Kusatsu01:Everyone likes a hot spa very much.

I went to a trip to the hot spa of Kusatu with my colleague until yesterday. Kusatu is major sight-seeing area in Kanto area which includes Tokyo and other parts of the east area.
Every tourist that goes there takes a visit to the hot spa. I rediscovered what everyone likes hot spa.

The trip schedule is bellow.

First day

・We rode the train for three hours and ate lunch on it.
・We visited some famous shrines.

・We visited the “Sainokawara hot spa” where we could take an open-air spa.It was 500 squeare meters.

"Sainokawara hot spa"
hot green water and smell sulfur

・We checked into our hotel which had both a hot spa indoor and an open-air spa.
・Some people used the hot spa before dinner.
・Some people used the hot spa before going to bed.

Second day
・Some people used the hot spa before breakfast.

We could use the hot spa up to four times in two days.
I wonder if their skin would turn wrinkly

After that we saw the “Yumomi” show near the “Yubatake”. The “Yumomi” is the traditional custom used to cool hot water before taking a hot spa.The temperature of hot spa is about 95 degrees. If cool water mixes in the hot spa, the good effect of hot spa disappears. Therefore, while singing an old song, they stirred hot water into the spa with a wooden spoon. Their gradual stirring was quite fast. Tourists could also experience the “Yumomi”.

"Yubatake"

“Yubatake” is the source of the hot spirings.

During the trip, we always smell sulfur of the hot spa.

“Bull Fight” and “Eisaa”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Last year my family and I went to watch “Bull Fight” and “Eisaa”, which is the traditional Okinawan dance, in Okinawa.We could watch two taraditional cultures in one multipurpose auditorium.
(Half of the customers were American military men because there were many American bases in Okinawa.)

We can seldom watch Bull Fight in Japan.The origins of Bull Fight are riddle.
But it is said that Bull Fight has been held since more than two hundreds years ago.
First, two bulls in funny costumes came and explained the rules.
If the one bull runs away or is knocked out, the fight is over.
There was a fight that can take more than thirty minutes to be settled.
But in this fight the judge decided the winner in ten minutes.
My daughters froze for a while when they saw the bulls rushing very powerfully.

After the fight, they began the “Eisaa” was began to dance.
The dancers beat a small drum rhythmically.
The women played a “Sunshin”, which is Okinawa’s musical instrument that is the original form of the samisen.

Teachers who taught in my daughter’s nursery school in Saitama sometimes played an “Eisaa” .
And my wife also like to play a “Sunshin” in our house though she isn’t from Okinawa.

There are various cultures in small Japan that I don’t know well.

 

Ghibli Museum, MITAKA in Tokyo

Yesterday my family and I went to the Ghibli Museum for the first time.
This museum is about one kilometer away from Mitaka Station or Kichijyouji Station in Tokyo.

Visitors can go there by buses decorated with anime characters.

But we walked there through the Inogashira park which has magnificent natural scenery and a beautiful pond.

We saw Totoro waiting for us around the entrance.

Then we exchanged our passes for tickets which we could use to visit a mini theater.These tickets are made of beautiful film.

I’m afraid that I didn’t take a photo indoors.
Because the museum encourages visitors to experience the displays firsthand rather thantaking photos.

This museum has been liked by everybody since its opening in 2001.
I was surpraised that many Chinese go there and many adults seemed to be pleased more than the children.

Both display and architecture were excellent.
Display:
There were mini theater, the cat bus, cafe, bookstore, many original drawing and films.


For example the Robot Solider, a five meter tall, waits for visitors on the roof.

Architecture;
The atmosphere of the Ghibli’s world was reproduced.
There were very small chair, connecting corridor and terrace.
One of the most vital aspects of the architecture is dramatic triple floor-height
with spiral stairs.

Anyway we could enjoy a wonderful world of the anime.

“Beauty and the Beast”

Yesterday I went to the “Shiki Theatre Company” to watch the musical of “Beauty and the Beast”.
I watched a musical for the first time in seven years and I did not have too much knowledge on that musical.
But it was moving because the music, songs and dance were totally awesome.
The “Shiki Theatre Company” drew a full house.
Most of the audience were young women, but some were elderly people and children.
By the way I realized that people who would warm up the musical were not only the company member but also people of local shopping area.
Because there were many street lamps which were put on advertisement flags and discount ticket were only available to the audience.

Tstukishima monja

This photo was taken in tsukishima Tokyo where there was an old traditional district.
This typical Japanese district has some unique characteristic.
First there is ally called “roji” in Japanese.
This ally is not safety for conflagration but is used as standing around talking place and
path of living.
Second there are row houses called ” Nagaya “in Japanese.
These have long depth and narrow frontage. Besides there is earthen floor.
People can live and work in these houses.
Third there are various craftsman and conventional shops.
You can feel Japanese nostalgic atmosphere by these characteristic.
Especially in Tsukisima you can eat ” Monjayaki. ”
“Monjayki ” is a dish resembling oknomiyaki made from a thin flour paste with cabbage and
small amounts of otheringredients and cooked on an iron plate.

Ogasawara 02


The South island which is one of the Ogasawara desert islands is the most excellent and valuable landscape to see.
Because the island which is of the karst landform is a special nature reserve,the visitors need to conform to the rules of going along with a nature tour guide certified by the Tokyo metro government. They are also required to stay for two hours at most and use the regular footway.

There are green turtles and fossil hirobesokatamaimai seashells which have been extinct 1,000 years ago.


Besides, there is a fan-shaped pond which is said to be the place that inspired the design for Ghibli’s anime.

The railway museum

My daughter and I visited the railway museum in Oomiya-ku Saitama.
The museum has been displaying old trains since 2007.
We were able to ride almost all the real trains, look at elaborate dioramas, try out a driving simulator, and do other things
There was an old steam locomotive. It is a very precious imperial train that was made in 1876.
There were also many other trains.
men and women of all ages visit the museum.
My six year old daughter enjoyed to play a great conductor by a driving simulator.

 

Ogasawara 01

I went to Ogasawara three years ago. Ogasawara islands which includes 30 islands are 1,000 kilometers away from the main islands of Japan and there isn’t an airport.
So it takese 25 hours by high-speed ship which only comes once a week!
It is warm all year round because of the
subtropical climate.
We could see the whales ,dolphins and many other precious natural
things.

The people Ogasawara are trying to get them included in the List of world heritage sites.
One problem is that an endemic species is being attacked by an introduced species.

Wind cave

This picture was taken in the cave which is cold place all the year round.
In 864 the cave was made from Mt.Fuji’s lava flow.
The cave was used for keeping the silkworm and the seeds as a natural refrigerator.
It was about 1 ponit centigrade when we went in despite of 27 points centigrade outside.