Tag Archives: shibamata

Almost spring

21 Feb

Today we went to 柴又 (Shibamata, Tokyo).
It’s a 下町 (traditional, downtown) area of Tokyo that I like alot. (Click here to see my post in which I explain a little about this area and have more photos.)

We also went to a nearby park and saw the 梅の花 (Plum flowers) and 寒桜 (Winter Cherry Blossoms) were in bloom.

梅の花 (Plum flowers)

寒桜 (Winter Cherry Blossoms)

It’s still cold in Tokyo…but spring’s not too far off now.

What kinds of flowers are in bloom where you live in the world?
What are the signs of winter ending and spring coming in your country?

冬至

22 Dec

Yesterday was 冬至 (Winter Solstice). This is the day (in the Earth’s Northern Hemisphere) that daytime is the shortest and nighttime is the longest in the year.

夏至 (Summer Solstice), when daytime is the longest, is around June 21; and the two days that daytime and nighttime are an equal twelve hours each are 春分の日 (Spring Equinox), on about March 21, and 秋分の日 (Autumn Equinox), on about September 21.

There’s a Japanese tradition to eat かぼちゃ (pumpkin) and take a ユズ湯 (a bath with yuzu* floating in the water).
*(yuzu is an Asian citrus fruit).

It is an old Japanese belief that eating かぼちゃ (pumpkin) and taking a ユズ湯 (yuzu bath) on the 冬至 (Winter Solstice) will help prevent colds.

We ate かぼちゃ (pumpkin) with our dinner and took ユズ湯 (yuzu bath) yesterday. I have a bit of a cold…I can use the help. 😉

+++
Yesterday afternoon, we went to 柴又 (Shibamata, Tokyo).
We’ve been there a number of times before…and once before I wrote a blog post about it.
(Click here to read that post.)

It’s a nice 下町 (traditional area).

dscf4132

Here’s a store that was selling ダルマ (Daruma*):
(*Daruma are bought at New Years with no eyes. You make a New Years wish and color in one eye. When (if) the wish comes true, you paint in the other eye. Then at the end of the year, whether the came true or not, you bring the Daruma to a temple to be burnt down. The you buy a new one for the following year).

dscf4135

The old-fashioned Japanese candy shop there had this sign out front that said 「本場アメリカのピンボール・ゲームありマス。」 (“We have pin-ball machines from America.”)

dscf4139

Some of the candy (including powdered fake-beer drinks!)

dscf4140

dscf4141

The famous and ever-popular 寅さん (Tora-san):

dscf4142

A sign warning children not to play too close to the river’s edge:

dscf4146

This is a boat service that has been taking people across the river for many, many years (there are bridges now, so people ride this ferry only for fun now).
(I wrote about this boat before…click here to read that post):

dscf4148

This cat was very friendly:

dscf4153

I took a couple vidos today, too.

This one’s of a おせんべ (Japanese rice cracker) shop:

And this one is of a shop that makes hand-made candies:

Japanese Garden

10 Aug

Today we went to 柴又 (Shibamata). This is a traditional 下町 (downtown, blue-collar) area of Tokyo. We live in downtown Tokyo…but this is one of the downtown areas that stills maintains the old, traditional look.

I’m trying to explain it so that people from outside of Japan will relate…but Japan’s 下町 (downtown) and 山の手 (uptown) are unique and hard to explain accurately.

Come to Japan and I’ll show you. 🙂

Anyways, 柴又 (Shibamata) is the hometown for the character 寅さん (Tora-san) in the popular TV series 男はつらいよ (“It’s tough being a man!”) that ran from 1969-1995 in Japan.

The actor that played the main character (Tora-san) died in 1996. There’s a statue of the “Tora-san” character outside 柴又 (Shibamata) train station.

Here it is:

Near the train station is a store that sells Japanese candies. Just like most of the shops in this area, it looks like an old traditional Japanese store.

Here’s the 駄菓子屋 (Traditional junk-food shop):

(The Coke machine looks like a robot).

We also went to a temple and saw them setting up for a 盆踊り (Bon Dance Festival)…(we didn’t go to the festival, though), and a traditional Japanese street performer, and we went to a Japanese garden.

Here’s a slideshow of some of the photos I took:

[rockyou id=119928351]

I took a few videos today and uploaded to my YouTube page (in all of them you can hear (Cicadas) in the background. Proof that it’s summertime in Japan 🙂 ).

Also, in the last video there are 提灯 (paper lanterns) that say 寅さんの日 (“Tora-san Day”). This is in preparation for August 27—the anniversary of the first episode of TV series 男はつらいよ (“It’s tough being a man!”) that began on 1969/8/27.

Here’s my video of the Japanese garden:

Here are three videos that I took of the traditional Japanese street performer:

And here are two videos that I took of the 下町 (traditional downtown area):

We’ve been to this area a number of times. But it had been awhile since our last time here…so it was alot of fun!