Tag Archives: Tourism

Kushida Shinto Shrine in Fukuoka City: A Photographic Introduction

All photographs taken by Robert-Gilles martineau

When In Fukuoka City for the first time, being religious-minded or not a site not to be missed is Kushida shinto Shrine/Kushida Shrine/櫛田神社, a Shinto shrine located in Hakata-ku. Dedicated to the deities Amaterasu and Susanoo, it is said to have been founded in 757. Its visit can enjoyed at all times of the year although the New Year and during the Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival during the first two weeks of July are arguably the best periods of the year!

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A horned lion guard, called “shishi or komainu” seems to ensure the safety of the donated Japanese sake kegs behind it!

The whole visit makes for a truly great photographic experience of a typical Japanese Shinto Shrine, and I can assure you are bound for some surprises!
just follow me for this first visit and I can guarantee you will wish to come back again and stroll around the place at your own pace!

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The other lion guard with its maw open also guarding the sake kegs!
Sake kegs will be found at Shinto Shrines only and not at Buddhist Temples as sake is considered as the food of gods in Shintoism.

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The whole shrine is actually a group of them erected at various times and their lion guards differ!

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There are always two lion gurads at each shrine, one with its maw closed,…

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The other with its maw open!

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On the new Year visitors are requested to walk through the mouth of a giant Ameterasu Goddess under a torii/sacred bird gate!

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Placed at both entrances, but do not worry they won’t eat you!

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You will also meet fox guards/kitsune meaning that the shrine is dedicated to Inari, the Goddess of Plenty!

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Its counterpart is carrying a sacred scroll inits mouth.
Both look unusually fierce!

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Torii/sacred bird gate can be fund in stone or red-painted wood, alone or in rows!

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A whole mixture of torii!

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A small but highly venerated shrine at the very end of the torii tunnel!

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A stone torii arch?

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You will discover a whole menagerie as well such as this sacred bull!

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Sacred cranes guarding a natural salty hot spring!

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A Lord Horse!

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Belgians will be astounded to find a Japanese version of their Manneken Piss!

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Keep a sharp eye for the bonsai/miniature trees!

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you cane even buy (for 50 yen) your own fortune-telling slip/o-mikuji in five different languages: Japanese, English, Korean, Taiwanese and Chinese!

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My fortune-telling slip in English!
Now, what did it say?

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“Very lucky”!
Wishing you the same!

Access: 1-41, Kamikawabata-machi, Hakata-ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture 812-0026
Between Hakata JR Station and Nakagawa River, near Gion Station.
Phone: 092-291-2951

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

Hakata Gion Yamakasa Festival Giant Floats in Fukuoka City!

All pictures by Robert-Gilles Martineau.

Some of the information is  based on official Fukuoka City Tourism Internet Sites.

Hakata Gion Yamakasa (博多祇園山笠) is the name of one of the most famous Japanese festivals celebrated every year from the 1st to the 15th of July in Hakata Ku, Fukuoka City, Fukuoka prefecture in Northern Kyushu Island.
This grand event, more than 750 years old, attracts more than a million spectators every year and was designated an Important Intangible Folk Cultural Property in 1979.
Moreover, the sound of the Kaki Yamakasa has been selected by the Ministry of the Environment as one of the 100 Soundscapes of Japan.
Its rites are centered on Kushida Shinto Shrine/Kushida Jinja/串田神社.
In fact the official name of the Festival is Kushida jinja Gion Retsu Oomatsuri/櫛田神社祇園例大祭.

Now, you need not worry if you cannot visit Fukuoka City during the first two weeks of July as the giant floats are on constant display for all to enjoy either under roof along the Nakagawa River at a walking distance from Hakata JR STation or inside Kushida Shinto Shrine!

Festival Floats exhibited along the Nakagawa River:

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Don’ forget you can see both sides of the float!

The Yamakasa floats come in two categories, namely, colorful floats for decorative purposes called kazariyama, and floats to be carried in the festival known as kakiyama. The decorated floats are set up on the street corners on July 1st for display, and you can take a look at them while strolling through the city. They are almost 10 meters tall,  and are decorated with samurai or popular anime character dolls produced through the expertise of master Hakata Doll craftsmen. Formerly, men used to run about carrying these tall decorated floats, but because they would get stuck on electric cables and lights, it was decided that they were more suited for display purposes only. The floats exhibited at the Kushida Shinto Shrine and along the Nakagawa Rivercan be viewed all year round.

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The kazariyama floats are truly enormous and you had probably better take photographs at different levels for more precise viewing: bottom part!

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Middle part!

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Top part!

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One full space is dedicated to the history of the Festival and the tools needed to drive the floats!

These poles are placed under the kakiyama, “Yamakasa/Festival Floats” and over the shoulders of  carriers running at full speed in the streets of Hakata! Bear in mind that each float weighs at least a ton!

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The back side, or “river side side” of the same float!

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The bottom half!

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The top half!

Festival Floats exhibited at the Kushida Shinto Shrine:

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These are exhibited all year round under special covers with explanations Japanese and English!

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The bottom part!

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The top half!

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The very top!

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The second float!

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The bottom part!

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The middle part!

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The top part!

The carried floats are borne by the men from the 10th and the festival culminates in excitement on the 15th. Early in the morning, at 4:59 on this final day of the festival, the first float sets off at the signal of beating drums. This is a contest in which men compete on the time taken to race along a 5 km course, over more or less 30 minutes; although speed is important, they are also required to maintain a graceful and heroic style as they run carrying the floats on their shoulders.

The interesting thing about this festival is that the citizens of Hakata refrain from eating cucumbers during the festival period. Even if they happen to find slices of cucumber in a bowl of salad, they will pick them out. This practice is said to derive from the fact that the pattern of the round cucumber slices resembles the emblem of the festive deity called Gion-sama enshrined in Kushida Shrine!

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

Follow the “Jouren”(常連)/Regular Customer at Japanese Restaurants!

At Yasaitei,….

The Japanese are in perpetual search for harmony.
This constant pursuit of “wa/和” preoccupies them not only at the office with their fellow workers, at home with their family, but also, and probably most, when taking a pleasurable respite at the table or counter of their favorite restaurant or bar.

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At Uogashi Sushi Restaurant…

Whereas in many other countries patronizing the same establishment on a regular basis might be considered at best as an ostentatious show, and a disreputable habit at worst, eating and drinking out in Japan is a sine qua non prerequisite to a successful life, both professional and social.

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At Kasuri…

“Jouren” (常連) can be loosely translated as “regular customer”, although the term does not give justice to its real meaning.
The jouren is an essential feature at any establishment worth its salt. He/she will usually sit quietly at the end of the counter if he/she is the only one present at the time, or next to another regular.
Now, if you observe him /her carefully (unobtrusively) you will notice that he /she is served food and drinks without orders or enquiries. There is a clear reason to that: the oyakata/chef or ofukuro/lady owner knows what the jouren likes to eat and drink within a tacitly agreed budget.
The jouren is not necessarily a well-off person, but he/she is a vital actor in the gastronomic theater because he/she will occasionally come out of hi/her reserve to gently recommend a dish or concoction when he/she notices a new customer experiencing some difficulty in choosing from an unknown menu. Very often a Japanese client will (politely) ask the local jouren for advice and enquire on the very food he/she is eating or on the best drink available.

At Tomii,…

Another peculiarity you will not fail to mark is that the jouren usually takes his/her leave without paying. He/she simply has a bill in the books that he/she will pay at a more or less determined date away from the inquisitive eyes of other diners and drinkers. This last arrangement is more practical for the owner’s accounts and tax returns. You will know that you have become a jouren the day or night the owner tells you to pay later, which of course means that he/she expects you to grace the place again soon!

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At Minato Machi Okamura Ikichi…

Be it a posh kaiseki restaurant, an expensive sushi bar, a simple but popular izakaya, or a late night cocktail lounge, the “rules” are the same.
The jouren possesses an unfailing instinct as to the timing of his/her visits. He/she will avoid the really busy period of the evening, and will retreat with a smile and wave when his/her favorite haunt is unseasonably busy. He/she will also take leave when other customers start flowing in. On the other hand, a jouren will get full satisfaction and no questions asked if h/she requests a few seats for a party or some friends. Simply put, he/she is priority.

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At Kawasaki…

Jouren usually has his/her “bottle keep”, or own bottle of favourite spirits in situ, although the notion can be double-edged. Some izakayas or Japanese restaurants and bars make it rule for all customers, regular or not to acquire their own bottle with the attached condition that it must be consumed within a certain time limit. But a real jouren at an establishment worthy of its salt will probably keep a hard to find whisky or an extravagant shochu for his/her sole usage. On the other hand, if the jouren kindly offers you a glass of his/her own nectar, you may assume you will be part of the selected clientele very soon!

At Ekimae Matsuno Sushi,…

Japanese owners value their jouren very much for another reason.
In a tightly preordained world where the customer and the owner/chef are literally sitting on either side of a rigid fence, the jouren becomes an indispensable interlocutor you can talk shop with or even ask for advice. Japanese chefs have very little free time to spend outside work and take the pulse of their society to keep in touch with the prevalent trends of their fellow citizens. The jouren will bring in the news and information on any subject and the answers to questions that the chef will not hesitate to ask.
It works both ways: high-class geishas in Kyoto, who are not mere entertainers, do make a point to read at least two or three daily newspapers every morning, including one financial tabloid to ensure they can not only follow their clients’ conversations but give their own advice when solicited.

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At Anchorz…

The nationality of a jouren is of little importance. Being a Japanese fluent foreigner is actually an advantage as some social restrictions inherent to the Japanese society can easily be circumvented.
As a case in point a great majority of celebrated resident foreign chefs spend most of their free time patronizing local sushi and kaiseki restaurants for the dual purpose of relaxation and study in great company!

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At Sushi Ko…

As a final word do not think jouren are exclusively male clients. There are certainly many ladies among them, although they will generally patronize a different type of establishment. But the same “rules” and traditions apply!

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

Local Reasonable Wagyu Beef at Sumpu No Nikudokoro Restaurant in Shizuoka City!

Service: Friendly, attentive and smiling
Equipment & Facilities: Great cleanliness overall. Beautiful and modern gender-separated washrooms
Prices: Reasonable (wayuu is not cheap anywhere!)
Strong points: Almost completely local ingredients. High class beef and pork. Great local sake and shochu list! Non-smoking at lunch time!

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I had been curious for some time about a new restaurant which had been opened three years ago above a convenience store of all things this year when the far corner across Cenova Department Store in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, was reclaimed for development.

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The name of the restaurant is “Sumpu No Nikudokoro/駿府の肉処”. Sumpu stands for the old name of Shizuoka City and Nikudokoro means “the Place for Meat”!
Pity they don’t take the pains of at least writing the English pronunciation when you hear that Shizuoka Prefecture and City have recently declared to promote tourism more actively…

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I had noticed this advert for a single donburi/bowl dish priced at 800 yen/8 US $/6 Euros for quite a while and I had thought that the place was maybe a very reasonable and simple restaurant subsidized by the Shizuoka Prefecture Government, the Agriculture Department in particular. I was proved slightly wrong!

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Frankly speaking the lack of explanations and introductions on the ground floor was a bit frustrating and I was somewhat surprised to find out after climbing nondescript stairs to stand in front of small but elegant entrance!

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An the surprises only continued after I had stepped inside!
Wow! Special Wagyu certified from Shizuoka Prefecture!
Actually no less than 12 breeders have been awarded the distinction in our Prefecture!

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They were not shy about exhibiting the meat used in the restaurant, a sure sign of superior quality!

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Then I started to understand!
Wagyu is horribly expensive in Japan, wherever it is produced and moreover if it has received the label ‘Special Choice” by the Government!

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The restaurant is owned and run by the Shizuoka JA (Japan Agriculture), the biggest Agricultural Association in Shizuoka Prefecture (and also heavily subsidized by the country!)!
Now, I knew why the prices were still comparatively reasonable, even for local products!

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The establishment is absolutely spotless clean with a direct view into the kitchen! Talk about superior hygiene!

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Not only the meat, but most of the sake and shochu are also brewed in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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There are three types of seating: A counter by the window, very practical for individual guests or couples, benches and tables for 4 people apiece and a dig-in kotatsu Japanese room you can partly or completely reserved for a meal away from other guests’ sight (500 yen extra per person in that case). The Japanese room can be completely reserved for up to 8 guests. Otherwise parties up to 26 guests are accepted. Total reservation can be insured for up to 66 guests.

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The sliding doors of the private Japanese-style room.

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My first visit was for lunch at which you can a choice of single bowl dishes between 800 and 980 yen (very popular with office workers and doctors working nearby!), and three meat lunch sets between 1,200 yen and 3,000 yen. I chose the latter, which at 25 US $ is still very reasonable!

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Next time I will strongly suggest that they write an English translation!

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Not only the wasabi (of course!) but even the salt is local!

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Supreme fat to coat the BBQ plate with before grilling the meat and vegetables! Extravagant!

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Absolutely beautiful!
Now, what do we have?

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Two kinds of Wagyu Beef and Kinton-o Pork form Shizuoka Prefecture!
Actually our Prefecture is nationally renown for its supreme pork!

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They need to translate that, too!
It does make for good reading, actually!

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In the bckground lean Wagyu Beef and in the forefront Kinton-O Pork!

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Great attentions to detail: served with grilled garlic slices and chopped thin scallions!

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Naturally the vegetables are exclusively local!

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Local vegetable salad and Shizuoka green tea as a bavarois with jelly!

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Shizuoka-grown Koshihikari rice! A real beauty!

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They should translate that too in English:
Shizuoka Koshikari rice is the earliest to be harvested in the island of Honshu: planted in April, rice grains appear in July and the rice is harvested end of August!
It is nicknamed “Pearl Rice”!

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A light soup, perfect to wash all that good food down!

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100% Shizuoka orange juice! The real article!

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You grill everything at your own pace and order!

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So tender and so juicy Wagyu Beef!
What else can you ask for?

Look forward to more reports as I want to investigate some of the ridiculously cheap meat bowl lunches and of course a full dinner with local sake and shochu!

Sumpu No Nikudokoro
Shizuoka Sodachi
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Oote Machi, 2-15, MRK Bldg., 2f (across Cenova Dept. Store above 7 eleven convenience store)
Tel.: 054-251-4129
Opening hours: 11:30~14:00, 17:00~23:00
Closed on third Wednesday of each month
Credit Cards OK
Reservations highly recommended for dinner!
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)

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

Sushi & Sashimi: A Basic Introduction

All original pictures taken in Shizuoka Prefecture!

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Sushi for vegans and vegetarians!

Next time you visit Japan and Shizuoka Prefecture I suppose that the first thing you might like to check if you are a sushi lover is the “real article”!

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The ubiquitous “Hon Maguro Nigiri” or “Blue Fin Tuna on a rice ball”. In this case marinated beforehand!

If it your first visit to Japan you might also be in for a surprise as you will discover that the varieties of sushi are practically unlimited!

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“Katsuo/Bonito) & “Kinmedai/Splendid Alfonsino” sashimi assortment!

Sashimi or thin slices of fish when put onto some rice could be called “sushi” as long as rice vinegar, salt and sugar have been added to season the rice beforehand.
On the other hand it does not have to be sashimi as almost anything could be used for making sushi: fish guts, roe, shellfish, meat, vegetables. etc.
Even the word “sashimi” does not actually apply to fish only as its meaning is “thin slices” (debatable).

There are 3 basic kinds of sushi:
“Nare Zushi”, or pickled fish sushi.
“Nigiri Sushi” or “Edomae Zushi”,or sliced fish et al onto small balls of rice.
“Oshi Zushi” or “Osaka Zushi”, or sliced fish et al pressed onto rice inside a wooden box or mould and then cut into equal-sized pieces.
Of course the three above kinds can be divided into numerous sub-varieties.

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Home-made “chirashi zushi”!

One important variety is “Chirashi Zushi”, basically all kinds of (available) ingredients, preferably small, strewn on a layer of rice inside a bowl or shallow Japanese dish. This last variety is commonly encountered at home meals when it is more practical for a housewife to serve to a whole family.

“NARE ZUSHI”
This is the original form of sushi in Japan. One way to preserve fish was to gut it, slice the meat with or without the skin and pickle it (ferment it) in rice. The fish could then always be presented at meals after having taken it out of the pickle jar, cleaned it and served it on a dish as an accompaniment (or main dish) to the usual Japanese fare of rice, miso (fermented beans) soup and pickles.

“Nare Zushi” is slowly disappearing in japan due to better and safer transport of raw fish. One still available is “funa zushi/crucian carp sushi”.
Then one day, somebody selling fish in Edo (old Tokyo) struck on the idea to serve it wrapped around balls of rice to which vinegar, salt and sugar had been added for preservation. These balls were 2 or 3 times as big as nowadays and 3 balls would be enough for a meal.
This form of sushi is rarely encountered or available these days.

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“Katsuo/Bonito”, “Shake/Salmon” and “Hon Maguro/Blue Fin Tuna”, all marinated beforehand, that is in “Zuke” style.

One modern extension of this technique is “Zuke” whereas tuna (“maguro”) or other fish has been first dipped in hot water for a while, then transferred into iced water to stop it cooking and finally marinated into a pickle brine (“tsuke shiru”) for a while. When cut, the surface is cooked and slightly harder while the inside is still soft and comparatively raw. If it is not dipped in brine it becomes “tataki”.
(Note: “Zuke” also means leaving the fish slices in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin and sake for about a certain amount of time before making any kind of sushi. Each restaurant has its own original secrets and recipes.)

“NIGIRI ZUSHI EXAMPLES”

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“Amaebi/Sweet shrimps” nigiri!

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“Botan ebi/Large sweet prawns” nigiri topped with their roe!

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“Shita birame/Sole” nigiri!

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“Tachiuo/Scabbard or Cutlass Fish” nigiri in “Aburi/seared” style topped with “momiji oroshi/grated daikon seasoned with chili powder and chopped scallion!

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“Hotate/scallops” nigiri!

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“Kawahagi/Filefish” nigiri topped with its raw liver!

“BOGATA SUSHI”

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“Aji/Horse Mackerel” bogata sushi!

“Bogata” style is a variant of Osaka Oshi Zushi style by wrapping a fish over or a pressed “baton” of sushi rice and presenting it cut!

“GUNKAN”

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From top and left: “Uni/Sea Urchin”, “Sakura ebi/Cherry shrimps), “Uzura/Quail egg” with seaweed and dry bonito shavings, “Shirako/male cod milt”, and “Negitoro/Grated tuna” gunkan!

“Gunkan” means “Mothership” and consists of a small ball of rice laterally wrapped in a thin band of dry seaweed and topped with various ingredients!

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“Ankimo/Steamed monkfish liver in Japanese sake and preserved like a terrine” seasoned with momiji oroshi and chopped scallion! “Ankimo” is also called “Japanese foie gras”!

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A rare “Oyako/Parent and Child” rendition of “Ikura/salmon Roe” gunkan with its two “kids in the form of small gunkan with raw salmon wrapped around minuscule rice balls!

“MAKI ZUSHI/SUSHI ROLLS”

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“Natto/Fermented beans and Ika/Cuttlefish” thin sushi roll!

The ever popular (especially overseas!) sushi rolls come into two basic types: thin, or called “hoso maki” and thick, or called “futo maki”!

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A “California roll” made with spicy raw scallops and cucumber!

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“Rainbow Roll”, a very thick futo maki with no less than 15 ingredients wrapped in sushi rice and dry seaweed!

“DONBURI ZUSHI/SUSHI BOWLS”

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“Ikura/Salmon roe” ko donburi with sliced cucumber and grated fresh wasabi!

“Donburi Zushi” is a big or small (in the latter case called “Ko Donburi”) filled with sushi rice and topped with one or many ingredients! The variants are unlimited!

“FANCY SUSHI”

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Flower Millefeuille Sushi!

Young chefs do experiment with shapes and appearance, but such “fancy sushi” are rarely introduced on menus, therefore the need to become a regular customer at at least one sushi restaurant!

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“Happy Birthday Millefeuuille!

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An extravagant “Piece Montee”!

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And don’t forget the sushi for vegans and vegetarians! It is possible!

This article is only an introduction to what you may encounter during your trip! Do not worry too much about etiquette, the Japanese will have the pleasure to teach you!

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

On the Shizuoka Prefecture Beer Trail 2: Aoi brewing Co. In Shizuoka City!

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Naoki Mando/万度直樹さん, the owner of a few bars and restaurants in Shizuoka City achieved a long dream when his Brewery, the newest in Shizuoka Prefectyre at the time, Aoi Brewing Co. produced its first craft beer on May 22nd, 2014.

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“Aoi” is a name rarely recorded by Shizuoka City as it is the official emblem of Lord Ieyasu Tokugawa who more or less founded Sumpu, the old name of Shizuoka City.
Naoki had to get not only the Shizuoka City’s permission to use the name and crest but also that of Kunozan Toshogu Shrine in Kuno, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City, the Shrine dedicated to Lord Ieyasu!

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Aoi Brewing Company was built inside a former soy sauce manufacture near Sengen Shrine, another sanctuary related with Lord Tokugawa Ieayasu.

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Now the brewery has its own Brew Pub, Beer Garage, where only Aoi Brewing Co craft beers are served on the tap.
The same pub also serves all kinds of food typical of a brew pub.
Customers are mainly locals or beer lovers wanting to enjoy their past time away from the crowds in downtown Shizuoka City!

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On the other hand, Naoki Mando’s oldest property, Growstock bar & Restaurant in downtown Shizuoka City also serves a couple of Aoi Craft Beers on the tap.

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But Growstock basically serves beers from all over the world either in bottles or on the tap!

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They serve a large array of foods, some of which finds its way into the beer stand located in Miyuki-Cho, near Shizuoka JR Station.

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This is a very busy place as it serves at least 6 beers on the tap, usually all from Aoi Brewing Co. although guest beers from Shizuoka Prefecture and far beyond also appear for the great pleasure of all aficionados!

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Although Aoi Brewing Co. has already produced no less than 47 limited craft beers until December 31st, 2015, it will soon also put out bottled carft beers including Weissen, Ales, Alt and Stouts!

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Although customers at Aoi Beer Stand are basically for the beer, some unusual snacks such as the above mutton gyoza do appear from time to time, the food is not to be forgotten easily!

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Look out for the Mexican hot dog,although these days they serve a Mexican pisza and a Japanese quiche!

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last year, Naoki Mando opened a fourth establishment to satsify the notorious Shizuoka City night owls: Beer Junkies Motel!

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They serve 4 Aoi Brewing Co craft beers on the tap plus two more guest tap beers, including overseas brews along with all kinds of bottled beers, wine, spirits and cocktails!

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The food menu there is definitively more extensive and includes grilled lamb chops, succulent meat pies, and what else!
A great place for late eating!

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But always keep in mind that Aoi Brewing Co. is always putting out superlative brews fast gathering a lot of attention all over Japan such as this rare Christmas Ale, Abv: 10%!

Beer Junkie MOTEL

420-0035 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Shichiken Cho, 11-5, IMAKKOKO Bldg. 1F
Tel.: 054-253-6558
Opening hours: 17:00~25:00, 17:00~26:00 (Saturday), 15:00~22:00 (Sunday)
Closed on Tuesday
Parties welcome
FACEBOOK

BEER GARAGE

Aoi Brewing Co.,Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyagasaki Chyo, 30
Tel.: 054-294-8911
Opening hours: 17:00~23:00 (Monday~Friday), 15:00~23:00 (Saturday), 15:00~22:00 (Sunday)
Closed on Tuesdays
COD, Cash On Delivery only for all orders.
MAP
FACEBOOK

AOI BEER STAND
Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Miyuki Cho, 4-6, Den bill, 1F
Tel.: 054-260-5203
Opening hours: 11:00~23:00
Credit cards OK
FACEBOOK

Some Aoi beers are also available at Aoi Brewery’s restaurant in Shizuoka City, namely

GROWSTOCK

420-0852 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Koyamachi Naka Building, 5F
Tel.: 054-293-9331
Opening hours: 17:00~25:00 (Mon.~Thurs.), 17:00~27:00 (Fri & Sat.), 17:00~24:00 (Sun.)
Parties welcome (reserve!)
Credit Cards OK
FACEBOOK

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

Japanese Izakaya: Yasaitei In Shizuoka City! (For Vegans, Vegetarians and Omnivores!)

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IZAKAYA RANKING: +3
Service: +3 Excellent and very friendly
Facilities: +3 Very clean, Beautiful washroom
Prices: +2 reasonable
Strong points: Vegan and vegetarian Cuisine possible any time, Izakaya gastronomy, local products, oden. Good list of sake, shochu. Wines also available.

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Time and again I have said that vegans and vegetarians would probably have their happiest times in Japan, at least for gastronomes, because this country, and especially Shizuoka with its mild weather and abundance of vegetables in all seasons, can provide all ingredients all year round whose traceability is easy to prove!

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The above o-tooshi/お通し/is not vegetarian, but you aforementioned priorities will ensure it is!

There are many places in Shizuoka City and Prefecture offering alternatives to their omnivorous dishes for vegans and vegetarians who still want to enjoy their outing with friends with different priorities.
One such place, and arguably the best at it, is Yasaitei in Tokiwa Cho, Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City!
Incidentally the owner/chef and staff are all ladies, but customers are certainly of both genders!
And here is one recommendation:

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Vegetable sashimi plate!
The above is the basic one, but you certainly may order for a bigger variety!

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View for the other side!

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Ice plant and celery!

One thing all these vegetables have in common is that they are super fresh, crunchy, juicy and so tasty!

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Tomatoes and daikon!

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Japanese cucumber!

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Onion and shiso/perilla leaf!

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Simple but exquisite dressing made with higher-class sesame oil, rock salt and miso paste!

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For friends who like seafood: cod roe steamed and marinated in rice vinegar!

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Another “o-tooshi/お通し/snack served with the first drink!

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Lotus root/renkon/蓮根 in “kinpira” fashion!
Such a satisfying crunch!

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Grilled fresh shiitake/椎茸!

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The shiitake were simply grilled and seasoned with soy sauce before being served over shiso/perilla leaves.

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Freshly grated daikon and ginger were provided for further seasoning and enjoyment.

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Surely one of the best ways to enjoy fresh shiitake!

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Another o-tooshi!

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Mushrooms and fried tofu o-hitashi/お浸し/Japanese-style light appetizer!

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Maitake, tomato and spinach stir-fried in sesame oil and served with fresh coriander!
Maitake/舞茸 in English stands for mushrooms called Hen-of-the-Woods, Ram’s Head or Sheep’s Head!

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Juicy and so tasty mushrooms!

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Note the coriander for beautiful balance in presentation and taste!

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Another o-tooshi!

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Mushrooms and mekabu/芽蕪/small turnips! If you are vegetarian or vegan just tell them not to top it with katsuo bushi!

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Steamed eringe (or eringi)/エリンゲ/known in English as king trumpet mushroom, French horn mushroom or king oyster mushroom!

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The eringe were steamed together with fresh cucumber and served with freshly grated Shizuoka-grown wasabi!

See “Izakaya Ranking” system at bottom of article!

YASAITEI/やさい亭

Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Tokiwa-Cho, 1-6-2 Green Heights Wamon 1-C
Tel.: 054-2543277
Business hours: 17:30~22:00
Closed on Sundays
Reservations highly recommended
Seating: 6 at counter + 14 at tables
Set Courses: 3,000, 4,000, 5,000 yen
Individual orders (carte) welcome
Parties welcome

IZAKAYA RANKING SYSTEM
IZAKAYA RANKING:

+1 ought to be visited at least once
+2 could be become a regular visit
+3 must visit!

Service:
+1 standard
+2 pleasant
+3 very good

Equipment & Facilities:
+1 standard
+2 excellent
+3 Superb

Prices:
+1 cheap
+2 slightly expensive but good value
+3 expensive but good value

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

Wata (also called “Mizu”) Shinto Shrine-水神社 in Shizuoka City!

Yesterday on my way to Anzai Bridge across the Abe River in Shizuoka City, I decided to cycle along a die road on a whim and discovered this small Shinto shrine in Ta Machi!

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Upon seeing the name plaque on the torii/sacred gate I wondered how the kanji for “water/水”, that is “mizu” would be pronounced.
Luckily enough a neighbor had just come out and I decided to ask him and get some more information!
The locals pronounce the name “wata”!
And apparently it is a very old if small shrine, dating back to Edo Era!

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Although their roofing is recent the hand washing stone basin are very ancient.
Two of them in such a small shrine is indeed rare and the neighbor indicated me through their engravings that they had been erected in totally different eras!

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Two large stone lanterns and two smaller ones stood along the short path with mountain and clouds carvings!

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I noted an interesting difference between the two deers!
The one above has its right foreleg raised!

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But not this one!

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A smaller stone lantern between two venerable trees!

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The “haiden”/worshipers hall!

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Unusually the lion guards/shishi are not represented as stone statues, but as wooden carvings abovehead!

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Its companion!
I pointed out the fact to the kind neighbor relating the history of the shrine and I had the pleasure to notice his surprise!

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Money offerings are unusually thrown though the door instead of inside a box placed outside!

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Side view of the “haiden” and “honden/deity abode”!

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The enshrined deity is male!

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A side view of the completely isolated “haiden”!

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The trees inside the shrine are dwarfing the building proving its ancient origins!

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Good-bye, Wata Shrine!

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

Unequalled Japanese Hygiene

From magic toilets to wet finger napkins/”wet tissue”

SHUZENJI-FEET

Hot spring foot bath in Shuzenji, Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture!

Japan is considered by many a traveler, tourist and businessperson as one of the mst beutiful countries in the world. But the Land of the Rising Sun has another in her pocket other than the beauty of her landscapes, her universally recognized gastronomy or her financial opportunities: a daily life safety unbeknownst in our lands, a comfort bordering on obsession, but above all an hygiene above any norms.

SHUZENJI-SOURCE

Baths in hot spring hotel in Shuzenji, Izu Peninsula, Shizuoka Prefecture

Japan has been blessed since immemorial times with an abundance of natural water rushing down her mountains all year round and with a generally  abrupt geographical profile allowing for a natural and fast evacuation of debris, and soiled waters. This active volcano-dotted archipelago  is replete with hot springs which have been exploited for more than 1,500 years and contributed to the establishment of daily baths as never witnessed in any other countries.
The Japanese do not wash themsleves inside bathtubs. They clean their body first before immersing themselves in clean and ideally warm water. This attention to the cleanliness of their bodies before plunging it in a veritable liquid massage is the more remarkable when you consider the icy cold winter and tropical summers prevalent in most Japan.
In fact the love of the Japanese for their hot springs (“onsen”) lies not only in the need to warm up their bodies in summer but also to treat their skins and even clean their internal organs in summer.

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Junior high school students scrubbing their own toilets!

When it comes to natural needs the inhabitants of this crowded archipelago far away from the rest of Asia have always understood the vital importance of a strict daily hygiene be it that of individuals or groups. Already by the end of the 19th Century, when Japan “reopened her doors” to the rest of the World, Occidental visitors were surprised, if not shocked, by this attention brought to the care of the body that they often mistakenly interpreted as a lack of  decency, the more for it that the same Japanese showed a great sexual freedom and a marked veneration for all kinds of fertilty symbols in their daily life and festivals (“matsuri”). After all the famous/notorious Japanese erotic  woodblock prints (“shunga”) had been possible only with ethics vastly different from those considered as normal in Europe and and North America. Homosexuality and bisexuality were condemned as they were in the “Westernized World”. Accordingly the Japanese are not bashful at all when it comes to frankly talk about natural needs even when Westerners attempted to impose their customs and interdicts in this country which never accepted colonization in spite of its preparedness to other standards than their own.

Japanese magic toilets/a recent revolution

Undoubtedly those famous Japanese toilets are very much talked about although few outside Japan know how they have become part and parcel of daily life in this country.
Until 30 years ago they existed only in two distinct forms.”Japanese toilets”, that is the oldest model that consists of  simple toilets above which you have to crouch (somewhat like inverted Turkish toilets). They still can be found in many public toilets. After WWII flush toilets and urinals started to appear. But it was in 2004 that Japanese toilets became magical thanks to the added quasi computers hidden inside their structure enabling the control of a bidet system that architects and builders adopted to the point of equipping half of the Japanese abodes within a single year. In Japan bidets are commonly called “washlets”, a commercial name owned by the TOTO Company, a company based in Kitakyushu (Kyushu Island).
Apart of a far better hygiene and easier maintenance and cleaning the main reason for the popularity of this type of toilets is that many Japanese suffered from piles/hemorrhoids due to the physical effort required to stay in a crouching position above the traditional toilets. Actually Japan holds the world record number of clinics solely specializing in proctology and colorectal surgery, a extremely lucrative medical field in spite of the recent change in toilets.
Although most public toilets, school toilets and those found in temples and stations are traditionally equipped, the Japanese prefer to sit down on a toilet at home, especially old citizens for whom the crouching position can become particularly difficult and uncomfortable.

TOILETES-JAPONAISES

But it is when you disembark at a Japanese airpor that you will discover incredible state of of the art facilities due to the fierce competition between the two biggest companies in the field, namely TOTO (50% share of the production) and INAX (25%), which make most of their profits with hotels all over the World, especially in the Middle East. The long rolling carpets carrying you from planes to different arrival gates are regularly interrupted to allow tired travelers to relieve themselves after a long voyage not only inside vast and spotless facilities but also equipped with the very latest amenities. Although divided according to gender, the only difference is that the toilets for gents are also equipped with state of the art urinals (no button to press, which avoids any dicey contacts!). The toilets on which you sit are fit with two types of washlets whose temperature you can regulate, one to wash your backside, the other for ladies’ intimate parts Even if you do not understand Japanese the small illustrations will leave you in no doubt! And thay are even equipped qith hot air drying systems for people who do not want to use paper at all!

TABLETTE-CONTROLE

Of course all modern hotels are equipped thus, but another difference with Western countries is that yu will find toilets almost anywhere in Japan, either public inside railway stations, parks, beaches, sport centers and areas and leisure spots and supermarkets where they will always be state of the art but which are immensely cleaner, but they will sport the latest models inside department stores, museums, theaters, movies, concert halls as well as inside town halls, police stations and other public buildings! An embarrassment of choices! And furthermore they are spotless clean at any hour of the day and night!
The Japanese went as far as devising mobile telephone app called”Check a Toilet”. this app will enable you to find the nearest public toilets, wherever you are!

A word for our ladies: “otohime”

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“Otohime”!

Many Japanese ladies feel embarrassed by the notion of someone being able to hear the noise raised by their visits to the toilets to the point of developing a kind of allergy called “timid bladder”! To hide all the noises many women will let water run all the way through thus causing an incredible waste of water. As education campaigns could not help eradicate such a practice a system was devised during the 1980’s.Once activated it reproduces the sound of water being flushed without having to have to let the water. One of of the brands proposing such a device is Otohime (音姫), which literally means “The Princess of Sound”, thus named after the Japanese Goddess Otohime, daughter of the God Ryujin (although the Chinese characters for Otohime are different (乙姫) and mean “the Second Princess”. This device is installed in most new toilets for ladies, while many old public ladies toilets are also equipped with it. The Otohime can either be an independent device fixed on the inside wall of the toilets or as a component of of the washlet. One can activate the device by pressing a button or with a hand passing in front of a sensor. Once activated the device will emit a similar sound to that of a real water flush. Thus more than 20 liters of water can be saved every day with such an apparatus. Nonetheless many a ladyy still thinks that the sound of the Otohime is artificial and prefer a constant water flushing than using the recorded tape. As it seems that such a device is not required or requested in gents toilets it will very seldom be found in public amenites

Apart of the toilets you will also discover that the hygiene standards in Japanese hotels is almost unheard of in Western establishments. In any case you will not find a star ranking system or else which allows tight-fisted hotel owners back home to do without advantages considered as the norm in any Japanese hotel. Any decent standard hotel provides shampoos, eau de toilette, razors, combs, brushes and others changed every day with your sheets, and this in hotels costing less than 50 euros a night!

Of course the same applies to restaurants and cafés in the whole country.
Actually it has turned into a cutthroat competition as to which establishment will offer the best amenities. Even away from Tokyo, I know many a restaurant which besides state of the art bilingual washrooms will offer you mouthwash, disposable toothpicks and ear cotton swabs without mentioning a whole palette of paper napkins!

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Talking of paper it simply becomes outlandish: single layer, double layer, triple layer, soft, exra soft, white, colored, with motifs all kinds, I just can’t mention them all! Stores generally have a single department dedicated to their sole display!

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Incidentally many hotels complain that their toilet paper completely disappears after the visit by tourists from other Asian countries!

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Finger napkins/”wet tissue”.

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Anti germ finger wet tissue napkins.SN3O0272

Finger napkins/wet tissue and others for men only!

Finger napkins/”wet tissue” are simply delirious!
In fact #finger napkins/wet tissue” doesn’t mean whrn one is confronted  by ts choice, be it for ladies or gents (or children and senior citizens!)!
Wet napkins, anti-germ or perfumed, not only for hands and fingers (and nails) but also various parts of body, napkins of different size, napkins for sportsmen or professionals, talcum napkins, anti germ napkins for toilet seats, tables, chairs and others, and others, and others…
In fact many people who buy them just to build up a collection to show to their friends as manyof them are conceived for a publicity and commemorative purpose!

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

Free WiFi Rental for Foreign Tourists in Shizuoka City (English, Chinese, Taiwanese & Korean)!

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On Novemebr 1st Shizuoka City decided to sponsor free WiFi rental for the sole benefit of foreign tourists until next March on a trial basis, by which time the City will decide whether to make it permanent!
First of all, bear in mind that such service can obtained in only one place, namely the Shizuoka City Tourist Information Center/静岡市総合観光案内所 located at the north entrance of Shizuoka City JR Station!
It is open any day of the week from 09:00 to 17:45!

Consult the official websites:
English: http://ninjawifi.com/en/
Japanese: http://ninjawifi.com/jp/
Mainland Chinese: http://ninjawifi.com/cn
Taiwanese: http://ninjawifi.com/tw
Hong Kong Chinese: http://ninjawifi.com/hkg
Korean: http://ninjawifi.com/kr

You will have to follow a strict procedure as follows:
-Step 1: Go to the Shizuoka-shi Tourist Informartion Center and tell the staff, “I’d like to rent a NINJA WiFi router.”
-Step 2: Take a a photo of the NINJA WiFi POP: take a photo of the NINJA WiFi POP with your smartphone and connect your smartphone to the NINJA WiFi located at the information center.
-Step 3: Post to SNS: Post the photo taken in Step 2 to an SNS, such as Facebook, Twitter, Line, YouTube or whichever you prefer.
-Step 4: Show the post: show the post to the staff.
-Step 5: Fill in the registration form: fill in the registration form and show your passport. Please allow the staff to make a copy of your passport.
-Step 6: Get the free WiFi: once the staff has verified the information, you will get a NINJA WiFi router.

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The WiFi router package!

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The package includes the router, peripheral devices, manuals and a Return by Delivery Form.

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The WiFi router!

Bear in mind that only visitors with “short term visitors Visa” are eligible to apply.
You can use this WiFi router anywhere in Japan

When returning the WiFi router by free delivery you have to return 1) the pouch, 2) WiFi router (303ZT), 3) the USB cable, 4)The Charging Adapter.

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You then put the whole into the return kit envelope, fill in the form and hand it to convenience store as cited below:

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Otherwise you can return it at the following airports:
Narita Airport (Terminal 1), Narita Airport (Terminal 2), Haneda Airport, Chubu Centrair International Airport, Kansai International Airport, New Chitose Airport, Komatsu Airport, Fukuoka Aiport, Naha Airport

Copy the documents below for more precise information:

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English pamphlet

WI-FI-10

English application form

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English Terms & Conditions of Use

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Chinese pamphlet, front

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Chinese pamphlet, back

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Chinese application form

WI-FI-15

Chinese Terms & Conditions of Use

WI-FI-16

Taiwanese pamphlet, front

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Taiwanese pamphlet, back

WI-FI-18

Taiwanese application form

WI-FI-19

Taiwanese Terms & Conditions of Use

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Korean pamphlet, front

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Korean pamphlet, back

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Korean application form

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Korean Terms & Conditions of Use

Bon voyage!

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

Ishida Shrine (石田神社) in Ishida, Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!

As I said before Suruga Ku, the area south of Shizuoka JR Station is literally sprinkled with ancient small and quaint Shinto Shrines I mostly discover during my bicycle rides in that particular area!

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About 5 minutes (count 10 to find it) ride from The station stands Ishida Shrine (石田神社) stands in an area of the same name.

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Although small and almost derelict locals have been offering new torii gates!

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Very small stone hand washing basin (Chōzuya) but with its own roof!

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Two smart looking lions (“Shishi” Or “komainu”) are guarding the shrine!

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The Left hand one with its closed maw!

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The right hand one with its mouth open!

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This wooden board indicates that the shrine was rebuilt in 1875 although it has been a site where shrines have been erected for at least 1,000 years!

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The shrine (jinjya) with two stone lanterns (ishi-dōrō)!

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Stag carving!

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Mountain carving!

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The other lantern sports not a doe but a stag with longer antlers!

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The main worship hall (Heiden)!

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With is rice straw garland (shimenawa) and bell and rope.
I didn’t notice any money offering box (saisen) so I suppose worshippers throw their coins through the door or into the box of smaller shrines also found on the site!

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The roof top pinion!

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Roofing design!

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One of the two lanterns stands.
The left one is decorated with an animal carving!

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The plain lantern wooden stand on the right!

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A small shrine (kamidana) on the right!

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Two more on the left!

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An even smaller and more ancient one made of stone and bearing a rice straw garland!

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And still another one!

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The partly restored inner shrine (honden) barred to the public!

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The cross beams (chigi) show that the local deity is male!
Actually, I had made a continuous mistake about this particular point which was pointed out to me by Facebook friend who just happened to be praying there!

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Only the roofing seems to be the original part!

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Trees are still standing in the middle of the residential area!

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Good-bye, Ishida Shrine!

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

Munagata Shrine (宗方神社) in Okitsu, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

You will find Munagata Shrine by getting off Okitsu Station along the Tokaidou Railway Line and walking for a few minutes on the left of the station!

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You will have to go through at least 3 Torii gates if you acceess the place from its furthest entrance along the main thoroughfare!

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The second torii gate!

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Thus very torii gate is almost 100 years old although the shrine is far older!

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Getting near the main shrine!

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The third torii gate!

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Spectacular pine trees!

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Plenty of history to study!

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The roofed hand washing stone basin!

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The roofing indicates that the a Goddess is looking after the sacred site!

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The left-hand side stone lantern!

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A cloud and a doe!

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The right-hand side stone lantern!

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A cloud and a stag!

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Approaching the main shrine!

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The two lion guards!

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The left-hand lion guard with its maw closed!

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The right-hand lion guard with its mouth open!

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The “haiden shrine”, the only accessible to the public!

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The money-offerings wooden box with the shrine’s crest!

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The rice straw garland, three bells and their ropes!

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Munagata Shrine/宗方神社!

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Barrels of sake produced by Sanwa Brewery in Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

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Inside the shrine!

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Side view of the haiden shrine!

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The honden hall closed to the public!

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The whole edifice is surrounded with many venerable cedar trees!

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Back view of the honden hall!

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A closer view!

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Beautiful roofing!

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A smaller ancient shrine among the trees!

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Its two tiny lion guards!

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I wonder why the left one has its mouth open? Very unusual!

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Same for the right-hand one!

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A last look at the honden hall!

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The pinion!

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Walking away from it!

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Good-bye, Munagata Shrine!

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

Kinomoto Shrine (木之元神社) in Yoshiwara, Fuji City!

If you come out the south exit of Yoshiwara/吉原 Station between Fuji/富士 Station and Higasi Tago no Ura/東田子の浦 Station walk to your left on the main street and after 5 minutes you will find yourself at the bottom of a typical small rural Shinto Shrine!

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It is only a short way upstairs!

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The torii/鳥居, sacred gate!

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Kinomoto Shrine plaque!

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The small roofed concrete hand-washing basin!

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A short paved way to the shrine!

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The left lion guard with its mouth shut!

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The right lion guard with its open mouth!

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A venerable stone lantern!

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The “haiden/worshipers’ hall”!

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The sacred rice straw garland, the bell rope and the money offerings box!

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The whole shrine is well maintained!

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Side view!

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Another small shrine called Fushimi Inari Daimyoujin! The Goddess Inari looks after rice growers in particular!

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The Honden/sacred hall closed to the public!

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The roof decorations indicate that the shrine God is actually a Goddess!

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Good-bye, Kinomoto Shrine!

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

Arabian Nights Build Raika III in Yoshiwara, Fuji City-The Tackiest Building in Shizuoka Prefecture!

Sometimes, through pure chance, you discover a seemingly completely out of place sight in a city in Japan!

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At the very end of Honcho Street in Yoshiwara,Fuji City, I discovered what could be considered the tackiest building in Shizuoka Prefecture: Arabian Nights Build Raika III!

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The side entrance to the access to the joints on the side of the buuilding.
Mind you it just for a field day for a photographer in search of the unusual of of the very bad taste of an era gone!

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Stairway to heaven?

It is actually still very much in use!
Obviously the whole building houses entertainments of the dubious kind…
Interestingly enough, the name of “Yoshiwara” is found in many a city in Japan as the name for the local “amusement quarters”!

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I wonder if ladies invite customers from that veranda at night?

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Two of the signs say “Holy Night” and “Casanova”!

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The flowers on the first flower means that a new place has just opened!

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Not short of well-wishers!

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Stained glass windows?

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Pity I didn’t have the time to admire it with all the neon lights ablaze at night!

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Did you know that the color “pink” in Japan means the same as the color “blue” in Western countries? LOL

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An emergency escape route for a pennyless customer?

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A Ramen Club! Serious!

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Still a Chinese Dragon is a bit out of place, a desert jinn wuld have been more appropriate!

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The irony of it all is that the back exit of the alley opens onto a large Buddhist temple cemetery!
From Paradise to Hell, or vice versa?

Access:
Get off at Yoshiwara JR Railway Station along the Tokaido railway Line. Transfer to the Yaoshiwara Station of the private Gakunan Railways and get off at “Yoshiwara Honcho” Station.
Walk straight till the very end of Honcho Street!

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

Manhole Covers in Shizuoka Prefecture 36: Fuji City, Yoshiwara, Honcho!

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With all the mergers enacted these past years, it has become difficult to explain locations in Shizuoka Prefecture!
Yoshiwara is now integral part of Fuji City but its JR Railway Station is distinct!
First get off Yoshiwara Station and walk to the private Gakunan raliway Line Yoshiwara Station and board a train to Yoshiwara Honcho Station (bear mind that many stations have very similar names!).
Walk towards Honcho Street.

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SN3O0515

Keep your eyes open as you will discover all kinds of manhole covers, mostly fire hydrant covers either of geometrical designs or full designs either plain or colored, either on the pavement or on the very street!

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A large plain Mount Fuji manhole cover!

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The same in a smaller type!

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SN3O0484

But the real discoveries are to be made along the street parallel on your right you will reach by discovering the Tenjin Shinto Shrine/天神社 at the first intersection! you will find the first remarkable manhole cover right in front of the shrine gate!

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A beautifully colored Mount Fuji!

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What is this one!

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SN3O0478

“Kaguyahime/かぐや姫/The bamboo Girl Legend”, the manhole cover generally considered as the most beautiful in Japan, complete with Mount Fuji!

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SN3O0492

Keep your eyes open!

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Another fire hydrant manhole cover! These are often surrounded with a square yellow frame for better sighting at night!
This design is pretty common all over Japan, but a small crest design will tell you the exact location!

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SN3O0481

A beautiful fire truck design, also pretty common throughout Japan but once again the small crest design will make the difference!

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SN3O0489

Don’t overlook the small gas valve covers as they sometimes have all kinds of designs!

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SN3O0494

Another one still with same crest design!

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And another one!

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This one is from the Shizuoka Gas Company found all over the Prefecture!

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Happy hunting!

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