Category Archives: Culture

Manhole Covers in Shizuoka Prefecture 27: Fire Hydrant Covers! (消火栓のマンホール) Part 2 (Abstract Symbols))

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Splendid arrow motif in Kusanagai, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City! (credit: Atsuko Kurata)

Fire hydrant manhole covers, or more precisely manhole covers over water and water Tanks accesses for firemne were among the first to be decorated by municipalities with other water access manhole covers and come in three distinct kinds of motifs, either round or rectangular:
1) Fire trucks, firemen and Firefighter’ symbols
2) Regional symbols
3) Abstract symbols

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More arrows with blue and yellow backgrounds in Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

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Can you distinguish the sakura ebi/cherry shrimp in the middle of this manhole cover in Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City?

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Found in Kambara, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

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Similar in design but less intricate in Shizuoka City!

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An old type in Ryuuyoo now merged into Iwata City!

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Yoshiwara in Fuji City has at least 3 varieties on that design! Check the central motifs!

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2nd variety in Yoshiwar, Fuji City!

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3rd variety in Yoshiwara, Fuji City! Double manhole cover!

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Similar typpe, but in Fujinomiya City!

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A smaller one in Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City, but use clearly indicated by yellow paint circle!

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Rectangular fire hydrant manhole covers are also quite common but a second look will tell you soon enough that there are many differences in general motifs and city crests!
Found in Shizuoka City!

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Shizuoka City!

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An ancient one in Shimada City!

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A smaller ancient one in Kikugawa City!

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A manhole cover easy to find at night in Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

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Found in Okabe, now merged into Fujieda City!

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Found in Kikugawa City, but still bearing “Kikugawa Cho” as it was called before being upgraded to city level!

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There are also quite a few types in Kakegawa City which saw so many vilages merged into the city!

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Similar as above but smaller in Kakegawa City!

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A different type in Kakegawa City!

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Still a different type in Kakegawa City, but far more ancient!

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Found in Atami City, although it is a type found elsewhere!

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Such rectangular manhole covers cut with a diagonal line are not very common and might denotate a different foundry!
Found in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

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Found in Shizuoka City!

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Found in Fujieda City!

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, Pierre.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

Art Gallery: Pumpkin 2 in Yaizu City!

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When it comes to art galleries you do sometimes need some kind of radar to find them!
But it is certainly worth the search!

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now we were in search of an art Gallery in Yaizu City called Pumpkin 2 because they were having a very interesting exhibition called 笑刻展/Shokokuten, that is Funny Scupture Exhibiton by an artist called Yuuji Iwasaki/岩崎祐司さん (separate articles coming!)!

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Actually it is not too difficult to find the gallery but you do have to keep your eyes open.
Get out south exit of Yaizu Station, walk to your right along the railway line and you should find it within 5 minutes walk before a small park containing a full steam locomotive!
Climb to the upper floor and enter the narrow entrance.
If you come by car there is a free parking lot available but call them beforehand!

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A beautiful canvas in the narrow entrance hall!

A whole group of loacl artists use the place full time where they exhibit and sell their creations!
Do check their Japanese homepage!

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Gastronomic art!

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Exquisite paintings!

Most of the same artists do often exhibit in Shzuoka City!

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Mobiles by Takashi Terada/寺田高士さん!

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They hold an exhibition by Yuuji Iwasaki/岩崎祐司さん until February 23rd featuring unique humorous wooden sculptures based on Japanese puns! A must!

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It might look small but it will take a good hour to understand the jokes and admire the sculptures!

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One of Iwasaki’s creations!

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A small Ali Baba’s treasure trove of objets d’art!

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A favorite of mine!

Incidentally don’t look for a gallery called Pumpkin 1, it does not exist!

GALLERY PUMPKIN 2

425-0027 Yaizu City, Sakae Cho, 8-1, 2F
Tel.: 054-637-9722
Opening hours: 11:00~18:00
Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
Credit Cards OK
Parking available

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, Pierre.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

No smoking Sign in Kakegawa castle!

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When you get from Yaizu JR Station take the South exit and walk down the stairs and turnleft at the bottom.
On your right you will discover a big marlin jumping out of a fountain!

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The locals know and use this place extensively as shown by those junior high school taking dip in a cold afternoon yesterday!

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This is true hot spring water pumped from a big public hot spring bath center just a few minutes away!
As for the volcanic stones under the marlin they were brought all the way from Mount Fuji!

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The foot bath is looked after the Kuroshio Onsen/Black Tide Hot Spring Company.
Actually it was completely cleaned and revamped last year!

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The best spot!

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, Pierre.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

Along the Old Tokaido Road: Traditional Japanese Edo Houses and Inns in Utsunoya, Shizuoka City!

Utsunoya was an intermediary stage between the two Old Tokaido Route stations, Mariko in Shizuoka City, and Okabe in Fujieda City.
Even during the Meiji Era travelers had to go through it before climbing up and down steep slopes between the two stations.
Accordingly many visitors stopped overnight in one of the “Shuukuba or Kashiya”/inns.
Such establishments can be seen for the sole pleasure of the eyes and learning the history of the region.

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The access is now very easy!
Just take a bus to Fujieda City from platform 7 in front Shizuoka JR Station and get off at Utsunoya Iriguchi bus stop just before the Fujieda Tunnel.
Cross the large road by using the overhead bridge and start walking up the street!

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You will walk past this beautiful Shizuoka City fire hydrant manhole cover!

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The first houses you will meet are not the inns of Utsunoya but they will prepare you to the further sights!

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These houses have been standing there for a long time and often repaired but you can catch glimpses of old wooden architecture!

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Depending on the season they will make for great photography!

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Just walk at an easy pace as your goal is not that far!

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This sign indicates one of the great soba restaurants in this Prefecture called Kishigami!

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The all-important sign!
Take the left-hand path!

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Getting near! can you see the houses in the distance!

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You have reached Utsunoya which depended on the Mariko Old Tokaido Route Station!

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A little historical reminder: travelers had to climb past Utsunoya Pass before the Meiji Toll Tunnel was opened in 1870!

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Enter Utsunoya!

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On that particular occasion we walked through it on a beautiful winter afternoon, but you ought to imagine the same location in all seasons and weathers!

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Rare blue glazed roof tiles!

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All these former inns had names finishing with “ya/屋”

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They share all the same wooden architectural design!

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One can still discover stone foundations even older than the houses!

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Antique rain water stone jars!

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A postcard view!

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Now the owners have generally turned to farming!

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I can’t start to imagine the work involved to build those inns atop stone walls on such steep slopes!

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Walk the stairs keeping an eye for interesting details!

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A typical example of the old architectural design of the tiled roofs!

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Try and imagine tired travelers stopping there overnight!

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Looking down on your tracks up the slope!

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How many of these tiles had to be replaced? It is a cold part of Shizuoka City and exposed to the natural elements!

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Even now it is worth visiting for the sole purpose of eating at traditional Japanese restaurants: Udon Restaurant!

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Soba Restaurant! Kishigami, a favorite of mine and many foreign tourists in search of true Shizuoka gastronomy!

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Souvenir Shop and restaurant!

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And don’t forget to visit the Meiji Tunnel only a little distance away!

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, Pierre.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

Urban Art: FITS Bar in Fujieda City!

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I was walking along the streets in daytime Fujieda City yesterday when I discovered this establishment not far from the JR Station north exit!

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I cannot guarantee the quality of that bar/izakaya although the menu posted outside seemed to mean that the prices were quit reasonable, but the art outside is certainly worth a second and third look!
It is somewhat Halloween-inspired and very unusual in concept for Japan although the humor is very strong there!

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The Cat or the Pussy is definitely the most untrustworthy member, very probably representing the Mama san or lady encouraging you to drink!

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The Teddy bear is definitely the gullible, fat, probably rich middle-aged customer!

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I certainly have a special fondness for the Night Owl!

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, Pierre.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

Non-Smoking Japan: No Smoking Pavement Sign in hamamatsu City!

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I saw some (only a few unfortunately) of these signs south of Hamamatsu City JR Station.

The great thing is taht not only it asks people not smoking while walking along the pavement, but also warns not to throw cigarette butts or empty cans on the pavement!

“For the ske of goo manners in our city” says the line at the bottom.

Still some hope left if cities start a real non smoking streets campaign.

So far in Shizuoka Prefecture, Shizuoka City is the most ahead!

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, Pierre.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

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Manhole Covers in Shizuoka Prefecture 20: Eastern Shizuoka Prefecture 2

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A beautiful mint water access manhole cover in Fuji City!

This is the second part dedicated to the eastern part of Shizuoka Prefecture!

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The same without the colors!

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Beautiful mint of another Fuji City type manhole cover!

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Kaguya Hime Legend on a beautiful fire hydrant access manhole cover in Fuji City!

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A sewer manhole cover in Fuji City!

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Another beautiful mahole cover similar to the Fuji City one but in different colors found in Yoshiwara which has been merged into Fuji City since then!

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Another sewer type manhole cover in Atami City I have just found!

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Manhole cover in Gotemba City!

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The same a above in Gotemba City but in white and black!

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The same again in Gotemba City but without the colors!

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Another beautiful mint manhole cover in Shimizu Cho!

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The same as above in Shimizu Cho without the colors!

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A gas access manhole cover in Shimizu Cho!

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A cute manhole cover in Oyama Cho!

AMAGI-YUGASHIMA

Not strictly east of Shizuoka Prefecture but in Izu peninsula. Beautiful black and white evrsion of a manhole cover in Amagi Yugashima, since then merged in Izu City!

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, Pierre.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