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GION FESTIVAL -A FINAL REPORT-

(2011-07-31)
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There are many floats on the streets.
According to Ito-chan, Ito-chan and I saw 21 floats.
It was amazing!!!

The Gion Festival is called as a ‘moving museum’.
I can agree it.
It is because each float has not only beautiful but also valuable items.

And I could learn a lot of things.
I take off my hat to people who try to preserve the float.
They need a lot of time, a lot of money, and a lot of power to preserve them.

The Gion Festival season is always too hot.
But it is worth to going.
You should go and touch Japanese great culture.

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GION FESTIBAL -TOUROU-YAMA-

(2011-07-30)
TOURYOU-YAMA
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This is Ito-chan’s favorite.
You can see a mantis on the top of the float.

This float is a little different from the other floats.

These floats are usually preserved by a small area.
So, these areas people are proud their own floats.

This float is also owned by a small area.
But the people who live this area weren’t born in this area.
So, the people don’t have love for this float.

I am really worried because Kyoto is much closed society.
They can enter into the other areas.
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GION FESTIVAL -KITA & MINAMI KANNON YAMA-

(2011-07-28)
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KITA-KANNON-YAMA and MINAMI-KANNON-YAMA are very tall float.
I could see the inside of this float.
It is not smaller than I thought, but I think it is too small so that more than ten people play instruments.

There are so many beautiful fabrics there.

I think I could have a good experience because usually I don’t have any chance to see an old house in Kyoto or the inside of float.

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GION FESTIVAL -AYAGASA-HOKO-

(2011-07-27)
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AYAGASA-HOKO

This is my favorite.
It is small and cute, don’t you think so?
I can image that I drink Japanese green tea on this float.
It’s definitely very tasty.


GION FESTIVAL -LUNCH-

(2011-07-26)
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At the lunch time, Ito-chan and I were looking for a restaurant.
But there was no good restaurant around there.

First, we tried a Soba restaurant.
Unfortunately, they didn’t have ‘hot Soba’. I don’t usually eat ‘cold Soba’, so we didn’t eat lunch there.

Afterwards, we were looking for a restaurant again.

And we found a restaurant.
It didn’t seem a good restaurant but we were already really tired, so we tried that restaurant.

Surprisingly, they had several Japanese tatami rooms.

These are the meals which we ate.
They have good Ayu, good cold rice porridge, and good Japanese omelet.

Ito-chan and I said that we were really lucky that we could see such nice meals.
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GION FESTIVAL -HOUKAHOKO-

(2011-07-25)
HOUKA-HOKO

This is famous of a little doll, KOUMARU.
At the parade, it is dancing.

This float has a great cloth written by YOSANO-BUSHON.
It is valuable, so you can NOT see this cloth at the parade.
If you want to see it, you should visit there on the Gion Festival Eve, ore Eve’s Eve.
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GION FESTIVAL -JYOUMYOU-YAMA

(2011-07-24)

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This is one of my favorite floats.
It depicts a scene of HEIKE-MONOGATARI, which was written around 13th century.
It is a very exciting scene; one are fighting and one guy jump over the other guy.

The armor is very valuable.
It was made in Muromachi Era(1336-1573).

A security guard was very polite and he told me a lot about this float.
It is one of the reason that I like this float.

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GION FESTIVAL -KOI YAMA-

(2011-07-22)
KOIYAMA

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This Yama is famous of two items.

One is a carp.
This is carved by Hidari Jingoro.
As you probably know he is very famous of Nemuri-neko at Niko-Tosho-Gu.
He also left many valuable carvings.

The other famous one is a tapestry.
This Yama is wrapped by several tapestries but those tapestry used to be one tapestry.
Nobody knows why, but someone cut the tapestry and made several tapestries.
These tapestries came from Belgium.
It is very interesting for me.
Why European tapestry was used for this Yama?

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GION FESTIVAL-HASHI BENKEI YAMA-

(2011-07-21)
HASHIBENKEI-YAMA
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This is one of the most popular Yamaboko.
It is because it descries Japanese famous legend.
Any Japanese know that fighting Ushiwaka and Benkei on the Gojyo Bridge.

Those dolls were made in 16th Century.

Gojyo Bridge is covered with black Japanese lacquer.
It is very beautiful.
I wanted to touch it.

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GION FESTIVAL-KURONUSHI YAMA-

(2011-07-20)
KURONUSHI YAMA
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You can see cherry blossoms.
It is very cute and beautiful.

Each float has each image of god, and this god was a Japanese famous poet ‘Otomono Kuronushi.’
The god is usually a doll and this doll was made in 1789.
His Kimono was made in 1675.
The cherry blossom has a special power and if you put it on the entrance of your house, it will work as a charm against bad luck.
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GION FESTIVAL -1-

(2011-07-19)
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On the 15th, I took a day off and went to Gion Festival Eve’s Eve with Ito-chan.

When we went to the French restaurant on the 12th, we were given a booklet of Gion Festival at the restaurant.
It was a free paper but there was much information on it.
Afterwards, Ito-chan read the booklet and decided visiting Kyoto again.

My image of Gion Festival is very bad.
It is because there are so many people there and it is always too hot.
That’s why I don’t like Gion Festival.

By the way, what is Gion Festival?
According to the booklet,
It originated in 869.
Many epidemics broke out in the country(I don’t know this ‘country’ is Japan or Kyoto).
People thought that it was a curse of Gozu Tenno.
Then, people stood the halberds and deified them.

Afterwards, the time changed the festival’s design.
And now, many floats move around the Kyoto streets.


On the Eve’s Eve, we couldn’t see moving floats, but we could see the floats on the streets.

I want to introduce some of them.


YOIYOI-YAMA YOI CONCERT

(2011-07-18)
Do you know Natarsher Seven?
It is a name of fork singer group.
My sister is a big fan of Natarsher Seven.
It has already broken up, but Ito-chan still love Natarsher Seven.
On 9th, Ito-chan and I went to see Mr. Tomoya Takaishi concert.
He was a member of Natarsher seven.

The concert has been held at Maruyama Ongakudou.
It is located close to Yasaka Jinja
The concert hall is at outside.
It was very hot day but many people visited there.
Natarsher Seven and some musicians have concerts every year at Maruyama Ongakudou.
It is called, Yoiyoiyama concert.
But this years concert is the last one.
They will never hold a concert there.

The one, which we saw, was not Youyouyama Concert.
It was an eve festival.
Mr. Takaishi sang his songs and there was no musician on the stage except him

I am not a big fan, but I like their songs.
I sometimes hum their songs.
The lyrics make my heart warm

Luckily, I knew almost all of the songs.
So I could enjoy his concert.
Sometimes I remembered his songs more than him.

His fans brought guitars or some instruments.
They played the instruments with Mr. Takaishi.
I have never seen the situation like that, so I was very surprised.

I am not sure how Ito-chan felt that concert, but I felt a little sad even if I haven't seen Yoiyoiyama concert before.

Afterwards, we ate cold sweets at a Japanese sweets shop, Yajikita.
I was very tired, so a sweet and cold zenzai made me happy.

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UKIYOE

(2011-07-17)
Ito-chan and I visited Shoukoku Temple, afterwards.
There is a museum in the temple and It has hold Ukiyoe.
Those Ukiyoe collections are from Hamburg.
It was said that Ukiyoe had had no value in Japan.
So, many Ukoyoe flew foreign countries.

The museum is not so big, but when I got there, I had already been tired.

You can see many famous painters’ works.
Almost all of them are, of course, print arts.
But three pictures are NOT a print art.
They are original paintings.
And I thought I prefer original paintings to print arts.
All of lines are smooth and delicate.
Expressions of girls of the pictures are rich and gentle.

I know the techniques of Ukiyoe prints are very high.
But I still prefer original paints.

I got very tired
But I was very satisfied because I could see Vermeer, eat delicious lunch, and look at good Ukiyoe.


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MANYOUKEN

(2011-07-16)
After Ito-chan and I saw Vermeer, we were looking for a restaurant for lunch.
We walked around Gion area and chose a French restaurant.

I have been there before and I knew it was a good restaurant.

Ito-chan looked at a menu of the restaurant and decided eating at that restaurant.

All of the dishes were very beautiful.
I can feel ‘summer’ from their dishes.

These are the dishes I ate there.
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This is made of corn. It is like a mousse.
The center one is grilled corn. It is crispy and its smell is really good.


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It is tomato taste dish.
There are pike conger and some vegetables of summer.
It is a little sour, and its taste is really good for this hot summer season.

I forgot to take a picture of ‘soup’. It is made of consommé and fresh cream.
The consommé soup is hardened as a jelly.
It is a little salty but also good for this hot season.

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This one is made of porgy.
I am sorry, I have already forgotten what it was like.

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It is ‘ayu’.
Ayu is my favorite fish!!!
Under the ayu is knotweed.
Ayu is, of course, a little bitter but really really good.

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The last one is beef, foie gras, and sauce is ratatouille.
It is very heavy for me but it gives me special power.

All of dishes are very tasty.
Of course, wine is also really good.
I was really happy because I could eat such a delicious lunch.
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VERMEER

(2011-07-15)
I went to see ‘a love letter from Vermeer-Communication:Visualizing the Human Connection in the Age of Vermeer.

Vermeer was a Dutch painter.
Lately, he is very popular in Japan.
I don’t know the reason why.

All of the pictures in the museum were not painted by Vermeer.
His works are only three.

All of them are very delicate and I can’t see any brushstrokes.

However, I cannot see any differences between each painter.
I feel like only one painter painted all of the pictures.

My favorite one is this picture.
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A woman is writing a letter and a maid behind her is waiting for finishing her letter.
I cannot tell you well but I felt a special power from this picture.

The number of paints is about 50.
I think it is too small.
The entrance fee is 1500yen.
I think this exhibit is a little expensive.
But looking at Vermeer is a status symbol in Japan.

That’s why, I was right to go to see Vermeer.


EVERYDAY DRINKING

(2011-07-14)
Ito-chan and I went to a beer garden last Monday..

I didn’t know that but there is no beer garden in U.S.
I was a little surprised.

There are thousands of beer gardens in Japan and we went to Hanshin Department Store.
It is because Hanshin Department Store has a special day on every Monday, and lady’s fee is 2500yen.


We had thought it would be too hot, but it wasn’t hot than we expected.

They had many dishes.
You can eat and drink as many as you want.

First of all, of course we drank beer and picked up some foods.
The foods were not special, but drinking beer in outside and eating edamame is the most important time in my life.

Of course, many middle-aged-men came there and drinking beer.
They seemed really happy.
They probably complained about their boss, their customers, and their wives.
They drank and ate too much.

I drank one jug of beer, two jugs of Chu-high, and one glass of soda.

The beer garden has opened until 9:00P.M., but it was raining around 8:30.
So, we left there at that time.

I was very satisfied because I could drink enough, and I could eat enough.



ABOUT MR. SHINJI WADA

(2011-07-13)
Mr. Shinji Wada passed away.
He was one of the most famous manga artists in Japan.

When I was a kid, I often read his books, and I still have his comic books.

He was a girl’s manga artist, but his works weren’t like other artists.

There are no stars in the eyes which he wrote.

His works were sometimes like action movies, so I was very excited when I read his books.

His masterpiece is ‘Sukeban Deka’.
A high school girl, who is the leader of bad girls, becomes a police and fights against some criminals.

I haven’t read this story yet, but other stories are very exciting, too.

My favorite one is ‘Silver hair girl, Alisa.’
It is a sweet revenge story.

Alisa has four good friends but three of them don’t think they are Alisa’s friend.
They envy Alisa because Alisa is rich and cute.
They kill Alisa’s families.
Only Alisa survives, and swears to revenge them.

I love this story but I lost this comic book….

I feel one time was over.

I pray his soul may rest in peace.


SILVER SPOON

(2011-07-07)
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I went to a restaurant, ‘Silver Spoon’, because I got a special price ticket.

I ordered a plate of vongole rosso, one cut of chestnut tart, and a cup of tea.
The price is only 500yen!!!

I think it is very difficult to say ‘it is a good restaurant’.
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For example, the vongole is too salty for me.
Its normal price is 1200yen.
I don’t think it is worth the price of its taste.
They use enough clams, and the clams are big enough.
On the other hand, they don’t use a good plate. It seems ‘school-provided lunch’s plate.
If they want to sell the vongole for 1200yen, they have to use a good plate.

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The chestnut tart is not so bad..
It is too sweet, but I love too sweet cake.
But their chestnut tastes like a bottled chestnuts.
You can image that you eat sweet chestnuts on the new year.
Like that.

I thought running a restaurant was very difficult.
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Restaurant & Bar R’

(2011-07-05)
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Today, I want to introduce a bar, Restaurant & Bar R’.
I don’t think its location is good.
The restaurant is not close to any stations.
In addition to this, it is a little hard to find the restaurant because the bar is in the first basement.

However, its atmosphere is comfortable.
It is not noisy but not so silent.
There is enough space in the bar. So you cannot hear other customers’ talk.
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Of course, there are many bottles of alcohol.
The view is wonderful.
As long as you look at those bottles, you will be happy.

They have variety of foods.
And one plate is very big for me.

If you don’t eat too much, you can enjoy there only one plate of food.

It is a good bar.
When you are tired, it is very good to stay there, and talk to a master.
You probably get a power and will be able to work next day.

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I CANNOT UNDERSTAND

(2011-07-04)
I sometimes can't understand myself.
Why did I do such a silly action?

Yesterdays, I did a washing and cooking at the same time.

A washing machine and the kitchen are located in the opposite place of my apartment.
I put a kettle on a stove and then went to turn on the washing machine.

I went back to the kitchen, a rice cooker was burning.

I was very surprise!!

I turned off the stove, took off the kettle, and splashed water on the kettle and the stove.

My apartment didn’t burn.
But I can’t use the rice cooker and the stove anymore.

I took a kettle and the rice cooker wrong.

You probably cannot imagine, but my rice cooker had a handle and their shapes are very similar.
I didn’t see it, when I put on the stove.
I just grabbed the handle.

I was really shocked.

I have to buy a new rice cooker and a stove…


A PRESERVED FLOWER

(2011-07-03)
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Do you know a preserved flower?
It is made from by process flower.

I think it is miracle.
Why can a preserved flower keep its own shape and own color semipermanent?

A few days ago, I took a ‘preserved flower lesson’?

I misunderstood what the preserved flower lesson was.
I thought I could learn how to make a preserved flower.
However, it was not the one like that.
Preserved flowers are sold.
We used those flowers and made a flower arrangement.

I don’t have any sense of flower arrangement, but I tried it anyway.

This is my work.
It was a little boring for me.
Because what I wanted to do have been done by a teacher.
So, I cannot say it is my work.
Even though, the flower is very beautiful.
Don’t you think so?

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KIOU RAMEN

(2011-07-02)
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Lately, I often eat ramen.
I like ramen but it is not the one which I want to eat everyday.

Today I went a theater.
Before I watched the play I ate ramen.
I wanted to eat another food but I didn't have the time.

I ate at Kiou.
It is a chain ramen restaurant.
I can see Kiou anywhere but I haven't been there before.

I ate poke bone and salt taste soup ramen.

I want to say it was the worst ramen I have ever eaten before.
I couldn't feel any good tasty flavor.
I think cup-noodle is better than it.
They have to study about ramen.



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