Category Archives: Numazu City

Manhole Covers in Shizuoka Prefecture 19

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A beautiful mint water access manhole cover in Susono City!

This time I will take you the eastern part of Shizuoka Prefecture, but since I have quite a few I had to write it in two parts!

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The same as above but without the colors!

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A small and colorful valve pit cover in Susono City!

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A flowery manhole cover in Mishima City with the motif in relief!

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The same type of manhole cover in Mishima City with some colors left but with the flower motif carved in!

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An ancient sewer manhole cover in Mishima City!
Note the central motif!

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Another old sewer manhole type in Mishima City with the same central motif!

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Another sewer type manhole cover in Mishima City with a different central motif!

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Another colorful flowery water access manhole cover in Hirokoji District in Mishima City!

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A splendid mint water access manhole cover in Nirayama, now part of Mishima City with Mount Fuji, Strawberries and Hansharo Foundry Towers!

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here is another water access manhole cover in Nirayama!
Nirayama is famous all over the country for its strawberry farms!

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A beautiful mint water access manhole cover for Numazu City!

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An old sewer manhole cover in Numazu City!
Note the central motif!

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An intriguing manhole cover in Heda, now merged into Numaz City!

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The same as above in Heda but inside a larger manhole cover!

See you in part 2 next!

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Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

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Kura: Japanese Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 1

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A tall kura in Shizuoka City

“Kura” (in japanese 蔵 or 倉) means “warehouse” or “Storehouse”.
In traditonal Japan, especially during the Edo Era, as most of buildings and urba/village structures were made of wood, fires were the bane of society by and large.
However well-protected a fire would consume a house or buildings and all its properties within minutes.
Hence a special building or warehouse was needed to protect goods and properties against such a catastrophe.
But erecting a storehouse solely made of concrete, stones and some metal cost a vast amount of silver and gold and only rich merchants and nobility could afford them. Even castles could not be built entirely of stone then.

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Can you spot the small one in far distance? Discovered in Numazu City!

Except in Kyoto and other touristic regions, or unless designated as cultural properties, most large ones have been pulled down as the land they stood on was far more financially valuable.

Only yesterday I cycled to one I knew just to find out that the owner who used it as a restaurant had just replaced it with a car park and moved his restaurant on the first floor of an adjacent building!

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Very small, even by Japanese standards, I wonder how it has survived all that time!

During WWII those warehouses helped to conserve a lot of precious data as they were sturdy enough to resist bombing and fires.
Where the people could not afford to build one on their own, very often the village and even the cities had one built to at least protect the rice harvest.
On the other hand almost all Buddhist temples had one thus protecting a lot of cultural assets, especially in the light that a great majority of the population was literate.

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Can you spot the one covered with ivy behind the old traditional Japanese restaurant?

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It is probably owned by the restaurant.
As Numazu City is a harbor it was probably used to also shelter nets and other valuable fishing equipment as such structures could even withstand tsunamis.

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Can you spot the one behind the car park of the neighboring clinic?

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I wouldn’t be surprised to learn it is still owned and used by the private clinic!
Also in Numazu City and very near the sea you never know, it might prove as a blessing!

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I also discovered this cute little one in Numazu City!

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In Kyoto such kuras would find many uses from store to restaurant, atelier and what else!
If I had the money I would immediately transform it into a cozy little restaurant!

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This one is quite well-known in Shizuoka City.
It is owned by a defunct local cosmetics company.

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It is part of a big property including a house and garden and could easily be transformed into a grandiose project.
Unfortunately it is not on sale as the family owning it apparently does not want or might not be allowed to sell it!

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I almost missed that one in the center of Shizuoka City as it is completely hidden as three sides in spite of its large size!

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Now, this is ancient, and judging from its generally good state it is still used. As what, I have no idea!

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I was lucky to find this one, too, as the owners have completely vacated the premises including the near store which must closed quite some time ago.

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It is tall and big and could easily separated from the rest of the property to be developed as store and restaurant/cafe/atelier but I’m afraid that developers will soon raze the whole lot!

Still looking around as this is a big prefecture with a lot of history.
If you find any in your neighboring I’ll treat you to coffee!

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Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Wall Design: Numazu Ni Primary School

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I did a lot of walking in the back streets of Numazu City yesterday, but it certainly was worth it!

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i suddenly discovered this wall right in front of me!
I wondered what kind of building it was until I got nearer and found out it was of the building annexes of Primary School!

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Numazu Ni (2nd) Primary School is a very large one by Japanese standards.
Being located close to the sea I understood the reasons behind the remarkable design!

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A bright sun and the sea?

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Coming closer I was impressed to find out it was a giant mosaic!

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Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
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Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Street Statues in Numazu City

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People Dance

If you walk along the main street leading from Numazu JR Station to the Numazu harbor you will notice quite a few statues erected by the city with the help of local artists.
Yesterday I took those pictures walking along the right side. There are more on the left side and hope to show some of them soon.
I think this is a great initiative from the city and it does soothe the heart.
Itoh City in northern Izu Prefecture is also a good example I will ave to investigate soon!

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It can also be brought to practical uses sometimes as shown by this lost hat somewhat hung onto this cat’s tail!
Just another proof of how peaceful this country is!

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Numazu City has always been a very active fishing harbor in Japan and it is full of sea birds!

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Caught under the tree shade from another angle. I’m sure professional photographers would come up with an infinity of possibilities!

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Energetic and happy dance!

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Another gull about to take off?

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Or just landed?

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An imposing big-shoed teacher of matron?

Will walk along the left side of the street next time!

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Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: 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!
-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

Mount Fuji Photographs from Heda in Izu Peninsula (Autumn/Fall)

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With fall/Autumn coming soon we shall be able to admire Mount Fuji from a long distance again as the skies will gradually clear up.
There are many spots where you can enjoy great views of the most famous mountain in Japan, but I have a special weakness for one very precise spot!

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Heda, now merged with Numazu City, is a harbor tucked away inside an almost closed cove, the epitome of what Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture has best to offer to any tourist, be he/she Japanese or from more distant shores!
-A resort off the beaten tracks.
-A spa renowned for its thermal hot springs.
-A major fishing harbor part of Numazu City, one of the main providers of seafood to Tokyo.
-Arguably one of the best spots to admire Mount Fuji in the whole of Japan!
-A gastronomic venture with its deep-sea fish and marine life including the largest crab in the world, Takaashigani/高足蟹/Japanese Spider Crab!
-History: It was visited in 1854 by the Russian frigate Diana of the Imperial Russian Navy, the flagship of the Russian explorer Yevfimy Putyatin when it was damaged in a tsunami, following the powerful Ansei-Tōkai earthquake of 23 December 1854. The Diana sank while sailing from Shimoda to Heda for repairs!

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First of all, Heda is a paradise for photographers, amateur and professional alike, who can take innumerable shots of Mount Fuji from various view spots all year round as the sacred mountain is changing its robes daily!
In Autumn, one may sight Mount Fuji as a dark and mysterious figure shrouded in mists looming beyond the sea.

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Sometimes it does look as surging out blue expanses!

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At dusk it will be blurred out of the sky by magnificent sunsets irreverently crossed by returning squid fishing boats!

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This last picture was taken from the beach!
Look foward to more pictures this year. Winter promises some beauties!

Do visit the following for mre fantastic view pictuers and precise access!
HEDA TOURISM ASSOCIATION & BUREAU
410-3402 Shizuoka Prefecture, Numazu City, Heda, 289-12
Tel.: 0558-94-3115
HOMEPAGE (English)

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HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Mount Fuji: The Soul Of Japan

Mount Fuji from Miho Peninsula in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City

Mount Fuji, the Soul of Japan was not always as it looks now dominating every view In Kanagawa, Yamanashi and mainly Shizuoka Prefectures.
Still an active volcano, it presently peaks at 3,776 meters, the highest mountain in Japan. Approximately 400,000 to 300,000 years ago, a first series of eruptions gave birth to Mount Komitake on its left (2,300 meters) and Mount Ashitaka (also called Echizen, 1,504 meters) on its right. Approximately 80,000 to 20,000 years ago a second series of eruptions formed the Old Mount Fuji until it reached a height of 2,700 meters. The present Mount Fuji (“New Fuji”) was formed after a new series of eruptions pushed the volcano up to its present altitude of 3,776 meters. The last eruption occurred in the 18th Century, an event recorded on ancient woodblock prints. Volcanologists agree that an eruption, which could well happen in the near future, would have disastrous consequences with lava flows reaching far to the east and a thick blanket of ash covering the whole of Tokyo!

Mount Fuji by Hokusai

One of the original Thirty-six (36) Views of Mount Fuji by Hokusai Katsushika is probably the most famous of innumerable woodblock prints on Mount Fuji. Needless to say that a picture collection would fill too many books!

Mount Fuji, with its magnificent, almost a perfect cone, has been both the object of various styles of worship and adoration, as well as the subject of masterful works of art
The Prefectures of Shizuoka and Yamanashi are presently pushing for the recognition of Mount Fuji as the fourth Japanese World Cultural Heritage Site.

Mount Fuji has long been revered as a sacred mountain: in the early Heian Period (9th Century), a Sengen Shrine (another one stands in Shizuoka City), a Shinto Shrine associated to the goddess Kanohana-Sakuya-Hime (the name of a great shochu brewed by Fujinishiki Brewery-Distillery in Shibakawa-Cho at the foot of Mount Fuji!), was built at Mount Fuji’s northern base in order to quell any eruptions. In the late Heian Period (11th Century), Mount Fuji became a center for the ascetic practices of the Shungen-do religion. By the Muromachi Period both the Murayama Mountain Trail (later replaced by the Omiya Trail) and the Yoshida Trail were opened, making Mount Fuji widely known as a sacred mountain for the devout to climb.
In the modern age, The Murayama (Omiya) Trail and other trails starting from the volcano’s southern base were frequented by even more pious climbers who were guided by the Shugen-do Practitioners.
On the other hand, the Yoshida Trail and other trails starting from the northern bas became even more popular with followers of Fuji-ko, a sect of of Mt. Fuji worship started by Kakugyo Hasegawa at the end of the Muromachi Period and dominant around the Edo capital during the mid-Edo Period.
Today, Mt. Fuji is loved by young and old alike, with enormous crowds climbing the mountain every year.

Kakita River

Being the tallest mountain in Japan, mount Fuji is home to a widely diverse distribution of plant life that changes as one goes higher in altitude, from its Warm Temperature Zone toits Alpine Zone. And despite the harsh natural conditions, many animals inhabit Mount Fuji.

The abundant, high-quality subsurface water has been used in the daily lives and agriculture of the people who live at its base from old. In recent years the water has also played a large role in the development of paper, chemical, electronic and other industries.
Water from Mt. Fuji is also drunk as mineral water and contributes to thecreation to some of best Japanese sake, shochu and beer in Japan!

Mount Fuji from Nihondaira, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City

In 1998, the two Prefectures of Shizuoka and Yamanashi drafted the Mount Fuji Charter so that Mt. Fuji, symbol of Japan to the World and property of her citizens, could be protected for future generations.

Mt. Fuji Charter
1. To study, familiarize ourselves with, and respect the natural environment of Mt. Fuji.
2. To preserve the beauty of Mt. Fuji and develop its rich culture.
3. To ease the burden under which Mt. Fuji’s environment is now placed, and to establish a balance whereby the environment and mankind can live in harmony.
4. To pursue activities on an individual basis with the aim of preserving the environment.
5. To preserve Mt. Fuji’s environment, landscape, history, and culture for future generations.

Keeping this in mind, you are warmly invited to bring your camera and enjoy the sights of the most beautiful mountain in Japan!

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Must-see tasting websites:

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Baird Beer: The most famous Beer Microbrewery in Japan!

When Bryan and Sayuri Baird founded Baird Brewery in March 2000 in Numazu City, a celebrated harbor in Shizuoka Prefecture, very few people could have imagined than no less than nine years later, their beers would be savored on both sides and across the Pacific Ocean, and in pubs and bars dotted all over Japan!

What is the secret of a couple born in Okinawa (Sayuri) and in the US (Bryan), who has succeeded in managing their business and raising their children at the same time?

In Bryan’s words, they are a family born of a deep passion for beer and a great reverence for brewing history, tradition and culture. Their motto is “Celebrating Beer”, meaning to them not simply the production and sale of beer of character and quality but even more importantly but also entailing the comprehensive enjoyment of beer in a way that enhances the overall experience of life.

Baird Beer is, above all, an experience in flavor.
The flavors of malt and hops and yeast are highlighted and celebrated to their utmost.
The basic formula for the entire line-up of hand-crafted Baird Beer is the same: “Balance + Complexity = Character”.
Baird Beers burst with flavor and character rarely witnessed in this country.
They are made in tiny batches with painstaking care, passion and reverence to tradition.

All bottled Baird beer is unfiltered and undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle, producing a lovely and completely carbonation. Yeast sediment is at the bottom of the bottle, meaning that beer should be poured gently into your glass so as to leave the yeast sediment in the bottle.

Bottle-conditioned Baird Beer requires refrigeration, but for maximum enjoyment should be drunk at cool (8~12 C), not cold temperatures.
Although the beer can cold-aged for long periods, in general, it is highly recommended to drink them sooner than later.

Baird beers are available both as year-round brands and seasonal brands.
Year-round brands are of eight kinds:
Wheat King Ale, Rising Sun Pale Ale, Red Rose Amber, Teikoku IPA, Angry Brown Ale, Kurofune Porter and Shimaguni Stout.
The brewers of Baird Beer annually craft a plethora of seasonal beers because they are convinced that beer is simply the most diverse and exciting beverage on Earth.
Seasonal Baird Beers are produced in of five seasonal beer series:
Baird lager Beer Series, consisting of top-fermenting ales in styles such as Bock, Pilsner, Marzen and so forth.
Baird Strong Ale Beer Series with high-gravity, high-alcohol brews similar to Imperial Stout, Wheat and Barley Wine and strong Scotch Ale.
Baird Brewmaster’s Select Beer Series made with unusual ingredients such as fruits and spices , a traditional hallmark of Belgian brewing. Even Japanese mikans and kabocha, coffee and spices find their way into these brews!
Baird Beer Classics conceived to recreate classic ale styles and reminisce about the past.
Baird Wood-Aged Beer Series consisting of brews aged inside wood casks which formerly held bourbon whisky or wine, a tradition recently pioneered by craft brewers in the U.S.

All beers are available on tap, in cask-conditioned at their three Taprooms in Numazu City and Tokyo (Nakameguro and Harajuku), as well as at select pubs and restaurants in Japan.
Bottle-conditioned Baird Beer may be purchased direct from the Brewery through their website estore and through select pubs, restaurants and liquor shops in Japan.
For a complete listing of Baird beer retailers in Japan, visit the retailers section of their website at
http://bairdbeer.com/en/bairdbeer/retailers

Baird Beer Company presently runs three Pubs:

-Fishmarket Taproom in Numazu City.
This is where all began for Baird ber. The heart, soul, sweat and tears of thir enterprise reside there, Open in July 2000, the Numazu taproom spent many years ignored by the locals. Fortunately, though, a friendly neighborhood atmosphere, characterful beer, great beer-inspired food, and matchlee camaraderie seem to have won out. The fact that their prices are for the most reasonable for craft beer anywhere in Japan is a plus, too.
This is where you will find the brewers and owner-partners of Baird Beer drinking on a regular basis., as well as the oldest Baird fans!
Opening hours: Monday and Wednesday through Friday: 17:00~24:00, Saturday and Sunday and National Holidays: 12:00~24:00. Closed on Tuesdays
Address: 19-4, Senbonminato-cho, Numazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, 410-0845
Phone: 055-963-2628
Access: Tokaido Line=get off at Numazu Station. Shinkansen=disembark at Mishima and change to the Tokaido Line.

Nakameguro Taproom in Tokyo
The Nakameguro Taproom opened in May 2008 as Baird’s first Tokyo-area pub. Like the original Fishmarket Taproom, it enjoys an all-natural wood and brick décor that is warm, inviting and unpretentious. It has space to seat up to 60 patrons, which makes an ideal venue for parties and group events.
Twenty taps and four hand-pumps are devoted to the perfect dispense of a terrific variety of Baird Beer. They have added four new taps dedicated to superb rotation of other world-class craft beers.
Opening hours: Weekdays: 14:00~24:00, Saturday and Sunday and National Holidays: 12:00~24:00.
Address: Nakameguro GT Plaza C-Block 2F, 2-1-3, Kamemiguro, Meguro Ku, Tokyo:
Phone: 03-5768-3025
Access: Within walking distance of Nakameguro Station, Tokyutoyoko Line

Harajuku Taproom
Opened in August 2009, it is distinctively a Japanese-style pub in the izakaya and yakitori fashion.
The low ceiling and expert wood craftsmanship contribute to an intimate, communal environment that disguises the ample seating capacity of 40. A significant percentage of the seating is devoted to counter space around the 15-tap bar and small open kitchen.
Two hand pumps are also in action dispensing Baird beer in Real Ale style (including the year-round Harajuku Ale!).
Opening hours: Weekdays: 17:00~24:00, Saturday and Sunday and National Holidays: 12:00~24:00.
Address: No-surrender Building 2F, 1-20-13 Jingumae, Shibuya Ku, Tokyo:
Phone: 03-6438-0450
Access: Within walking distance of Hatajuku Station, Takeshita Exit, Yamate Line

For complete information,orders and blogs, check:
HOMEPAGE: http://bairdbeer.com/en/ (English)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, 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,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery