Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Visiting Mt. Asuwa in Fukui City with a Bhutanese Family


Places to visit

Mr.Ugyen Dorji and his family

As I mentioned in our precious blog that Mr. Ugyen Dorji, who is studying

at University of Fukui as a teacher trainee from Bhutan since September of 2017

and his family will go back to Bhutan at the end of March.


We took a day trip to Mt. Asuwa.


His wife came to Japan on March 29th, 2018 and they will go back to Bhutan

on March 28th of this year that means they made exactly one year.


She said that she liked everything about Japan, especially she enjoyed shopping.

She felt that there are many stores in Japan and it was very convenient for her.

She also enjoyed Japanese foods as well. She liked the Japanese fried chicken "Karaage",

ramen noodles and soy sauce very much. She's grateful for Mr. Ugyen Dorji that

she came to Japan, lived here for one year, and experienced many new things.


Mr. Ugyen Dorji lived without his family for the first six months. After the six months,

they arrived and he was very happy to live with them. They met many nice people,

visited many beautiful places and experienced amazing things. I even saw Mr. Ugyen Dorji

participating in the events in Fukui Prefecture in the newspaper and on TV.


He said that his sense of taste has been changed since he has lived in Japan.

The spices from Bhutan taste too spicy for him now.


Mr. Ugyen Dorji's son is about to touch sheep

Asuwayama Amusement Park



I was surprised to see that their son has grown since I saw him last September.

He wasn't scared of the sheep that is bigger than him. He was very curious to see it,

and he touched and stared at it for a while.



talking bird at Asuwayama amusement park, Jiro-chan

We were surprised to see Jiro, the talking bird saying "bye bye" to us.



beautiful birds at Asuwayama amusement park

Everyone from children to adults can enjoy there.

Without flash light, the visitors can take photographs of the animals.



a turtle pushing its own feet to get out of mud
Mr. Ugyen Dorji watched the turtle quietly

He watched the turtle pushing its own feet to get out of mud quietly.



Happy Jungle

We visited "Happi-jan" (Happy Jungle), where the visitors can see closely

and touch the animals. There are some animals that the visitors not supposed to touch,

so make sure to ask the staff before touching any of the animals there.




These three capybaras are always together. They stay, swim and play in the water,

walk and play together. They don't bite, so we enjoyed giving them foods.



a bird in the Happy Jugle

It was such a nice place where we can see the capybaras, the birds, a sloth, iguanas, etc., living together. Admission is free of charge for Asuwayama Amusement Park and

"Happi-jan"(Happy jungle).



Admission is free of charge for Asuwayama Amusement Park and "Happi-jan"(Happy jungle).



Emeror Keitai

The statue of Emperor Keitai, the 26th Emperor of Japan.


Beside these places I introduced, there are several other places that people can visit such as

popular shrines, nice cafes and restaurants. And the visitors can enjoy amazing cherry blossoms in spring and beautiful hydrangea in around May and June.


The visitors can experience the charms of Fukui in Mt. Asuwa.

Come visit!





This is the video of "Happi-jan" (Happy Jungle).

Aren't they so cute?

This is the best place for the ones who love animals!

Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine and plum blossoms



The other day, I went to Fukuoka City for the first time in many years.
And, in my spare time, I went out to Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine located in Dazaifu City.


Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine was built on the grave of Michizane Sugawara, who is called the "God of learning", and enshrines Michizane. Michizane Sugawara was born in Kyoto in 845, but he was exiled to Dazaifu because of an innocent sin. He finished his life at the age of 59 there.


A tanka (a 31-syllable Japanese poem) composed by Michizane when he left Kyoto is well known.


The tanka says:
When the wind is in the east, I want it to blow the scent of Japanese plum flowers to me;
even if I disappear from here, you, Japanese plum flowers, do not forget spring.


Although it has passed the peak of plum blossoms, I could see many blossoms and I offered a prayer while thinking of the tanka. (H.S)


Curtains with plum flower crest were installed at Dazaifu Station.


From the busy shrine path to the precinct


Even though it was unfortunately raining that day, there were many tourists mainly from Asia.


The shrine is one of the most beautiful plum blossoms viewing sites in Japan. The rose plum blossoms were bright.


How to use washing water


The Taiko Bridge is a popular spot in the precinct.


"Goshuin" (stamp given at shrines or temples) of the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine


You can go to Kyushu National Museum through the precinct. The museum introduces rich history of cultural exchange between Kyushu and neighboring China and Korea.


Starbucks Dazaifu Omote Sando Shop is another popular spot.


Kengo Kuma, an architect, designed the shop that features the timberwork.

Enjoying a quiet walk in a village forest


Life in Fukui

Statue of Taicho Daishi in the middle of Naka Shinjo hiking course of Mt. Sanriyama


Statue of Taicho Daishi on the side of Fudo waterfall in Mt. Gongen-yama


Yesterday, I went to a video shoot of the statues of Taicho Daishi to Mt. Sanriyama and Mt. Gongen-yama in Echizen City. Taicho Daishi is a famous ancient Buddhist monk who was born in Echizen (present Fukui Prefecture).


In Fukui Prefecture, there are many places associated with Taicho Daishi, and many of the places can be found around low mountains.


Near the statue in Mt. Sanriyama, there is a spring that is said that was started to spring by Taicho Daishi's spiritual power, is enshrined as sacred water. And the statue in Mt. Gongen-yama can be found beside "Fudo waterfall", which is one of the five waterfalls that are collectively called "Yanagi Falls".


Scared spring near the statue of Taicho Daishi in Mt. Sanriyama


I enjoyed taking a quiet walk in the village forest imagining how the ancient people were grateful for the water that is the most important thing for people to live. And because they were so grateful for the water, they might enshrined their superstar, Taicho Daishi at the spring.

Thank you, Mr. Ugyen Dorji and his family for the beautiful smiles from Bhutan


Places to visit

As I mentioned in our previous blog that Mr. Ugyen Dorji who is studying

at University of Fukui as a teacher trainee from Bhutan since September of 2017

and his family will go back to Bhutan at the end of March.



Mr. Ugyen Dorji and his son, wife and siter are walking outside of the dinosaur museum in Fukui

Mr. Ugyen Dorji and his family

from right to left lining up sideways


They always had such beautiful smiles on their faces and I enjoyed being around them.


I visited great places in Fukui Prefecture with them. I took videos and photographs of

the places and the family. They seemed to be enjoying all the places we visited.

By watching people from overseas appreciating the beauty and charms of Fukui Prefecture,

I realized that Fukui Prefecture is a great place to live and/or visit.

We talked about our cultures, hobbies, family, etc.


I learned about Bhutan from them that they are kind and polite, they're very religious,

they respect their king and queen so much, there's no ocean, they love spicy foods.

I didn't know that they like spicy foods so much that they even bring their own spices

when they came to Japan.


the tunnel of cherry blossoms by Asuwa river in Fukui

In the beginning of April, we walked around the city looking at cherry blossoms.

We enjoyed walking on the pathway along Asuwa River in Fukui City as well.

The river flows through the center of Fukui City. And the pathway along the river

was selected as one of the 100 best places for cherry blossom viewing in Japan.


It was the first time seeing the real cherry blossoms for Mr. Ugyen Dorji and his family.

They said that they had seen the cherry blossoms in movies and TV but not the real ones.

They were amazed to see the real ones.



Mr. Ugyen Dorji and his son, wife and siter are walking in the dinosaur museum in Fukui

We visited Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum in Katsuyama City, Fukui Prefecture.

It is recognized as one of the top dinosaur museums in the world and

it's the largest one in Japan.


They were impressed by many real looking dinosaurs exhibited and how large the museum is.
They told me that there are dinosaur toys in Bhutan but there's nothing like this museum and/or those exhibits. They seemed to be impressed by everything they saw at the museum.


Even I had visited this museum several times, I like the lightings and how the exhibition area echoes the sound. I never get bored and still enjoy being there. The museum is enjoyable for both children and adults.



Mr. Ugyen Dorji's wife is touchin the ocean for the first time quietly

We visited Echizen Matsushima Aquarium(*you can change the language in the website) and the sea in Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture. There's no ocean in Bhutan. His wife saw ocean for the first time in her life. She took time to feel the ocean by touching and smelling it.


His son's favorite thing in the world is fish, so he was very excited to see all the fish at the aquarium. As soon as he walked into the aquarium, he started staring at the fish and

wouldn't want to leave from the large tank. He was quiet and shy when I met him,

and I didn't hear his voice much. At the aquarium, I was kind of surprised to hear him

saying "fish" and "wow" happily.



Mr. Ugyen Dorji's wife, son and sister are standing under a beautiful cherry blossom tree at Asakura clan in Fukui
Mr. Ugyen Dorji's sister is standing under a beautiful cherry blossom tree at Ichijodani Asakura clan ruins in Fukui

Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins
is surrounded by beautiful nature, so the visitors can enjoy the great view,

and learn about the history at the same time.

His sister loves flowers so she was grateful to see the beautiful flowers there as well.


Mr. Ugyen Dorji's wife and sister are wearing kimono from the Warring State period

They experienced the Warring States Period's style kimono dressing experience.


His son was excited to see how his mother and aunt looked different with the kimono.

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

for men called “Gho”. For women, the traditional clothing is called “Kira”.



It was such a great experience for me to visit all these beautiful places in Fukui Prefecture with them. As a person from Fukui City, I realized that Fukui Prefecture is

even more amazing place than I've always felt.


Anyone from all over the world can enjoy and relax all year around in Fukui Prefecture.

It welcomes you with the ocean, mountains and river, interesting sight seeing places

like Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum, Echizen Matsushima Aquarium, Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins , etc.


There are also great foods, hot springs and people as well. Come visit Fukui!



Academy Award-winning film “Green Book”



I went to see the film "Green Book", which won the Oscar for best picture this year.


The film was set in 1962 in the United States. Tony was hired by an African-American classical pianist Don Shirley for a concert tour into the Deep South states. Tony's job is to keep the Doctor safe during his playing tour in the American South that racial segregation existed, and drive him home at Carnegie Hall in New York City safely.


In the film, the Doctor said, "You never win with violence." At the time, in the United States, there was discrimination against not only African-Americans, but also Italians and Chinese. Living in Japan, it is difficult to imagine, but I wonder how much people were required patience to live under such severe discrimination. Even so, the Doctor stated, "You never win with violence." If I replace the phrase with in today's Japan, perhaps it can be said, "You never win with bullying, domestic violence or power harassment."


Mahershala Ali, who plays the Doctor, is elegant and intellectual and I thought that was just wonderful. Viggo Mortensen also played very well Tony, who was rough but somehow lovable. It was a lovely film that filled me with warm feelings after I saw it.


One of my favorite scenes in the film. The Doctor touches up the letter that Tony writes to his wife.


Green Book: travel guide for safe travel through America's racial segregation had been published from 1936 to 1966 every year. The fact that this kind of book existed was itself shocking.


The film won the Oscar for best picture, best original screenplay and best supporting actor.