Category Archives: Photos

Make a wish upon a star at Taketanada fire festival in Toho Village, Fukuoka Prefecture

FUKUOKA, June 17 – On June 9, the Toho village in Fukuoka Prefecture held “Taketanada no Himatsuri,” a local festival that features torches of over one thousand. In July last year, the village was severely hit by the concentrated heavy rainfall that struck the northern part of the Kyushu. The villagers still find it difficult to recover some of the local stepped rice paddies (tanada in Japanese) but decided to have the event to express their hope for the quick recovery of the region. So, they decorated the paddies in the Take district of the village with approximately 1,200 torches to allure the travelers. Tanada in the Take district is … Continue reading

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【Series】 Our Noh no Ikebana : “Gift from land brightens up rainy grey days,”says Kunie Toda, 83, from Higashiura town, Aichi Prefecture (June 1)

  “In 1989, I talked to the members of the Women’s Group of the Shinden branch of an agricultural cooperative in Chita, Aichi Prefecture, (JA Aichi Chita, or JA Higashi-Chita back then), and started a local Noh no Ikebana club. Since then, we’ve been creating new arrangements for the entrance of the office of the Shinden Branch every Monday. We use sesame flowers, carrots flowers, two-legged Japanese radishes and all other materials you don’t usually get to see at your local supermarkets. So people often tell us that they never thought they were vegetable flowers or they’d never seen vegetables in such funny shape. We feel happy to hear these … Continue reading

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New vending machines in Tokyo Station offering you nice relaxing experience with tea in chabacco, not tobacco!

TOKYO, May 18 – It looks exactly like a box of tobacco, but it’s not. It’s “chabacco”- a box of powdered Japanese tea leaves, and its sales in vending machines have just been launched in Tokyo Station. Each box is beautifully designed with the motifs of tea plantations, Mt. Fuji, and tea-picking ladies, for example. One box contains a total of eight sticks of powdered tea leaves in variety such as fukamushi deep steamed green tea and roasted bancha tea. It costs 500 yen per box. The chabacco vending machines were placed on May 14 in Gransta in-station shopping and dining area in Tokyo Station ahead of the World No … Continue reading

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Our Noh no Ikebana : “Greenery start sparkling after long snowy winter,” says Miyuki Kurotaki, 61, from Minami Uonuma city, Niigata Prefecture (May 4)

I began Noh no Ikebana five years ago. I love how we can freely enjoy arranging vegetables and flowers in whatever way we like, because in Noh no Ikebana, there are no ryuha (schools) or rules like the ones in traditional flower arrangements. We can apply our sense and feeling that we have from our daily work as farmers, and that’s why we can make such dynamic and lively arrangements. The title of this arrangement is “Spring has come.” A cabbage shows its face from the surface of the snow after long cold winter. Wild vegetables sprout amid thawing snow. I used them as the motifs to express how the … Continue reading

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Rape blossom maze in Fukushima in full bloom

FUKUSHIMA, May 14 – A maze of rape blossoms, created on a farmland in the Kaihama district of Minamisoma, Fukushima Prefecture hit by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, is attracting visitors from outside the region. Takayuki Ueno, a 45-year-old local farmer, borrowed a farmland damaged by the tsunami and has been cultivating rapeseed and soybeans. Every year since 2013, he has been making the field open to the public after the blossoms bloom in late April in hopes of offering a place for children to enjoy. Some 10,000 people, including families with children, visit the place every year. This year, he created two mazes of rape blossoms on a 2.2-hectare … Continue reading

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