A place for memories: the Ashizuri Kaiteikan submarine tower

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The beautiful approach

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. Continue reading A place for memories: the Ashizuri Kaiteikan submarine tower

“John Mung”, Kochi’s First Cosmopolitan

image00Tosashimizu 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 walk around, they will engrossed to see exhibitions. What is inside of the museum is Nakahama Manjiro’s history. Continue reading “John Mung”, Kochi’s First Cosmopolitan

Atago Theater: Kochi’s Cinema Paradiso

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Entrance to Atago Theater

The sun is nowhere to be seen but I feel sweat myself because of humidity, a ticket collector of the theater is opening the door for me to enter the room. He leads me upstairs along a dark narrow staircase like that in the movie “Totoro”. It feels like many soot gremlins are there. That stairs are made from wood and make a groaning noise. Continue reading Atago Theater: Kochi’s Cinema Paradiso

“Circle” festival in Ino

It 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 to the yatai that line the way to Sugimoto shrine. We push our way through the crowd and walk through under a Torii (a gateway to a Shinto shrine) and catch sight of the big circle about 250cm woven from imperata cylindrical–the “circle” festival is well under way. Continue reading “Circle” festival in Ino

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

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 familiar vegetables, daily dishes made of organic vegetables, sugar free sweets and handmade crafts. But there are no northern European vegetables. Continue reading Kochi Organic Market in Ike: Let’s Eat Organic!

Kochi’s Sika deer population caught in the crosshairs

512px-Cervus_nippon_01The 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 completely smooth with a woody creamy color. What is going on? Continue reading Kochi’s Sika deer population caught in the crosshairs

Kochi Ice: an inspired ice cream company

Hamamachi, owner and dreamer of Kochi Ice
Fumiya Hamamachi, owner and dreamer of Kochi Ice

“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 led him to become the producer of handmade premium ice cream. Continue reading Kochi Ice: an inspired ice cream company

The Toden Densha line: the heart of Kochi City

The 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 prefecture. Continue reading The Toden Densha line: the heart of Kochi City