The main character, Yuino works as a beauty expert at a beauty counter in a shopping center in Fukui. Ms. Miyashita was born and lives in Fukui City, so when I wonder "Probably
Ms. Miyashita modeled on that shopping center?", I feel the novel familiar to me.


The title "Melody Fair" means "Melody Fair" of The Bee Gees.
The song makes me feel nostalgic because it was the theme song of a British film "Melody"(1971), which was very popular in Japan as well.
In the novel, the song is played on the closing time of the shopping center where Yuino works.


The story depicts, in a subdued manner, Yuino's work and life at home.
In the story, Fukui dialect gives it snap.


I thought that people from other prefectures couldn't understand Fukui dialect,
but unexpectedly they may be able to understand in a context of a story.
Anyway, Ms. Miyashita used native Fukui dialect without reserve in the story.
Also, through the characters, she expressed disagreement with strange Japanese which young people use lately.


It was a novel which I could relax with Fukui dialect, brought back memories of a childhood that everyone else has, and could realize the magic of makeup. (H.S)


Production Notes


Even though it looks as simple as it should be found at 100 yen shop, I was looking for it for a long time. But finally I got it at It is a ring sold as a gate for drone racing, made of thin cloth and wire with an inner diameter of 35 cm and an outer diameter of 48 cm.

Hanging these on a microphone stand, I use them for practicing to manipulate drone with a small toy multicopter. But actually it's hard to fly the aircraft through the rings without touching them. If you do not control it accurately, then it crashes quite easily.



Mikuni Fireworks on the water
Official Website for Mikuni Fireworks

Every August 11th, Mikuni Fireworks is held at Mikuni Sunset Beach in Mikuni-cho, Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture. It will be 38th annual festival this year, and about 10 different kinds of fireworks blasting off into the night sky. It’ll last for about an hour.


① 2-shaku-dama firework

A round firework with a circumference of about 60 centimeters shell

The weight of the ball of the firework is 70 kilograms

Explodes at an altitude of 450 meters


② Shaku-dama firework

A round firework with a circumference of about 30 centimeters shell

The weight of the ball of the firework is 8.5 kilograms

Explodes at an altitude of 300 meters

Creates an illumination 280 meters in diameter


③ The 7-gou dama firework

A round firework with a circumference of about 20 centimeters shell

The weight of the ball of the firework is 3 kilograms

Explodes at an altitude of 250 meters

Creates an illumination 200 meters in diameter


④ The 5-gou dama firework

A round firework with a circumference of about 14.4 centimeters shell

The weight of the ball of the firework is 1.3 kilograms

Explodes at an altitude of 200 meters

Creates an illumination 150 meters in diameter


⑤ The 4-gou dama firework

A round firework with a circumference of about 11.5 centimeters shell

The weight of the ball of the firework is 0.5 kilograms

Explodes at an altitude of 150 meters in diameter

Creates an illumination 120 meters in diameter


⑥ The 3-gou dama Star Mine (star mine is a rapid-fire series of fireworks) firework

A round firework with a circumference of about 8.6 centimeters shell

The weight of the ball of the firework is 0.5 kilograms

Explodes at an altitude of 150 meters in diameter

Creates an illumination 120meters in diameter

⑦ Star Mine (a rapid-fire series of fireworks) firework

⑧ Niagara Falls firework (fireworks which look like the Niagara Falls)

⑨ Set pieces firework

⑩ Underwater firework (4-gou dama firework~2-shaku-dama firework)



Here’s a video I took at Mikuni Fireworks Festival last year. Please enjoy it!

The venue is at the beach, so it was very soothing just to be there and it was enjoyable to see the spectacular fireworks.


If you have a chance to visit the Mikuni Fireworks Festival, enjoy it!




Official website for Mikuni Fireworks:
The38th Mikuni Fireworks
*only available in Japanese



The "bakerium" was opened last year.
The breads are in a showcase and they sell them face-to-face.
I think that it is hygienic and you don’t have to buy breads on impulse.


The inside of the shop has a nice atmosphere, which looks like some kind of a retro variety shop. The breads are made carefully and taste very good. (H.S)


The nameboard of the shop.
It is stylish and doesn’t look like a bakery.


Around the entrance.


The logo looks nice on the bag.


The breads I bought that day.
They gave me a spinach bread as a service.
Somehow I was very happy to get only a bread for free.


Life in Fukui

Countryside scenery in Sue-machi, Fukui City


Electric fences are always installed around the fields near mountains as well as in Fukui. It is to prevent animals such as wild boar, deer, monkey, raccoon and masked musang from entering agricultural fields.


Power supply for electric fence


The power supply for the electric fence found on a roadside had the product name "Animal killer".


Although it does not actually kill animals, it just gives animals an electric shock. It might not be appealing to farmers who suffer from animal damage unless the name has strength like that.



“Le PLUS MUCHO” opened last year. Two chefs, one who loves Spain and Spanish food and the other does France and French food, started the restaurant. The other day, I went there for lunch for the first time.


They have two ‘set-lunches’ and I ordered paella course. The other is meat dish. For dinner, they have tapas and homemade sausages, so you can have a pleasant meal with wine. (H.S)


Salad of seasonal vegetables (A friend put a marinade salmon on it.)  


Paella is served with an individual-sized pan.


Dessert ‘Nougat glace’ was delicious.


It has a simple design with a high ceiling.


The entrance



Festivals & Events

2018 fukui phoenix festival's poster

As I introduced in our previous blog that one of the main events in the first day of

Fukui Phoenix Festival is Fukui Phoenix Fireworks, which will be held on August 3rd, 2018.


On the second day of the festival (Aug. 4th, 2018), you can definitely enjoy watching

Yosakoi Icchorai Dance (Yosakoi style dance in Fukui) which is very popular among

foreign people as well. It starts at 15:45 and ends at 21:20. 39 teams will be competing.


I asked a few foreigners who like the Yosakoi Icchorai Dance the reason why they like it

so much. Most of them have said that they like it because the costumes are bright and colorful

which catch the eye. They also have mentioned about how the aggressive type of music and

the energetic dance are very exciting and overwhelming. One of them also said that

the female dancers who wrap themselves with cloth called “sarashi” look very cool as well.



The video was taken last year (2017) at Fukui Phoenix Festival

during the Yosakoi Icchorai Dance event.


The dancers had the bright and colorful costume waving a tall and large flag and shouting

something in Japanese (I think they were saying “let’s go” or something like it).

Their powerful synchronized dance was really overwhelming.


The Yosakoi Icchorai Dance started in 1999.

The members of the youth group of Fukui Chamber of Commerce learned about

Yosakoi Soaran Festival which is a mixture of Hokkaido’s Soran Bhushi folk melodies and

an energetic dancing event based on the Yosakoi Festival of Kochi Prefecture.

The members of the youth group of Fukui Chamber of Commerce wanted to start

a similar event for local residents to participate in the Fukui Phoenix Festival.

This was the start of Yosakoi Icchorai Dance.


There are only two rules and they are very simple.

The dancers must dance with “Naruko (clappers)” and they also must have phrases of

Fukui’s Soran Bhushi folk melodies in the music they dance to.


If you have a chance to visit Fukui during summer time,

how about enjoying the Yosakoi Icchorai Dance?




Production Notes

I give lessons at the spacious ski slope of Karigahara ski area in Katsuyama City.


Practicing 'Compulsory flying' with the mark on the ground.


Since I've been using drone for taking videos, I became an instructor of drone as well.


Although it is often misunderstood, there is no so-called ’public license’ to manipulate drone, and in principle anyone can fly one.
However, for safety reasons, there are restrictions on places where you can freely fly it. Whether it is a hobby or a job, if you want to fly at a certain place, you need to receive 'permission / approval' of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
And I give lessons to get this permission / approval.


The lessons are held on applicant's preferred dates on a one-to-one basis.
People with various professions came for various purposes such as aerial photographing, surveillance, inspection and so on.
It is one of my pleasures to hear the stories of those people.



The “Kaika-tei sou-an”, which is the annex of a long-established restaurant located in quaint Hamamachi Street. A famous Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma designed it and its appearance which is covered latticed wood is very unique and modern-looking.


That is a restaurant to visit on a special day. A friend asked me to celebrate her birthday at the “Kaika-tei sou-an”, so I could visit the other day for the first time in years.


In a quiet and sophisticated atmosphere, I could enjoy the excellent meal and drink, which was such a luxurious moment. (H.S)


The latticed wood is a moderate screen from the outside.
It looks cool and calm especially during the summer season.


Dynamic summerlike flower arrangement at the entrance


Appetizer ‘Sea urchin tofu, water shield, young corn’


Soup ‘Conger pike with green tea and arrowroot, red and white thin noodles’


Grilled dish ‘Tilefish with XO, spinach sauce’


Special dish ‘Grilled Japanese beef with white miso souce’


Rice dish ‘Steamed rice topped with eel, miso soup’



Fukui Phoenix Festival 2018

Summer festival season has arrived.

It’s time to enjoy fireworks, festival foods, music, dance, etc.

One of the highlights of summer in Fukui is Fukui Phoenix Festival.

The festival will be held from August 3rd to August 5th, 2018.

Many events will be held in the 3 days at many places in the center of Fukui City.


Since Emperor Akihito is planning to abdicate the Chrysanthemum Throne next year,

it’s the last Fukui Phoenix Festival we will have in Heisei Period

(Heisei Period is 1/8/1989- will likely end on 4/30-2019).


The first Phoenix Festival was conducted in the 21st year of Showa Period (1946) by

Tasaburo Kumagai, the 10th mayor of Fukui City.


He had 2 purposes of having the festival. First, they wanted to pray for the war dead.

Second, they wanted to encourage and cheer up the citizen of Fukui City

to reconstruct the city.

From Fukui Phenix Fireworks, July 2015


The venue of the fireworks festival is by Asuwa river bank upper Kida Bridge and

it is about a 10-minute walk from JR Fukui station.

If the streets become crowded with many festival-goers which happens every year,

it might take longer than 10minutes, though.


During the Fukui Phoenix Festival, there will be many festival food stands and the game stands such as yo-yo scooping, super-ball scooping, goldfish scooping, cork shooting, etc.

All these stands will be opened around Fukui station as well, so before going to see the fireworks, they can enjoy them.


The firework festival starts at 19:30, and about 10,000 giant fireworks are shot in an hour expressing 6 scenes such as grace, popping, colorful, happiness, bonding, brilliant with music.
I’m sure you can enjoy it.


When you have a chance to come to Fukui during summer, how about experiencing

Fukui Phoenix Festival and the fireworks.




The 65 times Fukui Phoenix fireworks *You can change the language in the website