Spreading the charms of Japan to the world from Fukui




Tabletop Bonsai


Arts and crafts

Speaking of bonsai, in Japan it still has an image of senior-citizen’s hobby.
However, it is very popular in other countries, even among young people and women.
For example, in France, they hold its exhibitions and attract many buyers.
Also, it’s good that even reasonably priced ones in Japan can be traded
at high prices overseas, isn’t it?
My guess is that bonsai is widely received as art or interior decoration outside of Japan.



This photo was taken at a coffee shop on “Philosopher’s Walk” in Kyoto.
Looking at this casual moss bonsai, I just want to try to create one
with my favorite pottery basin.
Wouldn’t that be pretty good for your entrance or living room? (H.S)

Arts in Everyday Life


Arts and crafts

They don't always have to be in so called "beautiful scenery". It is interesting to find things like modern arts in everyday life. Recently, I found something like these. I better give them names.


No.1 Shape caused by rust on a metal plate on the ground.


No.2 The contrast between the vivid colors on a truck stopping in front of me at the intersection and the blue sky looked cool together.



Master of Onigawara ( designed roof ridge tile)


Arts and crafts


When I visited Kyoto the other day,

I noticed some incredibly detailed ornaments on the rooves of temples.

At the Fukushoji Temple, there is a "Shishi" (Lion) on each corner of the roof.



At another temple, there is a peach-shaped ornament on its roof.



Is this a sunflower?

Every temple has a semi-circle of tiles in each corner of its roof,

with an ornament nestled in its center.

The ornament is usually a lion, peach, or sunflower.


The tiles, known as "Tomebuta",

were originally put on the roof for protection against fire-disasters.

The ornaments were later added to the design to ward against evil spirits.


I wondered why I had never paid attention to them until now.

In Kyoto, there are so many temples located close to each other in small areas,

we can see them very closely.

Walking down alleys in Kyoto, Tomebuta keeps appearing from both sidewalks,

and so I couldn't help but notice them.




Tomebuta and Onigawara (oni means demon and kawara means tile in Japanese) deisigned roof ridge tiles are a powerful set, warning off enemies.



Each Onigawara has different facial expressions and/or shape. When you look at other roof ridge tiles carefully, you can see they are elaborately designed.


I'm going to get hooked on taking pictures of all the different designs!


At the Zuishunin Temple which Mr. Minakami Tsutomu, a writer from Fukui had a special connection with, the number, “1849” is inscribed on its Onigawara.

This Onigawara is about 170 years old, but the shape of it looks modern to me.


The person who makes Onigawra is called “Onishi”

(Oni means demon and Shi means a master in Japanese).

There is an Onishi living in Fukui, whose name is Kitagawa.



New wave hina dolls


Arts and crafts

Ms. Yukako Goto is a hina doll creator in Gifu Prefecture.
The hina dolls she creates are very new and individual.
Their beauty is as if it will take you away to a dream land….
Originally, hina dolls are given by grandparents but it also would be nice
if adult women buy hina dolls for themselves to enjoy looking at them every day.

Gothic hina dolls. The black and white design is so stylish. (From Yukako Goto’s website)

Hina dolls in the image of Emile Galle. (From Yukako Goto’s website)


There are many other beautiful hina dolls on her website.

You can visit the following link.(H.S)

Yukako Goto/Goto Dolls


Notes : Hina dolls are displayed mostly during February until March 3rd,
which is the day of Hina-matsuri(The Doll Festival).
The day is on which wishes are expressed for the future happiness of girls.

Bonsai Exhibition of Japanese Plum Trees


Arts and crafts

There was sweet smell slightly, and colors, red, white and pink were everywhere…

I’d like to tell you about the few hours of my one day that I felt strongly closer to Japanese culture.

Nagahama Bonsai Exhibition of Plum Tree is held in Shiga prefecture, and it is the largest and the oldest one in Japan.

90 pots of beautiful plums are exhibited in Japanese style zashiki (tatami room).

There are 3meters tall ones and 400 years old ones displayed there.

They are bringing the special Japanese mood out to the whole building.

When there are plum trees in a traditional Japanese room, time seems to pass by slower and quieter, and the atmosphere there becomes very calm but still urbane.


My favorite one is “Rin Chigai” plum tree. The blossoms of this tree change their colors as they grow.


Nowadays, there are not many opportunities to see so many plum trees at one time, especially in Japanese traditional rooms.

I felt that there was an atmosphere that we all can feel closer to Japanese culture here at Bonsai exhibits.



【Nagahama Bonbai Exhibition】

Venue          :Keiunkan(2-5 Minato-machi, Nagahama-shi, Shiga)

Entrance Fee:Adult 500yen, Under Junior High student 200yen(20% of if you are group of more than 20)

Period          :January 9th~March 13th, 2016

Time            :9:00~17:00(Enter by 16:30)(20:30 for Feb.6,7,11,13,14,20,21,27,28 and Mar. 5 and 6. 17:00 for Mar. 12 and 13.)

Price: 500yen

Holiday     :None

Contact   :Nagahama Tourism Bureau  0749-65-6521

Website        : Bonsai Exhibition of Japanese Plum Trees in Nagahama (English)  

                       Bonsai Exhibition of Japanese Plum Trees in Nagahama (Japanese)