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Japanese Encyclopedia Sumo

first_imgSumo is a competition in which two rikishi (sumo wrestlers) wearing mawashi (wrestling belts) come together to fight in a dohyo (sumo ring) measuring 4.55m in diameter. It was first established as a organized competition around the seventeenth century. Nowadays, it’s practiced worldwide, and there are many non-Japanese rikishi, too!The Origins of SumoSource: アニメにアイドル、政治に相撲!? 12万人が押し寄せたカオスなお祭り「ニコニコ超会議3」より[untranslated?]The origins of sumo date back to ancient times. It first emerged around 5 BC to 3 BC,  when it was used as an agricultural ritual to pray for rice cultivation. After that, it became a national event used to predict the success or failure of a harvest, and then a ceremony held at the imperial court. Eventually, it developed into a refined art, and became popular as a form of combat sport.However, despite sumo’s modern sports status, some customs from its time as a sacred ritual remain. For example, the offering of sake, rice, and salt to welcome the Gods of sumo on the first day of a competition, and then sending them off again on the final day with senshuraku, the concluding festivities.Through its spiritual beginnings and historical development, sumo has become deeply rooted in the lives and hearts of the Japanese people as the national sport.Sumo in Everyday LifeNowadays, most fans are of the older generation and many younger people don’t know much about the sport, but there are some middle schools that have elective courses on sumo.There is also a sumo-related Shinto ritual which takes place all over the country. Called nakizumo, literally “crying sumo”, it’s a competition in which two babies are held by sumo wrestlers, and the first to wail wins. It might not sound like it, but this is considered a prayer for the healthy upbringing of children!Source: Loft: Shibuya’s Secret Souvenir StoreOriginally sumo-specific words can also be heard being used in everyday conversation. For example, the aforementioned senshuraku can be used to mean the last day of a program, and yokozuna, the word for the highest rank in sumo, can be used to mean “the biggest” or “the strongest”.It’s even infiltrated Japanese food. Chankonabe, a hearty stew of chicken dumplings and vegetables, was originally part of a weight-gain diet for rikishi, but is now popular with the general public.Want to Watch a Sumo Match?Source: https://matcha-jp.com/jp/240Want to see the great national sport for yourself? There are a few ways you can go about it. You can watch a match at a honbasho, an official professional tournament, or a hanazumo, a special touring tournament. Alternatively, you can go to a sumo heya, the place where rikishi train, to watch asageiko, the early morning practice sessions.There’s no better way to realize that you’re actually in Japan than by watching these larger-than-life legends battle it out!last_img read more

Four Things to Do When Visiting Shrines in Japan

first_imgEnjoy the OmikujiBlessing or curse on your piece of paper foretells your yearly fortune.■ Drawing Fortune at Shrines in Japan (1/2)Tie the OmikujiTo show gratitude toward god, Japanese tie the omikuji to “Musubi-dokoro(結びどころ)”.■ Drawing Fortune at Shrines in Japan (2/2)To Sum upHow was it? We hope you enjoyed learning these manner when visiting shrines. Please try it out when you’ve come to Japan! We are waiting for you from the bottom of our heart. Chozu(手水)At shrines, you need to clean your mouth and hands before visiting inside. Chozu is a conventional manner that makes you get in mood of praying before god.■ “Chozu”: The Way to Clean Yourself at Shrines in JapanBowing and ClappingWhen praying or making wishes, you have to keep to “Ni-rei Ni-hakusyu Ichi-rei(二礼二拍手一礼)” rule of bowing and clappings.■ Bowing and Clappings at Shrines in Japanlast_img read more

Otome Road Japanese Encyclopedia

first_img Right by Ikebukuro Station on the JR Yamanote line, after getting out of the East exit, you will see a busy street leading toward the symbol of Ikebukuro, the Sunshine 60 building. Ikebukuro is full of people, but those visiting this spot for the first time may be surprised at the number of girls and ladies that make up the majority of the crowd. That is due to the many shops carrying manga and anime merchandise in this area of east Ikebukuro. This approximate 200-meter block of shops is called Otome Road and is considered to be the must-go place for fujoshi (*1). Although it may look like a row of normal buildings, the shops on this street are actually filled withmanga and anime goods. *1 Fujoshi (腐女子): Female anime and manga fans.The History and Features of Otome Road Many of the girls who visit Otome Road are searching for character goods of their favorite manga or anime character, as well as for costumes or wigs for their cosplay. In addition, Sunshine City also has many cute and budget friendly clothes shops. Therefore, many non-anime or manga fans come to shop around this area as well. Inside Sunshine City, there are indoor theme parks with limited time events that draw in many manga fans as well.An Underground Butler Cafe In The Depths Of Otome RoadTucked away in a corner by a convenience store, there is a well-known butler cafe that is popular among the regulars of Otome Road. While Akihabara is known for the maid cafes, where girls dress as maids, Swallowtail is a popular butler cafe operated by men who are dressed as butlers in Ikebukuro. You will be treated here as if you have returned to your own mansion. Due to the limit of space and time slots, it is advised to make reservations from their website (Japanese) in advance. At the cafe, you will be able to enjoy savory, deli-style dishes with tea or a special British-style afternoon tea set. For about 3,000 yen you will be able to experience being treated like a high-class lady (or gentleman). It would be a very unique place for visitors to stop by.The Future Of Otome Road For a while, Ikebukuro was an area that carried many anime and manga related goods, just like Nakano and Akihabara. However, after the manga and anime goods shop called animate (main branch) went through a renovation, even more otaku (anime, manga and game fans) began to gather in Ikebukuro. Especially after the increase of ladies that have an interest in boys love (*2) and doujin fan comics gathering to this area, this street has been referred to as the Otome Road. “Otome” in Japanese is a term referring to young ladies. Unlike the other otaku-centric areas, this area mainly carries items geared toward the female audience. While they do have goods and books for male fans, the shops on Otome Road carry more merchandise aimed at girls. *2 Boys Love: A genre focusing on the love between two men.The Appeal of Otome Road A Mecca For Otaku Girls – Otome RoadFamous among anime and manga fans, this spot in Ikebukuro, Tokyo, known as “Otome Road” has become an area of interest among otaku culture enthusiasts in Japan, as well as visitors and students from abroad. After becoming a center of Japanese subculture, it has become a popular place to visit in Tokyo. In this article, we will explain what Otome Road is and why it draws in so many fans.Where Is Otome Road? As you can see, the Otome Road is an area focused on Japanese anime and manga. Being featured in the Cool Japan movement, we assume it will gain more spotlight, just like the kawaii culture of Harajuku. Sunshine 60, which is fairly close to Otome Road, is also a family-friendly spot with many facilities such as an aquarium and a planetarium. Whether you are a manga or anime fan or not, why not stop by to explore the Otome Road in Higashi Ikebukuro?Recommended articlesRead, Greet and Sleep in a Bookstore?! “BOOK AND BED TOKYO”, IkebukuroPokémon Galore! Pokémon Center Mega Tokyo Has Come to Ikebukuro!Delicious Miso Ramen In Ikebukuro – “Misoya Seibē”Tokyo’s Largest Shopping District – 7 Department Stores In IkebukuroEnjoy Drinks With Penguins At Penguin Bar Ikebukuro!last_img read more

Discovering Fossils At The Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum

first_imgThough the dinosaurs have gone extinct and no longer walk the earth, they are still quite popular with people of all ages. The reason for that enduring popularity, naturally, is their enormous size. It is said that some varieties of dinosaurs weighed over 80 tons, a scale unimaginable today. Dinosaurs may have died out, but many things about them remain mysteries. Various research studies are conducted as new fossils are discovered.In fact, even up to the present day, many dinosaur fossils continue to be unearthed in Fukui Prefecture in Japan. Furthermore, because of where their fossils were discovered, some dinosaurs have been named after the prefecture. The bones of the fukuisaurus (scientific name: Fukuisaurus tetoriensis) were excavated in 1989 in Katsuyama City, Fukui.This time, we will introduce you to a place in Fukui that still finds new fossils: the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum.What is the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum?The Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum is a natural museum where dinosaurs are displayed as the main exhibits. The exhibits are detailed and high-quality, and it is the most popular dinosaur museum in all of Japan. Apparently, people even visit from overseas specifically to see the fossils here.Inside the permanent exhibition room (the Dinosaur Hall), which serves as a portal to “the world of dinosaurs,” more than 40 complete dinosaur skeletons are on display. The reconstructed skeletons of fukuisaurus and fukuiraptor, discovered in Fukui, are both on display as well. Before you leave the museum, there is a gift shop that sells souvenirs. Enjoy looking at the bounty of dinosaur-themed goods and sweets inside. As seen in the photo, there are clothes with dinosaur designs and other products which can only be bought here.There is also a machine which sells large super balls. They contain dinosaurs inside, and are sure to delight children.Experience Excavating Fossils for YourselfLong ago the Japanese archipelago was connected to the continent of China. It is said that at that time, many dinosaurs existed in the area that became modern-day Fukui Prefecture. At the Open-Air Dinosaur Museum, located outside the actual museum, you can take a look at the geological strata where dinosaur fossils were really discovered and the fossils of dinosaur footprints, then try your hand at excavating some yourself. You can also get explanations about the dug-up fossils from a researcher at the museum.The chance to excavate a dinosaur fossil is a rare and precious opportunity, so why not make a once-in-a-lifetime memory at the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum?InformationFukui Prefectural Dinosaur MuseumAddress: Fukui Prefecture, Katsuyama City, Murokochō Terao 51-11Hours: 9:00-17:00(last entry at 16:30)Closed: Second and fourth Wednesday of every month (in the event that a public holiday falls on a Wednesday, the museum will close the following day instead; no closures during summer vacation), New Year’s Holiday (12/29-½)Wi-Fi: NoOther Languages: English, ChineseDisplays in Other Languages: English, ChineseNearest station: Katsuyama Station (Echizen Rail Katsuyama Eiheiji Line)Access: From JR Fukui Station, take a train bound for Katsuyama on the Echizen Rail Katsuyama Eiheiji Line (about one hour); get off at Katsuyama Station, then take a community bus (about 15 minutes) or a taxi (about 10 minutes)Price range: 720 yen (regular admission), 460 yen (high school or college students), 260 yen (elementary or junior high school students)Phone: 0779-88-0001Website: Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum In addition, while it may not be visible from outside the building, the architects exercised restraint in order to minimize any environmental impact, while also retaining as much of the original area topography as possible. They did this through various techniques such as actively using the land’s rugged qualities and reclaiming the smallest land area necessary during construction.The layout was conceived by Kishō Kurokawa.Plenty of Souvenirs are Availablecenter_img Learn about the History of Earth Sciences and the History of LifeThe “history of earth sciences” zone features exhibits which contain the history of earth sciences, fossils discovered on land and at sea, and the minerals which make up the earth. In the “history of life” zone, dioramas tell the story of life’s appearance in the oceans 4.6 billion years ago, how vertebrate creatures were born, and how they came to live on land.The Building Also Has Fascinating ArchitectureThe actual museum building itself is quite interesting. As you can glean from the picture, it is designed to have perfect symmetry. The architecture ensures an efficient route from when you first descend the entrance elevator to when you see the final exhibit, and feels like an excellent use of the interior space.last_img read more

The Fabulous Metalwork That Enchanted Apple Inc at Tsubamesanjo Wing

first_imgWith its moderate heaviness and perfect fit, it’s an iPhone case that gives off an expensive feeling. (8640 yen-20,570 yen). Have you heard of the Tsubamesanjo region? It’s in Niigata prefecture, which is known for its delicious rice, Japanese sake, and the breathtaking Mt. Yahiko. Tsubamesanjo is a region that extends over Tsubame city and Sanjo city.The Tsubamesanjo region is known for its exceptional metalwork. In 2001, Apple started selling the laptop “PowerbookG4”. This was the first laptop that used metal for its body. This development required such a high level of technique, that it couldn’t have been done without the Tsubamesanjo metalwork techniques.Didn’t the iPod that was released next become such a hot topic because the back looked just like a mirror? This couldn’t have been done if the technique from a Tsubamesanjo company didn’t exist. It’s a technique where you polish the metal similarly to how you would polish a mirror, called kyomen shiage.Even now they continue to make products that receive high reviews worldwide. Some of these products are carried at the global outdoor brand Snow Peak or as part of the high class western tableware that you see at Nobel Prize dinners.The metal polishers accept these production requests. They made a special group called the Migakiya syndicate (Polishers’ syndicate). They treat each individual employee whether from small factories or large companies as equals.By the way, even Mr. Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, visited Niigata’s Central Region including Tsubamesanjo. His Zen teacher, Mr. Hirofumi Otsukawa’s hometown temple is in the region. This might be why Apple noticed the Tsubamesanjo region.The Polishers’ Metal Products are Gathered at Tsubamesanjo WingTsubamesanjo Wing is where all the metal products from the Polishers’ syndicate who receive reviews worldwide are gathered.The stores at Tsubamesanjo station and surrounding area make it the perfect place to buy presents at the end of your trip. It’s so convenient to go sightseeing and not have to carry souvenirs around with you all day.We will introduce some of the metal products sold at Tsubamesanjo Wing.These are portable camping snow peak chopsticks. You can disassemble and put them away piece by piece. (3909 yen) Sake cups – what you use when you are taking a swig of Japanese sake. (9180-11,180 yen)The Tsubamesanjo regions are also known as a producers of kitchen knives.Nail clipping and grooming set. (43,740 yen)center_img A high-quality titanium tumbler. The titanium tumbler, polished with the kyomen shiage has a smooth surface and feels familiar on your hand. If you pour beer into it a smooth and creamy foam appears. The foam doesn’t go away that easily. If your drink your beer from this, your evening beer is bound to taste a little different.Includes Free Wi-fi and Recharging LocationsInside Tsubamesanjo Wing there is a break room, free Wi-Fi, and a recharging spot; tourists may feel extremely grateful for this area because they don’t have to worry about phone reception problems. Don’t worry, even people who aren’t buying presents can use the break room.In ConclusionYou can reserve and experience various factory tours from the Tsubamesanjo Wing website. How about taking a tour and seeing if you can find the Tsubamesanjo region’s secrets?Recommended articlesJapan Traditional Crafts Aoyama Square: A Great Display of HandicraftsAmazing Works of Art! Japanese Handcrafted Fountain PensCoffee in Edo Kiriko Glass Cups – A Delight for All SensesThe Nabeshima Porcelain of Ōkawachiyama – Innovating TraditionGet Gorgeous Wooden Craft Items At Hakone Yosegi-zaiku KiroInformationTsubamesanjo WingAddress: Niigata, Sanjo, Shimosugoro 502-3 (JR Tsubamesanjo station 2nd floor)Hours: 10:00-18:30Closed: End/Start of the year( 12/30-1/1)Wi-fi: YesCredit cards: VISA,JCB,MasterCard,AMEX,Union PayLanguages: NoneNearest Station: JR Tsubamesanjo Station (燕三条駅)Access: Directly at JR Tsubamesanjo stationPrice Range: 500-20,000yenPhone number: 81-3-0256-34-7310Official Website:Tsubamesanjo Wing (Japanese)last_img read more

Lolita Fashion × ringoame Super Kawaii Collaboration in Yoyogi Park

first_imgUnder the beautiful, soft sunlight in the famous Yoyogi Park in the Harajuku area, there the cute Lolitas stood, holding red candy apples. Candy Apples Meets Lolita GirlsCandy apples are one kind of sweets popular in Japan; it’s literally an apple dunked into candy. Many countries use it for sweets in Halloween, while here, it is often sold as one of the standard sweets at traditional festivals called “Ennichi(縁日)”. There is one unique website deeply related with these candy apples. It shows numerous photos of beautiful and cute girls holding the candy. A strange character with a red “apple face” also appears. The name of this website is “ringo-a.me” (*1). “A crying child will scream, an exploding candy apple site” is the slogan of the site.(*1) “ringoame(りんご飴)” is Japanese of candy apple, “ringo” stands for “apple” and “ame” for “candy”.The other element, Lolita fashion, is a prominent trend in Harajuku street fashion and has gained the recognition of the whole world. These two unique cultures collaborated and held an interesting photography event in Yoyogi Park. I will report about the event in this article.This is Mr. Fujishiro, the photographer of “ringo-a.me”. He talks to Lolita models so that they can relax while shooting, so his photos are very natural and beautiful. It’s surprising that he and the other staff of “ringo-a.me” are making candy apples all by themselves. It must be hard to bring them for photo-shoots because those candies are a bit heavy.This is Misako Aoki, the president of Japan Lolita Association. (*2) Misako-san is the charisma behind Lolita fashion. Working as a Lolita model and the president of The Japan Lolita Association, she also works as a real nurse. She gathered cute Lolitas for this photography event.(*2) Here is another article about Misako Aoki.■Charisma of Lolita World – Misako Aoki’s InterviewKawaii LolitasAlthough there maybe no other examples of collaborations between candy apples and Lolitas, all of the Lolita models couldn’t stop saying, “kawaii!” Because the red color of candy apples are a very good accent in Lolita fashion it makes Lolitas look prettier.It also creates a more fairy-tale-like atmosphere. One of the Lolita models also said this collaboration of candy apples and Lolitas is unique because both are part of Japanese culture but general people may not be able to imagine this wonderful collaboration.All Lolita models who participated into this event put on their loveliest Lolita clothes to match with the candy apples. The staffs of “ringo-a.me” seemed to be happy to see such kawaii Lolitas! One of the models coordinated her Gothic style clothes imagining the red of the candy apple and black.During the photography event, Lolita models also enjoyed talking to each other. InformationLolita Models:青木美沙子さん (Misako Aoki):blog twitterIRUMA RIOKAさん:HP綾音さん(Ayane):blog twitter桜井ぇりかさん(Erika Sakurai):blog twitter大石蘭さん(Ran Oishi):blog twitter篠宮梨乃さん(Rino Shinomiya):twitterさやかさん(Sayaka):twitter橋本明音さん(Akane Hashimoto):FaceBook twitter Other Lolita Articles:■【Interview】Charisma of Lolita World – Misako Aoki’s Two Faces■Join the Tea Party to Be a Wonderful Lolita■”Maison de Julietta” – Be a Lolita Princess at Once■Lolita Fashion – Everyone can Be a Princess One Scene from Fairy TaleWhen the Lolita models gathered together, the surrounding atmosphere dynamically changed and the whole scene seemed like a page from a fairy tale. Walking along Yoyogi Park, talking and smiling, the photographer shot numerous photos. The picture below is one unique scene, taking photos of Lolitas fighting with each other using the candy apples!“Lolita Fashion × Candy Apple” must be the cutest collaboration ever. We took many wonderful photos this day. If you are interested, please check them at “ringo-a.me”!Photos by: りんご飴 [ringo-a.me] – 泣く子が叫ぶ爆発りんご飴サイトlast_img read more

The New Wa Luxurious Souvenirs From JPERIOD

first_imgSimple and yet refined, high quality souvenirs are plentiful in Japan. We would like to introduce today the perfect shop for those seeking distinctively Japanese souvenirs.Take Your Souvenir Search to J-PERIOD – The Experts in Japanese Aesthetics!The shop we visited is J-PERIOD Omotesandō, found in Shibuya’s trendy Jingūmae area, in the world famous Omotesandō Hills Shopping Center. With the “New Wa” (*1) as their core concept, J-PERIOD carries a wide variety of tableware and cookware with a focus on the fusion of the Japanese traditional sense of aesthetics with modern good taste. Other than the Omotesandō shop, there are also locations in Roppongi and in Ginza.*1… Wa 和 “Japanese style”Written as “J. ” and read “J-PERIOD”, their very unique sign makes the store easy to spot. The signboard and displays are bathed in a gentle warm light, a point that is quite characteristic of their window displays.The shop interior is very inviting and beautifully arranged with the Japanese-made tableware and miscellaneous goods organized with the customer in mind.1st Recommendation: Artistically Detailed TablewareOf all the beautiful tableware and kitchen utensils found here, these refined goods and well designed items, more so than tools, could be regarded as works of art. Everything from their shape and weight, right down to the feel of them in your hands has been taken into consideration as these are all meant for daily use.This may be due to the typically Japanese ideal of combining beauty with sophistication. Choosing based solely on design is fine, but as there are also some uniquely Japanese utensils for sale, should you encounter an item that you cannot identify, please do not hesitate to ask the staff about how to use it. And, if you like the design of any of these implements, they also make great interior design objects.Rather than machine-made goods, there are dozens of bowls and ornaments available in the shop that are handmade by Japanese artisans. You will surely find something here that is as unique as you are. 2nd Recommendation: Seasonal Use ItemsJ-PERIOD arranges their merchandise on display according to the seasons and events in Japan. From spring to summer, folding fans (sensu 扇子) are a great way to soften the oppressive heat with soft breezes, and as such are very popular items.This seasonal ornament is also quite refreshing and makes a perfect home decor item for the summer. Goldfish and frogs swim about as delicate cherry blossoms float on the water’s surface of these fishbowls. The water seems so life-like but these items are actually all made of glass. If you’re looking for something to cool and refresh your eyes, these very Japanese pieces are the best choice.3rd Recommendation: Surprising “Usuhari” TechnologyOf all the high-quality goods offered by J-PERIOD, one that consistently surprises visitors to Japan is “usuhari”. Less than 1 mm thick, usuhari are very delicate glasses. By applying the glass-blowing tradition once used to make light bulbs, each of these glasses is individually handmade by a master artisan. Perfectly designed to be used while holding a conversation with someone, alcohol and cold drinks will taste even better in these glasses.After getting over the initial shock of how beautiful they are, you’ll be surprised again when you touch them – a feeling you will never forget. Usuhari glasses leave an impression that cannot be described just through pictures or words. These are ideal souvenirs of your visit to Japan.Of course at J-PERIOD, there are hundreds of different items available. Made with flawless techniques and good taste, not to mention a distinctly Japanese aesthetic, each item is unique and of the highest quality. So, what do you think of adding some of J-PERIOD’s fine quality Japanese souvenirs to your home?InformationJ-PERIOD Omotesandō ShopAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya, Jingūmae 4-12-10 Omotesandō Hills B2FHours: 11:00-21:00, 11:00-20:00 SundaysClosed: IrregularCredit Cards: AcceptedLanguages Available: EnglishSigns in Other Languages: EnglishNearest Station: Omotesandō Station (表参道駅)Access: 7-minute walk from JR Yamanote Line Harajuku Station 原宿駅, Omotesandō Exit; 2-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Ginza Line/Chiyoda Line/Hanzōmon Line Omotesandō Station 表参道駅, A2 Exit; 3-minute walk from Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line/Fukutoshin Line Meiji-Jingūmae Station 明治神宮前駅, Exit 5.Phone: 03-6439-1611Fax: 03-6439-1612Homepage: J-PERIOD The chopsticks are also all intended to be well-loved and used over the years. The single-use chopsticks are an eco-friendly option, created from the standpoint of ‘waste not, want not.’ They are all manufactured from leftover timber that has been collected from forests in mountains for the cultivation and management of the nature area.last_img read more

Five Onsen Regions For JapaneseStyle Relaxation

first_imgNowadays, no matter where you go, people know the word “ONSEN” (温泉 “hot springs”). Not only do hot springs help you relax, but many of them used to be cherished for their effects in curing diseases. For those who love onsen, and even for those who aren’t quite used using public baths, we would like to introduce five that are of the highest quality.HakoneFrom the Hakone Yumoto Onsen Yoshiike official website (Japanese)There are 17 onsen in Hakone, from which flows 25,000 tons of water per day. Not only that, but the qualities – the color, effect and feel – of the water is different depending on the depth of the onsen. It takes only 85 minutes to reach Hakone from Shinjuku, which makes access from Tokyo a breeze.The surrounding area is blessed with beautiful nature, and you can even see Mount Fuji from here. There are numerous art exhibits and museums close by, which makes it the ideal place for those who love art. In fact, everyone from the young to the old can enjoy this town.KinugawaFrom the Asayaofficial website (Japanese)The Kinugawa Onsen is found in Nikko, Tochigi prefecture, and is known to help treat nerve pain and promote fast recovery from fatigue. The famous Nikko Tōshōgu Shrine and the Nikko Edomura (a village from the Edo period), as well as the Tōbu World Square, among other tourist spots, are located in this area. When it was first discovered in the Edo Period, the only ones allowed to enter it were monks on their way to the Nikko Tōshōgu and daimyō; we invite you to feel the long history of this onsen by taking a realxing bath here.BeppuPhoto By ThomasThere are eight main onsen in Beppu, Oita prefecture. The water has been heated by the Tsurumidake volcano, and flows up from underground. They supply water with ten varying qualities. In terms of water that can be used for bathing purposes, it has the largest output in the world. Aside from your standard onsen experience, you can also try the hot steam bath, mud bath or a sand bath on the coast. The variety of onsen types is what makes this area so attractive.If you are coming from Tokyo, it will take an hour and a half from either Haneda or Narita to reach Oita Airport by plane. From Ōta Airport to the center of Beppu (Beppushi Kitahama), it will take you just under an hour by the Airliner (the airport bus).A Recommended Tour Service in OitaIf you would like to enjoy the famous hot springs of Beepu, chek out the services of Huber. TOMODACHI GUIDE.You will be guided by locals who love the onsen and are also very knowledgeable about the hot springs in the area. Check out Huber.’s Special Feature on Beppu for details.WakuraFrom 440 Yen Onsen Experience at Wakura Onsen SōyuIn the Ishikawa Prefecture, near the Sea of Japan, is Wakura Onsen, which has a 1200 year history. The water here is known to help treat rheumatism, nerve pain, several female-unique diseases and atopy. It is also called the “onsen of the sea”, because the calm view of the sea and seafood double the pleasure of the experience. Nearby is Nanao Bay, where one can watch the calm ocean view and see the local dolphins at play.Read also:How to Go to Wakura Onsen from Tokyo and Osaka【Special Contents】Wakura Onsen/Hot spring of WakuraDōgoPhoto By eros_eros_eros_Dōgo onsen, located in Ehime prefecture, is said to be the oldest onsen in Japan. It appears in classical Japanese texts and literature, and is said to have been visited often by legendary saints and poets. The quality of the water is very fine, and helps rejuvenate one’s appearance. The “Yūya” that appears in the Ghibli film “Spirited Away” is thought to have been modeled after the Dōgo onsen. It has a very retro feel.From Haneda Airport to Matsuyama Airport it takes only 75 minutes by plane. There is a limousine bus leaving every hour from Matsuyama Airport, which will get you to Dōgo in 40 minutes.Relaxing in the hot water of an onsen is said to help improve blood circulation and recovery from fatigue. If you plan to stay a few nights, it is a great idea to take a bath once before dinner, once afterwards, before going to sleep, and once more when you wake up in the morning; they say it will yield the greatest effect. Heal the exhaustion from your trip and refresh your body and mind at the Japanese onsen – it will be a very rewarding experience.last_img read more

A Helpful Map of Harajuku For Emergencies

first_imgTrouble is an unavoidable part of travel. When you’re struck by injury or sudden illness, when you’ve lost something or a natural disaster occurs, it’s not easy finding the police or a hospital in an unfamiliar place. This time round, we will cover the information centers, lavatories, police stations, hospitals and evacuation areas around Harajuku Station.Details regarding each facility are written at the end of the article.First, Head to the Information CenterFrom Harajuku Station, continue down till the end of Takeshita Street and you will find an information center situated at an intersection.Harajuku Information Center “MOSHI MOSHI BOX”Not just serving as an information center, it also aims to promote Japanese pop culture by letting visitors purchase cute souvenirs, as well their signature crepes.English-speaking staff are always available to introduce you to nearby stores, Meiji Shrine and Yoyogi Park. Not only that, they are capable of currency exchange, overseas shipping of goods, provide free Wi-Fi, charge your smartphones and even renting out PCs.Easy-to-Use Western-Style LavatoriesThere are various multipurpose lavatories (western-style lavatories which are easy to use for those in wheelchairs and with children) around Harajuku. We will introduce the ones which are comparatively close to the station.Yoyogi Park LavatoryThis is a multipurpose lavatory very close to the Harajuku entrance of Yoyogi Park. Note that it is open during 5:00am to 8:00pm in the summer and 5:00am to 5:00pm in the winter. It is a five-minute walk from both JR Harajuku Station and Tokyo Metro Meiji-Jingumae Station.Jingumae Shibumikku LavatoryA 10 minute walk from JR Harajuku Station, exit the station and head straight down Takeshita Street, making a left turn when you arrive at the end. You will see it right after passing Harajuku Police Station.Head Straight to an Evacuation Area Disaster When StrikesIn Japan, it is recommended you gather in a specified evacuation area when there are disasters such as earthquakes. But instead of immediately evacuating with no knowledge of where to go, it may be safer to follow the orders of store employees or the Japanese people around you. It is important to remain calm, then confirm the condition of your surroundings, and evacuate to the nearest evacuation area.Meiji Shrine/Yoyogi Park ZoneAddress: 1-1 Kamizono-cho, Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, TokyoThis area right by Harajuku Station and Meiji-Jingumae Station is designated as the evacuation area in cases of disaster. If you are in Omotesando or Takeshita street, head west.Emergency Hospitals and Clinics Supporting EnglishWe will introduce hospitals that deal with emergency cases and clinics with English language support, recommended to travelers.Tokyo Municipal Hiroo HospitalThis hospital is capable of treating various health problems you may come across during your travels, with orthopedics, dermatologists, ophthalmologists, nose and throat doctors, dental and oral surgeons, etc. Normal visits require a reservation the day before (phone number for reservation – +81-3-3446-8331), but in emergencies they will accept visits 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Even so, it is necessary to call before visiting (+81-3-3444-1181 emergency reception extension 2406). They support English and Chinese, and accept payment with credit cards.The King ClinicThis is a clinic which has English language support, which is widely used by both long-term foreign residents and tourists. It is possible to use your foreign insurance here. While it functions fundamentally on a reservation-only basis, try giving a call if you happen to be injured or suddenly fall ill.Convenient Services You Should Keep in MindIn cases when you require medical support or have particular preferences for other hospitals, the call center “Tokyo Metropolitan Health Medical Information Center” can assist you.Tokyo Metropolitan Health Medical Information CenterTEL: +81-3-5385-8181Hours: 9:00am〜8:00pmSupported languages: English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, SpanishYou might run into difficulty describing your symptoms to drug store staff or hospital stuff who may not understand you. If that is the case, emergency translation services may be of help. Give this service a call and explain your symptoms to them, and they will translate for you.Emergency Translation ServiceTEL: +81-3-5285-8185Hours: Weekday 5:00am-8:00pm /Weekend/ Holiday 9:00am-8:00pmSupported languages: English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, SpanishWhen in Trouble, Head to the PoliceIn Japan, there are police boxes called koban located in various parts of towns. When you have lost your way, lost something, or run into trouble, you should consult your nearby koban. A kind policeman will gladly assist you.Jingumae Police BoxFrom the elevator exit of Tokyo Metro’s Meiji Jingu-mae (Harajuku) Station, head straight and it will be right in front of the first pedestrian overpass.Harajuku Police StationThis is the police station placed in charge of Harajuku. It is bigger than police boxes, so you should remember it for the occasions where you run into trouble which police boxes cannot handle, such as losing your passport, large crimes, etc.For Smokers: Be Aware of the Smoking Areas!In the Shibuya ward, where Harajuku is situated, there is a rule stating that “Smoking while walking is forbidden. Smoke only in designated areas”. If you plan to smoke, locate smoking areas. There are various smoking areas available around Shibuya station, so make sure to smoke in those locations below.InformationHarajuku Information Center “MOSHI MOSHI BOX”Address: TsONE Building 1F 3-23-5 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, TokyoOpen hours: 10:00am-6:00pmClosed: NoneWi-fi: Yes(Free Wi-fi)Credit card: NoSupported language level: -Menus in other languages: EnglishNearest station: JR East Yamanote Line Harajuku stationAccess: Exit the JR East Yamanote Line Harajuku station, Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line/Fukutoshin Line Meiji-jingumae station from the Meiji street/Takeshita exit, and find the closest intersectionPrice: FreeReligious information: -Telephone: +81-3-6447-2225Official HP: Harajuku information center “MOSHI MOSHI BOX”Jingumae Ichome Public LavatoryAddress: 1-chome Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo(35.67243, 139.70797)Open hours: 24 hoursClosed: NoneWi-fi: -Credit card: noSupported language level: -Menus in other languages: -Nearest station: JR East Yamanote Line Harajuku stationAccess: 3 minute walk from Harajuku station, 4 minute walk from Tokyo metro Chiyoda line/Fukutoshin line Meiji Jingu-mae stationPrice: FreeReligious information: -Telephone: -Official HP: -Yoyogi Park LavatoryAddress: Yoyogi-Kamizono-cho Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo(35.66895, 139.70011)Open hours: 5:00am-8:00pm from May to mid October, 5:00am-5:00pm after mid October.Closed: NoneWi-fi: -Credit card: noSupported language level: -Menus in other languages: -Nearest station: Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line Meiji-jingumae stationAccess: 5 minute walk from JR East Yamanote Line Harajuku station, 5 minute walk from the C03 exit of the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line Meiji-jingumae station, 6 minute walk from the F15 exit of the Fukutoshin Line Meiji-jingumae stationPrice: FreeReligious information: -Telephone: -Official HP: -Tokyo Municipal Hiroo HospitalAddress: 2-34-10 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, TokyoOpen hours: Weekdays 9:00am-5:00pm, Saturday 9:00am-12:00pmClosed: Sunday and holidaysWi-fi: -Credit card: Yes(VISA, master, JCB, AMERICAN EXPRESS, DinersClub, NICOS, UFJcard, DISCOVER)Supported language level: English, ChineseMenus in other languages: -Nearest station: Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Hiroo stationAccess: 7 minute walk from Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line Hiroo stationPrice: Depends on diagnosisReligious information: -Telephone: +81-3-3444-1181Official HP: Tokyo Municipal Hiroo HospitalThe King ClinicAddress: iori Omotesando B1F 6-31-11 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, TokyoOpen hours: Monday 10:00am-12:45am Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10:00am-12:45am, Saturday 10:00am-14:00pm Reservations onlyClosed: Wednesday, Sunday and holidaysWi-fi: -Credit card: YesSupported language level: EnglishMenus in other languages: -Nearest station: Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line/Fukutoshin Line Meiji-jingumae stationAccess: 2 minute walk from the number 6 exit elevator of the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda one Meiji-jingumae station, 2 minute walk from the number 7 exit elevator of the Tokyo Mentro Fukutoshin Line Meiji-jingumae station, 4 minute walk from JR Yamanote Line Harajuku station/Omotesando stationPrice: Depends on diagnosisReligious information: -Telephone: +81-3-3409-0764Official HP: http://thekingclinic.com/en/Jingumae Police BoxAddress: 4-25-19 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, TokyoOpen hours: 24 hoursClosed: NoneWi-fi: -Credit card: NoSupported language level: -Menus in other languages: -Nearest station: Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line/Fukutoshin Line Meiji-jingumae stationAccess: 1 minute walk from the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line/Fukutoshin Line Meiji-jingumae station elevator exit, 6 minute walk from the JR Harajuku station Omotesando exit.Price: FreeReligious information: -Telephone: +81-3-3408-0110(Harajuku police station)Official HP: -Harajuku Police StationAddress: 1-4-17 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, TokyoOpen hours: 24 hoursClosed: NoneWi-fi: -Credit cards: NoSupported language level: -Menus in other languages: -Nearest station: Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line/Fukutoshin Line Meiji-jingumae stationAccess: About a 4 minute walk from the Tokyo Metro Chiyoda Line/Fukutoshin Line Meiji-jingumae station number 5 exit, about a 7 minute walk from the JR Harajuku station Takeshita exit.Price: FreeReligious information: -Telephone: +81-3-3408-0110Official HP: Harajuku police stationlast_img read more

Platz Handmade Traditional Zabuton Cushions In Arashiyama Kyoto

first_imgThe zabuton cushions at Platz are not just traditional Japanese style. There are plenty of colorful and stylish cushions with cute embroidery that comes in different sizes.The Triangular Pillow – A Perfect Headrest A zabuton is a Japanese cushion that provides comfort when sitting on tatami mat floors in Japanese-style rooms and has been used historically in Japan. Platz is a zabuton specialty store located in Arashiyama, Kyoto. With a wide range of designs, they make many versatile cushions that can be used on various occasions. Let’s take a look at the unique and fun zabuton cushions they have!The exterior of Platz has a European appearance. Along with the traditional Japanese zabuton cushion, Platz also carries imported goods from Europe, which explain the outside display. At the Arashiyama factory of Platz, professional craftspeople fold the cotton, and with their refined skills, they carefully put the cotton into the fabric.The craftsmen make the process look very easy, but if you look at their hands, you can see how much strength is required in order to stuff the thick layers of cotton into the fabric. At Platz you can modify the zabuton cushions. Select a design and the shape of your choice and the craftsmen will make a personalized cushion just for you. Please note that it will take some time for customization so if you are interested, it is advised to order it online prior to visiting.For orders, please visit: http://www.kyoto-platz.jp/item/ (Japanese)Find Your Zabuton and Chat with the Manager! Take The Romantic Sagano Rail To See Early Summer In Arashiyama, Kyoto You can purchase the cushions individually and combine various designs of your preference to make your own combination! After the layers of cotton are placed in the fabric, they tightly stitch it shut. Once they add the decorations, the zabuton cushion is ready to be used in temples and Japanese restaurants.Beyond Traditional Design – Unique Zabuton Cushions Platz first opened its doors in 1887. It was originally located in Nishijin in Kyoto, but when the cushion factory moved, the store relocated to Arashiyama.The Platz brand officially started in 1990, and have specialized in selling every-day use products ever since. They are most proud of their handmade zabuton cushions, which they have been selling for over 100 years.Individually Handmade Platz Zabuton Cushions The ergonomic zabuton are especially recommended, designed based on data and science. This cushion will support the lower half of your body and your back.There are small pieces of plastic inside the zabuton cushion that shift and fit to match the body type of the person sitting down. There are adorable pillows you can hug that are made in the shape of Kyoto’s heirloom vegetables. These large veggies are also ideal for leaning up against. Small pillows like the carrot shown above can be used as a hand rest.This is a great choice for anyone who uses the computer at an office workplace.Ergonomic Zabuton Cushions The fan zabuton cushion is separated into three parts that support your bottom and legs when sitting. It will likely feel more comfortable than the standard zabuton cushion.Pillows for Hugging, Shaped Like Heirloom Vegetables In cooperation with PlatzThis article has been translated from traditional Chinese and has been edited. Once you step into the shop, you will be greeted with an otherworldly feeling. One unique product is a triangular pillow (shown above). The slope created by the triangle shape supports your shoulder and your head when lying down. Unlike a standard pillow, you can lean back and relax your head.The Fan Zabuton – Support Your Lower Half Read also The manager at Platz can also speak Chinese and has many friends and connections in Taiwan. If you want to learn more about his story, why not visit Platz in Arashiyama to talk with him and select your own zabuton cushion? Platz小墊子 View Informationhome_goods_storestore In the shop, there are also mini zabuton cushions that are very popular. You can place your smartphone on it or use it for decoration. Platz carries hand towels and pouch wallets as well.Customize Your Zabuton Cushion The 12 Best Sightseeing Destinations In Kyoto Kyoto Complete Guide: Travel Tips, Sightseeing, Festivals And More! Zabuton is a traditional Japanese cushion that is made using folded cotton inside fabric. In Japan, zabuton are often used in temples or rooms with a tatami mat. Platz – A Traditional Zabuton Shoplast_img read more

Sumo Samurai Or Ninja Which Would You Like To Be

first_imgFrom: Learn How to Use a Katana! The Samurai Museum in ShinjukuAt the Samurai Museum in Shinjuku, Tokyo, visitors can learn all about the history of the samurai class, view historical suits of armor from the Edo era, see artifacts and replicas of weapons, and even don the armor of a samurai for yourself. Not only that, but you can also take part in tate (sword battles) and iai (sword drawing) experiences, and even lessons in calligraphy, a necessary art for any samurai to master, here too.To learn more about what it takes to be a samurai, check out Learn How to Use a Katana! The Samurai Museum in Shinjuku.Silent Spies – Ninja From: Tips For Watching Sumo In Tokyo – Key Terms, Tickets And ScheduleJapan’s national sport, sumo actually comes from Shinto practices, and was often a key part of worship during festivals at shrines and temples around the country throughout history – until it was banned for “corrupting public morals”.However, in 1684 the Edo Bakufu government gave Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine (in present-day Tokyo) permission to hold sumo wrestling events. After that, sumo wrestling events were regularly held in the shrine grounds in the spring and fall. At this shrine you can find monuments to sumo, and to the Yokozuna (top wrestlers) throughout Japanese history. From: Shadowy Spies And Where To Find Them – A Modern Ninja Village! The ninja, a historical spy and assassin that was primarily used during the Sengoku to Edo periods, also fought alongside or against, the samurai.Ninja were properly referred to as shinobi, kanja (spies), or onmitsu (secret detectives), and had to be specially trained in a variety of arts, including military, academic, and every day jobs in order to truly blend in with the rest of society. No one knows for certain how this position arose, but the art of ninjutsu and the practice of it was most famously developed in Mie and Shiga prefectures. From: Witness The Making Of A Sword! The Bizen Osafune Japanese Sword MuseumFrom about the 1000s through to the end of the Edo era, but particularly prominent during the Sengoku period, daimyo and the samurai class of warriors rose within Japanese society to positions of great power.Best known for their impressive armors and swordsmanship, samurai continue to thrill audiences in novels, television dramas, movies and both video and smartphone games all across Japan, and even around the world. How many of us wanted to be a pirate, or a cowboy when we were kids? For children in Japan, there are three distinct careers that immediately come to mind when thinking of a fantasy job. If you could choose between being a sumo wrestler, a sword-wielding samurai, or a stealthy ninja, which would you pick? It’s a tough choice, so in this article, let’s take a look at places where you can experience all three. Who knows, it might change your mind about which one to choose!Mighty Titans – Sumo Rikishi From: Tomioka Hachimangu: The Origins Of Sumo WrestlingOf the three options, sumo is the only one that is still a viable career in the modern era, and is one that requires a great deal of physical strength, dedication, and determination. If you happen to be in Tokyo during the honbansho, or official professional match, then you must head to Ryogoku Kokugikan, the only hall where sumo bouts take place in the region.Honbansho are held six times a year, but there are three annual tournaments at Ryogoku Kokugikan Hall, which are held in January, May and September.While the majority of people prefer to watch sumo during the seasonal tournaments held around Japan, some have the rare opportunity to watch the wrestlers in action up close. At sumo stables like Musashigawa-Beya, visitors may watch junior wrestlers practice, and even share a meal of chanko nabe with them as well.The Knights of Japan – Samurai From: Shadowy Spies And Where To Find Them – A Modern Ninja Village!There are plenty of places where you can learn about the ninja, and even become one yourself all across Japan, such as at the Ninja Village Ureshino Onsen Hizen Yume Kaido in Saga, or the Ninja Museum of Igaryu in Mie, where you can also ride on the special ninja trains too!Well – Which Do You Want to Be Now?It’s a really tough choice, isn’t it? There are so many different variables to consider, you might find yourself changing your mind over and over again.And if you still can’t decide, then why not take a trip to the Nikko Edo Village in Tochigi, where you can see both ninja and samurai for yourself, or take in a sumo battle for yourself at Ryogoku Kokugikan? Either way, you’re sure to have a great time and learn more about Japanese history too!You May Also LikeEncounter Samurai And Ninjas At Tochigi’s Nikko Edo Village!Try Traditional Martial Arts! Samurai Trip Kendo ClassroomTips For Watching Sumo In Tokyo – Key Terms, Tickets And ScheduleShadowy Spies And Where To Find Them – A Modern Ninja Village!last_img read more

Tamashii Nations Akiba Showroom A Figure Museum With No Entrance Fee

first_imgThe Tamashii Nations Akiba Showroom is the official showroom where Bandai, the maker of Japanese toys, plastic model kits, and more, showcases a brand of their expanding figures known as ‘Tamashii Nations’. This is a space in where you can view the most popular Tamashii Nations’ figures for free. You can even take as many photos and videos as you’d like.When exiting Akihabara Station through the Electric Town Exit, on your left, you’ll immediately see the east west passageway that connects to the Tsukuba Express Line. The Tamashii Nations Akiba Showroom is inside this passageway.Anyone Can Enter!Pictured above is the free showroom. This is one showroom that isn’t partitioned by an entrance, so you can see the figures that are on display from the outside. This is an open space that you can enter from pretty much anywhere.Recently, there have also been collaborative exhibitions going on with Hobby Japan, a monthly hobby magazine.Past ExhibitionsIn the past, as pictured below, there have been a variety of different exhibitions. Here are Japanese cartoons that were a big hit with ladies: “TIGER & BUNNY” and “Kuroko’s Basketball”.Once You’ve Seen All the ExhibitsAt the Tamashii Nations Akiba Showroom there’s a notebook where you can write a message of moral support to the creators. If there’s a particular display that you like, be sure to leave them a message.Fully Appreciating the FigurinesNo matter how good a photograph is, it just can’t capture the exceptional detail and care that goes into each minute part during the assembly of a figurine or model. By carefully studying each work in this free showroom, you’re sure to have a new appreciation for the care taken by each creator!Why not visit the free Tamashii Nations Akiba Showroom and see which new works are on display during your trip?InformationTamashii Nations Akiba ShowroomAddress: Tokyo, Chiyoda, Kanda, Sakuma, 1-6-1Hours: weekdays 12:00-20:00, weekends/holidays 10:00-20:00Nearest Station: Akihabara Station, various linesAccess: 1 minute walk from the Electric Town Exit of Akihabara StationWebsite: http://tamashii.jp/akiba_sr/?wovn=en Pictured above are events that were held for series’ such as “Macross” and “Fafner in the Azure”.center_img Pictured above is one of the most elaborate stages that was set up of all their past exhibitions. This was an exhibition for a line of figures based upon the Kamen Rider TV series – it was a smash hit that drew hundreds of Kamen Rider fans!last_img read more

Try A Rich Tasting LambBased Ramen At MENSHO TOKYO

The Resurrection Of Ancient Nara A Visit To Kofukuji Temple

first_imgKofukuji is the headquarters of the Hosso sect, one of the oldest Buddhist sects in Japan, and as such is its most important temple.It is also listed as a part of the UNESCO World Heritage “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara” grouping and has a distinguished tradition, celebrating its 1300th anniversary in 2010. Since its foundation, Kofukuji has played an important role in the development of various cultural movements in Japan such as Yogacara (an influential school of Buddhist philosophy), Noh theater, the Keiha school of sculptors, represented by famous masters like Unkei, Japanese food culture such as tofu, miso, and refined sake. These are highly regarded aspects of life, and have come to be regarded by people around the world as being a part of the unique culture of Japan. They were all nurtured at Kofukuji Temple.Rebuilding the Central Golden Hall: Resurrecting Ancient Kofukuji TempleSince 2010, a new era began for Kofukuji. The Central Golden Hall (Chukondo) is being rebuilt. It used to be the main building of Kofukuji, a shrine which held the Buddhist statues, but was destroyed by fire. The Central Golden Hall was built in the Tenpyo era (710 to 794 A.D.), and it will be rebuilt in its original style, scheduled to be completed in 2018. This article will show you what it’s like at the site during the reconstruction.The Concealed SiteThe site is enclosed in protective covering. Let’s take a look inside.The route for the conducted tour is marked for the visitors.The Exhibition Facility Before entering the site, visitors are guided into a white tent next to it. A one-twentieth scale model of the Central Golden Hall is displayed inside. Even though the actual site is concealed during the construction, you will soon be able to understand how the Central Golden Hall was built just by looking at the model.Kumimono, a roof-supporting structure attached to the column, is also displayed in this tent. The supporting part, which looks like an extended arm is called masukumi. As this type of kumimono is triple-decked, it is called a mitesakai kumimono (triple-handed kumimono).A replica of shibi, an ornamental ridge-end tile, is also on display. They are made in pairs, and will be set on the roof facing each other.Many photographs are displayed as well. Kidan, the foundation of the Central Golden Hall, can be seen only in photographs now. It is the original from the days the temple was first built, and a precious cultural asset. The photographs of the ongoing construction, such as the setting of the columns are also on display, and they are a topic of great interest to the architects visiting the site.Here you can see a craftsman demonstrating how to use a yariganna, which looks a bit like a spear. Many carpenter’s tools from the Tenpyo era have been used during the rebuilding of Central Golden Hall. Although the author of this article has lived in Japan for a long time, this was their first encounter with a yariganna.In Japan, a tool called kanna (plane) is used to shave the wood.The shaved wood is paper-thin, and the tent was filled with the fragrant scent of hinoki (Japanese cypress).Into the Reconstruction Site!Next, visitors are guided to the third level of the Central Golden Hall.It may be difficult to see from this photograph, but the gray mass is the roof of Central Golden Hall. You can see how huge it is.From one end of the scaffolding, you might be able to see the whole roof, but it’s still difficult to see the edges. The two places covered in white are where the aforementioned shibi will be set. Most traditional Japanese architecture use kawara, a clay tile, to cover the roof. At this site, you will be able to observe these roofing tiles up close.This is an onigawara (ogre tile), an ornamental tile, which comes with a scary design. It is used to ward off the evil beings. You can also see the part of the roof where the kawara tiles haven’t been set just yet as well. It makes you wonder whether these wooden coverings will ever see the sky again. Since the scaffolding is quite high up, the Nan-en-do (Southern Octagonal Hall) and the Five-Storied Pagoda can be seen from a unique angle from this level too.This is the second level. You can see the aforementioned mitesaki kumimono firmly supporting the eaves from here. These are the kawara tiles waiting to be set on the roof. Many people, even the Japanese, think that they are glued to the roof. But in reality, a thin copper wire threads through a tiny hole in the kawara to hold it down. This kind of meticulous craftsmanship has helped to preserve many Japanese structures for hundreds of years.It will take three more years to fully complete the reconstruction of Central Golden Hall. What will it look like when it is finished? People from both near and far are anxiously awaiting 2018 and the completion of this incredible undertaking. If you will be traveling to Nara in the near future or in 2018, you can enjoy sights that few Japanese people, let alone international travelers can enjoy just by paying a visit here.If you happen to visit Japan, please go to Kofukuji to experience both the past and future, and the perpetual flow of time, in Japanese architecture. Kōfuku-ji View InformationYou May Also LikeNara Travel Guide – Get To Know Japan’s Ancient CapitalIsuien Garden In Nara – Enjoy Two Historical Gardens In One Place!How To Travel To Nara From Tokyo – Comparing Train And Bus Routeslast_img read more

Eat Natto To Your Hearts Desire At IkejiriOhashis Sendaiya

first_imgYou probably already know that natto has quite a pungent smell and a somewhat slimy texture, but did you know it is extremely good for your health? With all that being said, there are still a lot of people who just can’t stop loving this peculiar dish. This time, we will introduce a very special place where natto enthusiasts can have a blast with their favorite dish – a store where you can eat natto to your heart’s content.Natto?Natto originated in Japan and is made by fermenting soybeans. Although there certainly are people who can’t handle the distinctive smell and the stickiness of this dish, because it is rich in proteins, vitamins, and dietary fiber, natto is considered to be quite healthy and as such, is gathering attention in other parts of the world, as well.The store we are taking you to today is located in between Sangenjaya and Shibuya, at Ikejiri-Oohashi, the so-called Natto Kobo Sendaiya (Natto Factory Sendaiya). The main store of this veteran shop is situated in Yamanashi, and they have been producing natto products as of Showa Period, or for more than half a century, and are a shop whose main field of expertise is natto.But, today’s focus is on Ikejiri-Oohashi store, because they offer an irresistible menu for true natto fans – the unbelievable all-you-can-eat natto experience.In order to effectively answer their customers’ natto cravings, you will notice a vending machine selling natto products 24/7 situated in front of the store.From your favorite packaged natto to various types of straw-wrapped ones, you can just take a pick from the lavish collection.The interior of the shop has a sophisticated and modern atmosphere.Should you choose the counter seat, you can learn about the whole process of making natto while enjoying your beloved delicacy.Now, Let’s Conquer that Endless-Natto Horizon!If you take a look at the menu, you’ll discover plenty of mouth-watering dish names that promise the greatest natto flavor additions to your favorite dishes – some of them are natto udon, natto soba, and such. But, today’s star appearance belongs to this eat-all-you-want natto set! Yes, the endless amounts of sticky, sticky natto!All-you-can-eat natto set, price: 780 yenWith your natto lunch set, you will also be provided with miso soup and Japanese pickles, as well as one side dish from that day’s offered menu. If you’re up for a hearty amount of cooked rice, you can order the large portion at the beginning for free, but the refill option is not free of charge, so it would be wise to think about exactly how hungry you’re feeling before you place your order.There are as many as eight different types of natto beans you can choose from – you order two of them at once.Edamame, or green soybeans (upper left corner), large grain natto (produced in Japan, upper right corner), ground soybean natto (lower left corner), small grain natto (produced in Japan, lower right corner)For large grain natto and edamame natto, bigger size grains were used, in order to let the customers to relish the taste of each bean at a time.If you’re feeling up for something refreshingly different, try out edamame natto, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the softness and deliciousness of each grain. The texture and exquisite taste make this dish super delicious in all its simplicity – the one you don’t need other flavors to improve the taste.Now, the first thing you ought to do to be able to fully invest in the true taste of natto is to stir it in quick motions, to let the stickiness develop in all its mightiness. You can top your cooked rice with it, eat it on its own, or put it in your miso soup and enjoy it that way. For the extra spice and flavors, you can use the seasonings available at each table to your liking – there are soy sauce and natto sauce, shichimi spice (a blend of seven spices), and karashi spice ( a type of mustard). Natto sauce is dashi-based and has a more sweet flavor to it, as opposed to salty soy sauce.Time for the sticky heaven!This is Sendaiya’s original natto.Sesame seeds (upper left corner), wakame (type of seaweed, upper right corner), hijiki (type of seaweed, lower left corner), kibi (proso millet, lower right corner)Sesame seeds, wakame and hijiki seaweed, each compliment the taste of natto to make a perfect combination, but we would like to recommend proso millet. Kibi, as it is called in Japanese, gives natto a slightly sweeter flavor, and it doesn’t have a strong aroma, which makes it all the more enjoyable.As it can be expected, lunchtime is the busiest time of the day for this shop, with waves of customers coming in for their delicious portion of natto. Wherever you look the one thing you will see are swift hands stirring the natto to make it all squishy and sticky.Use shichimi spice or karashi to give your natto flavor a little twist, or choose from the other toppings available, such as eggs or chirimen (dried young sardines) – you have to pay extra charges for these additional toppings however.We can’t blame you for being unable to stop your hand from reaching for more natto – who could stop when you know you can get as much as your heart desires?Natto Desserts, Anyone?Now, let us surprise you with an astonishing piece of information – at Sendaiya, you won’t only find the finest natto dishes and combinations, but sweets made from natto, as well!We bring to you the natto donut. With soft and moist texture and without any trace of natto being inside, this remarkable dessert is said to be loved even by customers who aren’t on such good terms with natto itself. As its main ingredient is natto, which is known to be high in nutritional value, and since it is baked and not deep-fried in oil, it is also super healthy. Of course, you can always buy it to go to save some for later sweet moments, but if you’re planning on relishing all those natto delicacies at the store, including this particular dessert, beware of the seductive effect of eating without limitations and leave some room for natto desserts, as well!Soybean Baumkuchen, price: 1000 yenWe were lucky enough to notice the samples of soybean Baumkuchen, made from natto and soy milk, so we didn’t waste time.We were eager to find out if we will be able to recognize the representative stickiness of natto beans, but much to our surprise, the dessert was soft and moist, melting gently inside of our mouth.Natto Products Perfect for Souvenirs!Other than previously mentioned items, you will also notice sweet natto, dried natto, and other snacks and sweets.Here’s something completely unexpected – natto soap! It is said to make the skin shiny and smooth, so our guess is that anybody would be thrilled with such a peculiar and practical gift.LastlyIt isn’t surprising if what you first thought of when natto was mentioned is “eaten with rice”, but we assure you, there are other wonderful ways to enjoy this remarkable delicacy. Even those who feel natto isn’t really their cup of tea could be thrilled to discover plenty of combinations that would make eating pungent and sticky natto into a whole new experience – natto desserts you can find at Sendaiya are such a case.And for those who can’t resist a fine cup of natto beans, it is a must to visit Sendaiya, and experience firsthand the thankful all-you-can-eat option for limitless amounts of classical natto. It might make you addicted to the peculiar flavor of this nutritious dish.InformationNatto Factory SendaiyaAddress: Tokyo, Setagaya, Ikejiri 3-20-3 Ryuseido Building 1FHours: 11:00-19:00; eat in from 11:00-15:00Closed: NoneWiFi: NoneCredit Cards: NoneNearest Station: Ikejiri-Ohashi Station, Tokyu Den-en-toshi LineAccess: 4 minute walk from west exit of Ikejiri-Ohashi StationPrice: all-you-can-eat natto lunch set 780 yenPhone Number: 03-5431-3935Website: http://www.sendainatto.jp/ (Japanese)last_img read more

As A Gift Or For Yourself 3 Amazing Treats From Tokyos Suburbs

first_imgThe interior of this store is rather cute. One of the most popular treats on their menu are these sweet potato buns. The softness of this confection along with its sweetness that’s not too overpowering, make this a treat that’s hard to resist. Not only that, but it comes in several different flavors: plain, Uji matcha, chocolate, adzuki bean, rich sesame, Mont Blanc, and more.You can also buy boxes of this sweet, so you needn’t worry about missing out on any of their regular or seasonal flavors either.Price: Den En Potato – 320 yen for 1Will keep for: 1 day at room temperature, about 1 week refrigeratedAddress: Kanagawa, Kawasaki, Asao, Kamiasao 1-9-1Hours: 8:00 – 20:00Closed: NeverNearest Station: Shin Yurigaoka Station, Odakyu LineAccess: 380m from Shin Yurigaoka StationWebsite: http://poteto.co.jp/index.html (Japanese)Perfectly Delicious GiftsConfections are the perfect way to express gratitude, say you’re sorry, or just as a souvenir of a trip. And the best way to choose a sweet gift for someone is to test it out yourself first – so why not give these desserts a try and then pick up extra to give to your friends and family? One of the most important parts of giving an edible gift is whether or not it tastes good, according to our Japanese writer. Of course, there are other factors to keep in mind when picking out a gift, such as how it is packaged, how many treats come in each box, the price, and how easy it is to find that particular item.But whether or not something tastes good, that can be a surprisingly difficult question to answer when choosing a souvenir for someone else. Here we will be introducing three perfect edible souvenirs that make ideal gifts for others, or for yourself, all available in Tokyo’s suburbs.1. Chimoto – Traditional Japanese ConfectionsToritsudaigaku Station on the Tokyu Toyoko Line is a local station, so not too many sightseers may visit it on their way to Yokohama, or the surrounding area, but here you’ll find a very popular traditional Japanese sweet shop called Chimoto.The lush greenery and tranquil air of this shop reminds its customers of the slower pace of life of old Japan, while the main concept of the goods sold here is that “really delicious food is simple, there’s no need to play around with it”.The Japanese confections sold here may look simple, but they have a flavor like no other. Without a doubt, Chimoto is where you’ll find some incredible, high-quality Japanese style sweets.Pictured above is perhaps their most famous – yakumo mochi. This soft sweet has a gentle jiggle to it when held, and is a treat that people of all ages love. The flavor of the unrefined sugar inside the mochi, or rice cake, portion of this confection gives off a marshmallow like sensation, while the crushed cashew nuts give it a slightly salty accent. It’s a traditional taste that you won’t find anywhere else.Price: yakumo mochi – 158 yen for 1Will keep for: About 5 daysAddress: Meguro, Yakumo, 1-4-6Hours: 10:00 – 19:00Closed: ThursdayNearest Station: Toritsudaigaku Station, Toyoko LineAccess: 3 minute walk from Toritsudaigaku StationWebsite: http://tabelog.com/tokyo/A1317/A131702/13003218/ (Japanese)Nata De Cristiano’s – Portuguese DelightsNata De Cristiano’s is located near Yoyogi Park, an area overflowing with greenery. In this area with stylish cafes and restaurants one on top of another is this one store that sits quietly by itself. A branch of the popular Portuguese restaurant Christiano, this sweets shop specializes in takeout treats, and sees a nonstop flow of customers every day.Other than just confections they also serve deli foods, alcohol, and so forth in their small seating area. There are a number of items on the menu, but the most highly recommended item on their menu is their egg tarts, which are simply amazing.This confection has a surprisingly crispy exterior with a thick and sweet custard cream inside. The lightly sprinkled cinnamon on the outside gives it just the right touch – when the author bought some as a gift, they ended up having to go back to the store for more because they couldn’t resist the sweet allure of these egg tarts!Here you can see the Pastel de Nata (nata meaning egg tart), which in Portugal is as well known as the manju, (a type of bun with a bean-jam filling), is in Japan. By all means try this pastry out at least once, you won’t regret it.Price: Pastel de Nata – 200 yen for 1Will keep for: 1 day at room temperature, about 1 week refrigeratedAddress: Shibuya, Tomigaya, 1-14-16, Standford Court 103Hours: 10:00 – 19:30Closed: MondayNearest Station: Yoyogi Koen Station, Tokyo Metro Chiyoda LineAccess: 1 minute walk from Exit 1 of Yoyogi Koen StationWebsite: http://www.cristianos.jp/nata/index.html (Japanese)3. Den En Potato – Sweet Inventive DessertsOn the Odakyu Line, about 25 minutes by express train from Shinjuku, you will find Shin Yurigaoka Station. A quiet residential stop, this station has some shopping centers and the Kawasaki prefectural immigration office, but little else to draw tourists to it. Except for the charming sweet shop, Den En Potato, which was once located on the Den en Toshi Line, near Futakotamagawa Station, where the photos in this article come from.last_img read more

More to Love 7 MustSee Spots in Himeji Castle

first_imgJapan’s castles and castle ruins are among the most popular sightseeing locations for overseas visitors. In this article, we will introduce 7 spots you should check out when visiting Japan’s pride – the national treasure and World Heritage Site, Himeji Castle.*Depending on the type and scale of the castle, you might not come across all the facilities introduced here in other castles than Himeji.Read also:Over 400 Years of History: Himeji Castle, the Pride of Japan1. Ishigaki – The Stone WallsThis ishigaki, or stone wall, forms the base of the castle and has several tricks in order to ward off any possible intruders.As the corners of the walls break off easily, Himeji castle was built using the sangizumi technique, which has the long rectangular stones layers alternating with shorter stone pieces.In order to keep intruders out, the upper part of the stone wall suddenly takes a steep turn. This construction technique is called a “fan gradient”.2. Hori – The MoatThis is the hori, or moat, which is built around the castle to prevent intruders from getting inside. There are 3 moats surrounding Himeji Castle – an outer one, one in the middle and an inner moat. The moat pictured above is the inner one. As you see the reflection of the beautiful castle in the river, you almost forget that this moat was built to keep out enemy intruders.By the way, moats which don’t have water are called karabori.3. Musha-damari – Gathering Spots for the WarriorsMusha – the warriors – would gather in the musha-damari, in order to make themselves difficult to see from peering eyes. This area is surrounded by earthen walls on three sides, and is where the samurai would wait before heading towards the area to the west of the citadel.4. HazamaThe small narrow openings along Himeji Castle’s tower and earthen walls are called hazama. These were implemented so that those inside the castle can safely shoot arrows or bullets through these holes at the enemy camp.Hazama come in various shapes, such as round and square.The reason why the inside part is larger than the part on the outside is to make it difficult for the enemy to attack, but gave the person on the inside a wide field range.5. Passageways with Gates and MazesIn order to keep intruders from getting into the main part of the castle, Japanese castles feature long winding passageways and many, many gates.Himeji Castle is not an exception. From the castle entrance to the very last fortress there is a multitude of gates of all sizes that all weave together to form a maze which would keep any intruder from reaching the main castle. There are currently 21 gates in use. The above picture shows the Nuno Gate, which features a tower and is one of the large scale gates.The picture above shows the passage connecting the Mizuno Gate to the Hono Gate, which is fairly close to the castle tower. The height and width of this entrance are just large enough for 2 people to pass through at the same time. The wall in the middle is called an abura kabe (wall that hasn’t been painted white), and is considered to be a very sturdy wall.6. Seki OtoshiEven if enemies have managed to make their way all the way up to the inner castle tower, there is one more trick that this castle has got up its sleeves. You probably noticed the thin openings sticking out the side of the castle tower. They are called seki otoshi (“stone dropping holes”). Even if intruders manage to make their way right up the castle tower, defenders from the inside can drop stones on them from here.Let’s take an even closer look at the castle walls. These holes were not just for dropping stones, they were also used for keeping watch, as well as for shooting at the targets below.If you take a look at the stone dropping holes from inside the castle, you can see that the holes were covered by long wooden planks. The thick, white grill in front of the stone dropping area is there to prevent arrows from the enemy camp reaching the people on duty here.7. Defense Mechanisms Inside the BuildingIn the end, let’s take a look at the defense equipment inside the castle tower. Here is a room called musha kakushi, or “a warrior’s hiding-place”. It is designed to help the warriors hide themselves, while retaining the ability to attack the enemy intruders in case they made it all the way into the castle.Inside the castle tower walls, there is a weapon rack which was used to store spears and guns. It seems that the castle tower was used to keep the weapons as well.Here we have introduced the various defense mechanisms from outside the castle and from inside the castle tower. There are many more tricks that this castle has in store for visitors. If you have the chance, go visit the castle and see them for yourself!InformationHimeji CastleAddress: Hyogo, Himeji, Honchō 68Hours:09:00 – 16:00 (closes at 17:00),Summer Time (April 27th-August 31st) 9:00-17:00 (Closes at 18:00)Closed:December 29th, 30thWi-Fi: Yes (HIMEJI Wi-Fi)Other Languages: website is in English, Chinese, Korean, French, Spanish, Portuguese, German, and VietnameseNearest Station: 20-minute walk from JR Himeji Station, or San’yo Himeji StationPrice: 300-1000 yenPhone: 079-285-1146Website: Himeji Castle=”http:>last_img read more

【SHOUTENGAI】Tips for Going to Togoshiginza Shoutengai

first_imgAt the transfer gate of Gotanda station, you need to exit once. If you have IC cards, then you don’t!From AsakusaFrom the Asakusa area, it is convenient to use Toei Subway Asakusa line! Head for “Togoshi Station(戸越駅)”.There are several entrances for the subway’s Asakusa station.Blue signboard above shows that there’s an entrance.(1)Red circled AOther lines also run through Asakusa Station, so be careful not to take the wrong one. Asakusa Line’s sign is a red circle with the A. On the picture above, you need to turn right and walk 70 meters.If you get to the gate, check the ticket vending machine. (As I told you already, you just need to go straight through the gate if you have IC cards with you.)(2)Buy the ticketsFrom Asakusa to Togoshi Station, it costs 270 yen. Touch the “270” button and pay the money. (To get the English menu like this picture above, first touch on white “English” button on the menu.)Sometimes you might be able to buy “One-day Economy Pass for Toei Subway Lines”, so check the “One Day Economy Pass” menu. It takes 540 yen on round trip to Togoshi, so this pass is a little bit cheaper.Reference:東京都交通局HP(4)You need to change on some trainsTo the Togoshiginza, take the train on 1 line. Train bound for Nishimagome(西馬込) will take you directly to the Togoshi Station. If you took the other trains, change to Nishimagome-bounded at the Sengakuji Station(泉岳寺).To the Togoshi Station, it takes about 30minutes(14 stations) on local train. If you arrived the station, head for A2-A3 exit Gate.After passing the gate, go out from the A3 exit and the shoutengai will be at a stone’s throw.Go left from the A3 exit, and there you will get to the shoutengai!TipsAt the Asakusa Station, hop on “Red Circled A” SubwayChange the train at Sengakuji Station if not bound for Nishimagome!Lastly…How was the tips? JR lines and subway lines are pretty much complicated in Tokyo and also exits are everywhere, so you might get confused. It is recommended to note the lines and exits beforehand.Enjoy your stay and bon voyage! First, go to Yamanote line Gotanda Station. Yamanote Line is formed as a ring, so you will reach the Gotanda Station on any trains running along this line. Well, it would be earlier to hop on Tokyo-bound trains from around Shinjuku or Shibuya, and on Shinagawa-bound trains from around Nippori to Tokyo station.(2)Change to Tokyu Ikegami lineAt the Gotanda station, change the train to Tokyu Ikegami line(東急池上線). picture:JR-EASTThere’s a transfer exit for Tokyu Ikegami line on the left pink space of the image above. When you get off the train of Yamanote line at Gotanda station you will be at somewhere on the blue floor,so walk straight toward the direction trains are heading on line 1(=toward left side on the image). Walk to the tip of this station on the same floor, until you see stairs that takes you up.(3) Ticket GatesWalking up the stairs, you would see two ticket gates on your front and left side. If you hadn’t get the tickets for Gotanda to Togoshiginza, then exit from the left gate following the signs on yellow column. Buy your tickets at the vending machine out side(130 yen).If you have IC cards like Suica or PASMO, then you don’t need to get out. Walk straight through the front gate under orange “IK” signboard. And you can directly get to the station of Tokyu Ikegami line.■Any trains will take you to Togoshi-ginza from Gotanda on Tokyu Ikegami line, for this is the first station.Only 3 minutes on train, and step off at the “Togoshi-ginza” station. The shoutengai is waiting right in front of you!TipsAt JR Gotanda station, walk toward the direction trains are running on line 1, until you get to the tip and see stairs in front of you. From Stations along Yamanote lineFrom the stations along JR Yamanote line such as Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Tokyo, it is convenient to go there via Gotanda Station(五反田駅). Let’s head toward Tokyu Ikegami line “Togoshiginza station”!(1) First, go to Gotanda(五反田) Togoshi-ginza shoutengai is located in the south of Tokyo. This time, I will introduce two major routes to get there.last_img read more

Japanese Calligraphy Utensils You Can Buy At 100 Yen Shops

first_imgLikewise, you can’t mix or pour your ink without someplace to put it. While a small dish will do if you forget, having a proper inkstone on hand will make your work ten times easier. This inkstone, available at the 100 yen store Daiso, is highly recommended.In the above photo, you can see the well where you pour your liquid ink, and the sloped edge to tap the excess ink from your brush… You can’t do shodo without ink, and fortunately, you can find liquid ink and ink sticks in black and red (some art stores also carry specialty colors as well). Ink sticks can cost anywhere from 800 to tens of thousands of yen for the most high quality sticks.On the other hand, liquid ink is also readily available and can cost as little as 100 yen a bottle. Please be careful though, as liquid ink will expire if it isn’t used regularly – and when it does go bad, it smells awful. It also can stain if spilled, so you may want to prepare a special place to practice your calligraphy before getting your ink ready.Suzuri – Inkwell or Inkstone Calligraphy brushes come in roughly ten different sizes in stationery or art supply shops, and in 2-3 sizes at 100 yen stores. The smallest of them has a very fine point, ideal for writing on postcards, and the largest is nearly the width of a hand across, and perfect for large papers or canvases.As a beginner, you’ll probably want to stick with two brushes for now: a small-medium brush and a medium-large brush, like in the photo above. The smaller brush shown runs anywhere from 100-700 yen, while the larger brush is available at 100 yen shops, and cost just 108 yen (with tax).Sumi – Ink Shodo calligraphy is an art brought to Japan from China that uses a brush and ink to artistically write kanji and hiragana characters. Taught by calligraphy masters at schools around Japan, this is one art that anyone, regardless of Japanese level or even artistic talent, can easily take part in and come to love.But what happens when the class is over? If you’d like to keep up your newfound skill back home, you’ll need some very important materials. In this article, we’ll take a look at the absolute necessities that you’ll need in order to do shodo at home.If you’d like to learn more about shodo, please take a look at Enjoy The Art Of Japanese Calligraphy – Shodo Workshops For Tourists, and if you’d like to see some of the other cultural experiences awaiting you in Japan, check out Experience Kabuki, Sumo, Tea Ceremony And Other Traditional Activities.Fude – Brushes of Varying Sizes One especially popular activity for international visitors to Japan is taking part in traditional culture-based experiences. There are many places where you can wear a kimono, make ukiyo-e prints, try martial arts, work on bonsai, and of course, experience early morning Zen meditation. But another art that this quickly gaining in popularity is shodo, or Japanese brush calligraphy. Or if you flip it over, there is an area to rub the ink stick and make your own ink instead.Washi – the Right Kind of Paper Technically speaking, any sort of paper can be used for shodo, but if you would like to be traditional about it, then you should really pick up some washi paper as well. Depending on which region of Japan you are in, and even which shop, you will find that there are hundreds of different washi to choose from in varying price ranges.If you are mostly looking to practice though, Daiso sells practice washi paper in packs of 100 sheets, again for 108 yen (with tax). They also have packs of formal, plain white writing paper as well, for the same price.Have Fun Practicing Your Newfound Talent!After returning home from Japan, it would be a waste to give up on your newfound talent for Japanese calligraphy, but if you remember to pick up these four items, you’ll be able to keep it up. Best of all, at the lowest end of the price range, you may spend just 500 yen on all the necessities!Other items that you should prepare, but don’t necessarily need to buy are a bunchin (paperweight to hold your calligraphy sheet steady), and some cloth or newsprint (or recyclable paper) to place under your washi.Have fun practicing shodo at home!By the same author 5 Must Have Stationery Items From Japan’s Best Variety Goods Stores Treat Yourself! 7 Funky And Useful Japanese Souvenirs Sumo, Samurai, Or Ninja – Which Would You Like To Be? Only For The Adventurous! Unique Japanese Sodas Fantasy-Like Places All Across Japan! Let Your Inner Child Have Funlast_img read more

Lets Hit The Slopes A Ski Gear Guide For Beginners

first_imgThe only thing to do after that is to enjoy your time snowboarding! If you go with experienced friends, ask them to help you out. There are also places which offer lessons for beginners. Also, because most ski slopes are at the tops of mountains, weather conditions can change abruptly, and you might be blanketed in snow much snow you can’t even see a few meters ahead. This is very dangerous, so if the snowfall becomes too intense, don’t force yourself to keep going. Your safety is paramount. Most ski resorts will close in the evening, so give yourself extra time to enjoy winter sports in Japan!Kawaba Ski Resort I went to the Kawaba Ski Resort in Gunma, which has fine, powdery snow. You can rent ski and snowboard gear, as well as ski wear. You can’t rent goggles or gloves, but you can buy them at the sporting goods store inside the facility. It takes about an hour from Tokyo to get to Jomo Kogen Station, then from there, it’s a 50 minute ride on the free shuttle bus. The slopes are busy with people, as it’s an easy day trip away from Tokyo. Kawaba Ski Resort View InformationAlso read:5 Ski Resorts To Enjoy On A Day Trip from Tokyo In 2017-2018Top 5 Ski Resorts In Snowy Hokkaido For Winter 2017-2018Niseko Sightseeing Guide: Access, Area Information and SouvenirsHakuba Area Guide: 8 Best Ski Resorts And Sightseeing Spots 2018GALA YUZAWA – A Classic Ski Slope 90 Minutes From Tokyo!In cooperation with: Kawaba Ski Resort This is how I look, fully geared up. There are ski resorts where you can rent goggles and gloves, but there are some where you can’t rent gear, so buy them in advance to be safe. Expect to pay 500 to 1000 yen per item when renting.What You Can Rent at the Slope Many people look forward to enjoying winter sports when they come to Japan. There are plenty of places in Japan which are famous for their snow quality, like Hokkaido’s Niseko area and the former Olympic venue of Nagano. However, people who are not used to snowy weather might have these sorts of questions.“How cold does it get” in snowy places?“What should I wear to the ski slopes?”“Can I rent ski and snowboard gear on location, at the ski resort?”I also had these questions, because even though I was a beginner, I was invited to go snowboarding! As a Tokyo resident, I almost never have chances to experience snow. When it occasionally snows in Tokyo, I frequently panic and end up slipping and falling. I thought, “I’m a total novice and I don’t even have one piece of ski gear… will I really be OK?” Turns out, it was fine. However, there are also things I wish I’d known from the start. I’ll explain what you need to know about clothing and gear as a beginner on the slopes.What to Buy in Advance ・Ski set Skis, stocks, boots・Snowboard set Snowboard, boots・Ski wear (jacket and pants)You can rent these sets at the ski slopes. Their prices will vary, but most places rent out ski/snowboard gear for 4000 to 5000 yen, and ski wear is usually 3000 to 4000 yen. When renting, pay the extra fee for insurance (around 500 yen). You can’t just think “it’s a pain to rent everything, I’ll just go in my regular clothes.” Without ski wear, the snow will get in your clothes and chill you to the bone. Be sure to get ski wear, both a jacket and pants.What You’ll Be Glad You BroughtThese aren’t must-have items, but they’re helpful to have.Padded TightsFalling over and over is very painful. Wear padded tights to protect your rear end, and you’ll feel a lot better.A Small PouchIf you have a pocket-sized pouch separate from your regular wallet, it’s convenient for when you want to buy a drink or food.A Waterproof Ziploc BagThe surface of your phone might freeze over, so put it in a Ziploc to be safe.ChocolateOnce you start going down the mountain, it takes time to make it to a lodge. Keep your energy up.Sunblock and Lip CreamEven if it isn’t sunny, the snow glare can burn your skin, and the dry air can chap your lips, so carry these for peace of mind.*Make sure to close the zipper on your ski jacket when you put these in your pocket, so they don’t fall out.What Should I Wear on the Day Of?Obviously, ski resorts are freezing. I recommend wearing tights underneath warm clothing. Check the temperature beforehand to figure out how many layers you’ll need. Avoid sneakers, since you’ll have to walk on top of snow. You also sweat a surprising amount while snowboarding, so bring a change of clothes (tights, underwear, etc.) and a towel. It may hit minus temperatures once you get up the mountain, but if you‘re wearing a knit cap, goggles, a neck warmer and ski wear, you won’t feel the cold too much.Let’s Head to the Snowy Slopes! For peace of mind, you should buy goggles, a neck warmer, gloves and a knit cap that covers your ears in advance. Before I went snowboarding, I thought, “I have a muffler, I’ll use that,” “Do I really need goggles?” and “I’ll use the gloves I had at home.” These were all severe miscalculations on my part.GogglesWithout goggles, your eyes get so cold they start hurting, and because glare reflects off the snow, without goggles, your eyes will get extremely tired. With goggles, you don’t have to stress about it. Cheap models are about 5000 yen. If you wear glasses, I recommend using goggles which you can wear over your glasses.A Neck WarmerIf your skin is even somewhat exposed, the chill will get in through that area. Use a neck warmer to retain warmth. If you fall while wearing a muffler, there’s a chance that it could choke you. It costs anywhere from 1500 to 3000 yen.GlovesRegular thin gloves get filled with snow, and you’ll lose feeling in your hands. Be sure to buy waterproof gloves! They will also mitigate the impact of falls when you put your hands out. Gloves cost from 3000 to 10,000 yen.A Knit CapDepending on the time of day and weather conditions, the hair on your head may freeze from the cold, so carry a knit cap that covers your ears. Even OK for Novices!last_img read more