My costume for a tour guide

2014年5月9日

My fellow licensed tour guide and I stood at the oveservation deck of Shirakawago village 0n April 29,2014. I wore a red cap and a red jacket. Red color is very much helpful for overseas cutomers to find me in the crowded mass.

My customers from overseas in the Kenrokuen garden

2014年4月18日

My customers from overseas took a rest after strolling in the Kenrokuen garden on April 3, 2014. It was after 4pm. Cherry trees began blooming. It was a beautiful day with the wonderful people.

Winter decoration in Takayama

2013年12月22日

Straw ropes are winded around a used firework launcher tube as a decoration to ward off evil inTakayama. A launcher tube is made of a bamboo tube or a cardboard tube. Toyohashi city is well known for a tube  launcher firework. Tube launcher firework event in Takayama is taken place on August 9th every year. August 9th is pronounced ” Yaku” in Japanese meaning August 9th, which also means to ward off evil.

Hana-mochi literary means flower-like decoration of rice cakes. People in Takayama decorate short tree branches with white or ren and white rice cakes to compensate lack of flowers in winter. People bake or fry them and eat after January 15th.

Yukitsuri, protection agaist heavy snow

2013年11月2日

November 1st is the day when gardeners start to build Yukitsuri in Kenrokuen garden. Yukitsuri is a sign that winter is around corner, winter feature in Kanazawa. Yukitsuri is a protection for branches of trees against heavy snow. Gardeners begin Yukitsuri at a a big pine tree, called Karasaki-no-matsu at first. Four cedar poles are set up at the pine tree. The highest pole is 15 meter-high. A gardener climbs a pole to the top, and throw down straw ropes tied to the pole top. About 100 to 200 ropes are thrown, and tied to branches of the pine tree in cooperation with other gardeners. 12 gardeners work together in cooperation. An aesthetic sense is also important to set up straw ropes. It is impressive to make them look circular cones like unfolding umbrellas. Please enjoy the photos I took on November 1,2013.

 

Shirakawa-go Doburoku festival

2013年10月18日

Shirakawa-go Doburoku festival takes place annually at three different Hachiman shrines in Shirakawa village. Shirakawa Hachiman Shrine festival is the biggest among them, and is held on October 14th and 15th. Hatogoya Hachiman Shrine festival is held on October 16th and 17th. Iijima Hachiman Shrine festival is held on October 18th and 19th. The itinerary of the festival is as follows. 9:00am; Festval ceremony at the shrinestakes place. Procession strolls along the village streets. Lion dance is performed. 3:30pm; Doburoku sake starts to be served to visitors. 7:00pm; Lion dance performance is dedicated to the shrine. 8:00pm; Local folk dance is dedicated to the shrine.

Stalls in the shrine precincts sell Takoyaki food and so on.

Festival flags and gasshio houses.

Festival procession beside a harvested rice paddy field.

Shrine priest on a rickshaw.

Mikoshi, a portable shrine

A blue ogre and a red ogre are believed to protect villagers from a devil.

Children perform dance.

Festival procession goes on near Wada house.

Wajima-nuri lacquer ware

2013年4月7日

The process of making Wajima-nuri lacquer ware is explained to tourists at Wajima Kobo Nagaya. Wajima-nuri is an exclusive type of lacquerware produced in Wajima city, which is located at the tip of Noto peninsula. It takes about 2 hours from Kanazawa by limited express bus to get there.

Wajima Kobo Nagaya provides visiters for having lacquerware experiment to make a pair of chopsticks. My customers, an Australian graphic designer and her husband enjoyed the experiment.

Wajima, including Noto peninsula is also well known for the huge Kiriko lantern festival. It’s a summer festival.

20 or more people join together to carry the huge Kiriko lantern.

 

 

Cherry flowers in Kanazawa

2013年4月4日

Cherry flowers are almost in full bloom in Kanazawa on Thursday, April 4th, 2013. It is one week earlier than uasual. Here is Ex-castle moat.

Cherry flowers beautifully decorate the castle gate.

The nail hides of the castle gate make an interesting contrast with cherry flowers.

Sakuda gold leaf workshop

2013年1月20日

Remains of gold leaf refuse are used as reuse for gold leaf, sprinkle in sake or tea or on food, adding in lotion.  Gold leaf production in Kanazawa accounts for 99 percent of Japan’s total gold leaf production.

Artisan inspects gold leaf, which is placed between sheets of specially processed Washi, Japanese paper. Washi is processed by soaking in the water mixed with astringent persimmon juice, straw ash and white part of egg for around 3 months.

One bundle has 1,800 sheets of Washi, and between Washi gold leaf sheet is placed like a sandwich.

The pounding machine imported from Germany is used to roll out the gold leaf sheet. 3 minutes beats and 10 minutes rest for cool down during  3 days repeat is carried out.

Big sounds accompanying the machine running is somewhat enjoyable for visitors.

JR Train from Kanazawa via Toyama to Takayama

2013年1月19日

I took a local train at Kanazawa station around noon for Toyama on January 12, 2013, one day before Takayama tour guide for overseas customers. The train arrived at Toyama station after taking more than one hour. I changed the trains for Inotani around 2:00pm. It took more than one hour to get to Inotani.

The train arrived at Inotani station, and passengers change trains for Takayama. Inotani is the border station between JR West and JR Tokai.

The local train for Takayama is waiting for the passengers from Toyama. About 10 minutes later, The train started for Takayama.

Snow covered Jinya, administrative office of Tokugawa government in the Edo period was impressive. I guided overseas customers here on Jan.13, it was really fine day,and very much beautiful.

Iron chair displayed in front of a gadget shop draws strong attention from overseas customers.

Omicho market crowded with year-end shoppers

2012年12月31日

Red-skinned kamaboko and white kamaboko are typical ingredients of New Year’s dish. Red and white are considered to bring good luck.

Kamabo is translated as fish paste, minced fish, fish sausage, fish cake, fish loaf,  or fish minced and steamed.  But, I don’t think whatever English name can express the delicious taste of kamaboko.  So, kamaboko is  kamaboko.

Various kinds of kamaboko for New Year’s food are sold at kamaboko shop, Omicho market.

Omicho market has about 270 years history, originated as the Kaga local lord’s kitchen. Shoppers are crowed in the narrow alley, and snatch food for New Year’s dish .

Kuwai is translated as threeleaf arrowhead. Kuwai is considered as an auspicious food. It has a arrow-like bud. People belive that good luck will visit when you eat kuwai. So, it is one of the ingredient of New Year’s food.