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Shizuoka Guide Travel to Japan

富士山静岡空港 Mt. Fuji Shizuoka Airport

静岡県 Shizuoka Prefecture Official Site


Shizuoka Guide Travel to Japan

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01/06/2012 [Fri]

Bishamonten Festival in Fuji City [Fuji City]


Today, I’ll introduce one of the most unique events in Shizuoka. That is, “Bishamonten Festival”, Vaisravana ( a Guardian of Buddhism ) Festival at Myohoji Temple in Fuji City. As you know, Fuji City is well known as the best spot for Mt. Fuji viewing and as a city of Shirasu baby sardines. In February, spectacular plum blossoms will be in their best at Iwamotoyama Park. I’ll introduce it next month. English Information about Iwamotoyama is available from here. Now, on that day, actually last year, I got off JR train at Yoshiwara Station and walked for a while along the street.


It was not difficult for me to reach Myohoji Temple because quite a lot of people and Yatai food stalls were lined toward it. I was so excited because I had never been there. Walking up the stairs, I found a huge main hall and lots of stands selling Daruma dolls modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of Zen sect of Buddhism. He was born in south India as a third son of the King and became a monk in China to be the father of Zen Buddhism. Nowadays, Daruma is generally believed in Japan as a god of success in business or study.



Turning around, I was more surprised at the scenery. Mt. Fuji looked so magnificent and gorgeous with much snow !
I strolled around to buy some snacks such as Yakisoba fried noodle and Takoyaki and reached the seashore in five minutes or so through the pine grove.


There I saw an indescribable sunset ! Stunning. I finished my snack and was waiting for the darkness to come.


It was quite mystic to see Daruma market at night. Lots of bulbs were lit. Congenial orange-tinged flickers embraced passers-by warmly. I saw some having a huge daruma doll in their hands.



For Japanese (795KB)

Bishamonten Festival will be held this year on January 29th through 31st. English information is available from the website of Fujisan Tourism & Communication Bureau. If you are coming by Shinkansen high-speed train, please stop at Shin-fuji Station and be sure to drop by the Bureau for more tourist information of Fuji City.

Have a good day !

Bishamonten Festival ( Jan 29 – 31 )
Access : Bishamonten Myohoji Temple
10 - 15 minute walk from JR Yoshiwara Station
Hours : Jan 29 & 30th = 8:00 – 21:00 /Jan 31st = 8:00 – 20:00

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11/14/2011 [Mon]

Around Mitsuke Inn Town along the Old Tokaido road ― Iwata City-2 [Iwata]


I visited lastly “The Old Akamatsu Memorial House” that stands 10 minutes away from the Old Tokaido road. This amazing mansion belonged to Akamatsu Noriyoshi, a vice admiral in the late Edo and Meiji Period, and eventually donated to Iwata City.


Now, please see the map first. You can tell how great he was from this spacious site. It’s free to look around ! Passing through the old checking gate, I found the first large house on my right (A). He is also known as a culturally established man and this house is said to have been used as his library which carried about 3000 books and documents that were all donated and are currently preserved in the Central Library of Iwata City.


Next, I found a park-like garden. A statue was there to welcome us. Yes, he is Mr. Akamatsu, the former owner. How are you doing ? Thank you for the beautiful evening !^^
I walked up to the next house, actually an exhibition room (B) where you can see his belongings and other materials. Beyond the exhibition room is a decent bamboo forest (C). It was creating “Japanese” in the light of the setting sun. Beside the bamboo forest is a small pond. There I found a frog, I dare say a symbol of Japan’s good old days. I’m always tranquilized by “Japanese”, something very peculiar to traditional or cultural things in Japan. What about you ?^^



The last thing I looked around was this beautiful house, “The Old Akamatsu Memorial House” (D). Here exhibits varieties of designated cultural treasures related to Akamatsu Family. Admission free. You can also enjoy special green tea for a charge. It’s very nice to feel a slow-passing time looking out the beautiful Japanese garden, isn’t it ?^^
The gold drawing below is the one awarded by the 16th master of Tokugawa ( Tokugawa Shogunate finished in 15th ) in the late Edo Period. It was so gorgeous that I could not help but give a sigh. I just wonder how much it’s worth.


Anyway, please be sure to stop by The Old Akamatsu Memorial House when you visit Iwata City by any chance.^^

Have a good day !

The Old Akamatsu Memorial House
Access from JR Iwata Sta. : 10 minutes by bus to “Kawaramachi-kita” and 1 minute walk
Admission : Free of charge
Closed : on Mondays, the day after holiday, year-end and new year days.
Open Hour : 9:00 – 16:30

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11/01/2011 [Tue]

Around Mitsuke Inn Town along the Old Tokaido road ― Iwata City [Iwata]


After the “Museum of Fragrance, Iwata”, I took JR Line from Toyoda to Iwata Station. Remember the blue statue ? Yes, “Jubilo-kun”^^ He welcomes any visitors any time, maybe. Hi. Sorry for my Pul-chan cell-phone strap.


Now, I took a #1 bus to “Mitsuke”, one of the old Inn towns, to walk along the old Tokaido road. “Yanahime Shrine” ( or Mitsuke Tenjin Shrine ) has been meant to come first today but due to the catastrophic typhoon, some of huge sacred trees around the shrine had been uprooted and we were forced out of it that day. Too bad…… I had no choice but to walk away from it and stroll along the Tokaido. Though the Old Tokaido itself looks rather contemporary, it still retains some historical evidences in various spots. You may miss some of them without careful looking.



Now, I reached the Old Mitsuke School, one of the symbols of Iwata City. This very historic architecture is said to be the oldest existing wooden western-style school ( established in 1875 ) in Japan and has been also registered as a National Historical Site. Now, let’s get in there ! Then……, I had trouble again…… That is, the building had been seriously damaged by the typhoon and needed to be closed for a while to get repaired. You can go inside now to see the educational materials and scenes of classes of that time free of charge !


All right, I knew there was a unique shrine, “Omikunitama Shrine”, beside the school. But there……, the vestiges of typhoon, again. A huge tree had been uprooted and fallen on the Honden ( God’s house ) roof. What a scene ! Honestly, these ravages were quite a blow to me.



Around Mitsuke (127KB)

Now, this shrine is to worship “Okuninushi-no Mikoto”, the same god as one enshrined in Izumo Taisha Shrine. He is, according to Japanese myth such as “Kojiki” and “Nihon-syoki”, legendarily believed to have had about 180 children ( or Gods, each enshrined in various shrines in Japan ) and these rabbits are to represent the famous old story, “Inaba-no Shiro Usagi”. “Rabbit” also has it that it would bless someone with plenty of babies. Pray for the babies ?^^ It may also bless you with someone very special in your life ! Get your Honey or Darling to come♪
After leaving Omikunitama Shrine, I walked down to “Old Akamatsu Memorial House”. I’ll report it next time !

Have a good day !^^


Yanahime Shrine ( Mitsuke Tenjin Shrine )
Access from JR Iwata : 10 minutes by bus and 5 minutes walk
Admission : Free
The Old Mitsuke School
Access : 10 minute walk from Yanahime Shrine
Admission : Free
Open Hours : 9:00 – 16:30 ( closed on Mondays )
Omikunitama Shrine
Access : 1 minute walk from The Old Mitsuke School
Admission : Free

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Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 10:20 Permanent Link Trackback ( 0 ) Comments ( 0 )

09/09/2011 [Fri]

Make your day at Acty Mori in Autumn [Morimachi]


If you like to spend a day in the great nature in this coming autumn, “Acty Mori” in Mori Town, Shizuoka, is definitely for you. Located along the beautiful “Ota River” and surrounded by mountains, Acty Mori would surely provide you with unforgettable time and memories.


Mori Town ( or Morimachi ) is known as a little Kyoto in Shizuoka, which has dozens of cultures and traditions for itself and lots of temples and shrines as I’ve ever introduced before. Click here for these information.

Now what can we do specifically in Acty Mori ? Hand-made local crafts such as Japanese paper making, dyeing, Enshu devil-tile, and ceramic art are one of the most popular activities in it. I actually saw kids making Japanese paper fan and other ladies turning and shaping potteries. They looked so serious during the making but when I talked to a girl after her work, she just gave me a big smile as if saying “I made it !”. Impressing.^^ You can also purchase made-up products for the gift.


Other activities are as follows :
Mountain bike, Putting Golf, hiking, tennis, canoeing, harvesting, making soba noodle, BBQ, camping, swimming, and shopping etc.



When I visited there last time, because it was in mid-summer, many families were playing around the water. In autumn, it would become more fascinating with red leaves. Telling furthermore, there is a humongous dam, “Ota-gawa Dam” and “Kawasemi Lake”. On its way, “Tomodake house”, a village of fleeing Heike family can be found. Though only one house stands there, I love the place because it always takes me to the world of more than 800 years ago.


Shopping in Acty is also fun ! Not only souvenirs but local vegetables are sold in the store. Amazingly fresh, needless to say. And very good for visitors for BBQ ! Golf fields are well-cared and lots of limited events has been planned. Cottages are also available if you like to stay overnight. I’ll introduce the details next time !


Acty Mori
Access : 30 min by car from Fukuroi IC of Tomei Expressway.
17 min by bus to “Acty Mori” from Enshu Mori Sta. of Tenryu-hamanako Railway. ( Transfer to Tenryu-hamanako Railway from JR Kakegawa Sta.)

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Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 09:53 Permanent Link Trackback ( 0 ) Comments ( 0 )

07/01/2011 [Fri]

For Buddhist training – Kasuisai – 2 [Fukuroi]


After Zen meditation, I headed for “Shojin Ryori”, the Zen Vegetarian Cuisine that is very popular here at Kasuisai Temple. Shojin Cuisine is a meal for Buddhist monks with no meat or fish, even in a soup stock. Each flavor might be felt too simple but it can be also regarded at the same time as the ultimate cuisine because it makes the best of its original taste. Each and every vegetable such as carrot, potato, and bamboo shoot is meant to be individually a main dish.


I saw many visitors enjoying Shojin cuisine in a room despite a weekday. Telling you the truth, I’m not good with vegetables, but once I tasted it, I could tell that the sweet flavor infiltrated into my body that brought me an inexplicable relief.


After Shojin Cuisine, I walked around the temple. First comes a Hondo main hall. Here, I advise you to look around carefully to find the Tokugawa family crest as in the picture. It can be found everywhere in the temple !


Tokugawa Family Crest


Next one is a main hall of Shuyoji Temple that was originally located in Mt.Akiha, allegedly believed to have 1300 year history. It enshrines Akiha Sanjakubo, considered as a god of fire protection, and many people still come all the way from a distance to worship it. A story says that he transformed himself as a figure below by supernatural power gained after the rigorous Zen training.


Akiha Sanjakubo

This is “the best washroom in Japan” in Kasuisai temple. “Ususama-myo-o”, the god of fire is said to burn out every filthy thing.


Ususama Myoo in the middle of the washroom


That is, it’s indicating please keep the washroom clean. I don’t think anyone can get it messy right in front of this beautiful god. By the way, believe it or not, this washroom is for both men and women. Don’t get confused if you see a lady behind you.^^

They say that there are 33 spots to see in the temple. Stamp-rally is held every day and you will have a small gift only if you can collect more than 20 stamps on the reverse side of the map on the right. The washroom above is No18. I’m sorry I could not report all of them here. Go ahead and try !


Access from JR Fukuroi Sta.: 10 minutes by bus from #1 to “Kasui” and 5 minutes on foot.
Admission : Free ( ※ ¥500 to get inside the temple )
Open Hours : 8:00〜16:30 ( 7 days a week )
Shojin Cuisine : Take ( ordinary course ) ¥2000/Take-jo ( upper ordinary ) ¥2500/Matsu ( deluxe course ) ¥3000/Matsu-jo ( upper deluxe ) ¥3500
* Prior booking necessary
Zen Meditation : Every Saturday Application from 12:30/Zen meditation from 13:30( 30 min×2 )* No reservation necessary
Zen monk experience : Overnight course/One-day course Please inquire us for further question

“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^

Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 14:45 Permanent Link Trackback ( 0 ) Comments ( 0 )

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