Shizuoka City

Old Shizuoka City Hall: Another Cultural Asset saved from the Developers’ clutches!

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If you go to the modern Shizuoka City Hall in Aoi Ku you will notice an old building topped with a dome on its right.
The whole building had been the city Hall of Shizuoka City from 1886 to 1986, just a century.
Having lived 38 years in Shizuoka City I witnessed the building of the new City Hall (which had to be restarted after it was discovered that its foundation was too low!) and shared the worries of the local citizens when the mayor in place, Shingo Amano (you will not find his name in all records as he had to step down in second mid-term after one too many financial scandals!), wanted to pull down the whole edifice to leave place to another of his expensive “monuments”.

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The edifice created by a guest British architect was finally saved out of the mayor’s friends’ clutches when various citizen groups finally woke up and started a damaging campaign forcing the mayor to relent (the beginning of end for him actually!).

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The building has since then been used as a meeting hall, library and document vault.
You can actually visit most of it on your own without permission.
It is a great place to explore for photography buffs with old stairs, panels. windows and waht else!

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Try and catch the dome under a red dusk sky! I’m sure you will have plenty of striking pics to show back home!

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Vegan Restaurant & Shop in Shizuoka City: Rama 4.5 Organic Cafe & Shop!

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Service: Friendly, smiling and helpful
Facilities: Overall very clean. Washroom a bit small but clean.
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Exclusively vegan cuisine. A great scope of vegan ingredients on sale. Entirely non-smoking!

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The (small) Rama Group which has been serving for some time vegan food inside the home of some of their members in the south of Shizuoka City at last on August 6th opened a real Cafe & Shop in Gennan Street, Gofuku-Cho, Aoi Ku, in the middle of the city for the pleasure of all vegans and health food lovers!

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I’m no vegan myself, but I do appreciate it from time to time, and I’m really happy for my friends and visitors to Shizuoka City who have such priorities!

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The shop itself offers an enormous (by Japanese standards!) array of vegan, organic and macrobiotic foods including home-made jams….

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and pickles made with fruit and vegetables locally and organically grown.

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It is all set in a beautiful and very natural environment, the more for it as it is open as a Cafe all day long!

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The general design makes use of a lot of wood.
You can either sit a t tables, or in my case at the counter overlooking the street outside!

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The young owners at work1
Mr. Tomonari Maki/牧知成さん nad Mrs. Miho Maki/牧美穂さん!

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As for the food served the lunch is unique but changes regularly depending on the seasonal ingredients.
They serve all kinds of drinks, including organic beer!
If you don’t speak Japanese speak slowly in English and I’m sure mutual understanding will be easy!

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The lunch of the day!
Very appetizing, indeed!
As far as I know this is the sole truly vegan restaurant in town, and probably in the whole prefecture

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The hot soup!
No dairy products is used whatsoever!

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It is not only healthy but has a beautiful cachet attached to it!

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Whatever the angle it is definitely tempting!

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Home-made vegan bread!

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Home-made jam/chutney!

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Plenty of natural spices!

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I’m glad to admit that the deep-fried vegetables patty was delicious!

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The kinako/roasted soy bean powder jelly dessert and herb tea!

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Not only a very healthy dessert but also a traditional Japnese one!

Rama 4.5 Organic Cafe & Shop
420-0031 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Gofuku Cho, 2-4-5
Tel.: 054-266-3845
Business hours: 10:00~19:00
Closed on Wednesday
Entirely non-smoking

Will soon interview their other home-restaurant at:

Rama
422-8052 Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku, Midorigaoka, 19-6
Tel.: 054-260-5186
Business hours: 11:00~23:00
Closed on Wednesday
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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Korean Gastronomy: Lunch at Harenohi in Shizuoka City!

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Service: Very kind and smiling
Facilities & equipment: Overall extremely clean. Very clean and modern washroom
Prices: Reasonable
Strong points: Authentic Korean home cooking. Entirely non-smoking at lunch!

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A new Korean restaurant opened in Shizuoka City as the owner is a friend I just could help visiting at the first lunch served there. It opened on Monday but lunch is served only from Wednesday to Saturday!

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The owner has spent some time in France and loves the language!
“Chez 和韓”/”Chez Wakan” means that they serve Korean food prepared by the owner’s wife while the owner himself looks after the establishment in the evenings from Tuesday to Sunday serving Japanese food!

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The menu is clearly posted!
Don’t worry about the language. The lady of the house and her staff are very kind and patient! They will explain everything!

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Inside is absolutely spotless clean!
And it is entirely non-smoking at lunch!

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This waht i ordered for my first lunch there: “Kuppa” lunch set including ginseng!

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Cold pine nuts soup to attenuate the hot (it is not hot actually!) food!

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A succulent and so healthy plate of appetizers!

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Cold nalta Jute (moroheya in Japanese) and yam salad.

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Kabocha ball and shijimi, a typical Korean fried appetizer.

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Violet cabbage salad in sesame oil, okra and kinpira gobou/fried and spicy burdock and carrot.

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The “Kuppa” main dish! (also called guk/국 and tang/탕 in Korea!)

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With real ginseng!

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Beautifully cooked chicken that is so tender tha it slides off the bone. Note the date!

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Kimchi!

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And hot cinnamon tea!
High satisfaction guaranteed!

Looking forward to my next visit for dinner!

HARENOHI Chez 和韓 la belle Journee
420-0852 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Kouya Machi, 13-3
tel. & Fax: 054-273-8008
Opening hours:
Lunch (Korean cuisine): Wednesday~Saturday, 11:30~14:00
Dinner (Japanese Cuisine): Tuesday~Sunday, 17:00~24:00
Korean languages lessons on Mondays and Tuesdays 8schedule on request)
Entirely non-smoking at lunch!
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Spring Flowers in Shizuoka City!

White peonies?

Spring has finally arived with a steep rise temperature and flowers blooming everywhere although the main cherry trees are still late and will bloom only for the Shizuoka Festival taking place next week (report in the offing!)!

I couldn’t help taking pictures on my way to work yhis mornig.
My office is only a 10-miute bicycle ride away and I took these pics along the way to show you the simple pleasures of everyday life in Japan!
I don’t know the names of many of these flowers and I hope my friends help me there!
I will credit them of course!

All pices are shown in the order on my trip to work!

I know the French word for these but not the English one!

These small white flower bushes are very popular in Japan!

Late blooming Japanese plum tree.

Red camelias in front of a vetenerary hospital.

Rape flowers.

Not flowers, but kumquats!

Cherry blossoms.

Large cherry blossom variety.

Winter oranges!

More white peonies?

Cherry blossoms at a kindergarten!

Very popular again but I don’t know their name…

Cherry blossoms.

White peonies again?

Peeking over the hedge…

I don’t know their name but their yellow color suit the nearby police-box well!
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Shizen No Chikara Organic Farm: Visit by “47 Japanese Farms” in Shizuoka City!

Syunsuke Sano/佐野俊介 of Shizen No Chikara Organic Farm explaining his craft to Roshni Nirody and Sara Harriger of the U.S. Department of State

Ms. Roshni M. Nirody (from New Jersey) and Ms. Sara Harriger (Alaska) employed by the U.S. Department of State working for the Foreign Service Institute, Japanese language and Area Training Center at the U.S. Embassy in Japan paid us a visit in Shizuoka City!
Not only these young ladies speak very good Japanese on top of their native language but even more languages, a undisputable proof of their ability for their jobs!
They have initiated their own grand three and a half year project at 47 Farms to examine Japanese agriculture through interviews and working farm stays with farmers in each of Japan`s 47 prefectural entities!
Read more HERE, it is certainly worth a very long look!
To cut a story short they contacted me as they wanted to discover what Shizuoka Farms had in store for them!
Actually Shizuoka does have a lot, but to make easier for their first visit I and a staff at M2 labo decided to take them to new but already very influential Organic Farm in Shizuoka City and Prefecture called Shizen No Chikara Farm.

Organic Tomatoes!

Shizen No Chikara Farm has plots in Sena, Shimo, Nippon Daira and many others in the Prefecture.
We took them to Sena where the man in charge, Syunsuke Sano/佐野俊介 was kind enough to explain his crafts and answer quite a few very pointed questions from our lady guests!

All the cultivation is organic in the strict sense with no insecticides, or any agrichemicals.
The insects are fought off with natural repellents concocted by the farmers, catch fly sticky tapes or with natural enemies such as ladybugs!

Temperature and humidity are constantly checked and monitored!

For the moment they grow five varieties of tomatoes there!

These will go to the top restaurants in the Prefecture!

Now, Shizen No Chikara succeeded a very difficult organic cultivation at their first attempt: strawberries!

The strawberries are not allowed to come in contact with the floor or soil!
No need to mention this is all daily back-breaking work!

The greenhouse has its own beehive!

Even the beehive is kept super clean!

The bees are vital for a regular pollination and beautiful berries!

Organic mini daikon!

We then proceeded to the plot in Shimo to have a look at the their root and leaf vegetables!

Row of mini daikons!

Komatsuna left to look after their harvested rows!

Hosonegi/scallions/mini leeks!

Leeks are great to fight common colds!

Big white daikons!

Japanese gastronomy wouldn’t exist without these!

Beautiful radishes and turnips just harvested!

The same in their rows!

This visit was all too short for my own satisfaction and I already have invited our sweet visitors to come again as soon as possible!
I’m already planning visits to Numazu and Fujinomiya Cities!
Our two ladies are not only lovers of agriculture but also gastronomes. I have a few breweries and izakayas in mind for them!

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The Hidden Gems of Japan!

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