Category Archives: Crafts

Shizuoka City Products & Crafts (and more!) at Shin Yoo Bank!

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Don’t get me wrong! This is not an advert for a bank nor a suggestion that you should deposit your money there!
In fact my accounts are not held in this bank!

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But if it is your first visit, or if you wish to know a bit more about our City, walk straight ahead from Shizuoka JR Station, past the main crossroads with Egawa Street and you will find Shizuoka Shin Yoo Bank/静岡信用銀行 on your right just before reaching Shizuoka City Hall!

Have a good look at their display windows. It is definitely worth the attention! Actually if it rains or if it is too hot you could see the main posters inside. The bank welcomes casual visitors!
If all banks were emulating it Shizuoka city would certainly be an even better place for it!

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Plenty to look at or read!

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And even more!
Shall we have a look at them in detail?

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Mount Fuji including views from Yui, Nihondaira and miho Beach!

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Shizuoka City Highlights: Nihondaira Zoo, Daidogei Street Performance World Cup, Umegashima Hot Springs, Yui Honjin Park!

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Shizuoka City History: Kunozan Toosgoogun Shrine, Seigen temple, Toroi Ruins, Sumpu Castle Park!

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Top to bottom: Daidogei Street performance World Cup, Sakura Ebi/Cherry shrimps. Sengen Shrine, and Mount Fuji view from Nihon Daira!

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Shizuoka Prefecture Designated Product: “Shikibu” clog!

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Green Tea lacquer Box!

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Wooden Bilboquet Shoe, which won a special prize at the Shizuoka Dream Design Contest!

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A Clock, which won a special prize at the Shizuoka Dream Design Contest!

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Soccer Ball Lacquer Bowls, which won a special prize at the Shizuoka Dream Design Contest!

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A Mount Fuji Dyed Cloth bag, which won a special prize at the Shizuoka Dream Design Contest!

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“Mana” Beach sandals, which won a special prize at the Shizuoka Dream Design Contest!

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“Tuna Fishing”, which won a special prize at the Shizuoka Dream Design Contest!

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“Lady Eyes Miso Soup Bowls”, which won a special prize at the Shizuoka Dream Design Contest!

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Shizuoka Prefecture Designated Product: Bamboo lattice Craft Box!

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The display window!

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Citruses, Sumpu Castle, Mount Fuji view from Yui, Mount Fuji View from green tea fields!

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Actually, the posters inside are different!

Shizuoka City products: Hina dolls, Geta/Wooden clogs, Suruga Bamboo Lattice Crafts, Suruga Lacquerware!

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Shizuoka City Gastronomy: Tuna, Wasabi, Tororo Jiru/Grated Yam, Abekawa Mochi Wagashi cakes (vegan!), Shizuoka Oden!

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More shizuoka Gastronomy: Green Tea, Oranges, Strawberries, Shirasu/Sardine Whiting, Sakura Ebi/Cherry Shrimps!

Actually, there is so much more!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.Cuisine, 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: 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!
-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

Shizuoka Hobby Square: Miniature Models Heaven!

Model plane by Hasegawa Co!

Did you know that Shizuoka City is the leading manufacturer of “plan models”, Model Miniatures”, sclaed own figures and hobby figures in Japan, and as a city in the world?
It is a mind-boggling experience for the fans to visit this city and its companies but you can start right south of Shizuoka JR Station to prepare yourself for a great adventure!

The SHIZUOKA HOBBY SQUARE is a city-sponsored Museum of the hobby industry in Shizuoka City.
It is located in the same building housing the Century Hotel just across the street on the left of Shizuoka JR Station South exit. Just go through the “South Spot” entry and go to the 3rd floor!

Shizuoka City has a long history of civilian engineering and manufacture.
The first-ever civilian Japanese plane took off there in 1923 by Jirou Aoshima/青島次郎!

Invaluable relics for the maiden flight plane!

The Museum is comparatively small but packed to the brim with top-quality samples!
They also include a shop, a workshop where you can try your hand for free and an event room (for a fee).
The entrance is free, so even if you are only mildly interested visit the place on a rainy day!
You will still learn a lot from history to science fiction!

They even have a full-size authentic vintage Harley-Davidson!

Note that that I have hyperlinked to the different companies’ homepages. Even if you don’t read japanese, the pictures will be enough to captivate you all night long!

Star Trek spaceship model by HASEGAWA HOBBY KITS!

The Hasegawa hobby Kits display window!

TAMIYA is the oldest of them all and are famous in Eurpoe and anywhere else for their car models!

But they also an incredible collection of war history models be it Navy, Air Force or Army!

EBBRO MINIATURE MODELS specializes in car and bike models of all kinds!

And in jumbo-sized models!

If you like ships and castles in particular, you must have a good looks at the models of WOODY JOE!

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For a closer look!

A rare scene of Japanese artillery in Edo Era!

They have also started WWII ships and planes!

AOSHIMA Co is remarkable for its varied sope!

They are famous for detailed science models representing not only the outside but also the inside view of animals, humans, machines and vehicles!

BANDAI Co is a newcomer to Shizuoka City. Their offices are in Nagoya City but the whole factory has been moved to Shizuoka City a few years ago thus earning Shizuoka City the title of World miniature models capital!

These Japanese comics characters are known all over the World!

And they boast an incredible range!

This Museum is certainly not for kids but for adults who need all their money to indulge in their hobbies!

SHIZUOKA HOBBY SQUARE
422-8067 Shizuoka City, Suruga Ku, Minami Machi, 18-1, South Spot 3F
Tel.: 054-289-3033
Opening hours: 11:00~18:00, 10:00~18:00 (Saturdays & Sundays & National Holidays)
Closed on Mondays
Entrance free except for special events (Separate room)
HOMEPAGE

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.Cuisine, 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,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Crafts and Traditional Works in Shizuoka City!

SURUGA HAND DYEING/駿河和染

“The traditional skills of hand dyeing have been passed down through generations of craftsmen in Shizuoka. The sharp, single contrast of indigo and white results in strength of design and austere beauty, a beauty that can be seen today in the many products in which traditional dyeing methods are used”

I’ve known for quite some time that Shizuoka City is a major center for traditional crafts and works in Japan, but I have always been curious how many of such crafts are represented in our city.
Shizuoka City has been officially recognized as a center of traditional crafts, works and even hobbies as far back as 1804 when it was still called 1804 a legacy left by the famous Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu when he retired in our city beginning of the 17th Century and brought all kinds craftsmen along!

her is the full compilation including the one above.
If you want more information on individual craftsmen and associations (there 28 of them alone!) don’t hesitate to ask me!

SURUGA LACQUERWARE/駿河漆器

“When Sengen Shrine was built in Kanei Era, about 350 years ago, the best lacquer craftsmen were gathered in Shizuoka from all over Japan. After the construction of the shine was completed, these craftsmen stayed and formed the nucleus of Shizuoka’s lacquerware industry.”

SURUGA SASHIMONO/駿河指物

“Sashimono incorporates traditional cabinet-making techniques to manufacture a wide variety of woodcraft products. The woodworking techniques developed by Shizuoka cabinetmakers over the years have given root to the present-day woodworking industry in Shizuoka, and have made Shizuoka a leading area for cabinet and furniture making in Japan.”

HINA DOLLS/駿河雛具・雛人形

“Shizuoka is the top producing area of Hina Dolls in Japan. This is a traditional household item from ancient times, but the designs have been changed to satisfy present-day consumer tastes. many new items have been added that are thought to bring luck and health to one’s beloved children”.

SURUGA BAMBOO LATTICE WARE/駿河竹千節細工

“Bamboo work is another special product of Shizuoka. Bamboo craft has been an important part of Japanese housewares since the old days, but quality and design have been raised to the level of artwork while still maintaining qualities for practical use. Shizuoka bamboo products were designated by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (now the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) as a Traditional Craft product in 1976.”

CLOGS/駿河塗下駄・張下駄

“The industry is an offshoot of the lacquerware industry. During the Meiji Era, the techniques and know-how of the lacquerware industry were applied to the manufacturing of traditional wooden clogs and made it the highest quality product in the country.”

SURUGA MAKIE (GOLD LACQUER)/駿河蒔絵

“Suruga Makie got its start in Shizuoka in 1828 when the lacquer artist Senzo Nakagawa, then living in Sumpu (the old name of Shizuoka) introduced and taught makie techniques.”

WOODEN FURNITUE/木製家具

“The furniture of Shizuoka, both Japanese and Western styles, are famous throughout Japan. The products are practical as well as specialized in order to meet the demands of the diversified lifestyles of consumers.”

HOME FURNISHINGS/建具

“The paper and lattice sliding doors and partitions that give the Japanese rooms their characteristic breezy and open peaceful feeling are still made by artisans who make use of traditional carpentry techniques that date back to the building of Shizuoka’s Sengen shrine.”

SANDALS & SHOES/サンダル・シューズ

“The Vinyl Sandal industry is rather a newcomer having started after the war, but with its streamlined production facilities, never-ending technical innovations and eagerness to improve design and quality have brought it to the top level in the country.”

Courtesy of the Shizuoka Hobby Square (Shizuoka City).

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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, Pierre.Cuisine, 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,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Antiques for your Dining Room: Tansu/Japanese Chests

Japan is still a very good country to prospect for antiques in spite of its devouring modernity.
When it comes to antique or even more homey tansu/箪笥, one should keep both eyes open as these Japanese-style chests can become extremely useful in any home because of their practical shapes and sturdy material, not to mention their aesthetic qualities.
Even if you are here for a short stay or plan to leave soon, they can easily be filled with your belongings actually helping with the ever tiring chore of removal.

Fine, Sir, but what is a tansu?Sorry, my good friend, I ought to have explained that a bit earlier!
Tansu is the word for chest, chest of drawers or cupboard, all in one word in Japanese. It is often used in the West, notably in the antique business, to refer to traditional Japanese chests, handcrafted and made of fine wood. The latter is important when it comes to pricing. Most popular woods are Hinoki/檜 or Japanese cypress, Keyaki/欅 or Japanese elm, Kuri/栗 or Chestnut,, Sugi/杉 and Kiri/桐 or Paulownia.
After all, it is a very vague term to describe a whole range of chests, but many collectors focus on finding antique Tansu. There are many workshops (especially in Shizuoka or other prefectures with a good supply of wood) in imitation of the classic antiques. Some are made of excellent reclaimed wood causing the new Tansu to retain a more aged look that some people seek. Make sure to ask first if the antique tansu is authentic or an imitation.
But my bet, that is if you have the time, is to look around in farms and in the country where there are not only authentic, but cheap and serviceable. Moreover, people tend to be happy to get rid of them!

Now, before you go prospecting, it always a good idea to acquire a little basic knowledge. One way to conduct a successful bargain!

Main types of Tansu:
-Choba-dansu/著場箪笥/Merchant Tansu. Used by merchants, they display elaborate metal hardware and were used in shops to impress customers. They come in many sizes depending on trade plied by their owners: sewing supplies chests, sea chests, merchant chests, futon chests or kitchen equipment chests. They could either open from a single side or be accessible from both sides.
-Kusuri-dansu/薬箪笥 were and still are apothecary/medicine chest. They were used to store herbs, especially at medicinal herbs/kanpoyaku/漢方薬 traditional pharmacists. They are often made of paulownia wood and have many small drawers. They make for the perfect chest for jewels, spectacles or other small collection object storage, or even display.
-Kaidan-dansu/階段箪笥, or step-chests are another very popular collection item, although their initial purpose was of a totally different nature. They were actually used to avoid taxation on other areas of a home when taxes were levied based on the size of one’s home! When the tax collectors appeared on the horizon, home-dwellers quickly moved those chests under the stairs away from their eyes! When small, they make for great display chests at homes and shops. When big, their aesthetical and practical qualities can be combined to save space.
-Katana-dansu/刀箪笥. These were used to store swords.They are long and low and often made of palownia to keep sword from rusting.
-Mizuya-dansu/水や箪笥 or Daidokoro-dana/台所棚 used in kitchens for the storage of plates, utensils and food items. They usually include many sliding doors and drawers of full plain wood, or adjourned wood, the latter coming with mesh or bars.

-Sendai-dansu/仙台箪笥. These are used to store kimomo and clothing. Originally made from the Sendai region, they are often made of zelkova wood with drawers lined in cedar. They usually come as one long top drawer with three slightly smaller drawers underneath. Some are true antiques as they were commissioned from former sword makers after the Samurai were disbanded in the Meiji era.
-Cha-dansu/茶箪笥. They were used to store tea ceremony implements. This is one type of antique chest that can still be found in homes or in the country!
-Funa-dansu/船箪笥. They were ship chests, used a scontainers from the Edo period to the Meiji Era. They came in three basic designs:
Kakesuzuri/かけすずり, a small chest with a single swinging door and multiple internal drawers inside.
Hangai/半外, a small chest for clothing storage.
Cho-Bako/庁箱, or account box.. This last comes in many more types, a pleasure for collectors!

Many regions of Japan made tansu. Check where the former castle towns on the posts roads stood and you will have a good chance to make a discovery. Look for the ironware and quizz their owners! Wood and lacqyuer types are also clue to the origin of some pieces.
The elements of antique tansu hardware were created from forged iron, and sometimes with copper. Search for design elements engraved or inlaid. Incidentally, black finish on the iron was created by applying rapeseed oil to the hot metal.

Recommended Books:
Traditional Japanese Furniture by Kazuko Koizumi
Japanese Cabinetry/The Art & Craft Of Tansu by David Jackson & Dane Owen

Recommended website:
Jtansu at: http://www.jtansu.com/Japanese-Tansu-s/1.htm
David Jackson: Tansu Restoration & Conservation at: http://www.tansuconservation.com/

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, 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,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery