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Travel & View point

Japanese Seasonal Food: Fresh Raw Whitebait Bowl

One of the things that I look forward every year during this spring season in Japan is having “nama shirasu don.” What is “Nama Shirasu Don”? “Nama shirasu don” is a bowl of rice topped with raw whitebait. “Nama” means raw while “shirasu” means whitebait (in Japan, mostly it refers to the young anchovies).…

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Around Okayama : Ushimado Olive Garden

I have never been a fan of olives. If there is olive on my food, I patiently remove and set them aside. But when my friend invited me to go to an olive orchard, I immediately assented because I was curious about it and maybe they have some olive variant to my liking.…

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Due South : Zentsuu-ji, Kagawa – Quick Shikoku Pilgrimage

Mini hachi-jyuu-hachi kasho meguri (Quick circuit for 88 sacred places) Behind the temple, there is a small mountain called “Koushiki-zan” (lit. “Mt. Scent-colour”). There is a path encircling the mountain, which is about 1.6 km (approx. 1 mile) long. This is a very short version of the well-known pilgrimage in Japan : “(Shikoku) Hachi-jyuu-hachi kasho meguri” (lit.…

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Due South : Zentsuu-ji, Kagawa – The temple and around

Zentsuu-ji : The temple It’s relatively large, but I didn’t take many photos. I don’t remember why. If you are interested, visit the official website. There aren’t many photos in the English page, though. (Japanese page with map and link to the photos are here.) Quick history As I wrote in the previous post, the temple was built by a Buddhist monk, Kuukai, He was born in this area, and the name “Zentsuu” was taken from his father’s posthumous Buddhist name “Yoshimichi” (The same Kanji characters are used for “Zentsuu” and “Yoshimichi”).…

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Due South : Zentsuu-ji, Kagawa – General Info and Kuukai

Zentsuu-ji : General Info Zentsuu-ji is a name of the temple which was built by the well-known monk Kuukai a.k.a. “Koubou-daishi” (The Grand Master Koubou) *. (The French fashion label “Kookai” is named after the priest.) Then, the location where the temple is also began to be called as “Zentsuu-ji”.…

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Osafune in Okayama: Sword learning centre – Part 2 –

Bizen Osafune Nihon-tou Denshuu-jyo (Bizen Osafune Japanese sword learning centre) 2 - Through a plastic screen - Information I got from the swordsmiths [Swordsmithing] There are two sizes of hammers to beat iron. The lighter one weighs 5 kg (approx. 11 lb / 176 oz).…

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Osafune in Okayama: Sword learning centre – Part 1 –

Bizen Osafune Nihon-tou Denshuu-jyo (Bizen Osafune Japanese sword learning centre) 1 - From upstairs - Here, you can see swordsmithing on Saturdays, Sundays and National holidays for free. Note that they don’t demonstrate in summer because it is too hot for swordsmiths to forge.…

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Time Machine: Shousou-in Exhibition, Nara

What is “Shousou-in”? - Shousou-In -There are three store rooms inside the building. Photo from flickr “Shousou” was a term for a repository owned and controlled by government offices or major temples during the Nara (710 – 784) and Heian periods (794 – 1185).…

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Go west : Dazaifu Tenman-guu and Kyushu National Museum

Dazaifu Tenman-guu : The “ema-dou” area and around the pond The “ema-dou” (ema house) area - "Bonsai" market - A small market of plum tree pots was held beside "Ema-dou". There is a small square where “ema-dou” is located. “Ema” is a wooden plaques with people’s wishes and/or appreciation to God.…

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Go west : Dazaifu Tenman-guu – Main area

Dazaifu Tenman-guu : Main area and around The main shrine area – Rou-mon – The main gate to the main shrine area. “Rou-mon” means “two-story gate”. Now the word is used for a gate which has no roof for the bottom story.…

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