Lets Take A Look At Ishikawa Prefectures Ishizaki Houtou Festival

first_imgAt Ishizaki Houtou Festival, big and small lanterns are displayed for each of the seven districts of Ishizakimachi. On the front of the lanterns, three characters that bring good fortune are written in ink, and painted on the back is a picture of a samurai warrior. As there are no wheels attached to the lanterns, they are moved by men carrying them.In addition, the seven districts are each assigned separate colors as written below:・East district 1 – green・East district 2 – yellow・East district 3 – red・East district 4 – blue・West district 1 – white・West district 2 – pink (this is the area which carries the tallest and heaviest lanterns)・West district 3 – purpleThe things that the people who carry the lanterns are wearing, such as the “hachimaki” headband that wraps around the head, are unified with the assigned colors.The lanterns’ weight is around two tonnes, and the height is 12-13 meters, which is carried by 100 men. In addition, in order to sweep the eaves of the houses in the narrow alleyways of the fishing village, the lanterns are paraded while giving assertive cheers of “Sakkasai, sakkasai, iyasaksaa” that match the sound of lively flutes and taiko drums.The fishing village’s men who carry the lanternsIshizaki Houtou Festival is held every year on the first Saturday of August. Of course the locals are there, but people who were born in Ishizaki also make the journey back to Ishizaki for the festival. And the season is summer! In the heat which teems with enthusiasm, the fishing village’s men carry the two tonne lanterns with all their power.There is a break during the procession, but seeing them carrying the lanterns with enthusiastic shouts continuously from afternoon until midnight is a sight that no one could fail to be moved by. The Tairyokigan Shinto ritualOther than carrying the lanterns, in the evening the big-catch prayer called Tairyokigan (大漁祈願 – a ceremony that prays for a bountiful fish harvest) is performed. After the lanterns that have been carried from the respective districts in the afternoon have been carried by the men for several hours, all of the lanterns meet at the rendezvous point, Doumaehiroba (堂前広場).It’s no exaggeration to say that the biggest highlight of the festival is the boisterous dance that is performed at Doumaehiroba throughout the Tairyokigan.You can say that when the lanterns and men from the seven districts gather at the place (which can hardly be called spacious) and boisterously dance with the lanterns, all of the town’s power becomes concentrated in one place.We’d really love for you to experience this power by going to Ishizaki Houtou Festival and seeing it for yourself!InformationIshizakimachiddress: Ichikawa Prefecture, Nanao City, IshizakimachiOpening hours: 14:00-24:00Date: The first Saturday of August every yearWi-Fi: -Credit card (use and type):Language support level: -Existence of foreign language menu: -Nearest station: Wakura Onsen StationAccess: -Price range: -Religious information: -Telephone: 0767-53-8424 (Nanao City Tourism Association)HP (Japanese): Ishizaki Houtou Festival (Nanao City Tourism Association) In Japan there are summer events that have taken place ever since the olden days. These are called “matsuri” (祭), meaning “festival”. Japan’s festivals mainly express gratitude and prayers to ancestors and gods, as well as being one of the ceremonies that are held to bring good harvest.There are also festivals held outside of the summer, but there is a particularly large number of summer festivals with an outstanding turn out of people. There are summer festivals that are individual to places all over Japan, and the local residents welcome tourists to enjoy every year.One of these festivals is Ishizaki Houtou Festival, held every year in Ishikawa Prefecture’s Ishizakimachi. Let’s explore the charms and history of Ishizaki Houtou Festival, which even amongst Japan’s many festivals is particularly charged with energy.What is Ishizaki Houtou Festival?Nanao City’s Ishizakimachi in Ishikawa Prefecture, where Ishizaki Houtou Festival is held, is a fishing village overflowing with energy. The festival that the sea men living in this fishing village pour their passion into holding every year is Ishizaki Houtou Festival. Houtou (奉燈) are the large vertical lanterns shown in the above photo. The reason that the lanterns became used in Ishizaki’s festival is as follows.In the olden days Ishizaki had many fires, and the summer festival that was held in those days took fire damage many times over.Then in 1889, the amidaiku (網大工 – the people doing the job of making and preparing nets) bought old, humongous lanterns from Okunoto (奥能登 – the northernmost region of the Noto peninsula) to the festival to use. Since that time, there has been no fire damage.It is said that since that time the lanterns became used at the festival, and the current Ishizaki Houtou Festival was born. Before the use of the large lanterns, festival cars called dashi (山車 – a pull cart with wheels attached and donated ornaments) were being used.Scenery from the prospering fishing village Ishizakimachi.Features of Ishizaki Houtou FestivalMost festivals held in Japan are livened up by a portable shrine called an omikomi (お神輿 – an object where the deity is enshrined during a festival) being carried through the whole town and paraded to offer prayers to ancestors and the gods.However, as for festivals taking place in the Noto area that includes Ishizakimachi, festivals where lanterns (called kiriko is the Noto area) are used instead of a portable shrine are common. The difference is that while deities are enshrined in the portable shrine, they are not enshrined in the kiriko. Kiriko – gorgeous lanterns that each area competes over last_img read more

Hidden in Middle of Peaceful Residental Area Shinedogawa Park

first_imgOn another day, the flower informed me that spring has come.If you have chance to visit nearby spots, why not take another walk further to this secret garden?(※1)Palaces which Bushi, or Samurai used to live in. Daimyo is a Bushi which had powers on certain regions.Reference:WikipediaRelated Posts ■【SAKURA】Sparkling “Kandagawa” Riverside from Waseda RegionInformationShin-edogawa Park (新江戸川公園)Nearest Station:Tokyo Metro Yuraku-cho line Edogawabashi station 15 minutes walk/Tokyo Metro Tozai line Waseda station 15 minutes walk/Arakawa Tram line Waseda Station 7 minutes walkOpening Hours:9:00~17:00 (From Nov. to Jan. 9:00~16:30)Parking Areas:NoneEntrance fee:Free This hut was first used as school for Hosokawa Samurais. Now it has become too old for use, and banned to enter inside, but still it is fun to imagine what kind of conversation has made there in those times.I wonder what kind of classes did they have in Edo era?Every time I visit here, there’s one or two walking around with huge black cameras. They must be experts! How about asking them for some photo-shoot lectures?Not as large as Shinjuku Gyoen, not as eye-catching as Yoyogi Park. Despite that, this place has a peaceful silence which escorts us to the further garden.Just walk, watch the trees, or read novels on bench… you can act as you like here.And so… I visited there when it was just between winter and spring.Five-minutes-walk away from Kandagawa river, you can take a look at a post Daimyo-yashiki(1*). This shin-edogawa Park used to be the palace of  Hosokawa feudal lord, which now has become a public garden for the locals.It Appears in Middle of Residential AreaOnly a minute walk to local kindergarten, supermarket, and pharmacy.  It looks like an ordinary neighborhood until you find the park. Go straight along this street to get there.”Got any good photos?” I talked with a granny on the way.Now we’re here.  Suddenly, a splendid name plate and bunch of trees cover my sight.Gate looks splendid as well, but not too loud. There’s a map beside, so it might be a good idea to check the routes in the garden.Let’s go inside.The Landlord’s GardenI almost forgot that this place was right in middle of Tokyo. What is more, it’s pretty next to the noisy town of Waseda. Only silence awaits you here… you can even hear the sound of fishes splash in the pond.last_img read more

From Art Galleries To Healthy Cuisine Enjoy Ginza As A GrownUp

first_imgGinza 銀座 has always been the place to go for the ones seeking fashion, art, entertainment and good dining places. In Ginza, you can find a variety of classic and up-and-coming shops.Below, we have listed 3 popular spots in Ginza, recommended especially to adults. Mr. Motohiro Kotsuka will be your navigator today. He is a fashion specialist and CEO of the PR & management office “untlim (アントリム)”.Being an art and food enthusiast, Mr. Kotsuka picked Ginza as one of his favorite places in the city.He lists 3 places where you can enjoy Ginza as an adult: the oldest art gallery in Japan, Shiseidō Gallery, the Italian restaurant Giaggiolo Ginza, and the Ginza Mitsukoshi Gentlemen’s Lounge for quality shopping.Read also: Ginza Special ContentsPROFILEMotohiro Kotsuka (小塚源太)Went independent from United Arrows in 2008. With his expertise in PR, he founded untlim and now serves as its CEO/PR director.SPOT 1. Shiseidō GalleryIf you need a little break from shopping or sightseeing, stop by “Shiseidō Gallery.”Shiseidō Gallery opened in 1919. Since then, it has focused on discovering young talents and showcasing their artwork. It has exhibited not only paintings but also installations (*1). Considering how high the quality of art is, it is surprising that the admission is free.※1…an art genre that uses an entire space or place as an art pieceSPOT 2. Giaggiolo GinzaUp next is ”Giaggiolo Ginza.” Based on the healing and preventive medicinal concepts of the oldest pharmacy in the world, “Santa Maria Novella” in Florence, Italy, this restaurant offers Tuscan cuisine using handpicked ingredients and special cooking methods. Mr. Kotsuka is a great fan of this heaven on earth.Giaggiolo Ginza is known for its Herb Salad (2,400 yen, tax included). This simple but elegant salad is made to complement all the flavors of the 15 types of greens used. The “Steamed Sawara with Herbs” (3,600 yen, tax included) will also be a satisfying choice. With a large variety of pasta and desserts, Giaggiolo Ginza is the perfect place for different occasions such as a good conversation over dinner or a romantic date. Their healthy menu will leave your stomach satisfied and your conscience guilt-free.SPOT 3. Ginza Gentlemen’s Lounge In Ginza MitsukoshiThe Gentlemen’s Lounge is on the 5th floor of the long-established department store “Mitsukoshi,” which went through a major remodeling in fall 2015. Not only can you can find clothes here, but also shoes, pens, cameras and products for smokers. This is the place to go if you are looking for high quality products.Mr. Kotsuka is especially fond of shoes among other fashion items and is an avid collector. With more than 100 brands of shoes and related items, Gentlemen’s Lounge has impressed many shoe lovers just like him.If you are looking for that one of a kind pair of shoes, you can’t go home without visiting “GINZA Shoes Atelier (GINZA シューズアトリエ).” Experience the joy of creating the only shoes in the world with your favorite style and colors.Also at the Gentlemen’s Lounge, you can have your shoes polished. “It’s not easy to take care of a good pair of shoes. I’m glad they have this service here,” says Mr. Kotsuka.Above, we presented three spots that adults can enjoy. We highly recommend them as part of your adventure in Ginza.*This article was reproduced from FASHION HEADLINESponsored by Ginza MitsukoshiInformationShiseidō Gallery (資生堂ギャラリー)Address: Tokyo Chūō-ku Ginza 8-8-3 Tokyo Ginza Shiseido Building B1FHours: Weekdays 11:00 – 19:00, Sundays & Holidays 11:00 – 18:00Closed: MondaysWi-Fi: -Credit Cards: -Languages: -Menu In Other languages: -Nearest Stations: Ginza station (銀座駅) of Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (銀座線), Hibiya Line (日比谷線), or Marunouchi Line (丸ノ内線). 4 minute walk from Ginza station exit A2, or 4 minute walk from Shimbashi station (新橋駅) exit 1.Price Range: FreeReligion: -Phone number: +81-03-3572-3901Official HP: Shiseidō GalleryGiaggiolo Ginza (ジャッジョーロ銀座)Address: Tokyo Chūō-ku Ginza 7-10-5 Duplex Ginza Tower 7/10 B1FHours: 11:30 – 14:30 (Lunch), 18:00 – 22:30 (Dinner)Closed: Sundays (unless a national holiday falls on a Monday)Wi-Fi: -Credit Cards: VISA, MASTERCARD, JCB, AMEX, DINERS are acceptedLanguages: -Menu In Other languages: -Nearest Stations:Ginza Station (銀座駅) of Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (銀座線), Hibiya Line (日比谷線), or Marunouchi Line (丸ノ内線). 5 minutes walk from Ginza Station exit A3.Higashi Ginza Station (東銀座駅) of Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (日比谷線) and Toei Subway Asakusa Line (浅草線). 5 minutes walk from Higashi Ginza Station.8 minutes walk from Subway JR Shimbashi Station (新橋駅).Price Range: -Religion: -Phone number: +81-03-3572-3901Official HP (Japanese): Giaggiolo GinzaGinza Mitsukoshi 5th Floor GINZA Gentlemen’s Lounge (銀座三越5階GINZAジェントルマンズラウンジ)Address: Tokyo Chūō-ku Ginza 4-6-16Hours: 10:30 – 20:00Closed: IrregularWi-Fi: YesCredit Cards: Amex, OMC DISCOVER, VISA, Master Card, and major Japanese bank cards are acceptedLanguages: -Menu In Other Languages: -Nearest Stations: Ginza Station (銀座駅) of Tokyo Metro Ginza Line (銀座線), Hibiya Line (日比谷線), or Marunouchi Line (丸ノ内線), or Yūrakuchō station (有楽町駅) of JR. 5 minutes walk from Ginza station. 5 minutes walk from Ginza-itchōme Station (銀座一丁目駅) exit 9 of Tokyo Metro Yūrakuchō Line. 2 minutes walk from Higashi-Ginza Line (東銀座線) of Toei Asakusa Line (浅草線) / Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line (日比谷線). 9 minutes walk from Yūrakuchō station.Religion: -Phone number: +81-03-3562-1111Official HP: Ginza Mitsukoshilast_img read more

A Gathering Of Book Lovers Visit The Kamakura Book Carnival

first_imgLet’s Talk to Bookstore Owners on Yuigahama-Dori, Kamakura’s Book BoulevardIn the past, it is said that literary giants like Ryunosuke Akutagawa would move to Kamakura to pen books. Towards the end of World War II, a proposal by Kamakura resident authors Yasunari Kawabata, Masao Kume and others led to the founding of a rental library containing a thousand books, gathered at Tsuruoka Hachimangu Shrine, on May 1st, 1945.At the time, people who were unsatisfied with material goods and craved the printed word all came to the library, which was busy every day. This rental library was called Kamakura Bungo. In actuality, a book festival that serves as a vivid reminder of Kamakura Bungo is still held in modern days.*The photos in this article are from the 2015 event.Once a year, the Book Carnival is held in Kamakura. The main attraction of the event is the One Box Secondhand Book Fair, where regular people bring in their treasured old books and become booksellers. There are all sorts of secondhand books available for sale, and it’s fun to peer into people’s collections and see what kind of books they like.After you pick a book, it’s common to have a lively conversation with the seller, too. Many books are on sale for reasonable prices, so we recommend the Book Carnival for international visitors who are looking for Japanese books and magazines.The interesting thing about the One Box Secondhand Book Fair is how close the book buyers and sellers are to one another. If you find a book that looks interesting, by all means, talk to the seller.There are other events too, such as book reading groups, lectures by speakers with Kamakura connections, stamp rallies and other events for visitors of all ages. Getting book recommendations, discussing the books you’ve read, reading aloud to one another… no matter how old you get, it’s still interesting to talk about books.There are rows of bookstores and picture book stores lined up in the vicinity of the Hase area of Yuigahama-dori, the main street of the Carnival. Take a tour of the book stores as you enjoy the festivities.Enjoying the Secondhand Book Fair Even as a ResidentThe organizer of the Book Carnival is Kensuke (Ken) Shoda, the owner of the secondhand bookstore Books Moblo. We interviewed Ken and his wife Shoko to ask them about the bookstore, and why they started the Book Carnival.Can you tell us why you started the Book Carnival?Shoko: Soon after starting Moblo, we set up a stall at a secondhand book fair that was being held in Hayama in Kanagawa. On that day, though, the weather was terrible, and the rain was so bad that people couldn’t make it out to the fair. Because we store proprietors had nothing to do, we talked among ourselves and had a closing party. Because everyone there loved books, it was a very lively gathering. We thought, “If secondhand book fairs are this fun, we should do one in Kamakura too,” and that was how it got started.What sorts of people attend the Kamakura Book Carnival?Ken: Men and women of all ages, and we also had kids and international visitors. We do lots of events in Kamakura, but books are something that we all have in common, and can be enjoyed by every generation.Shoko: It’s not just an event for buying books, but for hearing books read aloud, selling books that are important to you, and talking to other attendees about your favorite books. We want people to enjoy books from a variety of perspectives.As you think of the scenery where many literary figures endeavored to produce their works, drop by the secondhand book fair, and perhaps a seller you meet by chance will teach you about a valuable book.InformationBooks MobloAddress: Kanagawa, Kamakura, Omachi 1-1-12 Walk Omachi II 2F-DHours: 10:00 – 18:00Closed: Mondays (open on holidays)Nearest Station: JR Kamakura StationAccess: Five minute walk from the east exit of JR Kamakura StationPhone: 0467-67-8444Homepage: Books MobloEmail: info@moblo.ocnk.netFacebook: Books MobloTwitter: Books MobloKamakura Book CarnivalPlanned for every year on a Sunday during May and JuneKamakura Book Carnival page** It is only held on one day, so check the page for the carnival date before you come to the venue.last_img read more

Cafe bar HRR Socialize And Enjoy Music At A Friendly Osaka Bar

first_imgSix Namba Stations!? How to Navigate Osaka’s Namba Area Explore Osaka’s Lively Downtown! Top 10 Spots To Visit In Namba Nearest station Nankai Namba Station Languages Japanese, English WiFi Not Available In cooperation with Cafe & bar HRR Telephone number 06-6648-8676 View InformationCafe & bar HRR {“map_code”:{“pin”:[{“title”:”34.6648982, 135.5098997″,”code”:”34.6648982, 135.5098997″}],”center”:”34.6648982, 135.5098997″,”zoom”:”11″,”latitude”:”34.6648982″,”longitude”:”135.5098997″}} From Namba Station, you can get to Cafe & bar HRR in just ten minutes by walking through a local shotengai. After passing through Kuromon Market, follow the quiet street to its end and to find Cafe & bar HRR.Cafe & bar HRR is the ideal place for people looking to experience Osaka’s nightlife, for those wanting to try a local Japanese izakaya, and for visitors who like shops with eclectic, antique style.Drop in for a visit and an unforgettable experience! We were told that the owner, upon meeting international visitors, always asks what they drink in their country. He apparently regularly updates the drink menu after learning.For example, he learned how to make authentic Irish coffee when a visitor from Ireland who visited the shop. Irish coffee is now part of the drink menu.If a popular drink from your country isn’t available at the bar, you can look forward to it being on the menu during your next visit.Enjoy Socializing and Making New Friends Picture courtesy of Cafe & bar HRR Inside the shop, there’s a table, a small round table, and a counter.Customers at the round table will often be sitting together with other strangers, but thanks to the fun and festive mood, fun conversation and socialization comes naturally.The owner often approaches and talks to first-time customers, creating a comfortable atmosphere allowing everyone to have an enjoyable experience. Not Available Website Cafe and bar HRR – Instagram Page Business Time 18:00-25:00 Address Osaka, Chuo, Kozu 3-8-31, Michikusa Apartment HRR The bar can accommodate about ten customers at a time. It is not a large venue, but because the bar is compact, the owner can easily mingle with and talk to everyone, and customers will surely have a memorable experience.This bar is a special place where everyone will feel like a friend.There are also many repeat customers who return to have more entertaining nights.Enjoy Osaka Nightlife for One-of-a-Kind Evening Fixed holidays Mondayscenter_img Picture courtesy of Cafe & bar HRR The Michikusa Apartments, a building left over from the Showa period, was renovated using scrap lumber and art. Cafe & bar HRR is located on the first floor.The shop’s surrounding area is residential, making this street corner building, decorated with paint and miscellaneous goods, stand out.Many people passing by head into the shop, drawn in by its lively, art gallery-like appearance. The shop’s door is made completely of glass, allowing you to see what’s going on inside. You don’t have to worry before stepping inside if the shop is not what you’re expecting. Cafe & bar HRR – A Unique and Inviting Bar In Namba, OsakaHave you ever wanted to go to an izakaya (Japanese pub), but were hesitant to enter because you didn’t know what it would be like? There are probably many travelers who have felt this way.In this article we introduce Cafe & bar HRR, a bar that is friendly and welcoming to international visitors.This bar’s owner wanted to recreate the atmosphere found at outdoor food stalls, where customers interact with each other in a Showa period atmosphere.The result is a bar that combines both the mood of a Japanese izakaya and a Japanese dagashi candy shop. Menu/Pamphlets in Other Languages English information available Cafe & bar HRR has an extensive menu, including coffee and juice, beer, Japanese sake, and cocktails.For your first order, try the master’s recommendation. You’ll be asked what kind of alcohol you like, and whether you prefer a sweet and mild flavor or something dry. They will then serve you a drink that suits your taste. When we opened the door and stepped inside the bar, hip hop music was reverberating throughout the space.The music played is the selection of the shop owner. Some travelers make multiple trips here during their visit to Osaka, simply because they enjoyed the bar’s music so much. Access 10 minutes on foot from Nankai Namba Station Cafe & bar HRRView Map Picture courtesy of Cafe & bar HRR Cafe & bar HRR also holds events several times a month.They have even had events where international customers, who were staying in Japan for a long period of time, cooked or brought food from their country’s cuisine. You are free to join these festivities on the day that they’re held.In addition, they also have DJ events and other lively affairs that are attended by many people! Read also Outside the shop’s entrance, you’ll be greeted by a figure wearing a hat. He is named Masashi, and is in charge of attracting customers to the shop.When you are at the front of the bar, remember to take a picture with Masashi.Let the Bar Master Choose Your First Drink! Star In Your Own Video In Japan – Capture Your Trip Memories On Film! Osaka – 15 Must See Spots, Both Famous And Little Known Accepted Credit Cards Price 500 yen – 3,000 yenlast_img read more

Handson Fun The Skytree Town® Campus Chiba Institute Of Technology

first_imgSkytree Town® Campus is an attraction facility managed by the Chiba Institute of Technology, located on the eighth floor of the shopping complex Tokyo Skytree Town®. Visitors can enjoy here experiencing cutting-edge technology.The floor is separated into AREA I and AREA II, each area displaying unique technology. Today we’ll be introducing some attractions from each area.AREA I: Japanese Robot TechnologyThe first thing you’ll see upon reaching the eighth floor is AREA I. This area introduces Japanese robot technology to visitors. Step one foot inside the dimly-lit room and you will find various displays and attractions.1. ROBOT EYEIn order for a robot to act like a human, it must first be able to recognize the world as we do.A finder using the technology of the robot eye can be found at the entrance of AREA I. With its precise recognition accuracy and processing capability, the robot eye automatically counts the number of visitors. This is made possible with a sensor that retrieves 3D information about its surroundings.2. RESCUE ROBOTThis rescue robot has been investigating and gathering information in places where humans cannot safely enter since the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster in 2011.3. ROBOTIC SHADOW There are many interesting things to see within AREA II, but we were most excited by the SOLAR SYSTEM GRAND TOUR.Here visitors can learn facts about the solar system using a 120-inch touchscreen.You could say it’s a digital encyclopedia with a touch screen. We enjoyed a function that let us see how the planets are lined up on a specific date.It might be fun to check out how the planets were lined up on the day you were born. I myself took a commemorative photo.What do you think about this place? We weren’t able to introduce all of the displays and attractions in this article, so we recommend stopping by yourself. You’ll find it won’t hurt your wallet either, as admission is free.Enjoying some cutting-edge technology after visiting the Skytree sounds good, doesn’t it?InformationSkytree Town® Campus, Chiba Institute Of TechnologyAddress: Tokyo, Sumida, Oshiage 1-1-2 Tokyo Skytree Town® Soramachi 8FHours: 10:30-18:00Closed: IrregularMenus/Pamphlets in Other Languages: English PamphletsNearest Station: Oshiage Station, Tokyo Metro Hanzomon, Keisei Oshiage, Toei Asakusa linesAdmission: FreePhone Number: +81-3-6658-5888Website: Skytree Town® Campus, Chiba Institute Of Technology This display called “ROBOTIC SHADOW” (*1) stands out within AREA I. Images on a giant screen react to the visitors’ movements.You will be able to experience sensor technology used to recognize the movements of people. You’ll enjoy watching various items attaching to you on the screen, or flying towards you and falling apart on impact.When we visited, some children were trying to dodge flying objects by jumping or getting down on their stomachs. Maybe we’ll see attractions like these at arcades in the future?*1 This display is available only on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. On weekdays, visitors can enjoy operating robots on the screen with an iPad (“GIGANTIC ROBOT SCREEN”).AREA II: Planetary Exploration Research TechnologyAcross from AREA I is AREA II. Here, a mysterious machine jumps into view.This is the transforming robot Valkyrie VF-25F from the Japanese sci-fi robot anime Macross Frontier. This life-size display will make you feel as if you have entered the anime world itself.This is a visual game where you can kick around planets using images projected onto the walls and floor. This attraction uses AR (augmented reality) technology.The planets you kick around will fly toward other planets, and bump into them or even explode.4. MOON WALKERImages of the moon’s surface taken by Japanese lunar probe “Kaguya” are projected on the walls and floor. You’ll feel as if you’re on the moon when standing on the display.5. SOLAR SYSTEM GRAND TOURlast_img read more

Enjoy Weekend Limited Halal Biryani At Marhaba In Fukuoka

first_imgLately, thanks to an increase in the number of Muslim workers and visitors from overseas, the number of halal shops and facilities all across Japan has also increased. For example, in 2009 Fukuoka’s first mosque, the Fukuoka Mosque was opened.Today we will be introducing you to Halal Food Marhaba, a halal specialty shop that is located right by the Fukuoka mosque. This shop is not only popular among Muslims, but also among the Japanese and other patrons as well.What is MARHABA? Marhaba is a Halal food shop located in the Higashi ward of Fukuoka city. Although it originally opened as a shop selling halal-certified ingredients, it has been gaining in popularity thanks to the delicious halal certified dishes they have been providing.According to Mr. Jamal, the owner of the shop, he was only cooking for himself one day, but a customer spotted him eating his delicious looking meal and asked if they could try some. In order to fulfill his customer’s requests, he began providing fully cooked meals as well in the shop.A One Man Home Style Restaurant Mr. Jamal has also prepared his own original yogurt sauce to match the biryani; it is made with cucumbers, onions and other fresh ingredients. Mr. Jamal is a very religious man, is also a fluent Japanese speaker and a very friendly guy! Although his wife occasionally helps out in the store, he mostly manages the shop and cooks the food all by himself. This is the chicken biryani (1200 yen). Each portion is generous – 600 grams of Pakistani rice and chicken curry that have been layered together and thoroughly cooked together. The rich flavors of the curry and its spiciness make this dish almost addictive. Another reason for its popularity are the incredibly tender drumsticks that have been slowly cooked hours – they are the perfect match to the flavorful rice.*The type of biryani on offer changes every other week between the chicken biryani (1200 yen) and mutton biryani (1500 yen). They also carry a wide variety of spices and other ingredients. Apparently, some customers end up purchasing the ingredients to prepare the foods for themselves at home after tasting some dishes in the restaurant.Weekend Only! Enjoy the Amazing Biryani With the yogurt sauce, the spiciness of the biryani was reduced, but the freshness and textures of the vegetables grew even stronger. What an amazing dish!As the portion size is quite large, if you can’t finish it all in one sitting, you can take your leftovers home in a doggy-bag, so even those with smaller appetites can still enjoy this dish. You can also order a biryani and curry to share with a friend too if you like. And, for those that come in for lunch, you can also enjoy a cup of chai for free as well (only on Fridays).The Popular DatesSince Marhaba is mainly a food shop, we asked what the most popular product they carry is. On the day we visited, the special dish was one of the most popular at Marhaba, biryani (*1). Initially, this menu was only available on Fridays after prayers, but so many customers requested it that Mr. Jamal was kind enough to make it available from Fridays to Sundays.*1 Biryani: an Indian dish in which rice and curry are layered together and cooked. where rice and curry is layered and cooked.The Best Chicken Biryani Inside the large refrigerator, there are many types of Halal certified meats, such as chicken and mutton to choose from. Originally, he carried it for people in the restaurant industry, but lately casual shoppers come by to purchase after hearing how delicious the meat is. At last, let’s try the dishes everyone has been raving about! Other than the standard menu, there are also daily specials available. Dates are the dried fruits of the date palm. They are very sweet, but naturally so – there are no added sugars or artificial flavorings in these delicious treats. Besides their sweetness they are also full of nutrients and are widely known as an edible beauty and dietary food.In ConclusionOne thing to keep in mind is that the specials of the day are as selected by Mr. Jamal, based on his preferences, so other than for the biryani, there is not a set schedule of when certain dishes will appear. And, these dishes are served on a first come, first serve basis – so once all the portions have been sold, you will just have to wait until the next day or weekend to enjoy this homemade meals. If you know that you will be in the area and want to have a meal here, we advise confirming by phone in advance before heading to the shop.By changing the store to suit his customers’ requests and alternating the menu daily, Marhaba has become a shop that is constantly changing and growing. But perhaps the best point of all has to be Mr. Jamal’s kindness! Next time you visit Fukuoka, please try some authentic halal food at Marhaba.InformationHALAL FOOD MARHABAAddress: 3-10-13-3 Hakomatsu, Higashi ward, Fukuoka city, FukuokaHours: 11:00-21:00Closed: TuesdaysWi-fi: Not availableCredit cards: Not availableOther Languages: Japanese, Urdu, EnglishMenus in Other Languages: EnglishNearest Station: Hakozaki Station, JR Kagoshima HonsenAccess: 5 minute walk from Hakozaki StationPrice Range: Chicken biryani (1200 yen), Mutton biryani (1500 yen)Religious Considerations: IslamPhone Number: 080-3224-9864Facebook:HALALFOOD MARHABAlast_img read more

Bento And Anime A Deliciously Cold Yet Warm Relationship

first_imgAn example of a western-style lunch box Photo by Ricardo Velasquez An example of a Japanese lunch box Photo by babykinsJapanese bento culture began to spread widely, starting from France and spreading to other European countries and America. This lunch with many small dishes squished into a box became a popular phenomenon all over the world.In Paris, there even is a bistro that provides bento boxes. In bookstores and manga shops of France and America, you can find many recipe books and items used to make bento for sale.So, how did people outside of Japan discover the Japanese bento?The Relationship of Anime, Manga, and BentoIn Japanese anime and manga, there are many scenes with a bento involved in them that often plays an important role in the story.For instance, popular anime such as “Evangelion” and “Spirited Away” along with recent series such as “One Week Friends” all contain a scene with a bento involved.This image is posted with copyright consent. ©colorWhen anime fans outside of Japan saw Shinji making a bento or the scene where Haku received a rice ball from Chihiro, and wondered what they were eating, interest in Japanese cuisine and specifically in bento culture started to grow. Japanese anime and manga were one of the reasons people began to discover the bento, and lately, people outside of Japan have created their own take on bento, making some amazing artistic works of their own.Photo by AikoVenusThe Japanese bento met with the food cultures of other countries and has become an international sensation!Not Just Kawaii! The Tasty Effects of BentoMany people around the world now know that Japanese bento is not just cute but also very delicious. However, the bento is not all about the looks and the taste. It also cuts down the cost of food and is also a way to continue eating a healthy and well-balanced lunch.Also, the moment you open a bento box brings joy and excitement to people of all ages.For those who are working hard at work or at school every day, lunch may be the only time for you to relax and enjoy a meal. Photo by babykinsAside from boxes with insulation functions, the contents of the bento tend to be cold. But having your very own bento with many of your favorite dishes or treats made in cute designs or done to look like anime characters will surely bring warmth to your heart. Why not try making one of your own – you might find it a new hobby of yours!center_img In Japan, a lunch box is referred to as a bento bako.In pop culture, most Western-style lunches usually have a sandwich and apple with other simple, but sumptuous foods included in the meal. However, Japanese bento boxes contain small amounts of various dishes and are arranged colorfully.last_img read more

New Shoes New You Stop By A Shoe Shine Shop At Kyoto

first_imgThere’s a saying that goes: “Dressing up starts from choosing the right shoes.” If you have a favorite pair of shoes that you’d love to wear everywhere and anywhere, you probably want to keep them as clean as possible. But polishing shoes yourself is a hassle, and you’d need to get all the necessary tools, so a lot of people just don’t do it.That’s where “kutsumigaki” (shoe shine) shops come in. Today we’ll be introducing a shoe shine shop located in Kyoto Station. You can stop by to take a break, and also give your shoes a break. When they’re done being polished, you’ll have a pair that is good as new.A Shoe Shine Shop Nestled in the Underground of Kyoto StationThe shop is located on the first underground floor of Kyoto Station, across from the restrooms.Down to the underground floor and head straight along this corridor, and the shoe shine shop will appear on the left.You’ll see a sign that says “kutsumigaki,” or “shoe polishing” in Japanese.Inside the shop are two chairs and various tools and supplies for shoe shining.Master Skills for Just One CoinThe prices for cleaning your shoes are as follows.With Polishing: shoes 400 yen, boots from 450 yenWithout Polishing: shoes 350 yen, boots from 400 yenEven the most expensive choice can be paid for with just one coin. Since you’ve come all the way here, we recommend getting the “with polishing” option.Have a seat in one of the chairs and the shoe shiner will start on your shoes with a practiced hand.The process starts with brushing, then polishing. You can watch as your shoes get cleaner and shinier right before your eyes. You can use this time to plan your next trip or even ask for some recommendations from the shoe shiner!This might be an exaggeration, but it felt like I was the one getting a massage instead of my shoes.The Japanese have a custom of taking off their shoes before entering their homes, so there are many occasions in which they pick them up or line them up. The cleaner the shoes are when doing so, the fonder the owner might feel of their shoes when wearing them.Better Shoes, a Better DayShoe shine shops have been becoming less and less common nowadays, but this particular shop has been polishing the shoes of customers here at Kyoto Station for nearly 60 years, since the current shoe shiner’s grandfather’s generation.Shoe polishing isn’t something that goes in and out of fashion, it’s a profession that adds a little bit of color to the daily lives of people. Just walking to a loved destination in clean shoes makes the wearer feel happy. Your feet support every step you take, and your shoes are the one’s that support your feet.If you’ve never polished your shoes before, or you’ve done it yourself but never visited a shoe shiner, we highly recommend stopping by. You will feel a great sense of satisfaction watching your shoes coming back to life.Take that new step forward with your new polished shoes!Information”Kutsumigaki” Shoe Shining Shop in Kyoto StationAddress: Kyoto, Shimogyo, Higashishiokojicho 901 (B1 floor of Kyoto Station)Hours: 8:00-18:00Closed: SundayWi-fi: NoCredit Cards: NoNearest Station: Kyoto StationAccess: B1 floor of Kyoto StationBlog: http://ameblo.jp/yukichan125group/ (Japanese)last_img read more

【Washoku】 Japanese Cuisine Hands on Classes for Tourists

first_img Kai Corporation is Known for Having the Biggest Kitchen Knife Share in JapanKai Corporation is a Japanese company that has been producing cooking utensils, makeup, and sanitary materials for over 100 years.Its most famous article is the kitchen knife. Kai Corporation controls the Japan’s top market share in kitchen knives. They export their knives all over the world, and half of all knives they produce are sold overseas; to date they have sold over 5 million knives. You may even have one of their products yourself.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jklgNb5CtAThe knife with the most popularity abroad is their wood-grain patterned series, called “Shun (旬)”. They are sold far and wide, and much of their business comes from Western European and Asian countries. As you can see in the above video, their brand is popular for its high cutting quality.Cooking Class Organized by the Leading Maker Japanese cuisine, or “washoku (和食)”, has been growing in popularity since it was recognized in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Have you ever tried your hand at washoku?Kai Corporation (貝印), a famous Japanese knife and kitchen utensil maker, is preparing cooking classes which will offer tourists the opportunity to try their hand at washoku themselves. Why not take your washoku experience to the next level?What is Washoku?Washoku is an expression of the Japanese respect for nature. Its acceptance into the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in December of 2013 was due to its long tradition, which extends back countless generations.The registration implies a greater importance than than one would normally assign to food.Included in “washoku” is any food that has a long history, or is cultivated on Japanese soil. Every region uses the best of its unique ingredients, which often have strong ties to annual events and the changing of the season.Another aspect contributing to the decision is its healthiness. The typical Japanese meal is based on the concept of “Ichiju Sansai” (一汁三菜 – literally: one soup, three side dishes), and tends to contain less animal fats and oils.Kai as a World Kitchen Knife Maker All Cooking Utensils On Display are Products of Kai CorporationThe washoku cooking classes for tourists are beginning to gather attention.English speaking experts of Japanese cuisine have been invited and will offer a chance to learn about washoku, all using cooking utensils made by Japan’s foremost experts. The First Floor Kitchen is a Space to Discuss Food and CookingKai Corporation is located at Iwamotocho (岩本町) near Akihabara station (秋葉原駅).On the first floor of there is a kitchen known as “Kai House”, where demonstrations are held to introduce their cutlery. There are also events with chefs and food specialists who explain the necessity of carefully selecting your cooking utensils.center_img It Will Make You Want to Know MoreOf course, the experience doesn’t stop there. You get to experience everything about washoku, from the difference between kitchen knives, to the manners of cooking and eating, and even the setting and arrangement of the dish. See Japanese Culture from a Different PerspectiveOne of the characteristics of the class is that the menu is simple. Most of the dishes use ingredients available anywhere, such as suimono (clear soup), makizushi (rolled sushi) and okonomiyaki. You can share your experience with your family and friends as a souvenir when you get home.There is much to discover by not only eating, but learning to make washoku. It would become a long lasting memory. If you on visiting Japan, why not take the opportunity to experience the cooking class at the Kai Corporation headquarters?InformationSHUN Washoku Cooking(「旬」和食クッキング)Address: 〒101-8586 3-9-5, Iwamotocho, Chiyoda, TokyoClass: 2 – 2.5 hoursDate: 13:00-15:30 on 2/19, 2/26, 3/5, 3/12, 3/19, 3/26Capacity: 24 peopleLanguage: English onlyStation: Toei Shinjuku line Iwamotocho station (岩本町駅)Access: 5 minute walk from Iwamotocho station (岩本町駅), 8 minute walk from Akihabara station (秋葉原駅)HP: https://www.kai-group.com/mm/washoku/input/last_img read more

Tanimura Art Museum Admire 10 Famous Buddhist Sculptures

first_imgTanimura Art Museum – Exhibiting Just Ten Sculptures You will not be able to see any of the statues you admired a few moments ago.Even if you turn around to look at the path behind you, there is nothing to look back to. You just have to look ahead and continue living. This is the thought behind this peculiar sight. This is a wise life lesson for all of us.See the Japanese Garden after Admiring the Buddhist Statues Its sole exhibition consists of 10 Buddhist statues. With no temporary exhibits or changing displays, this museum exists simply to display 10 particular Buddhist statues.Each exhibit room is designed to enhance the displayed pieces and to emphasize the beauty and message of the statues. The sculptor is Seiko Sawada (1894-1988). He was a renowned Buddhist sculptor, also talented in woodblock printing, painting, and writing. Right next to Tanimura Art Museum is a Japanese traditional garden, Gyokusuien.An idyllic synergy between refreshing greenery and the river slowly flowing through creates a soothing and peaceful environment. Even the mountains in the background fit perfectly with the scenery, as if unified with the garden. Have you heard of a flower called red spider lilly? Another name of this red flower with open arms is manjushage, and in Buddhist stories, it is said to bloom in heaven.Titled “Manjushage”, this sculpture portrays the thousand-armed Kannon (*3), a deity whose many open arms resemble the red spider lilly. The shadows show the statue’s arms overlapping artistically.*3 Senju Kannon, thousand-armed Kannon: Kannon is one of the numerous Bodhisattva beings much revered in Japan and is known by the name Kannon-sama. The thousand-armed Kannon represents Kannon that developed thousand arms and eyes in order to save all people and animals. The model for this piece, “Komyo Busshin”, was the wife of Shomu Emperor, Empress Komyo (701-760).Empress Komyo was a dedicated Buddhist practitioner, who built welfare facilities for the sick, the needy, and orphans. Visit the café to admire the garden while sipping delicious matcha. Enjoy the tea and dessert set for 500 yen (after tax).Access to Tanimura Art Museum In cooperation with Tanimura Art Museum, Niigata Prefecture Contrary to Komyo Busshin, this sculpture reveals rugged wood in all its robust nature. The title of this art piece is “Miroku Bosatsu” and it depicts a Buddha-to-be bodhisattva. According to legend, it is said he will save all living things by presenting himself in distant future.What sets it apart from other artwork is its material. Just like the other sculptures, this work is too is made from wood. However, it is made from Taro cedar from Nikko, a type of hardwood, said to be challenging for carving sculptures. This very trait, on the other hand, gives the sculpture a simple and strong feel, capturing zest for life in solid form. The Buddhist sculpture here is enveloped in sunlight pouring over it from the ceiling. It is called Kongo O Bosatsu (*1).It is believed that Kongo O Bosatsu has the ability to draw enormous amounts of power. It is as if he is displaying his might and the power has accumulated in one spot, as all of the sunlight is drawn to this one statue.The meaning of the word “kongo” is just as the characters say – “diamond”. It portrays the enlightened state of Buddha (*2), firm, unyielding to any outer force or temptation.*1 Bosatsu, Bodhisattva: one who pursues the enlightenment through practice and study.*2 Hotoke, Buddha: enlightened one. With this statue, in particular, you should pay attention to the shadows, too. Take a look at the right and left shadows –- it is as if mother and child are holding hands, isn’t it? It is said that by holding hands, they are trying to climb to the afterlife together.The architect that constructed this museum, Togo Murano, thought of the room design taking the statues into consideration, too. He gave specific instructions to artistically develop the light and shadows in the rooms, as well.3. The Golden Manjushage Beautiful Even At Night! 4 Cherry Blossom Spots In Niigata After you’ve admired the statue, take a look at the floor. You should be able to see the reflection of the golden thousand-armed Kannon.However, if you try to move–either forward or back–you will not step on its reflection. Now, look up to the ceiling. There is a thick beam just underneath the window, tearing the sunlight into two equal beams on the right and left.The two rays of sunlight are actually slightly different in color. The hue as well as the shape and intensity depend on the weather, creating a unique atmosphere in the room.4. The Meticulously Shaped Komyo Busshin Neatly structured and sitting top of the sand, the front garden was created to resemble the Silk Road, making the building stand out as if an ancient site was soaring high in the middle of a desert.When raining, the exterior melts in with the rain, turning dark gray. The snow in winter turns the scene into a monotone photograph, with the white snow and dark structure. The building has aged since it was constructed, resulting in a sophisticated appearance. The exterior continues to change with the passing of time and the weather. The contrast of the blue sky and the concrete as shown in the picture above is breathtaking and a must-see. In the farthest room, there is a lit up piece of art emitting a spiritual aura. The curious-looking museum, too, is a true piece of art, created by brilliant Japanese architect, Togo Murano (1891-1984).The museum was started by Shigeo Tanimura, the owner of a local construction company, who was a loyal fan of Sawada’s sculptures. He requested the help of Murano, who, at the time, was already 91 years old.Murano inspected each and every sculpture made by Sawada in order to understand what kind of environment would best enhance the sculptor’s art. He created a one-and-only space that fills up with natural light. The next two years until his death, he poured his heart and soul into this project. Tanimura Art Museum finally opened in 1983.Ancient Ruins-Themed Exteriorcenter_img However, if you look at them from below, you will be surprised at how well-balanced they appear. It is said that the reason behind this lies in the sculptor’s intention to convey that Buddhist statues should not be admired from above, but from below.7. The Merciful Shokannon Itoigawa StationThe nearest station to Tanimura Art Museum is JR Itoigawa Station. It takes about 2 hours and 5-15 minutes by shinkansen to reach Itoigawa Station from Tokyo (a reserved seat ticket is 11,000 yen). When departing from Kanazawa, it takes no more than 50 minutes (a reserved seat ticket is 5,380 yen).How to Reach Tanimura Art Museum from Itoigawa StationThere are a few routes you can take from Itoigawa Station to Tanimura Art Museum. If you want to walk, it will take about 25 minutes to reach it.If you intend to come by taxi, it will cost about 1,000 yen and take about 7 minutes from the Alps Exit of Itoigawa Station. In case of riding a bus to the museum, get on the bus from Itoigawa Station Alps Exit bus platform, and get off at Rendaiji-Iriguchi bus stop. It ought to take no more than 4 minutes, and about 100-170 yen. However, please note that there aren’t many buses running per day.Another option is to rent a bicycle at Itoigawa Station. The fee is 500 yen for 3 hours, and 1,000 yen all-you-can-ride per day. You’ll find three companies renting bicycles at the Alps Exit Tourist Information Center offering bicycles for the same price.Nearby Itoigawa Station, there are plenty of things to do. You can go hunting for natural jade at the Jade Coast, or visit sushi restaurants serving freshly-caught fish from the nearby coast. Renting a bicycle allows you to explore the sightseeing spots in the vicinity and enjoy the day.Tanimura Art Museum: One-of-a-Kind Art ExperienceExploring the Tanimura Art Museum won’t take up more than an hour of your time. Even so, it is carefully designed and overflowing with hidden messages and deep thought, which makes it a piece of art in its own. The time and effort spent going from Itoigawa Station are very rewarding, so don’t hesitate to visit. You surely will be amazed at how unique this facility is. Tanimura Art Museum View InformationmuseumRead also The appearance changes depending on the angle, so it might seem a bit plump when looked upon from the left side, but could also have sharp features when looked upon from the right side. The many faces of this statue may represent how he is always pondering how to help the world.6. A Petite Buddhist Statue to Look Up At Imagine a great frame encompassing this scenery, and it will engrave in your heart like a mesmerizing painting. If you take a walk down the straight hallway, you’ll arrive at the entrance to the museum where Buddhist statues await. Although made entirely out of wood, the skin is so smooth and detailed that the statue appears to be made of porcelain. The reassuring, peaceful expression on its face shows a warm heart wanting to save weak souls.5. Miroku Bosatsu, Made out of Rugged Wood If you observe the two from above, it might seem as if the heads are larger than usual, making it look like slightly off-balanced. Setsugekka Train – An Unforgettable Three Hour Ride Through Niigata’s Nature Itoigawa City in Niigata Prefecture is only two hours away by Shinkansen from Tokyo. The sky and sea here are deep blue and breathtaking, home to the one and only Tanimura Art Museum, a museum known for its stunning, truly moving displays. Niigata’s Retro-Cute Nuttari Terrace Street: Charming Cafes And Shops Behind the two small statues awaits “Shokannon”. It is the last statue we will introduce in this article. Shokannon, or Kannon-sama in Japanese, is the most beloved and worshipped Bodhisattva in Japan. It is said to possess the spirit of Karuna (*4).The sculpture is more than three meters tall, standing proud as if sheltering all caring worshippers. The right hand is to embrace all things, and the left hand is to save them.This concludes the Buddhist art tour of this museum. After you exit the last room, take a look back at the hallway that got you there.*4 Jihi, Karuna: the compassionate mind of Buddha and Bodhisattva toward all living things. The interior itself also resembles an ancient site or a cave. The light ambiance gives it an unpretentious look, and the thick, round pillars, together with curved, wave-like walls, make it appear gentle and friendly to exploring. The beams of sunlight gently pass through the space making the atmosphere warm and cozy.This article will introduce seven exhibits displayed in the museum. The first stop is the room to the left of the entrance.*The pictures in this article were taken after receiving special permission to photograph the exhibition for the purpose of making this article. Please note that it is prohibited to take pictures of the interior as well as the exhibition.1. Sunlight Pouring over Kongo O Bosatsu This is the only Buddhist statue that portrays a human in this art museum. Its title is “Amahiko, angel embracing a child” (image, center).The statue is of a mother embracing her child who died from a bomb during war. It is a heart-wrenching depiction of her sadness, as if she wants to follow her child to the afterlife. Finally, we’ve arrived at the last room of this exhibition. In front of this room, there are two small statues each on both sides. Neither statue is titled. In Tanimura Art Museum, there are no marks to lead the way through it. As you exit one room, another piece of art will appear in your sight. It is as if the statues themselves guide you.2. Amahiko, Worthy of Undivided Attentionlast_img read more

【RAINY JUNE】Shimokitazawa BB Enjoy Reading and Drinking On Your Trip

first_imgJune in Japan is the season of the rain. It’s easy to feel dull and people don’t want to go outside when the weather is nasty. Yet, we do have a place to amuse ourselves without getting wet. How about reading your favorite book and drinking beer at Shimokitazawa B&B while listening to the sound of rain?Bar Inside A Book StoreJust a few minutes walk from Shimokitazawa station, there is a bookstore called Shimokitazawa B&B, where you can order alcohol as well. “B&B” stands for Book and Beer.As you can see in the picture above, it is located on the second floor. If you follow the steps you will find a door to the place. Inside the room, books of any kinds are lined up orderly.One drink is served for 500 Yen. If you want to try something else, there are non-alcohol beer, wine, ginger ale, tea, and coffee. Isn’t it unusual to walk through the bookshelves with alcohol in your hand? Of course if you don’t wanna drink, you can look at books without buying a drink too!There are business books, philosophy books, comics, and classic literature too. Those books you could also see at a major bookstore in the city, but the selection of books in the bookstore is actually unique that it makes you feel like you are at some book nerd’s room and wandering around the shelves. (It’s fun!) Find A Travelling BookMy recommendation is the section of travels. The corner is located in the back of the room. There aren’t only travelling book in Japan but also other Asian countries, Europe, Middle East, and South America. They are journals about its trips and experiences of culture difference. You might find a book that talks about your country or culture although it’s written in Japanese. But you can still enjoy the pictures of those books.Even if the sky is gloomy, here at the bookstore you don’t have to worry about the weather and spend time with a nice drink and books.There Are Miscellaneous Goods And Events Happening TooOften writers and editors show up at the place as the bookstore holds events everyday. If you are lucky you may see one of the famous writers and editors, so check out their website first before going to the place! There are also miscellaneous goods and you can purchase their furniture as well if you would like. It is a kind of an unusual and exciting place to be. If you are able to read in Japanese, it’s definitely a fun place for you. Even if you don’t read in Japanese, that’s totally fine, you get to see people there! You can enjoy the moment with your favorite drink!InformationShimokitazawa B&BLocation: 2nd floor of Second Matsuda building, 2-12-4 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo #155-0031Hours:12pm~12am(last order at 11:30pm)No closed days except New years Days and Special holidaysWi-Fi: NoLanguage:JapaneseAll manu in JapaneseAccess:Keio-Inokashira, odakyu line, Shimokitazawa station. Exit south gate and walk towards Shimokitazawa South Gate Shopping Streets. It’s the first corner in between Docomo shop and Softbank shop and turn left at the alley.Call:03-6450-8272HP:http://bookandbeer.com/last_img read more

Harajuku Tourist Information Center Your Friendly Travel Guide

first_img“I’d love to experience something authentic Japanese!””How do I rent pocket Wi-Fi?””I got lost!”These are just some of the concerns that you may have during your travels. There is a handy institution in Harajuku that can solve all of your travel-related needs.This place is known as the Harajuku tourist information center.Just 30 Seconds from Harajuku Station, Takeshita GateThe Harajuku Tourist Information Center (HTIC for short) is located very near to Harajuku Station. When you exit the Takeshita gate, cross the street and head to the left. Harajuku TIC is located in the third building on your right. It takes about 30 seconds to reach it after you exit the station, and it will be easy to spot due to its English language signboard.The center provides guidance in 18 languages (※1). Staff that can provide language support in English, Chinese and Thai are permanently stationed within the center.※1…English, Chinese, Korean, Italian, French, Portuguese, Bengali, Burmese, Thai, Swahili, Spanish, Vietnamese, Nepali, Tagalog, Hindi, Sinhala, Tibetan, and Malay.The 7 Main Services of Harajuku TIC1. Taking Part in a Tour that Offers an Authentic Experience of JapanWouldn’t you like to experience something that is unique to Japan? The Harajuku Tourist Information Center can make your dreams come true, as they offer several tours that let you have an authentic Japanese experience .(1) Experience the world of Lolita by taking part in a fashion photo shoot, where you can enjoy dressing up in Lolita-style fashion and make-up (9,980 YEN), (2) Samurai Training Sessions, where you can train to become a Japanese warrior (7,000 YEN), or (3) the Ramen Experience, a tour that allows you to make these fabulous Japanese noodles with your own hands. These are just some of the many tours that Harajuku Tourist Information Center offers.These unique tours will definitely leave you with fantastic everlasting memories, so please give them a go! You can make on-the-day bookings if the tour has any vacancies, but it’s highly recommended that you book up 2 to 3 days in advance.2. Reasonably Priced Pocket Wi-Fi RentalBeing able to use Wi-Fi on your phone or computer while travelling around Japan is a complete godsend. Here, you can rent a Wi-Fi pack for just 700 YEN a day!3. Purchase Domestic Souvenirs There are many souvenirs that evoke the spirit of Japan, which are on sale here.You can purchase souvenirs from the various regions of Japan, including Samurai bottle covers from Fukuoka Prefecture (7,020 YEN), glass cups crafted with a wooden base from Hokkaido (3,240 YEN), as well as souvenirs from Tokyo.4. Foreign Currency Exchange ATMIn Japan, places where you can exchange money are extremely limited.At Harajuku TIC, there are Foreign Currency Exchange ATMs which allow you to change cash hassle-free. You can exchange up to 8 different currencies (this includes the US dollar)(※2).※2… USD, CNY ,KRW, TWD, GBP, Euro, AUD.5. If You Have any Trouble, You Can Ask the Friendly Staff for AdviceIf you have any concerns that cannot be resolved (by guide book or on the net), then please talk to the members of staff at Harajuku TIC. The staff speak a wide range of languages including English and Chinese, so they will be happy to assist you. If you do get lost, then they will be able to use a map to show you just how to get to your destination of choice.6. Purchase Various TicketsIf you’re planning to travel within Tokyo, then it’s best to start with the Tokyo Metro. It’s not only cheap, but it also allows you to travel around a larger area.Do you know about the Metro 1 Day Open Ticket? This ticket allows you unlimited travel for a fixed price. There are 3 varieties: 1 Day, 2 Day or 3 Day, and they are sold at the Harajuku Tourist Information Center.Read also: Tickets for traditional performing arts like Kabuki or tickets for the airport express bus can also be purchased here. If you have any questions, just go ahead and ask!7. They Will Look After Your Heavy LuggageIt’s fairly difficult to navigate the crowded streets of Harajuku straight from the airport with your large suitcase in tow. In times like these you want to be able to leave your luggage in a safe place, so that you can kick back and enjoy roaming about the area care free. At Harajuku TIC they will look after your luggage for the fee of 500 yen!What do you think about the Harajuku Tourist Information Center? This establishment will help you out in times of need, and listen to all of your travel queries. They have the same service operating in Shibuya, so please take a look the next time you happen to be in Japan!InformationHarajuku Tourist Information CenterAddress: Tokyo, Shibuya-ku, Jingūmae 1-19-11 Harajuku Ash Building 1FOpening Times: 10:00 – 18:00Closed: It is closed over the New Year period.Wi-Fi: Free Wi-Fi availableCredit Card Information: VISA, Master, UnionPay, AMEX, Diners Club International, JCB.Language Support: English, Chinese, Thai※ They can also assist you in the following languages providing the staff members are on duty: Korean, Italian, French, Portuguese, Bengali, Burmese, Thai, Swahili, Spanish, Vietnamese, Nepali, Tagalog, Hindi, Sinhala, Tibetan, and MalayInformation Provided in Other Languages: -Nearest Station: JR Harajuku StationAccess: A 30 second walk from JR Harajuku Station, Takeshita Street ExitPrice: -Religious Considerations: -Telephone: +81-03-5770-5131Official Homepage:Harajuku tourist information centerlast_img read more

Fresh sashimi for lunch at Sakanatei in Shimbashi

first_img■About TeriyakiPrice: free / 480 yen a month for paying members Available through:iTunes Store , Google Play※Input「TERIYAKI」in the search field。[iTunes Store]https://appsto.re/i6gv8tL[Android]http://teriyaki.me[Official Facebook]https://www.facebook.com/gourmet.teriyaki[Official Twitter]https://twitter.com/teriyaki_tweet Japanese cuisine is an intangible part of Japan’s cultural heritage. What do you picture in your mind’s eye when you hear “Japanese cuisine”?Japan is an island country, and Japan’s seafood dishes, typified by sushi, are in a class of their own on the world stage.This article will introduce you to Sakanatei, a restaurant that serves seafood dishes meticulously selected for freshness, located in the business district of Shimbashi.A Seafood Restaurant Loved by Japanese BusinessmenShimbashi is just five minutes from the Tsukiji Fish Market by car. At Sakanatei, every day the proprietor personally inspects the catch on sale before purchasing fish for the restaurant. The fish is then prepared the very same day.At lunchtime, the restaurant is packed with businessmen on their break. To accommodate its busy patrons, Sakanatei aims to serve food as quickly as possible.For that reason, even though there is always a long line at this popular place, the wait is generally 10 to 15 minutes.There are ten seats at the counter inside the restaurant. Most regular customers try not to linger after they finish eating, to be considerate to the people waiting. If you decide to visit, take care to be polite and avoid inconveniencing others.An Unparalleled Texture! Get the Fresh Sashimi Set Sakanatei has many seafood dishes on its menu, but one of its most popular offerings is the “Extra Large Sashimi Set” (1,000 yen) available at lunchtime.Sashimi is the centerpiece of the set, which comes with Oshinko (Japanese pickles), miso soup, rice and green tea. The best seafood from the market is used in the miso soup and sashimi, so ingredients will vary by season and market availability.The sashimi on this day was prepared from a selection of amberjack, tuna, salmon and sea bream. The seaweed behind the amberjack is also edible.First, pour soy sauce into the saucer. There are soy sauce bottles on the counter.Take the chopsticks and enjoy your sashimi, starting with the amberjack. Dip it in your soy sauce and take a bite. If you can handle wasabi, try putting a small amount on your sashimi before you eat it.It is advisable to keep the wasabi from coming in contact with the soy sauce, so that both tastes remain distinct.Since the fish is purchased on the same day it is served, it is exceptionally fresh. When you bite into a thick slice of this high-quality sashimi, you can really feel its crisp, firm texture.The umami of the fish and its fatty richness will spread across your tongue. Since the fish is typically only seasoned with soy sauce, the delicious taste of the fish really comes through.Even if you live in Japan, the chance to eat sushi of this caliber does not come around very often.From Ordering to Leaving the RestaurantA popular restaurant like Sakanatei gets particularly crowded at lunchtime, so there are some things you should remember when you visit. First, there is no English menu, so you must order in Japanese.Ask for “sashimi oomori teishoku” to order the sashimi set, for “yakizakana teishoku” to order the grilled fish set, and for “nizakana teishoku” to order the boiled fish set.The sashimi set is 1,000 yen, while the grilled fish and boiled fish sets are 800 yen. Payment is cash only. Make sure you have cash on hand before you go to Sakanatei.Your food will be ready soon after you order. Please eat your fill of the delicious seafood.It is polite at Sakanatei to help clean your space at the counter after you finish eating. Kindly gather up your plates and get the attention of the chef with a “sumimasen (excuse me),” then pass them over the counter. Since the place is small, it is difficult to go outside of the counter and gather up plates. So your cooperation is appreciated.Pass any bowls over the counter as well. There will be other customers waiting outside, so once you have tidied up, please leave the restaurant in a timely manner.Let’s Go to Sakanatei!Sakanatei is very close to the JR Shimbashi station. It is a little difficult to find, so we will explain how to get to the restaurant from the Shiodomeguchi exit.First, go right along the passageway after you exit the ticket gate.Continue until the end, where there is another passageway to the left that goes diagonally. Turn left here.A short walk later, you will see the place in this picture. Turn left here.You will see this entrance. Go inside.If you continue straight down this passage, you will soon see Sakanatei on your right side. Look for the dark blue “noren” (cloth sign).This is the entrance. If there are people waiting, line up behind them. If you are lucky and there is an open seat at the counter, duck under the cloth sign and enter the restaurant.Eat to your heart’s content!InformationSakanateiAddress: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Shimbashi 2-20-15 (Shimbashi Ekimae Building 1 B1F)Hours: 11:30am to 2:00pm (lunch)Wi-Fi Access: -Credit cards: Not acceptedClosed: Sundays, national holidays, the Obon period, and during New YearLanguage : -Menus available in: Only in JapaneseStation: Shimbashi Station on JR or the Toei Asakusa LineAccess:Two minutes’ walk from JR Shimbashi station (via the Shiodome exit)Two minutes’ walk from Shimbashi Station on the Toei Asakusa LineTwo minutes’ walk from Shimbashi Station on the New Transit YurikamomeFive minutes’ walk from Shimbashi Station on the Tokyo Metro Ginza LineFive minutes’ walk from Shimbashi Station on the Toei Oedo LinePrice range: Up to 1000 yen for lunch, 4000-5000 yen for dinnerReligion: -Phone number:+81-3-3574-0215Official website:-Published in cooperation with TERIYAKI, a restaurant search application「TERIYAKI」last_img read more

Peaceful neighbourhood a priority for Pak says Imran

first_imgIslamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has told US President Donald Trump that normal ties with India would be beneficial for both the countries, asserting that a “peaceful neighbourhood” was a priority of his foreign policy, according to officials here. The meeting between Prime Minister Khan and President Trump at the White House on Monday was the first summit-level engagement between Pakistan and the United States since 2015, according to the Foreign Office (FO). Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USKhan, who is on a three-day visit to the US, underlined in his talks with Trump that “Pakistan would continue to pursue dialogue and diplomacy to resolve longstanding disputes, including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir,” it said. He said that a “peaceful neighbourhood” was a priority of Pakistan’s foreign policy, it said. Peace and stability in the region would allow Pakistan to harness its rich human resource potential to generate growth and spur regional connectivity, the FO said. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls”The Prime Minister said Pakistan was convinced that normalisation of relations with India would be mutually beneficial for the two countries,” the FO said. President Trump also “expressed his readiness to play a facilitating role in resolution of the Kashmir dispute”. The two leaders held comprehensive discussions with a focus on building a broad-based and enduring partnership between Pakistan and the US and strengthening cooperation between the two countries to bring peace, stability and economic prosperity in South Asia. They reviewed progress of the Afghan peace and reconciliation process. “Prime Minister Khan reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to continue to support the process in good faith. He added that pursuing the process was a shared responsibility,” the FO said. Pakistan’s delegation included Chief of Army Staff of the Pakistan Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Director-General of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed. The President accepted Khan’s invitation to visit Pakistan, the FO added. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s media on Tuesday gave prominent coverage to Trump’s offer of mediation on Kashmir. The readiness to intervene on the Kashmir issue was given prominent coverage, with newspapers splashing it on the front pages. Dawn newspaper reported that the US President offered to mediate the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan. “Trump offers mediation on Kashmir at Modi’s request” was its front page headline. The Express Tribune in its headline stated that Trump “offered to mediate on the decades-long Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan, a move that would signal a shift in long-standing US policy that the issue must be solved bilaterally”. The News International reported that “in a pleasant departure from his past stance, US President Donald Trump said Prime Minister Narendra Modi wanted him to mediate on the Kashmir issue”. The Nation also based its main news on Kashmir mediation offer by Trump.last_img read more

Centres move on Kashmir a murder of democracy DMK

first_imgChennai: The DMK on Monday strongly condemned the Centre’s move to revoke Article 370, which gave special status to Jammu and Kashmir, saying it was a “murder of democracy”. DMK president M K Stalin said the measures should be held back till a democratically-elected government assumed office in the state. Speaking to reporters at the party headquarters here, Stalin said the Centre had gone ahead with its proposal without getting the concurrence of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and called it a “murder of democracy.” Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The DMK leader strongly condemned the bifurcation bid as an “anti-democratic” step. Stalin also hit out at the AIADMK for supporting the Centre’s move in Parliament. Later, in a statement, Stalin accused the BJP-led Centre of being only concerned about implementing its ideological agenda and not respecting the sentiments of the people of J&K, who stood behind India. Earlier in the day, the Centre revoked Article 370 and proposed that the state be bifurcated into two Union territories. “This move is seen as an attempt to divert (the) people’s attention from basic issues and is a cause for concern and shocking,” Stalin said. “When a voice for more powers to States strongly echoed across the country, dividing an existing state into union territories showed that the PM Narendra Modi-led government was raring to go against the path of democracy,” he said.last_img read more

Walking and hitching rides along Kashmirs desolate highways

first_imgSrinagar: Kashmir’s uncertain, restive situation has pushed public transport off the roads, leaving many people with no option but to flag down the odd private vehicle passing through the desolate highways of the Valley.A few people, some in twos and threes and some alone, can be seen walking or standing by the side hoping to get a ride into the nearest town or village — to meet their children, parents or maybe just get back home. On Monday, the Centre announced the revocation of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status in the Rajya Sabha and also its proposal to bifurcate the state into the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’The Valley has been under a virtual communications blackout since the night before with few workable phones, mobile or landline, and virtually no internet connections. Prohibitory orders are in place with authorities saying there is no curfew. And the desperation of people, who said they are trapped and staying indoors is not always possible, is rising by the hour. Among those seen frantically trying to get a car to stop at Narbal Road on the outskirts of Srinagar was Nighat Nasir. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&K”I have to reach Baramulla (about 60 km away) and be there with my children,” she said. The couple started walking from their Srinagar home till they reached Narbal Road, a distance of 17 km. Their efforts paid off and they finally managed to hop on to an ambulance that promised to take them halfway to Pattan in north Kashmir. Mohammed Ramzan, now admitted in a hospital in Bemina on the outskirts of Srinagar, didn’t stop to wait for a lift. The resident of Srinagar’s Lal Bazar locality got a distress call from his daughter on Sunday night in Budgam in central Kashmir and left his home early after daybreak on Monday morning. Budgam is about 35 km from Srinagar. With no buses or taxis, he walked for 12 km before collapsing in sheer exhaustion. “Ramzan collapsed and was picked by a security vehicle and brought to the hospital,” said Dr Shafkat Bhat at the Bemina hospital. The stories are many. Mohammed Shahim said he took a lift from three different people to cover the 65 km distance from Khrew in south Kashmir to Srinagar. “Is there a curfew? Why can’t we go to any place? We are not creating any disturbance then why are we being troubled,” he asked a paramilitary trooper guarding a road leading to Batmaloo in the city. “I managed to reach from Khrew after taking a lift from three different people. I covered 65 kilometres and now they are not allowing me to go inside my locality,” Shahim, who works in private factory, said. He was allowed in after a senior officer intervened. “These are difficult times, kindly bear with us,” the officer told Shahim and requested people not to take pictures from their mobiles. Riyaz Rather, who stays in downtown Srinagar but runs a medical shop in the Civil Lines area, said covering the 10 km distance is an everyday challenge. “Someone or the other gives a lift and this is how we cover the distance these days. The government is telling us that there is no curfew but police did not allow me to take out my vehicle,” Rather said He has been commuting all these days from his home on foot. “Once I cross downtown, someone or else gives me a lift and that’s how I reach,” he said. PTIlast_img read more

Hesson almost beat Shastri to India coach job

first_imgNew Delhi: Moments after Ravi Shastri was re-appointed as the head coach of the Indian team till 2021, Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) chief Kapil Dev had said ‘as all of you were expecting’ Shastri is the number one candidate for the job. But it has now come to the fore that Kiwi Mike Hesson had almost toppled Shastri.Speaking to IANS, a senior Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) functionary said that it was a close call between Shastri and Hesson and New Zealand’s track record under the Kiwi from 2012 till 2018 had almost sealed the deal for the former Kings XI Punjab coach. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh”It was not a walk in the park for Shastri as some of you seem to believe. Hesson was really close to getting the go-ahead. It is there for all to see how the New Zealand team improved by leaps and bounds under him across all formats. “From being the perennial surprise package in big-ticket events, they had become a champion side under him and that is something that really impressed the CAC. “Under his coaching, the Kiwis reached their first-ever World Cup final in 2015. While he did resign in 2018, the Kiwis playing their second final on the trot in 2019 also had a lot to do with what Hesson brought to the table. His strategizing with the senior members in the team can’t be discounted,” the functionary explained. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced laterAsked what then turned the table back in Shastri’s favour, considering that the CAC made it clear that skipper Virat Kohli wasn’t consulted before taking the call, the functionary said it was Shastri’s experience as a player on the international stage.”The CAC felt that Shastri’s proven record as a player was one area that needed to be give due recognition as one’s own stature might become an area of concern when handling a team which has big names. “Hesson hadn’t played enough cricket himself and as we know started coaching in his early twenties. Shastri on the other hand played 80 Test matches and 150 ODIs. That is something that went against the Kiwi,” the functionary said.However the functionary refused to divulge if the experience of having M.S.K. Prasad as the chief selector and his inability to stand tall and take decisions was used as point of reference by the CAC when making the call. “That only then can tell you,” the functionary said.Interestingly, the national selectors led by Prasad are expected to announce the names of the support staff on Thursday. The CAC had expressed its desire to be a part of this as well, but the BCCI constitution doesn’t allow it.While Bharat Arun is expected to retain his position as bowling coach, Sanjay Bangar’s position is under the scanner as batting coach. Vikram Rathour is considered favourite to take the position, but he will face stiff competition from Praveen Amre. In the fielding department, R. Sridhar is almost certain to be retained unless the selectors look to rope in someone like Jonty Rhodes.last_img read more

The Charleville initiative

first_imgAt the request of Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu, an Arunachal Study Group has been conceptualised at the Academy to look at issues concerning the capacity building of officers of Arunachal, understand the unique potential and diversity of the state in almost every respect – language, religion, culture, agro climes, hydel, natural and renewable resources, flora, fauna, birds, mammals, butterflies, besides challenges from the 1000 km border with China which contests the integration of the state with the Indian Union. One will not write about this – for reams have been written on this aspect, and usually, the discussion terminates with the assertion that Arunachal is indeed a state of the Indian Union, which leads the North East in many parameters of development. The initiative about this came from Jitender Kumar, an IAS officer of the AGMUT cadre when he was attending the Phase V program at the Academy. So, while this dispatch is not written at Charleville, it was conceptualised there! Also Read – A special kind of bondOne must mention here that there’s a strong Charleville connection with the state. Six decades ago, in the year of 1959, the Academy moved from the Metcalfe House in Delhi to Mussorie, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama established the first Tibetan settlement in India after having fled to the Tawang Monastery in Arunachal (then NEFA) to avoid persecution from the Chinese who had occupied Tibet. The Tawang monastery is in the Monpa area, bordering Bhutan to the west and is a centre of Lamaistic Buddhism. The middle range of Arunachal has the Tani and Mishmi areas, while Singhpo, Naga and Yobin areas border Myanmar to the East and Nagaland and Assam to the south. Also Read – Insider threat managementIn between there are transition zones such as the Bugun aka Hruso, Miji and Sherdukpen – these are the cultural buffers between Lamaism and Doniyo Polo (translated: the sun and the moon) – the shamanic and animistic belief systems.The Chief Minister and his team had a frank and candid discussion with our group which included Special Director Manoj Ahuja and we agreed that LBSNAA would conduct a training needs analysis for the civil and senior technical services of Arunachal, especially with regard to skills on project formulation and monitoring, leadership and team-building with focus on the potential drivers of Arunachal’s economy: tourism, hydropower, horticulture and handicrafts. The road to Arunachal, as indeed to most places in the Northeast, is via Kolkata and/or Guwahati, and your columnist spent a day at Kolkata – visiting the National Library, the ATI, the NUJS and had an interesting interaction with the executive committee members of the Indian Chambers of Commerce. The National Library is supposed to be the repository of all books published in the country, however, fulfilling this mandate requires professional leadership, administrative competence, political will backed with financial muscle – all of which require a reboot. The Academy is keen to seek their technical support and assistance in becoming the National Reference library for writings on and by civil servants, as well as on governance. The Academy has taken up a project under the title “The making of a Nation” to document all publications by and on civil servants/civil services and governance to understand how India has evolved from an outpost of the Empire to a G-20 nation with global ambitions and aspirations. This is taken from the title of Surendra Nath Banerjee’s publication A Nation in the Making, published in 1925. Banerjee’s contribution to nation-building has not received the attention it deserves – not only was he one of the first ICS officers who had to quit quite early in his career on account of racial discrimination, he was also an influential journalist, the President of the Indian National Congress, the Mayor of Kolkata and an inspiration for a generation of leaders of the freedom movement, especially before the advent of Mahatma Gandhi who transformed the Congress from an influential debating forum to a mass movement. The sessions at the ATI and NUJS were basically interactions with the civil service aspirants clearing their queries about the exams, and discussing the myriad possibilities in the civil services. There were many apprehensions about the selection process and the respective roles of the UPSC and the Academy in the determination of services, as well as inter-state seniority. It is always a delight to respond to questions of the aspirants as well as explaining to them that while governance depends on a positive rapport between the political leadership and the permanent executive, there are fairly well-established norms and conventions of what can and ought to be done. The relationship had to be professional – officers were expected to follow the rules and uphold the law but the discretion to amend the laws was vested with the political executive, and this too was subject to judicial scrutiny. Laws could not go against the ‘fundamental nature and the essential spirit of the Constitution. The session at Indian Chambers was also very interesting where your columnist sparred with economist Onkar Goswami on the role of bureaucracy in the budget exercise. His argument was that the bureaucracy was responsible for creating the Trust deficit which made it difficult for the entrepreneurs to expand their business. Your columnist’s view was that the budget was essentially a political statement and that the democratically elected political executive had every right to send whatever signals it wanted to convey. Moreover, the budget-making process was fairly participatory and the memoranda and submissions presented by the Industry chambers and trade associations were also factored in the budget-making process. (Dr. Sanjeev Chopra is Director, LBSNAA, Mussoorie, and Honorary Curator, Valley of Words: Literature and Arts Festival, Dehradun. The views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

Who is the guarantor allowing big bank frauds asks Priyanka

first_imgNew Delhi: Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra attacked the government on Friday over an RBI report showing bank frauds have gone up by 15 per cent year-on-year in 2018-19, asking who is the guarantor allowing such “big bank frauds”.The number of cases of frauds reported by banks saw a jump of 15 per cent year-on-year basis in 2018-19, with the amount involved increasing by 73.8 per cent in the year, the Reserve Bank of India’s annual report showed. Also Read – Uddhav bats for ‘Sena CM’In FY19, banking sector reported 6,801 frauds involving Rs 71,542.93 crore as against 5,916 cases involving Rs 41,167.04 crore reported in 2017-18. “Country’s biggest banking institution RBI is saying that bank frauds are increasing right under the nose of the government. In 2018-19, this theft has increased,” Priyanka Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi. “Banks have been duped of Rs 72,000 crore. But, who is the guarantor who is allowing such big bank frauds to occur,” the Congress general secretary asked. Also Read – Farooq demands unconditional release of all detainees in J&KCongress’ chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala also hit out at the government over the rising number of bank frauds. “‘Loot & Scoot’ in ‘New India’ as a complicit BJP govt looks the other way and common man is taxed!” he said. Congress urges govt to declare financial emergency in countryNew Delhi: The Congress on Friday demanded that a financial emergency be declared in the country and a white paper be released on the “shrinking economy and rising frauds”. Congress spokespersons Jaiveer Shergill and Gaurav Vallabh accused the BJP government of destroying the credibility of the country’s economy and banking system and demanded that it should declare the names of wilful defaulters, along with the details of their non-performing assets (NPAs). “The Congress demands that a financial emergency should be declared in the country,” Shergill told a press conference here. “We reiterate that the BJP government should release a white paper on the shrinking economy and rising frauds,” he said. “It is getting clearer by the day that the country is heading towards a major recessionary phase. This is a classic case of recession under expansionary trends, as whenever there are three continuous quarters of growth recession (reduction in growth quarter-on-quarter), the chances of slipping into a full-blown recession are significantly higher,” Vallabh said. He added that once the June 2019 quarter numbers were announced, it would be clear that India was witnessing a reduction in growth for five consecutive quarters. Vallabh said the problems that this phenomenon put forth were that natural recovery did not occur and the country had to solely rely on monetary policy actions, while the short-term stimulus remained short-term and only helped in assuaging wounds. “The questions we want to ask the government are what is its response to the prolonged reduction in growth? Does it have any clue of what is actually wrong and who’s responsible for the same,” Shergill said. As a responsible opposition, the Congress wanted the government to immediately issue a white paper on the state of economy, he added. “Rather than a band-aid approach, we want substantial solution to this state of the economy,” the Congress spokesperson said, wondering why the government would not accept that the country was witnessing a recession and it would only be revived when a private and public investment cycle would start in the economy. Shergill alleged a “systematic decimation of the economy” with a worsening distress in the farm sector, factories and finance, adding that only frauds, fake promises and aggression on the system were rampant in the country under the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) rule. He also alleged that frauds in the banking system shot up by 74 per cent to Rs 71,543 crore in the 2018-19 financial year, compared to frauds worth Rs 41,167 crore committed in the 2017-18 financial year. “RBI data has revealed that 27,125 cases of bank frauds of a whopping Rs 1.74 lakh crore (Rs 1,74,753 lakh crore) were reported in the past five years. Is this amount similar to recapitalisation of banks? Why, suddenly now, so many cases of frauds are out? Is it an indirect way of looting taxpayers’ money?,” the Congress spokesperson asked.last_img read more