Blog

2017/11/12

Books

 

Although people think “Bunna” is a children’s book, I think that adults also should read it. When Mizukami was alive, he used to say “If there are novels go down to posterity among my books, they will be only ‘Starvation Strait’ and ‘Bunna’.”

 

Mizukami reportedly wanted to think about war and peace in the world with mothers and children by writing this book. He also wrote “In this world, all living things and they can live equally under the sun. But this world is where the weak are the victims of the strong. I believe that the horrible, sad and beautiful things that Bunna experienced on the tree make children think and develop to establish self in life.”

 

In fact, the top of the tree Bunna climbed looked like a paradise first was a food storage for kites.

 

Bunna’s mother said. “Doing good to others is okay. But you must use good judgement for the other. Some people override good intensions.” Her such words, cruelty of human children and miserable small animals bullied by children or bigger animals tell you inner strength to live.

 

If you have young children and want to read them something, I recommend “Bunna”.
When you read it, I am sure that you enter into the world of Bunna. (H.S)

2017/11/10

Places to visit

As I introduced in our previous blog, I had the opportunity to join a tour visiting Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins in June 2017. I went with the president of the Hotel Riverge Akebono, Mr. Shimizu, the intern of the hotel, Ms. Julia Coslian, the manager of Fukui City Hospitality and Tourism Promotion Office, Mr. Takama and his staff member, Mr. Juancho Santamaria.

 

 


The Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins is a large site with a very interesting history. At the information desk, visitors can borrow an iPad to use throughout the area, which shows how things were built during the civil war period in Japan. English versions of the iPads are also available, so visitors from overseas can enjoy this place and its history.

 

 

As soon as we walked into the old town, which was reproduced based on the ruins there, so many interesting things caught our eyes and we felt the atmosphere change.

 

Mr. Shimizu explained to us how and why the town was built in the way they are now. He explained it to us simply so it was very fun and interesting for us to learn about the Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins and Japanese history.

 

 

For example, when entering the town from the area where enemies would have entered, you can’t see the end of the street.

 

 

However, from the end of the street where residents would have lived, they could easily see enemies entering the town. Therefore, the residents were able to prepare for battles.
Julia was surprised to see the way the town was built for battle.

 

 

Juancho, a Fukui City Hospitality and Tourism Promotion Officer, is fluent in both Japanese and English so he participated in this tour as an interpreter that day. With Juancho and Mr. Shimizu’s explanation in Japanese and English, Julia seemed to enjoy experiencing the Japanese history and knowing about Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins.

 

I myself think it is best to visit actual places like this and not simply read from books or watch TV to understand the charms of such places. I also think that the Fukui accent and dialect, which sound relaxing, are an important part of Fukui’s charm.

 

 

More importantly, talking to others with a smile is one of the key values of Japanese “Omotenashi” culture.

 

 

DID YOU KNOW?

Although Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins has a rich history as the ruins of a feudal lord during a period of brutal civil war in Japan, it has also found fame as the filming location of a commercial for a popular Japanese cellular phone company.

One of the actresses in the commercial is so famous in Japan that she was too busy to participate in the filming of the commercial at the same time as the other actors and actresses. It is little known but the producers actually used a CGI version of her for the commercial! If you have a chance to watch the commercial, see if you can spot which actress is CGI.

 

Stay tuned for the next blog!

 

T.F

 

 

You can see some tourist attractions and the directions to these places from the webpage, "Hotel Reiverge Akebono, Tourist attractions around our hotel".

Made by Julia during her internship, this webpage has directions that are easy to follow.

She researched these tourist attractions, before visiting them and experiencing

the charms of Fukui herself. As I mentioned in our blog, it can be difficult for tourists

to get to some great places in Fukui, so this map that Julia made will help you

get around easier.

 

There is also a Japanese version of this webpage(only available in Japanese).

However, some of the places which are introduced on the Japanese webpage

are different to the English version that Julia made.

2017/11/05

Life in Fukui

The other day I received a handmade pouch present from a friend of mine.
I am very happy when I get a handmade present.
She has been taken by handicraft recently and enjoys making various items.
The pouch looks easy to put things, so I think it’s good for travel.
For me, who is a cat-friendly person, the cloth is with a cat pattern.
I like the color too.

 

Well, what should I put in it?
Just thinking about it makes me fun.
She said that it was quite difficult to sew the cloth into the clasp but it was the beautiful finish.
I have done knitting for a little bit but I have not done handicrafts at all so I really admire her.
I would like to try handicrafts sometime. (H.S)

 


Inside cloth is good too.

 


The yellow one is for another friend.
The red one is for herself.

2017/10/31

Places to visit

A photo of an exterior view of the restaurant Tempura Yaguruma from the official website of Tempura Yaguruma
A photo of the sign outside of the restaurant Tempura Yaguruma from teh official website of Tempura Yaguruma

Source: Photographs of the restaurant, “Tempura Yaguruma” from the photo gallery of the official website of Tempura Yaguruma(the website is available only in Japanese)

 

As I introduced in our last blog, I had opportunity to join a tour visiting Ichijodani Asakura Clan Ruins with the president of the Hotel Riverge Akebono, Mr. Shimizu, and the intern of the hotel, Ms. Julia Coslian, the manager of Fukui City Hospitality and Tourism Promotion Office, Mr. Takama and his staff member, Mr. Juancho Santamaria in June 2017.

 

Before heading to Ichijodani Asakura Clans Ruins, we had lunch at the tempura restaurant, "Tempura Yaguruma" (the website is available only in Japanese) which is a popular tempura restaurants in Fukui.

 

 

a photo of a small waterfall in Tempura Yaguruma from the official website of Tempura Yaguruma
a photo of a tempura cook is cooking tempura in Tempura Yaguruma from the official website of Tempura Yaguruma

Source: Photographs of the restaurant, from the photo gallery of the official website of Tempura Yaguruma(the website is available only in Japanese)

 

At “Tempura Yaguruma”, you can enjoy watching the traditional Japanese garden with a small waterfall, and the Japanese chef cooking tempura in front of you while you are eating.

 

 

a photo of one of the special combos at Tempura Yaguruma

There were many foods on the menu that all looked delicious so we couldn’t decide what to order. Mr. Shimizu suggested we order their special lunch combos.

 

Shortly after we ordered, a lady who works at the restaurant started serving our meals with a lovely and polite smile. First, Miso soup (the taste of the soup was amazing) then, Japanese pickled vegetables and freshly cooked rice were served. It was free refills on the rice. Following that, the tempura was served, which was cooked in the middle of the restaurant where everyone could see the chef prepare it.

 

As the chef finished cooking, the freshly made tempura, which was crispy and hot, was served for each of us. I loved the crispness of the vegetable, fish and shrimp tempura. The lunch combos were quite substantial. I would like to suggest this lunch combo to people who visit Fukui.

 

The condiments (or you may call it toppings) are a small plate of grated radish and chopped Welsh onions that are served with the tempura. We call it “Yakumi” and it can be added to your soup or tempura depending on your preference.

 

 

how to use chopsticks in English

Source: dremstime, HOW TO USE CHOPSTICKS

 

I was amazed by how Julia and Juancho were using chopsticks skillfully and enjoying every meal without any problem. I realized that it is common for people from outside of Asia to be able to use chopsticks well these days.

 

 

a photo of the garden in Tempura Yaguruma from the official site of Tempura Yaguruma

Source: Photographs of the restaurant, from the photo gallery of the official website of Tempura Yaguruma(the website is available only in Japanese)

 

Julia and Juancho seemed impressed by the meal and the traditional Japanese garden at the restaurant.

 

 

taboos for using chopsticks in English,

Source: Japanzine Japan’s Must-Read Mgazine, Chopstick Crimes

 

rules for eating Japanese food in English

Source: Hugh FoxⅢ Multicultural Lessons, Japan

 

To be able to eat Japanese food in the traditional way, there are many rules and manners one must know. Even some Japanese people find following the rules perfectly a challenge. Julia found it difficult as well. She said that because there is a certain order and etiquette when eating traditional Japanese food, she must watch others to enjoy it to learn properly.

 

As a Japanese person, I thought I knew how to have traditional Japanese food properly, but I realized that there are rules and manners I am still unsure about such as the order in which to eat, how to hold the bowl for miso soup and everything in between. I would like to properly learn it again to be able to teach others, especially from overseas, the rules, etiquette and the beauty of Japanese food.

 

Stay tuned for the next blog!

 

T.F

 

 

You can see some tourist attractions and the directions to these places from the webpage, "Hotel Reiverge Akebono, Tourist attractions around our hotel".

Made by Julia during her internship, this webpage has directions that are easy to follow.

She researched these tourist attractions, before visiting them and experiencing

the charms of Fukui herself. I'm sure that this map will help you get around easier.

 

There is also a Japanese version of this webpage(only available in Japanese).

However, some of the places which are introduced on the Japanese webpage

are different to the English version that Julia made.

2017/10/29

Gourmet

As autumn deepens, I think you miss hot meals.
And I went to the Russian restaurant “Soupya” for the first time in a long time.
Probably, it is the only restaurant which serves authentic Russian dishes in Fukui City.
I think “Soupya” was located originally in a shopping street close to Katamachi and then
moved to the present residential area located on a hill. Even since then, it has been quite
some time so you might say it is a long-established restaurant.

 

Now I arrived at the restaurant, when I was parking my car, presumed its owner
came out and guided to park. It was quite dark already and my car has no back monitor,
so it was thoughtful.

 

When I looked at the menu outside the door, I decided B course. Because it includes
borscht, piroshki and gryby!

 

I was guided to a table beside the window and had a quiet meal looking taillights of cars go by below. And I thought that there were few restaurants such a location in Fukui.
Recently, the number of cafes along the Echizen Coast have increased but restaurants and bars along a river like in Kyoto or with the evening view, or a stream of cars as a part of view are still few.

 

So, how about making riverside summer terrace on the Asuwa River bank?
Or, how about inviting Starbucks at the foot of Saiwai Bridge like Sanjo-ohashi Bridge in Kyoto? Things unrelated to Russia popped into my head while eating ;) (H.S)

 


The exterior of the Soupya

 


Ornaments in the entrance hall

 


Inside the Soupya

 


There were Cheburashka, Putin and Medvedev on the rear wall of my table.

 


Start with borscht. Sour cream adds deep taste.

 


Freshly fried piroshki was soft and delicious.
Put mayonnaise or ketchup as desired.

 


Main gryby. You can choose fillings out of several kinds.
I chose cheese and mushrooms.

 


Dessert and chai. Russian tea is thought to put jam in tea but in fact, Russian people put jam in the mouth first and have tea, the owner told me.

 

2017/10/23

Life in Fukui

This autumn, Ichihomare, new brand-name rice which Fukui Prefecture is proud of, was ready for harvest for the first time and its sales started on a trial basis. Then, I bought and tried it immediately.

 

When I look it cooked, it was glossy and shining. It isn’t need to wait for eating to know that it is delicious. Then at last, I had a taste nervously and I felt elastic first. Each grain was soft but firm and had a perfect gummy texture. Also, its delicious taste and sweetness were great.
I realized again that rice is such delicious. Actually, after I ate Ichihomare, I came to feel that even Koshihikari tasted like something is missing.

 

In fact, my family grows Koshihikari, but are we going to grow Ichihomare someday?
I am looking forward to it. (H.S)

 

Remarks : Ichi means the best, homare means honor.

 

2017/10/19

Places to visit

福井「越前・若狭」の旅情報 ふくいドットコムより

Source:Travel Information of Echizen and Wakasa in Fukui Prefecture from Fukui Tourism Guide

 

There are many places that are very interesting and attractive for people to visit in Fukui. However, I often hear that not too many people visit Fukui. I would like more people to know about our beautiful city and come here to visit.

 

Julia, an intern from the USA at the Hotel Riverge Akebono

As I introduced in our previous blog (part-1), Julia, an intern from the USA at the Hotel Riverge Akebono, and I had a chance to talk about why not so many people visit Fukui.

 

She said that there are amazing places in Fukui but most of the places are difficult to get to. Even she wants to go to some places in Fukui by taking public transportation but there are no English signs and/or announcements on them.

 

When I took a local train in Fukui the other day, there was English guidance but not on local buses in Fukui. To visit many interesting places in Fukui, we need buses to reach them if we don’t drive, so I started remembering what Julia said. Some visitors from overseas would be ok going there without any English guidance but I’m sure for many of them it can be inconvenient. I had the same experience in the USA. There was no Japanese guidance on buses and trains and it was very inconvenient for me. After a few years, I was confident enough to ask people because I learned English, but before that, I did not event want to take buses and/or trains even though I wanted to go to many interesting places.

 

I hope people take what Julia said seriously to solve these problems and more people will want to visit Fukui.

 

Stay tuned for Part-3!

 

T.F

 

 

You can see some tourist attractions and the directions to these places from the webpage, "Hotel Reiverge Akebono, Tourist attractions around our hotel".

Made by Julia during her internship, this webpage has directions that are easy to follow.

She researched these tourist attractions, before visiting them and experiencing

the charms of Fukui herself. I'm sure that this map will help you get around easier.

 

There is also a Japanese version of this webpage(only available in Japanese).

However, some of the places which are introduced on the Japanese webpage

are different to the English version that Julia made.

2017/10/15

Festivals & Events

I went to the Takefu Chrysanthemum Doll Festival in Echizen City after a long time.
Speaking of the Takefu Chrysanthemum Doll Festival, it’s a very familiar event in Fukui.
When I see an announcement about its opening, I feel that autumn has truly arrived.
On the other hand, I thought that it always had finished before I was aware.
This year, it has been held from October 5th to November 5th.

 

When I got the site, I found the facilities have greatly improved. “Daruma Doll Square” supervised by Satoshi Kako, who is a famous picture book author from Echizen City, was completed. There are cafe and bakery in a new facility which is next to Echizen City Culture Center. In the main building for chrysanthemum dolls, there are countless numbers of chrysanthemums dressing dolls in many scenes of a popular NHK historical drama.

 

Also, for the first time, I saw the stage of OSK Nippon Revue, which is another main event of the festival. The OSK Nippon Revue, which is called one of the three major girl revues in Japan, was established in 1922 and they are active and based in Osaka. The stage is titled “OSK Symphony” and they show a glammorous one-hour revue. There are “Beauty And the Beast” dance, flamenco, jazz dance, funny hip-hop dance featuring Fukui dialect and line dance. Even more than the great songs and dances, Yan Rin, who is playing a male part, is so cool and good looking. And female part dancers’ cute smiles made me feel comforted.

 

While the show, Yan Rin and other members came down to the audience seats, so you can feel much closer to them. Their one-month performance at the festival is a grueling schedule that they play twice on weekdays, three times on the weekends and days off is only one day. Furthermore, I was touched by Yan Rin’s greeting at the end “We have practiced very hard for a long time to show great stage to everybody here.” I wish I could go to see them again before the final day. If you want to go to see them, please enter the center early because there are many fans from Osaka there. (H.S)

 


There were still a lot of buds, so it will be more beautiful in the latter half.

 


The lead role, Naotora Ii.

 


Naotra, when she was a trainee priest.

 


The leftmost is Naomasa Ii.

 


Artisans of growing chrysanthemums come all this way from Yamagata Prefecture.

 


Huge Yan Rin is waiting for you at the Echizen City Culture Center, where is the hall of the OSK Revue.

2017/10/10

Gourmet

*Izakaya means Japanese style pub
Today, I will introduce an izakaya which has a little difficult name to read. The izakaya
is located in a corner of Katamachi area, where is a restaurant district in Fukui City.
Those who have visited the Kunten say that everything is good there. So I have always
wanted to go and I finally went there the other day.

 

The first thing that I was surprised when I entered the izakaya was the number of
the menu written on the blackboards. It has gone beyond izakaya and I could call “Bistro where you can eat Japanese food as well” because they have many Italian and French menus. In addition, all of those are delicious. Especially the penne was much better than Italian
restaurants around here.

 

In fact, the woman owner cooks all dishes by herself at the izakaya and the staff is all women. As it is a small izakaya, it’s not noisy and the dishes are served at an appropriate time so I think that it’s a good one to enjoy meal and drink over conversation with friends.

 

It is a popular izakaya, so you should make a reservation before going. I would strongly
recommend the Kunten. It is a really good izakaya. (H.S)

 


The entrance

 


The customers sitting at the counter are thinking what they will order while looking the blackboard menu.

 


An appetizer

 


Tender and delicious seared beef with wasabi

 


The Gorgonzola penne is superb.

 


Clams and shrimps fried in garlic oil with baguette.
I had it with red wine.

 

 

2017/10/06

Places to visit

Visiting Ichijodani Asakura Clans Ruins

It just so happens that by coincidence I had opportunity to join a tour visiting

Ichijodani Asakura Clans Ruins with the president of the Hotel Riverge Akebono,

Mr. Shimizu, and the intern of the hotel, Ms. Julia Coslian,

the manager of Fukui City Hospitality and Tourism Promotion Office

(the information is only available in Japanese), Mr. Takama

and his staff member, Mr. Juancho Santamaria in June 2017.

 

 

Julia, the intern at the Hotel Riverge Akebono

Julia is from the USA and is a university student majoring in hospitality and tourism.

She had worked at Hotel Riverge Akebono from May to July of 2017 as an intern.

During her time here, she has learned the charms of Fukui and the spirit of Omotenashi

(hospitality).

 

The purpose of visiting Ichijodani Asakura Clans Ruins was for Julia to see the ruins and

experience the charms of Fukui and Japanese history. The town, which was rebuilt,

can show visitors how people used to live in the Warring State Era. Mr. Shimizu, Mr. Takama

and the guide explained the history of the ruins to Julia so she was able to learn why the ruins

were built, who lived there, and more.

 

Let’s see how Julia felt about visiting Ichijodani Asakura Clans Ruins,

and Japanese/Fukui language and culture.

 

Stay tuned for the next blog!

 

T.F

 

 

You can see some tourist attractions and the directions to these places from the webpage, "Hotel Reiverge Akebono, Tourist attractions around our hotel".

Made by Julia during her internship, this webpage has directions that are easy to follow.

She researched these tourist attractions, before visiting them and experiencing

the charms of Fukui herself. As I mentioned in our blog, it can be difficult for tourists

to get to some great places in Fukui, so this map that Julia made will help you

get around easier.

 

There is also a Japanese version of this webpage(only available in Japanese).

However, some of the places which are introduced on the Japanese webpage

are different to the English version that Julia made.

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