Ooi Shinto Shrine in Shimada City!

Torii/Portal at the entrance of Ooi Shinto Shrine

Whatever City you visit in Japan, down to the smallest mountain village, you will discover at least one Shinto Shrine venerated by the locals. And if you are lucky enough to visit them during traditional holidays or festivals they become an unending source of lore study and photography!

Hand-washing fountain.

How do you recognize a Shinto Shrine from other cult sites?
It is actually very simple even if you can’t read any Japanese!
1) The entrance is always marked with “torii/鳥居/portal”, however tiny the shrine.
2) You will usually find a hand-washing fountain/basin.
3) Entrance is free contrary to some of the shrines of other beliefs. Actually you will often see children playing in their yards in daytime.

Ooi Shrine garden

Now, if you happen to pass through Shimada City, by road or train or on your way from the International Airport take a couple of hours off for a leisurely visit of Ooi shrine/大井神社 as it is only a 10-minute walk from the railway station!
It is just the right size and a true representative of the long local history and culture.
It is also within walking distance to places such as Setsugekka Soba Restaurant where you could take a beautiful lunch before proceeding to the next stage of your trip through Shizuoka Prefecture and Japan!

Shimada Obi Festival Dancer Statue

Shimada is celebrated for its Shimada Obi/belt Matsuri/Festival, an event officially designated as one of 20 strangest/most original festivals in Japan. It is held every 3 years on the Years of the Tiger, Snake, Monkey and Wild Boar!

A young dancer of the other celebrated Shimada Festival, the 300-year old Daimyo Gyoretsu, which imitates the procession of a grand jumangoku (one hundred thousand koku, units of rice) daimyo with a total of 250 marchers stretching over 500 meters!

The New Year is an important time for the Shrine to collect money through the sales of New Year decorations!

The New Year is a great time for photography when people of any age and station visit the shrine!

New Year Decorations sales booth.

The Shrine has a small and cute garden with a carp pond and arched bridge!

2012 being the Year of the Dragon, so it would be a good idea to search for hidden representations of the fabled creature!

An ancient hand-washing basin inside the garden!

Traditional paper lanterns/chōchin (提灯), make for great photographs!

A sacred cow, symbol of fertility and wealth!

A “Kappa”!

Keep your eyes open and you will discover some very intriguing statues such that of a “kappa/河童”, the Japanese cousin of the Scottish kelpie!

The French will be glad to discover frogs everywhere!

More dragons spouting water instead of belching fire!

Lions help the dragons guard the shrine from evil spirits!

Looking forward to meeting you at the next shrine!

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

Izu Peninsula Hotspring Resort: Hotel Isaba in Heda!

Service: A bit stiff but friendly and attentive
Facilities: A bit old-fashioned but clean. Excellent hotspring bathroom
Prices: Expensive
Strong points: Excellent private hotspring bathroom and open-air hotspring bath with great view on the sea. Excellent breakfast
Overall: 72/100

The best time to check in a hotel in Heda is at sunset when you can admire the sinking sun over the horizon from your windows!

It is the more striking when you squid fishing boat cutting the sea under a sinking flaming orb!

Hotel Isaba is one of the most popular hotspring resort hotels in Heda, Izu Peninsula, thanks to its location overlooking the great sea expanses.
One can choose a room Japanese-style or Western-style.

The hotel is a bit kitsch and definitely from another age but comfortable with all amenities.

The better rooms have a nice, if small, kind of terrace opened onto a great sea landscape.

Cozy place to enjoy a drink or a book in summer!

The private hotspring bath, small by Western standards is big and deep enough for two adults!

Like the terrace it opens onto a sea landscape particularly striking at dusk and dawn!

The dinner served inside your room over a table large enough for 4 adults is a big affair!

Complimentary home-made blueberry aperitif.

Live abalone you grill by yourself after listening to the maid’s instructions!

It’s dancing over the fire!

Chyawanmushi/Japanese hot salted pudding and Japanese pickles.

Mishima Pork shabu shabu.

Varied appetizers.

Sashimi plate from Suruga Bay!

Italian-style lobster.

Simmered “Medai” seabream and taro.

“Menuke” fish Sautee.

Plenty of rice and miso soup!

And dessert!

The specialty of the house: Suruga Bay sea-salt sorbet!

Wake up early enough in the morning to enjoy a great ocean view!

And catch the sight of the returning squid fishing boats!

And then first pay a visit to the large hotspring bath on top of the hotel!

Don’t forget to scrub yourself before taking a dip!

Large bay windows will allow you to enjoy a great view again at the same time.

But your hotspring experience will not be complete with another body-relaxing dip in the “rotenburo/open-air bath” outside the main bathroom whatever the season or weather!

A great souvenir picture!

Breakfast is simply enormous and should last you half a day!

And very healthy too with local ingredients!

Seaweed soup.

Horse mackerel from Suruga Bay.

All kinds of tidbits to accompany the rice, and a little dessert.

Tamagoyaki, Sweet and sour tofu, pickles and crab miso soup.

And plenty of rice, the traditional way!

HOTEL ISABA
400-3402, Shizuoka Ken, Numazu Shi, Heda, Bihama Kaigan, 3878-20
Tel.: 0558-94-3048
Fax: 558-94^4270
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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

Shizuoka Touristic Spot: Heda in Izu Peninsula!

Heda, a harbor tucked away inside an almost closed cove is the epitome of what Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture has best to offer to any tourist, be he/she Japanese or from 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!

Board in front of the tiny but extremely useful Heda Tourist Bureau.

Before I can extol on the reasons to visit the village let me explain the easy access:
Go down at Mishima JR Station (Shinkasen Bullet Train Stop) and proceed to the neighboring Izu Hakone Line Station (right of the Mishima JR Station South Exit). Board the local train/Izu Hakone Line to Shyuzenji (30 minutes, 510 yen). Take a bus from Shyuzenji Station, terminal No 6 to Heda (54 minutes, 1,000 yen).
The bus will reach Heda just beside the Tourist Bureau you ought to visit to get as much information and as many pamphlets as possible from the very kind staff!

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.

Sometimes it does look as surging out blue expanses!

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

Once you have managed to take your eyes off Mount Fuji you will realize that the cove itself is also worth clicking away all day long!
In the middle of November the surrounding mountains will explode into autumnal colors and the first snow will don a cap to the faraway Mount Fuji!
But before you linger on the inside beach let me take to the tiny Shipyard and Suruga Bay Deep-Sea Museum past the old lighthouse!

It is an old and almost decrepit building, the more when you realize that the various monuments left and donated by the Soviet Government date back to 1947!
But the entrance fee is a mere 200 yen as the Museum is managed by the City!

The largest crab in the world, Takaashigani, almost 3 meters from leg tip to leg tip!

The Museum is divided into two distinct parts, the Shipyard & Suruga Bay Deep-sea Hall on the lower level and the upper level dedicated to Yevfimy Putyatin and his frigate Diana.

A real Sakegashira, a variety of deep-sea mahi mahi, even bigger than the Japanese Spider Crabs!

Most of the displays were donated by local fishermen or well-wishers. All names of fishermen, places and dates of catch are clearly indicated!

Tasmanian Giant Crab, the crab with the largest body (legs not included) in the world!

Crabs out of the deeps…

Spiders of the deeps…?

Hands off me, guys! (I know that I’m tasty!)

A ghost of the deeps…?

Sharks of the deeps…

They call that critter from the deeps a fan globefish!

Seesaw sharks!

Shark eggs!

For the marine history buffs!

Walking from the Museum towards the inlet you will go past the small quaint Shinto Shrine Maorokuchi Jinjya/諸口神社!

Keep walking under the pines and you will find the sacred shrine portal/torii/鳥居/ overlooking the inlet. Needless to say that the shrine is there to protect the fishermen and their families!

In summer that small pine forest is a welcome haven from the hot sun!

Away from the summer bathers, fishing buffs enjoy the day on the small pier in front of the shrine portal!

A last picture of Mount Fuji before walking back along the beach!

The shrine portal as it looks from inside the cove!

The beach is a great promenade out of season (I mean the bathing season!)!

Calm blue and beautiful waters away from the rough seas!

A monster from the deeps…? Utsubo/ウツボ/Moray eel!

A Nessie monster for the kids!

One can walk all the way to the center of Heda past fishing boats!

A squid-fishing boat! Red squids are a delicacy abundant in the Suruga Bay waters. The boats go at sea at night only.

Time to go back to our hot springs hotel! (next article!)

HEDA TOURISM ASSOCIATION & BUREAU
410-3402 Shizuoka Prefecture, Numazu City, Heda, 289-12
Tel.: 0558-94-3115
HOMEPAGE (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

Izu Peninsula: Strolling through Shuzenji Hot Springs Resort

If you have the chance to visit Shuzenji in Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture, one of the oldest hot springs resort in Japan whose history has been traced back more than 1,400 years, even a single day return trip would make it worthwhile! There are lots of things to see, experience and taste there! I make a point to pay it a visit at least twice a year at different seasons!
The access is very easy: Change lines and Station at Mishima City, it is only 510 yen and 30 minutes away!
Yesterday I only had a couple of hours to enjoy the place on my way back to Shizuoka City, but I managed to take some pictures just to share a small glimpse of the village (it used to be a city!)!

Many traditional houses along the river, be they private abodes or restaurants or shops!

A beautiful stream bisects the site into two distinctive halves!

Leaves are finally starting to change colors!

Take a stroll across the large bamboo grove park…

and take a peek at old houses though the bamboo trees…

Keep your eyes open and you will surely discover calligraphic designs to emulate!

Talking of design, who might have thought of a car for a cafe ensign? Beautiful cafe, incidentally!

A sight rapidly disappearing in Japan, but there are still at least three of these doll rifle shooting stands in Shuzenji!

You are bound to discover some beautiful noren/暖簾/shop entrance curtains! This one is at the entrance of a busy soba restaurant!

Shuzenji is also a paradise for antiques and collectors!

Restaurants are still built and re-built in the traditional way!

Simplicity made beautiful in a noren!

What’s left hanging in front of this big electric fan?

Squids!
The Izu Peninsula produces half of the whole Japanese sun-dried seafood/himono/干物 in Japan!

There are plenty of mysterious lanes, streets, passages and stairs to explore!

This “tower” is the actual entrance to a public (for a fee) hot springs bath!

This public and free foot hot spring bath in the middle of the river has a 1,400 year-long history!

A welcome dip for my tired feet!

The best way to finish the day: a cold beer in one of the many cute cafes!

Hoping to meet you somewhere else very soon!

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

“Faces” of Shuzenji, Izu Peninsula

An avatar from Star Wars?

When you travel, be it in Japan or abroad, there are plenty of unusual sights to take in photo in posterity!
I found quit a few the other day in Shuzenji in the heart of Izu Penisula in Shizuoka Prefecture!

It’ s only a question to be lucky and attentive to details!LOL

A grinning lion?

A ravenous dragon?

One of the Seven Deities…

A hand-waving goblin?

Looking for more!

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

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

Noh Mask Artist: Roger Voltz

Roger Voltz standing in front of his artworks at the recently exhibition in Shziuoka Bank Shizuogin Gallery Yonki.

“I would like to leave a legacy for the younger generation to continue.”

Roger Voltz (63, a French citizen born in St. Denis in the suburbs of Paris, came to Shizuoka City in 1973 to settle down after a long travel through the woorld.
A University language lecturer by trade he had always been attracted by the Japanese culture.

Apart of becoming in martial arts he has been carving Noh masks for the last 18 years.
Noh Theater is one of the oldest forms of theater in Japan (originating out of combination of Chinese performing arts, known as sarugaku, and traditional Japanese dance called dengaku、 during the Muromachi Era, 13th~16th Century) and has attained great fame in World Performing Arts for its intricate dances, music and acting.
The actors are exclusively male and usually only the main one wears a mask(s) on stage.

Akobujou/阿古父尉/Old Man

There are five Noh Theater “Schools” all possessing their own original masks.
But the same masks have to be duplicated according to rules and traditions as obviously these original masks are really worn, invaluable relics they are!

Hanjo/班女/Lady Han

So far Roger has carved and exhibited 20 masks under the guidance of his Master, Kishinosuke Atsumi.
5 of them were exhibited at The Exhibition held with three more artists at the Shizuoka Bank/Shizugin Gallery Yonki March 10th~16th.
He is far from being a new face in the art as he has already exhibited in the Shizuoka Prefecture Museum and in Mariko.

Kantan Otoko/邯鄲男/The Man form Kantan

Carving the masks in wood is a long and intricate process taking 8~10 months in Roger’s cas as he can create them only during his spare time.

Yamanba/山姥/the Old Mountain Crone

Each mask weighs 130g~150g for female characters and 150~180 g for male counterparts.

Hashihime/橋姫/Princess Hashi (the mask of jealousy!)

Each mask is carved out of a block of either hinoki/檜/Japanese cypress or kusunoki/楠/camphor tree, both valuable wood in this country.
The process was kindly demonstrated with maks carvedin different stages at the exhibition:

The “four main stages”

A rough picture is drawn on a block weighing around 1 kg.

A rough mask is carved with help of hard paper measures.

The face is gradually carved in more details with the help of hard paper model.

The finished product hollowed out to fit the face of the actor with holes for the eyes and mouth!
It will then be careful painted.

I’m planning to interview Roger in his atelier soon to show you a more detailed explanation!

If you want to contact Roger directly for more information, write to him at rvoltz@mta.biglobe.ne.jp !

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

The Hidden Gems of Japan!