Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Okubo Chaya Restaurant in Mt. Asuwa, Fukui, Japan -Enjoy the View of the City and Great Foods-



In Mt. Asuwa, there are great restaurants, a cool café, shrines which are known as famous sacred places, observatories and a zoo.


“Okubo chaya” is one of the great restaurants in Mt. Asuwa in which you can enjoy the scenery of Fukui City during both day and night.

They serve delicious Japanese sake as well.

If you have a chance to go to Mt. Asuwa, how about having great foods and drinks at “Ookubochaya”?



Full of People Around Fukui Station Areas


Life in Fukui

The other day (April 23rd, 2017), the center of Fukui City was full of people.



Fukui Commercial High School’s cheerleader club, "JETS" performed at the department store, "Fukui Seibu" located in the shopping area of the west side of Fukui station. The rooftop of "Fukui Seibu" which is usually opened for the rooftop beer garden during summer time was full of people for their performance. Right before the doors opened, there was the long line of people waiting and it was snaking from the 8th floor to the 1st floor. It was even snaking its way to the outside of the building.



On Higashi-odori street which is in front of the eastside of Fukui station, there was a Disney parade in Fukui for the first time. According to Fukui Newspaper, there were about 80,000 people for the parade. The population of Fukui City is about 265,000 which means that one third of the population of the City came out for the parade.


I felt the power of intriguing content. I realized that the importance of showing interesting things which can catch many people’s attention such as performance of the cheerleader club, “JETS” and Disney parade.

Spiritual Trip to Miyako Island, Okinawa #1



I went to Miyako Island from Apr. 13th to 16th.
It was my third time to go to the island, so when I arrived at the Miyako Airport,
I felt relieved like “I’m back”.


The temperature was about 24 degrees there.
Even so, an islander said that it was cool for this time of year and it was abnormal
weather. In Fukui, just before the day I left, the temperature went fairly up, so I thought
that I wouldn’t feel the difference that much in Miyako, but it was surely in subtropical zone and has moderate humidity, so the sensory temperature was much higher.


By the way, while I was planning the trip, it was getting kind of spiritual one.
Because with more research, I found out it is said Miyako Island itself has a strong energy and Ogami Island, where I also wanted to go, it is truly called an island of God.
So I decided to look around spiritual spots in Miyako Island.


Next morning, I headed off to Ogami Island.
It takes 15 minutes by a fast ship from Shimajiri fishing port.
As I was watching the beautiful sea called Miyako Blue, the island is almost upon us.
At the port, a man of the tourist association that I asked for a guide in advance was waiting for us.


He guides five persons including myself. The island’s outer perimeter is about 2.7 km. At low tide, you can walk around the island along the beach. In the island,
there are some sanctuaries and sacred spaces where it is said that gods descended.
Also, the sea is very clear enough to see tiny blue tropical fish from the water’s edge.
So many people come to the island to swim.


Ogami Island’s population is 26 people now. There are no children. An elderly female called Tsukasa handles religious services. But what would have happened to the religious services in the near future?


That day, I also visited Harimizu Utaki, where is the oldest hallow ground in Miyako Island and the Miyako Shrine, which is the southernmost one of Japan. (H.S)


Yuri, ten years old, the only dog in Ogami Island.
She is very clever and shows us the island with the guide.
For your information, the number of cats are more than people and I met some that day.


The lovely view from the observatory of Ogami Island. The blak part in the sea is a farm of nemacystus decipiens. In July, when the farming finishes, the sea will be deep blue completely.


The stairs to the observatory. The guide told us about mulberries screw pines grow wild and we tasted them. They were sweet and good.


We head to the seaside from the observatory. Of course, Yuri was with us!


The center part of the breakwater. Because Tsukasa complained that the passage was blocked. So they scraped off the part. Tsukasa has a say even in public project!


Harimizu Utaki. Acutally, three women were worshipping inside.


Cats relax on the stone wall in front of the utaki.


I received a stamp at the Miyako Shrine.


At the evening, I went to an Okinawan restaurant which has a folk song live show.
The song is BEGIN’s “My grand father takes pride in Orion Beer”
The rylics are laid-back but meaningful.

Amazing Flamenco Dancers Part3 / ARTE Y SOLERA Dance Company / Origin of Flamenco

At the beginning of January this year, I went to see a play “the mermaid’s red candles” written by Mimei Ogawa performed by Mayumi Kagita and Hiroki Sato’s ARTE Y SOLERA dance company and a flamenco dance show performed by them at Sabae City Cultural Center.


After the play, their flamenco show was started.

The dancers danced powerfully with the music which was passionate with a little bit of bitter sweetness.

Source: The photographs of previous performance of Arte Y Solera from Arte Y Solera’s official website ( “Ai koso subete ” in Japanese title, “iAMOR, AMOR, AMOR in Spanish title” performed at Setagaya Public Theatre on September 3rd and 4th in 2011)



Source: The photographs of previous performance of Arte Y Solera from Arte Y Solera’s official website ( “Arte Y Solera Kanki”, TEATRO VILLAMARTA・TEATRO JUAN BERNABE DE LEBRIJA performed on November 6th and 12th, 2005 in Spain)



Hiroki Sato explained about the history of Flamenco. It started about 200 years ago in Andalucía in Spain by Gypsies (Roma). Andalucía used to be a wasteland and the residents, especially Gypsies lived in poverty. Gypsies were the nomadic people who came from India to the west.

Source: The photographs of previous performance of Arte Y Solera from Arte Y Solera’s official website ( “Chikai” performed on August 2nd and 3rd at Le Theatre Ginza)



The Gypsies expressed their anger, sorrow and pain by singing and dancing, and this was the beginning of Flamenco. They released their negative feelings with Flamenco so that they could keep on moving on. Therefore, Flamenco is not a happy thing like a festival. It has bitter sweetness with strength to live. It is like the cry from the deep inside them.


The dancers I saw that day on the stage performed using their whole bodies strongly. They were expressing their strength, anger, sorrow and everything in between from the deep inside them. In the audience, there was a group of Spanish speaking people. They shouted something in Spanish which probably meant great! or something to praise them for the great performance because the dancers on the stage shouted back to them, “gracias! “.


Overall, everyone including the audience, dancers, singers and musicians had such great time. At the end of the show, the audience kept clapping their hands for an encore and it would not stop. Because everyone was so excited that the show could not be finished and time for the encore was extended. In the encore, the musicians who stayed behind the dancers during the show started coming out and dancing on the stage.


This is not the video from the show I went to see but I would like to introduce how great the dance group, "Arte Y Solera" is. So I would like to share a video of "ARTEY SOLERA".

Please enjoy not only the beauty of Flamenco but also the strength that the dancers and musicians express.




Official Website of ARTE Y SORERA



Enjoy our previous blogs as well!

Amazing Flamenco Dancers Part1 / ARTE Y SOLERA Dance Company / Founder, Hiroki Sato



Amazing Flamenco Dancers Part2 / ARTE Y SOLERA Dance Company / Founders, Mayumi Kagita



Pheasants and Japanese Bush Warblers Singing Together at the Foot of Mt. Aoba in Takahama-cho, Fukui Prefecture on April 16th, 2017

Last Sunday, April 16th, 2017, I went hiking in Mt. Aoba in Takahama-cho. When looking at the mountain from Obama City, it looks sharp like a pyramid and it’s beautiful. It is 693 meters above sea level. Not only I enjoyed hiking, but I also enjoyed the bird sounds of pheasants and Japanese bush warblers which I heard as I was walking in Satoyama (farming landscape near the hills in Japan) at the foot of the mountain after the descending the mountain.



There was such a fine male pheasant chirping right near a farmer.



A monkey in the forest by the road.