My love affair with Japanese cuisine actually began at Itami Airport, at a chain restaurant named KATSUKURA. Katsukura was where I had my first experience eating tonkatsu, which is a pork cutlet coated with panko, fried and served with a small cup of rice, a small cup of miso soup, and a small cabbage salad.
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Untrodden Land of Eastern Yoshino – Great Tourism Spots and Native Hydrangea Hirtas Growing En Mass!
Yoshino, located in Southern Nara is home to many ancient histories and primitive vegetation of Japan. The well preserved historical assets and the unspoiled scenery of Yoshino reflect the fundamentals of Japan and it isn’t too exaggerated to state that it portrays the landscape of the heart of Japanese people.
Japanese summer, however, is twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week of humidity… and I learnt to love it. You see, it is easy to be worn down by weather but the Japanese have adapted to summer in the best way possible, by embracing it with food.
Children, teens, and adults can be seen crowding the Hata Sensuda Sports Park. Tents with the aroma of delicious festival foods wafting from them can also be seen from a distance as people order treats from them, forming long lines that snake towards the parking lot. Everyone here is excitedly awaiting the event of the night – the Hata Fireworks Festival.
When daily news and the outside world get to be too crazy, try Shodō 書道, Japanese calligraphy, to regain inner equilibrium and calm the mind and heart. Experience Shodō’s meditative and relaxing qualities in a workshop or field trip with Kobe Native Noriko Ukita who has been teaching Shodō to Japanese and foreigners alike for 27 years.
One of the unique festivals of the area is the Demon Fireworks Festival, known as the Oni-Hanabi in Japanese. Every summer from early June to the end of July, Noboribetsu holds a special festival to celebrate the demons living in the area.
In verdant Miyagi, the yearly Lotus Festival of Lake Izunuma-Uchinuma has just begun! Located on an interconnected lake between Tome and Kurihara City, you can enjoy a romantic boat-ride tour through thousands of lotuses, led by local fishermen who know the lake inside and out.
Japanese summers may bring on the heat and humidity, but they also signal Japan’s love of the festive. Tokyo’s festivals cover the whole spectrum – from congenial goodwill ceremonies to fireworks extravaganzas, summertime in Tokyo is never a dull moment.
On my recent trip to Nara, I was lucky to visit Kinatei, a cosy vegetarian restaurant. The restaurant serves Japanese and Chinese style vegan dishes, and everything is homemade and organic. I got off at Kintetsu Line’s Nara Station and did a little sightseeing before coming, so the walk was a bit far.
Some of these varieties include: ceramic, glass, metal, bamboo, bronze, clay, crystal and so on. Kawasaki Daishi Temple, while not quite known to many tourists, has always beendedicated to the warding of evil through its ceremonies of purification, such as the Yakudoshi (unlucky or critical age in a person’s life), blessings of talismans and charms, burning rites during New Year, year-end cleaning ritual using long brooms, and others.
I checked on the internet if and where the most convenient beaches to go in Chiba Prefecture are and then Onjuku Beach caught my eye. Onjuku Beach is only a ten minute walk from Onjuku Station. The beach will welcome you with a big cactus tree saying “Amigo Onjuku”.
In keeping with the ancient custom, Yasukuni Shrine holds the yearly Mitama Festival around July 13-16 as part of the Obon festivities. Mitama refers to the spirit or soul of the dead. During this season, Japanese hang lanterns and place offerings at the altars as prayers for their ancestors’ spirits to be freed of their sufferings. Since 1947, the Mitama Festival has lightened up the Yasukuni Shrine grounds with more than 30,000 glittering lanterns or chochin.