Archive for June, 2011

Jyomon Culture- A 3,000 yera Old Mystery

The Jyomon Culture in Japan began approximately 15,000 years ago. It coincide with the NEolithic Period of world history.
It was one of the most affluenct hunter-gather cultures.
It lasted for over a 10.,000 year period.
Few changes were made dring this long period.
People lived by hunting, gathering and fishing and did small scale farming.
They lived sustainably in harmony with nature. They created beautiful pots, combs, necklaces, fishing gear, and many other artifacts for religious purposes.
The patterns on the clay pots by braided straws is one of the features of this culture.
They also had highly developed technics in lacquare ware making.
It is believed they had traded with Russia, China and the tribes on other islands in Japan.
But not much has been proved.

Jyomon culture spread all over Japan but after rice cultivation became wide spread around BC3,000, it disppeared from the most areas.
But rice cultivation didn’t take hold on HOkkaido, because of it cold climate.
So Jyomon Culture gradually assimilated into the Ainu Culture or based on Jyomon Culture the Ainu Culture was established.
There have been heated debates about this topic.

Now Japanese Government has been seeking to have the JYomon sites in HOkakido and Tohoku designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There are 7,000 such sites in Hokkaido alone.
I visited a history museum in Eniwa.
Let me show you some photos.
This is the museum building from outside.

There are many combs lacquared with red bengara.

Those combs were found from inside collective tombs.
They found that only females were buried together up to 8 in one tomb.
They all dressed up wearing lots of hair combs, necklaces, blacelets and ornamental belts.

This is how they speculate the bodies were placed.

When the excavation was done, they had to dig up the tombs with the surrounding layers of the earth.
And did the research in a lab.

There are so many jewelries found on the bodies, these tombs are called the most gorgeous tombs in the Jyomon Era.

This picture depicts how the researchers thing JYomon people wore hair combs.


Korean Dishes–my photos for Julia

Dear Julia,
Thank you for your email and a very beautiful picture of Greenich.
It is a beautiful area.

I just came back from South Korea-
Let me share some photos I took there.
Before the trip my daughter Rieko and I made a must-have list of Korean foods.
And we crossed out all the items on it!!!
SOOOO happy! We are always dedicated “eaters”.

“The happy proof” stays around my waist and hips… it wasn’t on my wish list…But never mind..

The first night

Because of the flight delay, we arrived at the hotel after 10 o’clock.
But we were soo hungry and hurried to a nearest restaurant from our hotel.
I had oxtail stew with rice

Rieko had vegetable and meat dumpling stew with rice

Kimuchi, hot Korean pickles were on the side.Fresh green hot pepper was unexpectedly really juicy.

2nd day for breakfast

I had a bowl of bean sprouts rice porridge called kuppa

Rieko had a bowl of assorted vegetables with rice

For lunch
We had samugetan: chicken soup with spices and rice stuffed.
The restuarant is very popular we had to wait for one hour to be seated.

For supper we just had light porridge before we saw the NANTA show.
The NANTA show was very funny and exciting.
– acrobatic with strong drum beats along a funny story line
Pumpkin with beans

Rice with vegetables

The next morning
We ordered two pancakes
one with Korean vegetale and the other with seafood and also a bowl of bean sprouts kuppa again

For lunch we had Korean set dishes in a very busy tourist area.
The restaurant looked elegant and fancy but the food didn’t come up to my expectation… just expensive…

Of course, we had to have the famous Korean BBQ!
Beef was tender and deliciously dressed. It was served with lots of vegetables.

The 4th morning, the day we had to leave Korea

We tried a new area.
– but couldn’t find a Korean restaurant open in the early morning.

So we ended up having waffles and coffee…

The last meal was ice-cold Korean noodle called reimen
It was served in a bowl with halp frozen soup.

When we went outside in the temperature of 30 degrees celcius,
we felt hot instantly except for our tammies..
They stayed cool for a long time.
The name reimen was true to its name.

In between we had cake, ice cream, sweet tea, many cups of coffee.

hahaha I will post photos of buildings later.

KOrea was all about delicious foods for us!

A visit to the Red Brick ー Former Hokkaido Government Building

This is where my tour started.
This stone marks the base pointo of the city of Sapporo.

This is the gate to the former Hokkaido Government Office.

Look! Nice looking gas lamps!

There are tourists taking photos in front of the building.
I am so happy to see so many tourists here!
We hadn’t have any tourists after the earthquake in March.

On this day in June, there were many Tawanese tourists.
I really appreciate it that they come here!

This is the symbol flower of HOkkaido Rosa Rugosa.
The flower stays open only one day, and I think the fact makes the flowers more precious.

The pond is lush with green leaves of lotus and trees.

This octagonal tower is the symbol of this building.
This tower was added after the building was completed to add magnificence and dignity to it.

But they were too ambitious. They made it too big and heavy.
So the tower collapsed several years after it was installed.

This is the entrance to the building.

I am very proud of this building.
The original building was built in 1888, designed by a Japanese architect.
It was built in Neo-Roman architectural style, which was in vogue at that period. -Very similar to the government building in Massachussettsu.
Local materials are used for this building.

They made red brick using local earth in Shiroishi area.
Now, the number of the red bricks used for this building is 2.5 million!
I was amazed to learn the number not because it’s a big number.
— but because how come somebody counted the number?

Let’s enter inside.

This is the entrance hall and the staircase for the second floor.
THis room displays historicak documents, pictures, models and old tools.

Always, there is something new to learn here.

Old Japanese Sake Brewery in Mashike Town

Mashike Town is a small port town facing the Japan Sea.
The town was once prosperous when the herring fishing brought fortune to its people.
Around that time in the early 20th century, Honma Sake Brewery started its business.
This is the entrance to the shop.

There is a huge ball made of ceder branches hung at the entrance.

There’s another one just inside the hall.
This one has paper ropes called, shimenawa for blessing of sake making gods.
Yeah, as you might know, there are supposedly more than 8 million gods in Japan.

The tradtional tools for sake making are on display.

They are amazingly in good shape.

This is the tasting corner.
They have a variety of sake from sweet ones to very dry ones.
Oh sake Looks very tempting!

But as I am the designated driver.
This is what I should drink.
Natural water from Mt. Shokanbetsu.
They use this water to make sake.

The display shows how sake is made.

This Sakebune or sake vessel was used as a filter to make the sake clear.

I visted this sake shop about 10 years ago with my friends from the US.
But things have improved greatly. and also commercialized greatly.
But I like the way the shop promote the goods.

This is a stall where sake related items are on sale.

There are many Japanese style cotton towels here!

Look every one of them has cat/ cats. and not just regular ones-they are all happy cats, the ones that bring good luck to you!

Niseko Snowboarding in June

These are the photos I took on June 5 2011.
I was standing in the center of a road looking up to Mt, Maruyama, there isno’t much snow.

Then at Mt, Iwaonupuri. Oh there is still snow.
I love this mountain. It’s just a short 45 minutes climb to the rocky summit.
Anyway, the mountain was covered with snow.

AND look here! there are snow boarders!!

They are having fun!– day-camping and enjoying the last snowboarding of this season.

Actually this place is very closely located from my favorite hot sppring, Goshiki.
Go means five
shiki means colors

The hot spring water changes in five colors that where the name is from.

The water was murky sky blue and so beautiful
but unfortunately there were so many other bathers and I couldn’t take photos.

Niseko Shinーsenーnuma

The road to get to Shin-sen-numa just opened today.
I love this tiny marsh so much that I didn’t want to miss the chance to visit it on the opening day of 2011.
It took 90 minutes to get there from my house.

Mt Yotei Looked beautiful!

This mountain still have snow on its top.

A fox came up to us, asking for food? NO no!

This is the information center of Shin-sen-numa.

The one kilometer boardwalk starts here.

Some branches are over the path.

Snow stayed on the boradwalk so we had to walk on sllipery snow.

We are safely back on the boardwalk again.

We came halfway.

We are getting closer.

And closer and got to the marsh area

look! Here are some skunkcabbages still blooming in June!
Spring arrives so late here.

We are almost there.

The marsh.

It is so peaceful.