Category Archives: Photos

More foreign tourists heading to Japan’s rural villages

MIYAZAKI, Jan. 1 – Foreign tourists visiting rural areas in Japan are on the rise. As the Japan National Tourism Organization statistics show, the estimated number of foreign visitors to Japan topped 30 million in 2018, and repeat visitors is also increasing. Foreign tourists with a clear intention to have deeper experiences in Japan are traveling to the countryside to enjoy nature, the unique landscape, tradition, culture and local specialties. Breathtaking scenery Shiiba, a village in Miyazaki Prefecture, is recently attracting foreign visitors with Sennin no Tanada, meaning rice terraces of the hermit. Also referred to as the Machu Picchu of Shiiba, because of the resemblance of the landscape to … Continue reading

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New Year pink & white rice cake flowers await spring in Japan

TAKAYAMA, Dec. 17 ― It is at peak to make traditional rice cake flowers, called hana-mochi, to prepare New Year’s celebrations in Gifu prefecture. Farmers are attaching pink and white rice cakes, which represents flowers, on to a real branch. It’s simply because there was a difficult time to decorate fresh flowers for New Year’s celebrations in the snowy Hida Takayama region in northern Gifu. “There are several ways to display hana-mochi,” says an official from a farmers’ cooperative from the region. “You can place them with other fresh flowers like an ikebana (Japanese floral arrangement), or place them in your favorite vase,” he smiles. Hana-mochi will be later made … Continue reading

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Fruits World exhibit in Bando, Ibaraki, will surely satisfy your endless curiosity

IBARAKI, Dec. 16 – The Fruits World exhibit at the Ibaraki Nature Museum in Bando City, Ibaraki Prefecture, is now attracting a lot of attention as an event offering visitors a chance to enjoy and feel various shapes and scent of all kinds of fruits. There are more than 100 kinds of fruits on display, including local specialties such as chestnuts and melons showed in very unique exhibitions, for example, of cut surfaces as well as flower samples. Visitors can enjoy looking at the fruits from all different angles. One of the features of the event is how you can look at the shapes of fruits. The biggest highlight is … Continue reading

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Have you eaten your chopsticks once you’re done with meals?

YASHIRO, Oct. 28 ― You can eat disposable chopsticks once you’re done with meals. Farmers in Yashiro, Kumamoto prefecture have developed their rush, called igusa, the primary material in tatami, into pairs of “tatami-flavored” edible chopsticks. A tatami is a type of mat used as a flooring material in traditional Japanese-style rooms. The chopsticks are made from flour, sugar, eggs and igusa powder, which gives you a crunchy texture. A pack of five pairs of chopsticks are 1,930 yen and now available online. The Yashiro farmers now hope to promote their locally grown rush at a time its demand for tatami rooms has been declining in Japan.

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[Our Noh no Ikebana] “I’d like to celebrate the coming of the autumn,” says Michiko Sekimori, 70, from Chofu, Tokyo

“I’ve been enjoying Noh no Ikebana for almost 13 years. One day, I saw the arrangements of the No-no-ikebana group in Tokyo at a gathering among female farmers in Tachikawa, Tokyo, and thought I want to do it myself. “Look, you are going to be a star. Let’s have fun on the stage together.” I always talk to the flowers and materials silently while I make arrangements. The theme of this arrangement I created this October is “Fall finally came!” It’s been a very hot summer, so I used Japanese silver grass and persimmons to express my happiness to welcome the autumn. I would like you to pay extra attention … Continue reading

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