Tag: 杭州桑拿


first_imgThe ATA would like to advise all members and interested parties that there is a position vacant on the ATA Board of Directors. With this in mind the Chairman of the Board is seeking expressions of interest from interested parties. Please read the attached document for all of the information. INFORMATION ON EXPRESSION OF INTEREST FOR BOARD VACANCYlast_img

How to be resilient in hardship

first_imgMy friend and colleague Amanda alerted me to this article on the five traits of resilient people. Since that quality is needed by so many of us now, I thought I’d pass on the insights from Jessie Sholl. What occurred to me as I was reading this list is that you probably have every one of these qualities. Working for a good cause is a daily exercise in resilience. Please share that quality with those who need it now.1. Be Positive. “Resilient people are characterized by an ability to experience both negative and positive emotions even in difficult or painful situation. They mourn losses and endure frustrations, but they also find redeeming potential or value in most challenges.” If you work for a good cause, you have this quality. You find hope amid terrible tragedies in the course of advancing a mission.2. Live to Learn. When resilient people encounter pain, they look for solutions. That would be you.3. Open Your Heart. Counting your blessings and committing acts of kindness and service boost resilience. That’s your day job!4. Take Care of Yourself. Good physical and mental health boosts resilience. 5. Hang on to Humor. This is so true. A laugh goes a long way. Do you bring levity to the job?For more on these qualities as well as the amazing tale of Turkey Lady, read the whole article.last_img read more

Donors are the drivers

first_imgLearn and plan. Donors are the drivers. These are two important reminders that Larry C. Johnson shares in his new book The Eight Principles of Sustainable Fundraising. While these maxims might seem obvious, Larry explores them in a way that will change how you think about asking for donations this holiday season.At the heart of every donor’s decision to make a gift is the desire to actualize their personal values.As you plan your year-end campaign, don’t forget to keep the emphasis on your donor. It’s important to provide a clear tie from the impact of your work to your donors who make it all happen. When organizations ask for donations using their own values, it’s mistakenly assumed that those values are universal. Listen to what’s important to your donors, then position your organization’s fundraising efforts so that you serve your donor’s needs while also raising money for the cause that you both value.Donors want to be engaged, not enticed.Have you ever tried to entice donors to give? When you approach supporters by selling them on the value of the services that your nonprofit offers, your interaction may seem more like a transaction. If you want your donors to feel involved, ask how your organization is meeting donors’ dreams and fulfilling their desires. Has your donor always dreamed of ending childhood hunger? Let him know how his donation will work to achieve that goal. Has your supporter had a lifelong interest in the region where you operate? Tell her about how your work affects the local community. Discover what inspires and motivates your donors, appeal to that, and invite them to be involved.Larry will join us next Tuesday to share more from his book and answer your questions on sustainable fundraising. You’ll learn how you can apply the eightrules to raise more money for your organization. Join our free webinar on Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 from 1 pm to 2 pm EST. Register now to reserve your spot. (Can’t attend the live session? Go ahead and register so you receive the presentation and recording via email.)last_img read more

Dig Into Your Donor Database

first_imgThe Giving USA 2015 Annual Report on Philanthropy, released in July, announced that charitable giving, while growing steadily over the past five years, has reached its highest level since the Great Recession—an increase of 7.1% over 2013 totals. Donors of all kinds—individuals, foundations, and corporations—are back, baby! They have recovered from the economic setback of 2008 and are feeling more confident than ever to invest in charitable causes across the country.The future has never looked better for the nonprofit sector, right? After all, the study shows that more donors than ever are making gifts. You may be wondering how to start building your donor base to welcome these new donors to your mission. “If only more donors knew about us, just think how much more money we would be raising” may very well be crossing your mind right now. As tempting a thought as this may be, the truth is that the grass is not greener with a whole new set of donors. It’s greener exactly wherever you are watering it. Let’s drill this down a little bit further: 43%. That’s the median donor retention rate that the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) calculated from the 2012–13 fundraising results of its survey respondents. This means that, on average, many organizations are losing almost 60% of their donors each year. Why? Many reasons. Some, like changes in personal circumstances, are out of the control of any organization. On the other hand, according to the 2014 Burk Donor Survey, nearly 50% of respondents cited reasons like over solicitation, overhead costs, and the lack of demonstrated impact as influencing their decision to stop giving. These lie squarely in the hands of how organizations communicate with and to their donors. The solution to this attrition issue isn’t getting new donors. Quite the contrary. Getting new donors is:Expensive: Raising $1 costs anywhere from $.25 to $1.50.Inefficient: It has a very low ROI ($1).*A short-term solution: Only 23% of first-time donors ever give a second gift.That seems like an awful lot of work to nearly break even or incur a slight loss each year. On the other hand, it is worth looking at how to grow and retain the 64% of loyal donors who have been supporting you over multiple years. After all, fundraising costs to raise $1 from renewals are very low ($.20 to $.25), and these donors offer the highest ROI ($4).*First, identify your donors’ behaviors.What are the past giving levels of your donors’ gifts? By comparing gifts over the past few years within levels such as $1 to $499, $500 to $999, $1,000 to $2,499, and so forth, you’ll be able to see where you’ve had the greatest growth and losses. What is your own donor retention rate, both generally and for first-time donors? What is the average gift rate for each of the years you are comparing? Knowing these data points can ground how you solicit your donors in a way that will encourage growth. For example, you may want to focus on donors within a certain gift range to tailor higher asks. You might also segment a group of lapsed donors or higher-level donors and personalize outreach to them by phone, mail, and in-person communications.Second, understand who your donors are.Which donors have given for multiple years? Who previously supported you but has lapsed? Identify the top 50 to 100 of your longest donors, your largest donors over their lifetime, and newest donors (with a particular eye to those who made large first-time gifts) last year and this year. If you have the resources, it’s helpful to run capacity screening of these three groups to understand where there is greater gift potential. In starting or expanding your major gifts program, these are the donors who will comprise your major gift pipeline. They rarely bounce around from organization to organization. Your next major gift will likely come from one of these donors who has capacity and has supported you for a long time (and not giving at particularly high levels) and may also have been a volunteer. It’s important to get to know this group to understand what motivates their giving and interest in your organization.Third, consider how you communicate with your donors.These current and lapsed donors already know you and are more likely to give more generously if you ask and demonstrate your impact. If we think back to Penelope Burk’s survey results, two of the three top reasons donors stop giving are tied to an organization’s impact and effectiveness. More than ever, donors want to understand how their gift is making a difference in your work. They are giving through you to address a societal need that has meaning for them. Is their gift helping you make a difference? Bring them closer to your work by sharing a personal story of a beneficiary, a measurable accomplishment, or a plan to solve a seemingly intractable problem. As you qualify the major gift potential for those top 50 to100 donors you identified earlier, your ultimate goal is to build meaningful relationships so it naturally leads to sustained and increased support. Get to know their motivations, interests, and philanthropic goals. Use this information to lead your discussions about investments in your work. Remember, it’s not about you.Tied closely with programmatic impact is how effectively your organization operates through costs for program delivery and administration. You don’t necessarily want to skimp on administrative expenses to seem “lean and mean” when it compromises—and even hinders—your ability to scale, deepen, or improve the quality of your work. Without unrestricted operating support, which includes enough funding for your fundraising efforts and staff, you can’t deliver and grow the services of your organization. Build that message about capacity into your donor outreach. Do your donors come away with a strong understanding of what you do, your plans for the future, and why their continued support (unrestricted and restricted) is important?Finally, using the green grass analogy, after you’ve watered and fed your grass with your current donors, it’s still important to plant seeds for the next pipeline of donors. These aren’t the names you rent from mail houses. They can be, but as you saw from an earlier statistic, that’s not a cost-effective solution in the long run. The potential new donors I’m suggesting are people who self-identify in some way. Perhaps you find them through a sign-up on your website or a visitor book if prospective donors can visit your facilities. They can and should also be from the networks of your board and other volunteer leaders. Adding even 10 new names a month can yield up to 120 new donors—if you communicate with and engage them through a relationship model as described above.How can you make the grass you’re standing on greener? By grounding your fundraising approaches on a good understanding of your donors’ giving patterns and interests, creating strategic communications that invite donors into your work, and planting seeds for new supporters in the future. This will strengthen all of your fundraising—annual fund, major gifts, planned giving, and events—and create opportunities for donors to partner with you in bigger and better ways.*From the 2013 DMA’s Response Rate ReportMake this December your best year-end fundraising season ever with Network for Good’s smarter fundraising software, built just for nonprofits. Reach more donors, raise more money, and retain more supporters this year with easy-to-use tools and step-by-step coaching. We have everything you need for a bigger, better campaign, all under one roof. Find out more by speaking with one of our expert fundraising consultants.last_img read more

What Women’s Health Initiatives in India Can Teach Us All

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 15, 2012June 16, 2017By: Gary Darmstadt and Wendy Prosser, Bill & Melinda Gates FoundationClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post was originally posted on Impatient Optimists.With almost 200 million people living in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India, a state more populous than the entire country of Brazil, the sheer breadth of exciting, new ways to improve maternal and child health is enormous. With all of those people and increased investments in health research and service delivery along with a growing economy, imagine how much information and knowledge can be shared when it comes to finding solutions for some of the most challenging women’s and children’s health issues. But also imagine how complicated it must be to find the right people with the right information to learn from to scale up these programs.I had the chance to talk to our partners at the Urban Health Initiative (UHI) in Uttar Pradesh last week. The Urban Health Initiative works to improve the health of the urban poor—particularly in enabling women to plan their families and access the contraceptives that they want—in this densely populated area. I asked their opinions about what we’re doing that works, what doesn’t work, what we should change—and what we are not doing that they would like us to do.They encouraged us to do more in the area of knowledge sharing, because they see the tremendous benefits of learning from other organizations, partners, the private sector, and global thought leaders. They see the synergies that can exist even between sectors, like family planning and HIV, and want to exploit those in the most beneficial ways.For example, foundation partners who work in the contraceptives arena know that, in Uttar Pradesh, 21 percent of women want to use some form of birth control but they don’t. Knowledge is understanding why those women don’t use birth control—for example, because the health center closest to her house has been out of stock of her preferred method for a couple of months, or because she is too embarrassed to get condoms from her neighborhood store—and then to act on that information to create lasting solutions.This conversation I had in Uttar Pradesh reminded me of the thoughts that were shared at the Achieving Lasting Impact at Scale convening at the end of last year. That convening brought practitioners, researchers, and global experts together to start the conversation on diffusion and dissemination, and of scaling up successful interventions for impact in maternal and child health—not just documentation of inputs or things done, but real impact in improving the health of women and children.The ideas from our partners at UHI are the catalyst to change the way we think and talk about the ways in which we provide women’s and children’s health care in developing countries. They specifically suggested the breakdown of “silos,” or separation between organizations and sectors working in different health arenas, by creating platforms to share learning and knowledge.We’re talking about much more than sharing information, data, trip summaries, or progress reports from activity implementation.Our partners in Uttar Pradesh are asking for inventive ways to share knowledge to scale successful interventions which have a positive, lasting impact on women’s and children’s health. And we’re working to address this need, given the tremendous potential to increase our collective ability for impact when it comes to maternal, newborn, and child health in India—and to disseminate this learning from India for benefit throughout the world.Share this:last_img read more

Piecing Together the Maternal Death Puzzle Through Narratives: The Three Delays Model Revisited

first_imgPosted on January 3, 2013March 21, 2017By: Kate Mitchell, Manager of the MHTF Knowledge Management System, Women and Health InitiativeClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)PLOS ONE recently published an article, Piecing Together the Maternal Death Puzzle through Narratives: The Three Delays Model Revisited, that explores various socio-cultural and facility-based factors that played a significant role in maternal deaths in the Lilongwe district of Malawi between January 2011 and June 2011.Take a look at the abstract here:BackgroundIn Malawi maternal mortality continues to be a major public health challenge. Going beyond the numbers to form a more complete view of why women die is critical to improving access to and quality of emergency obstetric care. The objective of the current study was to identify the socio-cultural and facility-based factors that contributed to maternal deaths in the district of Lilongwe, Malawi.MethodsRetrospectively, 32 maternal death cases that occurred between January 1, 2011 and June 30, 2011 were reviewed independently by two gynecologists/obstetricians. Interviews were conducted with healthcare staff, family members, neighbors, and traditional birth attendants. Guided by the grounded theory approach, interview transcripts were analyzed manually and continuously. Emerging, recurring themes were identified and excerpts from the transcripts were categorized according to the Three Delays Model (3Ds).ResultsSixteen deaths were due to direct obstetric complications, sepsis and hemorrhage being most common. Sixteen deaths were due to indirect causes with the main cause being anemia, followed by HIV and heart disease. Lack of recognizing signs, symptoms, and severity of the situation; using traditional Birth Attendant services; low female literacy level; delayed access to transport; hardship of long distance and physical terrain; delayed prompt quality emergency obstetric care; and delayed care while at the hospital due to patient refusal or concealment were observed. According to the 3Ds, the most common delay observed was in receiving treatment upon reaching the facility due to referral delays, missed diagnoses, lack of blood, lack of drugs, or inadequate care, and severe mismanagement.Read the full article here.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

On World Humanitarian Day, a Focus on Reproductive and Maternal Health Providers in Humanitarian Settings

first_imgPosted on August 20, 2013February 16, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Yesterday, on World Humanitarian Day, K4Health launched a new Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings toolkit, a set of resources that offer guidance for health care providers, emergency workers, communications professionals and others. It covers a range of health issues, including a module on maternal and child health, and brings together a range of resources that K4Health  began compiling following crises in Haiti and Pakistan, which inspired the creation of a general toolkit for use in a range of humanitarian settings.In addition, UNFPA marked World Humanitarian Day with a profile of Muneera Sha’aban, one of Jordan’s first midwives, who is now working in a UNFPA-supported clinic to ensure that Syrian women who have fled conflict in their home country to Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp deliver safely.From the article:The 69-year-old midwife says she enjoys doing her job regardless of all the difficulties she encounters serving in one of the UNFPA-supported clinics in Za’atari Camp for Syrian Refugees in Jordan.Muneera’s days start very early, as she makes her way from Amman to the camp, some 80 kilometres away. She leaves her house at 6 in the morning and takes two buses to arrive at the camp by 9.“I have to work to make a living, but without the love I have for the work I am doing, life could have been more difficult,” she says, adding, “I return to my house at 6 in the evening, backed with satisfaction.”World Humanitarian Day also marked the launch of “The World Needs More #___” a campaign that invites the public to share their answers to the question: “What do you think the world needs more of?” Check out campaign submissions on Twitter.For more on the vital role that midwives play in ensuring that women deliver safely in the midst of conflict, catch up on coverage from NPR and the MHTF blog.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

PMNCH Partners’ Forum Taking Place Today and Tomorrow in South Africa

first_img ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on June 30, 2014November 4, 2016By: Katie Millar, Technical Writer, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Today and tomorrow up to 800 maternal, newborn, and child health leaders will gather in Johannesburg, South Africa at the 2014 World Health Organization’s (WHO) Partnership for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (PMNCH) Partners’ Forum. Given the current environment of determining the post-2015 agenda, this meeting is critical in gathering world leaders to emphasize the importance of protecting and ensuring the health of women and their children around the world.Since the contextual factors that impact maternal, newborn, and child health are diverse, representatives at the PMNCH Partners’ Forum include public and private sector representatives and experts in health, gender and development, nutrition and education. This diverse group of participants will allow conclusions of the forum to address how diverse sectors can all support supporting and ensuring maternal, newborn, and child health.The Partners’ Forum will also include the launch of four landmark reports:Every Newborn Action Plan provides a concrete plan and platform for improving neonatal health and preventing newborn deaths and stillbirths.Success Factors for Women’s and Children’s Health Report spotlights 10 countries that serve as models for making considerable progress improving maternal and child health, especially for high-need countries.Countdown to 2015 Report for 2014 is a report that assesses current coverage and equity of coverage of maternal and child health interventions and the financial, policy and health systems factors that determine if proven life-saving interventions are delivered to woman and children.State of the World’s Midwifery 2014 (Africa focused launch) highlights progress and challenges that 41 Sub-Saharan countries have seen since 2011 in delivering life-saving midwifery services.Tune into the discussion happening at PMNCH’s Partners’ Forum by going to the #PMNCHLive Hub, #PMNCHLive Daily Delivery sign-up, and #PMNCHLive on twitter.Are you attending the PMNCH Partners’ Forum? Would you like to share your experience or reaction to the discussions taking place? Please contact Katie Millar on how you can be a guest contributor to the MHTF Blog. Share this:last_img read more

Elevating Donor Relations: Q&A with Lynne Wester

first_imgDonor relations is the key to unlocking fundraising success. In this week’s Masterclass Webinar, “Donor Experience: The Key to Fundraising Success,” renowned nonprofit consultant Lynne Wester, of Donor Relations Guru, dives into the factors needed to achieve meaningful, long-term relationships with your donors.Sometimes referred to as the Olivia Pope of fundraising, Lynne helps organizations when they need it the most. In our upcoming webinar, Lynne will discuss the donor experience from the eyes of a donor, things you can do to correct bad fundraising behavior, and ways to incorporate gratitude into your donor experience.Check out our Q&A with Lynne below, and then sign up for this week’s webinar. You won’t want to miss any of her wisdom. After all, we could all use a fundraising guru of our own!Fundraising Spotlight InterviewYou’ve dedicated your career to helping nonprofits become successful fundraisers. What drew you to this line of work?I learned many of my lessons on gratitude from my mother and father, but I believe so greatly in the power of gratitude and giving that, for me, it was a natural but unexpected fit!Why do you believe donor relations, and the donor experience, is the key to successful fundraising?Fundraising has a major problem facing its sustainability and it has nothing to do with the charitable tax deduction; the transfer of wealth, or the new generation of donors, the Millennials. It has everything to do with donor retention. Average donor retention rates for first-time donors hover at a dismal rate of less than 30 percent. Yet fundraisers don’t spend a great deal of time and energy on the problem and its solution. Instead, acquisition budgets rise with great abandon as they hunt for new donors to replace awful attrition rates. The answer is simple. Acquisition costs seven times as much as retention. It’s more cost effective to keep the donors an organization has than chase new ones. Donor relations provides the answer to the donor retention problem. A well-executed, strategic forward-thinking program will cure the ailment of hemorrhaging donors and accomplish even more.You’ve developed four pillars of donor relations. Can you tell us a little about them?The four pillars of donor relations serve as a guidepost for effective donor relations activities. The first two pillars of acknowledgment and stewardship are not optional, but instead foundational. Building a donor relations program that is effective, powerful and strategic relies on a group of professionals dedicated to a single mission of donor retention and sustained if not increased giving. These pillars are the baseline but are certainly not the only activities that an office can perform to enhance relationships with donors.To learn more about Lynne’s four pillars of donor relations, join us for our Masterclass Webinar, “Donor Experience: The Key to Fundraising Success.”In your experience, what do donors want most from an organization?Access, information, and experience. They want a fulfilling experience in exchange for their generosity.What advice would you give to someone who’s shy about talking to donors?Donors are people, too. And they are people with generous souls! They have amazing hearts and wonderful stories. Ask them to tell you theirs!!And one for fun…You’ve been called the Olivia Pope of fundraising. With “Scandal” coming to an end, which Gladiator do you think would be a good fundraiser?I would have to say Huck for many reasons, but I believe there is a gladiator inside all of us. We can do things large and small to make a difference when we see injustices or wrongs. It’s up to each and every one of us.Register for Network for Good’s “Donor Experience: The Key to Fundraising Success” webinar today.last_img read more

Quality, Not Quantity of Care for Maternal and Child Health

first_img“It’s not about counting how many times a mother interacts with antenatal services or comes to the facility,” says Dr. Mariam Claeson, the director of maternal newborn and child health at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in this week’s podcast. “But it’s what happens in these encounters that matters.”One month after the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Claeson and her colleagues in the maternal health community met in Mexico City at the 2015 Global Maternal and Newborn Health Conference. The conference marked the first opportunity for health and development advocates to take stock of the successes and failures of the Millennium Development Goals and discuss a common strategy for implementing the maternal health targets of the SDGs.Improving and measuring quality of care, and not only quantity, was a major focus. For Claeson, such a “woman-centered” approach is best achieved with an integrative model of care – one that combines primary care, family planning services, reproductive health, and other entry points into the health system so women do not need to go to separate facilities for each. “We know,” she says, “that there is a very strong evidence base for why one should do integrative care, integrative measurement, and quality delivery.”Since Mexico City, Claeson says that global partners have been gearing up “to think more systematically about quality across the continuum” as well as a “systems approach to quality and countries wanting to make that part of their broader national quality movement.”“This is the first time,” Claeson continues, “we have countries committed to actually reducing…maternal and newborn mortality in the SDGs.” And, she says, thanks to Every Woman Every Child, a roadmap created by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2010, “we have targets to monitor progress.”In a month, many in the global maternal health community will descend on Copenhagen for Women Deliver 2016. The conference is a chance to further capitalize on momentum around the integrative model laid out in Mexico City.Yet, Claeson warns that staying focused on women, girls, mothers, and newborns will require a larger effort. “It’s not just the business of the health sector,” she says, “but how do we get other sectors to also stay focused when we talk about women and girls?”Dr. Mariam Claeson spoke at the Wilson Center on April 13, 2016.Friday Podcasts are also available for download on iTunes.This post originally appeared on New Security Beat.Share this: Posted on May 3, 2016November 18, 2016By: Sean Peoples, Multimedia Producer, the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security ProgramClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Audio Playerhttps://cdn1.sph.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/2413/2016/05/ecsp-wwc_2016-04-28T12_18_40-07_00.mp300:0000:0000:00Use Up/Down Arrow keys to increase or decrease volume. ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:last_img read more

Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts Make Your Own Woodblock Prints

first_imgWere Woodblock Prints Always this Colorful?In elementary school, many of us may have experienced drawing a design on wood or board, having the teacher cut it out, and then stamping the design on paper using acrylic paint – but these were usually monochrome, weren’t they? In general, woodblock prints are actually very colorful and vibrant. According to the curator here, the prints are made not from a single woodblock, but several, each having only 1 color section. These layers of inked sections are overlapped on a single piece of paper to ultimately create a complete illustration. There are thousands of different museums to visit throughout the world and Japan is no exception. Here in Machida city you can find an unusually specialized museum – the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts.This city-sponsored museum only features graphic arts, and more specifically, woodblock prints or ukiyo-e. Isn’t that interesting? Let’s check it out! This patchwork was made around the time the Great East Earthquake occurred. The exhibitor has been using the museum annually, already for more than ten years to display their works.If you would like to make your own woodblock print or see some made by truly talented local artists, please visit the Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts.InformationMachida City Museum of Graphic ArtsAddress: Haramachida 4-28-1, Machida, TokyoHours: 10:00-17:00 (Weekdays) 10:00-17:30 (Holidays)Closed: Mondays (closed on the next day if it’s a national holiday), December 28th~January 4thMenus in Other Languages:EnglishNearest Station: JR Yokohama Line Machida StationAccess: Walk out of JR Yokohama Line Machida Station Central Exit, turn right and walk straight to enter Serigaya Park, walk down the stairs in the park and on the right there is the museum.Price Range: from 500 yenPhone Number: 042-726-2771Website: Machida City Museum of Graphic Arts (Japanese) Today, I visited an exhibition of Mr. Junichiro Sekino’s works.center_img He has produced works in various genres, such as portraits, still-life paintings and landscapes, and moreover, works that included copper in their design and construction. Such creativity bears talking about, and on Saturdays, the museum has a Talk Free Day, where visitors are encouraged to chat with one another about the works. They also have Talk Events and concerts at the museum.Woodblock Printing ClassesThere are also woodblock printing classes. The museum not only has an audio-visual room, cafe and a museum shop, but also a woodblock prints atelier. Classes for making prints are offered regularly, for everyone from beginners to advanced printers.Region-based Space for ExhibitionsThe museum also has an exhibition room where various works of art in a variety of genres, including those that are not woodblock prints, can be displayed. When I visited, there was an exhibition of patchwork quilts.last_img read more

Making Plastic Gundam Models Some Tips Part 1

first_imgAre you familiar with the Japanese animation series called Mobile Suit Gundam?Mobile Suit Gundam was the first of its series that aired in Japan in 1979. Within the series, robots called Mobile Suits (shortened to MS) were popular for its unique designs and the human drama between the characters.Even after 35 years since the first time it aired, many products and new episodes continue to be made. It has gathered a wide fan base with people of all ages, everyone from children to adults. In addition to fans in Japan, the Gundam series has been loved by many people around the world.What Are Gunpla?Aside from the animation, the reason Gundam became popular was also due to the product line based off the series.The gunpla (Gundam + Plastic model) were first sold by Bandai Co., Ltd. in 1980 and were a major hit among fans; and they are still growing in popularity today. They are plastic figurines of the MS that appears in the anime. Not only are they fun to play with and a popular hobby for some, but there are even competitions where highly detailed, advanced works are showcased.The original gunpla available at that time came only in one color and had to be glued together, but today’s models, the FG Series (*1), come in pre-colored plastic and can be built without glue or pliers.This toy evolved so beginners can easily make their very own gunpla with ease. In this article, we will introduce spots where you can purchase gunpla and some advice on how to buy them.*1 FG series: Short for First Grade Series.Buying Gunpla With an Exchange StudentGunpla are fairly easy to find and purchase in Japan. If you go to toy stores or malls, you can find them being sold.This time we went out to find a gunpla in Osaka’s version of Akihabara, Nipponbashi with Nabiru, who is an exchange student studying in Japan.We visited the Super Kid’s Land Osaka Nipponbashi Character Hall. This shop carries a good variety of gunpla that can be purchased for reasonable prices.Everything from the latest gunpla to models from 1980 (also referred to as old kits) were sold within the shop.Many of the kits available here are sold with a 30% discount, so the writer of this article frequently shops here for their own gunpla.In addition to kits, you can find diagonal cutting pliers (wire cutters) and other tools you need to use to construct a gunpla. Many professional builders visit this shop for supplies as well. It has a wide selection of goods catering to both beginners and advanced gunpla builders.Nabiru also managed to find a gunpla that he liked along with the necessary tools as well.Un-boxing Before Going HomeExcited to purchase his first gunpla, Nabiru couldn’t wait and unboxed his model in a cafe before reaching home! The gunpla he selected was the Build Burning Gundam.The writer of this article bought the Zaku the Ground War Set. Imagining the outcome and the process of constructing your favorite MS is very exciting!The sight of all the parts filling the box along with the instruction booklet is sure to make your imagination go wild.Along with the excitement, Nabiru seems to be a little nervous while reading the instruction booklet. Will he manage to complete making his first gunpla?We will find out in the next article about constructing the gunpla itself.InformationSuper Kid’s Land Character HallAddress: Osaka, Osaka, Naniwa, Nipponbashi 4-10-1Hours: Weekdays: 10:15-20:00 Weekends and Holidays: 10:00-20:00Closed: NoneNearest Station: Nipponbashi StationAccess: 610 meters south from Nipponbashi Station on the subway or the Kintetsu Nipponbashi Station.Phone: +81-06-6648-1411Website: Super Kid’s Land Character Hall (Japanese)last_img read more

Enjoy The Food And Sights At Usaginonedoko A Guesthouse In Kyoto 2

first_imgUsagi-no-nedoko is a guesthouse, shop and cafe found in a remodeled traditional house in Kyoto. At Usagi-no-nedoko you can spend the night, visit an interesting general store and go to a great cafe all in one place.In our other article on Usagi-no-nedoko, we introduced to you their unique shop and their overnight accommodation facilities. Today let’s take a closer look at their cafe, titled simply ‘Cafe’, which opened in the fall of 2015.A Unique Natural History Museum-like Interior Awaits YouThe appeal of Usagi-no-nedoko’s Cafe is its unique interior design that you just can’t find anywhere else.Let’s look at the three different types of cafe space available here.First the entrance area.Inside the stainless steel and glass table, sea urchins and other framed natural objects are displayed. This room has a similar feel to ‘Shop’, their store where you can purchase many natural specimens and other unusual items. As soon as you step inside the Cafe, you will find yourself completely immersed in the world of Usagi-no-nedoko.Going a little deeper into the store, you will next find this room in front of the kitchen. Set into the walls next to the tables are thick glass cases with more displays inside. This area has a more rustic air to it, making this space feel completely different when compared to the entrance area.Going even deeper into the store, you will reach the third type of cafe space. On your left hand side you can see a slightly elevated sitting room.The stores spokeswomen Junko Yoshimura says: “We arranged the seats in this room in such a way that customers with kids would be able to visit without worries. I have kids too and I think seats like these help make things easier for the moms.”That’s such a thoughtful and helpful service to offer! Only a mother could have thought of something like this.Beautifully Arranged, Well-Named DishesJust like the sitting room, the menu is filled with thoughtfulness and a lot of effort.Using the theme of “Naturally Made Beauty”, visually appealing dishes using delicious fruits and vegetables are offered in the Cafe.This dish is their red salad (980 yen), made entirely from warm-toned ingredients. The contrast between the vibrant reds and oranges of the salad against the stark white plate is striking. It looks like a flower bursting into bloom; it’s almost a shame to eat it.The red salad is a feast for the eyes and mouth. The flavors of the seasonal vegetables and fruits, as well as the raw ham come together deliciously in your mouth, the rich tastes spreading out across your tongue.It can be said that this menu really brings Usagi-no-nedoko’s theme of “Naturally Made Beauty” to its peak.Here is a dessert called the black cocoa kōbutsu cake or black cocoa gem cake (590 yen).Inside this bittersweet black cocoa cake are several varieties of berries which shine against the blackness of the cake like gems within the earth.A Place that Combines the Unchanged with the PresentSo what do you think? Usagi-no-nedoko is the guesthouse, shop and cafe found in a refined example of traditional Kyotoarchitecture known as a Kyōmachi house. But, it isn’t as though they simply renovated it. “Naturally Made Beauty” can be seen in nearly every nook and cranny of this incredible space, making it a place for children of all ages to see, learn and have fun.Usagi-no-nedoko continues to grow in it popularity so, when you come to Kyoto, why not stop by this amazing guest house, cafe and shop too?Read also: Stay In A Renovated Traditional House – Usagi-no-nedoko, Kyoto(1)InformationUsagi-no-nedoko ウサギノネドコAddress: Kyoto, Chūō, Nishinokyō Minamiharamachi 37Hours: Shop 11:00-18:30, Cafe 11:30-22:00 (last order 21:00)Closed: Mise/Cafe on ThursdaysWi-fi: YesCredit cards: -Other Languages: -Menus in Other Languages: -Nearest Station: Nishiōji Oike Station (西大路御池駅), Tōzai line subwayAccess: 2 minute walk east from Nishiōji Oike StationPrice range: -Religion:Phone number: Accommodations and Shop +81-3-075-366-8933, Cafe +81-3-075-366-6668Website: Usagi-no-nedokolast_img read more

Tokyo City i Tourist Information Available in 4 Languages

first_imgPamphlets advertising various attractions in each region of Japan are gathered in one section in Tokyo City i. While there are mainly guides on Tokyo, there are others as well as some pamphlets on events and museums available here too.4. Surprises! Irregularly Held Sightseeing Events “I would rather look up what I want to know by myself than ask!”If you’d rather search online for yourself, then we recommend trying a tourist information machine with a touch screen. This machine provides information about popular attractions and events in and around Tokyo, local gourmet dishes and places to stay, while its touch screen offers an intuitive experience as it provides relevant information based on your interests, such as traditional culture or great shopping spots.3. Pamphlet Section with Information on Places Across Japan At the concierge desk, visitors can receive a wide range of services in four different languages, such as getting information about tourist attractions, consulting with the staff about your trip or routes to your accommodations, how to book train tickets, and the like. These multilingual staff will help you out, so you need not worry if you cannot speak Japanese at all.2. Tourist Information Machines with Touch Screens In the event space, irregularly held themed travel fairs, sightseeing highlights and other fun events are held. You might even be able to purchase seasonal local specialties, souvenirs or traditional crafts here as well. This is a great place to stop and experience Tokyo and Japan as a whole. section, various events themed travels or sightseeing are held irregularly.5. Take a Break in the Tokyo City i Restaurant and Taste Japanese Food A cute Pepper robot will guide you.What do you think? Tokyo City i is the place to find information and experience Tokyo and Japan in multiple languages. If you haven’t planned out your schedule or want to know more things about your chosen destinations, why not visit Tokyo City i? It’s really worth checking out! And, if you would like to learn more about KITTE, where Tokyo City i is located, please take a look at this article: Beautiful, Carefully-Selected Japanese Goods At KITTE, Tokyo. Tokyo City i View Informationtravel_agency There is a small cafe restaurant located within Tokyo City i where you can take a break or arrange to meet your friends easily within Tokyo Station. Here you can find plenty of travel magazines, and even places to charge your phone. The dishes served in the cafe are based on travel, culture, regions and even local dishes related to current events and activities at Tokyo City i, making it a lovely spot to enjoy some authentic Japanese cuisine while taking a break from your travels.Useful Information and Great Services for International Travelers Tokyo Station is the main gateway to Tokyo and is used by many people each day as it offers excellent access to major attractions in Tokyo as well as other areas of Japan.Have you ever heard of the tourist information center for international travelers located right by Tokyo Station? Tokyo City i will help you out with various things, from arranging transportation and finding a place to stay to suggesting where to go and what you should do while in Tokyo.Services and Facilities Tokyo City i Offers to International VisitorsTokyo City i is situated within a commercial building, KITTE, which is one minute away on foot from the Marunouchi south exit of Tokyo Station. First of all, as KITTE is the best spot for shopping, stopping by Tokyo City i allows you to easily go shopping right after consulting about your travels.Tokyo City i provides tourist information and travel arrangements to domestic as well as international travelers who visit Tokyo and Japan. We will introduce some of their services in this article.1. Concierge Desk Available in 4 Languageslast_img read more

Visit Little Kyoto In Ozu Ehime 5 Mustsee Spots

first_imgOzu Castle’s Sannomaru Minamisumi Yagura Park has been designated an Important Cultural property in Japan. There you will find the Former Kato Family Residence, which was built by the son of Yasutaka Kato, Yasumichi Kato, the last lord of the Ozu clan. And, with the theme of “preserving the historical value of the region while granting it a friendly, softer title”, this park is referred to by the citizenry as “Otonosama Park”. Ozu Castle’s Sannomaru Minamisumi Yagura Park Address: Ozu, Ozu 848-1Phone: 0893-57-9993 (Ozu City Board of Education Culture and Sports Division)Website: http://www.oozukankou.jp/kanko-o6.html (Japanese)3. Hijikawa Storm Observation Park Ozu Castle, built in 1331, stood in the heart of Ozu, and the city developed around it as a jokamachi, or castle town. As a result of its age the tenshu (*2) was dismantled and the current one was restored in 2004. From this tower you can enjoy sweeping views across the center of Ozu. * 2 Tenshu: the castle tower, the tallest part of a Japanese castle, and typically the symbol of the castle itself. This is the interior of the castle tower. The restored tenshu stands four storeys tall and was rebuilt using domestically produced timber from all across Japan. The beams and flooring are made from 350 year old Kiso Japanese cedar, wood from Ehime was used to make the pillars, and chestnut trees from Akita prefecture were used to make the underlying floor structures.If you would like to learn more about Ozu Castle, please check out The Rare Wooden Tower Of Ozu Castle: Access, Highlights And More.Ozu CastleAddress: Ehime, Ozu, Ozu #903Phone: 0893-24-1146Website: http://www.ozucastle.jp/ (Japanese)2. A Historical Structure: Ozu Castle’s Sannomaru Minamisumi Yagura Park Flowing north and south across both Ozu and its neighboring city of Seiyo, the Hijikawa river is known for the Hijikawa Arashi (storm) here – a phenomena that is very rare in Japan.The Hijikawa Storm is a strong wind that occurs only on sunny days from October to March of the following year. From the Hijikawa Storm Observation Park, visitors can see how the cold air generated in the upstream Ozu basin creates and covers the Hijikawa river with fog.Along with Gifu prefecture’s Nagaragawa river and Oita prefecture’s Misumigawa river, this river is also famous for its ukai (*3). Every summer there are boat-based ukai events to enjoy on the Hijikawa river. * 3 Ukai: a traditional fishing method using birds such as cormorants.Hijikawa Arashi Observation Park Address: Ozu, NagahamaPhone: 0893-24-1719 (Ozu City Hall Urban Development Division) Kyoto is known for its historical streets, but were you aware that there are also many little Kyotos or cities with Kyoto-like historical districts to them, scattered all across Japan?Ozu in the southern part of Ehime prefecture is also called Iyo (*1) Little Kyoto. In this article, we will visit five must-see places to enjoy Ozu city to the fullest through Google Street View. * 1 Iyo: the former name for Ehime prefecture.1. Found in the Heart of the City: Ozu Castlelast_img read more

Tokugawa Ieyasu is worshiped as a god at Ueno Toshogu Shrine

first_imgBuilt in 1627, Toshogu Shrine worships Tokugawa Ieyasu (Tosho Daigongen) as a god. Tokugawa Ieyasu founded the Edo era which continued for 300 years. Walking along the approach with historical structures, you will see a golden building ahead. Let’s take a look at “Ueno Toshogu Shrine” which has been specified as an Important Cultural Property!“Oishi Torii Gate” is also a National Important Cultural Property.The sacred area starts from here.Gazing above, you can see the words “Toshogu”. There are amulets and engraved letters on the pillar. They are fascinating if you look at them closely, one by one. Very decorative!Over 200 stone lanterns line the approach, which were dedicated by feudal lords. One stone lantern is over 2 meters high, a spectacular sight.The shrine god will walk the center of the approach. You should keep to the left.You can see “Kanei Shrine Five Storied Pagoda” on your right. Lit up by the settling sun, it looks just “divine”.Don’t forget “Temizu” (hand water) before visiting the god. It’s a ritual rule to cleanse your mouth and hands with water before visiting gods at shrines and temples.The Komainu dogs have welcomed us. Komainu dogs are “gods that guard the shrine”.Ueno Onshi Park is crowded with zoos and museums, but all here is rather quiet and hushed.This is the Tokugawa family crest.The main shrine building is also called “Golden Shrine” for the gorgeous look by using abundant gold plating. You can see it as a symbol of bakufu (shogunate) power.It is said the souls of “successive shoguns (generals)” of the long 300 year Edo era rest here. When I stood in front of the main shrine building, I felt with all my soul the atmosphere worshipped since long ago. The overwhelming solemn atmosphere from “Golden Shrine” made me shiver from tip to toe.The largest stone lantern in Japan “Monster Lantern”With a nonstandard height of 6.8 meters, this lantern is called “Monster Lantern” and is one of the Three Big Stone Lanterns with the stone lantern in Atsuta Shrine of Nagoya, and big stone lantern in Kyoto Nanzen Temple.Some people don’t notice that it’s there in front of the “Oishi Torii Gate”. Don’t miss it!Go see the spring/winter peony festivalPeonies are called the “King of Flowers” and were used as a symbol of upper class. Over 3200 peonies of 250 kinds are in full bloom in the garden.In spring you can see peonies and cherry blossoms, in fall the changing autumn leaves, and in winter Hatsumode with winter peonies.In Jan to mid-Feb the “winter peony garden” is at its best!・写真*White, pink and red peonies are remarkably in bloom at a snow white garden. They are so sweet, looking as they are huddled up together.The seasonal “Peony Amulet” is extremely cuteAfter visiting the shrine god, there is the pleasure of drawing Omikuji (paper fortune slip) and buying Omamori (amulets).The very cute designed “Peony amulet” is sold only when the Peony garden is open (500 yen).You can buy it as a souvenir or a memory of your visit. Miko (shrine maiden) sell Omamori with white garments and red Hakama (traditional pleated skirt). Maybe because “Ueno Toshogu” is under the general’s divine, the maidens were very cute. Cuter than the “Peony amulets”. She is a must-see!Go see the peony gardens with Edo atmosphere still present, and the gorgeous “Toshogu shrine” the symbol of bakufu (shogunate) power .InformationNearest Station5 minutes’ walk from JR Line Ueno Station Park exit5 minutes’ walk Keisei Dentetsu Line Keisei Ueno Station Ike no Hata exit9-88 Ueno Park, Taito-ku, Tokyo 110-8711“Ueno Toshogu Shrine”Admission Fee: Admission to the grounds is free. Entering the shrine or temple to look inside is charged.Adults 500 yen, Children 6-12 200 yen, Groups(20 or more) 400 yen, Multi ticket for Peony Garden 1000 yen“Peony Garden”Admission Fee: Adult 600 yen, Groups(20 or more) 500 yen, Multi ticket for shrine 1000 yen, Children under 12 FreeOpen:2014 Jan 1 – Feb 23 (No holidays)Hours:9:30-16:30 (enter closed)Phone:03-3822-3455 (Shrine)03-3822-3575 (Peony Garden)Official HP http://www.uenotoshogu.comlast_img read more

New Shinagawa Line Better Access Between Haneda Airport And Tokyo

first_imgDue to a boost in the number of its international flights, Haneda Airport has seen a corresponding increase in the number of visitors to Japan landing there, rather than at Narita Airport.There’s also been an increase in the number of international visitors going to other parts of Japan from Tokyo. So Haneda Airport, which has an extensive network of connections to other airports in the country, is increasingly becoming an important transportation hub for visitors to Japan.When going by bus to the main part of Tokyo from Haneda Airport, it’s more than likely that you’ll experienced traffic jams, which makes it a longer than expected trip.But from now on those worries will disappear. That’s because on March 7th, 2015, a new section of the Metropolitan Expressway opened, ensuring more convenient and comfortable access from Haneda to the center of Tokyo.Haneda Is Now Even Closer With the Shinagawa Line!The new section of the highway is called the Shinagawa Line (Metropolitan Expressway’s Central Circular Route), and consists of a 9.4 kilometer long tunnel (the pink portion in the above picture). The tunnel was finally completed after a lengthy construction period lasting eight years.The good news is that the opening of this new section has dramatically improved access to Haneda Airport from Tokyo’s subcenter areas of Shinjuku and Shibuya. Up until now, the link between Tokyo and both Narita and Haneda Airports was infamous for its poor access.According to an official announcement, the Shinjuku-Haneda Airport route which formerly took about forty minutes by limousine bus, has now been reduced to a mere twenty minutes.Tokyo’s Transportation Network: Now More Comfortable Thanks to the Shinagawa LineWith the opening of the Shinagawa Line, the Metropolitan Expressway circles the Tokyo area in a doughnut-like fashion (see the yellow portion in the picture above). This is referred to as the Central Circular Route.Its role is to disperse the high volume of traffic heading for Tokyo, which helps to alleviate some of the city’s traffic congestion headaches faced by bus and car commuters.See How the Expressway Looked Before It Opened!MATCHA staff took some pictures of the Shinagawa Line before it opened, so today we’ll show you how the tunnel looks. Civil engineering fans probably won’t be able to get enough of these fascinating photos!In the vicinity of Ooi Junction there are factories, office buildings and the train yard for the shinkansen (bullet train) carsThis is Ooi Junction. If you follow this route directly, it will take you in the direction of Shibuya and Shinjuku. Head in the other direction and you’re just a hop, skip and a jump away from Haneda Airport!An unusually wide tunnelHere it branches out into into two separate routes: the Shibuya Line which leads to Shibuya and Roppongi, and a straight-through route leading to Ikebukuro.This tunnel sort of resembles oval-shaped eye glasses, doesn’t it?In order to make these two original lines merge into one, the excavation procedure for each tunnel was carried out side by side, and this shape is the end result of the hollowing out of the new section.This unique kind of construction in which all the excavation work was carried out underground, is the first of its kind in the world (referred to as the non-open-cut construction method).The area that’s brightly lit up in orange, is the section where the traffic merges.Now for a bit of trivia. Among Japan’s many expressway toll gates, the Gotanda toll gate inside the Shinagawa Line tunnel, is the country’s one and only underground toll gate.In the event of an accident, disaster prevention measures are firmly in place along the full length of the tunnel areaThanks in part to its highly skilled Japanese engineers and technicians, Tokyo’s city planning is moving forward in a safe and sound mannerThough this article announces the opening of the expressway’s new route, by words alone it’s hard to appreciate how much of a welcome addition this tunnel has been. But by actually hopping aboard a bus going from the airport to the city center, you’ll soon be able to see just how comfortable this route is.You’ll be able to get to Shinjuku and Shibuya from Haneda Airport in only twenty minutes, making this your fastest transportation option.So on your next visit to Japan, how about experiencing firsthand the convenience of the Metropolitan Expressway’s Shinagawa Line?©Metropolitan Expressway Company Limited.last_img read more

Sakata Meet Maiko And Taste Exquisite Seafood In A Retro Port Town

first_imgSuzumasa’s main concept is “to serve fine sushi at a reasonable price.” It is a restaurant which serves delicious sushi in a casual atmosphere. Telephone number +81-234-24-4311 Address Yamagata, Sakata, Onari-cho 7-7 View InformationHomma Museum of Art {“map_code”:{“pin”:[{“title”:”Yamagata, Sakata, Onari-cho 7-7″,”code”:”38.9239018, 139.8419563″}],”center”:”38.9239018, 139.8419563″,”zoom”:”14″,”latitude”:”38.9239018″,”longitude”:”139.8419563″}} The Homma family was a major jinushi (*2) of Sakata. The family built its wealth in finance, rice trade and through Kitamaebune. Homma Museum of Art, built in 1947, displays the vast family collection of ceramic ware, paintings and calligraphic works.*2 Jinushi: A landowner. Fixed holidays From December to February/Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Year-end and New Year/From December 22, 2018, to January 11, 2019.The museum will also be closed from February 19 to 22, 2019. Somaro is a famous ryotei built in the Edo Period (1603 – 1867). It was rebuilt after being burnt down by a disastrous fire in 1894, and has been registered as an important cultural asset by the Japanese government in 1996. Not Available If you plan to visit various areas of Sakata, visit the Tourist Information Center located at Sakata Station, and rent a free bicycle. By registering your name, hotel telephone number and address, the bicycle can be used for a day.There are coin-operated lockers at the station, so stow away the big luggage, and let’s begin the tour on a bicycle.9:30 — Sankyo-soko – A Photogenic Row of Zelkova TreesFrom Sakata Station to Sankyo-soko — 10 minute bicycle ride. Website Homma Museum of Art (Japanese) Yamagata And Niigata – 5 Local Dishes And Tasty Snacks You Must Try! Yamagata – Enjoy Scenic Yamadera Temple And Exquisite Fruit Parfaits! Sankyo-soko, built in 1893, was a storehouse for rice on its way to Osaka on the Kitamaebune. It is located near the Sakata Port, with a row of zelkova trees in the back. It is said that the trees were planted to shield the storehouse from the sea breeze and direct sunlight. Sakata faces the Shonaihama Coast, a treasure trove of seafood. If you want to taste sushi made with Shonaihama fish, go to Suzumasa, an established restaurant adored by the local residents, and also frequented by visitors from abroad. Homma Museum of ArtView Map Sakata Yume no Kura is located inside Sankyo-soko. It is a sightseeing spot to where vistors can view exhibts of local dolls, buy souvenirs and enjoy dining.Local products such as Tsuyahime Cube (360 milliliter size), a famous Yamagata rice brand priced at 380 yen including tax, and Yamagata Daihyo, a 100 percent fruit juice priced at 154 yen including tax, are also popular souvenirs. Sankyo-soko View Information10:30 — Homma Museum of Art – A Splendid Garden and National TreasuresFrom Sankyo-soko to Homma Museum of Art – 10 minute bicycle ride. Access Five minute walk (two minute bicycle ride) from Sakata Station. Visitors can also enjoy the Japanese garden called Kakubuen. Mt. Chokai, located on the border of Yamagata and Niigata Prefectures, stands out in the distant background, as the garden greets the visitors with a different scenery every season. Seienkaku, a wooden building, is located next to Kakubuen. In the Meiji Period (1868 to 1912), the building welcomed members of the Imperial Family and high-ranking government officials.There is a tea room on the first floor, serving matcha tea produced in Kyoto, along with sweets, for 500 yen including tax. Visitors can also enjoy the room on the second floor, which has been visited by the Showa Emperor. Upper Photograph: Tokujo Sushi/Lower Left: Madai (Red Sea Bream)/Lower Right: Nodoguro (Blackthroat Seaperch)Tokujo Sushi (2,160 yen and up, including tax) offers a wide variety of sushi. They are all fresh, with a soft texture, and will melt in your mouth.Madai, served with bay salt and sesame, has a unique texture and taste. The lightly roasted Nodoguro is fragrant, and has a smooth texture. Suzumasa View Informationrestaurant13:00 — Sannou Club – Experience Traditional CraftsFrom Suzumasa to Sannou Club – 1 minute bicycle ride.center_img Business Time From April to October/9:00 – 17:00 (Entrance closes at 16:30.)From November to March/9:00 – 16:30 (Entrance closes at 16:00.) The Jellyfish Dream Theater, with its special illumination, offers a dreamlike view! Sakata – Yamagata’s Charming Port TownIn the Edo Period, Sakata prospered as one of the important port towns of the Kitamaebune (*1) route. Sightseeing spots such as Homma Museum of Art, which boasts a rich collection of historical materials, and Somaro, where visitors can enjoy a dance performance by maiko at lunchtime, owes much to the heritage of Kitamaebune.We will introduce an itinerary that starts from Sakata City. From Tokyo Station, it takes about four hours and twenty minutes to Sakata Station, riding the Shinkansen to Niigata Station, and switching to the local Uetsu Main Line from there.We will be using the convenient JR EAST PASS (available for the Nagano and Niigata areas) for transportation. This discount ticket enables visitors to enjoy the sightseeing places and fine cuisine of Sakata.*1 Kitamaebune: Merchant ships that were active from the Edo (1603 to 1868) to Meiji Period (1868 to 1912).9:00 — Starting from Sakata Station 12:00 — Suzumasa – Excellent Sushi Made with Fish Caught near ShonaihamaFrom Homma Museum of Art to Suzumasa – 10 minute bicycle ride. Accepted Credit Cards Picture courtesy of JR East.If you plan to visit Sakata or Tsuruoka in Yamagata Prefecture, then how about using the JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata)? The pass user will be able to ride all types of JR trains and buses in the designated area.For further information, please check the following website:■JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata)** The JR EAST PASS is limited to international visitors to Japan. It cannot be used by Japanese nationals or foreigners residing in Japan with a visa other than the tourist visa.Read also Sannou Club hosts a sixty minute kasafuku workshop. Participants are asked to purchase a kasafuku kit (1,000 yen including tax) in advance. An English pamphlet will be handed out to visitors from abroad. Sannou Club View Informationmuseum14:00 — Somaro – Watch a Traditional Maiko Dance PerformanceFrom Sannou Club to Somaro – 1 minute bicycle ride. The second floor is decorated with kasafuku. It is made from scraps of Japanese kimonos and hanged inside a parasol. The design varies from farm products to fish, animals and plants. Kasafuku symbolizes the prayer for the health of the family, business prosperity and a good relationships. Takehisa Yumeji Museum (*4) is located on the first floor, along with a rest space which offers a view of a Japanese garden and the a training room for the dancers. A dance hall is located on the second floor.*4 Takehisa Yumeji: A prominent poet and painter in the Taisho Period (1912 – 1926). Yonezawa, Yamagata – Experience Local Cuisine And Traditional Crafts! WiFi Not Available Sannou Club is an example of historic architecture which reminds us about the legacy of Sakata, and its ryotei (*3) culture. Originally built in 1895 as a ryotei, it has been transformed over the years into a sightseeing spot.*3 Ryotei: A high-class restaurant serving Japanese cuisine, mainly used by business companies for entertaining their guests. Price Adults: 900 yenStudents: 400 yenThere is no admission fee for Junior High and Elementary School children.Matcha tea and confectionary: 500 yen, including tax. Visitors flock to Tsuruoka City Kamo Aquarium to watch the jellyfish. The aquarium is listed on the the Guinness Book of World Records for breeding more than fifty species of jellyfish. There is a twenty minute dance performance every day, starting at 14:00. Maiko are a part of the ryotei culture, as they enliven the atmosphere with their music and dance.After the performance, ride the bicyle back to the Sakata Station, and head for the next destination: Kamo Aquarium. Somaro View Informationmuseumrestaurant15:45 — Kamo Aquarium – Exhibits Featured in the Guinness Book of RecordsFrom Sakata Station to Kamo Aquarium – 35 minute taxi ride. Nearest station Sakata Station The most popular souvenir is the six-piece kurage iri manju (jellyfish bun), priced at 540 yen including tax. It is filled with sweet anko (red bean paste) along with jellyfish, and has a salty, seafood taste. Tsuruoka City Kamo Aquarium View Informationaquarium17:30 — After Sakata, Enjoy the Hot Springs in TsuruokaThose who wish to enjoy Tsuruoka City should stay for the night at Yunohama Onsen, a hot spring facility, and take in the great view of the sunset.From Kamo Aquarium to Yunohama Onsen, it is a 10 minute bus ride. There is only one bus per hour, so check this timetable in advance.If you would like to learn more about Sakata and Tsuruoka, please take a look at this article: Shonai, which Flourished due to the Kitamaebune, Traditional Japanese Dance, and Jellyfish Aquarium + Taxi & Yunoham-Onsen Lodging Plan.JR EAST PASS (Nagano, Niigata) Visit Yamagata And Niigata with the JR EAST PASS! Yamagata and NiigataDiscover the many charms of the Tohoku Region: TOHOKU BUFFET.Written by ChenSponsored by Yamagata Prefecture and Niigata Prefecturelast_img read more

Salon De The FRANCOIS A Charming Classical Cafe In Kyoto

first_imgThere’s a tearoom in Kyoto that has been loved by the locals for its classical appeal for more than 80 years.Salon de the FRANCOIS is located along the Takase River behind a large intersection in Shijo Kawaramachi, an area full of tall modern buildings. The name of the shop comes from the artist Jean-François Millet.This western-style streetlamp marks the entrance.Salon de the FRANCOIS was established in 1934 by Mr. Shoichi Tateno, the father of the current manager. It has treasured and maintained its France-inspired appearance it had since its opening.Created from a Yearning for FreedomWhen the shop was first established, freedom of speech was restricted more so than in the present day, and luxury was not approved of.The founder, Mr. Tateno, admired the liberty in the nation building of France, and wanted to create a place where people could speak freely about their ideas and the arts. For this reason, he opened Salon de the FRANCOIS.The interior, which is reminiscent of a luxury liner, also comes from the idea of the “freedom” of a ship crossing the boundless ocean.Valuable Interior DecorationsThe lighting and paintings are all the same as the ones that were there upon the shop’s establishment. In 2002, the facility, interior, and building were given recognition, and Salon de the FRANCOIS became the first tea shop to be designated as a Registered Tangible Cultural Heritage.This light is modeled after a seashell.They say this light was actually used in a luxury ship.You will also find other decorations like a map of Paris and a drawing of the Mona Lisa issued by an Italian family of prestigious nobility, the House of Medici. Mr. Tateno went all the way to Tokyo to purchase these items.A Relaxing AtmosphereOf the countless seats in the shop, we recommend the terrace seats. While listening to relaxing classical music and admiring the courtyard, you will forget about the time.When sitting at the terrace seats, you should have a look at the scenery beyond the window. On the other side of the tiny lake is a wall with unique designs.This wall is actually made from handmade tiles. It’s also designed after the ocean.The seats in the back of the shop, including the terrace, are open as non-smoking seats after 1 PM.Specialty DishesThis rare cheesecake set (1100 yen) is one of Salon de the FRANCOIS’ specialty dishes.Their hot coffee is a mix of Arabica beans. The Wiener Kaffee (just the coffee: 580 yen), with fresh cream, is a product that has been loved since the establishment of the shop.The rare cheesecake (just the cake: 550 yen) uses rich cream by Daisen Gyunyu Milk and mellow cheese from Denmark. A faint lemon scent and the blueberry sauce add a special touch. The cake melts the moment it enters your mouth. They say that there are many customers who visit from afar just to get a taste of this rare cheesecake.Mr. Tateno, the current president of Salon de the FRANCOIS, travels around Japan to buy items with the wish to deliver delicious products to customers.There are various other menus, such as the kyoho grape juice from Nagano. We recommend you stop by to have a taste!Mr. Tateno’s MessageMr. Tateno says he wants to treasure what his parents created 80 years ago.This tea shop was established in the midst of various historical events, and Mr. Tateno wants to continue to pass down the atmosphere of the time. He doesn’t want to press this idea toward customers, he wants to protect the shop while it is loved by visitors.How about taking a break at Salon de the FRANCOIS, a shop that has overcome turbulent times?It’s a tea shop that will make you want to set out on your next journey.InformationSalon de the FRANCOISAddress: Kyoto, Shimogyo, Nishikiyamachi-dori, Shijo-kudaru, Sendocho 184Hours: 10:00-23:00Closed: December 31 and January 1, Summer Holidays (2 days)Wi-Fi: -Credit Cards: NoLanguages: -Menus in Other Languages: -Nearest Station: Hankyu Kawaramachi StationAccess: Exit 1 Kiyamachi Minami ExitPrice Range: 580 yen -Phone Number: +81-75-351-4042Official Website: Salon de the FRANCOISlast_img read more

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