Tag Archives: Japan

City Hall

This is what I like about Japan. They don’t have break time when your working in the government like city hall/municipals. We (together with my kids) need to get family registry, address registration and passport. And all the employees are so darn, helpful and kind. We don’t experience this in our entire life when we are living in our own country. Gosh, you will surely see the difference between the two countries. I don’t know why my own country is like they don’t have this urgency thing. They had lunch breaks which no one will assist you. Sometimes about more than an hour. Don’t get me wrong if you choose the job in the government it should be dedicated to your work and can also be alternate to take a lunch break, but my original country I still love it except the government.

We arrived in the City Hall around 9am and we all done around 11am. To think I have to re-write the passport application form which I took some time to write it because in Japanese (Kanji, katakana, and hiragana) that’s tough for me. My hands are shaking because too difficult :(. They assist me totally until the end, even though I really don’t talk much in Japanese but I understand what they say.

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Then, September 22 – we have to get our passport personally. They will look at you and say your name, birthday and where you live. We are now officially Japanese citizens.

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Bye bye, Philippines Passport and Konnichiwa Nihon Passport. Sad to say, they don’t allow dual citizens. But, anyway… we choose to stay here for long period of time but of course, we will visit The Philippines because of our family and friends…

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♥lovelots♥

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夏まつり in Elementary School

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We attended Summer Festival in the school of my son (Minoo Higashi Elementary School) Of course, we show respect to wear yukata for this festival even though we are a foreigner.

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It started around 4 pm to 9:30 pm. They are a lot of food stall and toys as well.

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See how adorable they are when wearing yukata dress (kimono for summer).

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♥lovelots♥

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Kinosaki Marine World

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The Kinosaki Marine World is an aquarium united with nature where the Japanese sea view unfolds before your eyes.
Not only can you enjoy the sea beings in each area, you can also enjoy many exciting shows.

We got time to visit this place or because we don’t want to do public hot spring because is so hot like 35 degrees, I guess.

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INFORMATION:

  • 9.00 am – 5.00 pm (Entry until 4.30 pm)
  • * July 20 – August 31: 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
  • * We change our business hours during Golden Week, summer and the O-bon period.
  • *Open all year
  • *We have a map written in English.Please ask us for this.

Entrance fees

Adult Children(6~15yo) Small children (3~5yo)
2,470 yen 1,230 yen 620 yen

Parking

Charge (1 day) Passenger vehicles 700 yen / buses, microbuses 1,400 yen

We just loved watching different fishes or unique/weird fish in the aquarium.

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Dolphin and sea lion shows

The dolphins and sea lions change each year.
At Sealand Stadium, we have captivating show times for people to share with dolphins, sea lions and penguins!

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We have a chance to watch this shows. Interesting.

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She likes penguin and turtle, but sad we didn’t saw any turtles.

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She loves it seeing these walking penguins, and she wants to grab one.

Kids really love this place and they enjoy a lot. For more information, you can visit their English website: Kinosaki Marine World

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♥lovelots♥

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Kinosaki (城崎町) Hyōgo, Japan.

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Finally, we had a break for awhile. And also my advance gift for my birthday. Relax and Enjoy the heat of the summer.

Kinosaki (城崎町Kinosaki-chō) was a town in Kinosaki DistrictHyōgo Prefecture, Japan.

Kinosaki is famous as a resort area, with onsen (Japanese hot springs). In 1913, the writer Shiga Naoya came to Kinosaki and stayed there for three weeks. Kinosaki provided inspiration for his short story, Kinosaki ni te or "In Kinosaki".

There are seven public onsen bath houses in Kinosaki Onsen. Tourists staying in most of the ryokans (Japanese traditional inns) in Kinosaki can receive a free pass to all seven. It is common for tourists staying in Kinosaki Onsen to walk around in yukata, this saves them having to change into their own clothes every time they use an onsen.

A feature is the fountains in the square where mesh bags of eggs can be immersed and boiled while you wait. There are several ashiyu foot baths with running hot spring water where one can sit by the edge of the road and relax while soaking one's feet. A ropeway at the far end of the street transports visitors to the top of Mt Taishi, which has spectacular views of the town and Japan sea coastline.

The Sanin Main Line provides a JR rail connection to Kyoto, and direct trains to Osaka are available via Fukuchiyama. Direct limited express trains take about 2.5 hours from Osaka to Toyooka.

It will be better if you will come here in the winter season. But, the snow here is thick. We are to buy snow tire now. So, that we can drive there.

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We are a bit early so, we have to look around the area and we also need to eat lunch as well.

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So, good and tasty the crab and shrimp, I love it!!!

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Now, we are check-in the hotel. Morizuya Ryokan is the name of the place we stay. Japanese style room and clean of course.

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I can't imagine this is quite a lot for us. Anyway, the price of this place is worth it.

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We have time to attend the "Ubon Festival" and wearing Yukata clothes. We watched the fireworks display for summer and it held only weekdays.

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What I like about this place. They have family onsen but, it will only start 6:30 pm and will close until 11 pm. Lovely place. Anyway, perhaps I would say this place is nice location center of the streets of shops and restaurant. And we had time to go to the Kinosaki Marine World. I will separate the post for that. But, Of course, I will post here the video for you to see.

 

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♥lovelots♥

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Tanabata Matsuri (Star Festival)

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Our first time to attend this festival, they call it Tanabata Matsuri (Star Festival).

Tanabata (七夕, meaning “Evening of the seventh”), also known as the Star Festival, is a Japanese festival originating from the Chinese Qixi Festival.[1] It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi (represented by the stars Vega and Altair respectively). According to legend, the Milky Way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar. The date of Tanabata varies by region of the country, but the first festivities begin on 7 July of the Gregorian calendar. The celebration is held at various days between July and August.

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They all so kawaii (cute) wearing summer kimono (yukata).

(sorry I have to cover their faces for security of the kids, it’s a Japanese culture)

Customs:

In present-day Japan, people generally celebrate this day by writing wishes, sometimes in the form of poetry, on tanzaku (短冊tanzaku), small pieces of paper, and hanging them on bamboo, sometimes with other decorations (see also Wish Tree). The bamboo and decorations are often set afloat on a river or burned after the festival, around midnight or on the next day.[8] This resembles the custom of floating paper ships and candles on rivers during Obon. Many areas in Japan have their own Tanabata customs, which are mostly related to local Obon traditions. There is also a traditional Tanabata song:[9]

ささのは さらさら
のきばに ゆれる
お星さま きらきら
きんぎん すなご
ごしきの たんざく
わたしが かいた
お星さま きらきら
空から  見てる

 

Sasa no ha sara-sara
Nokiba ni yureru
Ohoshi-sama kira-kira
Kingin sunago
Goshiki no tanzaku
watashi ga kaita
Ohoshi-sama kirakira
sora kara miteru

The bamboo leaves rustle,
shaking away in the leaves.
The stars twinkle
on the gold and silver grains of sand.
The five-colour paper strips
I have already written.
The stars twinkle,
they watch us from heaven.

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Story

Like Qixi and Chilseok, Tanabata was inspired by the famous Chinese folklore story, “The Weaver Girl and the Cowherd“. Some versions were included in the Man’yōshū, the oldest extant collection of Japanese poetry.[3]:25

The most popular version is as follows:[4][5][6][7]

Orihime (織姫Weaving Princess), daughter of the Tentei (天帝Sky King, or the universe itself), wove beautiful clothes by the bank of the Amanogawa (天の川Milky Way, lit. “heavenly river”). Her father loved the cloth that she wove and so she worked very hard every day to weave it. However, Orihime was sad that because of her hard work she could never meet and fall in love with anyone. Concerned about his daughter, Tentei arranged for her to meet Hikoboshi (彦星Cowman/Cowherd Star, or literally Boy Star) (also referred to as Kengyuu (牽牛)) who lived and worked on the other side of the Amanogawa. When the two met, they fell instantly in love with each other and married shortly thereafter. However, once married, Orihime no longer would weave cloth for Tentei and Hikoboshi allowed his cows to stray all over Heaven. In anger, Tentei separated the two lovers across the Amanogawa and forbade them to meet. Orihime became despondent at the loss of her husband and asked her father to let them meet again. Tentei was moved by his daughter’s tears and allowed the two to meet on the 7th day of the 7th month if she worked hard and finished her weaving. The first time they tried to meet, however, they found that they could not cross the river because there was no bridge. Orihime cried so much that a flock of magpies came and promised to make a bridge with their wings so that she could cross the river. It is said that if it rains on Tanabata, the magpies cannot come and the two lovers must wait until another year to meet.

I got limited pictures because I’m just using my phone forgot to bring my camera 😦 anyway, I got a short video to share, see below.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great day!

♥lovelots♥

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HarborLand, Kobe, Japan

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Our first time to go here, One of my japanese friend invited us here.

Facing Kobe bay, the commercial complex of shopping mall, restaurants, cinemas and other amusement facilities, hotels and wedding center Kobe Harborland is truely a pearl lying on the edge of land, shining dazzlingly over a large space of waterfront at night. In fact, the complex originated in the former site of the Japanese National Railways Minatogawa Kamotsu Station. Kobe General Children’s Center was the very first facility appearing at Harborland. The year 1990 remarked several important events held in Kobe Harborland including the first gas lamp lighting event at Kobe Gaslight street, the opening of Kobe Harborland General Information Center, Kobe city General Education Center and the Brick Warehouse restaurants. After the construction of Harborland Event Square Hanekko Hiroba and the pedestrian bridge Hanekko was completed in 1991, Kobe Harborland was officially opened as a town, a veritable cultural hub linking the land and sea in such a active and modern commercial complex, leading to the open of a series of important facilities including of Hotel New Otani, Kobe Seibu Department store, Duo Kobe, Augusta Plaza, Hankyu Department Store and Mosaic.

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From our house to this place, it took us 1 1/2 hours. And, our kids happy to have long trip they are watching their favorite cartoons Totoro and Doraemon.

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Look at the view is so gorgeous, and the big cruise in the other side of the port. We go early ’cause we know that it will be traffic because it was Golden Week Holiday.

Mosaic and Canal Garden are two largest shopping complexes located in Harborland. While Mosaic takes advantage of lying along the waterfront, holding aloft the signboard outstanding from the distance and featuring a complex of boutiques and restaurants, Canal Garden owns the Hankyu Department store, Sofmap electronics tore and sports store. The brick warehousescreate an outstanding construction in the middle of Kobe Harborland by the impressive classical architecture. The houses used to be used to store cargo from ships around the port before becoming home of several restaurants. An other remarkable construction, Hanekko pedestrian bridge comes over the little stream by the event square Hanekko Hiroba. Hanekko is the pioneer in applying the European style in construction which wings can be lifted up to allow ships to pass. The bridge will be extremely splendid at night by the illumination of about 1700 light bulbs.

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A happy kid because we go inside the shops of the Anpanman Museum but not the Museum itself. Because we are early so, we had time to stroll around the vicinity.

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Here’s the main reason we went here to eat Brazilian Food. It was “meat all you eat”. It was terrific and delicious food. The name of the restaurant is Brasiliano, nice place the staff are from Brazil but they can converse in Japanese. I just love the beans and the sauce on it and i don’t know what does it called, but great food. Very friendly Staff even though it was so, many people they can still manage not to let the customer waited too long.

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We had time to ask the staff to take us pictures. Then, we stroll outside to look the scenery. The big cruise at the opposite side was already sail away. I told to my husband once He had long vacation we should try to do Cruise Trip. Well, put in the family bucket list.

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A great thing we went to the side of the Mall, we had time to go the Kawasaki and Marine Museum. Kids enjoy it so much. Of course Kawasaki is all about motors, history and different kinds of motors from small to big one.

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While, the other kids are still enjoying the Kawasaki Museum, we went to the Marine and take pictures with my little princess. Different ships, boats anything in the water transport.

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We just recently watch this in the TV. The Time Capsule, 1987 – 2017 – But, they didn’t show what’s inside the capsule.

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While walking, we saw this man doing some balloon art. Then, my girl she don’t want to go until she requested to make anpanman balloon. So, cute right.

Anpanman (アンパンマン?) is a Japanese picture book series written by Takashi Yanase, running from 1973 until the creator died in 2013. The series has been adapted into an anime entitled Soreike! Anpanman (それいけ!アンパンマン?, Let’s Go! Anpanman), which is one of the most popular anime series among young children in Japan. The series follows the adventures of Anpanman, a superhero with an anpan (a bean-jam filled pastry) for a head, who protects the world from an evil anthropomorphic germ named Baikinman.

Heavily merchandised, the Anpanman characters appear on virtually every imaginable children’s product in Japan, ranging from clothes[1] to video games to toys to snack foods.

Well, there’s a lot of character in Anpanman Cartoons. Babies or Toddlers love this Anpanman cartoon. Just check this link here.

 

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The Farmer’s Kitchen

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This place so awesome, the restaurant in the middle of nowwhere just kidding middle of the fields.

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This was inside their Toilet wall decor. I wanted to do this also. Soon! if we own the house because we are just renting it, I mean the company of my husband renting it for us. We are not allowed to make holes in the wall.

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Their food is tasty and healthy. Oh, the salad is to die for. I love the dressing of it. The pasta is just so-so. The pizza was delicious as well. I will definitely go back here because of the Salad.

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Kids here will also enjoy, there is a place to play while waiting for the turn to seat and also after lunch time to play for kids. Interesting concepts.

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What’s good about this place was they sell garden materials, tools, plants, herbs and flowers. They’re so beautiful, especially those flowers, colorful and vibrant. I want them all but we don’t have the garden yet.

My own verdict: The price is expensive, but I think is worth it because it’s their own grown vegetables and healthy. (4 star) Recommended to try. Here’s there website: The Farmer

Open 10: 00-18: 00 (except the schedule below)

〒568-0095 Osaka prefecture Ibaraki-shi Saho 194-4 Google Maps

Tel / fax: 072-649-1001

Kitchen@the-farm.jp

Reservations are not accepted due to order system.

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♥lovelots♥

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Cherry blossom (Spring 2017)

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This year, we didn’t have time to view or spend time under the cherry blossom season. We just have gone near our place those cherry blossom (sakura) in the streets and malls as well.

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We just went to the park near our place.

A cherry blossom (or commonly known in Japan as sakura) is the flower of any of several trees of genus Prunus, particularly the Japanese cherry.Prunus serrulata ( or ; さくら).

Currently it is widely distributed, especially in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere including Japan, China, Korea, Europe, West Siberia, Iran, Pakistan, India, Canada, and the United States. Along with the chrysanthemum, the cherry blossom is considered the national flower of Japan.

Many of the varieties that have been cultivated for ornamental use do not produce fruit. Edible cherries generally come from cultivars of the related species Prunus avium and Prunus cerasus. Cherry blossom are also closely related to other Prunus trees such as the almond, peach, plum and apricot and more distantly to apples, pears and roses.

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Q’s Mall, Minoh, Osaka, Japan

And, this was still raining. Every time the sky is clear, we hurry to go out and view the cherry blossom.

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Below the video in my channel.

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Revisited: Katsuo-ji temple

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Once again, we visit this temple of course with different people, I mean visitor. The temple was done renovating. This is the new place they built.

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Look at my little princess staring those Daruma Dolls. Those dolls are scattered in this temple.

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The Daruma doll (達磨daruma), also known as a Dharma doll, is a hollow, round, Japanese traditional doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism. These dolls, though typically red and depicting a bearded man (Dharma), vary greatly in color and design depending on region and artist. Though considered an omocha, meaning toy, by some, Daruma has a design that is rich in symbolism and is regarded more as a talisman of good luck to the Japanese. Daruma dolls are seen as a symbol of perseverance and good luck, making them a popular gift of encouragement. The doll has also been commercialized by many Buddhist temples to use alongside goal setting.

When purchased, the eyes are white so a person can decide on a goal or wish and paint one eye in. Once the goal is achieved, the second eye is filled in.

History and commercialization

The current popular symbolism associated with Daruma as a good luck charm in part originated with the Daruma-dera (Temple of Daruma) in the city of Takasaki (Gunma Prefecture, north of Tokyo). Josef Kyburz, author of “Omocha”: Things to Play (Or Not to Play) with, explained that the founder of Daruma-Dera would draw New Year’s charms depicting Bodhidharma. The parishioners would keep these charms to “bring happiness and prosperity and ward off accidents and misfortune”.

It is believed that the Daruma figurine then originated from this region when the ninth priest, Togaku, found a solution to handle the constant requests of the parishioners for new charms. The charms were always given with an effectiveness of one year, so the people required new ones every year. He solved this by entrusting them with the making of their own Daruma charms near the beginning of the Meiwa period (1764–72). The temple made wooden block molds for the people to use. The peasants then used these molds to make three-dimensional papier-mâché charms.

Kyburz notes that though it is unknown when the Daruma figurine combined with the tumbler doll; the two were well recognized as synonymous by the mid-19th century. The doll quickly grew in popularity, becoming a mascot of the region. This was due greatly in part to fact that the majority of the families were silk farmers, a crop which requires a great deal of luck for success.

There is an annual Daruma Doll Festival (達磨市daruma-ichi) held by the city of Takasaki in celebration of being the proclaimed birthplace of the Daruma doll. The celebration is held at the Shorinzan, the name of Takasaki’s “Daruma-Dera”. According to the Takasaki city website, “Over 400,000 people from all over the Kanto Plain come to buy new good-luck dolls for the year. Takasaki produces 80% of Japan’s Daruma dolls.” The festival also features a 24-hour reading of sutras by the Shorinzan monks for world peace.

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This is nice, had been for a while they closed this section. Now it’s open. Totally nice.

Of course, I have video which i uploaded in my channel.

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♥lovelots♥

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Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan

We do really enjoy coming back here, especially when spring time or let say cherry blossoms sightseeing. But, sad to say we are too early so, we didn’t see any cherry blossoms in the street (few only) and in the mountain.

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We just took a train going Arashiyama, Kyoto for about 1hr & 15mins. And, we decided to eat first from the stall we walk by.

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This is the only cherry blossom we saw

Arashiyama (嵐山 Storm Mountain) is a district on the western outskirts of Kyoto, Japan. It also refers to the mountain across the Ōi River, which forms a backdrop to the district. Arashiyama is a nationally designated Historic Site and Place of Scenic Beauty.

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Look our little princess, she so cute. Even the tourist in the street they took a pictures of her. And, she’s not shy to smile in the stranger camera.
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our friends also tried the japanese traditional dress which is “Kimono”

The kimono (着物, きもの) is a Japanese traditional garment. The word “kimono”, which actually means a “thing to wear” (ki “wear” and mono “thing”),[2] has come to denote these full-length robes. The standard plural of the word kimono in English is kimonos, but the unmarked Japanese plural kimono is also sometimes used. The kimono is always used in important festival or formal moments, it is the representative of polite and a very formal clothing.

Kimono has T-shaped, straight-lined robes worn so that the hem falls to the ankle, with attached collars and long, wide sleeves. Kimono are wrapped around the body, always with the left side over the right (except when dressing the dead for burial)andsecured by a sash called an obi, which is tied at the back. Kimono are generally worn with traditional footwear (especially zōri or geta) and split-toe socks (tabi).

Today, kimono are most often worn by women and on special occasions. Traditionally, unmarried women wore a style of kimono called furisode, with almost floor-length sleeves, on special occasions. A few older women and even fewer men still wear the kimono on a daily basis. Men wear the kimono most often at weddings, tea ceremonies, and other very special or very formal occasions. Professional sumo wrestlers are often seen in the kimono because they are required to wear traditional Japanese dress whenever appearing in public.

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I loved their store here, old and vintage.
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Bamboo Groove

Notable tourist sites

  • The Iwatayama Monkey Park on the slopes of Arashiyama. Over 170 monkeys live at the park. While the monkeys are wild, they have become accustomed to humans. The park is on a small mountain not far from the Saga-Arashiyama rail station. Visitors can approach and photograph the monkeys. At the summit is a fenced enclosure where visitors can feed the monkeys.
  • The “Moon Crossing Bridge” (渡月橋, Togetsukyō), notable for its views of cherry blossoms and autumn colors on the slopes of Arashiyama.
  • The tombstone of the Heike courtesan Kogo of Sagano.
  • Tenryū-ji, the main temple of one of the 15 branches of the Rinzai school, one of the two main sects of Zen Buddhism in Japan.
  • The hamlet of Kiyotaki, a small scenic village at the base of Mt. Atago, the home to a notable Shinto shrine.
  • Matsunoo-taisha, a shrine half a mile south of the area, is home to a blessed spring. It is one of the oldest shrines in the Kyoto area, founded in 700. The alleged restorative properties of the spring bring many local sake and miso companies for prayers that their product will be blessed.
  • Kameyama koen has a stone commemorating Zhou Enlai‘s visit to Arashiyama. He was moved by the cherry blossoms and mountain greenery. The four poems he wrote about his visit are engraved on a stone monument: “Arashiyama in the Rain.”
  • Ōkōchi Sansō, the Japanese-style home and gardens of the film actor Denjirō Ōkōchi.
  • Cherry trees bloom in spring and leaves turns red in autumn.

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Our first time to try this Owl’s Forest. Stumbled upon this place while walking through a the train station and we saw this sign Cats Cafe and Owl Forest. Unfortunately, the Cat’s Cafe is closed. Worth it to go here in Owl Forest so fluffy and so cute. There were about 10 different cute fluffy owls that you can pet! They even had owls that looked like the ones from Harry Potter!

We do really enjoy going here because we didn’t have decent lunc,so we decided to eat in Kin no Buta (shabu-shabu)

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Eat-All-You-Can Pork and reasonable price

But of course, I also took a video check below.

Thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great day!

♥lovelots♥

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