Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




The Japanese Animated Film “Your Name”(2016)



I went to see the film “Your Name”, which is now on a smash hit in Japan.
The theater was crowded with many high school students and young people.
In the film, there were a lot of beautiful images, also it had surprising plot and vibrant songs,
so I felt like I experienced something special rather than I just saw a film.


Because it was an animation, it was able to depict several spectacular scenes.
Also, I was amazed that it drew minutely about tradition and culture have been handed down in Japan. And the young audience also watched such scenes in absolute silence.
I liked the feeling of unity in the theater as if it was a part of the film.


When I had no prior knowledge about the film, I thought it was a remake of another film
“Your Name” of 1953. But it was completely different.
People who know the old one must be earlier generations.
“Machiko-maki”, which means an actress Keiko Kishi’s head scarf style in the film,
took the world by storm at that time.
And, I think that young people today think about this new “Your Name”
by Makoto Shinkai if they hear the title in the future.


I think that it’s natural that the film would be picked up a nomination for best animation
for Oscar. In fact, the film will be released in 85 countries!
So let’s see what kind of response we will get from all over the world. (H.S)


Canoe Touring in Lake Kitagata



Last Saturday, September 6th, 2016, I participated in

“Canoe Touring / Traveling Through the Lake - From Lake Kitagata to the Sea of Japan”

conducted by Prefectural Awara Youth House in Awara City, Fukui Prefecture.


The Lake Kitagata is a long and thin brackish lake

and it is connected to the Sea of Japan at Yoshizaki area.

The weather was sunny, I enjoyed canoeing a round trip of 14km from Prefectural Awara Youth House area to just before reaching the Sea of Japan.


As soon as we started, we went under “Iris Bridge”, which is a symbol of Lake Kitagata.


As we went further down the river and as we passed the bridge under the prefectural road 120, we went into the area called “Oumi” which is the widest area of the Lake Kitagata.
There was no wind and/or wave, so we canoed smoothly.


As we were looking at windmills on the mountain on the left, we canoed toward Yoshizaki area. The elementary students who struggled rowing canoes at first, they became used to it right away. While I was canoeing, I saw some mullet fish jumping out of water here and there.



We had a lunch at the park in front of Yoshizaki-gobo (base temple of Honganji-school).
At the dead ahead of the forests in front of the people having lunch in the picture is the Sea of Japan.


I felt that returning to the start point seemed faster.

I kayaked for the first time in a while and I want to do this more from now on.



Shooting with the GoPro: Outdoor Sports


Production notes

In recent years, shooting outdoor sports with “GoPro” has been popular all over the world.


In Japan, there are many people using GoPro taking videos of many things including

outdoor sports, fireworks display, animals and so on. There are also some Japanese comedians wearing helmets with GoPro during TV shows. They shoot themselves making funny facial expressions while jumping into mud puddle, hot water, ocean and or anywhere they can shoot their own funny reactions to the circumstances.


You can find many kinds of videos taken with GoPro from Youtube.


As you may know already but let me introduce a little bit about the “GoPro”.

GoPro is a product of GoPro, Inc., in the United States (formerly Wooman Labs, Inc.).

It is a digital camera which specializes shooting outdoor sports.

It is also called “Action Cam”(product of Sony Corporation of America) or

“Wearable Camera” (product of Panasonic Corporation).


GoPro comes with a shockproof and waterproof case so users can shoot any scenes including underwater, on the water, on the land and/or in the sky. There are also other parts are available for GoPro so the users can make videos however they want.


In recent years, many “GoPro users” shoot paddling a conoe/kyak, surfing, cycling, dancing, skydiving, running and everything in between.


Now, let’s see an actual video taken with the GoPro.


I would like to share a video of “Ben Brwon”, “Go Pro Hero 3 Japan Kayak Adventure”.

Please enjoy!


Did you enjoy watching the views taken with the GoPro?

At Gen Japan, we will take many videos with the GoPro as well, so stay tuned for it!



Have you already eaten “Lumonde Ice Cream” ?



“Sold only locally” …I believe I am not alone in feeling that the word is tempting.
Also, have I ever felt such superiority in living in Hokuriku region?
Because the Bourbon’s “Lumonde Ice Cream”, which has been become a big topic on the internet this summer, is sold in Niigata, Toyama, Ishikawa and Fukui Prefectures only.
(※Bourbon’s headquarters is in Niigata Prefecture)


In fact, the “Lumonde Ice Cream” is a test marketing product in the four prefectures in order to enter ice cream market for the first time for Bourbon.
So yes, I also immediately ate it! It is made of round wafer filled with vanilla ice cream and crisp Lumonde cookie is in the center. I wonder that an ice cream like this has never been before because the flavor was well-balanced. I also liked the BOURBON logos on the wafer.


Come to think of it, the president of a wholesaler of confectionery gave an interview
on TV that “What do you think the most delicious confectionery is?” “It is Lumonde.”
As I watched it, I felt I very much understood his answer.
I ate the Lumonde for the first time when I was in high school.
I remember I was amazed that there was such delicious confectionery!
The Lumonde has been sold since 1974 and the taste has not changed.


Unfortunately, the “Lumonde Ice Cream” has sold so well that they cannot ensure sufficient supply, and they have had to stop selling temporarily. (except Niigata Prefecture)
So if you want to eat the “Lumonde Ice Cream”, you should go to Niigata ;) (H.S)


Venus -Japanese Cheerleading Squad-


JETS and Grace JETS

This is the adult cheerleading squad “Venus” which has been established with the graduated members of the cheerleader club “JETS” of Fukui Commercial High School.


In Venus, there are original members of the JETS who won the first place at NDA National Championship and it was made into a movie.


We visited them at one of their rehearsals. It was in the middle of summer vacation, so they got to use their old school.


They will participate in national convention next month.

Although all of them have jobs or go to universities, surprisingly,

they rehearse 3 or 4 times a week.

They are putting so much effort and time so I truly felt that I wanted to support them.




Checking their own movement on one of their smartphones.