Fukushima now

People all over the world have to reconsider nuclear power plants. We, Japanese definitely should do right away! But sadly, our Prime Minister will have to be replaced soon due to the ugly conflicts among politicians who think about only their own merits. New candidates are positive about nuclear power. We don't have the right to vote for our Prime Minister. We need a strong leader with the good will.


the anniversary of the end ot the Second World War

A-bomb Dome in Hiroshima

Aug. 15th is an unforgettable day for Japanese. On the date of 66 years ago, it was the end of the Second World War. There are other unforgettable days in August. The first A-bomb was drooped in Hiroshima on 6th and the second one was in Nagasaki on 9th.

It is very difficult to talk about the war. All the countries have their opinions. Of course, Japanese have! And I have!!

Whenever I take a group to Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I have to talk about the war. I try to be objective and talk about the timeline and data. I trust how they felt when they visited the sites and museums. And at last I always say, `I don't add and extract anything.  Please trust what you felt here and relay the message.'

I often had a group of mixed nationalities. It is very sensitive and difficult time as a guide. When I have a group of Asian members, I shouldn't take them to Shinto shrines and talk about Emperors.

Twice in my guide life, I had a group of old Americans and Germans. I was with both groups about 2 weeks. The Third World War was almost started between them. One German couple who were very nice but treated badly by Americans in one group said war was not the subject but the object. I like this phrase. Another German lady in another group actually said the war still continued. In my point of view, she was a very difficult lady and it was not the problem of the countries but the problem of herself.

No wonder why I'm so strong mentally! I met so many people from many countries and went thorough unbelievable experiences.

Although we suffered from A-bomb in 1945, we didn't learn anything. The nuclear power plants in Fukushima were exploded following on the heels of the earthquakes this year. As for this, not only I but also many Japanese citizens would like to say many things. But I try not here.

More and more of us start to think of environment and seek the way to live an eco-friendly life. When we destroy the environment, we can't live in this planet. We are powerless in front of Nature. Please stop fighting. Live peacefully.

Considering a long history of this planet, we, the human beings are newcomers. We have obligations to pass this planet to our children and our children have rights to receive this planet as we did from our parents.
Please alway remember this fact!


Beautiful Fireworks!

It is a summer holiday now in Japan. For a few days centring on the 15th of August, companies and shops are closed. Office workers add their paid holidays to spend a long vacation in foreign countries. Although I said `long', office workers can't take a longer vacation more than 9 days. Usually a 9-day holiday one time is at maximum. Many go back to their hometown and they suffer from heavy heavy traffic jams.

One of my favorite things this season is Fireworks Displays. These days, I don't go to the sites because I can't stand so many people. I found a video of a beautiful fireworks display held in Nagaoka this year.
The fireworks in Nagaoka is one of the most popular displays. There were 420,000 visitors on Aug. 2nd and 380,000 on the 3rd. Nagaoka is located in Niigata, the northern part of Japan. It was OK this time but Niigata suffered from 2 big earthquakes in recent years.

Not only Niigata but also many prefectures which are still suffering from this disaster held and will hold festivals and fireworks displays. Thousands of fireworks which were supposed to be used in Tokyo were saved and delivered to the damaged areas. This fireworks is out hope of the recovery.
Please enjoy the beautiful fireworks!



Hakone Trip

I went to Hakone with my friend. It takes about 3 hours from my house by train and bus.
Hakone is one of my favorite places because it has everything I like!  I love Nature very much. I realize I can't live without being surrounded by nature! While I'm guiding a group, I travel all over Japan and enjoy viewing nature all the time. I love my job. I hope tourists come back soon!

Hydrangeas were still beautiful there. The weather was cloudy, sometimes sunny and rainy for 2 days.
I went to Hakone Shrine. Many events were going on there.

Hakone Shrine

Lion Dance

At the stage of the shrine, the Lion Dance, Shishimai in Japanese were conducted. 2 people manipulate this lion, one for the head part and the other for the rear. Two of them are covered by cloth. This dance is usually conducted on the New Year.

This is the procession of Shinto priests and a Shinto maiden at last. They went inside and conducted some ceremonies because in honor of this shrine, a festival was going on and the fireworks that night was a part of it. I love this shrine very much because I feel the serene atmosphere surrounded by mountains and trees.

Lunch at Kinubiki-no-Sato

We ate lunch at my favorite restaurant, Kinubiki-no-Sato. There are 3 types of noodles, Udon(wheat noodle), Soba(buckwheat noodle) and Kinubiki-Udon(wheat noodle mixed with sesame). I love Kinubik-Udon best!
The owner of this restaurant is my good friend now because I often bring guests here. All the meal was treated on that day! Thank you very much!!

After lunch, we walked the Old Tokaido Haighway.

Besides this avenue, there is a road now. But old travelers traveled from Edo(old name for Tokyo until 1868) to Kyoto. It took about a month on foot. In order to protect travelers, those cypress trees were planted. This avenue was an only part of the highway but I felt history.

This is lake Hakone. It wasn't clear weather. The 3 floating white things are lanterns. They have the name of the hotels which donated them. I could see this lake from my Ryokan(traditional Japanese inn) room.

This was the dinner, Kaiseki(Japanese course). Usually each plate is served separately. But here, in order to save time, they were set at once.
Before dinner, I went to Hot Spring. It is said that when you are in hot spring, you should take a bath 3 times during your stay, first before dinner, second before sleep and third the next morning, which rejuvenate you, BUT if you take more, you'll be shrunken! The last part is my joke but my guests always love it!

This is fireworks taken from my room! It was difficult but I tried!
It was my dream trip, Nature, Hot Spring, Dinner at room and Fireworks!

Working very hard is good but you sometimes need to relax and allow yourself to indulge!
Enjoy your life!!