Castletown Komoro Festival

They held a Joukamachi (castletown) Festival in Komoro 19-23 this months
This is Komoro station.In June many swallows come to the nests under the roof.


imageimageComing out of Komoro station you turn left and you will find Honjin building where some exhibitions are held.One of them was exhibition of kimono made of old cloths.At the entrance they arrange wild flowers in the area.What most impressed me was that Ms Nakazawa collected old cloths and made them into Furisode(long sleeved kimono) and she said it took 15 years to do so.

imageimageMs Nakazawa.Please enjoy her


beautiful kimono and obi (belt) all in different style.



imageimageAfter kimono I visited Sake brewer and bought a Sobachoko.Sobachoko is dip container for soba.(japanese typical noodle and Nagano prefecture is well known for good soba).This is Sobachoko I bought.Surprisingly he is from Karuizawa and a sort of sake connaissurer.Loving sake and choko (for sake) he now opened a shop in Karuizawa. Interesting!Regret I don’t drink alcohol.


imageYoung people exhibit their works and run cafe.

imageWhen I was looking at the map thinking where to go next I was spoken to see the old house open only for the day.The house was built in Edo era(17-18 century).I was interested in the skylight and it was installed in Edo era did they possibly get glasses? As I wondered skylight was installed later and they became popular in the area.There were houses of three stories and these houses have tower like skylight to reach the roof of three storied house.

imageThis is Soba restaurant built also in Edo period.

I finished my day trip by having Unagi kabayaki don(eel). to Japanese







Kusatsu Onsen 草津温泉

Onsen, that’s everybody loves both foreigners and Japanese.When they learn Onsen and pronounce Onsen they may be nearer to Japanese culture.Here is Onsen, Kusatsu is one of three Onsen in Japan.Right in centre of the town hot water spurs and you will be surprised with its amount.

Pity I missmed several shots including Ryokan-Japanese style hotel. We spent a couple of hours in the centre of the town and then from Kusatsu station hotel’s shuttle bus sent us to the hotel.Where I stayed called TOKINONIWA-季の庭 was the most favourite hotel for the year in Kusatsu.Before I knew that this hotel is favoured,I could see that their way of OMOTENASHI – hospitality differs from other we stayed.They do not select guests but they seemed to know what will please guests.This is very important point. Many hotels think they offer luxurious rooms, amenities and … They knew how guests can relux and enjoy. It’s including small surprises!!This is extremely distinguishable of this hotel management.

imageMoss in the garden

imagePart of the garden.ROOM:On entering guest room area which is divided by sliding dorrs we can select Yukata-cotton kimono & Obi-wide belt and even pillows.Each room provides Samue-room wear which mostly priests wear and Dotera-kimono style gown.Our room consists of 1 living room(tatami), 1 bed room (tatami & matress),tiny garden leads to open air bath. TV is hidden behind small rood/paper made sliding doors.BATH: They say there are 23 different baths.BeforeI go to the bath my daughter who already finished taking a bath advised that there are free ice candies.So good! Here are their OMOTENASHI(hospitality) : ice some Japanese/Chinese refreshment such as Niramannjuuニラ饅頭,Nikumann肉まん and Misodennraku.味噌田楽。This start17:30 to 18:30pm.First dinner start at 17.50 we missed them. Next time! Then 3.surprisingly at 10 o’clock they offer Ramen, of course free ramen.We like Ramen and now its popularity is becoming worldwide.You can eat as many ramens as you like between 10:00 to 11:30 pm. In Japan there are many who finish drinking alcohol with having ramen. After alcohol ramen taste so good. When they offer ramen at 10:00 pm menas that people can happily go to bed.I was really impressed and more impressed when I see guests enjoy eating ramen.Wakuwaku Dokidoki  Now MEALS: Dining room is divided by partition like private room so we do not have to see others.This is very good to keep privacy.

image      This is starters

.imageCup of soup.It is season of wisteria, in Gumma and Nagano area you will see lots of wild wisteria.imageSashimiimageEggplant etc

imageMain dish of beef steak.You can select as you like among 4 menuimageRolled cabbage,quite soft and tasty.Of course there was desset but I did not take photoimageBreakfast for startimageBits of bits

imagePlain omelet, you can also select among menu

All of us really enjoyed and we will be back again in the near future! Recommendable hotel for foreigners as well.


Lake New Town レイクニュータウン

Lake new town modeled lakes in Switzerland.Along the lake there used to be a department store and swan shape boats on the lake but now all renovated matching to the landscape.Once you enter the gate it is Swiss village.

image Houses in sober colour.

Lakes in rain     imageimage Backside of the

sober houses facing the lake.

imageIt was 18th April I visited the garden and they have just finished transplant roses.Very well arranged and I could imagine these roses at their best in June.imageimageimageimageimageimageimageDaffodilsimageLotus roots in water.

imageShops far end of the lake which really made me feel I am in Switzerland.image Wooden bridge looks a bit slipperly but protectedimageLow headges.imageimageView just entered the gate.I went to Lakenewtown again in May and found roses have grown so much.I will be there again in June to enjoy roses.I will report you again.



Best Cherry Blossoms of this year ベスト桜花賞

image A few days ago I heard that cherry blossoms just started to bloom in Kushiro, Hokkaido. Kushiro is located very north so you can imagine that most cherry blossoms are gone by this time in Japan. However, there were drooping cherry blossoms in Karuizawa, Nagano pref and five of them are drooping their branches to the ground. They reminded me of some kind of dog.

image You can see a few trees behind.

image If I went there a week before they surely look more beautiful.

In this space there are variety of cherry trees and therefore you can enjoy them for quite some time.This is a spot I found in Karuizawa. Even during Golden week there were noone there.


image Dandelions’ yellow are matching to..


Exhibit a Buddhist image ご開帳

To celebrating Zenkouji temple’s  Gokaichou(exhibit a Budhist image):Nagano station decorating several lanterns to show respect.

:*About Zenkouji temple please refer my blog 「Zenkouji temple & night view at Obasute 25 Sept,’14」

imageIt is a bit of long way to walk to Zenkouji temple although many do walk and short to take a bus to the temple. So normally I walk on my way back to the Nagano station.

image image I took earliest possible train to Nagano station and I arrived in the queue around 10:15 am. Knowing lots of people visiting the temple and means of transportation except walk is bus but they seemed they have not arranged anything at all beforehand.They call a bus for emergency after they saw a long long queue and let us wait so long.

However,I was so fascinated and appreciated I was able to come and finally touch the sacred pole which is linked to the image inside. After you can go inside to see but I did not go. I was happy to touch and felt so much  happiness.

image This is a pole linked to the image. I did not wish anything, I did not have anything to pray. I just recited a sutra in every direction touching my right or both hands to the pole. I was really satisfied I could do so and after even if I did not go to the Main building behind I was filled with power given and filled with happiness.

image This is the garden of a brewery. As I do not drink alcohol I just went to the garden and asked someone to take photo of me, Sumi.Cherry blossoms indeed always make us happy. It is not only cherry blossom is Japan’s country flower but they bloom quickly and fall qyucjky.

image This is a square which a couple of years ago they renovated Japanese old black warehouses. They are called OPEN.It is in GONDOU arcade Nearer to the Zenkouji temple there is similar square called patio which is well known but this OPEN square is new and now known yet. I asked about this place to those who distributed fliers of Zenkouji temple and the town around, at first they puzzled and said what I want is maybe that etc. But to me it is interesting squiare.

image  This is a restaurant in the square where I had coffee.I would have had lunch if I had accompany with. It is specious and coffee tasted good! I will come back for lunch with someone in the near future.


さくらさくら Cherry blossoms

Yesterday I went to Ueno Park to see cherry blossoms. Ueno’s cherry blossoms are my favourite although I have not been there for the last few years. They are at their best and people who enjoy them are highly excited.上野駅の人ごみです

image This is Ueno station.You can see how many people are there to see cherry blossoms.

image  Overcrowded, indeed overcrowded and took time to get through the exit.

image Ueno is also centre of arts. There are museums, concert halls, galleries and Univ of arts.Behnd crowd concert hall for mostly classics and ballet or opera can be seen.

image Modern art museum hold Rodin’s works.

image This is of also Rodin’s.

imagePeople are keeping the space for the evening entertainment.I have never heard in the other country that people gather under the tree to entertain themselves, eating, drinking, singing and even dancing.They will bring Karaoke sets. I thought going through cherry blossoms tunnel that entertaining us ourselves means entertaining spirits of cherry blossoms. Good, so lets enjoy.

image  Please enjoy the beautiful Ueno’s cherry blossoms.



image  Beer men are attracting attention and was asked to be in the snapshot.I guess they are really popular in the evening when people start to drink, they are beers.

image One of most distinguishable things about Japan is manners in general. I do not know that Japanese are really good mannerd or not but I can say they are very sympathetic towards others.We live in the world of sympathy ( I want to believe) and whether It is merit or demerit to me I would very much like to live on sympathy.Regarding to rubbish, we are requested to put things in certain genre things should go and to be collected.This keep people comfortable keeping Ohanami (appreciation of cherry blossoms) place tidy. Good job!! You are responsible for rubbish.責任を持ってごみを片付けましょう

imageAnother blue sheet for the evening geast.

image You cannot see cherry blossoms without seeing heads.

image Two girls keeping place for friends? family?or colleagues?正座は大変かもしれません

image End of the Ueno park. When wind blows wind makes cherry petal storm。



A day trip to Obuse (小布施日帰りのたび)

It’s always exciting to visit places I’ve never been.

imageToday I start at Shinano Oiwake station of Shinano railway.

I had to get up quite early to get in 7:50 train. 信濃追分駅出発

image   image  A view of tweed around the station.Standing on the platform of the station Mr Asama can be seen beyond tweed.浅間山が見えます

image A train is coming. imageTrain is approaching,

This train for Karuizawa not for Nagano. 信濃鉄道です

imageThis is inside of Nagano Dentetsu which I have never been.

image   imageSome seets seem to have been brought from somewhere, from other train.I was surprised how much they charge from Nagano to Obuse, 670 yen, thought expensive. カラフルだけど運賃は高い

Arrived Obuse. This time there is no bus around the city, in fact no bus at all people have means of transportation only on foot. So I took a taxi to Gannshouin

image.   image  A small building outside Ganshoin and mountains behind. バスはこの時期動いていません

image   image  Entrance to ganshoin and information board.

image   image  Niomon gate and main building through Niomon gate.

image Ganshoin Hondou(main building) I went to Ganshoin to see a Chinese phoenix painted by Hokusai (Katsushika Hokusai) but I was not very much impressed.

image   image  Grape trees wrapped with straws to prevent them from cold north wind, they say.I started to chat with owner and she said she lost her mother-in-law and her husband last year. I always enjoy talking with local people.土地の人と話すのはたのしい

image   image  Two private houses.A house left reminds me of my home town Hakodate. The house looks like typical houses in Hakodate, in Hokkaidou.

image   imageNoren(shop curtains) are symbol of Obuse. They represent Sake or Obuse’s symbol chesnuts.

image   imageChestnut Tree Terrace & Masuichi Ichimura Sake brewer.Chestnut Tree Terrace coffee shop is recommended by information at the station and as they recommended their Mont Blanc cake made of Obuse chesnuts are so delicious that I had two.Masuichi Ichimura is known as an American woman invited an architect designer from Hong Kong and renovated the brewer completely with the etrangere’s sense.I read her book and was impressed on her different point of view.


image   image  Noren (shop curtain) of Obusedou, one of the most famous of Japanese cakes made of chestnuts.Museum was closed due to being under construction, I must visit them again.

image   image  Tiny quarter of old houses which brought me to Edo period(timetripped)/ 江戸時代のよう

image   image Where I am now? I am lost in other world? This is a reality or not? It seemed people lives cosily without having so many things, simple is best, so they carried simple life.

image   image  They know the beauty of pots. And even carrier is displayed.

image    image  Barrell to be used to make sake.

image   imageOld house with nicely trimmed pine trees. Barrells to see from different direction.

image    image  Exit gate and backyard of Obusedou.

image  People walking are matching to old houses.




Sensouji Temple in Asakusa,Tokyo 浅草寺

Sensouji temple in Asakusa.

Before visiting Sensouji temple I and my friend visited Matsujiyama Shoutem (待乳山聖天) to visit the temple as well as saying hello to my friend working who by chance we started to talk and became friends.

image image


Matsujiyama temple and Skytree view from the temple premises.The same Skytree from near the River.


Asakusa jinja(shrine,浅草神社)next to the Sensouji temple. Cherry blossoms in winter(I do not know where they are from)


Asakusa jinja and Sensouji temple, people gather to get smoke where they like to be cured.

image image

image imageR


Renovated lantern of Kamimarimon Gate

Beauty of our garden!!

image   Boss maple among 5 maple trees.  30-40 years old?            Iimage I hope you will enjoy beautiy of our garden!.

image                                    imageAll in our garden.

imageI like our house is called a house of maples.


imageLadder from veranda to garden.


imageimageMore beauties

image  Near entrance garage.image

Beautiful maples here and there.

image Again, near the entrance. imageLet me introduce my favourite spot for this season.Perfect view from Karuizawa Oohashi(bridge).  image

imageSo good to see.