Cherry blossoms blooming in Kyoto 2020


Last weekend, I walked around Kyoto Gyoen park. Weeping cherry and village cherry trees are blooming smoothly. "Demizu no Shidarezakura" is full bloom now.


Purple magnolia was just blooming. It seems to bloom a little later than White magnolia.


On the way back, I walked along Kamogawa river from Imadegawa to Nijo. The popular cherry blossoms, "Somei Yoshino" are still buds, but it will bloom in a few days.
posted by toons at 18:02 | diary


Spring flowers blooming in Kyoto Gyoen National Park

Last weekend, I went to Kyoto Gyoen National Park.

Thunberg's meadowsweet on the west side of Munakata Shrine. A pretty white flower was just beginning to bloom.


Big drooping cherry tree, "Demizu no Shidarezakura" has chenged pink color in bloom. It may be one week earlier than last year.



Plum blossoms were almost scattered, but Peach blossoms were just in full bloom.


Mulan white magnolia is one big tree, but it has many flowers. It is a big flower like an orchid, and it looks elegant and beautiful at the beginning of blooming.



Drooping cherry tree at "Konoeteiato" on the north side of the Imperial Palace. It has already begun to bloom! But it was a bit disappointing that the water in the pond nearby was drained.




On the way home, when passing by "Demizu no Shidarezakura", the sun shines for a moment between the clouds and the cherry blossoms were turned bright pink!

posted by toons at 19:38 | diary


"Haginotuyu" - Japanese Sake Brewery in Siga


I went to visit "Fukui Yahei Shoten", Japanese Sake Brewery of "Haginotuyu" in Takashima, Shiga Prefecture two weeks ago.

The company was founded in 1751 and has been making Sake for about 270 years.


I visited this sake brewery in May 2017, and it was a very valuable experience to be able to see it during the sake brewing.

This tour was allowed because the final steamed rice work in this season was completed a few days ago.


Sake brewing equipment is not open to the public. So I can only show the tank that Sake is brewing.


Finally, I tasted freshly made sake, aged sake and even orange liqueur.

All were very delicious. I came home with a tipsy feeling. Thank you very much Mr.Fukui CEO for inviting me.
posted by toons at 03:11 | diary


1.17 - Sincerest condolences


25 years since the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake.

On that day on 1995, I lived in Kobe city.

I close my address by offering my sincerest condolences to the over six thousand people who lost their lived in the earthquake.

It was a violent shaking that I had never experienced, and I didn't know what had happened until it was bright.

At dawn, I realized that the city and people's lives were destroyed in an instant.

I was not injured miraculously, but the reinforced concrete apartment where I lived was in a dangerous situation where the ground floor was compressed and crushed, leaking water here and there.

I remember being afraid and desperate again.


Where is the epicenter? Where is the safe place to escape? What should I do?

Both the electric power and rhe communication were lost, and Kobe had no information at all at that time.

And I remember going to the nearest elementary school and taking care of the victims who lost their homes.

Since that day, my life and my outlook on life have changed dramatically.

Twenty-five years have passed and the beautiful cityscape has returned to Kobe, but those who have experienced that day will only have the sad memories of the day.

Today, I am renewed my own oath.
posted by toons at 23:47 | diary


"Nokori Fuku" of Kyoto Ebisu Shrine


I visited the Kyoto Ebisu Shrine yesterday. The New Year's "Toka Ebisu" festival is being held.


On the last day, "Nokori Fuku" of this festival, there were quite few people and I felt very relaxed.


It seems that the timing was missed, and Maiko from Gion-machi and Miyagawa-chou was awarded rice cake the day before.


I knocked on the side wall of the main hall and went home.

Since Ebisu is an elderly god, it seems to inform that "I came to visit" so that knocks the side wall next to his living room.
posted by toons at 08:19 | diary


Imamiya Ebisu in Osaka


I visited the Imamiya Ebisu Shrine dedicated to a god of good commerce and bountiful fishing, praying for the success of the yearfs business.


Due to the good weather, it was warmer than usual winter and I felt little hot in the crowd.


Today was not as crowded as I thought. Probably It had been very crowded for the main festival, "Hon Ebisu" yesterday.


Many people were gathering to get the lucky bamboo grass, hFukuzasah.


There were long waiting queues in the gong behind the main shrine.


On my way home, a contrail was just forming in the blue sky. A sign of good things!

posted by toons at 23:52 | diary


Lighting collaboration in Kyoto


Lighting collaboration of Higashi Honganji Temple and Kyoto Tower.

During New Year holiday, many tourists from all over the world came to Kyoto and were very crowded, but the streets in front of Higashi Honganji temple were sparse at night.

posted by toons at 13:11 | diary


Marché de Noël 2019


Yesterday, I went to "Marché de Noël 2019".


Le Marche is held once a month at "Institut français du Japon – Kansai Kyoto". Since this month is Christmas, it is held for two days on this weekend. I look forward to this event every year.


Noel's decoration was displayed and there was a wonderful live performance of Argentine guitar by Guillermo Rizzotto.

Noel's decoration was displayed and there was a wonderful live performance of Argentine guitar by Guillermo Rizzotto.

Illuminations are handled by the art group gMirror Bowlersh. The space of light projection using mirror balls was very fantastic.


Kyoto city was a cold day with light rain, but there were many stalls and many people gathered.


I was warmed by drinking French orange wine and mulled wine.

posted by toons at 07:43 | diary


ROHM Illumination 2019


I went to "ROHM Illumination 2019".


A semiconductor manufacturer, ROHM, holds an illumination event using its own LED around the Kyoto headquarters at the end of the year.

I went a little early because it was very crowded around Christmas.



It was still cold, so I was able to appreciate the beautiful illumination.

posted by toons at 23:57 | diary


Renewed my Pepper Mill - Cole & Mason Derwent


Cole & Mason Derwent Pepper Mill

My Peugeot Pepper Mill, which I have been using for about 20 years, has become quite obsolete, so I bought a new one!

At the time of first consideration, the leading candidates were Peugeot and Japanese IKEDA.

I thought that a pepper mill with an orthodox stone mill structure was not interesting, so I decided to choose one with a completely different mechanism.

So, I chose the Gourmet Precision series Pepper Mill of the UK Cole & Mason.


Cole & Mason pepper mills are chopped with a sharp carbon steel blade instead of grinding pepper with molar teeth.

Therefore, the grinding feeling is surprisingly light and we can grind a lot of fine pepper.

At first tried grinding, it was much easier than Peugeot, so I made too much ground. In addition, this mechanism is a permanent warranty.


It is much larger than my current Peugeot, its height is 19cm and its thickness is 4cm even at the narrowest part, so the hold is very stable.

The upper stainless steel part is a rotating knob that can be pulled out and refilled with new pepper.


Pepper grinding roughness can be adjusted in 6 stages!
It can be set to any size from super coarse to powdery. The silver part with the Cole & Mason logo is the size adjustment ring.

A new Peugeot's pepper mills are also equipped with the gU'SELECTh roughness adjustment function. I compared to that products. But I abandoned it because the adjustment mechanism part of the molar gap was likely to cause a new failure. It seems that the size adjustment ring part is easily damaged in the Web information.


I tried to grind sample pepper with Cole & Mason at each roughness setting. This is a setting where the roughness increases from the upper left to the right, and the lower right is the most coarse setting.


In this result, there is a change due to the size setting of the roughness adjustment. The finest pepper is possible with Peugeot, but it will not come out unless the molars are tightened firmly, and a very strong turning force is also required.

Next, I tried the finest ground pepper with Cole&Mason and Peugeot 2 models (12cm, 16cm).


All of the pepper mills are infinitely thin and have little variation.

However, Peugeot is a very rough level of setting that tightens the adjustment screw all the way and turns the knob. On the other hand, Cole & Mason was able to grind very easily even with the finest setting (1), so I thought it was clearly superior. If it is set to grind with the same level of power as Cole & Mason, Peugeot will be quite coarse.

In addition, I tried the coarsest ground pepper as well.


Peugeot was ground with the adjustment screw completely loosened (the limit between the knob and the main body is about 2mm, which is the limit to grind). On the other hand, Cole & Mason grinded normally with the coarsest setting (6).

Cole & Mason can grind very coarsely, but Peugeot can only grind to a certain extent and there are many variations in size. Peugeot is determined by how the spacing between the molars is opened, so it requires a trick to operate the adjustment screw and knob, and it seems that it is not very good at super coarse grinding. (The Peugeot gU'SELECTh product may have improved these.)

I would like to use Cole & Mason and Peugeot for a while and will move to Cole & Mason completely if there is no problem.
posted by toons at 19:25 | diary