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

May 29, 2016

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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 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.

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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.

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

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Old but very solid window panels and awning!

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That door seemed very solid, too!

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It was open on both sides for better draft.

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Well-maintained tiled roof pinion!

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

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Walking around the building…

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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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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!

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


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