Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Another finding from recycle store...

Aren't they awesome for serving green tea? I need to find well matched cups for these pots.
They're also nice for omiyage.
Ocha o onegaisimasu...


Another tea cup I found at the recycle store last week. This cup can contain 0,5 litre of ocha. Ocha or green tea is an everyday drink for Japanese. At least that's what I see here.
Care for a cup of green tea, people?
PS: Okii = big

Have some tea...

Went to a recycle store last week and found some beautiful tea set. Saijo, despite its small area, has lots of recycle stores. As a university town of Hiroshima University, many people come stay in and move from Saijo quite frequently.
I'm gonna keep this for omiyage.
PS: omiyage= souvenir

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Kagamiyama Koen Photo Series (3)

A rest room at Kagamiyama :). Henny, it's Sunday and you're showing a rest room??? Kagamiyama Koen is located on the hilly place. Behind the rest room, there's a space quite high for people to see the surrounding and conveniently located for throwing a party. Last year, we celebrated Indonesian Independence Day there. Take a walk at the left side of this building, the stairs will lead you to that place.

Kagamiyama Koen Photo Series (2)

I just heart autumn....

Kagamiyama Koen Photo Series (1)

Welcome to Kagamiyama Koen, the largest park in Saijo (?).
In the spring, the park is full blooming cherry blossoms and azaleas. Can't wait for them. Cherry blossoms will bloom around 1-10 April this year.
PS: Somebody please help me with the sky in this photo......

Meet My Bike...

Kore wa watashi no jitensha desu, this is my bike. Jitensha means bicycle. I got this bike from a friend who was going back to Indonesia. Well, if you can get one for free, why buy? :). Just remember that you have to register your bicycle at the Town Hall Office. This pic was taken in the autumn last year at the Kagamiyama Koen/Park, Saijo's main recreational park. The maple trees were already red.
I loved taking pictures during in the nearly-dark afternoon where few people came to the park.
This will be my first photo for Kagamiyama Koeng photos set. Care for a ride?
Happy weekend everybody.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Iwakuni Sayounara photos...

We've gone too far from Saijo through my postings today ;)). Nevertheless I did refresh my mind of this place.
Should you interested to go there too, Iwakuni Station on the Sanyo Main Line is about 45 minutes from Hiroshima Station, and is in the center of the city. From Saijo Station to Hiroshima Station, it takes 30-45 minutes by train depends on the train, regular or rapid.
I prefer going there by bus. Do the share with friends to rent a mini bus for a day. It just costs you about 4000 Yen and is worth it. There are some interesting place to see during the way to Iwakuni, why not stop and see what's there?

by the river...

Try to see the river along using one of these boats. This was taken on right side of the bridge end before entering Kikko Park. I forgot to tell you earlier that we have to pay for some amount of money at the locket (I think it's 500 Yen).
In the summertime on the Nishiki river, we can see traditional cormorant fishing where the fishrmen wear traditional clothing such as the noble’s headgear called “kazaore eboshi”, aprons, straw skirts, and straw sandles, perform this over 300 year old fishing technique. The fishermen control the cormorant, making them catch a fish, which is then retrieved from the cormorant’s mouth by the fisherman.

The Kintai Bridge....

A larger city view seen form the top of the castle and a better view of the Kintai Bridge.
I like this b/w version. The original colored one was quite colored flat.
Some info about the bridge, it was first constructed in 1673 by Hiroyoshi Kikkawa. The bridge stood until September 14, 1950 when it was destroyed by the typhoon “Kijiya”. The bridge began being rebuilt only a week later and was completed in 1953. It was a recreation of the original and was built using traditional techniques. Since the first reconstruction, the Kintai Bridge has undergone some renovation. The latest renovation was completed in 2004. Its five arches are a symbol of western Honshū.

Iwakuni Castle...

Like I promised you before, this is Iwakuni Castle.
Okey, so it seems that I don't have much idea about this castle to tell you, let me just quote some info from Wikipedia.
Iwakuni Castle (Momoyama Nanban-zukuri), as well as the preserved temples and buildings at the foot of the hill, provide a glimpse into old Japan. The castle was originally constructed in 1608 by Hiroie Kikkawa, but was destroyed only seven years later. It was reconstructed in 1962. Iwakuni Castle is situated at the top of Mount Shiroyama, and can be reached on foot or by cable car. The castle contains a history museum containing armor, weapons, and other artifacts of the Kikkawa family. From the top of the castle, you can get an impressive view of Iwakuni. The castle area also offers a large number of trails for hiking and exercise.
Well, in the upcoming post, I'll show you that impressive view and some artifacts from the museums :)).

How high can you go?

Taken on a cable car from a hill above the Nishiki River. I love those tiny people on the bridge and the roofs seem like buit from lego.

Hunting Omiyage at Iwakuni...

Some of the omiyage or souviners we can buy at the omiyage vendors before heading to the Iwakuni Castle. These are products of honey and beeswax. One egg-shaped beeswax candle cost 300 Yen each.


Along the Nishiki River, people are enjoying their lunch time while sightseeing.
Some are even playing in the shallow river.

Sakura at Kikko Park

Sakura, seen from across the Nishiki River. On the other side of the Kintai Bridge, we can see enter Kikko Park The park has a big fountain and contains numerous shops as well as a variety of flowers. Kikko Park is also home to a sanctuary for white snakes. These snakes are found only in Iwakuni, and have been designated as special national treasures by the Japanese government. The white snake is a symbol of Benten, the Japanese goddess of wealth. The white snake is considered a sign of good luck in Japan. Many people come to pray to the snakes so that they might be successful in their businesess. Far in the background, on the hill is Iwakuni Castle.
We're going there later :).

Last Year Series in Iwakuni

I visited this place in the spring, April last year (2008). For me as a tropical person, it's a wow ;). Tourists from both Japan and overseas who visit Hiroshima and Miyajima often extend their travels to include Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture. In early spring, the sight of sakura, along the Nishiki river is unforgettable. What is famous in Iwakuni besides its cherry blossoms/sakura? This is the Kintai Bridge which spans the Nishiki river and is made completely of wood, without nails.

last year...

Spring is already here, yet not the Sakura (cherry blossoms). There's an event that is not gonna be missed by the Japanase during this season. Hanami festival or seeing Sakura.
I'm now waiting for Sakura to come, probably in the next two weeks.
For now, let me just show some photos I took during Hanami last year in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Should you be in Japan in October and anywhere near or in Hiroshima, you'll surely want to get to the Saijo Sake Matsuri. As in every festival in Japan, food vendors will participate selling various kind of food at the stalls along the road. I was offered by this young boy to try his food, and with my tricky way pretending to be a tourist I offered him back to take a photo of him. He felt reluctant and shy as seen here, yet finally said yes.

A gate for happy drinkers

This is one of the photos in Sake Matsuri/Festival series. Last year, the festival was held on October 11-12 in Saijo, Hiroshima. The Saijo Sake Festival was more than just drinking rice wine, it was also an education, with brewery tours, sake-making displays, parades, music and a chance to taste Japan typical food. Just pay a small cup for 1500Yen (US$ 12.50)at this gate entrance and you can refill it as many times as you want, with tasty sake from all over Japan at sake stalls inside this gate.

For the Sake of Sake...

Does it look like a shameless promotion? Just a little weekend spirit, I decided to upload this photo, I guess. One of the photos I took during Sake Matsuri. These are some of sake brands produced in Saijo. Saijo is one of the most famous place in Japan for production of sake. Fine quality rice and pure delicious water from the town's natural sources are the essential ingredients for the best sake. Kampai!!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Wandering Miyajima

He's waiting for the passengers who want to take a ride in a rickshaw for sightseeing around Miyajima.
When you are in there, don't forget to take a ride on this rickshaw. The ricksahw has several names, among them are Jinrikisha and Shafu. For Miyajima information, you can visit this link

Welcome to Miyajima, Hiroshima.

When is the perfect time to visit Miyajima? Come during autumn, where all the momiji or maple trees become red.
Last year, together with friends, we visited Miyajima. How do we get there?
From Saijo Eki or Saijo Station, buy a ticket to Miyajima at the counter for about 1100 Yen. The ticket includes train cost to Hiroshima port and ferry to Miyajima.
This was taken on one of the JR Miyajima Ferries which serves the route between Hiroshima and Miyajima (Itsukushima). The trip takes about ten minutes. There is an hourly express passenger ferry to Hiroshima harbour. Itsukushima (厳島) is an island in the Inland Sea of Japan. Itsukushima is part of the city of Hatsukaichi in Hiroshima Prefecture. It is popularly known as Miyajima (宮島), the Shrine Island. Itsukushima is famous for the Itsukushima Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Miyajima's maple trees are renowned throughout Japan, and blanket the island in crimson in the autumn which attracts both local people and foreigners.
Omoshiroi desu ne....

the early story...

This is where my story with the pigeon began.

Spring Feed for the Pigeons

After wandering for a couple of hours at the Hiro Park, I stopped for lunch at the bench.
There were many pigeons playing around the park and I noticed no one fed them.
Lucky, I have a lemon bread left.
So, with bread crumb in my left hand, camera in the right, I tried my luck ;).
Suddenly surrounded by tens of birds around was a nice esperience for me.

It was quite a long effort to get at least a good photo, I remember this song by Basia:

First one, it's a shock.
A second helping, not good enough.
Thrid time lucky, and you've arrived!
If you have any doubts then try one more time...

Don't ask me how many photos were taken before I got this nice bird in my hand. Still feeling a little guilty for having bribed them :)).

Next Stop: Genbaku Dome

...Sugiwa, Genbaku Dome mae desu :)

It's been months I hadn't visited Hiroshima city.
Last week I finally went there to find some omiyage or souvenirs for a friend and of course to take some photos.
Spring wasn't showing its beauty yet,
so I went to the Hiroshima Memorial Park again for the third time.
From the terminal, in front of Hiroshima Eki (station), take trem no. 2 or 6 to go to the park.
The first corner after the trems terminal is the best spot to capture those trems.
There, often we see various kinds of old and new trems meet, which is interesting.

This is a collage of trems in Hiroshima city taken from different spot. The newest trem is Greenmover Max. And the oldest one is? Perhaps that yellow-brown one.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

For Sale...

When talking about clothing, i vote for Uniqlo, a chain store which sells casual clothes. You can find this store in almost every town, be it small and big in every corner of Japan.
I love it especially during weekend where it offers sale with very good discount. It also presents up-to-date style of clothes. Now that winter is over soon, new spring series arrives and there's a big sale to finish winter stock. I bought those velvet cotton jackets above for 1.290 Yen, from the original price of 2.990 Yen. What do you think?

Apaato To Be...

Apartment, or Apaato (in the local pronunciation) is growing rapidly in small town Saijo. This is one of old houses here in Saijo. I think it's about time they will replace it with a new apartment or mansion. .
Saijo is a university town of Hiroshima University along with Hiroshima city itself. As the central city of Hiroshima Central Technopolis, high-tech industry is growing.
The population growth rate is high compared with other cities, and the number of people from other countries (including students from abroad) is also increasing, requiring new apartments and mansions development for accomodations. The cost for an apaato varies according to the location and the room size. With a limited spaces, no wonder we can see some very small sized of apaatos.
I'm gonna post some photos of apaatos and mansions in the upcoming weeks. Have a nice day.


Another view of the same restaurant below.


Itadakimasu literally means "I accept this meal", it's a gesture of saying thank you to those who have prepared the meal. For me it's like saying "have a good meal".
This photo of a small restaurant was taken on my way home from Miyajima. It was already dark and cold and I was tired, didn't have time to get closer. So I just stopped and took a quick shot. Can you see b/w photos from the door? I was wondering too. This restaurant is in front of Saijo Eki/Station in Saijo Higashi Hiroshima. A restaurant easily recognized by the short curtains hung in front of the door entrance.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

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Friday, March 6, 2009

A 100 Yen

These colorful-made-in-China mugs can be found at Daiso.
Daisō or The Daisō (ザ・ダイソー) is the largest franchise of 100-yen shops in Japan-so much so that its name has become synonymous with "hyakkin" or a hundred Yen.
In Japan, 100 yen shops, or one-coin shops are similar to dollar stores in the United States and pound shops in the U.K.
Daiso has a range of over 90,000 goods, of which over 40 percent are imported goods, many of them from China. Many of these are own-brand goods. Daiso was launched in December 1977 and is headquartered in Higashi, Hiroshima City - Japan. Daiso currently operates over 3000 stores across the world.
I should have arranged these mugs before taking the picture. All I did was shot as quick as possible since it is illegal to photograph in this shop.
To know more about Daiso, you can visit this link : http://www.daiso-sangyo.co.jp/english/

The Unwanteds

Afternoon in autumn, a perfect time to ride your bike around Saijo. I saw this old goods on my way to a friend's apartment.
Can you name what are seen in the photo? :)
Often we see stuff like these in the houses' backyard. As part of four types of electric appliances, items like washing machine and television must be recycled. There's a schedule to when we can collect the old unused appliances, or just contact a local electronic goods retailer to make arrangements for collection with some fee.

The Last Yuki

Yuki means snow in Japanese.
This year, there wasn't much snow in my town, Saijo.
Due to it's location, Saijo and some parts of Hiroshima Prefecture do not experience much snow like the northern parts of Japan.
But last year, we could see snow falling stayed longer and formed thick layer more than usual.
I remember we played snowball fight or yuki-gassen anywhere and people seemed to be happy with that.
According to weather forecast on March 2, there would be a lot of snow the next day and it would be the last snow this winter.
I woke up the next morning and found it was there :). Thick, so white and just beautiful. It didn't stop falling until the mid-day, let us enjoy it until the evening. I took this photo from the second floor of my apartment backyard. Poor old bicycle. Who have dumped you like that?