Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Musikfest NARA 2018


Kyoto and Nara

I went to the Musikfest NARA again. This year, it is being held from May 7th to June 3rd, a month earlier than last year. Of course, my aim was seeing “Songs and laughter of Okinawa” concerts, which were held on May 26th and 27th.


Because it was held one month earlier, I was able to enjoy the concerts in the refreshing air before the rainy season. In the daytime, drinking Orion Beer in the open air was great! (H.S)


On the first day, it began with Okinawan classical dance


They are a really nice duo, of whom I am a fan.
Yukito Ara from Ishigaki Island
Isamu Shimoji from Miyako Island
It is called Sakishima combining Ishigaki Island and Miyako Island.


Members of ”Ryukyu-koku Matsuri Daiko" Nara branch
They always perform powerful Eisa (Okinawan traditional performance).


”Yui Yui Sisters"
Although the group name is ’sisters’, actually the two members facing the observers’ right are mother and daughter.
In Okinawa, it seems like there are many groups who perform with family.


The last performer was ”DIAMANTES".
They were just perfect for summer and so exciting.


It was held in Kasugano-enchi, where is located in the back of Nara Park and has view of Mt. Wakakusa behind it. The performers were impressed with such a beautiful location.


A deer was alone near Sarusawa-Ike Pond.
It was standing frozen, because a big dog on a walk was coming this way.
Of course, the dog was on the lead, but I could feel the tension of the deer.
Animals usually look relaxed and easy, but they may have many cares.


The Great Buddha of Nara.
I saw it this year again.

New and old


Random thoughts

Because the city of Fukui was destroyed thoroughly twice, with the bombing by the American air force in 1945 and the big earthquake three years later, there are few historic buildings left.


However, after 70 years from the disasters, I may sometimes find a scene that makes feeling of history.


When I see the landscape where new buildings recently made and those old buildings coexist, I think this is so good because I'm relieved to see it.



An old-fashioned but neat wooden house standing against a new building of various administrative agencies in the center of the city.



"Happiring" a complex that is a symbol of the redevelopment around the Fukui Station, and "Shin-sakae Terrace" at a corner of Shin-sakae shopping street.


There are stores such as an Indonesian restaurant, a cafe, a cheese specialty store, etc. surrounding a square made by laying a wood deck in the space which was once a parking lot.


It seems like the street corners of a foreign country somewhere and I like that appearance of the stores reusing old buildings pretty much.

Wearing kimono for the first time-Bhutanese family in Fukui City, Fukui Prefecture


Places to visit

As we introduced in our previous blog that I visited Nishiyama Park and Nishiyama Zoo with Mr. Ugen Dorji’s family.


Mr. Ugyen Dorji is studying at University of Fukui as a teacher trainee from Bhutan since around October of 2017. And at the end of March of 2018, his family arrived in Japan as well.


Today, I would like to introduce Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins in Fukui City, Fukui Prefecture which I visited with his family.

There are restored warrior's residences, menchant's houses and craftsman's houses which were rebuilt with some of the archaeological remains found there.


restored warrior's residence

They were rebuilt like the old ones as much as possible, so you can feel as if you are in the Warring States Period.



in a restored warrior's residence, Mr. Ugyen Dorji's son and wife are looking at a Japanese fence hanging from the ceiling

Mr. Ugyen Dorji’s family was curious to see what they had in the restored residences and houses.



Mr. Ugyen Dorji's sister looks very happy wearing kimono for the first time in her life

In the restored town, there is a place where you can try the kimono dressing experience.



Mr. Ugyen Dorji's sister and wife are smiling wearing kimono, his 2 years old son is ruuning in front of them with his regular clothing

Mr. Ugyen Dorji’s sister and wife were very excited to wear the kimono for the first time in their lives. The kimono which they wore that day were the ones the women from the Warring States Period would wear to special places and/or events.

They said that the kimono was heavy for them, but they enjoyed walking around the restored town with it. With the traditional kimono and the old town, they felt as if they were in Warring States Period.



Mr.Ugyen Dorji's sister and wife are sitting on the stage outside

They mentioned that the kimono which they wore that they were similar to traditional Bhutanese clothing.



Mr. Ugyen Dorji's sister showed me how people dance in Bhutan

His sister showed me how they dance the traditional dance with the traditional clothing in Bhutan.



Mr. Ugyen Dorji's wife looks very happy with big smile

We talked alot, laughed, and had a great time.

It was interesting to know that there are some similarities as much as there are differences between Bhutan and Japan. I found a big didfference between us that in Bhutan, people usually wear traditional clothes when they go to schools, a city hall or any other government offices. In Japan, although some people wear kimono for ceremonial occasions such as weddings, funeral, the New Year and so on, almost no one wears kimono or any other traditional clothes for those places on a regular basis. And one of the interesting similarities between us is that many people use smartphones, take selfies and use social networking services alot just like we do in Japan.



Mr.Ugyen Dorji's sister is having matcha green tea
Mr.Ugyen Dorji's wife is holding a matcha green tea cup with big smile

After they tried the kimono dressing experience, they had matcha green tea.



Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins sign on the street
the entrance of restored town and its prices and opening hours

Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins are surrounded by beautiful nature, so you can feel refreshed and learn about Japanese history at the same time. If you have a chance to come to Fukui, you must go there!




National Museum Wales collection “From Tuner to Monet”


Arts and crafts

I went to see the exhibition “Art of lights, the birth of impressionist school, from Turner to Monet”, which was a special event celebrating the 40th anniversary of Fukui Fine Art Museum. As you know, Turner was a painter from Britain and Monet was from France. Through the exhibition, I learned that British painters and French ones actually interacted together for the first time.


“San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk”(1908) by Claude Monet, which is used for the leaflets for the exhibition. Monet is famous for the series of “Water Lillies”, but he stayed in Venice at that time.


When I went to the museum, there was a collaborated exhibition with Fukui Bunka Fashion College, and several dresses inspired by the exhibited paintings and recreated 19th century costumes in Britain and France were displayed.


Is it remade from kimono? It looks antique and gorgeous.


It looks very elegant but actually it is a mini dress.


The pattern, the combination of different material and the color contrast are nice.


“The Palazzo Dario” by Claude Monet (1908)


I liked above one the most among the many paintings in the exhibition.
As Venice is painted in gentle pale colors brightly, it looks new to me. (H.S)


*The exhibition “From Turner to Monet” is being held until May 27th (Sun) at Fukui Fine Art Museum.

"Untitled (Green and Gray)"


Random thoughts


Seeing a picture taken with a drone from about 100 meters above the scene of rice planting, I imagined such a modern art style title.


This is a rice field in Echizen city, Fukui Prefecture.
The rice planting machine works while shaking the shadow of Mt. Hino reflected on the water.


Even if it is not near mountains but close to the city area, I think that it is beautiful to see paddy fields that reflect the surrounding scenery in a quiet early morning. I do not want the fields to be landfilled and filled with tasteless solar panels.