Sogen-ji is a temple devoted to kappa, those mischievous characters who live in close proximity to rivers. The mistresses of important people used to live here in the past. Until just a few years ago, five such buildings remained standing side by side — very rare, considering all the past destruction.
Next we come to Sogen-ji, better known as Kappa-dera or Kappa Temple because it houses so many memorabilia devoted to those childsized, monkey- or turtle-faced goblins with heads topped by a plate-like disc, which live in the waterways. In this very temple, one can take the opportunity to admire a real mummified kappa hand.
Walking through the Matsugaya district, every few metres we find statues and other assorted images of this ubiquitous little character. According to legend, kappa from the nearby Sumida River helped the local people stop the constant flooding of the area.
Maintaining a tradition
Business continued to prosper and, even today, the Kappabashi district is famous for selling kitchenware and catering. More weird and scary stories await us once we reach Asakusa. The Buddhist temple called Chingodo, for example, is devoted to another yokai — the tanuki, or racoon dog. Notorious tricksters in Japanese folklore, tanuki are renowned for their huge testicles, which can be stretched at will and used as both tools and weapons. Not far from the temple, our attention is caught by the screams of terrified people.
They emanate from Hanayashiki, the oldest amusement park in Japan — and arguably one of the least safe. Few people know that this place was originally a botanic garden before fairground rides and freak shows were introduced. Its obakeyashiki haunted house was supposedly haunted by a real ghost, which, after the attraction was demolished, is said to wander endlessly round the park.
This is the site of an inn run by an evil old woman who murdered countless guests by dropping a boulder on them as they slept. Have fun. In fact, its construction was plagued by many incidents injured workers, strange apparitions. Properly known as Oiwa Tamiya Jinja, this shrine was the former home of a woman who was poisoned by her husband and came back as a. Especially fearsome at night, with reports of sounds of crying and voices.
Located in Yokoami-cho Park, where throngs of people who took refuge there during the Great Kanto Earthquake were burned to death. His decapitated head mysteriously resisted decaying for 3 months, the eyes continued to roll, and it eventually propelled itself from Kyoto to Edo. With her dishevelled hair and one drooping eye, Oiwa became the prototype for other fearsome female phantoms. A hill located in Toyama Park, and the former site of the Army Medical College and Hospital, houses several medical research facilities, one of which was rumoured to be used for training the notorious Unit Bodies used for medical experiments were said to be secretly buried there, and human bones continue to be unearthed within.
Located along the old Tokaido road, this was one of the main Edo-period execution grounds. A burning pyre,. Taxi drivers speak in hushed tones of the whitefrocked girl who hails them only to disappear in a wet puddle on their back seat. Interred here are famous murder and suicide victims, and others who suffered tragic endings from the 19th century onwards.
Hastily built in to meet urban improvements for the Tokyo Olympics, the tunnel runs directly beneath the cemetery of Senjuin, a. With one foot planted squarely in a graveyard, and painted the same vermillion colour as a Shinto torii gate, this landmark steel structure is home to a frequently-sighted ghost of a little girl,. Buddhist temple. Reports often involve a female ghost with long hair who hangs upside down from the ceiling and sometimes falls on cars with a thud.
November number 56 zoom japaN Each chapter begins with a little vignette, often sourced from eye-witness accounts of key events, which bring each episode to vivid life. This is particularly true of the dramatic suicide of writer Yukio Mishima, or the touching aftermath of the history-changing battle of Sekigahara in Of particular interest are the revelations that trace the historical roots of present-day customs. Certainly, with its hordes of otaku nerds , its hikikomori nerds who never go out and its greying population, the country is facing an uncertain future. This is largely due to the endless litany of dates, names and battles they are required to memorize.
From its mythical beginnings, through the divine kamikaze winds that saved it from Mongol invasion, followed by centuries of rule by emperors descended from the gods, right up to Hello Kitty, Abenomics, prefabricated pop stars and the rise of nerd culture in the wake of the earthquake disaster. Who, for instance, were the Shrimp Barbarians? And why were they important? How about the Earth Spiders? Why do Japanese schoolgirls dress up as sailors? What are the origins of sushi? You'll learn all the answers, plus everything else you need to know about Japan.
His face will be familiar to National Geographic TV viewers as the presenter of the series about Chinese historical icons, Route Awakening. Intended for the general reader, A Brief History zips along in a style that is both witty and informative. Clements peppers his text with contemporary reference points. The First Emperor of China was drawn by reports describing Japan as legendary isles populated by immortals. Today, we no longer believe such tall tales. The details have changed, but Japan still elicits the same mix of admiration and awe. Konnichiwa, Mina-san! Hello, everyone!
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Last time I taught you how to stylishly order food in a restaurant. Of course, you can eat sushi in the UK too, but everyone really should have a go at eating real authentic sushi in Japan. There are so many different types of sushi restaurant in Japan — from casual kaiten sushi conveyor belt sushi places to o-sushiya-san restaurants where the chefs have honed their skills for many years. There are three key points about this dialogue that I would like to explain.
Next, why not try explaining in Japanese why you think something is delicious. It is bound to make the chefs and the restaurant staff smile. Congratulations, now you can express your opinions about food in Japanese! Sayoonara, Jaa mata! Goodbye, see you! During the Edo period, in the 18th and 19th centuries, many documents record the fact that they were eaten regularly.
The flavour of the fat grilled larvae is delicious. Vespinae a sub-group of wasp , zazamushi the larvae of caddisflies, stoneflies and other closely related freshwater insects , grasshoppers, cicadas and silkworms were the most popular and are still eaten today. Insects living on certain trees or fruits are enjoyed for their flavour, such as the sweet-chestnut weevil and the oak worm, and includes those that eat the leaves of cherry trees. Insects were also used in traditional Japanese medicine, and documents from the 17th and 18th centuries report the use of cockroaches as well as snails, grilled cynops pyrrhogaster a kind of salamander , boiled trichoptera… Insects, whether edible or not, have always cohabited with us.
Even cockroaches once enjoyed a positive image in Japan, as their presence in the home was proof of a certain amount of abundance, demonstrating that at least there was enough to eat and the house was kept warm. RECIPE 1 - Slice the carrot into thin sticks, then blanch with the beans 2 - Flatten the fried bean curd with a rolling pin 3 - Cut off 3 sides of the fried bean curd 4 - Open out 5 slices without tearing 5 - Chop the remaining fried bean curd and mix together with the chicken and additional ingredients for filling.
Remove and cook for a further 5 minutes. Tip : Abura age is available in Asian food shops. With its temples, shrines, history and… its tourists. The former Imperial capital city has become a symbol of the mass tourism fuelled by foreign visitors to Japan, which the authorities congratulate themselves on having achieved. This is in complete contrast to. In short, mass tourism is suffocating Kyoto to the point of killing it off. If you, too, are searching for authenticity, history, temples and shrines in rich and varied surroundings, all you have to do is take a ten minute train ride from Kyoto to get to Otsu which, despite its proximity to the prestigious historic city, has managed to preserve its own strong identity.
As the city is situated on the shores of Lake Biwa, one of the three oldest lakes on earth, it, too, has a long and ancient history as the temples of Ishiyama-dera et Enryaku-ji testify. Inside the Hondo main hall , a National Treasure and the oldest building in Shiga Prefecture, you can see the small room Genji no ma where the young woman meditated and worked while writing her novel. In the past, women were not allowed to enter temples, however, Ishiyama-dera allowed them in for demographic reasons; you can still see the rock where women waiting to give birth would come to sit to seek divine protection for their pregnancies.
The temple, surrounded by a vast tree-. You can spend the night here and experience the way.
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You can take classes in zazen meditation and also enjoy wonderful shojin vegetarian cuisine prepared with local produce. The gomadofu tofu with sesame , is excellent. An example of the Tendai school of Buddhism, it was one of the most. Otsu Festival Otsu matsuri dates back to the 17th century and is enthusiastically celebrated every year. Biwa, as does Mount Horai on whose slopes Biwako Valley is situated, from where you can enjoy stunning views over the lake 10 minutes by bus from JR Shiga Station on the Kosei line.
As the locals also enjoy visiting these places, you need to arrive early and be prepared to queue. Among the many choices for visitors are boat trips across Lake Biwa on board Michigan various prices from 2, yen , a boat named in honour of the twinning agreement between Shiga Prefecture and Michigan State, in Midwestern United States, or along the River Seta leaving from Ishiyama-dera 1, yen. The spectacle is worth the effort and will allow you to understand the attraction of this lakeside city full of history and traditions.
Strolling among the families, groups of friends come to make the most of the festival while enjoying takoyaki octopus fritters , yakisoba fried noodles or a choco banana chocolate covered banana , and give you a real impression of Japan, far away from the hoards of tourists. The unrestricted view from many of its rooms is also an excellent reason to choose to stay here rather than in more expensive hotels in Kyoto.
Biwako Hotel has lovely views, too, and is designed to look like. But there are more modest places to stay see page 18 where the same kind of hospitality as found in the best ryokan traditional inns is practised. Last but not least, Otsu is somewhere that will delight food lovers. But local food is not just about that.
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Otsu is also famous for Omi beef, which alongside Kobe beef, is some of the the best meat produced in Japan. Nevertheless, you must expect to pay more than in the average restaurant. There are taxis and a free shuttle services, mostly to Beware otsu prince Hotel.
You can also get to otsu from sanjo station with the Keihan company otsu line. From luxury hotels on the shores of Lake Biwa to Enryaku-ji Temple, where you can stay in a modest room, one is spoilt for choice. Among the numerous available places in the lakeside city, Inase stands out for its character and high quality service. The other four large upstairs rooms have shared access to showers and a bathroom looking out on to the garden from 6, yen per person.
With an emphasis on quality rather than quantity — Inase can accommodate a maximum of 17 people —, the owners focus on communicating with their guests to put them at ease, and regularly arrange activities to familiarize them with local traditions. Free www. The Japanese ghosts and monsters are ugly but not so bad. H alloween is that time of the year when the occult, the macabre and the humorous come together in order to create a sort of dark, but basically child-friendly carnival.
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Even though the celebrations include death- and 4 zoom japaN number 56 November monster-related imagery, everything stays on a playful level. It might be that Halloween reminds them of cosplay, which is by no means limited to anime- and video game-inspired costumes, but includes ninja, samurai, and other traditional elements. The Ghost of Oiwan-san. The latter genre is comprised of tales about peo- The success of the evening is down to the inspired storytelling of Shirotani ayumu. Luckily, his art has been able to bring back this motley crew of ghouls to the forefront of Japanese popular culture.
Many of them are covered with sheets of corrugated iron, probably to protect them from Sogen-ji is a temple devoted to kappa, those mischievous characters who live in close proximity to rivers. Business continued to prosper and, even today, the Kappabashi district is famous for selling kitchenware and catering supplies including those models of fake food you see displayed in restaurant windows.
Properly known as Oiwa Tamiya Jinja, this shrine was the former home of a woman who was poisoned by her husband and came back as a the park. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. By submitting this form you agree to pv magazine using your data for the purposes of publishing your comment.
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Otherwise, your data will be deleted if pv magazine has processed your request or the purpose of data storage is fulfilled. Further information on data privacy can be found in our Data Protection Policy. Skip to content. Renova completes 19 MW in southwestern Japan Although completed in May, the array had to undergo maintenance following an earthquake in April. Brian Publicover More articles from Brian Publicover. Leave a Reply Cancel reply Please be mindful of our community standards. Keep up to date pv magazine Global offers daily updates of the latest photovoltaics news. We also offer comprehensive global coverage of the most important solar markets worldwide.
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