Tag Archives: Shizuoka City

Shimizu S-Pulse Soccer Practice Ground Visit

Another way to enjoy soccer and support your favorite players is to visit your club practice gorund and facilities!
Here, in Shizuoka Cit, visiting the practice ground of Shimizu S-Pulse is not only simple enough but also makes for an excellent day out!

Shin Shimizu Station, Shizutetsu Raolway Line, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

You can always go by car as they have ample parking facilities but the easiest way, especially on your own is to go there by train and bus!
As far as the train is concerned you have to choices although the bus line is the same.
Either get off Shizimiu Station on the Tokaido Railway Line and take a Shizutetsu bus from Bus Platform N0 3.

As for me it is easier to use the Shizutetsu Line (Any station from Cenova Station) and get off at the Shin Shimizu Station Terminal.

Once out of the station go to the Sun Route Hotel across from the station!

Go to No3 bus stop and board the “Tokai Daigaku Miho Suizokukan/東海大学三保水族館”.

The schedule is on the left column above (about 2 buses an hour).

If you use the same bus on weekends note that the schedule is different!

Get off at “S-Pulse Renshuujyou/エスパルス練習場”!

You can’t miss it!

Follow the signs!

Check the map!

Here you are!

Two sets of tiered seats are available for free for visitors!
Note the temperatures can be extreme there, so bring an extra coat in winter and a large sun hat in summer!

Both gender washrooms and a soft drink vending machine are available!

Note that the ground is off limits for casual visitors!

Here in come the players!

Practices are conducted very similarly to any professional soccer/football club all across the Globe!

Practices are held from 11:00 am from Tuesday to Friday unless there is a cup game mid-week!

Separate practice for goal keepers!

Warming up exercises!

Shooting practice!

Mitchell Duke in action!

Sterner practice for goal keepers!

More of the same!

Whole ground team practice!

Half ground practice for faster passing and shooting!

The club house is next to the ground but you need special permission to enter it!

For collectors!

Another rare item!

The official Shimizu S-Pulse Soccer Club Flag!

The mascot of Sekisui Haim Real estate Agents, one of Shimizu s-Pulse official sponsors!

Exchanged flags including quite a few South Korea and even Ajax!

Note that the return bus stop inside the ground!

And don’t forget to check the return bus schedule!

See you again there soon!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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

Shimizu S-Pulse Soccer Club Player: Mitchell Duke (first interview)

Mitchell Duke (Mitchell Thomas Duke) is your tough through and through Ozzie who is nonetheless a very loveable chap with an eternal smile.
True to say he has apparently lost some of his Australian drawl thanks to his lovely English wife, Charlotte, who keeps strong ties with her country where their son, Jaxson, was born.
Mitchell, one son with 6 sisters and 2 brothers of Arlene and Bill Duke, traces back his origins, five generations back, to Scotland and Ireland.
Although he has gone through harrowing times after a practice in January last year when he badly damaged the anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee (his kicking leg, although he can shoot with both), fortunately repaired by a famous surgeon back in Australia, he is extremely positive about life in Japan, and Shizuoka for that matter, a country blessed with a rare safety, reliable hygiene and unequaled service. To top it all he is still discovering the culinary joys of Shizuoka City and Prefecture, actually helping him cut the excess food, red meat in particular, and in the bargain easily control his weight, a major concern for any professional athlete.

When asked to cite a negative aspect of his life in Japan he could not think of one. He went as as far as averring that many of his foreign colleagues in soccer were persuaded that Shizuoka Prefeture was the most propitious place to ply their trade hanks to a neutral climate and a mild winter.

his favorite food in Australai was basically BBQ-style, but he learned to appreciate lighter fare in Japan, sushi and Italian cuisines in particular.
Incidentally his favorite (at present) diners are Massimo in Miho, Shimizu Ku, shizuoka City and Gyoko Fuku Ichi Maru Sushi restaurant at Markis department Store in Shizuoka City.
He was also very complimentary with Tequila’s Diner and Blue Books Cafe in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City and he cannot wait to discover Aoi Beer Stand!
But the best chance to meet him in person would be at one of the HUG COFFEE shops whose coffee he rates as the best in town.
During his free time he enjoys going out for lunch with Charlotte and Jaxson and shopping for great produce in local markets. His wife in particular feels a great attraction to local vegetables which can be acquired all year round as Shizuoka Prefecture is renown for its incredible array of organic products.
Mind you, on game days it’s plenty of carbohydrates for Mitchell’s lunch!

This was my first interview held at Shimizu S-Pulse club house in Miho, Shimizu Ku, and it actually turned into double one as we met shortly after downtown to sip coffee together with wife and a very busy body Jaxson.
in between truly enjoyable socializing we naturally talked about the more serious matters of playing soccer as a profession:

Q: Have your tried your hand (or foot) at other sports?
A: I did play cricket but at the early age of 13 I had to make a decision and it was soccer from then on although my own father was very much into cricket, the top summer sport in Australia.

Q: How has you rehabilitation gone?
A: I’m now fully recovered thanks to the best surgeon in Australia. Actually his methods of operation are completely different from those in Japan. Instead of concentrating on the knee only he will go down as far as the calf muscles and tendons for a full repair job. Back on my feet after 5 months, a comparatively short time after such an injury!

Q:: You were still recently hampered by a pulled muscle , but that also seemed to be cared for. When do you ex@ect to play as a starting team member after this recent series of substitute appearances?
A: It should be very soon indeed and I’m giving my best to prove my worth at practice.

Q: Are you looking forward to playing again for the Socceroos (Australia National Soccer Team)?
A: Honestly speaking, I’m always looking forward to that day in spite of the long break. Now is in fact a good time to remind the selectors and my skills. It is up to me to prove I have the will and talent to represent my country, the ultimate goal for any athlete!

Well, that’s it for the moment gals and guys, but I convinced Mitchell to meet me again soon around a drink (it will be an embarrassment of choice, but I ave an inkling of what would be the first place!) and talk more about soccer at Shimizu S-Pulse, in Japan and in Australia!

MITCHELL THOMAS DUKE CARD

Born on 18th of January 1991 (26 years old as of 2017) in Liverpool, New south wales, Australia
Height: 1.86 m
Position: striker, winger
Present club: Shimizu S-Pulse
Jersey No: 19
Four caps and two goals for the Australian National soccer team
Began his career with Paramatta Eagles (also called Melita, in South Granville, New south Wales)
Moved into the Central Coast mariners (Gosford, Central Coast, New south wales) on 9th of February 2012
signed his first contract with Central Mariners on 24th of January 2012
In August 2013 had a two-week trial with English Premier League side West ham United.
Signed and moved to Shimizu S-Pulse on the 9th of February 2015
In April 2016 suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury, ruling him out out football/soccer for six months
Appearnces for Shimizu S-Pulse:
2015: 29 + 3 (1 goal)
2016: 7 (1 goal)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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

SHIMIZU S-PULSE: vs KASHIMA ANTLERS (March, 18th, 2017)

Today, Saturday March, 18th was a great day to watch sports and more precisely my local soccer club, Shimizu -SPulse, the only non corporate-owned soccer/football club in the top Japanese J-League!

A practical, especially if you plan on a drink or two, to reach their official ground is to use the Shizutetsu shuttle bus.

The shuttle going exclusively to the Nihondaira Stadium on home games is to be boarded along Matsuzakaya Deaprtment Store across from Shizuoka Station north exit. The bus stop number is 17!

Great staff on hand always ready to answer your questions with a smile!
I was told on that that no less than 25 buses (30 seats each) had been booked!

Remember that bus stop!

Long queue constantly growing!

Our shuttle bus!

40 minutes ride!

Arrival at our destination!

Getting off the bus and walking to the entrance gates!

Local fans having stickers applied on their faces!

17,000 visitors for 20,000 seats available! Quite a good crowd, isn’t it?

Very efficient information desk!

The back stand, from the back! Lol

The main stand where my seat is waiting for me!

My lunch! One you can find only in Shimizu, Shizuoka City Stadium: fried sakuraebi/cherry shrimps and steamed shirasu/sardine whiting rice bowl! Delicious!

Looking for my seat!

Home supporters stand!

The back stand with the VIP room!

The visitor supporter stand!

My stand, the main one!
I actually found seating by two very nice Kashima Antkers who told me that the Shimizu S-Pulse was just the right size as their own ground devised to welcome 80,000 fans always looked half empty!

Japan is such a safe country!
Where would fans leave their belongings unattended on their seats?
Not only that, but everyone will clean their seats after the game!

Since I had some time in my hands, I decided to have a look around and was pleased to find out that beer was available!

Incidentally the gender separated washrooms are better than average!

Plenty of food on sale: takoyaki/octopus dumplings!

Yakiniku/Korean BBQ bento!

Ramen, of course!

sausages et al!

Candy!

And popcorn! (I’ll have the ladies! LOL)

Back to more serious matters: S-Pulse players warming up!

Kashima Antlers players warming up!

Screaming Shimizu S-Pulse fans!

Screeching Kashima Antlers fans!

My quiet stand!

Teams presentation!

Kick off!

1′ slow start. Uncertain passes. No risks taken. Tense.

5′ No clear-cut chances. Both teams still gauging each other.

7′ First shot at goal by S-Pulse. Flying high over the bar.

12′ Pressing from S-Pulse but last passes missing their targets. Too vague an approach.

13′ Kashima Antlers pressing back. Fruitless.

14′ S-Pulse playing to small. Too many simple faults and misses.

16′ First kick at gaol by Kashima Antlers. Volley flying just over the bar.

18′ Blunder by Kashima Antlers Keeper resulting in first corner kick.

21′ First real chance to S-Pulse ending in a weak shot easily caught by keeper.

23′ Kick by S-Pulse sailing over the bar. Too imprecise passing from bith sides.

27′ Risky defense from S-Pulse.

31′ S-Pulse playing too small, missing real possibilities.

33′ Dangerous free kick given away to Kashima Antlers who waste the chance.

37′ Kashima becoming really dangerous, but shot beautifully parried by S-Pulse keeper.

41′ Kashima dominating.

41′ dangerous counter attack by S-Pulse.

41′ Kashma Antlers immediately replies with a dangerous free kick.

42′ GOAL! The free kick poorly aimed is claered off and Kashima’s defense makes a mess of it offering a sucker goal to S-Pulse against the run of play to the delight of Shota Kaneko!

43′ Corner kick for S–Pulse.

44′ S-Pulse Chong Tese yellow carded for elbowing. Would have been a red card in Europe…

45′ Corner kick for Kashima Antlers.

Last seconds of the first half: Antlers’ Yuma Suzuki slicing easy chance past goal.

Half-time: S-Pulse 1, Kashima Antlers 0
A somewhat lucky lead for S-Pulse but well taken. kashima Antlers will have to change their strategy and try to use their advantage in height.

Half time majorettes show!

48′ Risky passing by Kashima Antlers.

51′ Corner kick for S-Pulse. Volley sailing over the bar.

55′ S-Pulse barely clears a very dangerous center kick. Poor execution by Kashima Antlers of resulting corner kick.

61′ Kashima Antlers curl the ball past S-Pulse far post
Kashima Antlers booing the opposition.

62′ S-Pulse clears off dangerous cross kick in a hurry. Corner kick. Antlers dominating.

63′ S-Pulse clears dangerous kick.
General tempo rising.

66′ Weak shot at goal by S-Pulse easily parried.
Kashima Antlers Yuma Suzuki yellow-carded.

68′ S-Pulse hits the left post!
Kashima Antlers Mu Kanazaki yellow carded for silly dissent.
Kashima Antlers fans booing. Not nice…

69′ S-Pulse kick cleared into corner kick.

70′ GOAL! Shimizu S-Pulse 2, Kashima Antlers 0
Ryohei Shirasaki ends up with a close shot after Kashima Antlers careless defense.

73′ GOAL! Shimizu SPulse 2, Kashma Antlers 1
Naomichi Ueda scores unmarked from a corner kick.

77′ Kashima Antlers dominating. S-Pulse tiring.

79′ Corner for Kashima.

79′ GOAL! Shimizu S-Pulse 2, Kashima Antlers 2
After a long pressure Yuma Suzuki scores from short range after repeated pressure.
That is when I find out that my neighbors are the very parents of S-Pulse’s assassin!

84′ Kashima misses clear chance with poor shot.

85′ GOAL! Shimizu S-Pulse 2, Kashima Antlers 3
Great diving heading inside far post by Mu Kanazaki who exploits poor defense by exhausted S-Pulse.

89′ Free kick poorly executed by S-Pulse.

90′ Kick over the bar by Kashima.

Overtime Kashima soaks up desperate pressure from S-Pulse.

Full time: Win for Kashima Antlers!

Game analysis:
Kashima Antlers deserve heir win through unending pressure, making great use of their wings in the second half.
Shimizu S-Pulse had a great chance to create a shock win, but lost in the end for lack of stamina and too a conservative approach to the game. At tomes they seemed to play in a handkerchief, preferring the safe back pass to the adventurous forward kick. The coaching missed a trick or two by not using their three substitutes at once after the second goal when the team was already obviously tiring. It might sound harsh, but at this level one does not lose a 2-nil advantage with only 20 minutes left in the game! Introducing a forward substitute in the last minutes when the game was lost is not a very good sign…
Kashima Antlers deserve their win and will play the first roles in the League this year.
I sincerely hope that S-Pulse will have learned from their mistakes and will bounce back!

A minus point: Kashima Antlers supporters very un-Japanese constant booing…

But all in all a great afternoon!
Looking forward to more of the same!

SHIMIZU S-PULSE
GK 13 Seiji ROKUTAN
DF 5 Shoa KAMATA
DF 3 Tomoya INUKAI
DF 45 Makoto KAKUTA
DF 25 Ko MATSUBARA
MF 7 Mitsunarai MUSAKA
MF 14 Gakuto NOTSUDA
MF 22 Takuma EDAMURA
MF 10 Ryohei SHIRASAKI
MF 30 Shota KANEKO
FW 9 CHONG TOSE
Subs:
GK 43 Yuki UEKUSA
DF 26 Hiroshi FUTAMI
DF 27 Takahiro IIDA
MF 44 Leoandro FREIRE de Aranje
MF 11 Kazuya MURATA
FW 19 Mitchell DUKE
FW 18 Yu HASEGAWA

Head Coach Shinji KOBAYASHI

KASHIMA ANTLERS

GK 1 KWOUN SUNTAE
DF 24 Yukitoshi ITO
DF 5 Naomichi UEDA
DF 3 Gen SHOJI
DF 16 Shuto YAMAMOTO
MF 6 Ryota NAGAKI
MF 40 Mitsuo OGASAWARA
MF 8 Shoma DOI
MF 25 Yasushi ENDO
FW 9 Yuma SUZUKI
FW 7 PEDRO JUNIOR
Subs:
GK 21 Hitoshi SOGAHATA
DF 22 Daigo NISHI
DF 28 Koki MACHIDA
MF 4 LEO SILVA
MF 11 LEANDRO
MF 13 Atsutaka NAKAMURA
FW 33 Mu KANAZAKI

Had Coach: Masatada ISHI

Referee: Masuya UEDA
Assistant Referee:Seiichi KANAI
Assistant Referee:Satoshi KARAKAMI
4th Official:Tsuyoshi OGURA

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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

Shizuoka City, Japan, The World Plastic Model Capital: Shizuoka Hobby Square!

hobby-2-hall-board

The Big board introducing the Shizuoka Hobby Square with some of its major models!

Plastic models, from miniatures to figurines and modeling tools, made in Japan have been famous all over the world for countless years and such names as Tamiya, Hasegawa, Bandai are household names at all major events and fan discussions from Great Britain to China, but do many aficionados know that most companies are all based in one single city?
Shizuoka City located halfway between Tokyo and Nagoya, about 80 minutes from the Capital of Japan by Shinkansen bullet train and is famous all over japan for Munt Fuji, green tea and wasabi. A city of nearly 800,000 souls it ships no less than 88% of all plastic models manufactured in Japan! No less than 10 companies are based there either historically, such as Tamiya and Hasegawa or by choice like Bandai which moved from Tokyo for better exposure.

hobby-3-jiro-aoshima

Jiro Aoshima and his family back in 1924!

Shizuoka City, with its abundant forest resources has always had a thriving wood and bamboo industry back more than 200 years ago. Jiro Aoshima, the first man to build and fly a civil airplane in Shizuoka City and consequently in Japan, established the Aoshima Flight Research Institute in 1924 (the predecessor of the current Aoshima Bunka Kyozai Co., Ltd.). The manufacturing of wooden model airplanes started in 1932, and was the first step toward Shizuoka City becoming the plastic model capital of the World.

hobby-4-aoshima-airplane

Salvaged parts of Jiro Aoshima’s first airplane are still exhibited inside Shizuoka Hobby Square!

hobby-5-tamiya-artists

Models created by artists working full-time in house at Tamiya inc.!

When foreign plastic models started being imported in the late 1950’s, the model trend shifted from wooden to plastic. This created a big impact on the manufacturing process. The know-how for making moulds and handling plastic resin, along with more money and human resources, suddenly became necessary.

hobby-6-akagi-painting

Models not only are faithfully built according to salvaged data but also to incomparable paintings by artists such as the WWII (1941) IJN Aircraft carrier Akagi painted by Noriyoshi Arai before it was re-created by Hasegawa Co., Ltd. Note that the zero fighters on neighboring aircraft carrier are different!

The current model manufacturers used skill, passion and dedication to rise up during these turbulent times. To help its major industry the City Government of Shizuoka (Capital of Shizuoka Prefecture) decided a few years ago to invest in the sole entirely tax-funded exhibition hall of its kind in Japan, namely the Shizuoka Hobby Square! It has since become the main focal point for monthly hobby events and special exhibitions reported by national and international media together with the Shizuoka Hobby Show held every year in May at Twin Messe Shizuoka giant hall in Shizuoka City, the largest exhibition of its kind in Japan where famous domestic makers of plastic models, radio-controlled models and railroad models gather under one single roof to announce their new products both for the benefit of professionals and retailers from Japan and all over the world, as well as for the public (admission free!) coinciding with more hobby-related events all over the city, notably the Granship Train Festa, Tamiya Open House and the Staff Model exhibition!

hobby-7-yamato

Famous manga characters and their fighting vessels are ever present such as the Space Battleship Yamato (also called Space Cruiser Yamato) along with spacecraft from the film conceived by producer Yoshinobu Nishizaki in 1973!

Shizuoka Hobby Square is conveniently located near the South exit of Shizuoka JR Station on the second floor of a large complex owned by a big insurance company sheltering Hotel Century Shizuoka, Fujitsu Co. and the headquarters of many others.

hobby-8-free-photo

One of the main Gundam characters created by Bandai Hobby Center!

A rare boon is that anyone is allowed to take as many photos as he or she wants! Although you are not allowed to ouch the life-sized plastic model of one of the major Gundam characters! Actually the place is thoroughly kept clean for obvious reasons and food and drinks, although allowed before the entrance, are prohibited once inside the exhibition rooms!

hobby-9-tamiya-1

Companies will make a point to exhibit all new creations!

The products of six companies are permanently on show inside the Shizuoka Hobby Square:

hobby-10-tamiya-2

The real Harley-Davidson and Honda motorbikes!

TAMIYA Inc.
The top brand in the plastic model. It also has a major shop in Le Mans, France, and has held a yearly show in Nuremberg, Germany, for the last 25 years. Boasts a huge variety of products, from display-purpose scale models such as cars, motorcycles, airplanes, ships and military vehicles, to models you can enjoy racing such as RC cars and Mini 4WD, as well as DIY models, tools and paint backed up by many manuals and specialized books.

hobby-11-tamiya-3

The Harley-Davidson and Honda motorbikes models by Tamiya Inc.!

The owners of Tamiya Inc. and Honda Co. who have shared the same history and a long friendship in Shizuoka Prefecture (which also hosts such companies as Suzuki, Yamaha, and Koito) have the original particularity of producing both the full-scale motorcycle and its plastic model at exactly the same date!

hobby-12-tamiya-circuit

Tamiya Inc.’s activity room for all ages!

Tamiya Inc. not only also has its own tools, paints and kits shop inside the Square but also a workshop where fans can build their own models and a circuit (for a very small fee) where customers can compete with their own model cars all day long!

hobby-13-aoshima-1

Ever popular girlie manga characters by Aoshima Bunka Kyozai Co., Ltd.!

Aoshima Buka Kyozai Co., Ltd.
Established by Jiro Aoshima, Shizuoka City’s first private plane pilot. Primarily focused on making models children can play with, Aoshima produces innovative products including scale models, character/figurine models and school science class models.

hobby-14-hasegawa-1

: Airplanes of all eras from all over the world by Hasegawa Co., Ltd.!

Hasegawa Co., Ltd.
Founded in 1941 it began production of cypress rods and rubber-powered light planes the same year. Started manufacturing plastic models in 1961. Since most of its products were model panes, fans all over the World came to call it “Hasegawa: Number one for planes”!

hobby-15-bandai-1

Bandai’s array of Gundam and space fighting characters is almost unending!

Bandai Hobby Center
Originally based in Tokyo it moved a few years ago to Shizuoka City. The production base for plastic models of science fiction manga such as Gundam of Gundam Mobile Suit, a televised anime series produced and animated by Sunrise since 1979 , Bandai prides itself in having gathered the latest technology and skills for making plastic models. Aiming to create plastic models that anyone can enjoy, Bandai continues to evolve and spread its message to the world.

hobby-16-ebbro-1

Ebbro’s very minute car and motorbike models which have parents and children fighting over their possession!

EBBRO
Focusing on domestic made-made and racing vehicles, Ebbro produces intricate toy cars. The details replicated at 1/43 scale are the coolest part of Ebbro’s cars. Some plastic models of F-1 racers and European cars have been developed. Ebbro’s toy cars are fun and even more enjoyable to collect.

hobby-17-woodyjoe-1

WoodyJoe Co., Ltd. Not only creates ships of all eras from all over the World but also exquisite renditions of historic buildings and Japanese abodes!

WoodyJOE Co., Ltd.
The only wooden sailing ship model kit manufacturer in Japan. Other than sailboats, they also offer precise wooden replicas of historical buildings, European and Japanese. You can take time to experience the “joy of creating”, while feeling the warmth of nature at your fingertips.

hobby-18-maniacs

For the true model maniacs: Tamiya Inc.’s Type 10 Tank is not only fully remote-controlled but also features sound and light with a gun turret keeping still on target while the whole body moves under!

The four other companies not represented are:
-Platz ltd. In addition to manufacturing and selling its own products (plastic models, decals, etched parts, etc.), it is also an authorized import agent, selling products from world-famous plastic model makers (airplanes, tanks, figures, etc.).
-Asuka Model Ltd. From advanced military kits to beginners’ kits, Asuka develops products for every level. “Puramozaru” can be easily made by children 6-and-up, so are recommended to beginners.
-SWEET. Specializes in cute palm-sized airplane plastic models (1/144 scale). The boxes and assembly productions include characters designed by Shizuoka cartoonist Yukihisa Fujita and are popular with modelers of all ages.
Shimomura Alec Co., Ltd. The only company in Shizuoka that develops and sells detailed hand tools for making models. They aim to make tools that can reach difficult areas like none other, such as the world’s thinnest handsaw. Several of their products have been certified as Shizuoka Prefecture product innovations.

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A small view of the Tamiya Inc.‘s special tools and accessories shop!

Now Shizuoka Hobby Square is not only an exhibition hall for six of the model manufacturing companies based in Shizuoka, but also as mentioned before a place where you can buy kits, tools, paints and what more to create superb models and also a place where you can acquire books and information about the models you plan to build to help you achieve the most faithful models possible.

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Creations by Yofukashi modelers Club in Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture!

It moreover has the particularity to introduce amateur model hobbyists who have their award-winning models exhibited permanently with their names and history and a description of their creations.

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A small sample of Tamiya Inc.’s cake models!

Ladies and girls will also find their favorite subjects not only with figurines but also cake and confectionery plastic models and even regular classes! They have their own event the second week-end of December in the whole hall!

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Yes! These pristine wooden tanks created ages ago by Tamiya Inc. are still fully operable!

History also holds an important role without which true model fans would not get full satisfaction. For example rare models first created by Tamiya with wood and gum of army tanks which still can move with the help of their own batteries are permanently exhibited.

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Rare copies of old Japanese model/miniature hobby magazines can be admired in a pristine condition!

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For the true aficionados’ information: very rare old models and their original boxes belonging to private owners are also on display!

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Mr. Kimiyuki Yamada will always be found busy making his own models! A French Citroen 2CV in this case!

Foreign visitors should not worry about the barrier language as staff with a reasonable knowledge of English will be on hand such as Mr. Kimiyuki Yamada who is a retired former employee of Tamiya Inc. but still works there as a part-timer out of sheer passion for his work and hobby!

Special Interest items!
Now, like any exhibition halls there are some items worth looking for as they are not only exquisite in concept and details, but because they also help you make discoveries that will become the icing on the cake of your visit!

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Models to help the classes with a fun study of anatomy by Aoshima Bunka Kyozai Co., Ltd.!

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Tamiya Inc. helps you reproduce traditional Japanese shops and food stalls to add to your Japanese landscape! A cute little souvenirs for your kids (and the young at age) back home!

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The highly decorated trucks were much the rage in the 60’s and 70’s in Japan and their models are a reminder of the movies in vogue then with their rogue heroes and vehicles!

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The most famous Japanese cruise ship, the Asuka II by WoodyJOE Co., Ltd.!

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An important detail that everyone consciously to mention is that to welcome visitors for as long as they want, the hall is equipped with modern washrooms not only for both genders, but also for wheel chair users!

SHZUOKA HOBBY SQUARE
Location: 3F South-spot Shizuoka, 18-1 Minami-Cho, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, 422-66067, Japan
Tel.: 81+54-289-3033
Fax: 81+54-289-3034
E-mail: hobby01@hobbysquare.jp
HOMEPAGE (English)
Opening hours: Weekdays: 11:00~18:00
Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays: 10:00~18:00
Closed on Mondays
(If Monday is a holiday, closed on Tuesday)
Access: 1 minute walk from the south exit of Shizuoka Station (about 80 minutes by Shinkansen Bullet Train or 3 hours by Tokaido Railway from Tokyo)
About 15 minutes by car from the Tomei expressway Shizuoka Interchange
(Paid parking is available in the area)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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: Traditional Warehouses in Shizuoka Prefecture 41: Honkaku Temple 8(本覚寺) in Ikeda, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!

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

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The other having some time on my hands I decided to cycle down to Ikeda in Suruga Ku, south of Shizuoka JR Station to look for a kura that had just been introduced to me by my good friend, Philip Kreiner.
It is an old Buddhist Temple dating back to 1307 during the Kamakura Era.
The monk there kindly explained me that the kura had been built in the 2nd Year of Meiji Era (1869) after a great fire destroyed the biggest part of the Temple to preserve precious documents although nowadays it is used only as a shed.

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Although comparatively small it looked different from the usual kura built by rich merchants or high officials.

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It had an unusual portico at its entrance with typical Buddhist Temple decoration.

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It even bore its own mon/Japanese crest!

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it was in excellent repair in spite of the large smudges caused by rain running down the roofed portico.

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The alignment pegs were in a very straight line proving that the building was not suffering from any warping!

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Old but very solid window panels and awning!

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That door seemed very solid, too!

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It was open on both sides for better draft.

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Well-maintained tiled roof pinion!

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Well-maintained and grilled openings to let the water flow under the building!

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Walking around the building…

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Well-maintained on any side!

Interesting discovery, all in all!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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

Manhole Covers in Shizuoka Prefecture 44: Former Shizuoka City Hall Dome in Shizuoka City!

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The former City Hall of Shizuoka City was built in 1934 although the City of Shizuoka got its present name and status in 1868 succeeding to the City called Sumpu when Tokugawa Ieaysu retired from politics to settle in Fuchu.

In 1996, when the new Shizuoka City Hall had been completed, the Shzuoka City Mayor of the time, Shingo Amano, ordered the former building to be pulled down but fortunately a petition from the citizens of Shizuoka prevented him to do so and the building the same year became an intangible Shizuoka City Culture Asset thus preventing anyone to change it.
It subsequently became the hoe of the Shizuoka City Council among others.

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Probably the same year the first manhole cover representing the former City Hall surrounded by swallows, the official birds of Shizuoka City at the time appeared on the streets of Shizuoka City.
Although the City Hall is located north of Shizuoka JR Station , most former city hall designed manhole covers are found south of Shizuoka JR Station!

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SN3O0546

These manhole covers are found over accesses to road maintenance subterranean networks.
The Shizuoka City logo is the old one with the kanji character for “city”.
The colored manhole cover is unique and can be found only at the bottom of the steps leadin to Toshogun Shrine in Kunozan, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City.

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Most neutral versions are to be found along the main road going south from Shizuoka JR Station south exit and near Shizuoka University!

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Check the logo if you find one!

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There is also a unique one, not in neutral metal, but varnished in black in front of the former Shizuoka Prefecture Hall across the the Shizuoka City Hall!

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In 2003, with the advent of Shimizu City being merged to Shizuoka City, a new type was created with a blue instead green background and pink instead of blue swallows!
The one above can be found on the pavement not far from Apita Store in Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!

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The logo of Shizuoka City was hence changed to a double geometric design!

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There are only two samples of the colored version, the second one in front of the former Shizuoka Prefecture being unfortunately partly covered!

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Strangely enough the modern version is very rare, as I found only three along the road between Ikeda Primary School and Honkaku Temple in Ikeda, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!

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Check the new Shizuoka City logo!

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There is actually a unique sub-type located in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

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It is located in front of Okitsu Hot Spring Building in Okitsu!

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The two kanji representing “Roads” at the bottom right had been suppressed!

Good hunting!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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

Quaint Okina Inari Daimyoujin Shrine (翁稲荷大明神) in Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City

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If you take the first street right of Shizuoka JR Station that runs past the Post Office and under the railway tracks you will enter the south side of Shizuoka City, that is Suruga Ku. keep walking straight ahead and 5 minutes later you will find these red pennants along the left hand side of the pavement!

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For all their garish grandiloquence they only announce the presence of a small Shinto Shrine called Okina Inari Daimyoujin Shrine (翁稲荷大明神). The reason I decided to have a look at it is that my good friend, Atsuko Kurata who is always on the lookout for unusual sites signaled to me through Facebook!

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The red torii/鳥居/Shrine Entrance Portal!

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An unusual way to advertise a Shinto Shrine the way they used to do for private shops in Japan of yore!

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All kinds of invitations written on the paper flying in the wind!

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Inari Shinto Shrines are always guarded by foxes. Herds of them in this particular case!

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On both sides!
Note the metal braziers used as supports for the votive messages!

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I wouldn’t criticize you for taking this shrine for a local shop!

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The roof pinion could be used either in a Buddhist Temple or a Shinto Shrine!

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Now, this antique komainu/狛犬/lion guard came from under the roof of another shrine or temple!

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A real bric a brac on the west hand side of the shrine!

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Now, this is an exceedingly unusual stone hand washing basin!

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Why all these traditional Japanese water tubs?

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A tiny inari shrine!

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The prayer bell and its rope and the money-offerings box!

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It looks like an antique than anything else!

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Actually the lady owning and looking after the whole place kindly let me take pictures of the inside!

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All kinds of offerings from neighboring followers among a jumble that still looks like an antique dealer’s dream!
Actually traditional Japanese dancing plays are also held inside!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, 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, Pie
rre.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: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, 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!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-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