Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui






Random thoughts

Osaka souvenir "Sontaku manju"

It seems there is no English word that can directly paraphrase the word "Sontaku (see that Kanji above)" which became completely famous in Japan recently.
When I translate it into English, it will become an idiom or a sentence, such as "care about others' feelings" or "see things from other people's points of view".
Will this become English as "Sontaku" in the near future?

Recommendation of cafe and meal in Fukui City “manimani” 



The other day, I went to cafe "manimani" and I will introduce it this time. I had heard that their meal is so good and I sometimes pass in front of the shop by car but it was the first time I entered it. And I really liked the “manimani”. So it is likely to become my favorit cafe where I often want to go to.


They offer set menus with side dishes of plenty of locally grown vegetables. That day I didn’t eat dessert because I was full but I hear their homemade desserts are very popular.


After all, I am happy that they offer healthy meal and I could get plenty of vegetables. Although the cafe was pretty busy, the owner and staff served us well, in a natural calm manner with warmth and it made a favorable impression.


[Side dishes of the month]
Greens and chopped dried radish with enokidake mushroom
Spanish omelet with squash, shimeji mushroom and bacon
Deep fried freeze-dried bean curd with starchy enokidake mushroom sauce
Octopus, seaweed and onions with vinegar dressing
Twice cooked pork with cabbage and bamboo shoot
Floury potatoes with sakura shrimp -shore flavor-
Sauteed carrots (their regular menu, which is tasty that could change your image of sauteed carrots. Even those who don’t like carrots can eat this.)


They also sell lunch boxes and take-out dishes. (H.S)


The entrance of manimani




Beef filet steak set meal (1800 yen)


Roast beef plate (1580 yen)


The appearance

New Sake Festival 2018 -Excellent sake from 24 Fukui Local Sake Breweries-



a new sake festival was held at Phoenix Plaza in Fukui City
a new sake festival was held at Phoenix Plaza in Fukui City

On March 21st, 2018, a new sake festival was held at Phoenix Plaza in Fukui City.

sake barrels stacked in a triangular pyramid at the venue
booths for snacks

24 sake breweries from Fukui Prefecture and 6 restaurants and stores participated in the event. The number of the visitors had been increased. There were about 1,600 visitors came to the event last year, and about 2,000 visitors came this year. The venue was full of people enjoying the sake.



the venue was full of people 10 minutes before the event was started

10 minutes before the event was begun, the door was opened, and visitors rushed into the venue and they lined up in front of their favorite sake booths.


there were long lines in front of popular booths

Right before the event was started, the people in front of the sake booths seemed very excited for the event to be started. Staff members of each sake brewery were standing quietly and being ready to serve their sake. Somehow, by looking at the staff members with traditional uniforms and beautiful sake bottles lined up in front of them, I felt both solemnity and excitement.



the sake was poured into the visitors’ cups one after another

a woman with a sake cup, she is getting her cup filled with sake at a booth

As soon as the event was started, the sake was poured into the visitors’ cups one after another.



a man brought his own sake cup

Some visitors had brought their own cups like the man in the photograph above. He put the belt around the cup with perfect balance, so the sake would not be spilled from the cup. I was amazed by how he has so much passion toward sake.



three smiling women are serving sake

After the visitors had a few cups of sake, they started being more relaxed and chatty. The atmosphere of the event had been raised more and more.



a woman serving sake
a man serving sake

Even it was very busy from beginning to end, the staff members of each sake breweries were serving sake politely and elegantly. Each sake brewery had brought a few of their recommendation, the visitors enjoyed sake tasting and asking staff some questions.




There were some snacks which go well with sake, so the visitors could also enjoy them as well. Some of them felt very nice after having some cups of sake, and then they started chatting with people around them, even with strangers.


I would like to visit next time as a visitor and try different kinds of sake.


If you have a chance, how about visiting the new sake festival in Fukui City?




Watching the ritual "Onomai-dance" of Uwase-jinja Shrine and Mimi-jinja Shrine

On April 8th (2018), I watched the "Onomai-dance" (Dance of the King) held at Uwase-jinja Shrine in Wakasa Town, Fukui Prefecture.
"Onomai-dance" (Dance of the King) is the traditional ritual dance which is performed at the 16 shrines in Wakasa region, and most of the shrines hold that in April or May.


It is the same as the Onomai-dance I saw at Mimi-jinja Shrine in Mihama Town two years ago,
that a male dancer wearing a red costume, a red mask with high nose and a bird-shaped hat repeats a simple choreography constantly in accordance with flutes and drums.

However, there are some differences such as dancer's gestures, costumes and bird-shaped hats.

If I watch the dances of other shrines there may be a lot of differences, but I am interested in that the same events have been inherited for hundreds of years throughout Wakasa region, regardless of the difference in details.


Onomai-dance at Uwase-jinja Shrine


Onomai-dance at Mimi-jinja Shrine

The striking movement of protruding a pike forward from a low posture is the same but the other behaviors are different.


Bird-shaped hat at Uwase-jinja Shrine


Bird-shaped hat at Mimi-jinja Shrine

The bird shape of the hat of Uwase-jinja Shrine is stylized, and in contrast, that of Mimi-jinja Shrine is concrete and ornate.

Restored Fukui Castle Yamazatoguchi Gate 


Places to visit

The restoration of the Yamazatoguchi Gate in Fukui Castle Ruins was completed the other day and opened to the public. A traditional method of construction and wood from Fukui are used for the gates and the stone walls. It is worth seeing. In the past, Shungaku Matsudaira, who was the lord of Fukui Domain, used to pass through the Yamazatoguchi Gate to go to the keep of the Fukui Castle. In the NHK period drama “Sego-don” currently on air, an actor, Kanji Tsuda from Fukui City plays Shungaku, so I have a sense of closeness with Shungaku again.


Ascending a little steep stone steps, it is the castle tower ruins and a cherry blossom viewing spot. Looking inside the turret, go through another wood gate and go over the Oroka-bashi bridge. Then, right before is Fukui City Central Park. Going straight the park and you will find a place to rest which has a public bathroom. This is the season of cherry blossoms, so it’s nice to stroll the historical route with viewing cherry blossoms. (H.S)


Inside the white plaster wall was turret(arm storage)at that time.
Now you can enter it and materials related are on display there.


The stone wall facing the moat viewed from the inside the wood gate.


“Fukunoi” (well) has been restored in the castle tower ruins.
It is said that it is the origin of Fukui, the place name here.


The turret opened in the evening as well with illumination of cherry blossoms.
(Usually, it is open until 6 p.m.)


The Oroka-bashi bridge viewed from the castle tower ruins.