The restaurant Français “LA VILLE FRANCHE” on Otesuji in Kochi City stands out on the sometimes garish street by its quiet charm. The front is soft yellow and welcomes you warmly. Opening the green door, a beautiful, solemn but friendly atmosphere spreads before your eyes. Continue reading Petit France in Kochi City
The leader of “Koinobori club”, Ryoichi Morishita, is hard at work in his art studio in Ino town when I enter. He notices me, looks up and welcomes me with a smile.
“This is my new work using small balloons,” he says. Continue reading Carp streamers in the Niyodo river
In a quiet Japanese tatami room, a women in her 50’s slowly slides open a paper fusuma door while seated in seiza style. She bows in respect to her tools in front of her, then enters the room sliding forward on her knees. She begins by wiping the bowl and pouring hot water in it to warm it. She adds matcha, the green tea powder, into the tea bowl and stirs it quickly with a bamboo whisk. Every move she makes is perfectly performed, without any wasted motion. She turns towards the guests to serve the tea. Continue reading The Japanese Yoda
On one of the rare sunny days during the rainy season, a few Chinese, Korean and Indonesian students are gathered in a classroom in the Asakura Fureai Center, near Kochi University, for an unusual language lesson. But instead of a whiteboard, there are three big tables with gas cookers. Continue reading Studying Japanese with local vegetables
The mood is happy and audiences are laughing in front of the comedy team, “Atsukan Dragon”. Flowing words from their mouths are totally stupid and hilarious, making audiences laugh. It is like magic to change the mood from nothing to happy. It seems very easy for them to give happiness to audiences because they are just talking to each other. Japanese call these comedian groups “manzaishi.” Continue reading Atsukan Dragon
It’s the year 586, and a famer named Chozaemon is climbing a mountain ridge. He looks north from top of a tree and finds a wide, beautiful plain between two mountains where no human has so far set foot. A beautiful river is flowing. There are also various wild animals. He is so pleased he names it “Onomi”. [o] meaning [big, 大], [no] meaning [field, 野] and [mi] meaning [look, 見]. All these years later, his find gives us many good things. Continue reading Onomi: a place of wonderful products
Near the exit at the end of the express way in Shimanto township, there is a crowed place. Some people are eating grilled pork and ice cream, sitting and talking and smoking. In the wooden building, some local agricultural products are sold and there is a restaurant. There is a wonderful place of natural bueauty. It is “Agri-Kubokawa”. Continue reading Agri-Kubokawa
“Irasyaimase, douzo , nan mei sama desuka (いらっしゃいませ、どうぞ、何名様ですか),” asks Hari from the kitchen of the Nepali and Indian restaurant “Rita.” Indian music is playing in the background, Posters of Hindu religion hang like curtains and a smiling Nepalese woman appears. Continue reading Nepalese Life in Kochi
Along the road to Aki city, perched beside the ocean, there is a small shop with an orange advertisement: “Grilled Eggplant Ice Cream”. Inside, a sweet vanilla smell is drifting, and there are various ice creams in the showcase. With the first bite of grilled eggplant ice cream, the charcoal-grilled flavor spread to the mouth, never before tasted. After that first bite, the mouth demands one more.
Continue reading Grilled eggplant ice cream?!
–The secret treasure in Kochi
The energy of life comes through hands. Your hands are different from everybody’s. Thus, your life is different from everybody’s.
People appear to be standing on the water of the Niyodo-river as if by magic. It is not a magic, however, but a sport known as “SUP”, short for “Stand Up Paddleboard.”
“The limited express Nanpu will soon arrive on track 7. Please back from the white line”
“It was a momentary feeling, but I doubted your kindness long time ago. I offer you my sincerest apologies. One spring in the 21st year of Showa (1946), I left Sasebo, Nagasaki to Niigata Station by a demobilization train. On the way to Niigata, I had a long break at Osaka Station, and had a ration of rice. At that time, you started to collect the rice and said, “I’ll boil them for you.” I feared that you would steal my rice away. But one hour after, you returned to the station with steaming white rice. I was reduced to tears then. I never forgot your kindness.”