Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Private house that you have a great view of Mt. Arashimadake


Random thoughts


Yesterday, I went to photograph the private house Ryohaku-sanso in Ono City, and I myself wanted to stay there. Above all, the magnificent appearance of the Mt.Arashimadake from the room is great (photo above).


The Mt.Arashimadake is one of the 100 most famous mountains in Japan. When I climbed it, I sometimes met a large group of people who came from a distance.


For the moment, I am sure that there are few climbers because of the new coronavirus, but I think that it's the best accommodation for those who come all the way.


It is a nicely renovated private house with all necessary amenities for life. According to a reservation site, it says it's available up to 10 people but I thought that even 20 people could stay.


Because I live in Fukui City, I can return in a day from the Mt. Arashimadake and I don't have to stay for a night. But even so, the quiet environment and the view is very attractive. I want to stay there just because of these.


Upstairs room in which I took the photo above.


Appearance of the private house

Sauteed Chinese yam with butter and soup stock flavored soy sauce by Yuri Yamamoto’s recipe



Sauteed Chinese yam with butter and soup stock flavored soy sauce


Yuri Yamamoto is now the most popular cooking blogger in Japan. The dish of Chinese yam is very easy: saute it with its peel, put butter and sprinkle soup stock flavored soy sauce. It is so good. In the first place, I didn’t have the idea of sauteing Chinese yam. It is a kind of taste like you eat in izakaya. Yuri highly recommends soup stock flavored soy sauce, so I bought two flavors. Only by sprinkling with the soy sauce, boiled or grilled vegetables become a delicious dish.


Two kinds of the soup stock flavored soy sauces


Yuri has posted many recipes that you can cook with a microwave, which you have fewer dishes that you have to wash. I have heard that a husband who read Yuri’s recipe book and he got motivated to cook for the first time because those recipes looked so easy.


By the way, Yuri is from Osaka but her husband is from Ono City, Fukui Prefecture. They return to Ono City once in a while. And she wrote in her blog about foods in Ono City.


On Twitter, she answers questions frequently about her recipes. For example, against a chocolate cheesecake recipe, “Is it okay without chocolate?” “It’s okay. I recommend adding a little lemon juice.” She has a big heart, so it must be one of the secrets of her popularity. (H.S)


Yuri Yamamoto and her recipe book
(Photo is Books Kinokuniya's official website)


Yuri’s Twitter: @syunkon0507

Things that I cannot do for now


Random thoughts

Echizen pottery artist, Naoki Izumi


Panoramic view of Toseisha (Izumi's pottery studio). There is a cave kiln in a building in the foreground.


The Echizen pottery artist, who has a studio named Toseisha in Echizen Town, Fukui Prefecture, is firing in his cave kiln for the first time in a while. I have heard that he could hardly fire in the kiln recently, but he decided to do that because he had some spare time as his workshops were canceled due to the new coronavirus. He made 200 works for the firing in the past month.


Now, I think that many people will try to do things that they cannot normally do because they have free time, aside from things that they cannot do alone or travels. But if I don't do it now when I spend more time at home, I never will. So I have no excuse that I don't have time to do it.

Pleasure of a walk


Life in Fukui

More than one month and a half passed since I started to avoid outings due to coronavirus. Now I go to work by car three days a week (and I work from home two days) and go grocery shopping once a week. That’s all.


But meanwhile, I take a walk near my home on weekends. It has rich natural surroundings. There are low mountains and a river with shimmering water quietly flows before my eyes.


When I walk along its embankment, wild flowers are eye-pleasing. There are dead branches on paths between rice fields, which are very dried. Then, my imagination began to wonder that I could make a large fire, or bake a pizza if I have a pizza kiln with the branches. Perhaps, it is a habit of ancient agricultural people that I want to collect branches, isn’t it?


At any rate, under the current situation, walking in the unchanged nature seems to be a luxurious time. The cherry blossom season is over and brisk May is just around the corner. Although virus threats are right over there, plowing up rice fields is going steadily, let water flow to the rice fields soon and rice planting will start again this year as if nothing happened. (H.S)


Hino River


Moss phloxes on the bank. It seems that the moss phloxes started blooming earlier than usual.


Took a closer look.

The Science of Sleep: How to Sleep Better (by BBC Studios 2019)


Beauty and health

“The Science of Sleep: How to Sleep Better”, which was broadcasted on NHK Educational Television the other day, was very interesting.


At a time when coronavirus pandemic, even though everybody knows sleep is necessary to increase immunity, I guess many people cannot get enough sleep.


In the first place, the reason why people need sleep is because if you don’t get enough sleep, your immune systems get damaged. And it puts a lot of pressure to the body. Any damage during the day is fixed at night. But without that level of sleep, those things carry on being damaged next day and next day over the time. That’s why it has a relationship between not enough sleep and poor health.


70 percent of people in the UK don’t get enough sleep. In the program, they took four volunteers in their 20s and deprived them of sleep for 48 hours to show what happened.



Four volunteers, the presenter, and a doctor


The experiment showed that loss of concentration, memory, and resistance to pain.
Statics suggest that been reduced ability to cope with pain. Dopamine has a suppressive effect against pain. But if you don’t get enough sleep, its mechanism slows down the natural pain killer.


In fact, recent study reveals that adults sleep less than 7 hours are more likely to have painful chronic condition such as arthritis and back pain. Recommend sleep is 8 hours at night.


Insomnia is the most common sleep problem in the UK. A man has been suffering from insomnia for 20 years. Then, a sleep medicine professor of Oxford University made two suggestions to him.


The technique is called sleep restriction. First is “Get in bed later and get up earlier. Compress your sleep and squeeze time.”


And second is “After turning off a light, lay and try stay awake a little longer than usual. When your eyes are getting heavy, resist sleepiness gently like more 30 seconds.”


It seems that you fall asleep when you try to be awake, on the contrary. The man who was undergoing treatment tried to be awake, surprisingly he fell asleep before he was aware.


I also take long to fall asleep, so I tried this method and I was able to fall asleep quicker and sleep better than usual. If you take long to fall asleep, why don’t you try? (H.S)