Tag Archives: Art

Shimada Obi Festival 2: Faces of Men!

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Behave yourself at Festival or I’ll get at you!

I finally went to watch the Shimada Obi Festival today where I took literally hundred of pictures and have to divide this report on of the strangest/unusual festivals in Japan into many parts!
This report is about the faces of some men I met on purpose or by chance to give a good idea of what to expect at a Japanese Festival!

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My good friend Hisatsugu Umehara/梅原詞さん who has been helping the fourth district (there are no less than 7 organizing the whole festival!) for the 7th time in a row! (Multiply by 3=18 years!)
Thanks to him I found great spots for photographs and was offered a wealth of information!

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Don’t touch the sake without my permission!

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Talking it easy at the office of the fourth district!

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Obviously hasn’t recovered from last night drinking! (The festival lasts three days!)

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One cup of sake per person only! Understood?

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Different size, length and color!

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Easy hairstyles?

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(Comparatively) Handsome?

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This chap would have been a hit with Medieval European ladies!

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When you grow older, whiter and less abundant, sport a beard!

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Windy or wavy hairstyle?

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Proud to be a man!

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11 am and already happily drinking!
Great smiles!

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Brrrrrrr,,,,,,,,,,,

This lady will be featured again in Part 3: Faces of Ladies!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.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: 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

Shimada Obi Festival 1: Happi-Festival Coats

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I finally went to watch the Shimada Obi Festival today where I took literally hundred of pictures and have to divide this report on of the strangest/unusual festivals in Japan into many parts!
this first part will be dedicated to “Happi/半被”, which could be translated as half coats and which are usually worn at Festivals or special occasions to show to which group you belong!
But there are also purely artistic Happi!

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A classical design with a lion!

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Another classical happi with a chain motif!

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Another classical happi with a prawn motif at the top!

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A more artistic happi with a stylized Kabuki Theater Face Painting!

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Samurai Fight!

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The broken mask of a Goblin/Oni called “Han Ya2 in Noh Theater!

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A Dragon in the clouds!

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A monk astride a Dragon!

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Two beautiful artistic happis!
Let’s have a closer look!

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River-crossing Lady!

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A Phoenix, a Winged Horse/Pegasus and a Turtle in front of a red Mount Fuji!

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A Dragon flying around Mount Fuji!

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A scene representing a castle with a river, a bridge and a boat in the foreground!
Like a painting of yore!
Beautiful!

Part 2 will be about the “faces of men” I met around the Festival!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.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: 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

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!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.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: 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

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!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.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: 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

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!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.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: 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

Stone Lanterns at Sengen Shrine in Shizuoka City!

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Yesterday, having some time on hand, I paid a visit to the Sengen Shrine, the largest Shinto Shrine in Shizuoka Ciy.
I had planned to take some pictures of dragons, but to my disappointment they were too few and unintereting.

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On the other hand I discovered many traditional Japanese stone lanterns.
They are called tourou/灯籠 in Japanese.
They have been there since immemorial times though candles have been replaced by electric devices nside.

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With all the tress, shrubs and hedges around it is easy to create some unexpected pictures!

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These lanterns are either geometrically placed in front of smaller shrines or in rows along the many paths crisscrossing the very wide shrine properties.

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At night you would certainly need the lanterns to find your way up the stairs to that very dark shrine!
Actually shrines are all either deep red or charcoal black, colors which would both make them invisble at night!

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Interestingly enough the small wooden board notice warns to beware of the danger of the lantern! In day time? Unless you want to push it down in spite of its very heavy weight! Or maybe to warn drunk people during the New Year festivities?

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Taken at an angle you can see the lanterns in a staggered manner!

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Another graphic possibility!

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Some of these lanterns are so old they have become a virtual garden!

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They almost seem to march around a bend!

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Some are almost hidden under the trees of the many gardens and small parks.

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As far as I know there are only two types.

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There were only a few of those roundish squat types, probably the older kind.

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Thanks to the lichen patterns you could say they were all different!

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Now, what’s that?

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A bird’s nest, probably that of swallows!
It had been left undisturbed in spite of being presently vacant. After all such nests are considered as lucky in Japan, so cleaners see no need to take them away!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.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: 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

Inari Dai Myojin Shrine at 1,000 meters in Shizuoka City!

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It takes a good hour by car to reach this spot in Umegashima, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, along and above the Abe River at 1,000 meters at the very end of the road where you are greeted by a minuscule Shinto Shrine.

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The sign says “1,000 meters, the highest tea fields in Japan!”

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The red color is arguably the most used color for Shinto Shrines which are found in far more places than Budhist Temples especially in rural Japan!

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This “Torii/鳥居/Bird Gate”, for all its small size is remarkable for the fact that the top beam was made with the bottom part of a tree to show a pointed horn at its tip! Very rare actually! The whole portal was created by with logs sawed by the small log company just a few meters away!

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For the people interested with such facts, the name of the shrine is called “Inari Dai Myoujin/稲荷大明神”!
“Inari” is also the name of a sushi. Can you guess why? “Ina” means “rice” and it was offered inside rice straw balls at such shrines to pray for bountiful crops whose shape has been copied to make inari sushi!

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This very spot is heavens for photography buffs!

SN3O4806take a zoom with you to catch to the different grey hues of the mountain reminding you of a Chinese ink painting!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.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: 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

Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments!

A huge standing drum from the South Pacific!

There is a lot of good food and drinks in Hamamatsu City, but there is also a lot of exceptional music!
With Kawai, Yamaha and Rolland all established in that city, more than half of all music instruments in Japan are made there!
It was no wonder that the City decided to open a Meuseum when it erected Act City and other buildings within walking distance of the Railway Station 18 years ago!

My favorite Japanese instrument, the biwa!

The City then proceeded to amass a mind-boggling collection of more 1200 pieces on constant display out of more than 3000 in their vaults!
The collection truly covers the whole World and the entrance fee of 400 yen (for adults) is truly ridiculous!
Next time you travel or go out in Hamamatsu City take some time to immerse yourself in the biggest public musical instruments collection in the world!
The more for it when you realize that photography is allowed!

Here is a tiny selection of pictures I took the other day to which I intend to add regularly!

Quaint samisen!

One-string koto!

Hand-painted 19th Century US banjo!

Musical Sea shells!

A piano for the Sun King?

Or a piano for his favorite?

Historical routes of the mandoline!

Bagpipes from the Scots!

For a Caribbean steel band!

They even have a collection of postage stamps on African Music Instruments on display!

Harps for the Celts!

Serpents/snakes from Europe!

Glasses are not always for drinking!
A full crystal glass musical instrument!

Some wind instruments are equipped with truly impressive mouths!

A somewhat frightening steel tongue plank from Africa!

impressive drums from the South Pacific!

Tam tams or boats?

A South East Asian triple xylophone decorated with carved silhouettes!

These feathers will certainly mark out the musician in a band!

I wonder if this peacock contributed its feathers to the precedent instrument?

Yamaha electric guitars from the early 60’s! True antiques for rockn’ rollers!

Make sure to visit the experimental room to try your own hand at music!

Hamamatsu Museum of Musical Instruments/浜松市楽器博物館
430-7790 Hamamatsu City, Chuo Ku, Chuo, 3-9-1
Tel.: 053-451-1128
Fax: 053-451-1129
HOMEPAGE
Opening hours: 09:30~17:30
Closed on Mondays, 2nd & 4th Wednesdays. Open all throughout August.

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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