Season’s topic – Apricot blossom (2017-02-06)

Now, Ume (Japanese apricot, Prunus mume) has begun to bloom.   As you know, Japan is famous for sakura (cherry) blossom. The message of cherry blossom is “spring has come”. On the other hand, the tacit message of ume (apricot) blossom which blooms earlier than sakura is “spring is approaching” although it’s still cold these days.        Webmaster personally… Read more →

Spot report –Makuzu Ware Museum (2017-02-05)

Do you know Makuzu Ware and Mr. MIYAGAWA Kozan I (1842 – 1916) who is the founder and ceramist of Makuzu Kiln?   MIYAGAWA Kozan I was born in Kyoto as the fourth son of MIYAGAWA Chozo who was also ceramist. Kozan I took over his father’s workshop, but moved to Yokohama later and established Makuzu Kiln in 1871. Makuzu… Read more →

Spot report – Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art (2017-01-31)

  Webmaster visited Kawamura Memorial DIC Museum of Art. Access: Tokyo (local train 0:55) Sakura (courtesy bus 0:20) @ Admission: depending on exhibitions.   The collection of the museum varies from Rembrandt, Impressionism, the Ecole de Paris, 20th century European art and 20th century American art to traditional Japanese art. (Sorry but no photos of the inside of the museum.… Read more →

Spot report – Kawagoe History Museum (2017-01-24)

Webmaster visited Kawagoe History Museum (Kawagoe-rekishi-hakubutukan) where real ninja tools are exhibited. Access: Tokyo (local train 0:24) Ikebukuro (local train 0:30) Kawagoe (bus 0:15 or walk 0:20) Kita-in (walk 0:02) @   This is a small private museum which exhibits historical articles handed down in seven old families in Kawagoe which is an old castle town. Admission is ¥500 for… Read more →

Spot report – Hakone Beer (2017-01-14)

Webmaster visited Hakone Beer. (Japanese)   Access: Tokyo (shinkansen 0:37 or local train 1:15) Odawara (local train 0:07) Kazamatsuri (walk 0:01) @ You can drop in at the brewpub on your way to/back from Hakone.   The building of the Brewery. The brewery doesn’t run factory tours for tourists.   Then, we should go to its brewpubs next to… Read more →

Knowing about – Microbreweries in Japan (2017-01-09)

The Liquor Tax Law of Japan was revised in April 1994, in which the annual minimum production of each brewery was reduced from 2,000 kilo liters to 60 kilo liters. This was the beginning of the history of Japan’s craft beer, and many microbreweries have been born since then.     They say there are more than two hundred micro-breweries… Read more →

Spot report – Five-story pagoda of Hokekyo-ji Temple (2017-01-04)

Webmaster visited Hokekyo-ji Temple in Chiba Prefecture last month. Access: Tokyo (local train 0:04) Akihabara (local train 0:23) Shimousa-nakayama (walk 0:10) @   It can be a half-day trip (for three hours) from Tokyo . Besides a five-story pagoda, there are other historical buildings in the precincts.   The approach with So-mon Gate from Simousa-nakayama Station to the temple   … Read more →

Knowing about – How to pray at Shinto shrine (2016-12-28)

Shinto is the Japanese traditional religion. As far as Webmaster understands, it was originally formed as the fusion of animism and chiefship in which any natural creatures and phenomena were considered as deities, and the ancestors of powerful families were also respected as deities.   The website of Jinja Honcho (Association of Shinto Shrines) may help your further understanding of… Read more →

Souvenir – Leaf-shaped coasters of Ojiya textile (2016-12-27)

Webmaster introduces you to leaf-shaped coasters of Ojiya textile. It’s about 18 cm long and 10 cm width each. Webmaster chose only three among many designs.        This product is available only at Takuminoza on the second floor of a complex “Sun Plaza” in Ojiya City.   Access: Tokyo (shinkansen 1:40) Urasa (local train 0:30) Ojiya (bus 0:10 or… Read more →

Souvenir – T-shirts with nishikigoi print (2016-12-27)

T-shirts with nishikigoi print on its back. The kanji are pronounced and mean “nishikigoi”. Not only black, but there are several colors.      A small logotype on the breast      The t-shirts are available at the shop “Ippin-kan” on the second floor of a complex “Sun Plaza” in Ojiya City, which is next to Nishikigoi-no-sato.   Access: Tokyo… Read more →