Category Archives: Festivals

Kanaya Tea Festival 2016!

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At last, after a two-year interval, I could enjoy the Tea Festival in Kanaya, Shimada City, although my visit was definitely too short to my taste. In 2018, I will definitely stay there at least a full day and a full night!

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Ladies’ power!

This year I almost reached Kanaya too early, but it gave me time to appreciate that the city and its inhabitants are trying their best every two years!
Let me at least introduce their event in pictures!

THE GROUPS & THE CLANS!

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Taking pictures is an embarrassment of choices, especially considering the universal goodwill and fun-loving spirit!
The rick is probably to sort your pictures according to themes!

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An orange chariot rider team!

The city is basically divided into 6 traditional precincts dating back to Edo Era and each has its own festival chariots manned and introduced by teams residing in their respective areas!

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The third precinct “guard”!

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A white and violet chariot rider team!

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A motley chariot handler team!

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The 6th Precinct “Guard”!

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The younger generation “Guard”!

THE CHARIOTS!

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The Chariots, called “Yatai”, is the main event and performed twice, once at noon and another time after dark!

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Each chariot carried its own drummers and flutists encouraging the handlers and riders!

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Each chariot was ridden by comparatively light men whose role was toe encourage the handlers!

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Naturally the same vocal and whistling encouragements amplified when two chariots got near to each other!

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And all the while the drummers keep drumming, drumming and drumming!

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All chariots seem to barely be able to pass under the telephone cables!

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Actually they had more trouble avoiding the traffic lights than each other!

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Handlers kept smiling all the time!
For all their fierce faces, fights are extremely rare between handlers of different chariots.
Even when it happens especially at night when everyone tends to imbibe as well, older organizers are very quick to handle any troublemakers without the help of policemen who are practically unseen!

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There was still a long day to come and participants were obviously saving some energy!

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Actually most were looking forward to the night when their hand lanterns would be lit!

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Move, move!

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The wheels are actually heavy wood logs that turn slowly and handlers need to push the chariots forward or sideways with long poles while more handlers were pulling the vehicles with heavy ropes!

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All in good humor!

THE FACES!

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All participants have two years to prepare themselves and some @faces@ are really worth photographing!
I actually know the gentleman above who is a truck driver!

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These two are actually senior cadres in the festival!

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Flaming guy!

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Mother and son!

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Always extremely happy to pose, especially with cute foreign ladies!

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The beauties and the beasts?

THE “TEA LADIES/CHA MUSUME”!

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But the Kanaya Tea Festival is known all over Japan for all the ladies of whatever age parading as the “Cha Musume/Tea Ladies”!

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All the members of the so-called “weak gender” are local!

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No age limit!

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Some of them are even carried along!

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No less than a thousand of them!

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See you again in 2018, but at night!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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
rre.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: 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

Shimada Mage (Topknot) Festival-島田髷まつり

Last Sunday, September 21st, was held the Annual Shimada Mage (Topknot) Festival in Shimada City!
This festival is increasingly taking importance in our Prefecture and it has become a must for tourists, photographers and festival lovers!

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Festival drum and of the day!

There are several different theories regarding the origins of the Shimada Mage hair style.
Some say it was created by prostitutes working in the Shimada-juku inn district on the old Tokaido route to Edo.

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Tiny pose for the picture!

Others say it is the style used by the Kabuki actor Shimada Mankichi (1624-1643).

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Start of the drums marking the formal beginning of the festival!

Another theory is the Japanese word Shimeta, in the sense of tied-up hair, became “Shimada”.

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Hurrying to join the parade!

An alternative account is that Tora Gozen, a native of Shimada, devised the style herself.
Tora Gozen was a prostitute said to have been on good terms with Soga Juro Sukenari, the elder of the two brothers in the famous tale of Soga.
She is also depicted in Kabuki theater as Oiso no Tora, a key character in works such as Kotobuki no Taimen.

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Walking toward the first dance square!

In front of the Yakushiji Hall in the grounds of Uda-ji temple in the Noda district of Shimada City is a stoe memorial known locally as “the grave of Tora Gozen”.

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Worrying mother!
The ladies, from kindergarten to their thirties are all local, volunteer, and different every year!

Today, there are many traditional Japanese hair styles that carry the name Shimada, including the Bunkin Taka Shimada style widely used for brides at wedding ceremonies.

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Dancing on the square in front of Shimada JR Station North Exit!

Other styles include the Yuiwata Shimada, Kanoko Shimada, Osome Shimada, Oshidori Shimada, and the Yakko Shimada.

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The inaugural Shimada Nage Festival was held on September 17th, 1933, but it was suspended during the war years,
Thanks to the efforts of the Shimada Mage Festival Preservation Committee (Shimada Branch of the Hairdressers’ Union) the festival was re-launched in 1965 and has since become a major event in Shimada’s tourism calendar.

Uda-ji’s temple main hall houses an exhibition of hairpieces in many different styles. Visitors have the opportunity to peruse the exhibits close-up.

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Traditional Japanese hairstyles (nihon-gami in Jaanese) are categorized into four distinct traditions: the Taregami and Kogai styles used by nobles of the Imperial court; Hyogo mage, with a strong influence from the Asian mainland; Katsuyama Mage, purpotedly pioneered by a prostitute from the warrior class named Katsuyama; and the threefold Shimada Mage style, conceived by the prostitute Tora Gozen. Evolving in Japan’s distinct social conditions, these styles sometimes functioned as emblems of the wearer7s socail class, age, occupation, and other characteristics.

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Shimada Mage is the most popular traditional Japanese hair style.

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It has been worn since the 13th century, but like the other Japanese hair styles, it developed mainly during the 18th century, as part of a wider blossoming of Japanese tradional culture.

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The Shimada Mage Festival is held on thr third Sunday of September each year. Women dressed in matching yukata (summer kimono) and a variety of traditional Japanese and Shimada hair styles parade through the d\streets of Shimada City.
The parade departs from the Hon-dori 7-chome intersection at noon. It stops to perform dances in Obi-dori street, the square outside the Shimada Station, and various other locations, before proceeding to Oi-jinja shrine. At the shrine a further dance is performed, dedicate to the Ubusuna deity. After a short break the parade resumes, passing the Shimada City Hospital, and on to Uda-ji Temple. Dances are performed at the temple in honor of tora Gozen and the Buddha, and a thanksgiving ceremony is held at the main temple hall where a variety of Japanese-style hairpieces are on display. (The parade participants and others involved in teh festival also pay their respects at the grave of Tora Gozen.

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Various Shimada hair style

*Taka Shimada
The most handsome of all Shimada styles. Usually worn by younger women. The Bunkin Taka Shimada variation, set highest and considered particularly elegant, is worn today by brides at weddings.

*Otome Shimada
A variant of Taka Shimada developed in downtown communities. Based on the Taka Shimada but distinguished by features such as a kanzashi hairpin inserted between the front and the side portions of the hair, and a piece of cloth placed on the topknot. Also called Saisoku Shimada.

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*Tsubushi Shimada
Popularized by townsfolk and women serving at inns in the early 1800s, and once the most widely worn of all Shimada styles. Tsubushi means “press down”, referring to the indentation in the center of the knot.

*Yuiwata
very popular in the mid-1800s among 18 to 19 year-old unmarried women. Prepared in the same way as the Tsubushi Shimada, but with a piece of cloth and/or cord added on the center of the knot. The knot also has a dinstictive rounded end.

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*Genroku Shimada
Initially worn among prostitutes in the Genroku era (late 1600s). Later became popular among young townsfolk. The hair is folded to produce a topknot that is narrow with a high end, tied in place with a cord.
**Other styles include Osome Shimada and Yakko Shimada.

Other classic Japanese hair atyles

*Katsuyama
Devised and popularized by Katsyuyama, a prostitute of the Yoshiwara district in old Tokyo. Worn mainly by wives of lords, warriors and other members of the upper classes in feudal times.

*Iccho Gaeshi
One of the most well known Nihongami styles. Worn by women of all ages from 15 through 60, and by both ordinary folk and those in the entertainment world.

*Fukiwa
Worn by princesses and other nobility. Also worn by characters in traditional theater such as Shizuka Gozen and Princess Yaegaki. Modeled on a style worn by women who were engaged or had a pre-arranged marriage partner. Thought to have inspired the Katsuyama style, and later evolved into the Maru Mage rounded style.

*Momoware
Worn by 17=18 year olds around teh 19th and 20th centuries. The rounded shape was thought to resemble a peach (momo), hence the style’s nmae.

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日本髪
“Nihongami” Japanese hair styles

Numerous variations of Nihongami (the Japanese hair style) can be treated using the four key partsof the hair: mage (topknot), maegami (front), bin (sides), and tabo (back)

*Mage (髷: the hair is brought together into a single bunch at the top of the head and toed round into a knot.

*Maegami (前髪): The hair near the forehead.

*Bin (鬢): The hair at the sides of the head, above the ears.

*Tabo (髱): The hair towards the back of the head. Also known as tsuto (つと) in West japan.

*Motodori (根髷): This term describes all the above parts together at the peak of the head. This motodori is then used to tie the mage or topknot.

*Kamoji (髢): A hairpiece.

*Kushi (櫛): A comb used to neaten hair and remove dirt.

*kanzashi (簪): A decorative hairpin, inserted at the front or rear of the hair.

*Kanoko (鹿の子): A tie-dyed accessory for hair. Often colored red or yellow.

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ACCESS TO SHIMADA

from Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport:
By car: approximately 15minutes to Yoshida Exit on the Tomei Expressway and 10 minutes to Sagara Makinohara Exit. About 30 minutes to JR Shimada or JR Kanaya Stations and downtown Shimada.

By bus: airport buses to shimada Station as wella s to shizuoka and Kakegawa Stations are on service.

[Inquiries]
Shimada City Tourism Association
14-2 Kanaya Shinmachi, Shimada City, Shizuoka Prefecture, 428-0047 japan
telephone: 0547-46-2844
Fax: 0547-46-2861
HOMEPAGE

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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
rre.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: 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

Jirochyou O-Mikoshi Parade at Shimizu Harbor Festival!

One more attraction at the Shimizu Harbor Festival in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City was of course the O-Mikoshi Parade held in Jirochou Street, otherwise called “Jirochou Douchuu”!

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The O-Mikoshi arriving through Jirocho Bridge across the Tomoe River!

A mikoshi (神輿 or 御輿) is a divine palanquin (also translated as portable Shinto shrine). Shinto followers believe that it serves as the vehicle to transport a deity in Japan while moving between main shrine and temporary shrine during a festival or when moving to a new shrine. Often, the mikoshi resembles a miniature building, with pillars, walls, a roof, a veranda and a railing.

Roots:
The altar of the harvest festival carried out to the time which repeated migration by hunting and collection is the origin of a mikoshi.
Some theorize that “The origin of Japanese mikoshi is ancient Jewish tabernacle ark”.
Actually, mikoshi and the ark of the covenant do not have much in common. They differ in production and decoration (a phoenix or a crane being very different from cherubim.).

First use:
A mikoshi was believed to have been first used to transport Hachiman to Tōdai-ji temple from Usa Shrine 八幡宇佐宮御託宣集 in 749.

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Arriving to the sound of drums hit by children!

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Slowly moving across the bridge!

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Yo ei! Yo ei!

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Interesting pants!

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The drumming kids are all local!

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Many worshipers form other shrines have come to end a hand!

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The O-Mikoshi belongs to the Shimizu Harbor Association!

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A portable shrine in truth!

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Interesting faces!

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Smiles everywhere!

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Hard work!

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More hard work!

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Waiting for their turns!

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Great support from other shrines!

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Great control!

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First and third generations!

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More faces!

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No age limit!

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The phoenix!

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Beer-guzzling mothers?

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Having a closer look at the drums!

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Overlooking the event!

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Having a closer look at the shrine and its phoenix during a break!

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Great kid!

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Family power!

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Taking a break at Jirochou’s birthplace before starting all over again!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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
rre.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: 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

Yoshiwara Gion Matsuri – Fuji City

Tokyobling's Blog

A couple of weekends ago I visited the massively fun Yoshiwara Gion Matsuri, in Shizuoka prefecture’s Fuji City. Like last year’s festival it was huge fun, from morning to midnight and I enjoyed ever second of it. I took these photos near the end of it, following the wonderfully decorated dashi, each crewed and representing a specific neighborhood in the city. Here’s the dashi of Sumiyoshicho and some of it’s very cool looking crew. These dashi are the pride of their neighborhoods and the people take great care of them, making sure they are in top notch condition for the annual festival. I heard somewhere that a typical prize for one of these is about 300 000 USD! Later on, walking down the street I came upon a dashi-seriai (山車競り合い), which roughly translates as “dashi showdown”! I think there were 5 or 6 of them, all drawn up in a…

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Yoshiwara Gion Festival Beauties

Tokyobling's Blog

You might remember my post on the Three Bauties of Yoshiwara from last year: some exceptionally photogenic and devoted festival participants from the Yoshiwara Gion festival in Shizuoka prefecture’s Fuji City. Well, this year’s festival there were even more of them, and as energetic as ever! All of the dashi (mobile festival wagons or platforms) are wonderfully decked out and crewed by the most energetic members of their respective neighborhoods, but the dashi of the Rokkenchou (六軒町) neighborhood is just outstanding! It’s not all thanks to the beauties though, behind and below them there is a whole battery of drummers and flutists, not to mention the guy on the roof helping to navigate the wagon, or the men, women and kids in front that pulls it and help making sure that no stray tourists (or photographers) fall under the heavy wheels of the wagon! With young people like this, the…

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Yoshiwara Gion – Shizuoka Prefecture

Tokyobling's Blog

Today is the grande finale of the lovely Yoshiwara Gion Matsuri in Shizuoka Prefecture’s Fuji City. On the final day the main omikoshi of the local shrine will be handed over from neighborhood to neighborhood and afterwards the dashi parade starts up on the Yoshiwara main street as the different neighborhoods does their best to outperform the other’s in a friendly battle!

If you are in Shizuoka Prefecture today there really is no excuse to miss this once in a year event!

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Japanese Festivals: 21st Horai Bridge Festival in Shimada City (May 24~25th)!

Horai Bridge in Shimada City is the longest wooden pedestrian Bridge in the World!

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The Oi River was at its most difficult to cross in Shimada City along the Old Tokaido Road prompting the Meiji Government to build the (still) longest wooden bridge in the world, the Horai Bridge, in 1879. It is 897.4m long and 2.7m wide.
Not only it deserved to be walked across for a great vista but it also has the great merit to lead to vast green tea fields beyond a small mountain ridge along a lane dotted with statues of Seven Deities.

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The Horai Bridge Festival also called 蓬莱橋ぼんぼり祭り/Horai Bashi Bonbori Matsuri/Horai Bridge Bonbori Festival will be held for the 21st time on Saturday may 24th and Sunday 25th. In case of rain canceling the event it will be held the following week end.

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it will include parades in Edo and Meiji Era costumes, samisen-playing geishas and so on.

The official hurs of the Festival are 08:00~20:30 (Saturday) ~20:00 (Sunday) with events being held from 10:00 to 15:00 (Saturday) and 11:00~19:00 (Sunday).

Locale: Shimada City, Minami, 2 Chome, 22-14 (vicinity of Horai Bridge), about 1.5 km from Shimada JR Station (20-minute walk).

For more information call 0547-36-9899, asking for Yamamoto san (Shimada Turist Information Bureau)

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

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
rre.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: 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