Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Udon noodle specialty restaurant on an expressway, "Hanamaru Udon" Byobusan rest shop




I drove on the Chuo Expressway for the first time in a long time. At that time, I found the "Hanamaru Udon" at Byobusan rest area, which is one of the popular udon (wheat noodles) chains in Japan. I ate the udon with hot broth and clams because it was a cold day, and I had never tried one before.


I ordered a small one. But there were more clams than I expected for a small one and the soup was very good with rich taste of clams.


I didn't know that this "Hanamaru Udon" has been there for over five years.
"Yoshinoya", which was next to the "Hanamaru Udon" is the same group company.
Recently, they've been opening up their restaurants on expressways in sets.


I like noodles, but I'm allergic to soba (buckwheat noodles) so I don't usually eat even udon or ramen at any restaurant where all noodles might be cooked in the same pots.

At a restaurant like "Hanamaru Udon" that serves only udon, I can eat without worry.


This was possibly the first time for me to eat udon at a restaurant at rest shops on expressways.


Special open-day at a local sake brewery in Fukui



The local sake brewery "Ippongi" is well known for its sharp and dry sake, which
is located in Katsuyama City, Fukui Prefecture, founded in 1902.


I usually don't drink sake much, but as the special open-day approaches every year, I look forward to it for some reason. Each year, the event is held on the second day of Katsuyama Sagicho Festival. However, last year's one was cancelled due to the heavy snow, so the event was the first one in two years.


At the event, you can go in the sake brewery and they have lucky dip of sake lees, games, sake stands, selling special sake available only on the day and special sake-manju (steamed cake using sake). Until now, I couldn't buy them because they were always sold out, but I could buy the sake and the sake-manju because I went there early this year. To be honest,
I didn't like sake-manju that much, but I really enjoyed the sake-manju because its dough was fluffy and not too sweet. (H.S)


This year's Sagicho was favored by good weather and the festival music was more glamorous.


Arrived at the Ippongi sake brewery.


They opened inside the brewery that day.


Lucky dip of sake lees


Quiz about sake


Another quiz


Popular sake stand


This year's menu of the sake stand


The tinted left one is plum wine.
It was delicious.
I changed my image of plum win


Men of the drummers of the festival also enjoyed the event. Men wearing underwear for kimono is one of must-see sights at Katsuyama Sagicho.


The special sake "Funakuchi", which is non-filtered raw unprocessed sake, strong and thick but delicious.


Here is a video of when the event to start (10:00 a.m.) (5'37") Singing by the sake brewery workers and the formal announcement are cool.

Conversation salon and Bhutanese cooking class in Fukui City on Sunday, March 17th, 2019



Mr. Ugyen Dorji and his family member, his wife, son and sister, and staff from Bhutan museum Fukui

Mr. Ugyen Dorji and his family member (his wife, son and sister) and

staff from Bhutan museum Fukui.


Mr. Ugyen Dorji is studying at University of Fukui as a teacher trainee

from Bhutan since September of 2017, and his family arrived in Japan

in the end of March of 2018 as well. And they are going back to Bhutan

at the end of March this year (2019).


The poster of the talk event of Bhutan Museum Fukui on March 17th

Mr. Ugyen Dorji has been invited to a Bhutan museum Fukui's event

on Sunday, March 17th, 2019 as a guest speaker.


It's an event in which Mr. Ugyen Dorji and the participants of the event

will be discussing about the high school life in Bhutan. He studies Japanese,

so he can communicate with the ones who don't speak English as well.

Anyone is welcome to this event.


The poster of Bhutanese cooking workshop on March 17th

On the same day, there will be a cooking class held at Gas Cooking Studio

near Bhutan museum Fukui. A Bhutanese woman will be teaching the participants

how to cook Bhutanese foods. Most of the Bhutanese foods are very spicy,

so it's highly recommended to the ones who love spicy foods.

If you don't want your food to be too spicy, you can make it less spicy.

*This is no longer available due to the enough number of applicants.


I didn't know so much about Bhutan until a few years ago. Since I've met

Mr. Ugyen Dorji, his family and some others from Bhutan, I learned about

the country and the people. I learned that there's no ocean, Bhutanese people

love spicy foods so much that they even bring their own spices

when they come to Japan, they're very religious, they're kind and polite, etc.


The event on March 17th will be a great opportunity to learn about Bhutan,

so if you are in Fukui City, how about participating in the conversation salon?


*The cooking event is no longer available due to the enough number of applicants.