Japan Visitor: What's happening in Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Shimane Japan

Home    Japan Travel Guide     Tokyo Guide     Contact     Auction Service     Japan Shop

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Cigarettes Run Short in Japan After Earthquake


One of the knock-on effects of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku district of northeastern Japan has been a shortage of goods in certain sectors of the Japanese economy.

Badly hit have been car manufacturers by a shortage of auto parts. Also affected have been the nation's smokers as popular brands of cigarettes such as Mild Seven Lights disappeared from convenience stores and vending machines across the country, because of one of Japan Tobacco's four cigarette filter factories being put out of action.

Other countries such as the USA increased their exports to try and plug the nicotine deficiency but empty shelves were a sorry sight for nicotine addicts.

Cigarette smoking in Japan also suffered a massive plunge in the first quarter of 2011 as the nation's smokers declined at the fastest rate since records began being compiled.

All good news for those that hate smoking, but further pain for those that rely on the weed.

© JapanVisitor.com

Friday, April 29, 2011

A Mid-Week Stroll Through Gujo Hachiman


A good rule of thumb for residents and tourists alike is to try and visit tourist places in Japan at mid-week. Weekends in Japan can be crowded and rather stressful as shoppers, hawkers, tourists and election campaigners mingle on hectic streets.

One such place to visit if possible during the week is Gujo Hachiman in Gifu Prefecture. The sound of calming running water abounds (three rivers run through town) and there are a number of fine temples, shrines and gardens as well as streets of traditional housing.

Gujo Hachiman, Kodara River

British writer Alan Booth mentions the town in his book Looking For The Lost: "The lanes...are narrow, steeply walled, and end in dimly lanterned eating places or in small stone bridges that arch over splashing streams. It was like an Edo-era stage set."

Quiet street, Gujo Hachiman

Meiji era Tourist Office, Gujo HachimanAccess: There are express buses from both Gifu Station (approx 1 hour) and Nagoya Station (approx 2 hours) or take the more scenic but slower train route from Nagoya Station (2 hours and 45 minutes).

This involves catching a JR Takayama Line train to Mino Ota via Gifu, then changing to the Nagaragawa Railway for the journey to Gujo Hachiman Station.

Gujo Hachiman is easily explored on foot or there is bicycle hire at the Tourist Office (Tel: 0575 67 0002)

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Egg Magazine


Egg Magazine is a bible of sorts for a sub-culture - cult? - of Japanese women in their mid- and late-teens.

Published once a month, it reports from the front lines of Gyaru fashion, or women’s street fashion, most of which can be found in Shibuya.

Gyaru style is an odd mix of uber-cute and sly slut. Think of the virgin Lolita but on the pill and in a mini-skirt.

The look itself changes and has variations, but to generalize:

1. hair or wigs that are dyed blonde
2. bold makeup
3. serious nail art
4. mini-skirts

Sub-genres include:

Ganguro – girls with freaky dark dark brown tans and dyed blonde hair.
Manba – same tan as a Ganguro but with white makeup. Avoid at night.
Bibinba – girls who sport serious gold and jewelry. Lots of bling.
Banba – girls who favor a bizarre combination of stilettos and slippers, wear glitter, false eyelashes, colored contact lenses, and thick makeup.

© JapanVisitor.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Matsumoto Sake Brewery Fushimi Kyoto

Matsumoto Brewery Fushimi松本酒造

On the edge of Kyoto's Fushimi area is the Matsumoto sake brewery.

It was founded in 1791, and continues to produce sake.

Located next to a canal, which is industrial and not an ideal backdrop to the beautiful buildings, the brewery retains a look from an earlier time.

The brewery maintains an attractive but irritating web site:

Matsumoto Sake Brewery


From central Kyoto, ride the Keihan Line to Fishimi Momoyama Station. Exit and walk through the shopping arcade directly next to the station. Continue through the arcade until you reach its end. Keep going in the same direction for about 10 - 15 minutes. On your right before a canal.

© JapanVisitor.com

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Map of Japanese Castles


Use this map of Japanese castles to navigate to one of Japan's many castles and find further information including images of each Japanese castle, a description and history and how to get to the castle.

View Japanese Castles Map in a larger map

Castles covered include Matsumoto Castle, Inuyama Castle, Oita Castle, Kokura Castle and Nijo Castle in Kyoto.

© JapanVisitor.com

Monday, April 25, 2011

"Japanese elections are too noisy!"


The Sankei news service reports that a 34-year-old Englishman, resident in Tokyo, grabbed the microphone off someone campaigning for public office in nearby Tokorozawa City. The man was arrested for his pains.

Local elections are taking place in Japan at the moment. No daylight hour or location is safe from the cacophony of campaign vehicles trundling slowly around the streets, decked with speakers that blast the campaign message to the world.

The messages thus blasted are often almost incomprehensible because of background noise - including the noise of rival campaigners - and the fact that only a few moments of it are clearly audible because the vehicle is moving.

Equally annoying as speeches being made by such means are the often juvenile jingles that accompany them, delivered in saccharine, nasal, kindergarten-teacher tones.

Busy intersections and railway stations are favorite targets of campaigners, where they stop and deliver speeches at an offensive volume.

Apparently the actions of the rash Brit have been receiving considerable sympathetic feedback from Japanese. If only they would deliver it the same way the street politicians do: out loud to their faces. Yet, the typical Japanese response is a resigned shouganai: "What can you do about it?"

© JapanVisitor.com

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Japan News This Week 24 April 2011


Japan News.Japanese Revisit Nuclear Zone While They Can

New York Times

Japan Takes Lead in Nuclear-Plant PR

Wall Street Journal

Japan government announces disaster relief budget


Fukushima evacuees face arrest if they return home


Yahoo Japan profit up 14th year

Japan Times

Toyota anuncia que su producción seguirá afectada por el terremoto hasta noviembre

El Pais



The Atomic Bomb and "Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy"

Japan Focus

Japan will play in Copa despite player shortage

Yahoo Sports

Last Week's News


Poll of Japanese: "During Golden Week, which 'Small Kyoto' would you most like to visit?"

1. Kanazawa
2. Tsuwanocho
3. the former Kakunodatemachi (now called Senboku)
4. Hagi
5. Takayama

'Small Kyoto' refers to one of many smaller towns and cities around Japan that have preserved many older buildings.

Source: Asahi Shinbun

© JapanVisitor

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Nagoya SCMAGLEV and Railway Park

リニア 鉄道館

The SCMAGLEV and Railway Park in the Nagoya Port area of the city is a new museum dedicated to trains and opened in March this year.

The SCMAGLEV and Railway Park displays the sleek new Maglev Shinkansen in addition to previous Shinkansen series including the 300, 500 and 700 and many other Japanese trains.

The museum includes lots of fun gadgets including iPad-type screens, as well as bullet train simulators and the largest model railway set in Japan. There are sections specializing on the history of the railways in Japan, the development of the shinkansen and a relics room. Visitors can also enjoy a kids' playroom, restaurant, theater and shop.

SCMAGLEV and Railway Park
Adjacent to Kinjofuto Station on the Aonami Line from Nagoya Station.

Hours: 10:00-17:30; closed Tuesdays

Admission: 1000 yen for adults; children 500 yen; extra charge for simulators.
SCMAGLEV and Railway Park Map

© JapanVisitor.com

Like this blog? Sign up for the JapanVisitor newsletter

Friday, April 22, 2011

Togetsukyo Bridge Arashiyama Kyoto

Togetsukyo Bridge渡月橋嵐山

The Togetsukyo Bridge, which spans the Oi River, is in one of the best known areas of Kyoto.

Arashiyama sits nestled on the western edge of Kyoto, and is full of beautiful walks and sites.

Togetsu literally means "moon crossing bridge."

The bridge was named by Emperor Kameyama because he thought that is what the bridge looked like.

Togetsukyo Bridge Arashiyama Kyoto

Nearby sites include:

Tenryuji Temple
Bamboo Forest
Okochi Sanso Villa
Torokko Arashiyama Station
Sagano Doll House
Kyoto Okusaga Shoji Photo Musuem
Adashino Nenbutsu Temple

Looking in to Arashiyama from Togetsukyo Bridge

© JapanVisitor.com

Thursday, April 21, 2011

YAQS - a new Japanese/English translation service


JapanVisitor has connections with translators and translation companies. The following is from World Intelligence Partners (WIP) Japan, a prominent translation company with offices in Tokyo and Osaka, submitted by WIP Japan project co-ordinator, Reimer Struve, about the company's brand new service.


You have spent years of study to master the Japanese language and are now – after having finally graduated – evaluating your options. Maybe you are thinking similarly as me, wanting to make full use of your linguistic skills, but also painfully aware that even a long study of Japanese is nothing without practice and application.

I had considered entering the translation industry, yet was not sure how to start out. Of course, you can apply directly at a translation agency, but without much credentials in the form of year-long experiences, the chances of getting any projects might be slim. Still, I applied and was offered a trial translation which I somehow managed to complete. However, it took me much longer to do the trial than would be economically viable for actual translation work, and in the end was only offered registration as freelance proofreader.

So there you have the dilemma. In order to break into the industry, you need to show expertise and experience with the process of translating text fast and efficiently. Yet, with no experience to show, no one is ready to offer you the chance to gain experience. I now know this paradox even better than before, as I am handling freelance translators’ applications at our company. Anybody less than 3 years of translating experience rarely makes it into our pool of translators.

Yet with the infrastructure available today via the internet, new opportunities have arrived, even for wordsmith apprentices interested in testing and improving their skills, or people who would like to get a first taste of what it means to be a translator. Enter YAQS (for the Japanese yakusu 訳すto translate), the online platform that directly matches customers and translators, launched by translation agency WIP Japan in November 2010.

As of now, YAQS is handling Japanese to English and English to Japanese translation (although adding Chinese is next on the agenda). Customers charge their accounts and load up the texts they would like to have translated. Registered translators then receive a notification about a new project available. Whoever accepts the project first gets to work on it. Translation can be done offline and then uploaded, or done directly in the online interface. Payment is processed via PayPal.

Here you do not have to hand in a CV to apply. Simply register and undertake a trial translation. Your translation will be reviewed within about a month and according to your ability you will be classified into “casual”, “standard”, or “pro”. These ranks reflect the level of payment, the difficulty of the texts to be translated as well as the quality the customer expects. So even if you are inexperienced as a translator but do have (some) knowledge of Japanese, your chances are good to enter at the “casual” level. Project texts would be mostly be of small volume, many being product descriptions of e-commerce sites (which mainly used machine translations so far), but also short letters, or basically anything which “needs a human hand” instead of “quick and dirty” machine translations.

Although payment rates on the “casual” level (\1.5/ Japanese character) do not suffice to make a living, it offers the invaluable chance to get a foot into the translation industry and start gaining experience. Over time (usually around a year, given that you work on at least one project a day on average), you will get routine and improve your skills, ready to advance onto the next level (increasing rates to \4 yen, finally to \9/Japanese character) and also be able to advertise “the word count under your belt” when applying elsewhere. Also, as noted, e-commerce related texts make up the bulk of project texts, so right from the beginning you can have the reward of seeing your own work online!

For anyone interested in registering and giving YAQS a try, please see below:

Please go to the URL below for free registration and login (in Japanese only). Once registered you can undertake a small trial translation (uncompensated).


Upon passing the trial you will then be able to respond to uploaded translation requests and start earning. (Please note that YAQS requires a PayPal account in order to conduct payments for any translations made.)

If you would first like to know more about YAQS, please refer to the URLs below (in Japanese only).

-FAQ for translators
-Terms of service
-Privacy Policy

About the author:
Reimer Struve is currently working for WIP Japan Corp as translation coordinator. WIP Japan Corp has 15 years of experience in the translation industry and one of the ten biggest translation companies in Japan. He made it into the translation business by sending applications to numerous Japanese translation agencies, finally getting accepted at WIP Japan as an intern (an unusual way to enter a Japanese company, where internships are still mostly unheard of).

© JapanVisitor.com

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Kazuyoshi Saito Anti-Nuke Song

斉藤和義 ずっとウソだった

We found this song on youtube by Japanese singer Kazuyoshi Saito.

Here are the lyrics in Japanese and English translation (thanks to Mina!)

この国をあるけば、げんぱつが54き If you walk in this country, there are 54 nuclear power plants

きょうかしょもCMもいってたよ”あんぜんです” Textbooks and commercials said, It is ”Safe”

おれたちをだまして、いいわけは”そうていがい” They deceived us and the excuse is “unexpected”

なつかしいあのそら、くすぐったいくろい雨   I miss that sky, tickling black rain

ずっとウソだったんだぜ   They have always lied to us

やっぱ ばれてしまったな   It was revealed, as I thought

ほんとウソだったんだぜ  It was really a lie.

げんしりょくは あんぜんです  Nuclear Power is “Safe”!

ずっとウソだったんだぜ  They have always lied to us

ホウレンソウ、くいたいな  I want to eat spinach.

ほんとウソだったんだぜ  It was really a lie

きづいてたろ このじたい  You have known this circumstance

かぜにまうほうしゃのうは もう止められない We cannot stop the radiation blowing in wind

なんにんがひばくすれば きづいてくれるの  How many people should be exposed to radiation until you notice?

この国のせいふ  The government in this country

このまちをはなれて うまい水みつけたかい  When you left this town, did you find tasty water?

おしえてよ やっぱいいや  Tell me, well no thanks.

もうどこにも にげばはない  There is nowhere to run away.


とうでん、ほくでん、ちゅうでん、きゅうでん  Tokyo denryoku, hokkaidou denryoku, Chuubu denryoku, Kyushu denryoku

もうゆめばかり見ないで  Stop dreaming any more

ずっとクソだったんだぜ  It has always been “shit” 

それでもつづけるきだ  They still want to continue the plan

ほんとクソだったんだぜ  It was really “shit”

何かがしたいこのきもち  this feeling I want to do something about it



© JapanVisitor.com

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Townshend Harris & Zenpuku-ji


Townshend Harris (1804-1878) was the first US Consul General in Japan, operating first in Shimoda on the Izu Peninsula at Gyokusenji Temple before moving to Tokyo and Zenpuku-ji in the Azabu area of the city.

A plaque commemorates the spot where Harris opened the first legation in an area of Tokyo that now has many embassies from all over the world.

Harris' Dutch-born interpreter Henry Heusken (1832-1861) died at Zenpukuji after he was attacked by swordsmen on Nakanohashi Bridge. Heusken ignored warnings from Harris to ride in the city after dark and was fatally wounded by his unknown attackers. Heusken is buried in the grounds of Korinji Temple not far from Zenpukuji.

Fukuzawa Yukichi (1835-1901), a noted Meiji-era modernizer and the founder of Keio University, is buried at Zenpuku-ji temple. Keio faculty members and the college's alumni visit the temple on the anniversary of his death on February 3 each year.

The nearest metro station is Azabujuban.
Map of Zenpuku-ji

© JapanVisitor.com

Monday, April 18, 2011

Blood Types in Japan

This page is for visitors who followed a bad link from a Huffington Post page referencing our article on blood types in Japan by Sian Thatcher.

Just click on the link above to navigate to the article in question.

© JapanVisitor.com

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Japanese street in Bangkok: Soi Thaniya

ソイタニヤ バンコク

Thailand has been one of the world's biggest tourist destinations since the 1960s, and Japan, only 6 hours away by plane, is one of its biggest customers. It is no secret that a major appeal of Thailand’s tourism industry is its sex workers, and it is therefore no wonder that Bangkok has a whole street dedicated to the appetites of male Japanese tourists: Soi Thaniya in the city’s Patpong district. Patpong is Bangkok’s biggest red light district for foreigners, with the Silom Soi 4 section catering to gay visitors.

I was in Bangkok in the aftermath of the Great Tohoku Pacific Earthquake, and took the opportunity to check Soi Thaniya out. Soi Thaniya about 250 meters of bars, restaurants, karaoke bars, and massage and sex salons. The street itself was virtually empty of Japanese, and in spite of being obviously not Japanese, I was propositioned several times - signs that the earthquake must have made a virtual hit on Soi Thaniya too.

When I mentioned the “appetites” of male Japanese tourists, this goes beyond just food, drink and sex, but is all about other holes and different balls: golf. There is a large and very tacky shopping building on Soi Thaniya called Thaniya Plaza that is crammed full of little shops selling golf equipment, much of it second hand.

Check out the video above that I took of Soi Thaniya. Most of the signs in the street are identical to those seen in Japan, with a preponderance of Japanese dining on offer for the salaryman. I was trying to be a little discreet, so please forgive the few seconds towards the end when I got a finger half over the lens of my iPhone.

© JapanVisitor.com

Friday, April 15, 2011

Takumi Nakaya Flower Shop Madka


Beauty as simplicity of form is a key concept of Japanese Noh theater and the tea ceremony.

Takumi Nakaya Flower Shop

Japanese flower arrangement or ikebana demonstrates this simplicity in the arrangement of the cut flowers.

If you are looking for an arrangement with a Japanese and European flair, we highly recommend a visit to Takumi Nakaya's flower shop, located near Nagoya's Hilton Hotel.

Takumi Nakaya Flower Shop Madka

His unique style and years of experience give simplicity a whole new look.

Florist: Takumi Nakaya
Born in Mie Prefecture, Japan 1951
Opened his flower shop in Nagoya, Japan 1982
He is an official instructor for the JFTD (Japan Florist Telegraph Delivery Association)
He has studied Japanese Flower Arrangement extensively and has also taught flower arrangement in parts of Asia. He was a representative for Japan in the Inter-Floral Cup held in Holland. His floral artistry is recognized for its exquisite use of beauty and simplicity.

Madka Florist
1-7-22 Sakae, Naka-ku, Nagoya, 460-0008
Tel/fax: 052-231-2004

© JapanVisitor.com

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Port Information Center Toyohashi


The Port Information Center in Toyohashi is an interesting free museum explaining the background of one of Japan's largest container ports. The first floor has a number of interactive games, which children can enjoy. These include a question & answer quiz on Toyohashi Port and a simulation game to safely control a gantry crane and load a container ship.

Port Information Center

The top floor of the 30m tower offers great views out over Toyohashi Port, which handles much of the output fron Toyota's factories in the area.

Port Information Center
Toyohashi-shi, Kamino Futo-cho 3-29
Tel: 0532 34 3712

Port Information Center Toyohashi

There are infrequent bus connections to the museum from the west exit of Toyohashi Station.

© JapanVisitor.com

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Electricity Saving Called For At Cherry Blossom Time


At famous cherry-blossom viewing (hanami) spots across the country, signs have sprouted asking for people to keep hanami blossom viewing parties to the daylight hours, following electricity shortages in the wake of the devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on March 11.

Electricity Saving Called For At Cherry Blossom Time

Such signs can be seen at Ueno Park, Inokashira Park and Yasukuni Shrine, all popular spots for seeing the pink leaves in Tokyo.

Some festivals have already been canceled such as the Ujigawa Sakura Matsuri near Byodoin Temple in Uji, south Kyoto and the 2011 Sanja Matsuri in Tokyo, slated for May 20-22, will not now take place along with the Nikko Toshogu Shrine Spring Grand Festival scheduled for May 17-18. It is also possible that the Kanda Matsuri, due to be held May 12-18, may be canceled this year.

Cherry Blossom Time

Elsewhere evening illuminations have been turned off at the Fukuoka Castle Cherry Blossom Festival and at Kazagashira and Tateyama parks in Nagasaki paper lanterns will not be illuminated this year.

The above sign is in Toyohashi Park near Yoshida Castle and asks people to understand that the park will not be hosting any hanami parties after dark.

© Japan Visitor

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Hanami in Tokyo: watch that cherry blossom!

新宿御苑 花見

Last Sunday, April 10, was a sunny, temperate day in Tokyo, and the cherry and plum blossoms were in full bloom.

I went to Shinjuku Gyoen Park with a few friends to celebrate hanami, literally “flower viewing,” translated more accurately, perhaps, as “blossom viewing.” Even with the troubles that have affected Japan in the past few weeks, hanami is a celebration of beauty’s brevity that no one would consider skipping if at all possible.

Shinjuku Gyoen is a pay-to-enter (200 yen) park, and the consumption of alcohol and smoking are forbidden; so after paying for your ticket you had to line up, airport security-style, for a very cursory bag check.

We got there about 2pm, and, once in, somehow found an untaken patch of lawn close to a blossoming tree.

The park was thronged with thousands and thousands of flower viewers. However, the point is not so much to view blossoms as to have a picnic, sitting in a circle eating and drinking.

Hanami without alcohol can hardly be called hanami, and, in spite of the ban, before long we noticed around us any number of suspiciously red faces, a sure sign of alcohol being present in Japan, where the instant red-face reaction to alcohol consumption is a common one.

One other thing we quickly noticed was the predominance of groups where women were either completely absent, or present as a lone face amongst a group of male friends. The gaydar had confirmed that, indeed, a great number of the blossom admirers were gay - perhaps not surprising in light of Shinjuku Gyoen being only a couple of hundred meters from Shinjuku Ni-Chome, Tokyo’s main gay nightlife area.

The park closed at 4.30, and we left to search out a cafe for a goodbye cup of something, but everywhere we went in east Shinjuku was chockablock, so we said our goodbyes and went home, stopping on the way at the Imperial Palace to admire the cherry blossoms surrounding the moat.

Read more about cherry blossom in Shinjuku Gyoen Park

© JapanVisitor.com

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mitsukoshi Department Store Nihonbashi


The doorway in the impressive Renaissance-style facade of the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Nihonbashi contains two bronze statues of lions.

The lions are based on the four lions found at the foot of Nelson's Column in Trafalgar Square in London and were made by a British company in 1914.

Mitsukoshi Department Store opened in 1935 and the company itself began trading in 1673, when it was called Echigoya, selling fabric for kimonos. The company founder Mitsui Takatoshi would later establish the Mitsui business empire and Mitsukoshi stores.

Mitsukoshi Department Store Nihonbashi
1-4-1 Nihonbashi-Muromachi
Tel: 03 3241 3311


A 1-minute walk along an underground passageway from Mitsukoshimae subway station on the Ginza and Hanzomon lines or the Tokyo subway, a 3-minute walk from Shin-Nihonbashi Station on the JR Sobu Line or a 7-minute walk from Kanda Station on the JR Yamanote and Chuo lines.

Mitsukoshi Department Store Nihonbashi Tokyo

© JapanVisitor.com

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Japan News This Week 10 April 2011


Japan News.A Desperate Plea From a Japanese City to the World Is Heard

New York Times

Ultimate impact of damage to Japan nuclear reactors still unknown

Washington Post

Toyota production restarts in Japan


Japan's Fukushima plant evacuated after new earthquake


7.1 Tohoku aftershock kills four

Japan Times

China prohíbe importar productos de granjas de 12 zonas de Japón

El Pais



Japanese Tourism to Korea, Circa 1940: The Tension between Tourism Promotion and Assimilation Policies

Japan Focus

Triathletes upset with Japan race going ahead

Yahoo Sports

Last Week's News


Replies from Japanese men to the question "Are you in love?" are noted below:

Yes: 42%
No: 58%

If yes, with whom?

Wife/partner: 426 men
Work colleague: 163
Hobby friend: 137
Someone else's wife/partner: 123
School friend: 82
Movie or tv star: 59

Source: Asahi Shinbun

© JapanVisitor

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Cigar Club Kanou

Cigar Club Kanou near the Hilton Hotel in Nagoya is a smoker's haven offering all kinds of imported rolling tobacco, pipe tobacco, cigarette papers and cigarettes.

Cigar Club Kanou Fushimi

Kanou has both indoor and outdoor seating and serves up some delicious food and drink including foreign beers and whiskies. Curries are a house specialty.

Cigar Club Kanou Fushimi Nagoya

Kanou also hosts a regular jazz night often on a Friday evening. Kanou is a 5-minute walk from exits 6 or 7 of Fushimi Station of the Tsurumai Line of the Nagoya subway.

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Cigar Club Kanou
Naka-ku, Sakae 1-10-30
Montesharinu 1F
Tel: 052 231 5534
Hours: 4.30pm-1am; closed Sunday, Monday, public holidays

© JapanVisitor.com

Friday, April 08, 2011

Shrines Around Nagoya


We have featured a number of quirky shrines and festivals around the Nagoya area: the Momotaro Shrine in Inuyama popular with children, the 1000's of inari fox statues at Toyokawa Inari Shrine, Tagata Shrine and its phallic festival in March, the Naked Festival and Shin Otoko at Konomiya Shrine and the Horse Festival at Tado Shrine in Mie Prefecture.

Momotaro bursts from the peach

Nagoya's most important shrine is Atsuta Jinja, one of the top three shinto shrines in Japan.

© JapanVisitor.com

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Festival of the Thirteenth Year Kyoto

Jusan Mairi十三参り

In the Kansai region - Osaka, Kyoto, Nara, Kobe - when girls and boys turn thirteen, they go to a temple or shrine with their families to pray in a simple ceremony known as "Ju San Mairi," often on March 13.

"Ju San Mairi" literally means "thirteen years old visit" (a temple or shrine).

The stated purpose of the ceremony - visiting the shrine and praying, and then lunch out with the family afterwards - is to pray for wisdom and good fortune.

Nape of woman in kimono
Moreover, though, until the second half of the 20th century, the period between childhood and adulthood was fraught with danger. Illness was common, and death at that age was not infrequent.

In Kyoto, many head to Horinji Temple in Arashiyama.

Dress ranged from jeans to kimono.

© JapanVisitor.com

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Inuyama Matsuri 2011


The 377th Inuyama Festival took place this weekend just gone. Celebrated in rather more muted style than normal due to the events of the recent earthquake and tsunami, but celebrated nonetheless as life and traditions go on.

13 huge dashi floats are paraded around Inuyama, a small castle town north of Nagoya. Flute players and drummers ride the floats and play the traditional festival tunes for the crowds below as mechanical puppets are also displayed on the floats. The festival is hosted by Haritsuna Shrine.

From Nagoya Station, Inuyama is around 30 minutes by Meitetsu Inuyama Line and about the same time from Gifu Meitetsu Station.

© JapanVisitor.com

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Kyoto Rice Ball

Rice ball Kyoto京都のおにぎり

In a simple Arashiyama restaurant, this beautifully presented rice ball came as part of an udon set.

There was nothing fancy about this shop.

The older women who ran it were local (oba-chans = middle aged woman) who frequently neglected polite forms.

Still, the meal itself was exquisite in both appearance and taste.

© JapanVisitor.com

Monday, April 04, 2011

Tap Dance Studio R3


If one is looking for an exciting activity that involves dance and rhythm and are currently residing in Nagoya, Japan then you'll want to check out Studio R3.

R3 stands for Raw/original, Real/the teachers are all well trained, and Rhythm/the use of tap shoes to create all types of rhythm.

The director Misao Ichikawa has trained in New York and has been tap dancing for more than 25 years. His unique sense of rhythm make learning interesting, challenging and most of all fun.

If you don't have shoes, there's no need to worry the studio provides them for free.

The location is convenient and easily accessible.

The studio holds an in-house performance every 1st Saturday of the month from 7pm, known as 'EN’.

There is no cost to attend.

Tap Dance Studio R3
Yotsuya-dori 1-18-2 TUBE Bldg. B1F
Tel: 052 783 8575
R3 Map

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japan Cupid
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan
Japan Dance
Tap Dance
Japanese Dance

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Japan News This Week 3 April 2011


Japan News.Vanishing act by Japanese executive during nuclear crisis raises questions

Washington Post

Japan nuclear evacuation will be 'long term'

Al Jazeera

Japan tsunami: Military begins search for bodies


Nuclear radiation seeps into Japanese groundwater


Iodine-131 found in groundwater

Japan Times

Japón y EE UU despliegan 24.000 soldados para buscar a los desaparecidos

El Pais



Japan Quake Shakes TV: The Media Response to Catastrophe

Japan Focus

Ishikawa to give 2011 earnings to Japan victims

Yahoo Sports

Last Week's News


Poll results for "electrical appliance that made the biggest difference in your life" (year it debuted):

1. Electric range (1959)
2. Air conditioner (1935)
3. Electric refrigerator (1960s)
4. Toilet with warm water spray function (1967)
5. Washing machine (1956)

Source: Yomiuri Shinbun

© JapanVisitor

Saturday, April 02, 2011

Center for Informatics in East Asian Studies Kyoto University


The Center for Informatics in East Asian Studies is part of Kyoto University.

Center for Informatics in East Asian Studies

The facility, which includes a vast library of Chinese and Asian volumes, is housed in a beautiful Spanish Romanesque-style building and garden just north of Imadegawa Dori, not far from Ginkakuji Temple, the Guanghualiao dormitory (Kokaryo) and the former British Council building, now an apartment building.

Center for Informatics in East Asian Studies Kyoto University

The Center for Informatics in East Asian Studies building is based on the design of a Spanish monastery and was built in 1930.

Center for Informatics in East Asian Studies
Oguramachi 47
Tel: 075 753 6997

© JapanVisitor.com

Friday, April 01, 2011

Kyoto Eki Museum

Kyoto Eki MuseumKyotoえき美術館

On the 7th Floor of the Kyoto Station Building - and a part of the Isetan Department Store - is the Kyoto Eki Bijutsukan (Museum).

It is medium-sized gallery that puts on big-sized exhibits.

An exhibit on the Pre-Raphaelites - William Morris, Dante Rossetti - was recently on display.

The exhibit ended March 27. The gallery is open from 10 am until 8 pm (March 27, closing time is 5 pm).

The fee for adults is 700 yen, 500 yen for high school and college students, 300 yen for junior high and elementary school students.

See what's on in Kyoto now, including at the Kyoto Eki Museum.


7 Floor, Kyoto Station Building

© JapanVisitor.com

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...