A very traditional style for a oden-ya!
When visiting Japan, have you ever noticed those unusual “curtains” hanging outside the main entrance of traditional shops, izakayas and sometimes of private homes?
They are called “noren”.
Noren (暖簾) are traditional Japanese fabric dividers, hung between rooms, on walls, in doorways, or in windows. They usually have one or more vertical slits cut from the bottom to nearly the top of the fabric, allowing for easier passage or viewing. Noren are rectangular (but not always a rule) and come in many different materials, sizes, colors, and patterns.
Noren are traditionally used by shops and restaurants as a means of protection from sun, wind, and dust, and for advertising space. Sentō (commercial bathhouses) also place noren across their entrances, typically blue in color for men and red for women with the kanji 湯 (yu, litterally hot water) or the corresponding hiragana ゆ. They are also hung in the front entrance to a shop to signify that the establishment is open for business, and they are always taken down at the end of the business day.
There are still many left in Shizuoka City and Prefecture in spite of all that modernizing and I do meet a lot of them along my bicycle wanderings. It would be a pity not to share their sight, as it would make for beautiful souvenirs to take back home next time you visit Japan!
Accordingly here is the second of hopefully many postings on those little beauties!
A large noren for a large izakaya, Taihei!
A double entrance for that izakaya with the noren inside a torii gate!
Very modern approach by this cheaper kind of izakaya!
A traditional matsuri/festival “flag”!
More coming soon!
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