Gion Festival in Yoshiwara, Fuji City (2016) 6): The O-Mikoshi/Portable Shrines!

June 19, 2016

MIKOSHI-23

Every year on the second week-end of June a very old Japanese Festival is held in Yoshiwara/吉原 in Fuji City/富士市 called Yoshiwara Gion Festival/吉原祇園祭り.
Although it is a well-known festival in Our Prefecture, it seems they welcome more visitors from Tokyo than from Shizuoka City!
A great pity indeed!
I was able at last to witness it, that is part of it as I had to unfortunately come back early in the evening missing the floats parade.
I still manage quite a few pictures to give a good idea of what to enjoy next year!
As there are too many photos for a single report I divided them according to their genre or subject.
This sixth one is about the O-Mikoshi!

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Small O-Mikoshi, probably for children to carry along!

O-Mikoshi/御神輿 is an integral part of Japanese Festivals as the latter are usually related to the Shinto religion. They can be roughly translated as portable shrines and they are usually stored inside Shinto Shrines all year long to be taken out on the day of the Shrine Festivals or on other Festivals.

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These can be relatively small or near enormous.
The one used during the Yoshiwara Gion Festival needs at least 20 strong men to carry along the streets of Yoshiwara!

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In other Festivals you will sometimes notice ladies helping with carrying, but in Yoshiwara only men are allowed to!

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The reason to carry and shake an O-Mikoshi around is to wake up the deity inside and make him/her happy enough to dispense his/her benevolence onto worshipers!

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The carrying around of the O-Mikoshi will take all afternoon as all the 21 Districts will take care of it in turns!

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The worshipers bowing in love and respect before carrying their deity around!

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The men may do the carrying but the ladies are always near wit water and sake!

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Smiling under the stress!

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Starting to feel the strain!

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But certainly not giving up!

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The next District team bow to the O-Mikoshi while the Kannushi/神主/Shinto priest goes through his rituals to bless the portable shrine and his bearers!

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Each district will contribute its own gifts and sake! Bear in mind that “sake”‘s original meaning is “Food of the Gods”!

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Very serious about it!

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Sake is then poured onto the shrine!
The “sasa/笹/a kind of bamboo tied to the shrine in the Yoshiwara fashion will be taken off branch by branch by the carriers to stay in their home until the next Festival for luck and prosperity!

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Of late foreigners take part in such festivals and Yoshiwara Gion Festival is no exception. There no less than three of them for this particular district!

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But all the shouting was done in Japanese!

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The bare-chested carriers belong to the local judo club. Others wear shirts mimicking the tattoos of bearers of old!

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Another expat sweating along!

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Grimacing under the effort!

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The last spurt!

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See you again next 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

Gion Festival in Yoshiwara, Fuji City (2016) 5): The Floats!

June 19, 2016

FLOATS-7

Every year on the second week-end of June a very old Japanese Festival is held in Yoshiwara/吉原 in Fuji City/富士市 called Yoshiwara Gion Festival/吉原祇園祭り.
Although it is a well-known festival in Our Prefecture, it seems they welcome more visitors from Tokyo than from Shizuoka City!
A great pity indeed!
I was able at last to witness it, that is part of it as I had to unfortunately come back early in the evening missing the floats parade.
I still manage quite a few pictures to give a good idea of what to enjoy next year!
As there are too many photos for a single report I divided them according to their genre or subject.
This fifth one is about the floats!

FLOATS-2

It was a bit unfortunate I had to leave before the festival floats were due to go out on the streets just before the night set with all the lanterns alight and drummers and revelers riding them.
Well, that will be my goal next year!
At least I walked around to gather some information.
My steps brought me into the Minami/South District where one of them was standing in its hangar.

FLOATS-1

I noticed the sake barrel and bottle and I was told that each of the 21 districts parading its float had its own barrel and bottles markd with the name of their district. All sake is honjozo brewed by Makino Brewery in Fujinomiya City (there hasn’t been a sake brewery in the City of Fuji for quite a long time!).

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The Minami District float inside its shelter/hangar!

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Carved Dragon!

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The float from the Moku District San Chome!

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What is that fierce deity?

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The float from the Rokken District!

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Kintaroo, the legendary hero!

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Looking after Mount Fuji!

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Lion guards!

Next year I will concentrate on these floats at night!
Promise!

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

Gion Festival in Yoshiwara, Fuji City (2016) 4): The Drummers!

June 16, 2016

DRUMMERS-11

Every year on the second week-end of June a very old Japanese Festival is held in Yoshiwara/吉原 in Fuji City/富士市 called Yoshiwara Gion Festival/吉原祇園祭り.
Although it is a well-known festival in Our Prefecture, it seems they welcome more visitors from Tokyo than from Shizuoka City!
A great pity indeed!
I was able at last to witness it, that is part of it as I had to unfortunately come back early in the evening missing the floats parade.
I still manage quite a few pictures to give a good idea of what to enjoy next year!
As there are too many photos for a single report I divided them according to their genre or subject.
This third one is about the drummers!

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Drummers are part and parcel of any Japanese Festival as they help wake up the Gods!
It is always a good subject for photography!

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As in any other place it is also a good idea to first wander around places far from the “real action” where you can discover really dedicated locals!

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Naturally other forms of percussion can be discovered!

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In Fuji City there are enough men to take care of the drums but some tough ladies can also be found!

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The drumming usually is featured before the o-mikoshi/portable shines procession to warn all revelers beforehand!

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it is an occasion for youngsters to try their hands!

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The representatives of a different district!

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A good time for ladies to take pictures of their “Men”!

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Different teams keep relaying each other!

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Still another district!

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These know they are good! LOL

Actually more and more expat residents participate to the drumming at many other venues!

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

Gion Festival in Yoshiwara, Fuji City (2016) 3): The “Faces”!

June 15, 2016

FACES-3

Every year on the second week-end of June a very old Japanese Festival is held in Yoshiwara/吉原 in Fuji City/富士市 called Yoshiwara Gion Festival/吉原祇園祭り.
Although it is a well-known festival in Our Prefecture, it seems they welcome more visitors from Tokyo than from Shizuoka City!
A great pity indeed!
I was able at last to witness it, that is part of it as I had to unfortunately come back early in the evening missing the floats parade.
I still manage quite a few pictures to give a good idea of what to enjoy next year!
As there are too many photos for a single report I divided them according to their genre or subject.
This third one is about the “Faces”!

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Hefty members of the local judo community!

When you attend a typical Japanese festival it s always a good idea to take photographs working on the theme of the participants’ faces.
40 years or more ago that could have been a bit difficult as disreputable members of the Japanese society were more or less in control of such events, but nowadays Japan is so peaceful and bereft of sinister members that it has to actually mimic the latter whereas traditions are kept intact!

FACES-2

Some of the senior members of the Festival!
I did ask them politely to look fierce but they just couldn’t help smiling at the notion!
Mind you, this is Shizuoka Prefecture, one of the most peaceful regions of the Japanese Archipelago!
Osaka and Kyushu Island denizens do look fierce there without being asked!

FACES-3

A local lady ready to serve sake to the participants, especially the o-mikoshi/御神輿/portable shrine bearers!
I found out that each district had its own bottles of sake designed with a different label by Makino Brewery in Fujinomiya City!

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These gentle-looking portable shrine bearers gracefully agreed to pose with their bottle of sake!

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You do not see tattoo-exhibiting revelers any more and the body decorations have to be represented by special garments!
Actually the police these days would automatically apprehend or at least ask questions to people exhibiting tattoos in a provocative manner. Well, at least in Shizuoka Prefecture, following the demise of large underworld groups based in Fujinomiya City and Atami City!
But be somewhat careful in other regions!

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

Gion Festival in Yoshiwara, Fuji City (2016) 2): Fire Brigade Parade!

June 14, 2016

FIREMEN-PARADE-6

Every year on the second week-end of June a very old Japanese Festival is held in Yoshiwara/吉原 in Fuji City/富士市 called Yoshiwara Gion Festival/吉原祇園祭り.
Although it is a well-known festival in Our Prefecture, it seems they welcome more visitors from Tokyo than from Shizuoka City!
A great pity indeed!
I was able at last to witness it, that is part of it as I had to unfortunately come back early in the evening missing the floats parade.
I still manage quite a few pictures to give a good idea of what to enjoy next year!
As there are too many photos for a single report I divided them according to their genre or subject.
This second one is about the traditional Fire Brigade Parade!

FIREMEN-PARADE-10

Firemen with hapi/festival coat emblazoned with “鮫/same/shark” as they represent a district callled “Samejima/Sharks Island” related with the fishing of sharks!

Fires being the scourge of old Japan, firemen were probably the most respected society group in those times, even more than any security or soldiering forces.
Most of them were more or less volunteer but they certainly had their say in the feudal Japanese society!

FIREMEN-PARADE-1

The parade is led by two stern looking “officials” holding special metal stick they bang on the ground as they proceed forward!

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Interestingly enough they represent the whole of Fuji City!
I suspect those two officials are real fire brigade officers!
Although there are plenty of professional firemen in Japan, their work is helped by many volunteers!

FIREMEN-PARADE-3

Each main secondary/district fire brigade is represented by a pole holder who agitates the “matoi/纏” as it is called up and down and in circles!

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Hard work which has to be regularly relayed!

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This particular matoi represents the whole city of Fuji!

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in spite of the festive occasion participants are all very serious about it!

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Now, these men carry scythes mounted on long poles.
At the time carrying water to a fire site would have taken too long, so the houses on fire were pulled down as soon as possible. Neighboring houses would suffer the same fate as to create a fire void!

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It must have been the most dangerous work of the time!

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And of course the whole important ladder made of two long green bamboo trunks which are practically impossible to burn!

Meet you there again next 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

Gion Festival in Yoshiwara, Fuji City (2016) 1): Kimono-clad Girls

June 13, 2016

KIMONO-GIRLS-1

Every year on the second week-end of June a very old Japanese Festival is held in Yoshiwara/吉原 in Fuji City/富士市 called Yoshiwara Gion Festival/吉原祇園祭り.
Although it is a well-known festival in Our Prefecture, it seems they welcome more visitors from Tokyo than from Shizuoka City!
A great pity indeed!
I was able at last to witness it, that is part of it as I had to unfortunately come back early in the evening missing the floats parade.
I still manage quite a few pictures to give a good idea of what to enjoy next year!
As there are too many photos for a single report I divided them according to their genre or subject.
This first one is about a rare occasion when young girls can enjoy the day wearing kimono, or more exactly yukata for many of them!

KIMONO-GIRLS-2

Note the modern footwear!

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Hungry girls enjoying a treat!

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Little ones with a girl wearing traditional geta/下駄/wooden clogs!

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Definitely the more traditional kind!

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Enjoying shaved ice in the heat!

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Cold drinks in the shade!

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The modern kind? LOL

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Note the fans!

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Meet you there again next 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

Kura: Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 41: Honkaku Temple 8(本覚寺) in Ikeda, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!

May 29, 2016

HONKAKUJI-1

“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.

HONKAKUJI-1a

The other having some time on my hands I decided to cycle down to Ikeda in Suruga Ku, south of Shizuoka JR Station to look for a kura that had just been introduced to me by my good friend, Philip Kreiner.
It is an old Buddhist Temple dating back to 1307 during the Kamakura Era.
The monk there kindly explained me that the kura had been built in the 2nd Year of Meiji Era (1869) after a great fire destroyed the biggest part of the Temple to preserve precious documents although nowadays it is used only as a shed.

HONKAKUJI-1

Although comparatively small it looked different from the usual kura built by rich merchants or high officials.

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It had an unusual portico at its entrance with typical Buddhist Temple decoration.

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It even bore its own mon/Japanese crest!

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it was in excellent repair in spite of the large smudges caused by rain running down the roofed portico.

HONKAKUJI-5

The alignment pegs were in a very straight line proving that the building was not suffering from any warping!

HONKAKUJI-6

Old but very solid window panels and awning!

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That door seemed very solid, too!

HONKAKUJI-8

It was open on both sides for better draft.

HONKAKUJI-9

Well-maintained tiled roof pinion!

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Well-maintained and grilled openings to let the water flow under the building!

HONKAKUJI-11

Walking around the building…

HONKAKUJI-12

Well-maintained on any side!

Interesting discovery, all in all!

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 44: Former Shizuoka City Hall Dome in Shizuoka City!

May 29, 2016
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SN3O0545

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The former City Hall of Shizuoka City was built in 1934 although the City of Shizuoka got its present name and status in 1868 succeeding to the City called Sumpu when Tokugawa Ieaysu retired from politics to settle in Fuchu.

In 1996, when the new Shizuoka City Hall had been completed, the Shzuoka City Mayor of the time, Shingo Amano, ordered the former building to be pulled down but fortunately a petition from the citizens of Shizuoka prevented him to do so and the building the same year became an intangible Shizuoka City Culture Asset thus preventing anyone to change it.
It subsequently became the hoe of the Shizuoka City Council among others.

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Probably the same year the first manhole cover representing the former City Hall surrounded by swallows, the official birds of Shizuoka City at the time appeared on the streets of Shizuoka City.
Although the City Hall is located north of Shizuoka JR Station , most former city hall designed manhole covers are found south of Shizuoka JR Station!

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These manhole covers are found over accesses to road maintenance subterranean networks.
The Shizuoka City logo is the old one with the kanji character for “city”.
The colored manhole cover is unique and can be found only at the bottom of the steps leadin to Toshogun Shrine in Kunozan, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City.

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Most neutral versions are to be found along the main road going south from Shizuoka JR Station south exit and near Shizuoka University!

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Check the logo if you find one!

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There is also a unique one, not in neutral metal, but varnished in black in front of the former Shizuoka Prefecture Hall across the the Shizuoka City Hall!

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In 2003, with the advent of Shimizu City being merged to Shizuoka City, a new type was created with a blue instead green background and pink instead of blue swallows!
The one above can be found on the pavement not far from Apita Store in Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!

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The logo of Shizuoka City was hence changed to a double geometric design!

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There are only two samples of the colored version, the second one in front of the former Shizuoka Prefecture being unfortunately partly covered!

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Strangely enough the modern version is very rare, as I found only three along the road between Ikeda Primary School and Honkaku Temple in Ikeda, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!

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Check the new Shizuoka City logo!

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There is actually a unique sub-type located in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

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It is located in front of Okitsu Hot Spring Building in Okitsu!

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The two kanji representing “Roads” at the bottom right had been suppressed!

Good 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

Manhole Covers in Shizuoka Prefecture 43: New Shizuoka Water Works Character Manhole Covers in Shizuoka City!

May 29, 2016

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The other day, for totally unrelated reasons, I happened to walk past the Shizuoka Water Works Building which also houses the Suzuki Culinary Institute.

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The whole street, which used to feature most movie theaters before they were moved to Cenova Dapartment Store, has been renovated by the City as it is being developed into a new residential district. Accordingly many manhole covers of all sizes and designs have been replaced with new ones!

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The whole pavement had completely been relaid in front of the building but it was definitely unusual!

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A water valve access with the Sumpu Castle. new, but noting unusual!

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A brand new standard sized air-pressured water valve of a usual dseign!

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The new (and third type) Tokugawa Ieyasu In Shizuoka City fire hydrant manhole cover. I thought it had been first laid in April this year but I might have to investigate as the Shizuoka Water Works Building was inaugurated in February!

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The new manhole cover!
Now, there are only three of them with a different each!
I actually paid a visit and embarrassed quite a few officials who nonetheless graciously answered this strange expat’s questions that no Japanese would dare to!
These manhole covers, (actually double), are only partly cast with a round metal cover screwed on the wrought iron base.

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The character is actually a raindrop!

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It also bears the Shizuoka City logo!

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“Shizuoka Water Works” in English!

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And the water character even has a name! しずみい/”Shizumii”!

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All three are markes: “Shizuoka City Earthquake-resistant Water Tank”!

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The second manhole cover!

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The main use for water in Japan!

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The third manhole cover!

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The importance of saving water!

The officials told me there no other new manhole covers planned for the near future in shizuoka City, but since they take care only of water I wouldn’t bet on the impossibility of new discoveries soon!

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 42: Susono City!

May 3, 2016

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The other day, my visit to Nagaizumi Cho proving shorter than expected I took the opportunity to continue my trip to Susono City in search of more manhole covers!

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I was greeted at the exit with this fine but fairly common fire hydrant cover design with the difference that it bore the Susono City crest!

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This unusually decorated water valve cover can be found almost everywhere in town!

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I soon found the standard sized neutral official Susno City manhole cover!

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The same in medium size!

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The same again in small size!

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There were plenty of neutral covers near the Station but I didn’t seem able to discover the colored ones!

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My eyes fell on this series of very small covers!

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A neutral one, but even tinier!

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I decided to walk away from the station until I found the “main” street of Susono City!

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Found it (them)!

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The official colored Susono City (sewers) manhole cover with Mount Fuji, the Five Dragons Waterfalls and Azaleas!

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There are plenty of medium and small ones such as this medium-sized pressurized air valve with Susono City logo!

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Small sized water valve cover!

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An even small valve cover!

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A rectangular fire hydrant cover found in many places but with the Susono City logo!

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You will find other plain or geometrically decorated covers in town such as this rain gathering talk cover with the Susono City logo!

Good 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

Manhole Covers in Shizuoka Prefecture 41: Nagaizumi Cho!

May 3, 2016

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Nagaizumi Cho is still an independent area contrary to many other places which lost their names after being merged into bigger neighboring cities.
It is located along the Gotemba Railway Line starting from Numazu City Before Susono City.
It proved a busier area than expected and I discovered that the mountains and nature were still a way from the station!

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A splendid “matoi/纏/Firemen Festival Pole”!
But when it comes to manhole, colored or neutral, they are all within walking distance from the renovated Railway Station!

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A small water valve with the Nagaizumi Cho logo!

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A medium-sized pressurized air valve!

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Getting near the purpose of this trip!

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The star of the day!
The official colored Nagaizumi Cho (sewers) manhole cover!

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The same, neutral!

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Plenty to chase!

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Neutral one again, but in medium size!

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Neutral one, but in small size!

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A rectangular fire hydrant manhole cover found all over Japan, but with the Nagaizumi Cho logo!

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This “matoi” type fire hydrant is also found in many places, but with a difference!

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Nagaizumi Cho logo!

Good 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

Japanese Serow (Nihon Kamoshika) in Hirano Tea fields, Shizuoka City!

April 17, 2016

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The other day as we were driving up the mountains of Hirano along the Abe River at an altitude of over 600 meters along the Abe River we made an unusual sighting!

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I actually hadn’t noticed first, but our driver, Ms. Asami Ito, who was driving us through her green tea fields was the first to notice it!

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A Japanese serow!
It is called a “kamoshoka” in Japanese, although “Shika” stands for deer.
Deer (cervidae) and serows (bovidae) are actually not of the same family!
Although it was my first sighting in 40 years in Japan, it is apparently not so rare!

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Contrary to wild deer, they are unafraid of humans as they are a protected species for ages, and they apparently understand!
Incidentally, wild deer are a really nuisance to green tea farmers as they eat the new buds, serows apparently feed on old leaves only!

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For more information, please chck the very good explanations on WIKIPEDIA, especially the chapter, “Relationship with humans”!

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

Carp streamers in Kanaya, Shimada City!

April 16, 2016

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The other day I was attending the Kanaya Tea Festival in Shimada City with some American friends.
One of them had gone on his own fro a while and he joined us again he realized he had forgotten his small coin purse in a small shop he had visited/. He was about to give up, but since this is Japan, we knew we had a good chance to find there and decided to accompany him back there!

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It meant we had to go into an area of Kanaya I didn’t know.
That is when we discovered a small river crossing the town!

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The 5th of May being near and the very next festival the river was literally covered with carp streamers!

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Koinobori (鯉幟), meaning “carp streamer” in Japanese, are carp-shaped wind socks traditionally flown in Japan to celebrate Tango no sekku (端午の節句), a traditional calendrical event which is now designated a national holiday; Children’s Day (Kodomo no Hi, 子供の日).

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These wind socks are made by drawing carp patterns on paper, cloth or other non-woven fabric. They are then allowed to flutter in the wind. They are also known as satsuki-nobori (皐幟).

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Children’s Day takes place on May 5h, the last day of Golden Week, the largest break for workers and also a week in which businesses usually close for up to 9–10 days. Landscapes across Japan are decorated with koinobori from April to early May, in honor of children for a good future and in the hope that they will grow up healthy and strong.

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The Japanese consider the carp the most spirited fish — so full of energy and power that it can fight its way up swift-running streams and cascades. Because of its strength and determination to overcome all obstacles, it stands for courage and the ability to attain high goals. Since these are traits desired in boys, families traditionally fly Koinobori from their homes to honor their sons.

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Today, along with the raising of Koinobori in each household, children also “indulge in kashiwa-mochi”, sticky rice cakes wrapped in oak leaves, and other sweets. As a tradition, throughout Children’s Day, children also thank and show respect for relatives, parents, and teachers for support throughout their life.

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Look aroun and you will find that these streamers become a great theme for photography!

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

Ichikaban Inari Shrine under Cherry Flowers in Takajo, Shizuoka City!

April 15, 2016

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Ichikaban Inari Shinto Shrine dates back from the time when Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu retired to present Shizuoka City in 1607.
It is both dedicated to Inari, the Goddess of farmers and falcons as the Lord was a great amateur of falconry!

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The site is small but the few cherry trees standing there are truly ancient and accordingly most revered.

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They are a great site in full bloom at the beginning of April tucked away in the centre of Shizuoka City!

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Interestingly enough it is closed at night although quite a few people gather for celebrations at festival time!

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The site is guarded by two truly ancient foxes themselves protectd under metal mesh tp prevent stealing!

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

Okuni Shrine (小国神社) in Mori machi, Hamamatsu City!

October 14, 2015
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Okuni Shrine (小国神社)is on of the four major Shinto Shrines in Shizuoka Prefecture although its locatin is not that practical.

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The first of a few torri gates!

If you are not motorized one way to access and make it a worthwhile trip is to board the Tenhama/ Tenryuu Hamanako Railway Line/天浜線 and get down a t small station called Tootoumi Ichinomiya/遠江一宮 and take a free limousine to the Shrine!
Bear in mind there are only few during the day so plan your trip t start early in the day!

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It is located in the mountains all with a deep forest and river!

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The lane leading to it is lined up with beautiful tall cedar trees!

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The large roofed hand-washing stone basin!

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Better come on a weekday as weekends can be crowded!

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One can discover smaller shrines along the entry lane and all arund the main shrine!

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This board depicts the legend of a rabbit admonished by a deity!

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Another smaller shrine!

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Reaching the last torii gate!

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Now, these are very interesting vestiges of an old dead sacred tree!

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It might be dead but its history is preserved and people venerate it in a very unusual way!

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People insert one-yen coins offerings in its bark or rice straw garand!

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The shrine “offices” where worshipers can buy souvenirs or talismans or consult their fortune!

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This side building is actually a Noh theater stage!

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A peek at the stage!

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The main shrine or “haiden”!

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One of the big stone lanterns!

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A giant sacred hammer!

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The rice straw garland and the many prayer bell ropes!

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A pinion with the Emperor’s crest!

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An older shrine beside the main Hall!

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Sake barrel from Hana No Mai Brewery in Hamamatsu City!

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Sake barrels from Senjyu Brewery in Iwata City!

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The torii gate to one of the many side entrances!

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You will discover some interesting promenades through the surrounding forest!

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Complete with traditional bridges!]

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Very old cedar trees!

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Beautiful bridge over a pond to another small shrine!

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Good-bye Okuni 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

Munagata Shrine (宗方神社) in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

October 12, 2015
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You will find Munagata Shrine by getting off Okitsu Station along the Tokaidou Railway Line and walking for a few minutes on the left of the station!

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You will have to go through at least 3 Torii gates if you acceess the place from its furthest entrance along the main thoroughfare!

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The second torii gate!

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Thus very torii gate is almost 100 years old although the shrine is far older!

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Getting near the main shrine!

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The third torii gate!

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Spectacular pine trees!

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Plenty of history to study!

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The roofed hand washing stone basin!

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The roofing indicates that the a Goddess is looking after the sacred site!

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The left-hand side stone lantern!

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A cloud and a doe!

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The right-hand side stone lantern!

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A cloud and a stag!

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Approaching the main shrine!

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The two lion guards!

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The left-hand lion guard with its maw closed!

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The right-hand lion guard with its mouth open!

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The “haiden shrine”, the only accessible to the public!

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The money-offerings wooden box with the shrine’s crest!

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The rice straw garland, three bells and their ropes!

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Munagata Shrine/宗方神社!

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Barrels of sake produced by Sanwa Brewery in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

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Inside the shrine!

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Side view of the haiden shrine!

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The honden hall closed to the public!

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The whole edifice is surrounded with many venerable cedar trees!

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Back view of the honden hall!

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A closer view!

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Beautiful roofing!

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A smaller ancient shrine among the trees!

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Its two tiny lion guards!

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I wonder why the left one has its mouth open? Very unusual!

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Same for the right-hand one!

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A last look at the honden hall!

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The pinion!

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Walking away from it!

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Good-bye, Munagata 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

KURA: Traditional Japanese Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 28: “Reformed” Kura in Mishima City!

October 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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Whereas the bigger kura are very often maintained by rich individuals or local government these days, some smaller ones are sometimes “reformed/adapted” with various success.
I found the\is one the other day in Mishima City ensconced between newly developed touristic spots!

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The very old windows and doors were left as they were.

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It looked like a real house from a distance!

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The original owner(s) didn’t that rich, though!

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It seems to being used as a storeroom or some kind of atelier!

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With a little effort and more decoration it could be turned into romantic spot at night?

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For all the corrugated iron it seems very solid as the alignment hooks seem in the right position!

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At least it must be very dry inside as the roof is in good repair!

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 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!


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