Life in Kochi, Japan: a student-written journal

A place for memories: the Ashizuri Kaiteikan submarine tower

A place for memories: the Ashizuri Kaiteikan submarine tower The first time I saw the Ashizuri Kaiteikan submarine tower was last year when my family took a 3-hour trip down the coast to enjoy the beautiful weather. We drove through Nakamura and the Hata district and enjoyed looking at the streets and buildings which were old and in the Showa* style. It was the first time for me to Read on...

Tano: a tiny salty town

Tano: a tiny salty town The sky was gray and there was a salty humid wind on my cheek. Nobody was walking in the street. A few aged women were riding their bicycle for going shopping to local grocery supermarket. In the quiet atmosphere, there is a local roadside station “Tano Ekiya”. In the station, people were lining up at the register and Read on...

“John Mung” Kochi’s First Cosmopolitan

“John Mung” Kochi’s First CosmopolitanTosashimizu is a really rural area in Kochi. There is little but the beautiful ocean and the tiny ports. Sea birds circle gracefully. In such a place, there is a little museum. The museum has a large parking area, however, almost no cars are there. But this museum is actually really wonderful and interesting. If people go inside and Read on...

Blue-and-White Flycatcher

Blue-and-White FlycatcherThe Blue-and-White Flycatcher is called ‘oruri’ in japan. It is one of three Japanese  songbirds of the order Passeriformes that can twitter very beautifully. The other two species are Japanese Bush Warbler ( uguisu) and Japanese robin (komadori) In summer we can listen Blue-and-White Flycatcher’s beautiful Read on...

Common kingfisher:カワセミ

Common kingfisher:カワセミIntroduction Common kingfishers are the smallest members of the family Alcedinidae. They are found widely in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. They are an emblem of a clean river. Description and Taxonomy Their total length is 16~20cm.Their weight 19~40g. Male beak is black, but female beak is red. Long beak, large head, short Read on...

Lanius bucephalus : butcher bird

Lanius bucephalus : butcher birdIntroduction The bird which imitates the cry of various birds is in the world. Performing a complicated song in imitation of the call of various birds (100 birds) which is the origin of the Japanese name, mozu (百舌鳥). Lanius bucephalus’ English name is butcher bird and a (bull headed) shrike. The origin of the name of this Read on...

Atago Theater: Kochi’s Cinema Paradiso

Atago Theater: Kochi’s Cinema Paradiso The sun wasn’t seen on that day but I felt sweat myself because of humidity, a ticket collector of the theater is opening the door for me to enter the room. He was leading me to an upstairs. There is dark narrow stairs which is like stairs that appears in a movie “Totoro”. It feels like many soot gremlins are there. That Read on...

Happy Kochi Wedding Receptions: local traditions, local cuisine

Happy Kochi Wedding Receptions: local traditions, local cuisine“Are you nervous?” The sendou of the hotel staff asks a man in a tuxedo and a young woman wearing a beautiful white dress. “Yes...” the handsome young man answers. As the door opens, a J-POP wedding song begins, and the couple enters the wedding hall, the guests start to applaud. The man and women bow, and walk very Read on...

Let's go to the “Circle” festival in Ino

Let's go to the “Circle” festival in InoIt is getting cool when the sky begins to darken on June 30th. As we get out the car, we can hear the excited voices of children, see the various colors of yukata (Japanese garment) and the many yatai  selling takoyaki (octopus ball), watagashi (cotton candy), ningyo-yaki (something like sponge cake) and so on. People form lines Read on...

Kochi Organic Market in Ike: Let's Eat Organic!

Kochi Organic Market in Ike: Let's Eat Organic!Every Saturday, there's a park in Kochi City that turns into a northern European-style open-air market, the Kochi Organic Market. There is endless conversations between customers and sellers. There's children’s laughter, and a clear singing voice by a local performer that makes a more relaxed air. There are fresh organic and Read on...

Sumire: Viola mandshurica

Sumire: Viola mandshuricaIntroduction Viola mandashurica is called sumire in Japan. Viola mandshurica families is generically called Viola mandsshurica. This flower is a perennial plant and lives nearly all over the world. There are about 500 species, of which about 50 species’s grow in Japan. The flowes’s color is dark violet. Description and Read on...

Mitrastema yamamotoi: Yakkosou

Mitrastema yamamotoi: YakkosouIntroduction Mitrastema yamamotoi is a natural monument of Kochi and is a representative plant of Muroto. This was first discovered in Kochi and Tomitarou Makino, a famous botanist from Kochi, described this plant as a new kind. It is a parasitic plant of the Mitrastemon Yamamotoi family and is parasitic on the root of the tree Read on...

Kochi’s Sika deer population caught in the crosshairs

Kochi’s Sika deer population caught in the crosshairsThe forest is rather bright. It appears to be in the middle of winter as there is not a leaf left on the tree. But wait, this tree doesn’t seem right. The bark of the lower trunk is gone. It’s obvious as there is stony bark on the upper trunk, but nothing stony on the tree trunk below about 1 m high from the ground. It’s Read on...

The Toden Densha line: the heart of Kochi City

The Toden Densha line: the heart of Kochi CityThe Toden densha line in Kochi is an essential part of the life of the city and runs from Gomen to the east all the way to Ino in the west. The Tosadentetsu company was established in the Taisho period. At first, the company only ran trolleys, but have since expanded to became the one of the companies that represents the whole Read on...

Kochi Ice: an inspired ice cream company

Kochi Ice: an inspired ice cream company“If you don’t beat the drum, you can’t know what it sounds like.” (utan taiko ha saran) These are the words that inspire Fumiya Hamamachi, president and CEO of Kochi Ice, a local ice cream company. “My mother taught me these words”, Hamamachi said. “They are my treasure.” He believes in this saying so much that it Read on...

Japanese Wagtail: Motacilla grandis

Japanese Wagtail: Motacilla grandisThe bird is so cute: Motacilla grandis Introduction There are various birds in Kochi. Motacilla grandis represents in Kochi-city. The Japanese name for this bird is “seguro-sekirei”. It means black back wagtail. The birds are so small and cute. They have two colors; black and white. You can see them near water. The Read on...

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