Japan Visitor: What's happening in Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Osaka, Shimane Japan

Home    Japan Travel Guide     Tokyo Guide     Contact     Auction Service     Japan Shop

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ozawa To Run In DPJ Race

小沢一郎

The decision of Ichiro Ozawa to run in the upcoming DPJ leadership contest against Naoto Kan may split the ruling party, many political observers believe.

Ichiro Ozawa and Naoto Kan

After receiving the backing of former Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Ozawa decided to enter the race against the incumbent Prime Minister, no doubt spurred by Kan's refusal to offer him a place in government.

A lingering money scandal seems likely to damage the 68-year-old's changes of taking the top job and an Ozawa win may not be popular with the majority of the Japanese electorate, though Ozawa's strong hand on the tiller could be welcomed by the business community, struggling with falling stock prices and the surge in the value of the yen.

Ozawa was in the news earlier this week for labeling Americans as "simple-minded" and "monocellular" in a speech to fellow lawmakers.

© JapanVisitor.com

Monday, August 30, 2010

Jerry's Pies Kyoto

Jerry's Pies Kyotoジェリーのパイ屋さん

A five-minute walk from JR Saga Arashiyama Station there is a bit of Britain smack in the heart of west Kyoto.

A one-man pie factory run by Gerry O'Donnell is on a side street not far from Marutamachi Dori a short distance from the tourist area of Arashiyama. Piemaster Gerry himself is originally from rural northern England.

Prior to arriving in Japan, he spent 23 years in Canada. He has now been in Kyoto 14 years; much of that time has been spent teaching English.

One night, though, he made a few pies for a friend - who said they were indeed lovely and that he should sell them.

Gerry didn't know quite what to make of this, but at the behest of the friend they took a few samples to a local cafe. The reaction was the same. And thus a business idea was born.

While still working days at the English language school grind, Gerry cooked at night.

His client base expanded to pubs, department stores, and cafes. His side business was becoming more and more of a real business.

When he was told of an impending - but undesired - transfer to another branch of the language school, he took the plunge and became a full-time piemaster.

With funding from his brother and a Japanese source, he set up the factory where he still works six days a week.

He began with a basic menu of pub pies, which included beef and beer, curry meat, meat & onion, chicken mushroom, vegetable and cheese.

In recent years, though, Gerry has moved on to dessert pies as well. If the above list does not have your mouth watering, read on:

Jerry's Pies Kyotoblueberry & custard
strawberry & custard
peach & custard & vanilla

Other new pies include quiche lorraine, beef and portwine, and tandoori chicken.

Online/fax ordering and delivery are possible.

Address

Crystal Court Saga, 1F 6-7 Setogawa-cho
Saga, Tenryuji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto
Open: 9AM-6PM (Closed on Sun.)
TEL/FAX: 075-862-3321

Jerry's Pies

Access

A five-minute walk from JR Saga Arashiyama Station.

© JapanVisitor.com

Photos:  ©Trevor Mogg

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Japan This Week 29 August 2010

今週の日本

Japan News.Japan and the Ancient Art of Shrugging

New York Times

日本可能干预汇率导致日元走软

Caijing

Satoshi Kon obituary

Guardian

Toyota recalls 1.33 million Corollas, Matrixes

Washington Post

Japan opens up its secret death chamber to the world

The Independent

Soñar el amor edénico de Mishima

El Pais

Foreigners can vote for DPJ leader

Japan Times

China ascendant - what now for Japan?

BBC

Nara la paisible se souvient dans le tapage qu'elle fut la capitale du Japon

Le Monde

Alex Ramirez sets Japan baseball record for RBIs

Yahoo Sports

Japan Shifting Views on Managers

New York Times

Digital age threatens Japanese translation service in District

Washington Post

Last week's Japan news

Japan Statistics

As of August 24, the city of Osaka has experienced 16 "extremely hot days" (35 degrees or warmer). Nagoya has recorded 14.

Source: Yomiuri Shinbun


© JapanVisitor

Book a hotel in Japan with Bookings

Japanese Fiction

Happi Coats

Tags

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Beckii Cruel

ベッキー・クルーエル

Beckii Cruel, aka Rebecca Flint, was the subject of an interesting BBC 3 documentary this month. The Isle of Man-born schoolgirl became a hit in Japan after posting videos of herself on YouTube dancing to J-pop songs in her bedroom. Long a fan of Japanese manga and anime, Beckii's doe-eyed looks fit perfectly the stereotype of a shojo manga character.

Spotted by a talent scout, Beckii was taken over to Tokyo for her 15 minutes of fame as a moe idol.


The documentary probes the Lolicon (Lolita complex) aspect of young girls dancing for the "entertainment" of a mainly older male audience, the pressures of making it big in Japan and the support Beckii has received from her policeman father, Derek, who clearly has one eye firmly on her earning potential.

Now with a Twitter page and a website, Beckii is hoping to go mainstream and we wish her well.

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Proxy Service
Japanese Dating
Tokyo Rental Apartments
Jobs in Japan
Rough Guide To Japan

Friday, August 27, 2010

Don't do the bag staff

こちらのレジはお客様に袋詰めにしていただきます

Don't do the bag staff

Shopping in Tokyo offers everything from the glamor of Ginza to the bling of Shibuya shopping. Yet don't forget the rather bleaker sections of town where the flashest thing around is old Mr. Tanaka's panama or Mrs. Kato's new tricycle. East Tokyo's Asakusa area is one such quarter, and, living not far from there, I was in the Takeya supermarket there this weekend.

English in Tokyo: everything from the linguistics department of Tokyo University, to ... Takeya supermarket. Even the worst "Japlish" generally manages to make, at worst, tenuous sense. But for the first time in a long time, this poster hanging above a check-out aisle in Takeya supermarket had me at a complete loss.

"I will not do the bag staff."

It sounded like a the pledge of a Boy Scout group prone to committing acts of sexual violence. Raise right hand. "I will not do the bag staff (however worked up they may get me)." Daring myself to lay eyes on the bag staff, I repeated it a couple of times for good measure, "I will not do the bag staff," "I will not do the bag staff!"

Baffled, breathing heavily, and blood racing, I raised my eyes to the Japanese text:

こちらのレジはお客様に袋詰めにしていただきます。(Kochira no reji wa o-kyaku-sama ni fukurozume ni shite itadakimasu), or, "Customers for this check out should fill their own bags."

In other words, the cashiers at such check outs just do the till, and the customer looks after putting his or her own purchases in the plastic bag provided.

I looked around guiltily, mopping my brow, hoping no one had noticed.

I figured out, firstly, the word "staff" is probably a mistaken transliteration of the word "stuff" (there being no short "a" sound in Japanese), "stuff" in turn being a strange vocabulary alternative for the meaning "pack."

We now have "I will not do the bag pack(ing)," or, "I won't pack your bags," i.e. an instance of reported speech put in the mouth of the cashier him/herself.

Japlish

All impure connotations now swept from my mind, I exited with my bag (which, incidentally, the cashier DID kindly pack for me) only to be accosted by a poster on the wall outside featuring what at first glance struck me as a pink fleshy cartoon rendition of a curvacious, voluptuous Henry Moore objet d'art. Again, completely wrong - and tellingly filthy minded of me.

It was the bulbous, nail-varnished fist of a angry yet bambi-eyed Japanese policewoman yelling at me "痴漢は犯罪です!”(Chikan wa hanzai desu!), or "Sexual harassment is a crime!" Subtitle: あなたの一生台無しに! (Anata no isshou o dainashi ni!) "It will ruin your life forever!"

OK, I get it! I get it! I was just here to shop - for godsake.

© JapanVisitor.com

Thursday, August 26, 2010

JapanVisitor On YouTube

ビデオ

Visit JapanVisitor's channel on YouTube for our latest videos on Japan.

JapanVisitor On YouTube

JapanFilms has videos on Japanese festivals, Japanese trains, Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and an off-the-wall section. See our Japan video library for a list of video titles.

© JapanVisitor.com

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Canal City Fukuoka Jon Jerde

Canal City in Fukuoka takes the "city-within-a-city" theme that has been prevalent recently in Japan and combines it with a shopping complex to create what its creators call a "city theatre" in downtown Fukuoka.

Canal City Fukuoka Kyushu

Canal City is home to over 250 shops ranging from cosmetics to sporting goods and houses a movie theater and duty-free shops as well. There are also a number of restaurants featuring a wide variety of cuisines.

One of the main aesthetic features of the complex is the 180-meter long canal that runs through the middles of the site. There are also fountain shows which take place every 30 minutes. Shows at the top of the hour feature music while the others have no music.


Canal City Fukuoka Kyushu

Canal City is separated into five areas, Sea Court, Earth Walk, Sun Plaza Stage, and Moon Walk, each with its own specific design and colorization.

The complex is also dressed up with decorations from the various seasons, such as special Christmas designs in the winter and Halloween decor in autumn among others.

In addition to the multitude of ways to amuse oneself, live performances are held on the Sun Plaza Stage almost daily.

Canal City rests between Tenjin and Hakata stations and is easily accessed on foot or by public transport from both stations. Canal Town is also in the vicinity of other Fukuoka attractions such as the Kushida Shrine and Hakata Machiya Folk Museum.

© Jason Coskrey & JapanVisitor.com

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Fukuoka Dome

福岡ドーム

Sitting in a picturesque setting beside a river is Fukuoka Yahoo! Japan Dome, Japan's first multi-purpose stadium with a retractable roof, located in Fukuoka, Kyushu.

Fukuoka Dome Kyushu

Most commonly referred to as Fukuoka Dome, it's original name, or Yahoo Dome, the facility was opened on April 2, 1993.

The stadium has thousands of movable seats which allows it to host a variety of sporting events, such as American football games and has even hosted motor cross races.


Fukuoka Dome Kyushu Japan

Like the Tokyo Dome, a number of musicians, including the late Michael Jackson, have held concerts at Fukuoka Dome.

Mostly, the stadium is used as the home of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks baseball team and also hosted the first game of the 2010 NPB All-Star series. Games are played with the roof closed, though it is opened on occasion following Hawks' wins.


Fukuoka Dome Kyushu Japan

As a baseball stadium, Fukuoka Dome has a capacity of 36,253. The facility is surrounded by Hawks Town, which is a resort style area in Fukuoka that also features a hotel, mall and restaurants.

Hawks Town, also offers a Dome Tour, which is a tour that takes attendees onto the field, locker rooms and dugouts.

Fukuoka Dome, 2丁目-2-2-2 地行浜 中央区 福岡市 福岡県 810-8660, Japan

© Jason Coskrey & JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japanese Friends
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan

Tags




Monday, August 23, 2010

Final Fantasy Potions

ファイナルファンタジー

Drinks are a popular tie-in, with Japanese companies selling real-life counterparts to in-game items.

Final Fantasy Potions

Many convience stores stock "potions" drinks made famous in the Final Fantasy series.

In the game the drink is used to heal wounds, etc. It won't heal any real-world ailments, but is a treat for fans of the series.

Following along the same lines Square Enix and Suntory recently released a drink tied into the mega-popular Dragon Quest Series, made to look like the game's famous slimes.

Final Fantasy Potions

The Slimes come in two flavors and are modeled after spells in the series.

Dragon Quest is a wildly popular role-playing series that has had installments released - usually to rabid fanfare in Japan - across a variety of platforms including the Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Nintendo Entertainment System, Playstation, Playstation 2 and the more recent Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS among others.

© Jason Coskrey & JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japanese Friends
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan

Tags





Sunday, August 22, 2010

Japan This Week 22 August 2010

今週の日本

Japan News.Japan’s Cabinet Shuns Shrine on Anniversary of War’s End

New York Times

“辩论会”对日本外交官的影响

Caijing

China's rich tourists bring a shopping revolution to Japan

Guardian

The unmaking of the atomic bomb

Washington Post

Demasiados centenarios para no ser un fraude

El Pais

Nobel laureates invite Obama to Hiroshima

Japan Times

Move over Japan - make way for China

BBC

Deuxième puissance économique mondiale, le Japon devance toujours la Chine

Le Monde

Miyazato has 1-stroke lead in Safeway Classic

Yahoo Sports

Japan and the Ancient Art of Shrugging

New York Times

Last week's Japan news

Japan Statistics

The market for foreign language education shrank by 5.8% to 502 billion yen (586 million USD) in 2009.

One result was that Geos, one of the largest language schools in Japan, filed for bankruptcy.

Source: Yomiuri Shinbun

4.3 billion yen (50 million USD) is still left in some 19 million postal savings accounts opened in former Japanese colonies, such as South Korea and Taiwan.

© JapanVisitor

Book a hotel in Japan with Bookings

Japanese Fiction

Happi Coats

Tags

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Tocho By Night

東京都庁舎

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building or Tocho in Shinjuku is a prominent Tokyo skyscraper and landmark.

The two top-floor observation decks are free and are a popular place to look out over the sprawling metropolis below. They are open from 9.30am.

Tocho By Night, Tokyo

The building is also impressive at night with its orange colored lights illuminating the twin towers and the middle section of the building.

Tocho By Night

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japanese Friends
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan

Tags




Thursday, August 19, 2010

Japan Visitor On Facebook

フェイスブック

Visit Japan Visitor on Facebook to get the latest updates on Japan through the popular social media Facebook.

Japan Visitor On Facebook

Keep in contact with JapanVisitor through Facebook by liking what you see or writing on our wall.

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japanese Friends
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan

Tags




Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mobile Phone Charging Machines

携帯電話

If your mobile phone happens to run out of power, don't despair. Japan's convenience stores and hotel lobbies will usually have a machine that can charge your phone whether you have the charging cord or not.


Mobile Phone Charging Machines

Look up the model of your phone on the machine plug it in to the right slot and in about 20 minutes you'll have enough juice to make that important call.

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japanese Friends
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan
Tags

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Beyond the pet cemetery

ペットの仏壇

Beyond the pet cemetery


Where does Fido go when he dies? A pet cemetery? Well, just in case there is a doggy heaven, get him an altar too! This product was spotted in a Tokyo department store, and in a country that is pet-crazy, has to be one of the more way-out pet accessories on the market.

This pet altar was on sale in the Buddhist accoutrement section of the department store, along with the sutra books, candles, incense, prayer beads, and small altars for humans.

Buddhism is one of the two main religions in Japan, native Shinto being the other one.

Most Japanese do not consider themselves to be exclusively one or the other, but generally identify themselves as Buddhists who practice Shinto rites at the times and occasions when Shinto rites are traditionally called for, such as births and weddings.

In many ways, Shinto is less a religion than a historically accrued body of rites to appease and beseech gods of the traditional Japanese pantheon. Although, even here things become confused and the provenance of the respective Buddhist and Shinto gods can be uncertain, or at least not considered discrete. (Read more about the Buddhist/Shinto distinction/confusion here.)

But the Buddhist idea of the soul has it inhabiting every living thing, and transmigrating once the body it inhabited has gone. In this sense, having an altar for your pet makes perfect sense, if your lavishing of care on, and entreating heaven on behalf of, its soul will ensure it as least as good a life, hopefully better, in its next incarnation.

And for only 1,000 yen plus goods and services tax of 50 yen - what's that in the context of eternity?

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service

Book a Japanese Hotel with Bookings

Japanese Friends

Japan Job Search

Tokyo Vice

Tags

Monday, August 16, 2010

Nagoya Friends at WINC Aichi This Sun (8/22)

Nagoya Friends 93rd party in Nagoya!
at WINC

  • Date: Sunday August 22nd, 2010
  • Time: 18:00 - 22:00 4 hours!!!
  • Drinks will be served between 6:30pm-9:00pm.
  • Place: WINC AICHI Building 5F 〒450-0002
    4 Cho-me 4-38 Meieki Nakamura-ku Nagoya
    (very close to Nagoya Station)
  • Fee: First 30 foreigners 2,000, Pre-Reserved 2,500, @ the Door3,000
  • Dress code: Anything (Casual, etc)
  • Reservations: Not necessary but recommended and appreciated. Just show up to the party!

There will be free food along with free drinks (beers, wine, cocktail drinks and juices).
Our party is not a dinner party, but we will have light food & snacks.
Quantities are limited, so please come early! Please free to come alone or bring your friends.
EVERYBODY is welcome to join regardless of nationality/gender. Reservation is greatly appreciated.
About 125-150+ people are expected to attend. Approximately 55% female and 45% male, 70% Japanese and 30% non-Japanese.
Pictures from previous Nagoya Friends Parties.
Map & Directions
Contact: 080-3648-1666(Japanese) 080-5469-6317(English)
Get off at Nagoya Station [Exit #5 or #6]
WINC AICHI 〒450-0002 4 Cho-me 4-38 Meieki Nakamura-ku Nagoya (very close to Nagoya Station)
Train Directions
    • From Nagoya Station 2 minutes by foot


Nagoya Station


© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japanese Friends
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan
Tags




Manhole Covers From Japan

マンホールの蓋

These manhole covers are from Hisai in Mie Prefecture, Mitake and Sekigahara in Gifu Prefecture, Hagi in Yamaguchi, Toyokawa, Tokoname and Inazawa, all in Aichi.

Sekigahara Manhole

Manhole covers in Japan differ from region to region and often the motif of the manhole cover reflects a regional characteristic or well-known local product. Thus the Hagi manhole cover shows its famous and delicious citrus oranges, which are used in the production of jams, jiuce, marmalade and sweets.

Mitake Manhole

Inagawa Manhole

Hisai Manhole

Hagi Manhole

The manhole from Tokoname shows a brick chimney from a kiln as the area is well-known for its ceramics.

Tokoname Manhole

Toyokawa Manhole


If you have a manhole cover shot and wish to show it on this blog please contact us if you'd like us to display it.


Manhole Covers in Japan

More Manhole Covers - Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto, Shimane, Hiroshima

© JapanVisitor.com

Book a hotel in Japan with Bookings

Japanese Fiction

Japan Book Shop Amazon UK

Happi Coats

Tags

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Japan This Week 15 August 2010

今週の日本

Japan News.Beak-to-Tail Chicken Yakitori

New York Times



Hiroshima & Nagasaki: VJ Day's ominous atomic echo

Guardian


España entrega al fugitivo más buscado en Japón por robar una joyería

El Pais

Japanese whiskeys get foothold in U.S.

Japan Times

Le Pen among Euro rightists in Japan WWII shrine visit

BBC

Le Japon commence à être pénalisé par la force du yen

Le Monde

The U.S.-Japan strategic alliance... manga style

CNN GO

Japan's gay community parades for first time in 3 years

Yahoo News

Japan apologizes to South Korea for decades of colonial rule

LA Times

Homelessness part of the puzzle of missing elderly people

Asahi Shimbun

Last week's Japan news


© JapanVisitor

Book a hotel in Japan with Bookings

Japanese Fiction

Happi Coats

Tags

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Osho Gyoza

餃子の王将

Gyoza no Osho is a cheap and cheerful Chinese-style Japanese fast food restaurant chain specializing in such classic Chinese dishes as fried dumplings (gyoza), noodles (ramen) and sweet and sour pork (subutta).

You may well be served by someone wearing white Wellington boots, but prices are cheap so never mind the MSG, tuck in!

Osho Gyoza

Osho began life in 1967 in Kyoto and now the company operates over 500 restaurants in 29 of Japan's 47 prefectures, even managing to weather the seemingly-endless slump in Japan's economy. Osho has even re-exported Chinese food to China with the opening of its three eateries in Dalian, north eastern China.

Osho restaurants normally open between 11am and 11pm or even later.

Gyoza no Osho

© JapanVisitor.com

Friday, August 13, 2010

Fukurokuju

福禄寿

Fukurokuju is one of the seven lucky gods called Shichifukujin, that can be seen in temples throughout Japan.

Fukurokuju

Fukurokuju originated in China and is generally depicted in the garments of ancient Chinese scholars with a long white beard. His head takes up nearly half his height and so it is no surprise that Fukurokuju is the patron deity of chess players and scientists. More surprisingly Fukurokuju is also the go-to demi-god for athletes, gardeners, jewelers, magicians and miners. Fukurokuju symbolizes wealth, happiness and longevity.

Fukurokuju

Alone among the Shichifukujin, Fukurokuju is credited with being able to raise the dead.

The images of Fukurokuju were taken at Sekizanzenin Temple in north eastern Kyoto at the foot of Mt. Hiei.

Read more about the Shichifukujin

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japanese Friends
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan
Tags



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Hibiya Park Tokyo

日比谷公園

Tokyo's Hibiya Park in Chiyoda ward occupies an area once owned by the Mori clan of Hagi during feudal times.


The park's tennis courts are the most popular in Tokyo due to their location in the heart of the city.

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japanese Friends
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan
Tags


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Japanese Signs

看板

Japanese public information signs are nothing if not graphic.

Usually manga-style in conception, the plethora of signs in Japanese public spaces warn people to urinate properly, not allow their dogs to foul the sidewalks and to take their litter home with them.

Japanese Sign

Public information signs really got going in the Meiji Period (1868-1912) as the new government sought to inculcate "modern" norms of behaviour on a seemingly unwilling and uncaring populace.

Japanese Sign

The overwhelming incidence of public announcements and signs telling people not to do certain things in Japan points to the intrinsic nature of rebellion among a nation long-seen as blindly law-abiding by the rest of the world.


Japanese Signs

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japanese Friends
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan
Tags

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The 7th Tokyo Pride Parade

東京プライドパレード




Japanese gay, lesbian, and transgender pride is here again this weekend, with the 7th Tokyo Pride Parade, happening on Saturday, August 14, 2010 (see Tokyo Events, Gay & Lesbian).

Tokyo was the first city in Japan to have a public gay/lesbian pride event, in 1994. It inspired a similar event that began in Sapporo City, Hokkaido, two years later: what is now known as the Rainbow Parade, Japan's longest-lived annual gay and lesbian parade.

Tokyo's gay lesbian pride parade has a rather convoluted history that - perhaps appropriately for being in Japan's political center of Tokyo - much reflects the nature of Japanese history itself, with at least a modicum of infighting that has seen the event stop and start and change names more than once.

Despite what goes on behind the scenes, the Tokyo Pride Parade, as it is now known, is Tokyo's biggest gay and lesbian and transgender party where the boys and girls party with flamboyance and style, the outrageous gleefully outweighing the chic.

The 7th Tokyo Pride Parade, like those that have preceded it, is officially classified as a "demonstration" rather than a festival, so anyone wishing to participate in the parade itself - that circles the streets of Shibuya ward - must register to participate by 10.30am on the day.

The organizers are expecting a crowd of about 5,000. Go on, make it 5,001! See you there.

Read more about the history of Tokyo Pride.

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japanese Friends
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan
Tags





Monday, August 09, 2010

Conveyor Sushi Kaitenzushi

回転寿司

Conveyor belt sushi (kaiten-zushi) is a fixture of the Japanese fast food scene and kaiten-zushi restaurants can be found in most Japanese towns and cities. To cut down on costs, customers choose their sushi from the conveyor belt as it passes their table or counter or they can order from a touch-screen display.




Soy sauce, ginger, free green tea and disposable chopsticks (waribashi) are found at your seat and the bill is calculated from the number and color of the empty plates of sushi stacked in front of you.

Conveyor belt sushi was the brainchild of Yoshiaki Shiraishi (1914-2001) who got the idea from beer bottles on a conveyor belt in a brewery and utilized it to solve the staffing problems in his sushi restaurant, Genroku in Higashiosaka.

Kaiten-zushi restaurants can now be found not just in Japan but worldwide.

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japanese Friends
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan
Tags


Sunday, August 08, 2010

Japan News This Week August 8

今週の日本

Japan News.Non-existent old folks

Japan Times

Toyota back in the black - big time

New York Times

Japanese oil tanker hit by Al-Qaida

Guardian


EE UU asiste por primera vez a la conmemoración de Hiroshima

El Pais

LDP disbursed last-minute secret millions on its way out of power

Japan Times


Les Etats-Unis à Hiroshima pour commémorer les 65 ans

Le Monde

Police say child abuse in Japan at record high

BBC

Matsui eyes move to big French club

Yahoo Sports

Bridgestone back in the black

LA Times

Last week's Japan news


© JapanVisitor

Book a hotel in Japan with Bookings

Japanese Fiction

Happi Coats

Tags

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Hagi Pottery

萩焼

Hagi in Yamaguchi Prefecture is well known for its fine ceramics - Hagi-ware or in Japanese hagiyaki.

Pottery production in Hagi dates back to the Heian Period but it wasn't until the late sixteenth century that the distinctive Hagi-ware of simple forms and a translucent white glaze were born.


Hagi Pottery

The late sixteenth century was a period of intense interest in the tea ceremony inspired by the influence of the tea master Sen-no-rikyu (1522-1591) and his philosophy of tea known as wabi-cha. The era also saw two invasions of Korea by warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, whose forces abducted a number of potters from Korea.
Two of these (the brothers Lee Jak Kwang and Lee Kyung) settled in the Hagi area under the patronage of the Mori clan and began making Korean-style tea bowls which are the origin of later Hagi-ware.

Hagi Pottery

Hagiyaki is supposed to improve with age as the colors soften as the tannin from the green tea soaks through the porous glaze. However, the pottery is very fragile and easy to break.

Two of Hagi's great pottery families are the Miwas and the Sakas, some of whose members have been designated National Living Treasures for their art.

Hagi-ware can be seen in numerous galleries and museums throughout the town including the Hagi Museum (Tel: 0838 25 6447), the Ishii Teabowl Museum (Tel: 0838 25 1211) and the Hagi Pottery Museum (Tel: 0838 25 8981).

Hagiyaki

The first week of May is the annual Hagi-yaki Festival with works from over 50 local kilns on sale.

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service

Tags

Friday, August 06, 2010

Books on Hiroshima Atomic Bomb Attack

広島

Today is the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945.

Remembrance ceremonies will take place in Hiroshima's Peace Park and in other towns and cities in Japan throughout the day and night to honor the approximately 140,000 victims of the world's first atomic bomb attack. Three days later a second bomb was dropped on the historic city of Nagasaki on the western coast of Kyushu, effectively ending the Pacific War.

Thousand Origami Cranes

There is an extensive canon of literature surrounding this pivotal event in history by both Japanese and foreign writers, including such works as the comic book Barefoot Gen by Keiji Nakazawa, Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by American novelist Eleanor Coerr, which tells the tragic story of Sadako Sasaki, who died from leukemia in 1955 brought on by radiation poisoning from the Hiroshima atomic bomb and Masuji Ibuse's harrowing Black Rain, based on actual diaries kept of the event.

Other recommended books include John Hersey's excellent Hiroshima - an account of six men and women who survived against all odds and Last Train From Hiroshima by Charles Pellegrino with eyewitness accounts of those who experienced the atomic explosions firsthand including Tsutomu Yamaguchi, who endured and survived both the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs.

© JapanVisitor

Book a hotel in Japan with Bookings

Japanese Fiction

Happi Coats

Tags

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Japan Meteorological Agency

気象庁

If you are a weather junky like me, one of the best places to head for, especially for long-range weather forecasts, is the Japan Meteorological Agency website.

Information is available in both Japanese and English including Tokyo weather forecasts, daily, weekly and seasonal forecasts for all regions of Japan, airport weather as well as news on earthquakes and tsunami warnings.

Japan Meteorological Society

The weather maps are updated at 5am, 11am and 5pm every day.

Meteorological services in Japan began in 1875 during the Meiji Period by the Tokyo Meteorological Observatory, the forerunner of the JMA.

Japan Meteorological Agency
1-3-4 Otemachi
Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo 100-8122

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service
Japanese Friends
Japan Job Search
Rough Guide To Japan
Tags

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Public Toilets in Tokyo

東京のトイレ

In our continuing series on public toilets in Japan, which includes toilets in the ancient capital, Kyoto, a super toilet in Kofu and toilets in Tokyo, we bring you yet more of the capitals, often excellent public conveniences.


Public Toilets in Tokyo

Many public toilets in parks, cemeteries and temples may be rather bog standard Asian squat toilets, but a special mention must go to the excellent and immacutely clean toilet at Tennoji Temple in Yanaka.

Public Toilets in Tokyo

If you have a good shot of a Japanese public toilet, we'd love to hear from you, so please contact us.

Bog Standards

World Toilet Day is on November 19th each year.

Japan also celebrates its own Toilet Day in November.

The Japanese company Toto is the world's largest producer of toilets.

Visitors beware! Blue indicates gents, pink ladies.



Japanese Art - byobu screens

Japanese Art Books

Tags

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Sakai Festival

堺まつり

Sakai Festival takes place on the third Saturday and Sunday of October. Look out for a bicycle parade including some historic bikes, a large flea market in Xavier Park (Nambanichiba) and a tea ceremony in honor of favorite son, Sen-no-Rikyu, held in in Nanshuji Temple and Daisen Park.

Sakai Festival

The festival began in 1974 and also features floats and a parade of people wearing different national costumes.

Sakai Festival

The festival emphasizes the city's trading links with foreign countries - Nanban means "southern barbarian" and was the name given to the early Portuguese who first arrived in Japan in the 16th century. St. Francis Xavier is known to have visited Sakai in 1550.

Sakai Festival

© JapanVisitor.com


Tags

Monday, August 02, 2010

Ameyayokocho Ueno Tokyo

アメヤ横丁

Ameyayokocho.

Ameyayokocho is the most famous shopping street in Tokyo’s Ueno district. If you want to experience first-hand the rowdiness and crowdedness of a traditional Japanese marketplace, "Ameyoko," as it is usually abbreviated to, is the place to be.

“Ameya” means “candy shop,” and “yokocho,” “alley” – so “candy shop alley,” referring to the stores that used to dominate the street. The range of produce is now much wider, and includes fresh fish, dried foods, other cooking requisites, clothing, toys and bags.

Of the food stalls, the fish sellers are perhaps the most worth stopping at. In particular the blocks of raw fish for the preparation of sashimi or sushi are probably the best value for money you’ll find anywhere in Tokyo (except, perhaps, at the Tsukiji Fish Market).

Ameyoko stores are generally open between about 10am and 7pm, and many close on Wednesday.

© JapanVisitor.com

Yahoo Japan Auction Service Book a Japanese Hotel with Bookings Japanese Friends Japan Job Search Tokyo Vice

Tags

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Japan This Week 1 August 2010

今週の日本

Japan News.Japanese Reggae?

New York Times

韩美日本海军演结束

Caijing

Japanese oil tanker diverted to UAE port after feared terror attack

Guardian

Does Japan still need 23-yr-old exchange program?

Washington Post

Japón pone fin a la moratoria en la pena capital al ahorcar a dos presos

El Pais

Long-dead shut-in's corpse found; kin probed for fraud

Japan Times

Tokyo's oldest man was a corpse

BBC

Le Japon touché par la canicule

Le Monde

Japan hangs two death row inmates

BBC

Sumo needs to break gang ties: commentator

Yahoo Sports

Japanese women are spending

LA Times

Last week's Japan news

Japan Statistics

Life Expectancy in years by Country, 2009:

1. Japan: 82.6 (Female: 86.1; Male 79)
2. Hong Kong: 82.2 (Female: 85.1; Male 79.4)
3. Iceland: 81.8 (Female: 83.3; Male 80.2)
4. Switzerland: 81.2 (Female: 84.2; Male 79)
5. Australia: 81.2 (Female: 83.6; Male 78.9)

Source: Asahi Shinbun

© JapanVisitor

Book a hotel in Japan with Bookings

Japanese Fiction

Happi Coats

Tags