Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Onomai / Dance of Tengu (goblin) at Mimi Shrine in Mihama-cho, Fukui Prefecture

During Golden Week (consective holidays from Apr. 29th to May 8th this year),
on the afternoon of May 1st, I visited Mimi Shrine in Mihama-cho, Fukui Prefecture.
On that day,from morning till evening, several kinds of Shinto ritual were performed.
I saw the last part of it.



As soon as I arrived there, the last part of “Goheioshi” came around. A group of men looking like they were drunk walked around with Oogohei (a wand with hemp and paper streamers, used in Shinto ceremony) without decoration paper (because the paper was stripped off by the participants) which looked like a large baseball bat. These men started walking up the stairs in front of Haiden (a hall for prayer). As they let the edge of the stick hit each stone step and move it up stairs, there was another group of men waiting to block the group. Because both of the group were acting roughly toward each other on stairs, I think I saw some of the men fell from the stairs...



At the top of the stairs, there was a boy called “Heisashi” waiting. As the “Oogohei” arrived at the top, the boy was carried onto it and moved to Honden (the main Shrine). During this part of the Shinto ritual, everyone was mobbed by each other so I could not see what was exactly happening there. It looked like the boy arrived at Honden (the main Shrine) without any major problems.



After the rough Shinto ritual, Goheioshi was finished, the atmosphere was changed to a quiet one. With sound of slower and more quiet Japanese flute (this flute has a high-pitched sound) and a drum, “Onomai”, dance of Tengu (goblin) was started. The dancer with a long stick wearing red kimono dress and a Tengu mask (goblin mask) had a peacock called Torikabuto on his head.



As I watched graceful but intense dance which was repeated quietly with same movement,
I was wondering if the origin of the tengu might be from what ancient people remembered of the foreigner who they met.



Lastly, a lion dancer performed. The public officials (?) gathered in front of Honden (the main Shrine) and the lion was caught by them and got away from them again and again, which was funny to watch. And the lion dancer even got the visitors around this area involved and it kept dancing around. As soon as this part of Shinto ritual was finished, the festival was finished as well and the precinct became quiet.





Exceeded 10million!! / Passengers of Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train)


Life in Fukui

As a bullet train from Tokyo, "Kagayaki 501"

arrived at Kanazawa station in Ishikawa Prefecture on April 13th, 2016, at 8:46am,

the number of passengers using Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) exceeded 10million

since it opened in March last year.

This was why, Kanazawa train station was extremely crowded.

Have you ever ridden Shinkansen (bullet train)?

If you will ever have a chance to come to Hokuriku region,

how about taking the Hokuriku Shinkansen here?

I would like to share a video of "Japanagos",

"Kimonos, Gardens, & Gold! Our trip to Kanazawa! "

Please enjoy!


Starbucks Coffee Kyoto-sanjo-ohashi shop with a breeze-enjoying floor


Kyoto and Nara

There is a very Kyoto-style Starbucks Coffee at the foot of Sanjo-ohashi Bridge, Kyoto.
In Kyoto City, there are a couple of so-called Kyoto-style Starbucks but nothing compared to this shop.
Because this shop has a breeze-enjoying floor, which is a summer feature in Kyoto.
Even in the humid summer evenings in Kyoto, if you go out to the breeze-enjoying floor,
it would be pretty nice to feel the breeze through the Kamo-gawa River.
Although Kyoto cuisine restaurants’ breeze-enjoying floor might be hard for tourists,
here you only need to order coffee.
However, it is very crowded so you should go on weekdays or right after the floor opens.
How about spending the time of “The Kyoto summer = The Japanese summer”
while looking the flow of the Kamo-gawar River?


You can see the Kamo-gawa River right in front of you.
When the breeze-enjoying floor is full, I recommend its basement floor.


There is a bronze statue of “Yaji Kita” nearby.
※”Yaji Kita” is famous main characters, Yaji-san and Kita-san from a humorous adventure story in the Edo Period.


It’s also good to stroll the riverside.
You may find couples sitting at equal spaces.


Traditional Kyoto-style rice craker shop in front of the Starbucks.
You can feel their long history.



In the evening, it goes like this. It’s pretty crowded.
(From Starbucks official website)


Starbucks Coffee Kyoto-sanjo-ohashi shop
Breeze-enjoying floor is open :


May and September 11:30 - 22:00
June to August 16:00 - 22:00


※ Closed on rainy days



Gorgeous parade floats in Nagahama City, Shiga Prefecture

I watched a TV show about parade float festivals around the country this past weekend and
it reminded me anew of the gorgeous floats which I saw in Nagahama City the other day.
The floats in Nagahama City are big because they have a stage and a backstage room.
They are proceeding in a narrow road and the array of the floats in the precincts of Hachimangu Shrine to dedicate kyogen(children's kabuki), which are really spectacular.
Also, such big parade floats turning around creaking dynamically at a narrow cross road and
the entrance of a shrine was powerful.


Peony Flower 

It’s already May.
The other day, peony flowers bloomed in my garden.
Here is a Japanese saying which is compared a beautiful woman to flowers.


“When standing is like paeoniae radix, when sitting is like peony flower
and when walking is like lily. “


When I see peony flowers, I always think of the saying above automatically.
But actually I am not sure what paeoniae radix is like, so I did a little research.



Both flowers are similar but peony is a tree and paeoniae radix is a plant.
As for the leaves, peony’s one is mat with serrated edges
and paeoniae radix’s one is shiny and round.
So when you are not sure which is which, you should just see the leaves.


By the way, peony is China’s national flower.
On the other hand, paeoniae radix is a popular crude drug in traditional Chinese medicine
and its dried roots are used in many Chinese medicines.