Welcome to Sengakuji!Sengakuji is located in Minato ward of Tokyo, and is a temple of Soto Buddhist sect (Sotoshu: a sect originally part of Zen Buddhism). It was built by Tokugawa Ieyasu in 1612, the founder of Edo Shogunate (Bakufu) in Japan.The first Sengakuji actually existed in Chiyoda ward but perished due to a great fire in 1641. The grandson of the great Tokugawa Ieyasu, Tokugawa Iemitsu, then decided to have it rebuilt again and ordered five daimyos, including the lord of the Ako Domain (*1), Asano, to build a new version of the temple where it stands today.Probably the most famous episode related to the Ako Domain is the great 47 Ronin of Ako (the samurais of the Ako Domain; *2) avenging their lord and dying together by committing seppuku (ritual suicide by cutting open one’s stomach) – or the so-called Chushingura episode.Those ronin warriors were praised for their devotion and loyalty to their lord after their death, so they were often also called the Loyal Ronin of Ako (Ako Gishi; *3). And the very place where these brave men were buried is precisely here, at Sengakuji. With The 47 Ako Ronin Museum showing the property that once belonged to the 47 Ronins, and 47 wooden statues of the warriors standing tall at The Ronin Statue Museum, this temple is a must-visit place for any Chushingura fan out there, and they just keep coming every day.*1 Ako: the area around Ako city in Hyogo prefecture today.*2 Roshi: also called Ronin; the name for the samurai warriors who lost their lord or no longer serve a lord.*3 Gishi: a term describing a person with a strong sense of justice and fidelity to principle.Basic Information about SengakujiThe opening and closing hours of the temple’s gates are different for summer and winter days – from April 1st until September 30th, it is open from 7:00 until 18:00 and from October 1st until March 31st, it is open from 7:00 until 17:00.As for the Ako Gishi Museum (The 47 Ako Ronin Museum), during the summer it is open from 9:00 until 16:30, and during the winter it is open from 9:00 until 16:00. The entrance admission to the temple grounds is free of charge.However, there is an admission fee for entering the Ako Gishi Museum and the Ronin Statue Museum. The price includes the admission fee for both of the facilities and is 500 yen for adults, 400 yen for junior high school students and high school students, and 250 yen for children over the age of 10.How to Get to SengakujiThe nearest station to the Sengakuji is Sengakuji Station of the Toei Asakusa Line; it takes about one minute on foot to get to the temple from the station.How to Get There from Tokyo StationIf you’re heading to Sengakuji from Tokyo Station, ride the Yamanote Line train bound for Shinagawa, then change trains at Shinbashi Station and ride the Toei Asakusa Line. It shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes to arrive at Sengakuji Station, including the time needed for changing trains, and the fare is 320 yen.How to Get There from Shinjuku StationIf your starting point is Shinjuku Station, ride the Toei Subway Oedo Line bound for Roppongi-Daimon, and change trains at Daimon Station to the Toei Asakusa Line bound for Asakusa. To get to Sengakuji Station, it will take around 25 minutes and cost 270 yen.
Image courtesy of Matsue Travel AssociationAlthough Matsue Castle originally had five yagura towers (watch towers) in the outer citadel, all of them were unfortunately torn down at the beginning of Meiji period. However, the beauty of the castle from the old days was brought back to life in 2001, when three of the yagura towers were reconstructed – the Taiko Yagura (the taiko drums yagura), the Naka Yagura (the middle yagura) and the Minami Yagura (the southern yagura).Oshiro Matsuri – Matsue Castle’s Sakura Festival in Spring Image courtesy of Matsue Travel AssociationMatsue Castle is a castle in Matsue, a city in Shimane prefecture, in the Chugoku region. It gained another name because of its resemblance to a bird named chidori (plover) – if you look at it from the front, it almost looks like as if a chidori is spreading its wings, so it is also called Chidori Castle by many.Matsue Castle was built during the Edo period in 1611, by Yoshiharu Horio, a feudal lord governing the Matsue Domain at that time. However, many of its facilities were destroyed one after another at the end of Edo, and at the beginning of the Meiji Period, with only the Tenshukaku (the castle tower) remaining intact thanks to one sympathizer who bought it and had it preserved. Matsue Castle was enlisted as one of Important Cultural Properties of Japan in 1950 and was even added to the list of National Treasures of Japan on the 8th of July, 2015.How to Visit Matsue Castle from Kyoto and OsakaTo get to Matsue Castle from Kyoto or Osaka, you have to ride JR Sanyo shinkansen to get to Okayama Station. At Okayama Station catch the Limited Express Yakumo of the JR Sanin Main Line bound for Izumo Station, and get off upon arriving at Matsue Station. It will take you from about three and a half to four hours, and around 11,000 to 12,000 yen for a one-way ticket.When you arrive at Matsue Station, hop on the Lakeline Bus and don’t forget to get off at the bus stop near Matsue Castle, Otemae bus stop. It shouldn’t take more than ten minutes to reach the castle.Admission Hours and FareVisitors can enter Matsue Castle on any day since it is opened all year around, but its opening hours vary depending on the season.During spring and summer (from April to September), it opens at 8:30 and closes at 18:30, and in fall and winter (from October until March), it opens at 8:30 and closes a little bit earlier, at 17:00. However, keep in mind that the last possible admission is thirty minutes before closure!The entry fee for adults is 560 yen and for children 280 yen.The Highlights of Japan’s National Treasure – Matsue CastleThe 360-Degree View from the Castle Tower Image courtesy of Matsue Travel AssociationWithout a doubt, the special trait of this castle, which makes it worthy of its place on the list of National Treasures of Japan, is its structure.The so-called boroshiki-style construction which can be seen on the top floor of Tenshukaku is what makes the castle so unusual and superb. This style’s characteristic is that there are no walls on the top floor, only the handrails covering the four directions for a splendid panoramic view. It is said to be constructed in that way for the purpose of gaining the unlimited, 360-degree view over the vicinity of the castle, so this tower served both as the watch tower and the control tower. Now that you heard about its magnificent prospect, why not come up the top floor on a bright day and take a sweeping glance over the whole city of Matsue?Another extraordinary trait, the gobozumi construction style, can be seen on the bottom walls of the castle – first large stones were packed one against another, after which the small stones were jammed in between the cracks. Thanks to this special method, it is said that these sturdy walls have never collapsed once, even to this day.Not to forget the shachihoko, the mythical carp with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, standing tall on the edge of tower’s roof. The wooden carp is carved out of wood and then bronzed, and is also the largest carved shachihoko in Japan, standng over two meters in height.Another Must-See – the Castle’s Three Restored Yagura Image courtesy of Matsue Travel AssociationA moat encircling the castle and its surrounding area represents its yet another highlight. Take the time to ride the ship along Horikawa River, to get a closer look at the castle and the nature around it, as well as the local color of the city. All aboard the Horikawa Sightseeing Boat!This river, which was created when the construction of the castle was completed in 1611, is 3.7 km long and has as many as 17 bridges built over it. The interesting thing about the bridges is that four of them aren’t high enough for the sightseeing boat to go under, so the roof of the boat is arranged to drop a little while passing under them.You can go aboard at any of the three boarding platforms – the Fureai Hiroba (Fureai Square), the Otemae Hiroba (Otemae Square) and the Karakoro Hiroba (Karakoro Square). It will take you about 50 minutes in total, and the boats set out every 15 minutes. Image courtesy of Matsue Travel AssociationYou should also visit Matsue during the winter since it often snows there, and marvel at the sight of Matsue Castle gone all-white with snow. And don’t worry – the Horikawa Sightseeing Boat embarks during the winter, and even has kotatsu tables installed to make your trip comfortable and warm (a kotatsu table: a special heating table with a thick blanket over it). A heart-and-body-warming sightseeing tour down the river is sure to leave a big impression on its participants; this is a unique experience even in Japan.So, why not take a look at the city from the castle’s tower, ride the boat down the river to catch a glimpse at the castle from a whole new perspective, and take part in other various events to get a complete picture of Matsue Castle? Matsue Castle View Information The History of Matsue Castle, Japan’s National Treasure Image courtesy of Matsue Travel AssociationMatsue Castle is even enlisted as one of 100 Best Cherry Blossom (sakura) Viewing Spots in Japan and has its own festival – Oshiro Matsuri (Castle’s Festival) every year from the end of March until the beginning of April.It truly is a feast for the eyes, with more than 200 species of cherry tree, including yoshino cherry, yaezakura (double-blossom cherry tree), weeping cherry and much more, welcoming a large number of visitors every year in that season.Famous attractions of the festival include Musha Gyoretsu Warrior Parade, for a picturesque blast from the past, humorous Yasukibushi Contest (Yasukibushi: a popular folk song, usually sung while performing a certain comical dance), as well as many concerts performed on the main stage to liven up the atmosphere. Also, don’t miss the Honmaru Hanami Chaya (tea ceremony performance and shop within the inner citadel of the castle grounds) and the sakuramochi stand (sakuramochi: rice cakes with bean-paste filling wrapped in a cherry leaf) – use this opportunity to experience Japan’s traditions in the tastiest way possible!And for the finale – the illumination event where you can see the extraordinary sight of Matsue Castle and cherry blossoms radiantly reflected in the night sky.Matsue Castle Seen from the Horikawa Sightseeing Boat
As the cafe is a Japanese house, take off your shoes and put them in the shoebox. Put on the slippers and step up into the tatami room. There are tables in the tatami room, so you can relax without your feet starting to hurt. There are also chairs for infants which you can borrow.There is also a low, two-person tea table called a chabudai which you can sit at. This style of table was extremely popular in Japanese homes in the 1920’s.At the window, you can gaze out at the Japanese garden. A gallery for hire comprises one section of the cafe interior, so depending on when you visit, there will be different exhibitions from different artists on display.Feel the Seasons Through the Cafe DecorationsWe visited Muguet at the end of February. March 3rd is Hina Matsuri, also known as Girls’ Day in Japan, so the gallery was decorated with cute ornamental dolls.You can really get a sense of the owner’s spirit of Japanese hospitality when seeing how the decorations have been arranged to evoke the passing of seasons and holiday events.Artfully Simple Home-Cooked Dishes on the MenuMuguet has a very simple lunch menu. You can order the ever-changing daily lunch special (1,300 yen), a cake set (900 yen) and all sorts of drinks.Everything on the daily lunch special is made of typically Japanese household ingredients, with simple menu items that are gentle on the palate.This is what was on the menu when we visited.・Minced chicken fry・Edible chrysanthemums dressed with yuzu miso・Japanese radish steak・Black beans with grated radish・Miso soup, rice, and picklesAll the home-cooked dishes had a light flavor. In typical Japanese-style fashion, the meal was served up on beautiful tableware atop a tray.Your drink and a sweet will arrive at the end of lunch. The drink in the photo is hot milk tea.Points You Should Know About the MenuThe “Homemade Curry Rice” listed on the menu is not available as of March 2016.In addition, on Sundays, lunch specials are not offered. The cafe is still open, but may sometimes be closed for an irregular holiday.The daily lunch special menu is updated on Muguet’s Facebook page. Check the page before you visit Muguet. It’s quite busy during the lunch hour, so for peace of mind, call beforehand and make a reservation.Recommended articlesMirai Seisakusho – A Children Only Confectionery Store!An Interview With The World-Renowned Patissier Susumu KoyamaVisit The Amazing Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum In TakarazukaOver 400 Years Of History – Himeji Castle, The Pride of JapanHow To Enjoy The Fascinating City Of KobeInformation Gallery+Cafe Muguet (ギャラリーカフェ・ミュゲ)Address: Hyogo prefecture, Takarazuka, Sakasegawa 1-8-5Operating hours: 11:00 – 18:00 (until 16:00 on Wednesdays)Fixed holidays: Thursday and Friday (the cafe is open on Sundays, but may close at irregular times)Wi-Fi: NoCredit cards accepted: NoForeign language support: NoForeign language menus: NoClosest station and access: Three minutes’ walk from Hankyu Sakasegawa StationPrice range: 400 yen – lunch for 1,300 yen (as of March 2016)Phone number:0797-80-7993Official homepage: Gallery+Cafe MuguetOfficial Facebook:Gallery+Cafe Muguet*Check the Facebook page for more information about operating hours.*Reservations should be made by phone only. In a residential area of Takarazuka city in Hyogo prefecture, there is a cafe and gallery where you can marvel at the construction of a traditional Japanese style home built eight decades ago.A short three-minute walk from Hankyu Sakasegawa Station, the thoroughly Japanese vibe of this house definitely attracts attention. This is Gallery Cafe Muguet.The 80 year-old building is the former home of the owner’s grandparents. The owner renovated it to transform the interior into a restaurant, while keeping its traditional appearance, and opened Muguet in May 2013.Muguet is the word for “lily of the valley” in French. In France, the lily of the valley carries a meaning of “happiness.” According to the owner, the name was chosen because “I want the people who visit the cafe to be happy when they spend time here.”A Scene From Japan’s Olden Days Unfolds Before Your Eyes As you go through the gate, the road continues to the left, leading to a Japanese garden. At your feet, a stone frog appears to greet you.The curtain over the entranceway is made of Japanese papercraft origami balloons. Pass under the origami, slide open the door, and enter the cafe.
Village Maruyama : A 160 Year Old Agricultural Village The former lifestyle from over 150 years ago still remains in Village Maruyama. In spite of the rapidly changing times, the village has always remained unchanged. Maruyama, located in Sasayama, is a historical agricultural village with nine old and traditional Japanese houses that have over 150 years of history. Village Maruyama is a lodging facility that was remodeled from two of these homes. There are residents that continue to live in the other homes even now and all of them manage lodging houses.“We Want Visitors to Experience the Fun of Village Life” In an area surrounded by lush mountains and located about fifteen minutes by car from central Sasayama, Hyogo, is where you can find traditional Japanese houses. Village Maruyama was created from desires such as “wanting visitors to experience simple beauty.”The lodging houses are filled with the feelings of “not only being a ‘home to stay in’ during a journey, but also a desire to have visitors experience the fun in the lives of the people that live in this village.”There are two lodging houses: Akari and Honoho. We will introduce Akari in this article.
Mount FujiMount Fuji is located on the border of Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures, and with a height of 3,776 meters, it is known as the highest mountain in Japan. Its symmetrical beauty and white snow-covered peak has fascinated visitors over the years. It was registered as a World Heritage Site in 2013, and is a highly popular tourist attraction.The mountain used to be worshipped as a sacred place by the Japanese people since long ago, and it has been climbed as a form of mountain pilgrimages. It can be said that Mount Fuji is important to the Japanese people, not only for its beauty, but also in a spiritual way.Read also: Enjoy A Cool Summer – 3 Caverns Around Mount FujiPretty in Pink: A View of Mt. Fuji and 800,000 ShibazakuraLet’s Take a Virtual Journey Up Mount Fuji!The Complete Guide to Climbing Mount Fuji (Yoshida Trail) Subashiri7/109/10 If you want to see the sunrise from the summit of Mount Fuji, you’ll be climbing during the night. It’s dangerous to climb with a light in your hand, so make sure you have a headlamp.Four Climbing RoutesThere are four climbing trails to reach the summit of Mount Fuji. There are routes for beginners as well as for experienced climbers, so you can choose the one that fits your abilities.1. Yoshida Trail: Most Popular and Beginner-Friendly Yoshida7/19/10 What to Wear and What to Bring Fujinomiya7/109/10 Access to Mount FujiYou can reach Mount Fuji by train, bus, or car. Choose the best means that fits your traveling plans.Shinkansen – Convenient from both Tokyo and Osaka Gotemba7/109/10 If you’re coming from Tokyo or Osaka, we recommend using the shinkansen, or bullet train. You will be able to reach Mount Fuji without any transfers if you use the Tokaido Shinkansen. However, be careful as the only type that stops at the station nearest to Mount Fuji (Shin-Fuji Station) is the local Kodama. From Shin-Fuji station, you can use a bus to reach the starting point of the climbing trail.If you ride the Kodama from Tokyo station to Shin-Fuji station, it will cost you 5070 yen (1 hour 10 minutes). From Osaka station, the fare is 11,340 yen (2 hours 50 minutes).Express Bus Available To 5th Station (Gogome)If you’re starting your trip from central Tokyo, you can make use of express buses. The Tomei Highway Bus and Fujikyuko Bus, as well as others, run to Kawaguchiko and Shin-Fuji stations at the foot of Mount Fuji.During the climbing season in July and August, direct buses are available from Shinjuku to the 5th Station (Gogome) of Mount Fuji. Depending on which trail you plan on climbing, you might want to consider using these buses as well.The Tomei Highway Bus from Shinjuku to Kawaguchiko is 1750 yen (1 hour 45 minutes). The Fujikyuko Bus to the 5th Station of Mount Fuji is 2700 yen one way (2 hours 30 minutes). Be Careful of Road Restrictions When Traveling by CarIf you’re headed to Mount Fuji by car, you will be using the Chuodo from Tokyo, and the Tomei Expressway from Osaka. However, in order to conserve nature and prevent traffic during the climbing season, there are various restrictions on these routes. The nearest parking lot may be closed, as well as roads along the way.During the regulatory period, the shuttle bus from parking lots may cost money as well. If you’re planning on climbing Mount Fuji, we recommend getting there by train or bus.When Can You Climb Mount Fuji?Visitors can only climb to the top of Mount Fuji in the summer. Exact dates and time depend on the year and route, but the trails are generally opened for about 2 months from early July to early September. The following are the opening and closing dates for 2016. Feel free to make use of the dates when planning your trip. Although Mount Fuji’s climbing routes are well-maintained, there are still many roads with rocky surfaces. You should come in an easy-to-move-in outfit and proper climbing boots.Also, the temperature lowers as you climb higher, and may even fall below 5 degrees Celsius in the early morning. So you should bring protection against the cold. Mountain weather changes easily, so it might also be a good idea to bring rainwear. RouteOpening DateClosing Date The Yoshida Trail is the most popular route for climbing Mount Fuji. The starting point is the Fuji Subaru Line 5th Station. Here you can find souvenir shops as well.Along the way, visitors will find mountain huts and first-aid stations, making the climb easy to try even for beginners. The trail is wide and doesn’t have many steps, so it’s a recommended route for first-timers.The round-trip distance of the Yoshida Trail is 14 kilometers, and will take you about 6 hours to climb and 3 and a half hours to descend.2. Fujinomiya Trail: The Shortest RouteThe Fujinomiya Trail is the shortest trail to Kengamine, the summit of Mount Fuji. The trail starts at the Fujinomiya 5th Station. The trail to climb and descend are the same, so there’s no need to worry about getting lost.However, the elevation of this trail rises quickly, so visitors should be careful of altitude sickness.The round-trip distance of the Fujinomiya Trail is 8.5 kilometers. The climb will take 5 hours and 30 minutes, and the descent 3 hours and 30 minutes.3. Subashiri Trail: Climb Quietly and Enjoy NatureThe Subashiri Trail is a nature-rich route. Visitors will be able to enjoy seeing alpine plants until the 6th station. Also, this trail is less crowded than the above 2 trails, so it is recommended for those who want to climb in peace.The trail merges with the Yoshida Trail after the 8th station. If you want to take the Subashiri Trail for your descent as well, you should be careful not to take the wrong route on your way back.The round-trip distance is 13 kilometers. Climbing the trail will take you 7 hours, and the descent will take you 3 hours and a half.4. Gotemba Trail: Avoid the CrowdThe Gotemba Trail has the largest elevation difference, and is also the longest of the all the trails. The altitude rises slowly from the Gotembaguchi New 5th Station, so there is a low risk of getting altitude sickness. There are fewer people who use this route to climb the mountain, so you won’t need to worry about crowds.Another appeal of this trail is the Osunabashiri (Great Sand Run) on your way down the mountain. You will be able to descend along the gray surface while kicking up some nice sandy smoke.The total round-trip distance of the Gotemba Trail is 17.5 kilometers. The route will take you 8 hours to climb and 4.5 hours to descend.Manners When Climbing Mount FujiThere are rules and manners that you must be aware of when climbing Mount Fuji. Be sure to read the following before you find yourself in any trouble.Take Home Your TrashAny trash that you might have from a meal or snack that you brought with you, remember to bring it with you on your way down. Just because there aren’t any trash cans along the way doesn’t mean you can litter.Make sure you won’t be having any unneeded trash before you start climbing.Vandalism of Nature is ProhibitedThe flowers, trees, and other plants along the trails, as well as lava, are all part of the natural environment of Mount Fuji. Taking things from the area, as well as graffiti on the rocks, or any vandalism is prohibited by law.You shouldn’t remove and take home pebbles as souvenirs either. Please be careful to respect the environment.Let Climbers Pass FirstAt Mount Fuji, regardless of which trail you are using, the people who are climbing the trail are given priority of passing on the trail. When the trail is crowded, let the climbers pass by first.Also, make sure not to leave the climbing trail to pass by any other people. It’s dangerous, and may lead to falling rocks. Keep within the area designated as a climbing trail.Mount Fuji is both an important natural symbol as well as a cultural one for the Japanese people. When climbing the mountain, be sure to be fully prepared, and have good manners, so that everyone can enjoy their climbing experience.Recommended articlesEnjoy A Cool Summer – 3 Caverns Around Mount FujiPretty in Pink: A View of Mt. Fuji and 800,000 ShibazakuraLet’s Take a Virtual Journey Up Mount Fuji!The Complete Guide to Climbing Mount Fuji (Yoshida Trail)
Kanazawa Sightseeing – The Perfect Two-Day Itinerary Kanazawa – 8 Places To Visit In The City Of Refined Japanese Culture 4 Things to Do in the Historical City of Kanazawa, Ishikawa Read also AccessPicture courtesy of PixtaThe following is the list of routes from Tokyo to Kanazawa, and further on to Kaga Onsenkyo and Noto.From Tokyo to Kanazawa (Express Bus/Shinkansen)It will take about eight to nine hours on the express bus. On weekdays, the fare varies from 3,000 to 10,000 yen.The one-way Shinkansen fare from Tokyo Station to Kanazawa Station is 14,120 yen for a reserved seat and 13,600 yen for a non-reserved seat. The ride takes about two and a half hours, which makes it possible for a day trip.Hokuriku Arch PassThose planning to tour the Hokuriku Region for a week should use the Hokuriku Arch Pass. The fare is approximately 25,000 yen, and the seven-day pass allows unlimited rides on the Hokuriku Shinkansen and various express trains from Kansai, Narita and Haneda Airports.Please note that the fare differs slightly according to the place of purchase.A. Online Purchase (before entering Japan)Adults (over 12 years of age): 24,000 yenChildren (between 6 to 11 years old): 12,000 yenB. Purchase after entering JapanAdults: 25,000 yen; Children: 12,500 yen Ishikawa – Home to Scenic Kanazawa, Noto, and Kaga OnsenPicture courtesy of PixtaIshikawa Prefecture is located in the Hokuriku Region. Following the debut of the Hokuriku Shinkansen, day trips from Tokyo to this prefecture have become popular.Ishikawa is famous for its natural environment and culture, with a wide variety of sightseeing spots. It is also renowned for its fresh seafood, such as the crabs caught in the Japan Sea, and adorable Japanese confectionery.Traditional craftwork, namely lacquerware and gold leaf, is produced in Wajima City. For those hoping to experience fine cuisine and Japanese culture, Ishikawa is the place to visit.Various Areas in IshikawaKanazawaThis is an area that prospered as a jokamachi (castle town) of the Kaga Clan. Various sightseeing spots such as Kenrokuen, one of the three major Japanese gardens, and Higashi Chaya District, which boasts a well-preserved traditional townscape, are located here. This is an area filled with must-visit spots where you can experience Japanese culture.KagaThis is a well-known area in the Hokuriku with nature-abundant hot spring (onsen) resorts. There are four hot spring towns (Yamashiro, Yamanaka, Katayamazu, and Awazu), and those who love bathing in an onsen should drop by this area. Visitors can also relax in the area surrounding the onsen facilities, which are brimming with natural beauty.NotoWith its well-preserved natural environment, the Noto Peninsula is full of picturesque sights which are reminiscent of ancient Japan. There are spots such as the Chirihama Nagisa Driveway and the Shiroyone Senmaida, where visitors can take in the view of the ocean and the hills. The local seafood from the Sea of Japan is also superb.HakusanHakusan (Mt. Haku), one of the three major mountains in Japan, is located in the southern region of Ishikawa Prefecture. It is also famous for its scenic landscapes naturally created by the mountain and alpine plants. Welcoming visitors from all around Japan, Shirayama Hime Shrine is located at the foot of Mt. Haku and is a popular “power spot” for matchmaking.Kanazawa – Places to Visit in a Castle TownThe following is a list of recommended places to visit in Kanazawa.1. Kenrokuen GardenPicture courtesy of PixtaWhen the Japanese think of Kanazawa, they imagine the scenery at Kenroku-en.This is one of the three major Japanese gardens. It was built outside Kanazawa Castle by Maeda Tsunanori, the fifth lord of the Kaga Clan, during the Edo Period. It will take about one hour and a half to leisurely tour the vast garden.Picture courtesy of PixtaVisitors can enjoy a different scenery every season, such as the cherry blossoms in spring, irises in early summer, and the autumn leaves in fall. Yukitsuri, or “snow suspenders” used to protect the branches against heavy snow, can be seen during the winter.Kenrokuen Garden Kenrokuen Garden View Informationpark2. Higashi Chaya DistrictPicture courtesy of PixtaThose who want to view the traditional townscape should visit Higashi Chaya District. Buildings from the Edo Period are preserved in this district, creating a nostalgic atmosphere. Alongside cafes, there are stores handling Japanese confectionery and handicrafts lining the streets in this area. It might be fun to change into a rental kimono and take a stroll.Higashi Chaya District Higashiyama Higashi Chaya District View Information3. Ohmicho MarketPicture courtesy of PixtaOhmicho Market opened during the Edo Period. It is a bustling fish market, regarded as the “Kitchen of the Kanazawa Citizen.”There are about 180 stores in this market that handle not only seafood from the Sea of Japan but also Kaga Yasai, a brand of vegetables produced in Kanazawa. Don’t miss out on hearing the local residents using their regional dialect to negotiate the price with shopkeepers.Drawing a large number of customers, some of the market restaurants serve kaisen-don. These are rice bowls topped with fresh seafood straight from the fishmonger.Ohmicho Market Omicho Market View Information4. Myoryuji TemplePicture courtesy of PixtaMyoryuji is also known as the Ninja Temple. It is filled with many tricks such as a pitfall disguised as an offertory box, hidden staircases, a secret room behind a hanging scroll, and even an underground passage to Kanazawa Castle.The legend goes that these tricks were devised during the Edo Period in case the hostile Tokugawa Shogunate invaded the Kaga Clan. The layout of the temple is so complicated that visitors will be lost without a guide. This is the perfect place to experience the feeling of a stealth ninja.Myoryuji Temple Myouryuji (Ninja Temple) View Information*A reservation by telephone (+81-76-241-0888) is required to tour the temple. Be sure to ask a Japanese-speaking friend to make reservations.Kaga – An Oasis for Onsen LoversThe following is a list of popular places to visit in Kaga.5. Kaga Onsen-kyoKaga Onsen-kyo consists of four hot spring districts—Yamashiro, Yamanaka, Katayamazu, and Awazu, respectively—each boasting its own unique appeal.Kosoyu. Picture courtesy of PixtaAt Yamashiro Onsen, visitors can enjoy the retro atmosphere of the renovated public bathhouse Kosoyu, which was originally built in the Meiji Period.Shibayamagata. Picture courtesy of PixtaAt Katayamazu Onsen, don’t miss out on seeing Shibayamagata, a lagoon which is said to change its colors seven times a day.Those who plan to tour Kaga Onsen-kyo should purchase the Canbus One-day Ticket, which allows users to get on and off the bus freely.Kaga Onsen-kyo 加賀温泉郷 View Information*Canbus One-day Ticket: 1,000 yen/Two-day Ticket: 1,200 yenThe two-day ticket is valid for two consecutive days within a three-day period. Both prices are for adults.6. Kaga Traditional Handicraft Village Yunokuni no MoriPicture courtesy of PixtaAt Traditional Handicrafts Village Yunokuni no Mori, visitors can try their hands at various craftwork such as gold leaf pasting on lacquerware or stencil dyeing of the Kaga Yuzen kimono. There are more than fifty workshops related to the traditional craftwork of Ishikawa Prefecture to choose from.The natural environment surrounding the site is another appeal of this facility. Be sure to check out the thatched roof of the old house, originally built in the Meiji Period, which presents a glimpse of the old Japan.Kaga Traditional Handicraft Village Yunokuni no Mori Kaga Traditional Crafts Village Yunokuni no Mori View InformationOfficial website: https://yunokuni.jp/mori/?lang=en7. Kakusenkei GorgePicture courtesy of PixtaKakusenkei Gorge, located near Yamanaka Onsen, offers a sprawling scenic view that is said to be the best in the Hokuriku Region. It stretches for approximately 1.3 kilometers and visitors can enjoy a different scenery each season. Kakusenkei is also known as a place to enjoy the autumn leaves.Ayatori Bridge. Picture courtesy of PixtaThere are bridges to enjoy the view, such as the Korogi Bridge, which is made from hinoki (Japanese cypress), and the S-shaped Ayatori Bridge. Kakusenkei Kawadoko—a cafe located at the foot of Ayatori Bridge—is open from April to October, offering drinks and confectionery by the riverside.Kakusenkei Gorge Kakusenkei Gorges View InformationOfficial website: http://visitkaga.com/places_of_interest/yamanaka/kakusenkei.phpNoto – Appreciating the Beauty of NatureThe following are recommended places to visit in Noto.8. Chirihama Nagisa DrivewayPicture courtesy of PixtaChirihama Nagisa Driveway is the only road in Japan located on a sandy beach. Unlike other beaches, the fine grains of sand are packed tight by the seawater, which enables cars, motorbikes, and even bicycles to drive along the water’s edge.Some lucky visitors may be able to witness mystic views, such as the morning mist before sunrise or the sun setting on the horizon.Chirihama Nagisa Driveway Chirihama Nagisa Driveway View InformationOfficial website: https://www.hot-ishikawa.jp/spot/5818 (Japanese)9. Shiroyone SenmaidaPhotograph by PixtaShiroyone Senmaida offers a vast view of the rice paddies. With the Sea of Japan’s contrasting blue in the background, this magnificent sight of 1,004 rice paddies—spread out on a steep hill dropping fifty meters down—can only be seen in Noto.In the evening, the sunset is reflected on the rice paddies, which creates a fantastic view. Held during the winter, Aze no Kirameki (Senmaida Light Up) presents a gorgeous view of the illuminated rice paddies.Shiroyone Senmaida Shiroyone Senmaida Rice Terraces View Information10. Tsukumo BayPicture courtesy of PixtaTsukumo means “99 inlets” in Japanese and the bay was named according to its topography. The beautiful contrast between the clear blue water and the green Horai Island is one of the reasons it was chosen as one of the “100 Landscapes of Japan.”Picture courtesy of PixtaThe calm, clear bay is inhabited by fish, such as the horse mackerel and black porgy, along with seaweed and various marine plants. Visitors can also ride an excursion boat and feed the fish.Tsukumo Bay 九十九湾 View InformationOfficial website: http://www.notocho.jp/lan/en/sightseeing-spot/tsukumo/Hakusan – Alpine Plants and Spiritual SpotsDon’t miss the follsoing places in the Hakusan Area.11. Hakusan Alpine Botanical GardenPicture courtesy of PixtaHakusan Alpine Botanical Garden is located at the foot of Hakusan (Mt. Haku), a famous mountain in the Hokuriku Region. The garden is open from June to July every year, displaying fifty types of plants totaling up to 100,000. Visitors can enjoy rare alpine plants such as the orange-colored daylily.While most of the plants usually grow in higher altitude, tourists from all over Japan can gather at this botanical garden to enjoy the rare sight.Hakusan Alpine Botanical Garden Hakusan Alpine Plants Botanical Garden View Information12. Shirayama Hime ShrinePicture courtesy of PixtaShirayama Hime Shrine, which regards Hakusan as a holy mountain, is called “Shirayama-san” by the local residents.An 800-year old tree, which creates an awe-inspiring atmosphere, stands on the grounds. It is said that this shrine blesses visitors in many ways, such as in matchmaking. A large number of visitors gather from all over Japan on “Otsuitachi-mairi”—a visit to the shrine on the first day of each month.Shirayama Hime Shrine Shirayamahime Shrine View Information13. Tedori GorgePicture courtesy of PixtaTedori Gorge was created by the Tedori River, which runs through the southern Ishikawa region. This grand sight of stone walls are as high as twenty to thirty meters and stretch for eight kilometers.Visitors can edge close to Watagataki Falls, a waterfall rising to the height of 32 meters, and even feel the spray of water. In the summertime, the temperature in the gorge is lower than its surroundings, so a stroll on a hot day can be quite refreshing.Tedori Gorge Tedori Gorge View InformationOfficial website: http://www.city.hakusan.lg.jp/otherdata/sightseeing/sightseeing/area_hakusan/index.htmlIshikawa Cuisine – Three Dishes that You Shouldn’t MissWe introduce some of the dishes that you should definitely try when visiting Ishikawa.CrabPicture courtesy of PixtaVisitors should definitely try the Kanou-gani and Kohbako-gani. They are both snow crabs caught near the shores of Ishikawa, and when the male crab has grown to a certain size it is called Kanou-gani.Kanou-gani is famous for its firm texture. The female snow crab is called Kohbako-gani, which is well-known for its roe. The crab season starts annually from November 6 and ends around March 20.JibuniPicture courtesy of PixtaJibuni is one of the local cuisine called Kaga Ryori. Chicken, sprinkled with flour, is stewed with lily bulbs and served alongside wasabi (Japanese horseradish).Picture courtesy of PixtaKaga-ryori (Kaga cuisine) is served in the traditional craftwork vessels of Ishikawa, such as Wajima lacquerware and Kutani ware, which make it more appealing to the eye. Kagaya Kanazawa Store, located in Kanazawa Station, serves a Kaga-ryori lunch which includes jibuni at a moderate price of 1,500 to 2,000 yen (including tax).Kanazawa ConfectioneryKintsuba. Picture courtesy of PixtaAs tea ceremony prospered in Kanazawa, confection served with tea flourished as well. The Kanazawa confectionery is sweeter than those in other areas and has a touch of extravagance.Kintsuba (*1), made by Nakataya, and jiro-ame, made by Tawaraya—the oldest confection maker in Kanazawa—are some of the most notable traditional sweets. They all make great souvenirs, too!*1 Kintsuba: A confection of sweetened beans wrapped in a wheat-flour skin.Read also Five Souvenirs To Check Out At The Kanazawa Station Mall From Kanazawa to Kaga Onsenkyo by TrainTake the JR Hokuriku Main Line from Kanazawa Station. The one-way fare is 760 yen and the ride takes about an hour.A faster way to travel will be to use the JR Limited Express Shirasagi. The one-way fare is 1,510 yen and the ride takes about thirty minutes.From Kanazawa to Noto-Nakajima by TrainTake the IR Ishikawa Railway’s Limited Express Noto Kagaribi from Kanazawa Station to Wakura Onsen Station, and ride the Nanao Line along the Noto Railway to Noto-Nakajima Station. The one-way fare is 2,600 yen and takes an hour and 45 minutes.From Kanazawa to Hakusan by BusTake the Hakusan Tozan Bus from Kanazawa Station to Betto Deai, where the trailhead is located. The ride takes about two hours and the one-way fare is 2,200 yen.Visit Ishikawa, a Land Brimming with History and Nature!Ishikawa is a treasure trove of historic spots alongside places where you can observe majestic nature. If you have a chance to visit the Hokuriku region, definitely don’t miss out on checking out Ishikawa!Read also How To Travel To Kanazawa From Tokyo, Osaka Or Kyoto
There are thousands of hotels in Tokyo, so how do you choose the right one for you?There are various criteria that help you choose, such as price, service, the access to tourist destinations etc. – the methods are endless! This time we will introduce you to Hotel Villa Fontaine Ueno, where one of the main selling points is the high quality service they offer.The closest station to Hotel Villa Fontaine Ueno is Shin-Okachimachi Station. The hotel is located a mere 5 to 10 minutes walk from the station. This lodging facility is also within walking distance from Ueno Station, so it is convenient for those who want to access Tokyo’s main tourist attractions.Just walk inside the hotel, and you will soon notice a whole host of eager travellers waiting at this high-class reception area. Notice the pictures adorning the walls, the lights, and the overall color scheme – you can just feel a strong sense of warmth permeating the building!You will be greeted at the reception by the welcoming smiles of the diligent staff members. English speaking staff members are stationed here, so you do not need to worry if you are not fluent in the Japanese language.The Perfect Room for Families and Couples!This is one of the hotel’s twin rooms. This room is spotless, with a relaxed atmosphere. It is highly recommended for female travellers journeying together, and as a family lodging.There is also a kitchen and a TV, so you will be able to live in comfort. It is a perfect room for those who want to stay that bit longer!This is an economy twin room. The space around the bed is narrower than in the twin room, and there is also no kitchen. Nevertheless, you will still be able to have a very comfortable stay here! In every room you will find guide books available in various languages: English, Chinese (traditional and simplified), and Korean. Such care and thought put in every detail just shows how much this hotel cares for its overseas guests!Photo courtesy of Hotel Villa Fontaine UenoThis room goes by the name of “Fine View”. As the name suggests, the room promises stunning views of the city. You can even get an up-close and personal view of the Tokyo Skytree from the window!Photos courtesy of Hotel Villa Fontaine UenoThe Tokyo Skytree is a must-see night spot – especially when it’s so beautifully lit up! The Fine View rooms are all equipped with a double bed. If you are planning to lodge here as a married or unmarried couple, you will no doubt make some unforgettable memories.Witness the “Real” Japan, and Fall in Love with Japan ItselfHotel Villa Fontaine’s biggest selling point is it’s location. Usually, hotels aimed at holiday-makers are located in the center of touristic spots, making it difficult for lodgers to experience the everyday lives of the people in Japan.However, as well as having easy access to important sightseeing spots, Hotel Villa Fontaine Ueno is located within Tokyo’s living quarters. For this reason, just by wandering about near the hotel, you will be able to get a feeling of life in Japan, and experience the unique culture with your own eyes.Hotel Villa Fontaine Ueno is reasonably priced and offers top-notch service. For those who want to experience Japan, why not book your stay here?InformationHotel Villa Fontaine ヴィラフォンテーヌ上野Address: Tokyo, Taitō-ku, Kojima 2-4-4Check-in: 15:00Check-out: 11:00Wi-Fi: AvailableCredit Cards: The following credit cards are accepted – VISA, JCB, American Express, Diner’s Club, Master Card, Rakuten Card (楽天カード)Language Support: EnglishInformation Provided in other Languages: NoneNearest Station: Okachimachi Station 御徒町駅 (JR Line), Shin-Okachimachi Station 新御徒町駅 (Toei Ōedo Line)Access: A 10 Minute walk from Okachimachi Stations’s North Exit, or a 5 minute walk from Shin-Okachimachi Station’s A2 ExitPrice: Cost of the various room types change in accordance with the season.Religious Information: -Telephone: +81-03-5833-5550Official Homepage: Hotel Villa Fontaine
Welcome to Enoshima, the famous tourist spot in Fujisawa in Kanagawa prefecture. One particular dish is representative of this island, and well-known throughout the country – shirasudon, a bowl of cooked rice with heaps of young of sardines boiled in salted water on top of it. It is a savory dish with a salty kick that will bring the true taste of seafood to mind and is the most celebrated specialty of Enoshima and the Shonan area.So today we will be introducing one of Enoshima’s many restaurants offering this shirasu specialty, but one that is exceptionally popular with the visitors – Shirasu Wholesaler Tobiccho Main Store (Shirasu Tonya Tobiccho Honten in Japanese).You’ll find the main store of Tobiccho if you cross the bridge connecting Enoshima with the center of Fujisawa, or Bentenbashi, and walk for only a minute after you step onto Enoshima. You won’t miss it, especially on the weekends – there usually is an enormous line of customers in front of the store right before noon.Top 3 Donburi Dishes at TobicchoOf course, when talking about Tobiccho’s most loved menu items, there must be a special place for kamaage shirasudon (890 yen). To name the first, and the most obvious difference that sets this particular shirasudon apart from all other shirasudon dishes out there must be the size of the bowl! That dish size won’t leave anyone feeling indifferent to it, that’s for sure – we were greatly surprised ourselves when the dish made its glorious appearance.Another trait of Tobiccho’s donburi dishes, and shirasudon dish as well, is the shredded daikon (radish), carrots, and other vegetables in it, making the bowl look even more delightful and delicious. It was a wonderful discovery how the crispy vegetables go hand in hand with the deliciousness of the cooked rice and young sardines. It made us forget all about our previous surprise at the size of it, and revel in its taste.The trick is to compliment with a special ponzu (*2) made for shirasu-type dishes! And you can choose between a raw egg and an onsen egg (*3) to add to the flavor.*2 Ponzu: a soy sauce-based seasoning with some kind of citrus juice in it.*3 Onsen egg: an egg boiled in a mildly hot water (similar temperature to that at an onsen), with a soft-boiled yolk and a hard-boiled egg white.If you’re up for relishing all of the wonders and goods the sea has to offer, you might want to consider the tobicchodon (1750 yen), which is as easy on the eyes as it is on the taste buds. With all that seafood goodness used to prepare it, such as salmon roe and eel, this dish holds the title of Tobiccho’s No.1 recommendation.For those who are not on first name terms with raw fish dishes, we recommend kaisen kakiagedon (1100 yen). The deep-fried mixture of vegetables and seafood (kakiage,*4) is served with a special salty-sweet sauce poured over it, and the essential shirasu topping. The crunchy sensation of the just-fried vegetables, combined with the salty-sweet sauce is bound to enhance your cravings for more – it is a dish to remember and come back to regularly.*4 Kakiage: seafood and vegetables cut into small pieces, coated with a thin paste of flour and water, then deep-fried in oil.Clever Reservation Methods to Save the Day during the Weekends’ Swarm!It isn’t at all surprising that during the holidays or the busy seasons, there is a good chance of you waiting to order or for your meal to arrive upon coming to the ever-so-popular Tobiccho.However, we have great news for all of you who want to make full use of your time and the benefits of the modern age – it is possible to make a prior, internet reservation at Tobiccho. If you already have decided on the day of your visit, you can make a reservation online and save yourself some time without waiting in the line to get in for too long.If you haven’t made a prior reservation, you will have to use the reception machines installed in the store. After you’ve finished the reception process, you can take a stroll around Enoshima and come back to the restaurant later.Tobiccho’s Menu Available in English, too!You can see what kind of menu items Tobiccho offers to their customers by taking a look at the showcase displayed at the store – getting a look at the dishes before you order might be an easier way for you to decide, making the whole ordering process run much quicker and smoother.There is also an English menu available for their customers from other countries, so feel free to ask the staff if you have any questions. Other than English, the menu is available in Chinese and Korean, too.LastlyEnoshima is widely known for numerous tourist spots that attract people from all places. And one of those places you just shouldn’t miss is Shirasu Wholesaler Tobiccho.If the road takes you to Enoshima, don’t hesitate to pay this much-loved restaurant a visit as well. Just browsing the store that offers such a variety of shirasu products is fun on its own, we promise!InformationShirasu Wholesaler Tobiccho Main StoreAddress: Kanagawa, Fujisawa, Enoshima 1-6-7Hours: 11:00-20:00 (last order)Fixed Holidays: Not fixedWiFi: NoneAccepted Credit Cards: NoneLanguage: JapaneseMenu/Pamphlets in Other Languages: EnglishNearest Station: Katase-Enoshima Station of Odakyu Electric Railway Enoshima Line; Enoshima Station of Enoshima Dentetsu LineAccess: 10 minute walk from Katase-Enoshima Station of Odakyu Electric Railway Enoshima LinePrice: 890-1750 yen (donburi dishes’ prices)Phone Number: 0466-23-0041Website: Shirasu Wholesaler Tobiccho Main Store (Japanese)
Have you ever driven down a highway in Japan? You will find service areas (SAs) and parking areas (PAs) along Japanese highways. These were originally created as rest stops for drivers, but now these well-equipped facilities serve as tourist attractions in their own right.This article will introduce the basics of SAs and PAs, as well as the latest information about these places.What Are Service Areas and Parking Areas?Long drives take a mental and physical toll on drivers, and can become the cause for accidents. SAs and PAs were created so that drivers could take breaks, and these areas were with restrooms and shops selling necessary travel goods.While SAs and PAs serve the same purpose, only SAs are linked to gasoline stations, so they are somewhat better-equipped.These days, the differences between the two are getting less and less noticeable as PAs offer more and more of a complete experience. Service areas can be found every 50 kilometers, while parking areas can be found every 15 kilometers.What Do “Nobori” And “Kudari” Mean?The sides of Japanese highways are thought of as either “nobori” (ascending) or “kudari” (descending). This stems from how people used to refer to going toward Kyoto as “ascending,” and going away from Kyoto as “descending.” These days, people also say that the roads going toward Tokyo are “ascending.”With regard to highways, people use “ascending” and “descending” to talk about travel from a given point of origin. For example, the Meishin Kosoku Expressway starts at Komaki City in Aichi, then heads toward Nishinomiya City in Hyogo. You would say that the road to Komaki is ascending, while the road to Nishinomiya is descending.Incidentally, if a given highway has an SA on one side, it will have one on the opposite side (the ascending or descending side, depending on which direction you’re going) as well.It is not unusual for the facilities at SAs on opposite sides to be different, so if you’re looking for a specific one, make sure to check beforehand which side you need to be on.Japan’s First Service AreaThe first service area in Japan was the Otsu SA along the Meishin Kokudo Expressway, on the highway from Ritto to Amagasaki.This SA, Japan’s oldest, was renovated in 2006 (on the ascending side) and in 2013 (on the descending side). Both SAs have interiors produced to give off a Japanese feel, with stores where you can enjoy Japanese sweets and famous bento lunches from an array of well-established shops.On the roof of this Otsu SA, there is an an observation deck which has been set up to evoke the image of a yacht floating on Lake Biwa. From the deck, you can get an unbroken view of Lake Biwa and Mt. Hiei. The night view is extremely popular, so there is a steady stream of visitors, even in the wee hours.A Careful Selection Of The Latest Popular SAs and PAsModern SAs and PAs have become sightseeing spots in Japan.One example is the Kariya Highway Oasis, located in Kariya City in Aichi. The Oasis is home to a large Ferris Wheel and a space to unwind known as the Deluxe Toilet, a facility that overturns heretofore existing ideas of what a service area bathroom should be.Another place of note is the PA in Hanyu City in Saitama located along the Tohoku Expressway, which features a full recreation of an Edo period townscape, inside and out.The Gourmet Scene Is Fully Featured, Too!SAs and PAs also offer local, delicious food! Let’s introduce some of this SA fare.This black soft serve ice cream is from the Kyoto-Arashiyama PA. This item was cooked up using the local specialty product, bamboo charcoal. You can also enjoy coal-black curry and baumkuchen here.There is an amazing item at the Miyajima SA in Hiroshima: lemon ramen, which contains a whole lemon. The thick soy sauce-based broth pairs with the refreshing acidic bite of the lemon to create an addictive flavor.Marvel At These Fully-Equipped SAs and PAsThere are still more unique SAs and PAs to go!You can find Ashigara Kintoki-Yu at the EXPASA-Ashigara SA in Gotemba in Shizuoka, an onsen hotel with carbonated hot springs. From here, you can get an amazing view of nearby Mt. Fuji, and it’s almost as though the SA is a real sightseeing destination.The final SA we would like to mention is also from Shizuoka. The NEOPASA Suruga Bay-Numazu SA features dog runs for pets and dog-friendly cafes, which makes it extremely popular with dog lovers.If you’re taking the highways to get to your destination, by all means, drop into the closest service area to see its unique and special appeal for yourself.Recommended articles:Enjoy The Service Areas On Japan’s ExpresswaysSightsee On The Way – Rest Stops Between Tokyo and KaruizawaThe Perfect View: Everything About The Shimanami KaidōHow To Travel From Tokyo To Hiroshima: A Thorough Comparison
Flower scissors specifically used for IkebanaIkebana was originally made to be placed in the tokonoma area of the Japanese room. Therefore, arrangements were made to be seen only from the front, though, lately, Ikebana can be seen in museums and various galleries. Therefore, techniques and methods with more flexibility have been applied to suit the location (Note: rules and techniques vary by the school).Despite the differences, all schools use the flower scissors to cut the plants and create a balanced arrangement in a flower vase.How Can Tourists Enjoy Ikebana? Visitors from outside of Japan can experience the world of Ikebana at exhibitions held at galleries and major department stores around the nation.With the increase of visitors from abroad, many travel and tour agencies have been providing programs for people to experience Ikebana. If you search for ”Ikebana experience”, you should be able to find the information you would need.One of the schools of Kado, the Ikenobo has information available in English on their website. Please check their site if you would like more information.For those who would like to experience other Japanese cultural activities, please read Experience Kabuki, Sumo, Tea Ceremony and Other Traditional Activities.You May Also LikeIkenobo Style Ikebana Exhibitions – Flowers Mirroring The SeasonsLearn In English! Ikebana Workshop For Travelers In Nishiarai Ikebana – The Art of Arranging Plants and FlowersIkebana or kado (“the way of the flowers”) is an original form of Japanese art that involves an arrangement of a variety of plants.Kado and Ikebana are technically the same. However, the term Kado refers not only to the beauty of the flowers but also requires manners, techniques, mental and physical training as well. It is considered to be one of the ”ways” of the Japanese beliefs. Therefore, a work of the Kado is referred to as ”Ikebana flower arranging” and specialists of the ways of the Kado are called ”Kado-ka” (flower masters).For ages, many Kado-ka has been developing the skills of Ikebana in order to create techniques to arrange flowers in a beautiful way. Due to this, there are many schools of Ikebana.It is not an easy task to comprehend and know all the schools. In this article, we will introduce you to the basics of the world of Kado and Ikebana.Historical Technique Inspired by Buddhism Like other forms of art, it is important to appreciate its beauty according to your senses. That way you will understand the way the Japanese treat the seasons along with the sense of beauty. It is something you can understand without words.However, like mentioned previously, Ikebana is not just a form of art where plants are arranged to look pretty. Being able to honor and respect nature and understanding the heart of the artist will allow you to enjoy the works of art even more.In some events, you would be able to watch a Kado master arrange flowers on the spot. If you manage to catch this opportunity, observe the master’s movements and the techniques applied during the process.How Are Ikebana Arrangements Made? Unfortunately, there are no records on how or when Kado or Ikebana came to be, however, it is said to derive from Buddhism. One theory says that floral tributes offered to Buddha or the dead are the roots to Kado.The representative of the school that succeeds the tradition of the Kado is generally referred to as the ”iemoto”. The oldest iemoto and the first head of the Ikenobo school was Senkei Ikenobo who was also a monk. This is how you can see that Kado had a connection to Buddhism in some way.Currently, it is said that there are over 300 schools of Kado. Out of all of them, the main three schools that represent Japan are the Ikenobo, Sougetsu school, and the Ohara school.The culture of Ikebana spread throughout Japan and later became known in Europe around the end of the Edo period as well. Unlike the Western style of flower arranging, the different methods of Kado-Ikebana influenced many people outside of Japan.Indulge in the Art of Ikebana
Various festivals and ceremonies take place during the fall harvest season in Japan from September to November. Today we will be introducing the main events to you, as well as the places where you can enjoy them.September’ Special EventsOtsukimiSource: Romance Hanamizuki (Japanese only)The fifteenth of the eighth month in the ancient calendar (sometime between mid-September and the beginning of October in the modern day) is known as juugoya, the night of the full moon. This is the night of the harvest moon, also said to be the most beautiful moon of the year. On this night, there is a ceremony to show thanks and pray for a successful seasonal harvest for produce such as rice. Japanese pampas grass which resemble rice stalks is used as decoration, while dango which resemble the moon are used as an offering and a snack whilst taking in the gorgeous night sky.Kishiwada Danjiri MatsuriSource: Kishiwada City Official Website (Japanese only)This famous festival takes place every year in Kishiwada City, Osaka. Originally a festival to pray for a successful harvest, it is now focused around danjiri, large intricately-carved wooden festival floats which speed through the streets pulled by around 500 people. This energetic and exciting event attracts many spectators.With the floats’ sudden turns, the sound of the hayashi’s traditional instruments and the people in charge shouting directions from the roofs of the floats, this festival is something you cannot miss. In order to enjoy this event to the fullest, we suggest doing some background reading at the official website (Japanese only) before you go.October’s Main EventJidai Matsuri: Kyoto Heian ShrineSource: Heian Jingu Shrine Official Website (Japanese only)One of Kyoto’s big three festivals, on October 22 you can watch an extravagant parade celebrating the former capital’s birth, history and culture. This procession of around 2,000 people represents the flow of time throughout history since the Meiji Restoration, the political and social reforms that took place between the late Edo period and early Meiji Period. [link translated by me but not published]. Each and every outfit and prop used by the participants was made in secret under the supervision of specialists.NovemberShichi-Go-SanOn or around the 15 November, three-, five-, and seven-year olds don their smartest clothes (usually traditional Japanese style) and head to their local shrine to celebrate the healthy growth of children across the country.This was originally a ceremony for certain turning points in a child’s life, namely girls starting to grow out their hair at age three, boys starting to wear hakama (loose Japanese pants) at age five, and seven-year olds being able to wear the same type of kimono as adults. Nowadays, the original meaning has faded and instead people pray for a long life for the children whilst eating chitose ame, red and white candy sticks.Tori no Ichi: Asakusa Ootori Shrine/Hanazono Jinja ShrineDedicated to the oriental zodiac rooster, this festival began as a celebration of the harvest and takes place in Asakusa and Shinjuku (link in Japanese only). Now, it’s become a fair to buy good luck charms, pray for successful business and welcome in the new year. It’s also famous for the large array of kumade (lucky bamboo rakes) for sale. Kumade were originally used for sweeping up fallen leaves but it is said that using them to decorate your home rakes in happiness.These festivals and events are the perfect opportunity to get close and personal with traditional Japanese culture. If you get the chance, be sure to experience one (or all of them!) for yourself.
The Torii Gates of Nezu Shrine are renowned for their beauty. The characters written on them are a sign that they have been built from a donation. This act can be interpreted as a transition from the profane to sacred life. Taking a picture between these Japanese gates will make your friends jealous for sure! Tokyo boasts many beautiful shrines and anyone visiting this city should go see at least one of them. Meiji Shrine, for instance, is the favorite destination of many travelers, as it is famous for being dedicated to the spirits of the Meiji Emperor and Empress. Zojoji Temple, located near Tokyo Tower in the heart of the city, is also popular, especially for its long history and beautiful surroundings. There is also the world famous Sensoji Temple in Asakusa, which is full of visitors everyday.There are, however, many other lesser known shrines, which are just as amazing and attractive. I would like to introduce to you one of the hidden gems among Tokyo’s shrines – Nezu Shrine, located in Bunkyo ward, near Ueno Park. Although I didn’t know about it before, after seeing it, I realized it was one of the most beautiful shrines I have ever visited.Nezu Jinja – A Hidden Shrine in Tokyo’s Bunkyo wardNezu Shrine is in fact one of the oldest shrines in Japan, and it is thought to have been built 1900 years ago. However, its buildings have been rebuilt several times. It is also thought that it was moved from Sendagi to Nezu during the Edo period. Not only has it been designated an Important Cultural Property, but it is also known as one of the “Ten Most Beautiful Shrines in Tokyo”.This is the entrance to Nezu Shrine, marked by an elegant bridge. Let’s enter the shrine grounds and see some of its highlights.Highlights of Nezu ShrineNezu Shrine’s main hall is one of the most beautiful shrine buildings in Tokyo. It has been designed after the model of the Toshogu Shrine in Nikko, a feature which is easily recognizable in the gorgeous architecture of the building. The entrance is guarded by two lion statues, and nearby is the place where visitors can buy omikuji – small papers for divining one’s luck.Ema are small wooden plaques on which visitors write their wishes and prayers for the future. Good health, happiness for one’s family and world peace are some of the most frequent wishes. It is easy to make one. You can buy an ema at the shop nearby the main hall. Write your wishes and your name with a marker, than hang it in the special area dedicated to ema. This is the chozuya, the place where visitors perform a ritual purification before entering the shrine grounds. Using the dipper, we spring some water on our left hand, then on the right hand and lastly we touch our mouth with water. This ritual is rather a symbolic cleansing, so you don’t have to actually wash your hands.The shrine has a charming, small pond nearby. I spent several minutes here watching the colorful koi fish swimming around. Their red shapes against the background of the green pond makes a beautiful sight.This platform hosting a small shrine located above the pond is one of the special features of Nezu Shrine, adding to the unique beauty of this place. You can take a look at the surrounding garden from here.In ConclusionI highly recommend anyone in Tokyo to pay a visit to Nezu Shrine. Although it is lesser known, you will be stunned by the beauty of the surrounding nature and of the shrine itself. Moreover, if you visit it in April and early May, you can enjoy the Bunkyo Azalea Festival (Tsutsuji Matsuri), an event unique to this shrine, where thousands of people gather to admire the colorful azaleas that bloom in the garden.In fact, visiting here at any time of the year, will most surely become an unforgettable memory.Recommended articlesHighlights Of Nikko Tōshō-gū Shrine, A UNESCO SiteToyoiwa Inari Shrine – A Hidden Shrine in GinzaMotonosumi Inari Shrine – The Hardest Shrine To Make An Offering AtUdo-jingū, Miyazaki – Test Your Luck At This Cavern Shrine!Sacred Monkeys in Central Tokyo: Hie ShrineInformationNezu Shrine 根津神社Address: Tokyo, Bunkyo Ward, Nezu 1-28-9Hours : 24 Hours ( Reception hour : 09:00 17:00)Closed : None ( Reception Hour : 17:00 – 08:00 )Wifi : -Credit Cards : -Pamphlets in Other Languages: NoneNearest Station : Nezu Station, Todaimae StationAccess: 5 minutes walking from either Nezu Station, Sendagi Station, or Tokyo Metro Namboku Line Todaimae station.Entrance Fee : FreeReligious : ShintoPhone Number: 03-3822-0753Homepage : Nezu Jinja Shrine
This hot spring inn has a history of 160 years and even appeared in the Japanese movie, ”Thermae Romae”. Used as the home of the heroine, this inn is known for its historical Edo and Meiji period style structures. The rooms in this inn are in the Japanese-style and have tatami mats, shoji doors, and futons.Address: Tochigi, Nasu district, Nasu, Yumoto 151Website: Kita OnsenRead alsoKita Onsen In Tochigi (1): Travel Back In Time To A Secluded Onsen InnKita Onsen (2) – Experience The Ambiance Of An Edo Period Hot SpringPoints to Enjoy Nasu Onsen Even MoreNasu Onsen is a spot with many bathing facilities. It is highly recommended to try bathing in more than one spot to feel the difference.Around the Nasu Onsen area, you will find other tourist spots such as the field of Yawata azalea flowers or the Sesshoseki ruins that are related to the Japanese legend of the nine tailed fox. After enjoying a bath, why not tour around the area to find something special?For more information about how to bathe in the hot springs, please refer to ”Bath Culture In Japan: What Every Visitor Should Know Ahead Of Time”.** Travel times and expenses are based on publicly available information and are current as of January 2017. They may be subject to change. Nasu tourist office View Informationtravel_agencyYou May Also LikeBath Culture In Japan: What Every Visitor Should Know Ahead Of TimeVisiting Japan In Winter 2017-2018: Temperatures, Clothing, Travel TipsHomestay in Japan – Staying at a Farmer’s House in Ōtawara, TochigiSkiing And Hot Springs In Japan! Nozawa Onsen, Nagano5 Superb Views Created By Snow And Snow Festivals – Only In Japan! Let us introduce you to some bathing facilities you can enjoy in Nasu Onsen.Nasu Onsen (Shika no Yu)Opening its doors in the year 630, this is said to be the oldest hot spring in Nasu. Due to the temperature of the water being on the higher side, a unique bathing style has been developed. One way is the kaburi-yu style where you take a dipper to pour the hot water on yourself. Another is the jikan-yu style where one rests every time they bathe.The simple hot springs here are sulfuric springs containing sulfuric hydrate and hypotonic acid. The water in the hot spring is said to help skin problems, obstetric and gynecological issues, cuts, diabetes, high blood pressure, and arteriosclerosis. All baths in this facility are located indoors.Address: Tochigi, Nasu district, Nasu, Yumoto 181Bathing fee: Adults 500 yen for weekend and holidays, 400 yen for weekdays. 300 yen for elementary school students. Free for infants. Bathing tax and consumption tax included.Website: Nasu Onsen (Shika no Yu) (Japanese)Oomaru Onsen RyokanA hot spring facility located by the Nasu Ropeway station. Opened in 1691, it was loved by many feudal lords and samurai of the Nasu area. This facility is known for the unique open-air bath in the river called Kawa no Yu.Aside from the Kawa no Yu, they also have indoor baths and other open-air baths (mixed and women only). The spring itself is a simple spring that is said to help chronic rashes, neuralgia, rheumatism, and stomach problems. Please note that there are days when bathing is not available for customers who are not staying at the inn.Address: Tochigi, Nasu district, Nasu, Yumoto 269Bathing fee: Adults 1000 yen, 3-Elementary school students 700 yen. Bathing tax and consumption tax included.Website: Oomaru Onsen Ryokan (Japanese)Gensen NasuzanFor those who wish to ease their daily stress, visiting the Gensen Nasuzan is recommended. The bathing and resting facilities are constructed with genuine wood from Japan that makes a perfect atmosphere for a relaxing time. The hot springs here are free-flowing.The water itself is a sodium chloride spring that is said to help neuralgia, joint problems, poor circulation, menstrual problems and relieve fatigue.Address: Tochigi, Nasu district, Nasu, Takakuko 4588-10Bathing fee: Adults 870-1020 yen, Children 410-510 yen. Bathing tax and consumption tax included.Website: Gensen Nasuzan (Japanese)Recommended Inns at Nasu Onsen Here are some recommended inns in the Nasu area.Ashino OnsenThis is a fairly new hot spring inn that is loved by people of many generations. They are known to have herbal baths, sauna with herbal mist, open air-baths and more.Address: Tochigi, Nasu district, Nasu, Ashino 1461Website: Ashino Onsen (Japanese)Ohruri SansoLocated on a hill, this hot spring inn has an open-air bath where you can get a view of the town of Nasu. Ranging at around 5000 to 8000 yen, they have reasonable prices for staying the night and bathing.Address: Tochigi, Nasu district, Nasu, Yumoto 212-486Website: Ohruri Sanso (Japanese)Kita Onsen Nasu Onsen – Famous Hot Springs Easily Accessible From Tokyo!Nasu Onsen is the name of a group of hot springs in the Nasu district of Tochigi prefecture. The history of this hot spring dates way back, and it is said that the Shika no Yu hot spring first opened in the year 630.Historically, Nasu Onsen has been said to be a hot spring that helps cure illnesses. According to the popular hot spring ranking guide published back in the Edo period it was ranked second following Kusatsu onsen in the Kanto area.The current Nasu Onsen has over ten bathing facilities and nearly thirty inns where you can spend time and relax. The qualities of the springs vary by the facility so it may be nice to hop around a few hot springs during your visit.The Traits and Effects of Nasu Onsen SpringsNasu Onsen was a spot where many monks and warriors came to heal their wounds from battle. The spring has been said to help cure burns, cuts, and various dermatological issues.Aside from surface wounds, the hot spring is said to ease neuralgia, rheumatism, intestinal problems and menstrual problems. Please note that depending on the hot spring facility, the effects can be different.Getting to Nasu Onsen from TokyoIn order to go to Nasu Onsen, you will first go on the JR Tohoku bullet train, Nasuno, from Tokyo Station to Nasu Shiobara Station. It takes around 70 minutes and costs 5390 yen.From Nasu Shiobara Station, transfer to the Nasu Shiobara Takahara Loop Bus, Kyubii. The bus goes around the hot spring areas and the Nasu Yumoto Onsen District Nasu Tourism Association. It takes around 60 minutes and tickets are 350 yen one-way. Their unlimited ride pass is good for one whole day, and costs 1000 yen for adults and 500 yen for children.One-Day Hot Spring Spots in Nasu Shiobara
Read also At this store, you can also buy limited-edition mugs and tumblers with Fukuoka-based designs. The above pattern incorporates the characteristic blue and white of Hakata-ori, a traditional Fukuoka textile design, with seigaiha, a traditional semicircular wave pattern. These waves are said to represent the Genkai Sea which surrounds north-western Kyushu.Even the lights near the bar are made of wood, giving the entire store a soft glow.The view from further inside the store. As it gets darker outside, the contrast between the soft lights and the shadows from the woodwork creates an increasingly dream-like atmosphere.In Kyushu, this is the only Starbucks concept store (as of September 2015). How about spending your next coffee break in this extraordinary space, surrounded by traditional woodwork? Next time you’re in the area, make sure to pop in on your way to Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine. This truly special store is definitely worth the visit. Starbucks View Informationcafestore Fukuoka Travel Guide – Things To Do, Food, And Tips Starbucks Coffee is known affectionately in Japan as “Staba”. Among the uncountable Starbucks stores across the country, there are several concept stores, which are built around a particular theme or based on an area’s characteristic buildings. One of those concept stores can be found in Dazaifu, Fukuoka.This is the Starbucks Dazaifu Tenmangu Omotesando Store, located on the way to the Shinto shrine Dazaifu Tenmangu. The store is situated just a few minutes’ walk away from the shrine and the streets are lined with souvenir stores and shoppers abound, so you shouldn’t have a hard time finding it.This store’s signature feature is the use of a type of woodwork known as kigumi – a traditional Japanese method used to create the framework for housing. Instead of using nails to solidify the structure, the wood is cut into and slotted together.Designed by architect Kengo Kuma, the theme of this store is the “fusion of the traditional and the modern using natural materials”, and the traditionally-constructed beams that flow throughout the store certainly give off a modern feel.So, what does it look like inside?This is the view that greets you as you enter. The inside walls and ceiling are completely covered in these frames, and the layers upon layers of planks are almost overwhelming. Looking at them, it feels as though they could come loose at any moment – and yet they give off a sense of warmth that only wood can provide. Shopping In Fukuoka? Check Out Hakata’s 6 Best Spots Close To Fukuoka And Oita! Getting To Hita City, Kyushu’s Travel Hub Fukuoka Area Guide – What To See And Enjoy In Kyushu’s Largest City
As you might know, sushi, one of Japan’s representative foods, has various types. We will introduce here the inari-zushi, a type of sushi that is not made with fish.If you would like to know more about sushi, please refer to this comprehensive article: Enjoy Sushi! Tips on Eating, Sushi Types, Restaurants, and More!.What Is Inari-zushi? Even within Japan, the Inari-zushi in the Kanto region and the ones from the Kansai region are different in shape. In Kanto, you will find straw bag shaped Inari-zushi, with the vinegar flavored rice wrapped in deep-fried tofu. On the other hand, the Inari-zushi in Kansai has a triangle shape and the stuffed vinegar rice is visible at the bottom. This shape reminds one of a fox ear, as well as of Mount Inari in Kyoto, where the Fushimi Inari Shrine is located.In addition, the Inari-zushi in Kanto has just vinegar flavored rice inside. On the other hand, in Kansai the filling is usually mixed with various other ingredients.Try Inari-zushi at Traditional Stores!Sushi made with high quality fish is of course delicious, but how about trying also the Inari-zushi, a dish loved by the people? It is really good to grab an Inari-zushi when you are hungry. Is is also a good choice when you feel just a little hungry. Please do try the traditional taste of Inari-zushi at old, long-established stores.・Kanda-shinoda Sushi in TokyoKanda-shinoda Sushi was opened in 1902, and is a famous store among Inari-zushi lovers. Here you can get to enjoy the taste of Edo (the old name of Tokyo)! Famous department stores found in Tokyo also have stands of Kanda-shinoda Sushi selling the same products as the main store.Address: Tokyo, Chiyoda ward, Kanda Awajicho 2-2Official Website: http://www.kanda-shinodasushi.co.jp/frame.htm (Japanese Only)・Otsuna-sushi in TokyoOtsuna-sushi was opened in 1875. Their own style of Inari-zushi is well known all over Japan. The charm of their Inari-zushi is the taste of the deep-fried tofu. The fried tofu is turned inside out and flavored with yuzu (a citrus fruit). The refreshing flavor of the yuzu will spread in your mouth when you have a bite, leaving a great aftertaste.Address: Tokyo, Minato ward, Roppongi 7-14-16Official Website: http://www.otsuna-sushi.com/ (Japanese Only)・Nezameya in KyotoNezameya was opened in 1540, and is one of the oldest stores in Japan! Its greatest charm is the location: it is found at the end of a path behind Fushimi Inari Shrine. Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who unified Japan by military power in the sixteenth century, liked this store and he was the one who named it. Their Inari-zushi contains hemp seeds and has a very unique texture.Address: Kyoto, Kyoto city, Fushimi ward, Fukakusa Inarionmaecho 82Official Website: http://nezameya.com/eng/index.html・Otowa in KyotoOtowa was opened in the middle of the Meiji era (Around 1900). Their Inari-zushi is lightly seasoned with a typical seasoning of the Kansai region. It is also smaller in size, making it easy to eat. Carrots, burdock root, as well as sesame seeds are mixed in the vinegar flavored rice, creating the specific delicious taste the Kansai region is famous for.Address: Kyoto, Nakagyo ward, Shinkyogoku street, Nakanomachi 565Official Website: http://kyoto-sushi.jp/member/otowa.htmlSpeaking of sushi, nigiri-zushi (fish on top of rice) is the best-known outside Japan. We highly recommend you also try Inari-zushi, which will let you experience one of the tastes loved by common Japanese people. Inari-zushi is abura-age (thin deep-fried tofu) cooked in a sweet sauce, with a filling of vinegar flavored rice. The rice filling can be as it is, or mixed with other ingredients such as sesame, carrots, shiitake mushrooms and others. Although Isari-zushi is a type of sushi, you will probably not find it at high-class sushi restaurants. It is normally sold at small local stores or specialized take-out stores. One of the charms of inari-zushi is that it can be easily eaten with one hand.The Origin of Inari-zushi In Japan there are Inari shrines in every region. These shrines are dedicated to Inari, the deity protecting the crops. At Inari shrines we usually bring offerings of deep-fried tofu or Inari-zushi and place them before the fox statues on the shrine grounds. It is said that foxes are the messengers of the god Inari. It is believed about foxes that they like deep fried mice, however killing mice is a taboo. Instead of mice, people have started offering deep-fried tofu to the Inari messengers. Tofu is made from beans.Gradually, newly harvested rice began to be added as a filling to the fried tofu, as a sign of gratitude for good crops towards the god Inari. This dish is now called Inari-zushi, Oinari-san, or kitsune-zushi (with “kitsune” meaning “fox”), and it has been loved by the Japanese for a long time.The Inari-zushi in Kanto and Kansai Are Different!
Rihanna, Kendrick Lamar, Selena Gomez, Major Lazer, and Metallica will headline the 2016 Global Citizen Festival, the annual free-ticketed event on the Great Lawn in Central Park in New York City on Saturday, September 24, 2016.The Festival will harness actions from millions of Global Citizens around the world to hold world leaders accountable to the progress made toward achieving the Global Goals set out by the United Nations last year.Special guest performances will be given by Usher, Chris Martin, Eddie Vedder, Ellie Goulding, Yandel, and Yusuf.Hosts for this year’s Festival will include Chelsea Handler, Deborra-lee & Hugh Jackman, Neil Patrick Harris, Priyanka Chopra, Salma Hayek Pinault, and Seth Meyers.Over the past five years, the Festival has served as a convening moment where tens of thousands of Global Citizens have come together to celebrate the commitments their campaigning efforts have helped achieve. Since 2012, more than six million actions from Global Citizens have led world leaders to enact policy changes and commit significant resources to issues of girls and women’s equality, education, health, water and sanitation, environment, finance and innovation, and food and hunger. These financial and policy commitments and announcements are set to affect the lives of up to 656 million people.“Over the last five years, Global Citizens around the world have taken more than 6 million actions in the fight against extreme poverty – actions that are set to affect the lives of over 650 million of the world’s most marginalized people. This year’s Festival – and this incredible lineup – is an annual touch point to hold our world leaders to account on their commitments to solve the world’s biggest problems,” said Hugh Evans, CEO of Global Citizen.Marco Bizzarri, President and CEO of Gucci said, “Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE are proud to again be presenting partners at the Global Citizen Festival, as it celebrates its fifth anniversary. Through our long term partnership with Global Citizen we maintain our ongoing commitment to take action on behalf of girls’ and women’s empowerment, through one of today’s fastest growing and most progressive movements.” Bizzarri continued, “Achieving gender equality is not an option but a necessity, if the world is to successfully overcome the epidemic of extreme poverty.”Selena Gomez said, “I couldn’t be more honored to participate in the Global Citizen Festival as it continues to help solve important issues around the world. I am particularly proud to be involved this year as the focus is on education. As an artist with many young fans, I believe everyone has the right to an education.”“We’re honored to be a part of this year’s Global Citizen Festival and the initiative to end global poverty. We’re humbled to join such an impressive lineup and to be working with a Festival so dedicated to education and raising awareness,” said Major Lazer.Ellie Goulding said, “I’m thrilled to be a part of the Global Citizen movement. I hope to shine a spotlight on the importance of protecting our environment and ensuring access to safe water in the fight against global poverty. Together we can use our voices to urge our leaders to take action and support the health and development of citizens everywhere and preserving the world for future generations.”Yandel said, “I’m truly grateful to be part of the Global Citizen Festival this year and to have the opportunity to lend my voice and bring awareness to the many issues affecting children, women, and our society as a whole. I want to encourage my fans all over the world to join us and help us make a difference in the world.”Yusuf/Cat Stevens said, “While much of the world’s great cities are becoming no-go areas and ruins besieged by fear and divisive conflicts, it’s great to see a global counter-movement for peace through rebalancing of wealth beyond politics and towards human equality.”“I am proud and excited to be a part of such an important movement with Global Citizen,” said Chelsea Handler. “The Festival helps bring serious issues into the broader conversation and encourages people to take action. This year’s focus is women and girls, which is such a prevalent topic in our society, I hope lending my voice and my action to this can help to positively impact those.”Deborra-lee & Hugh Jackman said, “We are so happy to be returning as hosts for another amazing Global Citizen Festival. The impact this organization continues to deliver for the world’s poor is tremendous and we can’t wait to see the tens of thousands of activists who took action and showed up for extreme poverty celebrating their achievements on the lawn of Central Park!”“The spirit of the Global Citizen Festival is something very dear to me. With the opportunities to travel I’ve been given through my work, I see the world as an interconnected force – and this Festival is an incredible example of the power of looking across our borders, and working together for the greater good. I’m very much looking forward to co-hosting this year, with such an amazing group of talent,” said Priyanka Chopra.“I am honored to return as co-host of the Global Citizen Festival,” said Salma Hayek Pinault. “As co-founder of CHIME FOR CHANGE, I’ve been deeply inspired by the girls and women I have met around the world who are determined to get an education and build a better future. They are truly the agents of change who can help to bring an end to extreme poverty,” Hayek Pinault added. “I am proud to join thousands of Global Citizens at the Festival to help achieve real and meaningful change.”MSNBC & Comcast NBCUniversal will serve as the premier media partner of the Global Citizen Festival for the third consecutive year. The network will air a live simulcast of the full concert on MSNBC and MSNBC.com. The Festival will be produced by Emmy Award-winning producer, Ken Ehrlich (Grammy Awards).Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE return as presenting partner.YouTube is once again a worldwide digital streaming partner for the Festival and will feature a special livestream of the full concert at YouTube.com/GlobalCitizen, presented by Google’s Made with Code movement.iHeartMedia and the Global Citizen Festival will once again partner to help channel the power of music to fight inequality, protect our planet and end extreme poverty by 2030. For the fifth consecutive year, iHeartMedia is the official radio partner of the Festival. This year the two iconic events take place on the same weekend allowing for unique in-show collaborations and a special cross-over performance by Usher who will perform on both stages in one night.Global Citizens can earn their admission to the free-ticketed Festival by joining the social action platform at globalcitizenfestival.com. Ticket draws will occur throughout the summer and fans will be notified via Global Citizen when they have been selected. A limited number of VIP tickets will also be available for purchase through Ticketmaster starting on Thursday, July 28th.The Festival’s premier media partner MSNBC & Comcast NBCUniversal, join major partners Caterpillar, Citi, Clear Channel Outdoor, iHeart, Johnson & Johnson, Google’s Made with Code, YouTube, Live Nation, and NYC Parks.This year’s announcement coincides with the Festival’s Education Campaign, which provides an opportunity for existing and new fans and activists to earn tickets to the Festival by completing actions to help promote and ensure that equitable and quality education is available to all, particularly refugee children and access for girls & women. One in 10 children worldwide still goes through life without a basic primary education.The Festival has also partnered with leading non-profit groups: UNICEF, World Vision, CARE, ONE Campaign, Save the Children, UN Foundation, OXFAM, GAVI, The Global Fund, Global Partnership for Education, US for UNICEF, Water Aid, WSSCC, Malala Fund, Speak Up Africa, Equality Now, Hopeland, and the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.People everywhere are invited to sign-up, take actions, and enter the prize draws for free tickets. In total, almost 50,000 free tickets to the Festival will be given out to Global Citizens. For more information about the artists, schedules, and event, please visit www.globalcitizenfestival.com.
Noida (UP): After inauguration of Delhi Metro’s extended Blue Line section to Electronic City in Noida, a dedicated pathway for commuters to access the Aqua Line too was opened on Saturday, officials said.The nearly 300-metre long pathway linking the Blue Line’s Sector 52 station to the Aqua Line’s Sector 51 was opened around 4 pm, Noida Metro Rail Corporation (NMRC) officials said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier in the day flagged off the Blue Line’s extended corridor from Noida City Centre to Electronic City, part of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) network. Also Read – Bangla Sahib Gurudwara bans use of all types of plastic itemsThe new section has six stations –Sector 34, Sector 52, Sector 61, Sector 59, Sector 62 and Noida Electronic City, all of them elevated. The extended section would also help commuters from Indiarapuram in Ghaziabad, situated across the National Highway 9. The connecting pathway was inspected by DMRC Managing Director Mangu Singh, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development Secretary D S Mishra along with senior NMRC officials. Five solar-powered e-rickshaws are available at both the stations to ferry commuters without any charge. The people can also walk on the pathway. A rickshaw ride, as inspected today, takes around 1.20 minutes, while walking the stretch takes around 3.50 minutes, NMRC Executive Director P D Upadhyaya said. Also Read – After eight years, businessman arrested for kidnap & murderWhen asked, the executive director confirmed that commuters will have to undergo security check at respective stations after interchanging between the two different metro lines. Tickets and smart cards of the Aqua Line cannot be used on the Delhi Metro and vice versa. The NMRC, which operates the 29.7 km-long Aqua Line corridor connecting Noida and Greater Noida, also announced a fare discount for commuters on Sundays and national holidays. People travelling more than three stations will be eligible for the discount which can be availed through QR-coded tickets as well as the metro smart card.
Marrakech – Historically and socially, Moroccan youth have been deprived of a meaningful participation in political, economic and social life. They lack basic access to information and education and/or are considered unfit for leadership positions in their communities. This lacking is contradictory to the desire most young people have to be active in their environment.The belief that youth have a rebellious attitude and a chaotic mindset has been refuted by the sense of citizenship and engagement many young people show. Today’s youth try to access and participate through working hard and engaging in their society. Still, the political will does not correspond with these aspirations. And with these two at odds with each other, coupled with the high rates of unemployment and illiteracy, Moroccan youth are in a dire situation.Experiencing most of these youth hindrances enhanced my interest in youth participation. So, I analyzed the government’s attitudes towards this situation. I concluded that its measures are shy and the mechanisms to promote young people are either not very clear or not activated. My curiosity further led me to research the relevant World Bank reports. At first sight, I was amazed to learn how the World Bank as an independent foreign institution view Moroccan people like me. Then, I realized that it is a very detailed description of the situation of youth in Morocco.Based upon my research and experiences, it seems that the key to any positive change in Morocco is considering youth as a critical group. Young people must have more access to proper education and decision-making positions. A 2012 report by the World Bank (No. 68731 –MOR entitled: Promoting Youth Opportunities and Participation, June 2012) stresses that education is an important factor in the economic development of young people and the economy of Morocco in general since youth constitute a majority of the population.The urgency of this topic is clear because, as the report mentions, youth exclusion lead to high-risk behaviors, which leads to higher unemployment rate and pressure on wages. The probably result shows the need to increase youth participation and involvement in good citizenship practices.The solution can be found in: 1- Promoting employability and maintaining the link with the labor market and entrepreneurship. 2- Enhancing participation of youth in the ‘programs’ and in designing youth policies, considering that the interventions adopt a sensitive gender and age categories approach. Another key is expanding the coverage of well-designed intervention to leave greater impact.Synergy must be created to maintain and strengthen good cross-sectoral cooperation. Critical need for youth inclusion in the quality of services and accountability is highly recommended. Youth participation must be recognized by giving allowance for their work. Their participation should be taken through institutional channels.Transition to employment is done through reforms in education partnership between public agencies, the government, and promoting training youth centers. Transition to citizenship is done through interventions such as increasing youth abilities to have ‘voice’ and helping them design their own programs. The key areas for intervention are :Promoting employment and entrepreneurship( through training + comprehensive programs…)Promoting active youth participation and citizenship ( providing support to youth-led organizations and initiatives + youth volunteering programs and services.)To be continued…© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) backed the announcement that the Government of Papua New Guinea will investigate the reported crimes, and called on authorities to take “appropriate legal action” against any perpetrators. “Worldwide, UNAIDS and OHCHR condemn acts of violence, stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV and are fully committed to supporting governments to protect their people from such human rights violations,” according to the statement, issued in Port Moresby, the capital of Papua New Guinea. The two agencies said they also welcomed the Government’s efforts to widen access to HIV services in rural areas, such as around Tari in the province of Southern Highlands. “Widespread ignorance about HIV in isolated rural communities increases the risk of HIV infection and can fuel acts of violence, stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV,” the agencies added. The latest update on the disease by UNAIDS and the UN World Health Organization (WHO), released last December, described the AIDS epidemic as “serious and growing” in Papua New Guinea. About 57,000 people over the age of 15 are estimated to be living with HIV, which gives the country an adult national prevalence rate of 1.8 per cent, and at least 2,000 new infections have been reported every year since 2002, by far the worst figures in all of Oceania. The report said the data could worsen soon as Papua New Guinea has many risk factors, including high rates of concurrent sexual partnerships, sexually transmitted infections, ‘transactional sex’ and acts of sexual and physical violence against women, comparatively early sexual initiation and low rates of condom use. 30 August 2007The United Nations human rights chief and the world body’s HIV/AIDS agency today issued a joint statement voicing alarm at reports that people living with HIV have been buried alive in the Southern Highlands region of Papua New Guinea.