Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Live performance of Okinawan violin by Atsuhiro Oshiro 

I saw the live performance by Atsuhiro Oshiro, who was born in Okinawa, at an Okinawan restaurant "Paikaji" in Fukui City. *Paikaji means a south wind in Okinawan language. Oshiro is a pioneering Viper (electric violin) player in Japan. It is said that there are only several Vipers in the country. He sometimes plays the Viper with using a loop machine. The Okinawan violin music that he created spending about twenty years has received a favorable reception at home and abroad.


The performance was held at an Okinawan restaurant, so he mainly played Okinawan traditional folk songs, but ethnic music such as Celtic music is also his repertory.


Speaking of Okinawan music, singing with sanshin is common, so his Viper sound was very new, smooth like silk, pleasant and I felt refreshed. His free talk was also nice, which you could tell about his gentle character. (H.S)


Oshiro wearing an Eisa (Okinawan dance) costume
You can see a loop machine at his feet.


There was a collaboration between Oshiro and Inami, who is a member of Paikaji Family (Okinawan traditional folk song group).


Non-alcoholic cocktail called "Chura-umi" (beautiful ocean) that I had at the restaurant


Medley of Okinawan traditional folk songs from the live performance by Atsuhiro Oshiro (3'56")

Joy of manufacturing at the exhibition "Japan Drone 2019"


Random thoughts


I visited the exhibition "Japan Drone 2019", which was held at Makuhari Messe near Tokyo a few weeks ago. There was an idea sketch (photo above) that was made of cardboard, and it impressed me the most of all the things I saw at the exhibition.


I saw this amusing model at a booth of a company that develops their own original drones and robots. The model reminded me of the times when I made a model with carboard like this in my junior high school. In an art craft class, I had to make a wooden moving toy and I thought a lot about how to make it.


Drone business is already in a phase of industry, and various systems have been developed for transportation, construction, agriculture, disaster prevention, and so on. These are surely developed for practical use, but I think that the developers also enjoy working on developing them.


A smaller version of a mock-up made based on the idea sketch (in the first photo). This is not a drone (UAV) but it's a kind of flying bike that people can ride on.


There were a lot of aircrafts full of handmade looking.


The main venue of "Japan Drone 2019"


Feeling the Charms of Fukui / The 100 Hometown Views of Fukui


Places to visit

As we've been introducing many great places in Fukui Prefecture, there's

so much to see and experience here. Today, I would like to tell you about

the charms of Fukui Prefecture and "the 100 hometown views of Fukui".


*"The 100 hometown views of Fukui" is a collection of 100 of beautiful places

in Fukui Prefecture. The purposes are not only to promote the prefecture to

people in and out of the prefecture, but it's also for the people from the prefecture

to be proud of our hometown. Another purpose of this collection to encourage

the Fukui natives who had left the prefecture to return to the prefecture.

Mr. Ugyen Dorji's wife and sister from Bhutan

In Fukui, we have many old towns with the history and cultural traditions.



Echizen coast and its sunset
the large rice field in Ono city adosojitoho area where is surrounded by mountains
young crab

We're surrounded by the ocean, mountains, rivers and lakes,

so we enjoy the fresh seafoods, fish, vegetables that are amazing.



The panel exhibition of

The panel exhibition of "the 100 hometown views of Fukui" was held

on March 15th and 16th at Aossa, a shopping mall near Fukui station.

The photographs and the introductions of the great 100 places

with the best views in Fukui Prefecture were exhibited.


The panel exhibition of

It was very nice to see many of the great places in Fukui Prefecture that

we've introduced in our videos and blogs.



eiheiji temple
eiheiji temple

I often visit Eihei-ji Temple in Eiheiji Town and the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum in Katsuyama City. No matter how many times I visit them, I don't get tired of them.



the dinosaur museum in Katsuyama

Actually, I just visited the dinosaur museum last week, and I learned some

technical terms in Japanese and English, and the history of the dinosaurs.


Beside the places that are introduced in "the 100 hometown views of Fukui",

there are many other places that are recommendable.



yukemuri yokocho in awara

Near Awara hot spring area in Awara City, there is "Awara Onsen Yataimura

Yukemuri Yokocho (Awara hot spring village of food stalls named "steam alley").

In Yukemuri Yokocho (steam alley), there are about ten small restaurants

where you can enjoy a variety of foods such as western, Chinese and Japanese, etc.


Since the size of each restaurant is small that only about nine or ten people can sit,

sometimes customers start talking frankly even with strangers and everyone

in the restaurant ends up enjoying talking to each other.

It might be a perfect place for people to make new friends as well.



mikuni sunset beach


There are some hot springs where you can enjoy bathing and seeing the ocean

at the same time. It's such a soothing experience to see the splendid view of

the ocean while taking a bath.



This is a video of a singer/actress from Fukui Prefecture, Ai Takahashi

introducing Fukui Prefecture.

There's so much more to see and experience in Fukui Prefecture, so I would like

to visit the ones that I haven't been yet. I think I will like my hometown more.

Stay tuned for more videos of the great places in the Fukui Prefecture!

The Truth About STRESS


Beauty and health

I would like to introduce a documentary program "The Truth About STRESS" by Blink Films, UK, broadcasted by NHK educational television the other day.


Experts believe stress can contribute to life-threatening diseases such as diabetes, dementia and types of cancer - and the pressures of 24/7 modern-day life are often held to blame. In this program Fiona Phillips explores some of the very latest scientific research behind stress, and demonstrates a number of techniques designed to decrease common stress factors.The familiar secrets of how to cope with stress are food, exercise and mindfulness that you can incorporate into daily life. Mindfulness is a technique that has a root in meditation, aware of where you are, what you are doing, and acceptance of reality.


A psychologist who appeared in the program says: "We cannot exceed our own self images. The way we see us so comes reality. But we can always control our mind set defines performance. Stress can be very positive and stress can drive success. All depends on how we see it." 


If you can make a simple life style change to stop stress level spiking necessarily during the day would be better. For example, eating almonds and walnuts are recommended. Both are good source of protein and help stabilize blood sugar. Walnuts contain omega-3 fat and are very good to brain, when you feel anxious as well.


Too much caffeine can causing insomnia, nervousness, increase in cardiac rate. Green tea contains L-Theanine, an amino acid and it helps your concentration and you feel calm. So, green tea is recommended as coffee alternative.


Don't skip breakfast and keep hydrated. If you skip breakfast, your body will increase cortisol to raise blood sugar. Dehydration keeps your body under more stress.


After all, stress is perfectly natural response to everyday situations.
The program concluded that if you use advantage of stress with a healthy diet, appropriate exercises and mindfulness, there is nothing to worry about. (H.S)


Bhutanese home cooking class




I participated in a cooking class, "Bhutanese home cooking by Bhutan Museum" on March 17th, 2019 and experienced cooking the home-style Bhutanese food. I made buckwheat pancakes and three kinds of stewed dishes.


The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. At the class, we put much less chili pepper than most Bhutanese people usually use for cooking. I've heard that chili peppers are considered as more vegetables than spices in Bhutan.


After we finished cooking, we all shared the foods that we cooked.
I liked the simple dishes and I wouldn't feel there would be anything strange about seeing the them on Japanese tables. I wondered what the home-style Japanese food is.


In general, so called "Japanese cuisine" is not considered as the home-style Japanese food. I don't know how I can explain what the characteristics of the home-style Japanese food simply.


Dishes in the photo above
Top left) Shamu Datse : Mashroom & Green pepper with cheese & hot chili
Top right) Kewa Datse : Potato with cheese & hot chili
Bottom left) Khur-le : Buckwheat pancake
Bottom right) Sikam : Dried pork & Radish with hot chili