet and refreshing carbonated Arima cider at many restaurants and cafes.Teppo Water Bath is a bath additive that has a similar scent and sparkling effect as Arima cider. Our writer tried Teppo Water Bath at home, and upon opening the package, said they were instantly engulfed by the cool and fresh scent of Arima cider. After dropping a few tablets into a bathtub of hot water, foams and bubbles are formed, turning the tub of hot water white.As these bath tablets are filled with moisturizing skin properties, after your bathe your skin will appear shiny and supple. Be careful not to mistake them for candy and consume them!A Wide Range of Original Cosmetic Products!last_img read more

Visit The Retro Ueno Childrens Amusement Park

first_imgRight near Ueno Zoo is an amusement park where children can have just as much fun as at the zoo.“Ueno Children’s Amusement Park”, which has been open for business since 1946, is packed full of charm that you can’t get at a large scale theme park.An amusement park with a retro atmosphereIf you casually look to the right as you exit Ueno Zoo, you will get will see lots of playground equipment with a retro feel. It’s aimed at children, so it’s a little on the small side, but inside there are attractions lined up one next to the other.This is Ueno Children’s Amusement Park. Here we will tell you some recommendations for the attractions!Flying Mrs ElephantThis is an attraction which spins, with cute elephants leaping into the sky. There are seats on each individual elephant, and they move up and down while the ride spins round and round. They only rise to a height that even children will feel comfortable with, so it is perfect for parent and child to have fun on.This ride was created as a memorial, when an elephant named Indira – who had been hugely popular at Ueno Zoo after the war – died.Jeep RideThis is an attraction with Jeeps spinning around like coffee cups. There are steering wheels affixed to the seating area so you can enjoy the feeling of driving. Kids who love cars will definitely enjoy this ride.In addition, there are also lots of nostalgic attractions from the past. Children can play to their heart’s content, and adults, can enjoy reminiscing the past!What comes to mind when you think of Japan? Animation of course! Anime characters such as Pikachu and Anpanman have also been made into attractions. You can play mini games, which all have their own themes based on the different works. This is the perfect attraction not only for children, but for anybody who likes Japanese anime.Let’s get tickets for the rides!In Ueno Children’s Amusement Park, there are large rides which many people can ride at once, and also two types of small rides, for one or two people only. To ride a large ride you will need a ticket. The ticket price is 100 yen for both adults and children.The prices for the small rides vary depending on the ride, but they will be between 100 and 200 yen. The small rides don’t use the tickets, but rather you pay cash to get the rides to start moving.This is a ticket machine for the large rides. If you’re intending to go on just one ride for the time being, purchasing just one ticket is fine, but we recommend that you purchase six tickets. This is because the price for six tickets is 500 yen. This is a bargain, as rather than buying each ticket separately, you can enjoy a large number of rides in one go.Food and souvenirs at the recreation centr near the amusement parkRight next to Ueno Children’s Amusement Park are crepe shops and souvenir shops. Try checking it out when you’re done having lots of fun.At the crepe shop “FRAGOLA”, there are over 10 varieties of soft-serve ice cream, gelato and crepes for sale. It’s nice to try Japanese flavors such as cherry blossom and matcha green tea.So, you forgot to buy souvenirs while so engrossed in sightseeing? That’s okay! Right next to Ueno Children’s Amusement Park are cute souvenir shops that stock lots of souvenirs typical of Ueno.Ueno Children’s Amusement Park, where adults can enjoy themselves and be young at heart. For people who are bringing their kids along, this is a place that you should definitely let your feet carry you to.InformationUeno Children’s Amusement ParkAddress: 8-83, Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo-toNearest station: JR Keihin Tohoku Line Ueno Station, JR Yamanote Line Ueno StationAccess: 5-minute walk from JR Keihin Tohoku Line and JR Yamanote LineTelephone: 03-3822-8203Opening hours: 10:00-17:00Holidays: MondayAdmission fee: Freelast_img read more

Inspections training needed to prevent ammonia leaks at ice rinks experts

first_img“Now there’s very few inspections being conducted. You can go from place to place in the province and most places will tell you they haven’t seen an inspector in years,” he said.A spokeswoman for B.C.’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs, which is responsible for recreational facilities, said in an email that annual inspections have not been required since the Safety Standards Act was enacted in 2003.Janice Lee, director of safety oversight at Technical Safety B.C., said the agency does inspections when equipment is installed and conducts “periodic assessments” throughout the lifespan of the system.Timing of the assessments is determined using a “risk-based inspection criteria” that includes factors such as the equipment’s age and whether the building is a public space, she said. There’s no national standard for how often ammonia refrigeration plants in ice rinks are inspected.Ontario can require as little as six months between checkups, depending on the previous report, while facilities in Alberta can go as long as five years between inspections.In B.C., when “imminent safety issues” are found during an inspection, they are dealt with immediately on site, Lee said. Other “non-compliance” issues may be dealt with in a variety of ways, including a safety officer following up with the facility’s operator by phone or email.Reports obtained by The Canadian Press under the Freedom of Information Act show the B.C. Safety Authority inspected the Fernie Memorial Arena six times between September 2007 and when the fatal leak occurred on Oct. 17, 2017.Technical Safety B.C. said in a statement the agency was advised that all of the items noted during the latest inspection in December 2014 had been addressed.Reports filed between September 2007 and December 2014 noted several issues at the arena, including leaking, corroded and uncertified equipment, and non-compliance with required staffing levels. In the final report, a safety officer made note of potential issues with a compressor, oil fill pumps, an ammonia sensor and staffing on statutory holidays.Liz Rhodes, a City of Fernie spokeswoman, declined to comment on the inspection reports, citing ongoing investigations into the fatal leak.Keeping an ice rink safe requires more than just inspections, said Lee, with Technical Safety B.C.People who own and operate the rinks have a responsibility to make sure maintenance is kept up, emergency measures are in place, and the facilities are properly staffed.“All those things add up to the safety of the equipment as well as the overall site for the public,” she said.A former inspector in Manitoba said he’s concerned those measures aren’t always being followed.“These accidents should not happen,” said Ray Kolbuch. “We’re not being proactive enough with these plants.”He said he’s concerned that arena staff don’t always have the training necessary to keep a rink safe.The province needs to make sure that trained individuals are working whenever an indoor rink is occupied, he said.Manitoba’s Office of the Fire Commissioner, which oversees ice arenas, said in a statement that staffing requirements vary depending on the size of the refrigeration plant and what type of additional safety controls are part of the facility.“All refrigeration plants are required to be inspected annually under The Steam and Pressure Plants Act. Inspections are done across all of Manitoba an in each case the plant owner is responsible to ensure that they are meeting staffing requirements. These requirements are verified at the time of inspection,” the statement said.Technical Safety B.C. put out a safety order last December, reminding rink operators of staffing requirements for rinks with ammonia refrigeration plants.“Technical Safety B.C. has determined that a number of ammonia refrigeration plants within the scope of this safety order are currently being operated by person(s) that are not appropriately qualified,” the bulletin said.Ultimately, whoever owns an ice rink’s refrigeration plant is responsible for its inspections, maintenance and operations, said Terry Piche, technical director with the Ontario Recreational Facilities Association, whose more than 6,000 members operate and manage recreation facilities in municipalities.Often that person ends up being the mayor or chief administrator of a municipality, but municipal officials often have little idea how a plant works, he added.“Sometimes the operators are qualified to run the plant, sometimes they’re not. Sometimes they get enough resources, sometimes they don’t.”Complicating the issue is the fact that Canada’s recreation facilities are aging, Piche said, noting that in Ontario, they’re estimated to be, on average, between 50 and 60 years old. The “natural life expectancy” of a recreation facility is about 32 years, he said.He compared rec. centres to old cars, saying regular maintenance and proper operation can help extend the life cycles, but even preventative maintenance only goes so far.“I can give it a coat of paint, maybe a new roof, windows and doors. But the veins of the buildings are still 50 or 60 years old. That’s really the challenge that’s going on from coast to coast.”A new refrigeration plant for a single-rink community arena can cost between $600,000 and $900,000, Piche said. “Most municipalities can’t afford it.”Oversight agencies don’t have the resources to police how facilities are run day-to-day, so instead they rely on operators to comply with the rules and be honest, Piche said.“Really what needs to happen is the commitment to do the checks, balance and maintenance by the operators and owners. And it will greatly reduce the opportunity for any similar event [to the deaths in Fernie] to happen.”Piche disagreed with the notion that ammonia refrigeration plants are inherently dangerous. Artificial ice rinks operated across Canada for more than 100 years before the first “catastrophic event” last fall, he said.“Shifting to another refrigerant doesn’t mean you’re going to be any safer.”Roussinos, the former B.C. inspector, said some municipalities have already moved to replace their ammonia refrigeration systems with what he considers to be safer alternatives, like freon or carbon dioxide.He’d like to see B.C.’s government require all the remaining ammonia systems to be replaced, too.“This government has an opportunity to do it… they can do the right thing this time. Take ammonia out of the places where there’s young children playing hockey or old men like me go curling.” Last October, three men died following a leak of the colourless gas at a rink in Fernie. The victims included City of Fernie employees Wayne Hornquist and Lloyd Smith and refrigeration contractor Jason Podloski of Turner Valley, Alberta.The city previously said in a Facebook post that the arena was closed for “emergency maintenance” the morning of the leak. Several agencies continue to investigate, including RCMP and WorkSafeBC.The case is believed to be the first fatal ammonia leak in Canada, but the gas has seeped out of refrigeration systems before, causing injuries in several cases.A report from Technical Safety B.C., which oversees the installation and operation of technical systems like refrigeration and boiler systems, shows there were 40 reported “refrigerated release incidents” involving ammonia across the province between 2007 and 2015.The report says 10 of the incidents included injuries. Two experts in the industry say more inspections and stricter staffing requirements are needed to protect against leaks.Facilities using dangerous chemicals like ammonia used to be checked annually, said Roussinos, former head inspector with the B.C. Safety Authority, Technical Safety B.C.’s predecessor.center_img VANCOUVER, B.C. — Some industry experts are asking questions about the staffing and inspections of arenas using ammonia refrigeration systems, months after a leak killed three men at an ice rink in southeastern British Columbia.Ammonia is inherently dangerous and should be not used in skating and curling rinks, said Lou Roussinos, who spent decades inspecting refrigeration and boiler systems across B.C.“It’s an absolutely wonderful refrigerant, but it’s dangerous,” Roussinos said. “It’s highly toxic, it will kill you in less than 30 seconds in high concentrations, and we know that.”last_img read more

Its a trick claims Hirunika

Hirunika Premachandra said that she was surprised to hear MP Duminda Silva had been admitted to hospital again even after his much publicised release from hospital. Silva was taken to hospital today just a week after he was discharged after recovering from injuries suffered during the 2011 shooting incident. Duminda Silva left the Nawaloka hospital last weekend after being given bail in the Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra murder case.Four others were also granted bail by the Colombo High Court in relation to the case. Silva returned to the island from Singapore in March after receiving treatment for the injuries he suffered during the shooting incident.Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra was killed in the shooting incident in October 2011 and Silva was seen as one of the main suspects in the murder. (Colombo Gazette)Report by Indika Sri Aravinda Hirunika Premachandra raised suspicion on MP Duminda Silva being re-admitted to hospital just a day before he was scheduled to appear in Court.Premachandra claimed that the MP was attempting to avoid Court as he will be questioned on the murder of her father Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra. read more