Archive | horseback archery RSS feed for this section

You should visit Asakusa

18 Mar

浅草 (Asakusa) is one of the many parts of Tokyo that I like alot.

It’s a 下町 (traditional downtown area). Famous for the 雷門 (Lightning Gate), 浅草寺 (Sensouji Temple), and the numerous excellent (festivals) that are held there.

(Click here to read a post I wrote about 浅草 (Asakusa)).

Starting today, for the next few weeks, there will alot going on in 浅草 (Asakusa).

  • Today (March 18): 金竜の舞い (Golden Dragon Festival).
    This is held every year on March 18. I have been to this festival a few times when the date fell on a weekend. I have to work today, so I can’t go this year…but, if you can make it—I recommend it.
    Click here to read about it on my Festivals In Tokyo page.
  • Sunday, March 22, 2009: Tokyo Marathon.
    An annual international marathon with runners from all over the world racing through the streets of Tokyo.
    The course brings them past the 雷門 (Lightning Gate) in 浅草 (Asakusa).

marathon

  • Late March – Early April: 花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing).
    This traditional event is done all over Japan. One popular location is near the 隅田川 (Sumida River) in 浅草 (Asakusa).
    (Last year, I wrote a few posts about 花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing). Click here to read one.)
  • Sunday, April 12, 2009: 白鷺の舞い (White Heron Dance).
    A famous 浅草 (Asakusa) festival.

    「白鷺の舞い」 (White Heron Dance)

    「白鷺の舞い」 (White Heron Dance)

  • Saturday, April 18, 2009: 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery).
    An exciting ancient Japanese archery display that involves the archers shooting arrows at targets while riding a galloping horse.
    (I have seen 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) a number of times. Last year, I wrote a post about the 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) at 浅草 (Asakusa). Click here to read it.)

There are plenty of other great festivals in 浅草 (Asakusa) throughout the year. But these are the ones that are coming up.

Have you ever been to any of these festivals in 浅草 (Asakusa) before? Will you attend this year? Did you already know about these events?

Cell-phone Camera

25 Oct

I was looking at the pictures on my 携帯電話 (Cell-phone) camera.
I have over 600 photos on the phone’s memory disc that I’ve taken at various places (the disc still has alot of memory space left, too!)

So I made a slideshow of some of the photos:


| View Show | Create Your Own

Photos

28 Aug

I went thru some of my photos and decided to post a bunch of them on my blog. Mostly as Slideshows.

For convenience, here’s a menu of the pictures, slideshows, and video on this post:

Turtle Butterfly Beetle
Cicada Kawasaki Halloween Kamakura Horseback Archery
Asakusa Horseback Archery Asakusa New Years Tokyo Disneyland
Park Cherry Blossom Viewing Ibaraki
Yokohama Kameido-Tenjin Harajuku / Shibuya
Ueno Tokyo Tower Tokyo Dome area
Tokyo Stn / Imperial Palace University of Tokyo Tobu Zoo
Ryogoku Bottom of this post

First are some of the small animals that have been living in our house recently.

Our ミドリ亀 (Red-eared slider turtle):

My YouTube video of our ミドリ亀 (Red-eared slider turtle):

Top ↑

The アゲハ蝶 (Swallowtail Butterfly) (and his (cocoon)).

Top ↑

Here’s a slideshow of our カブト虫 (Rhino beetle) eating gelatin.


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

A slideshow of our (Cicada) emerging from it’s moult (outer shell).


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

Here’s ハロウィーン (Halloween) at 川崎 (Kawasaki):

Top ↑

And here’s a slideshow of the 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) at 鎌倉 (Kamakura):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

And the 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) at 浅草 (Asakusa):

Top ↑

And here’s a slideshow of New Years at 浅草 (Asakusa):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

東京ディズニーランド (Tokyo Disneyland):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

A park near our house:


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

花見 (Cherry Blossom Viewing):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

茨城県 (Ibaraki) is a countryside prefecture to the north of 東京都 (Tokyo):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

横浜 (Yokohama):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

亀戸天神 (Kameido-Tenjin Shrine):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

原宿 (Harajuku) and 渋谷 (Shibuya):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

These photos are from 上野 (Ueno):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

東京タワー (Tokyo Tower):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

The 東京ドーム (Tokyo Dome) area (including the amusement park and 小石川後楽園 (Koishikawa-kourakuen Japanese Gardens)). There happened to be a cosplay event on the day I took these photos:


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

東京駅 (Tokyo Train Station) and the 皇居 (Imperial Palace):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

東京大学 (The University of Tokyo):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

東武動物公園 (Tobu-Doubutsukouen Zoo):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Top ↑

両国 (Ryougoku), the area of Tokyo with the 国技館 (Sumo Arena):


| View Show | Create Your Own

Please leave a comment of what you think of these photos!

Top ↑

Festivals Page

4 Aug

I just finished my Festivals In Tokyo page.

You can click the link at the top of this page…or click here to see it.

鎌倉

21 Apr

Today we went to 鎌倉 (Kamakura).

Kamakura was once, long ago, the capital of Japan. It’s not too far south of Tokyo in 神奈川県 (Kanagawa Prefecture).

Kamakura is my favorite part of Kanagawa Prefecture.

It’s still very “traditional” Japan. There’s a nice beach, 大仏 (Great Buddah), many shrines and temples, lots of great souvenirs and food to buy, and 江ノ島 (Enoshima) and 横浜 (Yokohama) aren’t far.

One reason we decided to go to Kamakura today was because they were having a 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) show (like the one I watched in Tokyo yesterday) today.

My wife’s aunt wanted to join us today. So we woke up early and met her at the train station at 7:30AM and the six of us (my wife and I, our three kids, and my wife’s aunt) got to Kita-Kamakura Station at 8:45AM.

From there, we walked to 浄智寺 (Jyouchiji Temple).

Then we walked to 源氏山 (Genji-yama Mountain) and followed the hiking course.

And we walked to the 高徳院 (Koutokuin Temple) with the 大仏 (Great Buddah).

At the 高徳院 (Koutokuin Temple), there were some children dressed in kimono who were learning 茶道 (Tea Ceremony) (In Japan, preparing and serving Green Tea properly involves an elaborate ceremony). The children and their 茶道 teachers were preparing and serving tea for free. So we decided to have some.

It was very good!

The tea ceremony teacher:

From there, we walked over to 長谷寺 (Hase-dera Temple), which is a beautiful temple with a beautiful garden and Koi (Carp) pond.

The temple is up on a mountain with a beautiful view of Tokyo Bay.

In addition to that view, on the way up to the temple we were able to see 富士山 (Mt. Fuji).

At Hase-dera Temple, we ate a picnic lunch.

After lunch we headed to the 長谷駅 (Hase Station) on the 江ノ電 (Enoden Train Line) and rode the train to 鎌倉駅 (Kamakura Station) and then we walked down the 小町通り (Komachi-doori) shopping street which is lined with many great traditional Japanese shops. We bought some freshly cooked おせんべ (Rice crackers) at a shop here.

We went to the 鶴岡八幡宮 (Tsurugaoka-hachimanguu Shrine) which is where the 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) show was. Since it was extremely crowded and I watched Horseback Archery yesterday, we didn’t stay for the entire show.

After that, we went back to the shops and got a few bottles of “Kamakura Beer” and some famous “Hato Sable” cookies from the 豊島屋 (Toshimaya) store for souvenirs.

Then we headed home. It was a fun day.

Yabusame

19 Apr

Today in 隅田公園 (Sumida-kouen) in Tokyo, there was a 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) show.

I have been to 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery) shows a few times before, including the one at Sumida-kouen…but it’s not too far from our house. So I decided to go to today’s show too.

Asahi Beer bldg

In 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery), the archers and the others who assist by setting up the targets, etc are dressed as Samurai because it was the Samurai who trained in horseback archery centuries ago.

After the archers parade past the audience, the targets are set up. There’s three posts spaced out along the horse running track and various targets are set up for the archers to try to hit with arrows while galloping down the the track on horseback at full speed.

The targets are usually pieces of plywood first, then plywood with packets of confetti inside (for visual effect when the target breaks), ceremic targets and various others.

It’s quite exciting!

Here are couple pictures I took of archers hitting the targets as they sped by:

I also took a short movie of an archer hitting a target. You can see the confetti fly when he breaks the target:

Time flies by!

5 Apr

This is the last couple days of my kids’ school Spring Break.

In Japan, the school year ends in March and the new one begins in April…so on Monday, my kids will be in 6th, 8th, and 9th grades (actually they’re called: Grades 小6年、中2年、 and 中3年 (“Elem 6th”, “Jr High 2nd”, and “Jr High 3rd” grades). In Japan, elementary school is grades 1 – 6, the junior high is grades 1 – 3, and high school is also grades 1 – 3.

I can’t believe how fast they grow up!

Next March (2009), my youngest will graduate from elementary school, and my oldest kid will graduate from junior high (Japan has Graduations and Opening Ceremonies for every school a child attends…from pre-school to college).

Then, next April (2009), my oldest will start high school. So this year she’ll be taking “high school entrance exams”. Not only college, but Japanese high schools also have entrance exams.

Stressful.

**************************************

In the news, there have been alot of violent crimes against Japanese people commited by American military servicemen stationed in Japan.

It doesn’t help the image of foreigners in Japan.

The most recent was a sailor in the US Navy stationed near Tokyo who stabbed a taxi driver in the neck with a kitchen knife.

Then there was the case in Okinawa in which a group of children of US servicemen attacked and robbed taxi drivers.

And a 14-year old school girl in Okinawa claimed an American Marine raped her.

There have been numerous other cases like these over the years…but it seems like there’s been a rash of them recently.

Hopefully, the pattern stops.

**************************************

Here’s a couple more videos I put onto my YouTube page (they’re both very short…and not very high quality. I’ll try to put better videos up in the future):

A sumo match at the 国技館 (I took this video with my cell-phone camera…it’s much clearer on a small phone screen):

And here’s a short clip of 流鏑馬 (Horseback Archery). It’s hard to capture with a camera…it goes by quickly—but “Yabusame” is very fun to watch. You should check it out in person if you ever get a chance (it happens a few times a year in Japan…actually one is coming up this month):

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 195 other followers