Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




“Oikemono”, Shinto Ritual (part 2) , A Noh Stage


As I introduced in our previous staff blog, I visited “Oikenomono”, Shinto ritual which was held at Kamo Shrine in Obama City, Fukui Prefecture on February 23rd. I noticed an uncommon building when I was taking a video in the precinct. This is the big Noh stage which is located right in front of “Honden” (main sanctuary).

It is said that in Wakasa area including Obama City, Noh has been thrived since a long time ago, so there are many shrines with Noh stages. There is “Kuraza”, a Noh group, they still often perform Noh in many places.



At the Noh stage which is right in front of “Honden” (main sanctuary), “Mainobako” (the box which will be buried during this event) of this year and several kinds of offerings are offered to the god, and they offer a prayer.


I have read a blog in which the writer said that “On the stage at the quiet shrine during the daytime, singers and dancers perform Noh just only to give prayers to the god, not as a show. I was extremely moved by simplicity (of Noh)”. (*Blog/Wakasa: Travelling around villages to see Noh - written and photographs by Date Yoshinori)

Although I have not seen the Noh yet, I thought that it was the exact same way as what I felt when I saw the "Oikemono".



The season of plum

In the park behind Fukui City Hall, plum trees are in full blossom, you can enjoy the sweet smell of the plum.

You can enjoy the changing seasons in this park throughout the year.

There are plum trees around this season, festivals in summer,

autumn trees in fall and pretty illumination in winter.


And near the park, there is a shrine called “Sakae-no Yashiro”,

and they have beautiful drooping cherry trees in spring.



Little Kyoto・Echizen Ono’sspecialty “Imo-kintsuba” (sweet potato cake)



In Fukui Prefecture, there are many delicious Japanese cakes.
Among them, “Imo-kintsuba” (sweet potato cake) of Ito Junwa-do in Ono City
has an unshakable popularity.
I guess that people of Fukui might have experienced
that you asked them to buy it if someone goes to Ono City.
I would be a little disappointed if someone went to Ono and came back
without “Imo-kintsuba.” :) 
The “Imo-kintsuba” ‘s thin skin has a good texture,
the filling is rich and creamy as if both create a perfect harmony and it is really good.
Also, it goes well with coffee and tea.
The “Imo-kintsuba” is only sold from September to April,
so if you want to try some, please hurry! (H.S)

Fukui City's landmark "Fukui District Court Building"


Life in Fukui

One of the buildings which I see for granted every day from the window
of my office is Fukui District Court Building.
That has become as if too familiar view so I haven't felt anything about the building.
I looked it in a different way the other day and I found it was a pretty massive
and historical architecture.
The entrance is magnificent and the lamp is classic.
And surprisingly, there is a big dazzling stained glass in the hall.
Although I was born in Fukui, I didn't know that...
Well, this is exactly like a proverb "It's darkest beneath the lamp." (H.S)

Japanese New Year's Fair in Katsuyama City

The “Katsuyama New Year’s market” has been held annually for the 300 years.

Traditionally, the market takes places at the end of the lunar calendar (old calendar),

around the end of January.

Since Bakuhan period (also known as the Tokugawa, or Edo period) farmers in the village have sold New Year's products, lucky charms, and handcrafted materials which they made during the agricultural off-season.

As we introduced in our previous blogs,

visitors can enjoy many things at the markets, including auctioning ”at the town markets”, watching "the master in the village", making "buckwheat noodles", buying "handmade lucky charms" and playing the Japanese lottery called “Garapon”.

Besides these, there are also delicious baby castella mini cakes,

soy sauce and miso (fermented soybean paste) that you can buy.

I also recommend taking a walk around this area to enjoy the magnificent scenery.

All around town, there are old buildings which create nostalgic atmosphere.