“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!

Mitrastema yamamotoi: Yakkosou

Introduction
yamamotoi
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 of chinquapin. Continue reading Mitrastema yamamotoi: Yakkosou

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

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

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

Japanese Wagtail: Motacilla grandis

The bird is so cute: Motacilla grandis

wagtail

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 common English name for this species is Japanese Wagtail. They are indigenous to Japan. They live in north of Kyushu. Continue reading Japanese Wagtail: Motacilla grandis

A birthplace of smiles, “Obiyamachi”

“Hey, Let’s go to the Aeon!” I said to Satoru-kun.

I remember it was a cold day on 23rd December 2000 when the Aeon Mall Kochi opened. I was only 12 years old then. On the way home from school and holding a 100 yen coin, I went there with my friends. We saw the mall from outside. It looked really big. We swallowed. Continue reading A birthplace of smiles, “Obiyamachi”

Sports Festival in Nanasato

It is a beautiful sunny day and on the small elementary school’s athletic field, about 200 people have gathered to join in a “sports festival”. Many children and adults play running race, a tug of war, and KIBASEN (knights on horseback) and so on. We can see some University students and exchange students too. Many neighbors or old people from all over the area also come to the sports festival to cheer them on. During the lunch time participants enjoyed foreign country’s foods made by exchange students such as tacos, Chinese fried rice, and fresh spring roll. This International sports festival produced by Kochi University students in a small rural area, Nanasato in Kochi.
Continue reading Sports Festival in Nanasato

Why you’ll love Kochi Castle

Kochi Castle, Main Citadel.
Kochi Castle, Main Citadel.

On a sunny day in the morning, I go to a Kochi castle by bicycle from my house. It takes only a few minutes. Wondering where to park my bike I looked up the castle. I walked through the park under the castle. I found a few people walking, sitting on the bench and feeding birds. It was full of green so felt like time goes on very slowly there. There is a little cabin, where my grandma works as a castle guide volunteer. A tourist comes and asks for a guide. Continue reading Why you’ll love Kochi Castle

A Little Journey to Ekin

It’s one in the afternoon in the Ekin Museum called “Ekinkura” in Akaoka city. A woman in the museum says to me, “Watch your step. This way, please.” She passes me a paper lantern. When I turn on its switch, in the darkness, a blazing red color called “Chiaka” spreads out as far as the eye can see. Some look of pain on her face and there is bleeding from her lip, others are crying with laughter. They all have a lot of energy which seem just about to start moving or come from out of the darkness. And when I bring a paper lantern close to them, I suddenly notice that they are on the planar painting on a folding screen. “Wow! This is Ekin’s works!!” I’m here alone, but the words just jumped out of my mouth. I come here to learn about Ekin’s life, however, I become absorbed by Ekin’s fantastic works as I almost forget my central aim. Continue reading A Little Journey to Ekin