Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Tello, first automatic flight


Production notes

After struggling for two days, I finally succeeded in flying a Tello toy drone automatically.


I often use the toy drone priced at around 5,000 yen. It's good for practice because it's safe to fly indoors, and it's less stable than the bigger one (like a Phantom one) so I can improve its flight stability by using it.
Recently, I bought a Ryze Tech Tello toy drone, which is expensive for a toy drone. Because I found out that the Tello could be flown automatically from a book.


At first, I installed the latest version of Scratch without reading the book carefully. And I became confused because the action of the application was different from the description in the book. I solved this problem by installing the old version "Scratch 2.0 Offline Editor" again.


The book is written for Windows, which made me even more confused because I usually use Mac. One of the different parts is to run a node.js but it's explained in Sky DRONE's video "Programming RYZE Tello with Scratch (Mac edition)" and, which was helpful for me.


Unlike manual operation, there are restrictions such as not being able to do more than two operations at the same time, but it seems to be possible to do some interesting demos.

Travel journal of 26 years ago



The other day, I was handed a sheaf of papers by a longtime friend, saying "Do you want to read this?" In fact, the copy over 40 pages was a travel journal about when I went to London 26 years ago with her.


She likes writing and has literary talent. She wrote a very detailed journal about our entire trip of the time. Of course, I can remember I went to London, but I have only a vague memory of what the hotel was like and the detailed itinerary.


Back in those days, the Internet was not spread, so I had only guidebooks to rely on. The photos that I took were analog ones of course.


When I started to read it with my heart thumping a little, it brought back my dim memories and as if they are updated vividly and I was moved. I feel like having a treasure, cannot be replaced by anything. If I take a long trip one day, I would definitely like to write a travel journal.


She also wrote a novel that a girl travels back to a sword training yard of samurai in the end of the Edo Period in Kyoto. I read it before and it brought tears to my eyes. I want the novel to be turned into a book, but she has no interest in publication because she said she wrote it merely for her pleasure. (H.S)


The purpose of the trip to London was visiting here, where is the residence of Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991. In the film "Bohemian Rhapsody", there was a similar scene to the appearance of the house in this photo.


Messages from fans were written all over on the brick wall of Freddie's house. We visited here again two days later and left flowers and letters.


A page of the travel journal

The amazing crabs from Fukui



There are three kinds of crabs caught in Fukui.



Echizen crab

The male Zuwai-gani (snow crab) caught around Echizen Coast in Fukui is called

"Echizen-gani". "Kani" or "gani" means crab in Japanese.


Fishing season for the Echizen-gani is from November 6th to March 20th.

It's well known as the most expensive and the largest one in Fukui.

It's a luxurious food, so even most of the people from Fukui, they hardly eat it.



the differences between seiko gani, the female snow crab and zuwai gani, the male one
the differences between sotoko, fertilized eggs and uchiko, the ovary
inside of seiko-gani


The female snow crab is called "Seiko-gani" which is smaller than

the Echizen-gani (the male ones). Typically, the female ones are 1/3 of

the size of the male ones. The fishing season for the female ones is

from November 6th to December 31st. The pregnant ones carry

"sotoko (fertilized eggs)". When you chew the fertilized eggs,

you get satisfying popping crunchy texture like sea grapes.

"uchiko (the ovary)" has a rich strong crab flavor. I like both.


The price of the Seiko-gani is much lower than the Echizen-gani,

so it's more likely for people in Fukui Prefecture to eat the Seiko-gani

than the Echizen-gani. In addition, at some schools in Fukui Prefecture,

the Seiko-gani is served for their school lunch and students learn how to eat it properly.


After enjoying the crab meat of Seiko-gani and or Echizen-gani,

it's even more enjoyable to pour sake into the shell and drink it directly from the shell.

The sake will take on a subtle flavor of the "kani-miso (the brown meat)".

It is the best way to complete the crab.




The freshly molted male snow crab is called "Mizu-gani".

It is young male crab and the word "young" is "waka" in Japanese,

so it is also called "Waka-gani". Also, the crab meat of Mizu-gani can

easily be taken out of the shell, so it's called "Zubo-gani".

"Zubo" is a Japanese word to show a sound of something is taken out of something easily.

The crab meat of Mizu-gani is as large as the Zuwai-gani but the price of the Mizu-gani is

one third of the Zuwai-gani. Therefore, Mizu-gani is popular as well.


A friend of mine from outside the prefecture visited Fukui Prefecture to have Mizu-gani.

He enjoyed it so much and he even bought some more crabs to take home.



I would like to share a video of "Fukui Prefectural Tourism Federation".
You can see the crab auction.

Last year and this year, there have been shortage of crabs,

so I haven't eaten them as much I usually would eat.

I hope that it'll be a good year for the crabs next year.


If you haven't tried having the amazing crabs from Fukui,

how about visiting Fukui Prefecture, enjoy the charms of the prefecture, and eating the crabs?



Ninja Shovel


Random thoughts


Last Friday, I was surprised to see that there was a heavy machinery moving on a landslide-like steep slope. The photograph was taken from a distance, so it's hard to see that there's a heavy machinery, though.


The heavy machinery was a power shovel. It was probably hung with a wire from the top of the slope. The slope might be as steep as 45 degrees, so even just sitting in the driver's seat must be scared.


I don't know if it's a kind of their usual work, but I was impressed by the skills and courage of those construction workers.

Relocation of Fukui prefectural office building is becoming more likely


Life in Fukui

At the New Year's press conference, the governor said that he wanted to begin consideration of relocation of Fukui prefectural office building from next fiscal year.


Actually, there was a lot of criticism about the scenery that the office building is located in the Fukui Castle Ruins, where the beautiful stone walls remain, water birds rest in the moat surrounded the walls and cherry blossom trees bloom in spring.


Then, where should they relocate it? And, how should they use the site?


One of Fukui Chamber of Commerce and Industry's suggestion is that to renovate and reuse several existing buildings located in the center of Fukui City. In that case, the place would be separated for each section. But therefore, that might help to create new flow of people and make the town more lively.


And as for the site, they have a plan to create Fukui Castle Ruins Park. I hope that the park will be a resting place that people could know the history as well. Also, it would be nice if there were a small concert hall, a restaurant and a cafe. I think that the plan will be decided in four years later, before Hokuriku Shinkansen will be extended to Fukui Prefecture. I look forward to that day. (H.S)


The Fukui prefectural office building surrounded the moat (in the center of the photo)
(The photo is from Fukui Shimbun Newspaper ONLINE)