April 2012 Archives

Hamanako Garden Park

I went to my favorite place, 「Hamanako Garden Park」yesterday.
It's a big park laid out by Hamamatsu city for a flower exhibition.
Now the exhibition was over, though it is maintained enough for local citizens as a place of recreation and relaxation.

There is a 「Monet's garden」at the end of the garden. 
I said "It's the best season to see tulips because of full bloom.", and took my family to there.

20120423-02.JPGThis park's 「Monet's garden」is very beautiful.
It is laid out completely like the garden laid out by Claude Monet in Giverny in France.
I went to there 10 years ago, and I remember the admission fee was high, but the garden hadn't been looked after enough.
However I was a little moved, because I realized Monet painted Water lilies at this place.

「Monet's garden」of Hamamatsu is a copy of the original one.
But I can see how much the garden designers care about the gerden.
It is an extreamely well- kept garden.
Besides, the admission fee is free, and that's why I recommend it.

I talked to the garden designer about the plants of the garden.
He planted almost all the same plants as the original Monet's garden a few years ago when the exhibition was held.
Now, he choose plants that give the same image with his idea.
There are many rare flowers, so he orders almost the entire these flowers through the Internet.

My husband and I know most of plants, because our hobbies are gardening.
Still, we are impressed with the garden every time we visit.
In case of a tulip, only some quite unusual kinds ones are planted.
For instance, does this red tulip look like a rose? ↓

20120423-05.jpgThis one's each flower leaf's end is like a fringe. ↓

20120423-06.JPGThis one has many flower leaves like a peony.

20120423-07.jpgThis one is really gorgeous as you can see!

20120423-08.jpgThese tulips are also all rare breeds.

I feel embarrassed saying about its price as I talk about beautiful flowers.
But, rare breed's bulbs are expensive.
I know gardening costs an awful amount of money, because I keep my garden.
So, I'm very impressed by the fact that so many rare kinds of tulips are planted in such a huge garden.
Furthermore, the color, the height, and the blooming time of plants are all perfectly calculated!!

A pond that water lilies float in is some way along the garden.
This place is also quite the same as the real pond.
It is a little later that wisteria around Taiko-bridge and water lilies in the pond will bloom. 

20120423-13.jpgThe only different thing is not to be able to enter a house of Monet.
Perhaps, it's too much work to take care of the house in addition to the garden..
I want the house to be opened as a café.

20120423-14.jpgThe garden will have beautiful roses in a month.
Then, I'll be back!


An eel VS. A conger

I returned to my native place, Hiroshima, for a short time.
Japanese love cherry blossoms, and they enjoy cherry blossoms viewing in the season.
If I go somewhere to do it ..., I must choose Miyajima.
Miyajima is one of the Three Great Sights of Japan, and also a World Heritage.
Especially, it is great when cherry blossoms bloom in spring, and the leaves turn red or yellow in autumn.

By the way, Miyajima also attracts people's attention now for another reason.
Japanese long-running TV drama, 「Tairano Kiyomori」is being broadcast now, and Miyajima is one of a place in connection with it.
(This is the photo of a poster of the drama)

20120416-02.jpgTairano Kiyomori is the person who entirely remodeled Itsukushima Shrine that had been built, at the end of Heian era.
He had big power, so he built the Shrine and the huge Torii in the sea.

20120416-03.jpgA ferry boat is passing though between the torii.
It is only available at the high tide.

Look at these pictures of Miyajima.
They're presents for everyone watching my blog.

20120416-05.jpgNow, I start telling today's main topic.
Hamamatsu where I live is famous for 「eel dishes」with eel that are caught in Hamana Lake.
Miyajima is famous for 「conger dishes」with conger that are caught in the Inland Sea.
I think Japanese who compared both by eating may be few, though I like both.

Let me introduce a very famous eel restaurant,「Ueno」.

20120416-06.jpg「Ueno」sold 「conger lunch box」at Miyajima station 100years ago.
Now, they still sll lunch box and we can also eat in the restaurant.

20120416-07.jpgDo you know the difference between 「a conger」 and「an eel」?
Conger lives in shallow sea, and eel basically lives in the river.
Both are good to eat, and it is said that eel has more fat.
This is conger → → →

20120416-08.jpg「Ueno」is not only good restaurant that serves delicious dishes, but also the interior decoration is retro and nice.
It is always crowded with tourists and locals , though the restaurant has a space where some antique are exhibited, so they may not get tired of looking.


Can Japanese draw comics?

It is drawn by me, and posted on my refrigerator with magnets.

I and my son are huge fan of「ONE PIECE」that is one of Japanese comics.
He asked me to draw some characters of the animation.
「Let me see...
 I can't remember how their face are, even you say so...」
Finally, I drew them as looking at a calendar of ONE PIECE.
And it was a single chance to write, because I wrote with a ball point pen.
There is something wrong with my drawing as compared with the original designs, but I don't care about it.

When I drew those faces, a question came to me.
Japanese comics are popular all over the world,
and a lot of people read the comics and TV animation.
But, do you draw such kind of characters?
For instance, do children in other countries draw characters of ONE PIECE by themselves?

I was born in 1970's,
And I grew up with watching TV animation; 「HEIDI a girl of the Alps」, and「Doraemon」.
When I was an elementary school student, I watched 「Those Obnoxious Aliens」「Candy Candy」, and read comics.
At the same time, I also drew comics.
That is an ordinary thing for girls, and my friends and my sister also drew pictures like comics, or comics with a plot like me.
(Of course, I remember that there was a boy who could draw comics well, not only girls)

So, I sometimes draw comics like this ↓

20120409-02.JPGBut my 7-year -old daughter said,"Mmm... your pictures are a little strange"
Perhaps, my touch is different from present's. Oh,no.

Then, we asked a girl who lives in the neighborhood and can draw well to draw a picture of modern touch.
This is a popular character even overseas, Hatsune Miku↓

Definitely, it is different from my age.
My daughter keeps the picture carefully.

She wants to be good at drawing like me.
So, her favorite book now is this↓

20120409-04.JPGIts title is「Munekyun Manga Irasuto」.
It is an instruction book of drawing pictures of girls' faces well.
There are some instructions of keeping face balance between left and right, various expressions of eyes and fingers, fashion's point, and position etc...

There is a similar book in my childhood.
Therefore Japanese may be good painters.
And, it may make comic artists.

However, public impression about comics in these days is much different from in my childhood.   
When I was a child, comics were not culture, and just kids' amusement.
If adults read comics, people looked at them dubiously. 
If a kid was heavily into comics and animations, he was called 「Otaku」,and made a dull and withdrawn impression.

But now, there is the trend of the times that comics are part of culture, because comics are popular all over the world.
These days, even if an adult says "I love comics", people don't think the person is strange.
The passage of time is wonderful.

There is an official 「Comics club」 in the school, and some children spend after school hours there to read and draw comics.
My niece belongs to the club, too.
She who loves books reads a book mingled comic and historical novel.

20120409-07.JPGThe comics' culture, which is created in Japan.
It may evolve more and more from now on!

Japanese Goods eBay Auction

I love Takoyaki

Recently, I have been to my favorite 「Takoyaki shop」.
Today, I'm writing about Takoyaki, introducing the shop at the same time.

I wonder if you, who read this blog outside Japan, know about Takoyaki. Do you? 
Some of you might know about it even if you have never tasted it before because it is often seen in Japanese comic books and animation.

Takoyaki is popular for Japanese people.
It's almost a snack rather than meal, and everyone from kids to adults likes it.
It's a thing like a hamburger in the United States or crepe in France.

Takoyaki originated in the Kansai region of Japan, but now you can find it all over the country.
Its shape is round and looks almost all the same, but the size of a shop, the price, and the taste of Takoyaki are different at each shop.
My favorite「Takoyaki」is made at this shop.

20120402-02.JPGA very friendly man manages this place on his own.
He makes and sells only 「Takoyaki」.

20120402-03.JPGA special hot plate with round hollows is used to fry Takoyaki.
First, flour and water are mixed up together and poured into the hollows. Then, chopped octopus and vegetables are added to it. After the half bottom part of the Takoyaki is done, the Takoyaki is turned upside down.
When it happens, some portions of Takoyaki come out from the hollows, which you cannot see on the pictures above. The portions are pushed into the hollows as they are turned upside down.
It finally forms the shape like a golf ball.

In Japan, a lot of people make Takoyaki at home with their own little Takoyaki plate. I have my own at home, of course!!
However, it's kind of difficult to make Takoyaki that have a nice ball-like shape.
It's so much fun to roll Takoyaki to make them round with the pick, though!
That's why Takoyaki party is very popular among the young.

By the way, the man working at the Takoyaki shop loves baseball.
Around just outside of the shop, there is a little space where customers can wait until their Takoyaki is ready or eat it if they want to. He placed signboards and chairs which used to be set at a baseball stadium somewhere. He said he got them from auction.

I found a mark,↓, on the counter of the shop and looked down to see what's there; then, there was a wooden step that he made.

20120402-06.JPGKids who come to the shop with their mother almost always try to see how Takoyaki is made, but they are too short to reach the counter・・・・.
The Takoyaki man is such a nice guy, so he made the step for little kids.

20120402-07.JPG「The shoe sticker」is there to let people know that it's okay to step on with their shoes on.
When Japanese people see this kind of step, they often hesitate to get on it with their shoes on because they think the step might be a chair.
If there was no sticker, I would ask the man, "Is it okay to step on?" before I let my kids to get on it.
I guess that's the way most Japanese people think and act when they are that kind of situation.

20120402-08.JPGSeriously, Takoyaki here is so good!
It's only 300 yen for 8 pieces per pack.
I like Takoyaki because it's hot and round like a ball, and I can finish it by one bite.
I think Takoyaki is cute and that's what grabs Japanese heart.


Japanese Products
are HERE!


Japan Brand
Auction Store





New shirt accesories
It's made of frexible
bent material.
It has soft and smoothly touch.

Japanese split curtain.
Please hang inside of the door.



Traditional wrap cloth.
Bring something in the wrap cloth.


The cotton hand towel.
It is cute to put down on a table or display on the wall.


Traditional clothes Kimono, and Kimono tool.
It has beautiful colors, and pattern.
Its cordinate is interesting!!



Post it note contains 50 pieces.
The designs are "cafe" ,and "Japanese style".
The shape of "cafe" is square, and "Japanese style" is oblong.



Rare!! Japanese old abacus "soroban" check it out!!


Let's learn many foreign languages on the Miko Blog!
You can check two languages at the same time is HERE!


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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2012 is the previous archive.

May 2012 is the next archive.

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