Japan Urban Art: Noren//暖簾/Shop Entrance Curtains


A beautiful turnip noren at Tomii Japanese Restaurant, Shizuoka City!

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”.


Izakaya 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.


A « tanuki/racoon dog », often associated with drinking sake in Japan!

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.


Calligraphy at a cake shop in Kyoto!

There are still many left in Shizuoka City and Prefecture (and of course all over Japan) in spite of all that modernizing and I do meet a lot of them along my bicycle wanderings or whenever I stroll down the streets of other cities in Japan. 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 a sample of these little beauties!


A very subtle noren to indicate the shop sells wasabi as indicated by the tiny drawing at the bottom!


A very traditional noren at a small izakaya!


Not a furniture shop but a Japanese Restaurant!


Restaurant specializing in Japanese Yam Cuisine!


Flying Rabbit?


For the night owls at an izakaya!


At a big izakaya!


Another one for night owls at a small izakaya!


Japanese traditional cake shop in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!


Private entrance in Mishima City!


A « mon »/Japanese family crest!

Intriguing mask at a sushi restaurant in Yaizu City!


To finish, a splendid private noren at a noren shop!

Good hunting and don’t forget to visit specialized shops for great souvenirs to bring back home!


So Good Sushi Restaurant in Nice France
Navigating Nagoya by Paige, Shop with Intent by Debbie, BULA KANA in Fiji, Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pie
, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Ichi For The Michi by Rebekah Wilson-Lye in Tokyo, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in Kansai by Nevitt Reagan!
ABRACADABREW, Magical Craftbeer from Japan
-Whisky: Nonjatta: All about whisky in Japan by Stefan Van Eycken
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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