Manhole Covers in Shizuoka Prefecture 38: Nishigaya Sports Center in Shizuoka City!

August 17, 2015
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Nishigaya Sports Center is located far away, about 30 minutes by bicycle from Shizuoka Station on the other side of the Abe River. That is probably why I never realised they might have, and an ancient one at that, their own particular manhole covers!

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They are all, 21 of them, located in the middle of a street running along the sports center (none were found near the baseball stadium, though). There are two types,most often in pairs, although of the exactly same design.
They were probably installed in 1990 when the Sports Center was completed, making them very old by Shizuoka standards!

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The “denki/電気/underground electric cables manhole cover”!

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The “Tachi Aoi/たち葵/Hollyhock”, emblem flower of Shizuoka City!

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A “Tsubame/燕/Swallow”, one of the two Shizuoka emblem birds (the other one is the kingfisher)!

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The “Osui/汚水/spent waters” type!

I have a strong hunch they will soon be replaced so keep an eye on them!

Manhole Covers in Shizuoka Prefecture 37: The One That Will Never Appear On Shizuoka City Streets!

August 10, 2015
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Last Friday the Shizuoka City Water and Sewers Department were holding an unusual and very instructive exhibition to make the public aware of their work from manhole covers to the functioning of toilets with a strong accent pn public hygiene!

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Visitors were greeted with two of these public water spouts in shape of dragon head!

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Quite a few fire hydrant and waterways manhole covers in their mint form were on display including a guest in the shape of a flowery design from Aichi Prefecture!

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of course the hollyhock, emblem flower of Shizuoka City (for waterways) was exhibited!
Actually there exist more than 8 types of the same design!

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There was also a mint of a fire hydrant manhole cover from Shimizu City before its merger with Shizuoka City!

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The start display was of the three most recent fire hydrant manhole covers in Shizuoka City!

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I have described those two in recent articles!

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This one was minted in 2007 to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the retirement of Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu to Sumpu (the old name of Shizuoka City!)!

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This was laid on February 24th this year to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the Death of Lord Tokugawa Ieyasu in our city!

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These are the very newest designs to be laid in Shizuoka City!

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The character on all three designs is a kingfisher, the emblem bird of Shizuoka City!
But unfortunately it will be some time before we can admire them in our streets!

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This is the mint of a firefighting kingfisher!
When I asked the civil servants where we could them, they first replied they did not know exactly.
Later they were kind enough to meet me again with more of their colleagues who were actually extremely helpful and kind.
The story is we will never see this particular design as it was found out the surface would become too slippery when wet. Therefore this has become a mint proof that will ot be reproduced.
On the other hand the city is re-designing the cover to improve its safety but no one knew when they would appear yet!

A rare find if there is one!
Great for my collection until we see the new ones!
It would be a sham not to discover them as they are so cute!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

KURA: Traditional Japanese Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 27: Akino Family House in Shimada City!

August 8, 2015
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“Kura” (in Japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditional Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.

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the other day I noticed a kura hidden inside a big property and s\decided to investigate!
The whole property was locked up and unfortunately access and views were very limited in spite of its splendid state!

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I decided to find the entrance of the property where I found this commemorative pillar erected beside the entrance gate!
It stated that this home erected during the Meiji Era was owned by the Akino Family and had been designated as a national Cultural Asset in 1935!

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Beside the very door hung this name plate with name of Akino Family and a rare kind of Arms representing agricultural tools! The Arms were evidently inspired by those of noble families in Europe!
I found out later that the Akin Family was probably the richest and the most powerful family in Edo Period and beyond in Shimada City which was then one of the richest cities in the Prefecture!
Unfortunately in spite of its status as a Cultural Asset it is uninhabited and closed to the public although local politicians are fighting to have it open as a local Museum!

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What I found hidden behind all manners of vegetation was not one but a double imposing kura!
I was told there was even a third one hidden by trees inside the promises!
The family must have been enormously rich!

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Still in incredibly good state and repair!

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Unusually tall walls with their alignment hooks still unmoved or unbent!
I was told the kura contained an incredible wealth of documents and what else!

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A shame we can see only a glimpse of it all!

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The double kura from the back!

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All windows safely barred!

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Splendid roofing!

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It is good-by for the moment but I sincerely hope that one day I will be allowed to discover all that is hidden behind these trees!

Arabian Nights Build Raika III in Yoshiwara, Fuji City-The Tackiest Building in Shizuoka Prefecture!

July 26, 2015
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Sometimes, through pure chance, you discover a seemingly completely out of place sight in a city in Japan!

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At the very end of Honcho Street in Yoshiwara,Fuji City, I discovered what could be considered the tackiest building in Shizuoka Prefecture: Arabian Nights Build Raika III!

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The side entrance to the access to the joints on the side of the buuilding.
Mind you it just for a field day for a photographer in search of the unusual of of the very bad taste of an era gone!

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Stairway to heaven?

It is actually still very much in use!
Obviously the whole building houses entertainments of the dubious kind…
Interestingly enough, the name of “Yoshiwara” is found in many a city in Japan as the name for the local “amusement quarters”!

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I wonder if ladies invite customers from that veranda at night?

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Two of the signs say “Holy Night” and “Casanova”!

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The flowers on the first flower means that a new place has just opened!

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Not short of well-wishers!

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Stained glass windows?

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Pity I didn’t have the time to admire it with all the neon lights ablaze at night!

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Did you know that the color “pink” in Japan means the same as the color “blue” in Western countries? LOL

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An emergency escape route for a pennyless customer?

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A Ramen Club! Serious!

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Still a Chinese Dragon is a bit out of place, a desert jinn wuld have been more appropriate!

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The irony of it all is that the back exit of the alley opens onto a large Buddhist temple cemetery!
From Paradise to Hell, or vice versa?

Access:
Get off at Yoshiwara JR Railway Station along the Tokaido railway Line. Transfer to the Yaoshiwara Station of the private Gakunan Railways and get off at “Yoshiwara Honcho” Station.
Walk straight till the very end of Honcho Street!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Manhole Covers in Shizuoka Prefecture 36: Fuji City, Yoshiwara, Honcho!

July 25, 2015
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With all the mergers enacted these past years, it has become difficult to explain locations in Shizuoka Prefecture!
Yoshiwara is now integral part of Fuji City but its JR Railway Station is distinct!
First get off Yoshiwara Station and walk to the private Gakunan raliway Line Yoshiwara Station and board a train to Yoshiwara Honcho Station (bear mind that many stations have very similar names!).
Walk towards Honcho Street.

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Keep your eyes open as you will discover all kinds of manhole covers, mostly fire hydrant covers either of geometrical designs or full designs either plain or colored, either on the pavement or on the very street!

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A large plain Mount Fuji manhole cover!

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The same in a smaller type!

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But the real discoveries are to be made along the street parallel on your right you will reach by discovering the Tenjin Shinto Shrine/天神社 at the first intersection! you will find the first remarkable manhole cover right in front of the shrine gate!

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A beautifully colored Mount Fuji!

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What is this one!

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“Kaguyahime/かぐや姫/The bamboo Girl Legend”, the manhole cover generally considered as the most beautiful in Japan, complete with Mount Fuji!

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Keep your eyes open!

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Another fire hydrant manhole cover! These are often surrounded with a square yellow frame for better sighting at night!
This design is pretty common all over Japan, but a small crest design will tell you the exact location!

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A beautiful fire truck design, also pretty common throughout Japan but once again the small crest design will make the difference!

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Don’t overlook the small gas valve covers as they sometimes have all kinds of designs!

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Another one still with same crest design!

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And another one!

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This one is from the Shizuoka Gas Company found all over the Prefecture!

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Happy hunting!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

KURA: Traditional Japanese Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 26: Shimada City, near baseball Stadium

July 23, 2015
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“Kura” (in Japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditional Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.

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The other day, as I was exploring the south side of Shimada City JR Railway Station I discovered another kura, white this time, just standing next to Ykoi Factory and its enormous red-brick warehouse!

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By individual home standards the two-storey kura was big!

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The ancient door is still in good functional state!

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Actually it has two main doors, a bit unusual fact which probably means the inside is divided into two distinct rooms.

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For all its apparent grime, the building is very sound as shown by the straight alignment of the “hooks”!

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I would say it is still used as a large farm equipment shed!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

KURA: Traditional Japanese Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 25: Shimada City, Yokoi Factory

July 16, 2015
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“Kura” (in Japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditional Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.

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The other day I was exploring the south side of Shimada City when I discovered this enormous red brick kura near the Shimada Baseball Stadium.
As it was obviously part of a bigger complex I decided to investigate in earnest!

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I walked around it for a few pictures first!
With all that ivy contrasting on the red bricks I could easily imagine a movie being enacted nearby!

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Ivy!

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The windows must have been locked for quite some time!

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Apparently the ivy was not growing at that end…

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It certainly looked old.
Red brick kuras are rare in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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I finally reached the entrance to the normous complex where the kura was located.
It all belonged to the Yokoi Factory of Tokushu Tokai Seishi Kabushiki Kaisha (Special Tkai Paper Company)!

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It was a Saturday and the company was closed, but the guard kindly informed me that the Kura, although presently unused due to its bad state, dated back to 90 years ago. He also old me that the original wooden office building of the same period could be found inside the complex.
He was also kind enough to tell me to come back on a week day when I could get official permission to visit it!

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The kura from inside the company grounds.

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It is completely locked out because of risks of collapse!

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Looking forward to the “official” visit!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Kura: Traditional Japanese warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 24: Shimada City, Tochiyama

April 1, 2015

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“Kura” (in Japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditional Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.

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If you get off at Rokugo JR Station (六合駅) and walk towards Shimada City you will discover two kuras before you reach the Tochiyama Bridge (栃山橋) over theOotsuya River (大津谷川).

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The Tochiyama Bridge (栃山橋)

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You will find the first not halfway from Rokugo Station!

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It is standing beside a very large traditional Japanese house which seems unoccupied but the kura itself is in good repair and obviously used by local farmers. It must have been owned by the former rich owners of the house.

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The windows were kept open, a sure sign of use!

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Back view.

All the walls and roof are in very good repair.

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Side view.

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Front angled view.

Unfortunately it was very difficult to access.

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Very little space between the door and the house!

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Beautiful pinion!

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Well maintained rain drainage!

I really wished I could have gone inside!

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You will find the second one your left just before the bridge!

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Very old and slightly derelict it is still very much in use!

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It is comparatively very big with a lot of roofing!

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It certainly needs a good scrub and re-plastering!

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Very long!

I suspect it is being used as a warehouse by local tea growers!

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Only the back has been clearly repaired!

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Mind you, the whole edifice still looks very very strong!

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The original pinion is still there!

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I’ve always wondered what these contraptions are for!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Nishinomiya-Oibessan Shrine (西宮おいべっさん) in Shizuoka City!

March 2, 2015

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Along the Tenmacho Street, not far from Cenova Department Store in Aoi KU, Shizuoka City stands an old Shinto Shrine dedicated to the God of Merchants and Fishermen, Oibessan also known under the names of Ebessan and Ebisu!

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Although it was last rebuilt in 1856, it is said to date back as afar as the 8th Century.
It is under the jurisdiction of the Nishinomiya Shrine in Tokyo.

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It is a comparatively simple shrine in a very quiet place, unassuming at first glance, but if you know how to look you will discover some interesting details!

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The roofed hand washing stone basin and a couple of old trees which have somehow survived!

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Have a good look at the small roof!

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The right hand side lion guard (“koma inu”)!

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And its companion on the left side!

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The main shrine building!

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The rice straw garland (“shimenawa”) and the bell rope but no money offerings box (“saisenbako”)?

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Unusual and exquisite wooden crane, a symbol of good luck!

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The main building hides and older original shrine at its back!

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An old crest (“mon”)!

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A seabream (“tai”), a symbol of plenty!

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The Ebisu god!

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The older shrine at the back!

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An old stone lantern with a cloud motif!

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Another stone lantern at the far back with a deer motif!

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The oldest tree at the shrine!

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The older shrine from the back!

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Typical architecture!

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Good-bye, Oibessan!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Sengen Shrine in Shizuoka City getting ready for the New Year!

December 25, 2014

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Sengen Shrine, the biggest Shinto shrine in Shizuoka City, has been showing some frenzied preparations for the coming New Year and it is always a good time for some some interesting photography with the clear weather helping!

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There are many entrances to the Shrine. Enter through the main entrance first gate right across from a tall white stone torii/sacred gate!

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Then proceed to the actual main entrance (called “soomon/総門”)!

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The gate is guarded by two solemn seated figures!

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Eyes bearing on you!

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The traditional rice straw garland!

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More guards in the shape of lions!

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Lions everywhere!

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Even a dragon floating overhead as you pass under!

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Then proceed to the main shrine (called “Roumon/楼門”)!

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Make a point to wash your hands at the stone water basin!

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Another dragon will help you there!

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You will discover a painted traditional new Year board!

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The 16-petal chrysanthemum signifies that Sengen Shrine is related to the Imperial House!

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Next year will be the Year of the Ram!

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The painting was designed by 15 students at Tokoha University in Shizuoka City!

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See you there again at the New Year!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Big Bad Wolf chasing Little Red Hood: Isetan Department Store Christmas Decoration in Shizuoka City!

December 5, 2014

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Isetan Department Store for once has made a big effort to decorate its premises for the coming Christmas hanks to a great artist Finland whose works you can also admire on the windows of Isetan Department Store in Shinjuku, Tokyo!

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Don’t trust that wolf around a corner of the store!

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Little Red Hood hiding behind a pillar?

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They seem on friendly terms, Though!

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Father Christmas’ mount?

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Owl and friend surveying the scene outside!

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More reindeer waiting to join the fun!

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Lapp hunters guarding the entrance!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Face-Painting at Daidogei Festival in Shizuoka City!

November 3, 2014

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The Daidogei or Shizuoka Daidogei World Cup, that is Street performers festival is taking place this year Friday October 31st~October 1st.
On Friday i wasn’t in Shizuoka City and the rain ruined Saturday completely but I could finally meet again some famous face painting artists yesterday!

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Lucie Brouillard of Calgary, Canada, Body Painting World Champion 2010 and Face Painting World Champion 2009!

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What is that little boy going to look like?

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Here you are!

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Halloween is just gone past!

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Lucie had some interesting comments on Japan and face painting in Japan.
Notwithstanding the safety and top-class hygiene of the country, the Japanese people show enormous respect to artists and try to communicate with them, whereas in her country they are ignored.

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The Japanese kids are probably the easiest to work on in the World as they do ot move at all when beiing painted.

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They also have a thick and smooth skin easy to work on.

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Lucie’s favorite of the day!

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Liz Mortlock is the other a super-talented, also from Calgary, Canada, who has become the main feature in the streets of Shizuoka Ciy with Lucie!
Always laughing and constantly complimenting her charges!

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That kid is thinking about a second mother!

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Or maybe a new grandmother!

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Sister and brother!

I don’t have to tell that rain or shine , the two artists have already been working like mad for two days, and today, Monday 3rd, promising to be shiny and hot, they’ll be exhausted at the end of the day!

Will check on them today again!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Kikkawa Hachiman (吉川八幡神社) Shrine in Kitsunegasaki Chyo in Shimizu Ku, Shziuoka City!

October 9, 2014

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If you board the Shizutetsu railway Line from Cenova department Store in Aoi Ku, shizuoka City towards Shimizu Ku, get off at Kitsunegazaki (狐ヶ崎) Station and walk above and across the Railway Line on your left and you will discover another isolated old shrine!

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A placard stating that the old torii gate stood in a different spot!

You do have to walk around to find the round entrance!

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The old side entrance from which the original torii gate has disappeared!

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The general view of the shrine!

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An ancient stone lantern hidden in the surrounding vegetation!

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The stone hand washing basin with its roof!

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The stone lanterns and lion guards denote its local importance!

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The usual cloud and deer carvings!

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Ans also the mountain carving!

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The “smiling” guard lion on the left!

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Its right front paw resting on a smaller lion!
One day I will have to find the reason for this!

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The “roaring” guard lion on the right!

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Its left front paw resting on a ball!

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Old stone stairs climbing around the right of the front shrine!

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Looking backward from the same stairs!

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The front shrine building shaped as a gate bears the name of Hyahata Shrine/八幡神社!

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Looking backward from under the first building!

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This front building was erected in 1958!

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Year of the Horse placard!

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Interesting ancient map!

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A small museum?

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Local history!

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The older shrine at the back with the bell cord and rice straw garland!

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It certainly looks in service!

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A small peak inside!

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Roofing in good repair!

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More history!

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Good-bye Kikkawa Hachiman Shrine!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Monjyu Yashiro (文殊社神社) & Atago (愛宕神社) Shrines in Sakurabashi Chyo in Shimizu Ku, Shziuoka City!

October 5, 2014

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If you board the Shizutetsu railway Line from Cenova department Store in Aoi Ku, shizuoka City towards Shimizu Ku, get off at Sakurabashi (桜橋駅) Station and walk above and acroos the Railway Line on your left and you will discover an isolated old shrine!

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Actually, like many other shrines in Japan, you will find not one, but two shrines!

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This fairly new post indicates that it is a 村社/sonjya or village shinto shrine!

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This is a very old shrine, indeed, dating back to Japan Feudal Era!

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A real stone hand-washing basin!

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The main shrine!

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Venerable trees is a sure sign of the old age of the shrine!

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Now I wonder what that very heavy metal lid is for? Probably the cover of a big fireplace for festivals?

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Elegant stone lantern!

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With the cloud and deer carvings as found in many other shrines!

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And a mountain carving!

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The other lantern seemed a lot older!

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The lantern is just too old to figure out what that carving represents!

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Now, that stone lantern is really new!

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A “smiling” lion guard on the left!

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Its “roaring” companion on the right!

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The main shrine with its rice straw garland, its bell and its wooden money offerings box!

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Monjyu Yashiro/文殊社 shrine!

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The smaller and older shrine behind it!

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Pity that such shrines at the back are unusually inaccessible!

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From the other side!

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The names of old benefactors!

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This old shrine is not dedicated t the same deities!

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This shrine dates back from the Tokugawa Ieyasu Lord Era!

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Atago/愛宕 shrine!

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Now, this is a truly old tree!

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No wonder it is considered as a natural cultural asset by the City of Shizuoka!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

Kura: Traditional Japanese Warehouse in Shizuoka Prefecture 23: Hon Tori, Shizuoka City!

October 3, 2014

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“Kura” (in Japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditional Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.

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thanks to the directions of my good friend, Atsuko Kurata, I found, atthe second attempt, this kura hidden along the Hon Tori Street in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!

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It is easy to miss as it is tucked away from the pavement at the end of a new car park, indicating it was probably the warehouse of a company that ceased to function. in such cases the Japanese owners of such abandoned businesses transform the area available into a car park.
I also noticed another minuscule kura in the front left corner.

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Can you distinguish the small white door on the left?

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The whole kura is quite big, so it must have been a commerce of a certain worth in the past!

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The front is still in pretty good repair, so it must be used as a shed by the owners in the house in the same enclosure.

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but the roof needs to be weeded!

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For a better view beside the owners’ house!

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On the other hand , the back looked pretty decrepit!

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Cement plastering flaking away…

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The back door lock is crudely blocked with cement.

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I’m afraid the owners are not ready to spend money on plastering!

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How long is it going to survive?

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

Shimada Mage (Topknot) Festival-島田髷まつり

September 23, 2014

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Last Sunday, September 21st, was held the Annual Shimada Mage (Topknot) Festival in Shimada City!
This festival is increasingly taking importance in our Prefecture and it has become a must for tourists, photographers and festival lovers!

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Festival drum and of the day!

There are several different theories regarding the origins of the Shimada Mage hair style.
Some say it was created by prostitutes working in the Shimada-juku inn district on the old Tokaido route to Edo.

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Tiny pose for the picture!

Others say it is the style used by the Kabuki actor Shimada Mankichi (1624-1643).

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Start of the drums marking the formal beginning of the festival!

Another theory is the Japanese word Shimeta, in the sense of tied-up hair, became “Shimada”.

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Hurrying to join the parade!

An alternative account is that Tora Gozen, a native of Shimada, devised the style herself.
Tora Gozen was a prostitute said to have been on good terms with Soga Juro Sukenari, the elder of the two brothers in the famous tale of Soga.
She is also depicted in Kabuki theater as Oiso no Tora, a key character in works such as Kotobuki no Taimen.

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Walking toward the first dance square!

In front of the Yakushiji Hall in the grounds of Uda-ji temple in the Noda district of Shimada City is a stoe memorial known locally as “the grave of Tora Gozen”.

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Worrying mother!
The ladies, from kindergarten to their thirties are all local, volunteer, and different every year!

Today, there are many traditional Japanese hair styles that carry the name Shimada, including the Bunkin Taka Shimada style widely used for brides at wedding ceremonies.

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Dancing on the square in front of Shimada JR Station North Exit!

Other styles include the Yuiwata Shimada, Kanoko Shimada, Osome Shimada, Oshidori Shimada, and the Yakko Shimada.

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The inaugural Shimada Nage Festival was held on September 17th, 1933, but it was suspended during the war years,
Thanks to the efforts of the Shimada Mage Festival Preservation Committee (Shimada Branch of the Hairdressers’ Union) the festival was re-launched in 1965 and has since become a major event in Shimada’s tourism calendar.

Uda-ji’s temple main hall houses an exhibition of hairpieces in many different styles. Visitors have the opportunity to peruse the exhibits close-up.

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Traditional Japanese hairstyles (nihon-gami in Jaanese) are categorized into four distinct traditions: the Taregami and Kogai styles used by nobles of the Imperial court; Hyogo mage, with a strong influence from the Asian mainland; Katsuyama Mage, purpotedly pioneered by a prostitute from the warrior class named Katsuyama; and the threefold Shimada Mage style, conceived by the prostitute Tora Gozen. Evolving in Japan’s distinct social conditions, these styles sometimes functioned as emblems of the wearer7s socail class, age, occupation, and other characteristics.

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Shimada Mage is the most popular traditional Japanese hair style.

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It has been worn since the 13th century, but like the other Japanese hair styles, it developed mainly during the 18th century, as part of a wider blossoming of Japanese tradional culture.

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The Shimada Mage Festival is held on thr third Sunday of September each year. Women dressed in matching yukata (summer kimono) and a variety of traditional Japanese and Shimada hair styles parade through the d\streets of Shimada City.
The parade departs from the Hon-dori 7-chome intersection at noon. It stops to perform dances in Obi-dori street, the square outside the Shimada Station, and various other locations, before proceeding to Oi-jinja shrine. At the shrine a further dance is performed, dedicate to the Ubusuna deity. After a short break the parade resumes, passing the Shimada City Hospital, and on to Uda-ji Temple. Dances are performed at the temple in honor of tora Gozen and the Buddha, and a thanksgiving ceremony is held at the main temple hall where a variety of Japanese-style hairpieces are on display. (The parade participants and others involved in teh festival also pay their respects at the grave of Tora Gozen.

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Various Shimada hair style

*Taka Shimada
The most handsome of all Shimada styles. Usually worn by younger women. The Bunkin Taka Shimada variation, set highest and considered particularly elegant, is worn today by brides at weddings.

*Otome Shimada
A variant of Taka Shimada developed in downtown communities. Based on the Taka Shimada but distinguished by features such as a kanzashi hairpin inserted between the front and the side portions of the hair, and a piece of cloth placed on the topknot. Also called Saisoku Shimada.

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*Tsubushi Shimada
Popularized by townsfolk and women serving at inns in the early 1800s, and once the most widely worn of all Shimada styles. Tsubushi means “press down”, referring to the indentation in the center of the knot.

*Yuiwata
very popular in the mid-1800s among 18 to 19 year-old unmarried women. Prepared in the same way as the Tsubushi Shimada, but with a piece of cloth and/or cord added on the center of the knot. The knot also has a dinstictive rounded end.

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*Genroku Shimada
Initially worn among prostitutes in the Genroku era (late 1600s). Later became popular among young townsfolk. The hair is folded to produce a topknot that is narrow with a high end, tied in place with a cord.
**Other styles include Osome Shimada and Yakko Shimada.

Other classic Japanese hair atyles

*Katsuyama
Devised and popularized by Katsyuyama, a prostitute of the Yoshiwara district in old Tokyo. Worn mainly by wives of lords, warriors and other members of the upper classes in feudal times.

*Iccho Gaeshi
One of the most well known Nihongami styles. Worn by women of all ages from 15 through 60, and by both ordinary folk and those in the entertainment world.

*Fukiwa
Worn by princesses and other nobility. Also worn by characters in traditional theater such as Shizuka Gozen and Princess Yaegaki. Modeled on a style worn by women who were engaged or had a pre-arranged marriage partner. Thought to have inspired the Katsuyama style, and later evolved into the Maru Mage rounded style.

*Momoware
Worn by 17=18 year olds around teh 19th and 20th centuries. The rounded shape was thought to resemble a peach (momo), hence the style’s nmae.

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日本髪
“Nihongami” Japanese hair styles

Numerous variations of Nihongami (the Japanese hair style) can be treated using the four key partsof the hair: mage (topknot), maegami (front), bin (sides), and tabo (back)

*Mage (髷: the hair is brought together into a single bunch at the top of the head and toed round into a knot.

*Maegami (前髪): The hair near the forehead.

*Bin (鬢): The hair at the sides of the head, above the ears.

*Tabo (髱): The hair towards the back of the head. Also known as tsuto (つと) in West japan.

*Motodori (根髷): This term describes all the above parts together at the peak of the head. This motodori is then used to tie the mage or topknot.

*Kamoji (髢): A hairpiece.

*Kushi (櫛): A comb used to neaten hair and remove dirt.

*kanzashi (簪): A decorative hairpin, inserted at the front or rear of the hair.

*Kanoko (鹿の子): A tie-dyed accessory for hair. Often colored red or yellow.

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ACCESS TO SHIMADA

from Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport:
By car: approximately 15minutes to Yoshida Exit on the Tomei Expressway and 10 minutes to Sagara Makinohara Exit. About 30 minutes to JR Shimada or JR Kanaya Stations and downtown Shimada.

By bus: airport buses to shimada Station as wella s to shizuoka and Kakegawa Stations are on service.

[Inquiries]
Shimada City Tourism Association
14-2 Kanaya Shinmachi, Shimada City, Shizuoka Prefecture, 428-0047 japan
telephone: 0547-46-2844
Fax: 0547-46-2861
HOMEPAGE

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

Visiting Shizuoka Prefecture by Bus 2: Shimada City~Ikumi Line

September 8, 2014

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When you do not want to drive a car, nor ride a bicycle and when there is no railroad available the best means to travel through Shizuoka Prefecture is the bus. And it can prove cheaper as well!

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This time, still starting from Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Station North Exit Bus Platform, I went north along the Ikumi Line/Ikumi Sen/伊久身線 up in the mountains till the last station called Ikumi (different Japanese characters: 伊久美).
Note there is only one bus every hour!

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My bus!

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Although smaller than tourist buses, such vehicles have very large windows for perfect views!

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The trip altogether last an hour and runs along the Ooi River for about 20 minutes!
This particular line is heavily subsidized by the municipality to help tea farmers up in the mountains and the whole trip costs only 200 yen!

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The city is also taking care of some splendid lawn banks!

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Turning along the Ikumi River a tribute of the Ooi River!

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It becomes pretty narrow at times!

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It runs across narrow farm lands!

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in some areas it becomes a torrent between steep slopes!

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Some spots are very popular for camping, bathing and BBQ’s!

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The green tea grown on these mountains is among the best in Japan!

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These propellers help regulate the air and temperature for the tea leaves!

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Almost arrived!
Only 200 yen!

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My bus at the last stop up in the mountains!

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This very last stop is in Nihama!
Now, let’s walk and ride again!) all the way back to Shimada City to discover the sights!

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What’s over there?

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A splendid kura/蔵/Traditional Japanese warehoues in a perfect state!

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You will find some of the very old abodes of the local farmers!

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Green tea farms!

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A very ancient western-style house buit during the Meiji Era which now serves as a community center!

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It definitely warrants the appellation of a cultural asset!

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Look at that roof!

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Walking along the river…

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Green tea everywhere!

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More green tea!

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What are they doing?

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Catching ayu trouts!

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A sign to warn drivers that they are passing by an elementary school!

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It was a sweltering day and I would have welcomed a dip!

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Plenty of fish there, too!

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The local tea cooperative processing plant!

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The roof is green with tea particles!

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A wild boar hunters’ lodge!
The area is plagued with wild boars, deer and wild monkeys who feat on the farms!

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Some of the local farmers are still obviously well off!

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A double traditional house!

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With its rare and expensive linking hall!

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More modest traditional Japanese farmhouses!

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No, this house is not abandoned!

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It is a community agricultural equipment shed!

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Another ayu trout angler!

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The next bus stop!

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The last post office which also probably serves as a bank!

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The last Police box/”koban”!

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I had a great talk with this gentleman farmer!
He even gave me some frozen wild boar meat!

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We talked in front of his home while I was waiting for the next bus!

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A tiny house shrine!

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I discovered this house along the river decorated with wind toys!

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Beside the bus stop next to the house stood a local Shinto shrine!

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The shrine was called Ooi Uami Shrine dedicated to the Ooi River in Uami District!

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It concealed a far more ancient and minuscule shrine!

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There are many Shinto shrines all along the Ooi River indeed!

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The Hachiman Shrine in Kawaguchi!

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Another bigger one!

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The Kanza Ooi Shrine!

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An even bigger one as I got nearer back to the center of Shimada City!

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The Sonsha Ooi Shrine!

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And even a small one “floating” on a small river!

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But I couldn’t find its name!

Where shall I go next?

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

Sonsha Ooi Shrine (村社大井神社) & Sui Shrine (水神社) in Shimada City!

August 25, 2014

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If you take the Ikumi Line/伊久身線 in Shimada City you will notice a torii gate at the foot of a long stone stairway next to Mukaiaisuimon/向合水門 bus stop.

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At first I had surmised it was the location of a single shrine called Sonsha Ooi Shrine (村社大井神社) which can be translated to “Village Shrine under the jurisdiction of Ooi Shrine”

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The first torii gate at the foot of the flight of stairs!

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Actually there was a monument standing beside he same stairs!

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Probably marking the site of the original shrine!

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The stairs leading to the main shrine!

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Almost there!

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The main shrine!

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A real stone hand washing basin under its own roof!

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A very old wood money offerings box!

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The roof seemed in good enough repair!

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Walking around the main shrine I noticed something else behind.
Nothing surprising as very often bigger buildings are built in front of the original shrine to restrict the access!

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Can you see it?

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Access completely blocked from there!

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Try as I may I wouldn’t reach it that way!

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Neither from the left hand side!

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That is when I found a path leading up on the left!

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Trekking around it!

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The roof of the original shrine behind the main building!

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From a precarious height I could somehow see the largest part of it!

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I even managed to get down around it only to be blocked by a surrounding wall!

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I could also get an aerial view of the roof of the main building!

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A typical moon and sun stone lantern!

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Old wood!

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I’m afraid that is how far one can go barring a housebreak!

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I decided to walk back and down around it!

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A last glance!

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I had to tread carefully!

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Instead of cutting back along my steps I decided to walk more to the right along another narrow path. That is when I discovered the second shrine!

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Usual rice straw garland but unusual metal money offerings box!

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A different style of stone lantern!

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Another smaller and older shrine!

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Down a modern flight of stairs!

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What do we have here?

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The name of the shrine by the stone hand washing basin under a roof!
Sui Shrine (水神社)!

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It does not look as as impressive as the shrine it is supposed to look after!

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Same stone lantern as above!

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Its torii gate!

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The bridge leading to it!

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A quaint shrine!

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Good-bye, sui Shrine!

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Walking around back to the original entrance!

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How long has that tree been there?

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Good-bye Sonsha Ooi Shrine!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

Floating Shinto Shrine in Shimada City!

August 24, 2014

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If you ride along the Ikumi Line/伊久身線 in Shimada City you will discover a small new shnto shrine near the Dai Ichi Shogakou/第一小学校 bus stop!

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You can’t miss it as it is located near a cemetery amenities shop!

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It might be small but the bright white and red colors peek through the trees!

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You will see it across the street!

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This is the Shinto Shrine with its torii gate in front!

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But the building beside it is a Buddhist Temple!
It is not rare in Japan to find the two faiths cohabiting peacefully!

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The Temple is not that big but it is old although someone lives inside!

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Many temples and shrines share the same architectural characteristics!

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Interestingly enough the shrine, although it bears no visible name, has two different torii ates!

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A typical shrine color in Japan although it might vary between light orange and red purpleRE!

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But this one is very new!

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You are easily excused if you think at first this all the same religious site!

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The small temple is really old but its roofing is in good repair!

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But the rest of it might need some work!

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The walls areas simple as they can be!

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But I wouldn’t change the pinions!

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Taking a last peek around the building!

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Good-bye, “floating shrine”!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

Ooi Uami Shrine (大井鵜網神社)in Shimada City!

August 23, 2014

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I was walking down along the Ikumi River in the north east of Shimada City when I found this small shrine just beside Uami bus stop.
I couldn’t find its name mentioned until I met a grand lady almost as advanced in years as the strange alien man who spoke to her in Japanese. It must have been quite an event for her and she kindly, giggling all he time, explained that this particular shrine was under the jurisdiction of the very big Ooi Shrine in the center of Shimada City.
Although the Ikumi River is only a branch river of the Ooi River it benefits from the aura of its bigger elder.

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As demonstrated by the somewhat drab rice straw garland there are many people able to look after it these days….

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In its heydays worshipers must have felt solemn walking u the stairs between venerable cedar trees!

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It was a blazing hot day and even the stairs were welcome in the cool shade!

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A somewhat lonely hand washing stone basin!

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Almost there!

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The great thing about these shrines lost in the country is that they also include smaller and far older, and arguably more authentic shrines that were truly erected by locals!

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Who built this ages ago?

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Did descendants built this fairly new one!

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Now this minuscule stone shrine was erected before our era!

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The main shrine!

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An ancient money offerings wooden box!

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Meager rice straw garland!

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But a peek inside proved it is still actively worshiped!

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it is actually in good repair!

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But I feel more attracted to the smaller ones!

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The most venerated cedar tree of the site!

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Slowly walking back downstairs but trying to keep in the shade as long as possible!

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A rice straw garland lining two trees is quite unusual!

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Very old stairs indeed!

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Blazing summer afternoon!

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Good-bye, Ooi Shrine in Uami!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
rre.Cuisine
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents


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