2012年11月29日

"Sudare" means a rattan or bamboo blind used as a sunshade in summer.

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It has been very important for Japanese people to spend a confortable summer as it's hotter and more humid with a more fierce sunlight than European countries as well as North America. To cope with the hot climate, Japanese houses are designed to be airy with large windows and partitions between two rooms as large as possible using "fusuma" sliding screens.
And so, sudare was invented in order to shelter Japanese people from the scorching sun through large windows, particularly in midsummer.
Sudare has long been used in Japan since the 8th century and is regarded as one of the special features of summer in Japan.
Strictly speaking, sudare is broadly divided into two types. One is "kakesu" as shown in the picture, which is used by hanging from the ceiling, and the other is "tatesu" used by leaning against the wall.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 16:09 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2012年11月22日

In many cases, a variety of fake foods and drinks that look exactly like a real one can be found beside the entrance of a restaurant in Japan.

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Aside a high-end restaurant, it is comparatively easy to chose one's favorite foods from a variety of fake food dishes and drinks in Japan. As these replicas look exactly like the real things, even non-Japanese diners who are unfamiliar to Japanese foods rarely make a mistake when they order what they want. These fake foods seem to be originated at the restaurants of department stores in Tokyo and Osaka in the 1930s and was spread across the country.
More recently, some kinds of fake food dishes can be found at inexpensive restaurants even in Korea and China.
The picture shows fake food dishes and drinks displayed beside a local restaurant's entrance, which can be found in every corner of the country.
By the way, these kinds of food replicas are sold at Kappa-bashi near Asakusa, Tokyo, accordingly quite a few sightseers buy them as their unique souvenirs.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 15:50 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする

2012年09月21日

There are many Japanese style hotels, what is called "ryokan", in "onsen" hot springs towns.

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"Ryokan", in general, offers a sleeping accommodation with dinner and breakfast. The charges are not indicated per room but per person. As the guests stay here to enjoy hot spring bathing and good meals, "ryokan" is equipped with large public baths and a variety of small baths for a family. Some high-end "ryokan" have a private bath for exclusive use, as shown in the first picture, in each private room.
Meals, in most cases, are brought into the room by a "nakai" waitress and dinner is likely to be lavish with local food stuffs. The second picture shows an example of breakfast.
Although the charge per person ranges from 10,000 yen to 30,000 yen, that is a little more pricy than Western style hotels, staying at a traditional "ryokan" with "tatami" mat rooms and "onsen" hot spring baths for one night is worth experiencing.

Licensed tour guide/travel assistant,
Masahisa Takaki.

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posted by masahisa at 10:33 | Et cetera | このブログの読者になる | 更新情報をチェックする