Category Archives: Japan Tourism

Hamamatsu Castle Ruins

There are still a few castles remaining in Shizuoka Prefecture although all of them are ruins or rebuilt or both.
Bear in mind that the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu spent a long time at different periods of his life in the Prefecture (actually 4 of them at the time) leaving his mark here and there.
One of them is the Hamamatsu Castle whose ruins can still be visited in Hamamatsu City!
Just go to Hamamatsu Castle Park/Hamamatujyo Kouen/浜松城公園 (refer to the details at the end of this article) at any time of theyear to enjoy the sights although my preference is late Autumn when the leaves change color!

A pleasurable stroll!

Most information is bilingual including the very useful map at the entrance of the castle domains!

You do have to negotiate a few slopes!

Enormous camellia tree!

Getting near the entrance!

Bilingual sign introducing the Honmaru/main building! Make a point to read all those signs! They are not only great study but very well translated!

A statue of the younger Tokugawa Ieyasu.
Actually the castle was built by the Imagawa Clan before they lost power and became the masters of ceremony of the Tokugawa Clan.

The entrance to the main building from down below!

A great spot for photography buffs!

A side view of the castle!

The last climb and the torii gate of the Shinto Shrine looking after the place!

Great explanations of the building of the walls!

Succinct but very precise historical introduction!

This was a castle conceived for defense during the Japan Feudal Era!

A must read explanation of the castle foundations, citing that the castle was rebuilt in 1958 but on a smaller scale!

The back entrance?

Great explanation on the well that any castle needed to provide water safely to its occupants!

I would have liked to be an enemy tying to climb that wall!

Even if one had succeeded climbing the wall he didn’t stand much a chance passing through the entrance!

This is only a very short introduction to local history! There is plenty more to discover and there is also a park around the castle to spend the day!

HAMAMATSU CASTLE (RUINS)

Inside hamamatsu Castle Park/浜松城公園
430-0946 Hamamatsu City, Naka Ku, Motojyou, 100-2
Opening hours: 08:30~16:30
Tel.: 053-453-3872

GOOGLE MAP

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

Must-see tasting websites:

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

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

Mount Fuji Great View at Satta Pass in Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

Shizuoka Prefecture is the home of Mount Fuji (rightly argued by Yamanashi Prefecture!), that the “seaside Mount Fuji”. Naturally anyone living in another Prefecture who is able to see it in the distance will argue, but geographically half of it lies inside Shizuoka Prefecture. Full stop!

This is why so many foreign and domestic visitors are disappointed when they cannot admire the view because no one took the pains to explain why when they left Tokyo hoping for a grand spectacle.
Mount Fuji towers almost at 4000 meters and it is no wonder that it can be hidden by clouds, mist or rain. In case of a typhoon stay in Tokyo!

What is the best season, then? The coldest and the driest, the better, which means that the best time is between end of October and end of March. If you are lucky you can enjoy the view on rare days until May. After that you do need a lot of luck!
What is the best location to admire Mount Fuji, then?
Too many to choose from actually, so it needs a little study beforehand.
But all agree that one of the spots is the Satta Pass in Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

The Satta Pass until the very end of the Edo Period was a must travelers along the Old Tokaido Route. Actually one can see how it was on one of the woodblock prints of Hiroshige Utagawa exhibited at the Hiroshige Museum in Yui, another must visit spot!
As for going there in this modern era of ours, lazy people can always reach the place by car or taxi, but on a fine day healthy tourists should walk all the way from Yui JR Station, up slopes where they will discover orange trees and meet the local farmers!

Google Map (including instructions for a nice trip!)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

Must-see tasting websites:

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

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

Sengen Shrine (浅間神社) and Kumano Shrine (熊野神社) in Mochimune, Shizuoka City!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-2

Sengen Shrine/浅間神社 and Kumano Shrine/熊野神社 were ercted in Mochimune, Shizuoka City at a time when the ocean/sea reached the slopes bordering the JR Railway Line.
Now you have to find a way across the same railway line to be able to reach them in Shiroyama Cho!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-3

Once past the fairly modern concrete “torii”/sacred gates you will encounter the first stone lanterns/”ishidoroo”!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-4

The stone lanterns bear the common carvings of clouds and deer.

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-5

As well as that of mountains!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-6

you will find on your left a simple, rustic stone hand wash basin with a small roof.

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-7

You will also notice another red torii ans small shrines on your left!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-8

Past the stone hand was basin you will discover a tiny shrine spanning over what used to be a small pond!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-9

Many more stone lanterns beside the stairs!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-10

Sengen Shrine “haiden”/worshiping building.

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-11

More stone lanterns!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-12

The shrine is guarded by two “komainu”/lion guards, the one of the left with its maw closed!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-13

Its right paw resting on the back of a smaller lion.
I’m still investigating the meaning of this smaller lion sometimes found in other shrines!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-15

The lion guard on the right with its maw open!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-16

Its left paw resting on a sphere!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-17

A closer view of the “haiden” with its praying bell rope!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-18

“Sengen Shrine/浅間神社”, one of the more than 1,300 shrines affiliated to the main Sengen Shrine at the foot of Mount Fuji in Fujinomiya City!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-19

Let’s have a look at Kumano Shrine/熊野神社 on the left!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-20

Guarded by two very ancient lion guards!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-21

Always two of them!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-22

From there we can have a look at the “honden”/House of the god of Sengen Shrine closed to the public!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-23

The side access to Kumano Shrine lined up with stone lanterns!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-24

Actually it is more an association of small shrines, some of them with their own money offfering boxes!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-25

All under big old trees!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-26

Although the torii plaque states “Sengen Shrine”, the stone is carved with the name of “kumano shrine”!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-27

Dominated as usual by enormous trees which have seen a lot of puny humans along the years!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-29

This anchor is the very proof that the site is dedicated to local mariners and fishermen!

SENGEN-KUMANO-SHRINE-31

Good-bye, Sengen Sengen Shrine! Good-bye, Kumano Shrine!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

Must-see tasting websites:

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

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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

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

MIKOSHI-1

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

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

MIKOSHI-2

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

MIKOSHI-4

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

MIKOSHI-5

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

MIKOSHI-7

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

MIKOSHI-8

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

MIKOSHI-9

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

MIKOSHI-10

Smiling under the stress!

MIKOSHI-11

Starting to feel the strain!

MIKOSHI-12

But certainly not giving up!

MIKOSHI-13

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

MIKOSHI-14

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

MIKOSHI-15

Very serious about it!

MIKOSHI-16

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

MIKOSHI-17

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

MIKOSHI-18

But all the shouting was done in Japanese!

MIKOSHI-19

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

MIKOSHI-20

Another expat sweating along!

MIKOSHI-21

Grimacing under the effort!

MIKOSHI-22

The last spurt!

MIKOSHI-23

See you again next year!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

Must-see tasting websites:

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

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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

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

FLOATS-2

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

FLOATS-1

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

FLOATS-9

The Minami District float inside its shelter/hangar!

FLOATS-10

Carved Dragon!

FLOATS-3

The float from the Moku District San Chome!

FLOATS-4

What is that fierce deity?

FLOATS-5

The float from the Rokken District!

FLOATS-6

Kintaroo, the legendary hero!

FLOATS-7

Looking after Mount Fuji!

FLOATS-8

Lion guards!

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

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

Must-see tasting websites:

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

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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

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

DRUMMERS-1

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

DRUMMERS-2

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

DRUMMERS-3

Naturally other forms of percussion can be discovered!

DRUMMERS-4

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

DRUMMERS-5

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

DRUMMERS-6

it is an occasion for youngsters to try their hands!

DRUMMERS-7

The representatives of a different district!

DRUMMERS-8

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

DRUMMERS-9

Different teams keep relaying each other!

DRUMMERS-10

Still another district!

DRUMMERS-11

These know they are good! LOL

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

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

Must-see tasting websites:

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

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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

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

FACES-1

Hefty members of the local judo community!

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

FACES-2

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

FACES-3

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

FACES-4

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

FACES-5

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

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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

Must-see tasting websites:

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

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City