Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Mikuni Fireworks Festival 2018



*The video above was taken at Mikuni Fireworks Festival this year (2018).


Summer is almost over, and fall is soon to be here.

There are many enjoyable things to do during summer in Japan such as going to

summer festivals and/or fireworks festivals, swimming in the ocean,

enjoying Nagashi-somen (eating somen noodles with chopsticks as it runs down of water),

climbing mountains, wearing Yukata (Japanese summer kimono), etc.


I myself enjoyed some of these events this summer. I would like to share one of them.

Watching Mikuni Fireworks Festival was amazing!

It was held on August 11th at Mikuni Sunset Beach in Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture.


It is an annual event which has been conducted since before World War Two.

Because it is the largest fireworks festival in Hokuriku region, many people come to

Mikuni every year. It is known that the venue of the Mikuni fireworks becomes extremely

crowded, people have hard time watching the fireworks, walking and/or driving around it.

Some people who want to watch it closely on the beach, they even go to the beach early in the morning, stay there all day just to watch the 1 hour of fireworks!


I arrived at the venue as the festival began and it was very crowded.

I thought it was too late to find a good spot to enjoy the fireworks.

I even thought that I wouldn’t be able to watch it.


Luckily, although I had to keep standing, I found a good spot where I could see

the fireworks clearly.


Now, I know that if you don’t mind watching it without sitting, you can always find a good spot even after the fireworks festival starts.


mikuni fireworks4
mikuni fireworks5

As the fireworks festival began, large fireworks were set off with unique announcement and music. As much I was impressed by the fireworks, it was enjoyable to hear the unique announcement which had its own way of introducing each firework as well.


The powerful sound of the fireworks was impressive.



mikuni fireworks1
mikuni fireworks2
mikuni fireworks3


If you have a chance to visit Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture on August 11th,

I recommend watching the Mikuni Fireworks Festival.



Nomonhan Incident and "Henkyo, Kinkyo" written by Haruki Murakami



Recently, I watched a TV program, "NHK Special" featured 'Nomonhan Incident'.
While watching the program, I remembered that once I read a book by Haruki Murakami, which was written about his travel to Nomonhan. The title of the book is "Henkyo, Kinkyo" (Outland, Nearby land), which contains "Graveyard of irons in Nomonhan".



Murakami saw a photo of ”Nomonhan Incident” in a history book when he was an elementary school student. Since then, he couldn't get the image out of his mind for some reason.


Later, he read books about 'Nomonhan Incident' when he found ones but the number
of them wasn't so many. Then, he lived in America for several years. At that time, surprisingly, he found old Japanese books about 'Nomonhan Incident' in the library at Princeton University, where he belonged to. So he continued to read the books there, too.


Murakami says that he has an extreme interest in the incident, perhaps because the war was very Japanese in a sense.


In the "Graveyard of irons in Nomonhan", the brutal way to Nomonhan, the vast plains in Mongolia, where trenches and tanks remain, his terrifying experience due to things that he took back, are described in detail, which are like watching a documentary.


Murakami's belief about the war, of course, was worth reading, but also the depiction of a small female wolf's eyes prepared to die, which was shot by their guide, a Mongolian military man, was so realistic and sad that it made me cry.
*It is said that, without fail, Mongolians kill wolves when they find one.

Scenery that could be used for samurai dramas


Life in Fukui


I sometimes go to Hasugaura in Awara City to practice drone. The other day in Hasugaura,
I had a strange feeling as if I entered an air pocket to see the contrast of the strong sunlight and the grass that grows strongly on the roadside.


There are not any artifacts such as electric wires in the sky. The road looks like as if an old-time farmer is going to come with a horse-drawn cart. So it could be used as a set of a historical drama as it is.


It doesn't seem like there is a house nearby with running water and electricity as well as a high-speed Internet connection.

Okinawan traditional pottery "Yachimun"


Arts and crafts

Yachimun means pottery in Okinawan language.
Yachimun has a 400-year-old history, and it is a craft that represents Okinawa.
That said, it is also very practical.


For yachimun, the soil of Okinawa is usually used. And yachimun is characterized by colored glaze such as indigo, amber and green made from Okinawan plants. Arabesque and fish patterns are the traditional ones for yachimun. And recently, on the basis of tradition but ones made by new sensitivities could often be seen.


Jiro Kinjo (1912-2004), who was a living national treasure, continued to make yachimun which people use in daily life, which was highly evaluated and he was chosen as a first living national treasure in Okinawa. Then, young generations followed him and now they became the leaders of modern yachimun.


Yachimun has simple colors, easygoing designs and warm textures, so you can use in daily life without hesitation. If you arrange Okinawan cuisine on a yachimun plate, you can feel a bit of Okinawan atmosphere. Among yachimun, there are many reasonable ones, so I recommend it as a token of travel. (H.S)


Yachimun which I collected every time I visit Okinawa

2018 Fukui Happy and Healthy National Sports Festival



poster of 2018 Fukui Happy and Healthy National Sports Festival

Fukui Prefectural Government

**The poster of 2018 Fukui Happy and Healthy National Sports Festival is available only in Japanese page.


The 73rd National Sports Festival of Japan will be held in Fukui this year (2018) from September 29th to October 9th. It will be the second time for us to have it in Fukui Prefecture, 50 years from the last one. It is exciting to know that we only have one more month to go before the National Sports Festival starts. People in Fukui, we are looking forward to welcoming many people such as top athletes, their coaches and staff, and the people who will be watching the sports games from all over Japan.



Logo of the National Sports Festival of Japan

Logo of the National Sports Festival of Japan



The National Sports Festival of Japan is the largest sports event in Japan and it is held annually in the form of an inter-prefectural competition. The main purposes of the event are to encourage people in Japan to do sports to maintain their health and improve their physical strength.



the logo of the national sports festival 2018 Happiryu is everywhere in Fukui

In Fukui City, I see many things with “Happiryu” the logo of 2018 Fukui Happy and Healthy National Sports Festival every day. I also see many people with uniforms with the logo walking around the city. They seem really busy with preparing for the event.
Now, the atmosphere in Fukui to have the largest sports event is becoming higher and higher.


Since during the event, there will be many people from all over Japan visiting Fukui.
They might need to ask directions to places they want to go, recommended food and/or places in Fukui and so on. As a Fukui resident, I will do my best to welcome them.


Let’s cheer Japanese top athletes!