Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Kyoto State Guest House


Kyoto and Nara

The other day, I went to the Kyoto State Guest House , where I always wanted to visit.


The Kyoto State Guest House was built in 2005 as facilities to welcome distinguished guests from all over the world and allow them to deepen their understanding of, and cultivate friendly relation with, Japan in Kyoto, which symbolizes Japan's history and culture.


From September, advance reservations for individuals will be no longer required. So now you can always visit there. However, please check the website before you visit because when they receive guests from abroad, the scheduled public opening is going to be suspended. (H.S)


Tapestry of Kyoto Mountain, which was woven using polychrome tapestry technique and portrayed the sun setting behind Mt. Atago, a peak to Kyoto's west.


Tea utensils and a gilded folding screen


In the garden pond, an evergreen plant called "nebikigusa" is planted to suggest a rice paddy.


Table setting in the banquet room


The water in the garden pond is very clear. The pond is stocked with varicolored carp.


A traditional boat. Dignitaries from overseas can enjoy boating on the pond.


In Novemeber 2011, the king and queen of Bhutan visited there and enjoyed boating.

The only Bhutan Museum in Japan, "Bhutan Museum Fukui"



As I introduced in our previous blog that "Bhutan Museum Fukui" had its 6th anniversary,

and they had the meeting commemorating the anniversary of the museum.

I saw the speeches given by two guests. It was very interesting to know so much

about Bhutan and how museums should be these days. I felt that it is important to keep

our traditional things and combine it with the modern world.


Today, I would like to introduce the Bhutan Museum Fukui.

Bhutan Museum Fukui's entrance

This is the only Bhutan Museum in Japan.

All the Bhutanese people who had visited the museum were surprised and grateful to see it.


Open: Tue.-Sun. 11a.m.-5p.m.

Closed: Mon. *Except for Japan's National Holidays on Monday,

in which case the museum is open on the holiday and closed the following Tuesday instead.

Admission Fee: 300 yen for adults (19 and over), free for students (18 and under).



map of Bhutan

Bhutan is near India and it is a small country that is surrounded by mountains.

The surface area of Kyushu in Japan is roughly the same as Bhutan.

The population of Bhutan is 730,000 and Fukui has 780,000.

As you can imagine that Bhutan is not as busy as big cities like

Tokyo, London, New York City, etc.


Since there's no ocean in Bhutan, the people who have visited Fukui and saw the ocean

were very excited to see it.



things from Bhutan are exhibited

It is a small museum, but it has many interesting things from Bhutan.

The signboards that explain about the exhibits are placed right next to those exhibits.

You don't only enjoy watching them, you can also learn so much about Bhutan.

Moreover, some music or films of Bhutan are played there, so you may feel

as if you are in Bhutan.



the chair of the king of Bhutan

You can sit on the chair of the king.

People from Bhutan were very surprised to see this, and they couldn't sit on it.

Some of them told me that they can't even see king's eyes because

they respect him that much.



costumes and masks for a Bhutanese festival

There are colorful costumes and masks with unique facial expressions.

People wear them for a special festival.



Bhutanese dresses are exhibited

The traditional Bhutanese clothing is colorful and beautiful.



a high school girl from America and two Japanese elementary school boys wore the Bhutanese clothing
the two Japanese elementary school boys are happy to wear the Bhutanese clothing

You can try wearing the traditional clothing and take photographs.

Staff at the museum take them with your cell phones and/or cameras for you.

Some people who tried this, they said that these Bhutanese clothing was iinstagrammable.



textbooks and documents from Bhutan

There are many documents, books, DVDs, and photographs of Bhutan.



shopping area where people can buy clothing, bags, wallet and many other things from Bhutan
man and woman's clothing are sold at the shopping area

You can enjoy shopping at the museum as well. There are several products from Bhutan.

They are very colorful, and they were made of strong materials.

They might be good for not only for daily use, but perfect for gifts as well.



wallet from Bhutan

I use a wallet from Bhutan which looks very similar to these. It is very pretty and handy,

so it became one of my favorite things in my bag.



At the museum, you can enjoy not only watching the exhibits, buying things from Bhutan

and learning about the county, but you can also enjoy the events that they sometime have.


The next event will be held on November 18th, 2018 from 13:30 to 15:00

on the second floor of the building that Bhutan Museum Fukui is located.

The event is a chatting about the happiness of Bhutanese people with Mr. Ugyen Dorji and other visitors. Mr. Ugyen Dorji is from Bhutan and he's studying as a teacher trainee

at University of Fukui since around October of 2017.


If you have a chance to visit Fukui, how about stopping by "Bhutan Museum Fukui

which is the only Bhutan museum in Japan. I'm sure you can have a good time there.




This is the video that introduces Bhutan Museum Fukui. Enjoy!

Shape of buckwheat berry


Random thoughts

Mt.Somugiyama in the center, from the summit of Mt.Nogo-Hakusan


Yesterday, I noted a nearby mountain at the summit of Mt.Nogo-Hakusan and found out the mountain was "Mt.Somugiyama (mountain in the shape of buchwheat berry)". I'm sure they compare the prominent shape of that mountain to the triangular shape of buckwheat berry.


I have seen this characteristic triangle berry in cookings recently. I never eat buckwheat noodles because I am allergic to buckwheat. And I'm afraid that buckwheat flour is used for cookings or sweets, so I check with salespersons or avoid eating if in doubt. If buckwheat berry is served in the triangular shape, it is easy to find but if it is crushed, it is hard to find.


I sometimes feel troubled when there is no description of ingredients or explanation in advance about food. For me, trips to local areas famous for buckwheat are like walking in a minefield.

The film "Bohemian Rhapsody"



I have been waiting eagerly for the release in Japan and I went to see the film on the opening day.



The film "Bohemian Rhapsody" depicts Queen, which is a British legendary band, and half the lifetime of Freddie Mercury, the lead vocalist. Actually, I am a big fan of Queen. When I was in junior high school, I heard the cool guitar riff of "Keep Yourself Alive" by Queen for the first time on the radio and I still remember the shock.


It is a well known story that Queen first became popular in Japan. Also, Freddie loved Japan so much and his house had a Japanese garden. He even had read "The Book of Five Rings" by Musashi Miyamoto (a Japanese swordsman). In the film, there was a line "If you get a hit record, you can go on a tour in Japan." , and there also was a paper charm of Kinkakuji Temple (Kyoto, Japan) was pasted by the door in a house set that was supposed to be in Munich.


Mr. Itami, who was Freddie's personal security guard in Japan, even now wears a wristwatch by Cartier that was a gift from Freddie.


The film is a masterpiece the you can experience real Queen's life by the actors' outstanding performances, especially Rami Malek, who played Freddie. The running time, 2 hours and 15 minutes, passes by like a flash with excitement and tears for Queen fans or rock fans. I didn't want the film to end. I would probably never see such a film again. Next, I am going to see the film at an IMAX theater , so I am very looking forward to it. (H.S)


500 Years Old Samurai (Japanese Warrior) House -Oldest Samurai House in Fukui-


Places to visit

I visited "Senko-no-ie" the oldest samurai (Japanese warrior) house

in Takeda district, Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture.



beautiful day around the Senko-no-Ie which is sorrounded by rich nature
in front of the Senko-no-Ie

The area where the house is located is surrounded by rich nature.

It was very soothing just to walk around in the area.



around the Senko-no-Ie, Japanese pampas grasses were constantly moving gently in the breeze

When I visited, it was in the beginning of autumn and the weather was very nice.

Japanese pampas grasses were constantly moving gently in the breeze.

I felt "fuzei" from the scenery. Encyclopedia JAPAN says that the Japanese word

"fuzei is one of the aesthetic feelings which have existed from ancient times in Japan".



500years old house, the house of Samurai, Senko-no-Ie

As I walked into the grounds of the house, a big old house caught my eyes.

This is the residence of Tsubokawa's that is about 500 years old.

It is believed that the Tsubokawa family was founded in the 13th century

by Sadasumi Tsubokawa who was a high-ranking samurai.

In 1966, the national government designated the house

as an Important National Cultural Asset.


During winter, we have a lot of snow in this area (Takeda district in Fukui Prefecture).

It is unbelievable to see that the house is still here without missing parts or anything,

even the house must have had so much snow in 500 years.



a family is having lunch by the irori fireplace

It is enjoyable to eat by the irori fireplace feeling nice and warm.



a cafe near by the Senko-no-Ie
inside of the cafe

Besides eating by the irori fireplace, there's a cozy cafe right by the Senko-no Ie.

Noodles, light meals, coffee, tea, etc., are served.

If you have a chance to visit Fukui, how about visiting "Senko-no-ie"?

I'm sure you have such a soothing and beautiful experience there.




*You need advance reservation for meals/drinks.

Senko Cafe(website is only available in Japanese)

*Reservation is requested no later than one week before the date for having the meals,

and by the previous day for drinks.


This is the video of Charlotte from Australia visited "Senko-no-Ie". Enjoy!