Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




The girl in Bhutan Museum Fukui's poster visited Fukui!! - January 22nd, 2018 -



In our previous blog, as we introduced that Sonam Choki, who is the image girl of Bhutan Museum Fukui and she appears in its poster, came to Fukui from Bhutan. She stayed in Fukui City from January 20th, 2018 for about one month.


She was only 14 years old when the photograph that has been used for Bhutan Museum Fukui poster was taken. She is now 23 years old.



Hanako no Ie” (Ie means a house in Japanese)

On the second day of her stay in Fukui, we had lunch at a Japanese restaurant “Hanako no Ie” (Ie means a house in Japanese) that serves homemade Japanese food.



the lunch at Hanako no ie, it's very volumy but it's only 500yen

It was a pretty big lunch. For their special 500 yen lunch meal, we had miso soup, rice, pickles, boiled vegetables, a fried croquette (frying mashed potato ball) and salad.
*their lunch menu changes everyday.


According to the cook/owner of the restaurant, her recommendation is the fried croquette. It is made with pumpkin, potatoes, and onions. I had it and it was very delicious that the outside of the fried coquette was crispy and inside of it was very soft and hot.


I asked Ms. Sonam, what she liked the best. She said that she enjoyed the croquette and she was also amazed by the miso soup as well. The cook spent time and effort making the soup from scratch. The miso soup broth was made from boiled-dried fish and it was very delicious.



Sonam Choki standing in front of an animation store called “animate” which is a large chain of anime stores in Japan

After we had lunch, we went to an animation store called “animate” which is a large chain of anime stores in Japan. They sell everything from anime, games, manga and anime related goods such as manga, figures, posters, stationery goods and much more.


In Bhutan, anime, “NARUTO” and “ONE PIECE” are very popular. Ms. Sonam likes them as well so she bought an ONE PIECE keychain and a pen.


As soon as we stepped out from animate, it started snowing hard and we did not have umbrellas. We decided to head to a 100 yen shop around the station.



Sonam Choki shopping in 100yen store in Aossa, Fukui City

She said that there aren’t any stores in Bhutan like 100 yen stores in Japan. It was very new and interesting for her so she kept walking and looking around in the store. Since she is a college student, she likes stationery supplies. She bought vocabulary cards to memorize Japanese vocabularies and an umbrella.


100 Japanese Yen is about 57 Bhutan Ngultrum.



Sonam Choki was amazed by large snow flakes taking photos of them next to the ice skating rink near Fukui station

On the way back to Bhutan Museum, we saw snow falling in large flakes. In Bhutan, it does snow sometimes but it does not snow as much as it does in Japan. And top of that, she’s never seen such large snowflakes, so she was amazed by the snow.


Stay tuned for our next blog about Ms. Sonam’s stay in Fukui.




Enjoy our previous blog!

A Girl from Bhutan -Miraculous Reunion-


At Bhutan Museum Fukui, you can see many interesting things from Bhutan!

Official Website of Bhutan Museum Fukui


The places we went on February 20th, 2018:

The local homemade Japanese restaurant

“Hanakono Ie (Hanako’s house)”


1-10-15 Junka,

Fukui-shi, Fukui-ken



Phone Number:




Anime, Manga (Comics) and games specialty store

“Animate Fukui”



1-8-17 Chuo,

Fukui-shi, Fukui-ken



Phone Number:



100 yen shop “Seria” Aossa, Fukui



1-4-1 Teyose,

Fukui-shi, Fukui-ken



Phone Number:


Visiting "Winter Restaurant for wild birds" again

On the morning of February 28, I went to the "Winter Restaurant for wild birds" of Fukui Prefecture Nature Conservation Center again. Normally this event ends today, but this year we have a lot of snow so it will be held until the end of March.


I heard that squirrels came just before I arrived. Unfortunately I could not see squirrels, but I could see Kogera (Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker) and Gojukara (Sitta europaea) that I could not see last time and Akagera made its appearance for a longer time than before.


Kogera (Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker)
Kogera (Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker), the first time I saw it


Gojukara (Sitta europaea)
Gojukara (Sitta europaea), barely able to take photo


Akagera (Great spotted woodpecker) and Tsugumi (thrush)
Akagera (Great spotted woodpecker) VS. Tsugumi (thrush)


Hiyodori (Bulbul)
Hiyodori (Bulbul), that loves fruit


Yamagara (Varied tit)
Yamagara (Varied tit), who kept still unusually


Winter Restaurant for Wildbirds
Winter Restaurant for Wildbirds


NHK “Super Presentation” - The secret to living longer may be your social life -


Beauty and health

NHK Education TV program “Super Presentation” introduces selected presentations from TED Conference. I also sometimes watch it if I am interested in the subject.


In the last week’s program, the presentation “The secret to living longer may be your social life” by a developmental psychologist, Susan Pinker, was introduced. The keyword is “Blue Zones”, which means the five areas where people live statistically longest. By the way,
there is a Blue Zone in Japan, too. It is Okinawa. The term “Blue Zones” appeared by National Geographic magazine in 2005. But now, unfortunately, the average longevity of Okinawa residents is decreasing.


Susan Pinker (Photo from the official website of NHK “Super Presentation”)


A Blue Zone, Sardinia, Italy, where there are 6 times as many centenarians as the Italian mainland. There are 10 times as many centenarians as there are in North America.
According to Susan Pinker, it is regardless of their nature optimistic or food and it is because their relationships with other people are close and they often meet people in person.


Also, in the presentation, there was the following data, which was very interesting.
[What reduces your chances of dying the most?]
*Going from the least powerful predictor to the strongest.
10.Clean Air         
9.Hypertension Rx      
8.Lean vs. Overweight 
6.Cardiac Rehab
5.Flu Vaccine  
4.Quit Boozing           
3.Quit Smoking
2.Close Relationships  
1.Social Integration


I didn’t expect that having a flu vaccine protects you more than doing exercise. And, the strongest predictor is social integration. This means how much you interact with people.
But it’s not the same thing as interacting through text or via social media. Face-to-face contact releases a whole cascade of neurotransmitters, and like a vaccine, they protect you now in the present and well into the future.


That means loneliness may be a great enemy to live a long life.
This face-to-face contact provides stunning benefits, yet now almost a quarter of the population says they have no one to talk to. Speaking of loneliness, I heard that Britain's prime minister announced the country will appoint a minister of loneliness the other day.


The power of such face-to-face contact is really why there are the lowest rates of dementia among people who are socially engaged, bolsters the immune system and helps us live longer. Therefore, Japan also should be serious about such issues. (H.S)