Every year on the second week-end of June a very old Japanese Festival is held in Yoshiwara/吉原 in Fuji City/富士市 called Yoshiwara Gion Festival/吉原祇園祭り.
Although it is a well-known festival in Our Prefecture, it seems they welcome more visitors from Tokyo than from Shizuoka City!
A great pity indeed!
I was able at last to witness it, that is part of it as I had to unfortunately come back early in the evening missing the floats parade.
I still manage quite a few pictures to give a good idea of what to enjoy next year!
As there are too many photos for a single report I divided them according to their genre or subject.
This first one is about a rare occasion when young girls can enjoy the day wearing kimono, or more exactly yukata for many of them!
Note the modern footwear!
Hungry girls enjoying a treat!
Little ones with a girl wearing traditional geta/下駄/wooden clogs!
“Kura” (in Japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditional Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.
The other having some time on my hands I decided to cycle down to Ikeda in Suruga Ku, south of Shizuoka JR Station to look for a kura that had just been introduced to me by my good friend, Philip Kreiner.
It is an old Buddhist Temple dating back to 1307 during the Kamakura Era.
The monk there kindly explained me that the kura had been built in the 2nd Year of Meiji Era (1869) after a great fire destroyed the biggest part of the Temple to preserve precious documents although nowadays it is used only as a shed.
Although comparatively small it looked different from the usual kura built by rich merchants or high officials.
It had an unusual portico at its entrance with typical Buddhist Temple decoration.
It even bore its own mon/Japanese crest!
it was in excellent repair in spite of the large smudges caused by rain running down the roofed portico.
The alignment pegs were in a very straight line proving that the building was not suffering from any warping!
Old but very solid window panels and awning!
That door seemed very solid, too!
It was open on both sides for better draft.
Well-maintained tiled roof pinion!
Well-maintained and grilled openings to let the water flow under the building!
The former City Hall of Shizuoka City was built in 1934 although the City of Shizuoka got its present name and status in 1868 succeeding to the City called Sumpu when Tokugawa Ieaysu retired from politics to settle in Fuchu.
In 1996, when the new Shizuoka City Hall had been completed, the Shzuoka City Mayor of the time, Shingo Amano, ordered the former building to be pulled down but fortunately a petition from the citizens of Shizuoka prevented him to do so and the building the same year became an intangible Shizuoka City Culture Asset thus preventing anyone to change it.
It subsequently became the hoe of the Shizuoka City Council among others.
Probably the same year the first manhole cover representing the former City Hall surrounded by swallows, the official birds of Shizuoka City at the time appeared on the streets of Shizuoka City.
Although the City Hall is located north of Shizuoka JR Station , most former city hall designed manhole covers are found south of Shizuoka JR Station!
These manhole covers are found over accesses to road maintenance subterranean networks.
The Shizuoka City logo is the old one with the kanji character for “city”.
The colored manhole cover is unique and can be found only at the bottom of the steps leadin to Toshogun Shrine in Kunozan, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City.
Most neutral versions are to be found along the main road going south from Shizuoka JR Station south exit and near Shizuoka University!
Check the logo if you find one!
There is also a unique one, not in neutral metal, but varnished in black in front of the former Shizuoka Prefecture Hall across the the Shizuoka City Hall!
In 2003, with the advent of Shimizu City being merged to Shizuoka City, a new type was created with a blue instead green background and pink instead of blue swallows!
The one above can be found on the pavement not far from Apita Store in Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!
The logo of Shizuoka City was hence changed to a double geometric design!
There are only two samples of the colored version, the second one in front of the former Shizuoka Prefecture being unfortunately partly covered!
Strangely enough the modern version is very rare, as I found only three along the road between Ikeda Primary School and Honkaku Temple in Ikeda, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!
Check the new Shizuoka City logo!
There is actually a unique sub-type located in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!
It is located in front of Okitsu Hot Spring Building in Okitsu!
The two kanji representing “Roads” at the bottom right had been suppressed!
The other day, for totally unrelated reasons, I happened to walk past the Shizuoka Water Works Building which also houses the Suzuki Culinary Institute.
The whole street, which used to feature most movie theaters before they were moved to Cenova Dapartment Store, has been renovated by the City as it is being developed into a new residential district. Accordingly many manhole covers of all sizes and designs have been replaced with new ones!
The whole pavement had completely been relaid in front of the building but it was definitely unusual!
A water valve access with the Sumpu Castle. new, but noting unusual!
A brand new standard sized air-pressured water valve of a usual dseign!
The new (and third type) Tokugawa Ieyasu In Shizuoka City fire hydrant manhole cover. I thought it had been first laid in April this year but I might have to investigate as the Shizuoka Water Works Building was inaugurated in February!
The new manhole cover!
Now, there are only three of them with a different each!
I actually paid a visit and embarrassed quite a few officials who nonetheless graciously answered this strange expat’s questions that no Japanese would dare to!
These manhole covers, (actually double), are only partly cast with a round metal cover screwed on the wrought iron base.
The character is actually a raindrop!
It also bears the Shizuoka City logo!
“Shizuoka Water Works” in English!
And the water character even has a name! しずみい/”Shizumii”!
All three are markes: “Shizuoka City Earthquake-resistant Water Tank”!
The second manhole cover!
The main use for water in Japan!
The third manhole cover!
The importance of saving water!
The officials told me there no other new manhole covers planned for the near future in shizuoka City, but since they take care only of water I wouldn’t bet on the impossibility of new discoveries soon!
The other day when I visited Susono City I found this beautiful colored manhole covers bearing the designs of the City emblems.
One of them was a waterfalls!
It took me only a few moments that it was the Goryuu Waterfalls/五龍滝, or the “Five Dragons Waterfalls”!
Since I had some time on hand I decided to investigate!
It is quite a walk from Susono JR Station but it gave me the opportunity to visit the city at leisure.
The Waterfalls is located very near a big primary school and kids were only too happy to show me the way!
You will reach a bridge spanning above a river!
Look to your right!
What’s that in the distance?
A waterfall beyond a suspended bridge!
Walking up along the left bank you will find a park!
I tried to walk on the suspended bridge but the wind prevented me from taking pictures!
Big carp streamers along the bridge!
Down river view from the bridge!
Getting near the waterfalls!
It had been a good idea to come on a week day. I can imagine the crowds on summer weekends!
Apparently it was already a”touristic spot” in Edo Times!
As far I could see only 3 of the 5 waterfalls were “active”!
I’m pretty sure that during the rainy season the five of them will easily appear!
There is also a warning about eventual sudden rise in water, so be careful!
Still looking for the fourth and fifth waterfalls…
The main entrance to the park complex.
I found out I had used a “side entrance”!
Actually the park above he river and the waterfalls is a little haven of peace!
Nice little walk!
I’d like to walk in different seasons!
A small resting place!
Above view of the river and waterfalls!
Waterfalls through the trees!
Nice little place for lunch?
Now, what is that old traditional Japanese house?
A house dating back to the 18th Century belonging to the Uematsu Family!
You can visit the interior on week ends!
Although I couldn’t visit it, being a week day, I decided to ave a look around!
Splendid thatched roof!
A great subject for photographers!
All closed up!
The whole house is kept above ground to stay dry!
On my way back I noticed there were carp streamers even under the belly of the suspended bridge!
Nagaizumi Cho is still an independent area contrary to many other places which lost their names after being merged into bigger neighboring cities.
It is located along the Gotemba Railway Line starting from Numazu City Before Susono City.
It proved a busier area than expected and I discovered that the mountains and nature were still a way from the station!
A splendid “matoi/纏/Firemen Festival Pole”!
But when it comes to manhole, colored or neutral, they are all within walking distance from the renovated Railway Station!
A small water valve with the Nagaizumi Cho logo!
A medium-sized pressurized air valve!
Getting near the purpose of this trip!
The star of the day!
The official colored Nagaizumi Cho (sewers) manhole cover!
The same, neutral!
Plenty to chase!
Neutral one again, but in medium size!
Neutral one, but in small size!
A rectangular fire hydrant manhole cover found all over Japan, but with the Nagaizumi Cho logo!
This “matoi” type fire hydrant is also found in many places, but with a difference!
Kinomiya Shrine/木宮神社 i Atami City is a bit of a long but pleasant walk from the JR station, but it is certainly worthwhile the effort as it includes a first in the whole of Japan!
The torii/sacred entrance is actually the entrance to a main and many small shrines due to the size and the age of the site!
Large and fairly new ishidourou/stone lantern!
The first hand-washing stone basin with its dragon water spout!
It is actually a roofed basin leading to the first shrine on the left just past the main entrance!
Walk under a series of torii donated by local worshipers!
The lead to a small shrine dedicated to Inari, the Goddess of Agriculture1
Inari shrine are easily identifiable for their fox guardians!
These two foxes are quite ancient and unusual in the fact that they copy some lion guardians with a paw either resting n a sphere or a younger animal!
The shrine with its rice straw garland and money offerings box!
You can see the drum and other festival paraphernalia locked onside!
Proceeding to the main shrine!
Donated stone lanterns!
An ancient hand-washing stone basin!
The main shrine!
Imposing closed-maw lion guard wit a paw resting on the back of a lion cub!
Its open-maw companion with a paw resting on a sphere!!
The “haiden”/worshiper hall!
Double roof pinion!
A very rich shrine considering the great repair!
The festival drum!
The board announcing Kinomiya Shrine’s main attraction!
Now, what’s that enormous tree?
It has its own shrine/altar!
Now, how old can it be?
The oldest Camphor tree in Japan!
No less than 2,000 years of age!
Incidentally “camphor tree” is “Kusu no ki/楠” in Japanese!
As for this particular tree Japan has given it the titlle of “Oo kusu/大楠/Great Camphor Tree”!
Actually tis “cavity” is venerated as a symbol of fertility!
A fully grown man can stand inside the cavity!
Water running down from nearby mountains!
How people could join hands around it?
Take your time as there is still plenty more to discover!
Walking away from the camphor tree you will its lion guardians!
The other “komainu/狛犬?lion guard”!
The torii leading to a smaller but far older shrine!
A highly venerated stone!
Even a pond with Japanese carps!
A comparatively small but very important “O Mikoshi/御神輿/Portable Shrine”!
Its name is “Gohouren/御鳳/”Great Phoenix”!
It is carried into the nearby sea every year on the 16th of July!
Atami Ciy, Fuji City, Fujinomiya City (including Shibakawa Cho), Gotemba City (including Oyama Cho), Higashi Izu Cho, Ito City, Izu City, Izu no Kuni City,Kannami Cho, Kawazu Cho, Matsuzaki Cho, Mishima City, Minami Izu Cho, nagaizumi Cho, Numazu city, Nishi Izu Cho, Shimizu Cho, Shimoda City, Susono City
Atami City, Fuji City, Fujinomiya City (including Shibakawa Cho), Gotemba City (including Oyama Cho), Higashi Izu Cho, Ito City, Izu City, Izu no Kuni City,Kannami Cho, Kawazu Cho, Matsuzaki Cho, Mishima City, Minami Izu Cho, nagaizumi Cho, Numazu city, Nishi Izu Cho, Shimizu Cho, Shimoda CitySusono City
Access: From Suruga Oyama JR Station/駿河小山駅 (Gotemba railway Line/ＪＲ御殿場線) Go to Bus platform no 1 and board Fuji Reien Line Bus/富士霊園線) and get off at Fuji Reien Bus Stop/富士霊園 (12 minutes). 1 minute on foot.
From Gotenba JR Station: Go to Bus platform no 5 and board Fuji Reien Line Bus/富士霊園線) and get off at Fuji Reien Bus Stop/富士霊園 (30 minutes). 1 minute on foot.
Location: Shizuoka Prefecture, Susono City, Suyama, 2255-27
Phone enquiries: 055-998-1311
Access: About 15 minutes by car (10 km) from Susono IC on Tomei Expressway
About 25 minutes by car from Gotenba IC
About 35 minutes from Fuji IC.
By train: Shinkansen for Tokyo to Mishima Station~bus service to Fuji Safari Park 50 minutes)
Normal train to Gotemba Station~bus to Fuji Safari Park (35 minutes)
From Gotemba Station bus platform No 4 Board Gurinba Line Bus/ぐりんば線 or Juurigi Line Bus/十里木線 (Fujikyuuko/富士急行 Bus Company) and get off at Fuji Safari Park (36 minutes).
From Mishima Station South exit Bus Platform 2 Board Gurinba Line Bus/ぐりんば線 (Fujikyuu City/富士急シテイ Bus Company) and get off at Fuji Safari Park (58 minutes)
Access: Get off at Fujinomiya Station along the Minobu Line. Either go to Bus Platform No 2 (Station north exit) and board Fujikyuu Shizuoka Bus (富士急静岡バス), Fujinomiya Station~Kambara Hospital Line(富士宮駅。蒲原病院線). Get off at Kandamiya Bashi/神田宮橋 (3 minutes) and 2 minutes walk. Or to same platform and board Sankoo Town Bus (山校タウンバス), Shiroito Waterfalls Line (白糸滝線) and get off at Kanda Bashi/神田橋(2 minutes) and 3 minutes walk.
Access: From Suruga Oyama Station/駿河小山駅 (Gotemba JR Railway Line/御殿場鉄線) Go to Bus Platform No 1 and board Speedway Keiyu Fuji Reien Line/スピードウェイ経由富士霊園線 (Fujikyuu Bus/富士急 Company) and get off at Fuji Speedway West Gate/富士スピードウェイ西げーと bus Stop (20 minutes). 2 minutes on foot.
From Gotemba HR Station/御殿場駅, Go to Bus Platform No 3 and board Speedway Keiyu Fuji Reien Line/スピードウェイ経由富士霊園線 (Fujikyuu Bus/富士急 Company) and get off at Fuji Speedway West Gate/富士スピードウェイ西げーと bus Stop (25 minutes). 2 minutes on foot.
Location: 〒410-1231 Shizuoka Prefecture, Susono City, Suyama fujiwara 2427
Opening hours: 09:00~17:00
Closed On irregular days(usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays but still depending on season). Call beforehand!
From Gotemba Station Bus Platform 4 board Gurinpa Line Bus/ぐりんぱ線 (Fujikyuuko/富士急行 Bus Company) and get off at Gurinpa/ぐりんぱ (40 minutes)
From Mishima Station South exit Platform No 2 board Gurinpa Line Bus/ぐりんぱ線 (Fujikyuuko/富士急行 Bus Company) and get off at Gurinpa/ぐりんぱ (76 minutes)
Access: From Gotemba JR Station/御殿場駅 south exit, board Premium Outlet Shuttle/プレミアムアウトレットシャトル Bus from Otome Guchi No Riba/乙女口のりば Bus Platform and get off at Gotemba Premium Outlet Stop/御殿場プレミアムアウトレット (10 minutes).
Location: 〒410-0224 Shizuoka Prefecture, Numazu City, Uranagahama, 3-1
Access: Either Get Numazu JR Station south exit and go bus platform No 8. Board a Tokai Bus (東海バス), Nishiura Line (西浦線9 and get off at Izu Mito Sea Paradise(伊豆・三津シーパラダイス). 36 minutes.
Or get off at Izu nagaoka Station(伊豆長岡駅) along the Izu Hakone Railway Line (伊豆箱根鉄道. Izu Peninsula, from Mishima Station) and go to bus platform No 2. Board a Izu Hakone bus (伊豆箱根バス), Izu Mito Sea Paradise Line (伊豆三津シーパラダイス線) and get off at Izu Mito Sea Paradise bus stop. 25 minutes.
Location: 〒410-3206 Shziuaok Prefecture, Izu City, Yuugashima, 892-14
Access: Get off at Shuzenji Station (修善寺駅), last station along Izu Hakone Railway Line (伊豆箱根鉄道) and go to bus platform No 4. Board a Tokai Bus (東海バス), Amagi Line (天城線9 and get off at Joren no Taki Bus stop (浄蓮の滝) bus stop. 33 minutes. 5 minutes walk.
Access: From Numazu JR Station/沼津駅 South Exit Bus Platform No 2, board (Kyuudou) Numazu Mishima Line/（旧道）沼津三島線 ((Tokai Bus/東海バス Company) and get off at Kakigawa Wakimizu Kouen Mae/柿田川湧水公園前 (30 minutes). 1 minute on foot.
From Mishima JR Station/三島駅 South Exit Bus Platform No 4, board Kakitasen Hoka Line/（柿田線他 ((Tokai Bus/東海バス Company) and get off at Kakigawa Wakimizu Kouen Mae/柿田川湧水公園前 (15 minutes). 1 minute on foot.
Access: 1) Get off At Shin Fuji Railway Station (bullet trains only). Take bus from Stop No 6 outside the Station North Exit. Board Fujikyuu Shizuoka Bus (富士急静岡バス) Route Shinfuji Kawaguchikoo Line(新富士河口湖線) and get off at Makai Noo Bokujo Stop (まかいの牧場バス停). 70 minutes + 1 minute walk
2) Get off at Fujinomiya Railway Station. Take same bus as above from outside north exit (Direction Fujisan Eki/富士山駅). 30 minutes + 1 minute walk.
Access: From Mishima JR Station South exit, go to Bus Platform N0 5, board a Tokai Bus/東海バス (Tokai Bus Company) on Hakone Line/箱根線, or Sankeidai Line/三恵台線, or Natsumegi Line/夏梅木線 and get off Mishima Taisha Mae/三嶋大. 4 minutes.
MOUNT FUJI VISITOR CENTER JUKU FOREST PARK/富士山樹空の森
Location: 〒412-0008 Shizuoka Prefecture, Gotemba City, Inno, 1380-15
Opening hours: 09:00~17:00
Closed on Tuesdays (on Wednesday if Tuesday is a National Holiday)
Open every day July 20th=August 31st HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
Access: From Gotemba Station either bus platform No 1 or No 4 Board Innohonmura Line bus/印野本村線 (Fujikyuuko/富士急行 Bus Company) and get off at Fujisan Jukuu no Mori/富士山樹空の森 bus stop (18 minutes)
NIRAYAMA REVERBERATORY FURNACE/韮山反射炉
Location: 〒410-2113 Shizuoka Prefecture Izu No Kuni City, Nakaji Narutaki Iri, 268
Access: Board Izu hakone Railway Line (伊豆箱根鉄道) from Mishima City and get off at Izu Nagaoka Station (伊豆長岡駅). 15 minutes on foot
Location: 〒411-0036 Shizuoka Prefecture, Mishima City, Itiban Cho, 19-3
Opening hours: 09:00~17:00 (April~October), 9:00~16:30 (November~March)
Closed on Mondaus (tuesday if Monday is a National Holiday)
Entrance fee: 300 yen. One year ticket: 1,000 yen
Access: 1 minute of foot from Mishima JR Station/三島JR駅 South exit.
Location: 〒410-3206 Shizuoka Prefecture, Izu City, Yuugashima, 892-6
Access: Get off at Shuzenji Station (修善寺駅), last station along Izu Hakone Railway Line (伊豆箱根鉄道) and go to bus platform No 4. Board a Tokai Bus (東海バス), Amagi Line (天城線9 and get off at Showa No Mori Bus stop (昭和の森会館9 bus stop. 38 minutes.
Access: Get off at Shuzenji Station (修善寺駅9 at the end of Izu Hakone Railway Line (伊豆箱根鉄道.Starting from Mishima City) and go to bus platform No 6. Board a Tokai Bus (東海バス), Niji No Sato Line (虹の郷線) or Heda Line (戸田線） and get off at Shuzenji Niji no Sato bus stop 8修善寺虹の郷9. 15 minutes.
Location: 〒410-2416 Shizuoka Prefecture, Izu City, Shuzenji, 964
Access: Get off at Shuzenji Station (修善寺駅), last along the Izu Hakane Railway Line (伊豆箱根鉄道。Starting from Mishima City) and go bus platformas No 1 or 6 and board a Tokai Bus (東海バス), Shuzenji Onsenba Line (修善寺温泉場線) and get off at Shuzenji Onsen bus stop (修善寺温泉). 8 minutes. 5 minutes on foot.
Location: 〒410-2416 Shizuoka Prefecture, Izu City, Shuzenji
Access: Get off at Shuzenji Station (修善寺駅), last along the Izu Hakane Railway Line (伊豆箱根鉄道。Starting from Mishima City) and go bus platformas No 1 or 6 and board a Tokai Bus (東海バス), Shuzenji Onsen Line (修善寺温泉線) and get off at Shuzenji Onsen bus stop (修善寺温泉). 8 minutes.