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Shizuoka Guide Travel to Japan

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Events > Izu

03/08/2011 [Tue]

Hina no Tsurushi Kazari − hanging hina dolls in Higashiizu Town−1 [Higashiizu Town]


In about 5 minutes by Izukyu train from Kawazu Station, I got to Izu-Inatori station, well known for its first-rate Onsen hot springs and “Kinmedai” the alfonsino, and as a birthplace of “Hina no Turushi Kazari” the hanging hina dolls and accessories. Beyond the ticket gate of the station, I saw many people from Ryokan Japanese Inn picking up their guests to their cars or buses. I wished I could have taken one of them.^^;


Getting out of the station, I found a large alfonsino statue. For the visitors who don’t know “alsonsino”, it might be nothing but a monster fish.^^
Now, I walked down the way toward the sea and turned right at the first traffic light. Good walk again. On my way, I found hanging dolls in almost all stores including restaurants and electric appliance stores. In 20 minutes or so, I got to the main square, “Inatori Culture Park”.


The first thing that came into sight was a wooden lodge. Walking closer to it made me recognize that it was a Ashiyu foot spa ! I slipped off my shoes and socks and got my feet in it. 10 minute rest.^^


I could find the main hall “Hina no Yakata” straight ahead. Sakura cherry blossom in front seemed in full bloom. Evening wind passed me. Smells of spring. I took extra 5 minute break for the next action. ^^v


Maybe I should explain first what “Tsurushi Kazari” is. As I’ve told you in the last report about Hina Matsuri, we set up Hina dolls with wishes for our daughters’ well-growing up on March 3rd. Now, please see the pictures below. While we basically arrange dolls on the stair-like stage, here in Higashiizu Town, they make it with suspended accessories. And these accessories have profound meanings.


Inatori Map (493KB)


It looks more gorgeous, huh ? All dangled dolls and accessories are handmade. If you watch them closer, you will find how they are shaped.


Rabbits as messengers from the god, hot peppers for a talisman against evil ( euphemistically pointing at men ), monkeys for taking difficulties away, drawstring pouches for enough money and persimmons for their good health. Each has its meaning and that is exactly what their mother or grandmother wishes on their daughters or granddaughters.


It did not take much time to look around “Hina no Yakata”. I walked away there after 15 minutes with enough pictures and headed for Inatori Fishing Port.


Next time, I’ll introduce “Around Inatori Fishing Port”.

Have a good day !^^

Hina no Tsurushi Kazari Festival
※From Jan 20 through March 31
Culture Park “Hina no Yakata” main hall
Access from Izukyu Izu-Inatori Sta. : 20 minutes on foot
Admission : ¥300
Open Hours : 9:00 – 17:00

“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^

Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 08:00 Permanent Link

03/02/2011 [Wed]

Kawazu-zakura Cherry Blossom Festival − 3 [Kawazu]


So, I walked back to the main pathway along the river wondering if I should get back on the same path. I opened the map and found something intriguing beyond the river. I could have reached there across the bridge nearby but I proceeded further to the next bridge. Sakura, the cherry blossoms were exclusively blooming as long as i walked. I thought I could keep walking for good.


English Map (1643KB)


Anyway, I crossed the bridge and strolled back on the other side of the bank. In 30 minutes or so from “Mine Onsen Daifunto Park”, I got to the first and original tree of Kawazu Sakura.


I could find it very easily because the crowds of lookers-on invaded the roadway and security officers looked so busy in making them get in the sideway. The tree is more than 60 years old and 10 meters high. It is said that a man of Iida family found a young sakura tree in the bank in 1955 and planted it at where it is now. It was named “Kawazu Sakura”, usually pronounced “Kawazu Zakura”, in 1974 because it was found and grown in Kawazu Town.


After leaving the First Sakura Tree, I walked back to the main walkway toward the main event site. There, I bought some souvenirs for my family. I here introduce some unique stuff that you can’t taste outside Kawazu Town.


First comes, though almost typical now, “Sakura Manju”. You know Manju, the steamed bean-jam bun, right ? This comes with a salted sakura leave. It has a distinctive flavor which some love very much but others don’t. Me ? Uh-huh.^^;


Next one is “Sakura Udon” noodle. The color is pink as sakura and, believe it or not, minced sakura leaves are mixed in. I’ve not tasted it yet but I can imagine. And “Sakura-ba Okowa” sticky rice. Powdered sakura leaves mixed in. A lady of the stall told me that it would taste better if a pinch of salt added.


By the way, on my way back to the station, I found a splendid fresh squeezed juice. I joined the line unhesitatingly. She was entirely absorbed in squeezing Ama-natsu Mikan − literally means “sweet summer orange” − with a big smile.


I counted how many would be used to make a cup of juice. 2 actually. No additives at all. It tasted extremely fresh, making me feel a breeze of summer.


I walked along the Kawazu River more than 3 hours after all. Please see the PDF map. Good exercise to me.^^ Anyway, I had the next destination to visit. I headed for the station.

Next time, I’ll make a report from Higashiizu Town.

Have a good day !



“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^

Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 14:19 Permanent Link

02/28/2011 [Mon]

Kawazu-zakura Cherry Blossom Festival − 2 [Kawazu]


So I kept walking and crossed a bridge to reach the next Ashiyu spot. Free of charge, of course. Coming up all the way here, maybe you will have room for yourself to bathe your feet in, I guess.


I didn’t take a short break there because my next destination was just around the corner. I proceeded off the main walkway to the narrow ally. It was not difficult for me to find what I was looking for because the steam was up high telling where it was.


Now, I reached the park, “Mine Onsen Daifunto Park” that literally means “Hot spring Fountain Park”. It gives off steam all the time and squirts hot-spring fast and furious at the scheduled time: 9:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30 and 15:30.


It was very lucky for me that I got there at 12:30 on the dot ! Remember I could not take a rest at the second Ashiyu spot for too many people ? If I had taken even a flash of break, I would have had to wait until 13:30 because the waterjet shall last only for 1 minute.
Now, this hot-spring spout was born by the abrupt eruption of the ground, like a volcano, in 1926. It is said that the onsen then blew up as high as 50 meters ! And since then, for more than 80 years, the hot spring of 100℃ is blowing out as high as 30 meters periodically. Be aware that you may get wet by its splashing mist when the wind blows against you, as I exactly did.^^;


After the vicious steam calmed down, I moved close to the stage. Then I found an interesting thing. It was eggs in the hot-spring. I talked to a man there and found out that we could buy 2 boiled eggs for ¥100 or 2 raw eggs with a bamboo basket to cook them by yourself. Funny. Though I wanted to cook it by myself, time did not allow me to. 12 minutes, actually. So I bought the boiled ones. It was smoking hot but so nice !^^


By the way, this Daifunto Park has a character named “Funto-kun”. It’s so cute ! Some visitors took pictures together with Funto-kun. See ? Adorable, isn’t he ?^^


In this park, there are another ashiyu spot. I needed to heal my overworked feet. 10 minute break again.^^ After my feet recovered enough, I started to walk again, looking around a souvenir shop, to find this English paper. I attach it in PDF so that you can refer to it in visiting Kawazu.


Kawazu (1473KB)


English Map (1643KB)

Next time, I’ll introduce Kawazu Sakura Matsuri − 3

Bye for now !

Mine Onsen Daifunto Park
Access from Izukyu Kawazu Sta.: 30 - 40 minutes on foot
Admission : Free
Open Hours : 9:00 – 16:00
Closed every Tuesday and Friday for maintenance

“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^

Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 14:51 Permanent Link

02/25/2011 [Fri]

Kawazu-zakura Cherry Blossom Festival − 1 [Kawazu]


I’ve just come back from “Kawazu Sakura Matsuri”, Kawazu-zakura Cherry Blossom Festival, which is being held until March 10. Telling the truth, I’m a little bit perplexed what to begin with because there were so many must-see points other than sakura cherry blossom that should be introduced first. Anyway, please open this map and copy it if necessary.
Now, I got off the train at Izukyu Kawazu Station ( 河津駅 ) and opened the map to find my way. As a result, I did not have to worry about how to get to the event site because sakura and food stalls led me there eventually soon after I got out of the station. In five minutes or so, I found a red bridge on the walkway along the Kawazu River.


I strolled toward the sea first to see what kind of beautiy i could find. It was a little windy that day and the wave was rather high. Now, I’m at the far-left side on the map. See ?


I walked on the left-side walkway of the river because there should be “Ashiyu” foot spa close from the bridge. There it was. It was very happy for me that the ashiyu was free. I went upstairs and looked around. Holly mackerel ! The view was splendid and the temperature of onsen hot spring was best ! I put my shoes and socks off to bathe my feet in it. Ten minute break !^^


I began to stroll again to the main site of the festival. On my way, I found hundreds of food stalls that sold souvenirs using sakura leaves, local oranges, green tea, and various B-class gourmets such as Fujinomiya Yakisoba and Mishima Croquette.


In 20 minutes or so, I got to the lawn square where another ashiyu was. I headed for it but……see the pic. There was no room for me.><。。 Ok, maybe God was telling me not to take a rest there because I might miss the train or something.

I kept walking under the roof of sakura. Actually, it seemed like a tunnel of cherry blossom.


Now, see how much I walked so far from this PDF. I’ve written my route and ashiyu spots in the map so that you can follow my footstep. ^^


English Map (1643KB)


My Route (855KB)

Next time, I’ll introduce the latter part of my story at Kawazu Sakura Matsuri.

Bye for now !^^

“Shizuoka Guide” is our official English blog website for events & sightseeing. Always with you ! ^^

Posted by Satoshi Nihonyanagi at 17:12 Permanent Link