Information for Visitors in Japan

by CatchJapan

San-in Trip (山陰旅行)

Adachi Museum of Art (足立美術館)

I went on a trip to Sanin region (山陰地方; western Honshu) last fall, visiting Izumo (出雲), Matsue (松江), Yasugi (安来) and Yonago (米子).

Each place was impressive enough and there are many sightseeing spots, however,
most o all, the Adachi Museum of Art was truly a highlight of my trip this time,
because visiting this Museum has been in my earnest wish list for long.

The Adachi Museum o Art was founded by one businessman named Adachi
Zenko (足立全康) in 1970, located in Yasugi city, Shimane Pref. (島根県安来市)

You have to take a bus from Yasugi JR station and it is not situated in a convenience place,
however, by all means, I highly encourage you to visit there.

The Museum is best known worldwide for its award winning garden along
with the famous Japanese paintings.


You can enjoy this garden at anytime of the year and appreciate four seasons.
The garden is just AWESOME!!


I hope these photos can least convey the essence of it.
The Museum has a collection of Japanese artworks including
paintings by Yokoyama Taikan (横山大観).


I could not take any pictures inside, so the following shows one of famous paintings of Yokoyama Taikan.


I spent almost one hour, just siting outside watching the garden :)

# by CatchJapan | 2017-01-28 10:00 | Outside Tokyo
Toujin-daba - 唐人駄場

When I traveled in Shikoku several years ago, I visited a very interesting place called Toujin-daba (唐人駄場) in Kouchi Pref., (about the previous cover; It is located in Cape Ashizuri area (足摺岬), the southernmost point of Shikoku.

The photos below show the Toujin Megalithic Ruins (唐人岩巨石群) of Jomon period (縄文時代). Interestingly, our guide was a mysterious fortune teller so that she told us many wondrous tales.

From one of the gigantic stone, we could see the ocean.

By the way, Toujin (唐人) means outsiders or foreigners and Daba (駄場) means a flat place, as shown picture below. Actually, here is Toujin-daba and when you look up, you can see the Ruins. It is said that the Ruins were very sacred and ancient people might worship it from this flat square.
It you are interested in spiritually powerful places like this, I think Toujin-daba is one of remarkable spots in Japan.

# by CatchJapan | 2016-09-11 08:00 | Outside Tokyo

Kansai Trip (8)

- Kudzukiri (葛きり・くずきり) -

b0189321_09030231.jpgEvery time I go to Kyoto, there is one Japanese confectionery shop which I won't miss to visit. They sell their Japanese sweets and you can also sit in and have a cup of tea there. This place is called "Kagizen (鍵善)" located in Gion (祇園), actually a few minute-walk from Yasaka-Jinja Temple (八坂神社).

Their specialty is Kudzukiri (葛きり), kudzu starch noodles with the brown sugar syrup Kuromitsu (黒蜜), a traditional Japanese sweet made from Kudzu (葛; arrowroot). It is refreshing during very hot summer in Kyoto because it's served with ice, see blow pictures. When you eat them, you have to use chopsticks and noodles are very slippery so be careful!

Their shop inside, very nice and relaxing...

# by CatchJapan | 2016-07-03 10:00 | Outside Tokyo

100-yen Shops - 100円均 -

100yen shops used to be full of junks and easily broken cheap stuff
(like one-dollar shops outside Japan), but nowadays, I must stress that
they have been actually evolving the line of products.
If you have spare time in Japan, I strongly recommend to stop by
to find the interesting items there. You can also find the Japanese stuff.

Most goods have English explanations, although it is not properly
translated but at least you can get an idea how to use it.
My favourite shops are;
1) Seria (セリア)
2) Natural Kitchen (ナチュラルキッチン)(honestly, this is my best,
  but there are only few shops available even in Tokyo.)
3) CanDo (キャンドゥ)

Some have very good quality and some are very useful.
The picture shows only few samples I bought.
Every each item costs 100 yen (less than 1 dollar now).
I am also enjoying to remake small things by using those items
and if you do not like it, you can just throw it away.

Enjoy shopping!

# by CatchJapan | 2016-05-07 13:00 | General Information

Season's Greetings

Have a Happy Holiday Season from CATCH JAPAN♬♬♬

# by CatchJapan | 2015-12-24 08:00 | General Information
Machiya Restaurant (町家レストラン)
b0189321_1085128.jpgMachiya (町家 or 町屋) are traditional wooden-made townhouses, many found in Kyoto. Since Machiya houses are long-standing over the centuries. Nowadays, those are renovated into stylish inns, cafes, restaurants, art galleries and so on.

b0189321_10131010.jpgWhen we visited Kyoto, we had a lunch at one of those Machiya restaurants near Karasuma-4jou (烏丸四条), called "Shun-puann"(旬風庵). It was kind of mixture of Japanese and French dishes, using lots of well-known Kyo yasai (京野菜; special vegetables produced only in Kyoto area).
As you can see, there are Tatami mats (畳) there, so you have to take off your shoes at the door hall.

The lunch was all delicious and we enjoyed very much along with the traditional atmosphere in the Machiya. Since there are many restaurants like this one in Kyoto, you should try. I heard that the Machiya-style inns are also very nice, some of them are very exclusive and cozy due to small space but very comfy...

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# by CatchJapan | 2015-08-30 15:00 | Outside Tokyo
Koginzashi / Koginsashi; A blue bag...

# by CatchJapan | 2015-03-14 13:00 | Kogin-zashi
Happy Valentine's Day!!

# by CatchJapan | 2015-02-14 09:00 | General Information

Temiage - 手土産 -

Temiage - 手土産 -
b0189321_1492269.jpgTemiage (手土産, 手みあげ) means a small present to give to your friends, family, relatives, etc., especially, when you are invited to someone's house, you bring this Temiage with you. In many cases, there are confections, cakes or a box of chocolate.

As for me, I usually bring this Karintou (かりんとう), the traditional Japanese sweets. This comes with a lovely vermeil round can, wrapped with a fancy paper box. Everybody I know loves this Temiage so I bring them to overseas friends, too. Karintou is crunchy and sweet in taste and it is good with a Japanese tea, coffee and/or tea.

I buy this Temiage from the very small shop, named "Tachibana”(たちばな) in Tokyo, Ginza. This small type costs 1,400yen.

# by CatchJapan | 2015-01-18 20:00 | Japanese Culture
Togetsukyo (Togetsukyo Bridge; 渡月橋)
b0189321_1532525.jpgThe Togetsu-kyo Bridge (渡月橋) has been a landmark in Western Kyoto's Arashiyama (嵐山) District for over many years. Togetsu means the "Moon Crossing" (I think it sounds romantic). This wooden bridge spans the Katsura River (桂川) in front of Arashiyama Mountain, offering beautiful views.
We decided to take a decent break at this riverbank because we were actually very tired after loooong walk around this area. The scenery was superb and there was cool breeze from the mountain (we visited there in early October but it was unusually hot like over 30 degrees celsius.)

This area is also famous for its cherry blossoms and autumn leaves. Kyoto is always so crowded with lots of tourists during these two best seasons and naturally it is hard to secure your accommodations/ travel reservations, however, it is absolutely worth trying.

# by CatchJapan | 2014-12-14 15:21 | Outside Tokyo