Wednesday,30 April, 2014
Today, we visited Matsuyamajo Castle. We met a woman and were fortunately able to guide her. She’s originally from Germany but presently works in Japan.
A view from the ‘Tenshukaku’ was clear and beautiful so it was a perfect day to enjoy sightseeing. She told us that she was also going to visit Dogo Onsen in this afternoon.
We talked a lot about our each culture, Germany and Japan, and it was really interesting for us. Especially, Matsuyama is a sister city of Freiberg, Germany. Thanks to her, we had a great time!
Saturday,19 April, 2014
The weather was lovely at Ishiteji-temple:)
On the right side is a big incense burner.
Wednesday,16 April, 2014
We had guests from Singapore. With them we enjoyed walking around Dogo area and had lunch & dinner. One of them composed Haiku in
Chinese and English. I love her haiku. We shared magic moment:)
Wednesday,9 April, 2014
We went to the Ishiteji-temple. Yesterday the flower festival (Buddha’s Birthday) was held. There were beautiful seasonal flowers around the temple.
We met a couple from Denmark. But they had finished visiting the temple. Then we met a couple from Korea. They had just arrived there so we guided them. They were interested in the Shikoku pilgrimage. And they told us they like cycling. So we told them about shimanami Kaido.
The Setouchi Shimanami Kaido Expressway links Onomichi city (Hiroshima Prefecture) with Imabari city (Ehime Prefecture). We can go throught the road by bicycle with enjoying nice view. Bicycles are available for rental. Please come and enjoy Matuyama city and Ehime prefecture!
Saturday,5 April, 2014
Today, Spring Festival was held in Matsuyama. There was a stage for Yakyuken competition at the top of the Castle hill. Yakyuken is the game of ‘paper, stone and scissors’ with music and easy choreography. Participants were puts on each unique costume like a raccoon dog , baikin-man and so on. It was Fun!
At the back side of the Castle tower ,we enjoyed cherry blossom and camellia.
Saturday, 29 March, 2014
Today, we had a training at Matsuyama castle. The cherry trees were in full blossom, so there were so many visitors.
After training, we had a party at an arbor in Ninomaru garden. Then, a family from Germany came to join us, and the party grew livelier. Children overcame their language barrier so soon, and made friends with each other. They all are really cute!
Today , it was also the last day for one of our dearest members. She had to move to Tsuyama city in Okayama prefecture. We can never thank her enough. We are deeply grateful to you.
However, Tsuyama is not so far. We are already planning to visit Tsuyama. Also, Y.A -san, you are always very welcome. Please come back whenever you like, and remember us forever.
Dogo Onsen Festival
Dogo Onsen Festival is held from March 19 to March 23. A picture on the left shows people trying to get rice cakes, on the right shows Fog Sculpture.
Wednesday,19 March, 2014
A warm spring sun shined in Dogo area. We watched a prayer to the gods of Dogo Hot Spring. It has long been said that each time the hotspring's water stopped flowing, the offering of prayers at Yu Shrine started the water running again. The hot spring water is very precious to this town. The ritual is held annually and it marks the start of the Dogo Onsen festival. Please soak your feet in footbathes in Dogo Onsen, and feel the arrival of spring!
Saturday,15 March, 2014
We went to Dogo area.
It was a little cold but we felt spring was definitely around the corner.
Looking down from the height near Yu shrine, Hot Spring Main Building was decorated with many floral lanterns, and a happy couple of bride and groom was on a rickshaw. We saw them later at Isaniwa shrine, where they had a traditional Japanese wedding ceremony. We were also happy to see young people love this town and pass down traditional events.
Wednesday,12 March, 2014
We practiced guiding at Matsuyamajo Castle. It was a bit warm today. On the way to the hilltop, we heard the voice of a bush warbler coming from somewhere. The early- blooming cherry trees were already flowering, deep pink cherry blossoms. Spring will soon be here!
The oldest turret in this castle stands behind the main castletower complex. It’s called Nohara turret, built over 400 years ago. It's one of the most precious buildings in Matsuyamajo castle and open to the public for a limited time only. Luckily a staff was doing maintenance and invited us inside. We could watch the special style of architecture with his explanation.
After that we had a farewell lunch party at a Japanese restaurant. One of our members is going back to her hometown at the end of March. Even though she leaves Matsuyama, she is a member of “Team Camellia”. This website connects us!
Wednesday,5 March, 2014
It was cold and drizzling today. We had no visitors at Ishiteji Temple.
This is a Ishiteji special cake “Yakimochi”. Yakimochi is a grilled rice cake stuffed with sweet bean paste. White one is made by rice flour and green one is mugwort (Japanese typical herb) mixed. It has been popular among pilgrims and locals. It’s 70 yen a piece.
Saturday,22 February, 2014
Today we visited Matsuyamajo castle with our special guests, 16 people from all over the world! They were participants of an international astronomy conference held at Ehime University and we have looked forward to seeing them since last month.
It was a beautiful clear day so we really enjoyed the view from “Tenshukaku”, the top of the castle tower, the destination of our tour. In the castle, some of them put on replicas of armors which samurai used to use those days. They were so cool!
We hope they enjoyed the tour. Thank you for coming!!
Wednesday,19 February, 2014
We had a guest from America. After walking around Dogo area, we had lunch together. In front of Isaniwa-shrine is a small restaurant named MAMMA. It offers "Nabeyaki-Udon" , one of Matsuyama's local dishes. We had a great time with you and hope you enjoy watching the Tokyo Marathon!
Eat Ehoumaki in Setsubun,3 Feb.2014
Setsubun is the day before the calendical beginning of spring. On this day, bean-scattering ceremony is held in homes and at shrine or temples to drive away demons and bring in good luck.And recently many people eat Ehoumaki which is the special name of Norimaki (rolled sushi) on this day. Eating Ehoumaki on the day is the custom of Kansai region. It spread all over Japan in these days because many sushi shops ,delis and super markets began to sell.
I made it with member of team camellia. It was fun and delicious!
Japanese Plum Blossom
Do you know Ume blossom? Ume is a Japanes plum tree. It blossoms in eraly spring, so we just get enjoying them.
Ume blossoms are very popular and an important motif in traditional Japanese culture. The spring has been depicted by them in the Nihonga; Japanese paintings, tableware design,kimono and fabric patterns and so on. The family emblem of the lord of Matsuyama Castle is also designed by Ume blossom.
(Photo:15.Feb.2014 in Matsuyama Castle)
Saturday,15 February, 2014
We went to Matsuyama Castle. It was so cold we couldn’t see tourists from overseas.But we were in a high spirit
because we are supposed to have international guests next Saturday.
We practiced guiding positively. One problem was that the biggest gate called Tsutsu-mon and another important one called Kakure-mon are under construction. To explain to the tourists about these gates, one of us drew some pictures. Now we are fully prepared and looking forward to guiding our guests around this beautiful castle!
Wednesday,12 February, 2014
Behind the Ishiteji-temple you see a unique building. Those wooden statues are displayed outside the golden dome.
Saturday,8 February, 2014
It was cold and frosty morning.
Today's wether was rain.
In spite of bad wether condition, there were many visitors at Ishiteji.
Unfortunatery there was no foreign guest, so we checked guiding points.
Tomorrow, a full marathon race will be held in Matuyama.
Runners maybe visit Ishiteji and pray for complete a full marathon.
Wednesday,5 February, 2014
It was cold but fine day. So we could see the Seto inland sea clearly from the top of the hill. Some plum blossom have begun to come out. The spring will come soon. There was no guest so we did guide ourselves for training and studied about the castle structure. Every stone wall, turret, gate and other building has its meaning for defense purposes. We learn something new every time we go there. Japanese castles are really beautiful and interesting. Please come to Matsuyama Castle!
Wednesday,29 January, 2014
Today, we visited the ruin of Yuzukijo-Castle, Dogo Koen Park, to study for the history instead of visiting Dogo Onsen.
There were exhibition facilities including Samurai House, Earthwork Exhibition and Museum. We saw many kinds of relics which were discovered beside the remains of the building structure. They gave us important information to learn about the life in the castle those days. We had a great time!
When we went to the observation deck of the park, we met tourists from Australia.
We were glad to hear they really enjoyed their vacation in Matsuyama. Have a nice trip!!
Saturday,25 January, 2014
Today we had no guests at Matuyama castle tour.So we did guide training and checked guide points.
First we went to a bronze statue of Yoshiaki Kato who is the first lord of Matuyama castle.He is an attractive samurai because he advanced in life dramatically.Then we walked up the castle hill.And we were talking about the design of structures built against the enemy in case of battle.Today, it was bright and warm day. We enjoyed the view from top of the hill.
Wednesday,22 January, 2014
We practiced guiding in Ishiteji temple which is the 51th temple of Shikoku pilgrimage.
This year is the 1200th anniversary of the pilgrimage which is said that the priest Kobo-Daishi (Kukai) started in the 9th century.Kobo-Daishi was really genius and did great achievements so that there are plenty of legends about him not only in Shikoku but also all over Japan. He has been one of the most popular and respected priest in Japan.
Saturday,18 January, 2014
Today’s guiding area was Dogo. Since we had no guest today, we guided ourselves for training.
Isaniwa Shrine is one of the most popular shrines to visit during the New Year, but now it’s quiet. Next we visited Nakashima Shrine. In this shrine, the deity of confectionery is worshiped. Interesting, isn’t it? It’s located next to Yu Shrine, where the deity of hot spring is enshrined. In this site, there’s also the facility to collect, blend, and channel the hot spring waters. From the behind of this facility, you can look down at the entire Dogo Onsen Honkan building. We of course guided the building
OK, done. It’s time for the Team Camellia’s New Year party! We headed to the restaurant Nikitatsu-an. They serve Japanese cuisine in a small wooden tub. Beautiful! We enjoyed fine food and drink, and chatting.
Wednesday,15 January, 2014
Happy new year! We are looking forward to meeting many tourists from abroad:)
It was Matsuyama castle's birthday today. He's now 412 years old.
Children were pounding boild rice into mochi, rice cakes. That was yummy!
A Happy New Year!
We wish you all have a safe and happy life through the year. And we would like to enjoy Matsuyama with international tourists.
In Japan, many people visit shrines or temples in Jan 1st-3rd. People pray each wish in front of deities. I met dress-upped family in the shrine. It gets fewer people visiting shrine with Kimono in these days. I’m lucky to see them!
Wednesday,18 December, 2013
The last training of this year was at Ishiteji-temple. On this day we saw some new objects. It was rainy day so I took the following pictures on the other day.
Do you like those shiny balls? Each ball has its own meaning; Realization, Purity, Comfort, Willpower. ↓
Wednesday,11 December, 2013
We met him near Dogo Onsen Honkan. He is one of thousands local mascots in Japan. There is a popularity contest, "Yuru-Chara Grand Prix", since 2010. Please check this web site.
These mascot characters are sponsored by certain municipalities to promote local products and tourism in that area. He is the mascot of Kutsuna islands in Matsuyama city:)
Sunday,8 December, 2013
In the morning, we enjoyed walking around Matsuyama Castle with a gentleman from France . His Japanese friend had asked us to guide him there in English. He listened to our guidance sincerely. In the afternoon, we went to Dogo area and then Ishiteji-temple. We also enjoyed trying Japanese sake at a sake brewery. His intelligence and elegance impressed us. What a fruitful day we had!
Wednesday,4 December, 2013
Today, nice new members joined our activity. We checked guiding points in Matsuyama castle with them. Castle structures and traps are really interesting. There is an explanation board beside each point but most people don’t read or can’t understand what it says because most of them are written by the Japanese point of view. They often skip the historical, cultural back ground explanation for foreigners. We'd like to introduce historical story and cultural topics through our guide.
By the way, trees turned red and yellow. We enjoyed a scene of the end of Autumn.
Tuesday,3 December, 2013
Dogo Onsen is closed today. Because,,,, you see today is the year-end house cleaning day! People use 6m & 2m bamboo grass to clean the outside of the house.
Bamboo grass is often used to sweep off soot on traditional Japanese structures such as temples,shrines and castles.
This is the big lounge on the second floor. All tatami mats will be replaced with new ones today. The smell of new tatami mats fill the house for about a month:)
This mark shows that here used to be the first spring source of Dogo Onsen. It's in "Kamino-yu" east side of the men's bath. By the way wooden buckets also will be replaced in December.
This is "Kamino-yu" women's bath without water. Dogo Onsen is a bit complicated. Threre are 5 big bath tubs all together.
"Kamino-yu" men's bath has one changing room with two bath-tubs. "Kamino-yu" women's bath has two changing rooms for one bath tubs. It's like a maze:-D
Wednesday,20 November, 2013
November 15 is "Shichi-go-san", a gala day for children of three, five and seven years of age. Parents take children of those ages to shrines in appreciation of their health and to pray for further blessing. Children get long stick of candys called "Chitose Ame", literally means " a thousand year candy", wishing for their longevity. It's tasty but sticky. I remember my Shichi-go-san day. The candy took off my inlay, my father got angry...
Sunday,17 November, 2013
Today, we had training with an English guide group from Uchiko town at Matsuyama castle.
Acting as a guide in English for Japanese, we felt a little bit self-conscious. However, this would be a good experience for us to get opinions of different viewpoints.
Unfortunately, it started raining before we reached the restaurant whrere we had a big lunch. We were overjoyed to hear that our guests really enjoyed our guiding. The lunch after the guide was also delicious.
Hi, guys in Uchiko, thank you so much. See you again in Uchiko next time!
Wednesday,13 November, 2013
A English guiding group in Uchiko city will come to see our guiding on this coming Sunday. Today we did a rehearsal.
On the way to the castle tower, we saw elementary school children guiding tourists. They did a great job:) When we looked up the stone wall, some people were pulling up weeds.
Tuesday,12 November, 2013
Today, we had great time with a nice American guest who booked our guide on this website. We went to Matsuyama Castle in the morning. We enjoyed beauty of the castle architecture and colored leaves. Then we had “Matusyama-zushi” for lunch at Yakumo(八久茂). It was delicious and pretty good value (840yen) including tempura, salad, miso soup and small dessert. In the afternoon we visited Ishite-ji temple which is as if theme park of priest Kobo Daishi. Finally we walk around Dogo area. We’re really glad she loves Matsuyama and us, Team Camellia.
Wednesday,6 November, 2013
We went to Ishiteji-temple. It was full of pilgrims under a clear autumn sky.
In this month, late October to late November, common people are allowed to enter the main hall and get Buddhist rosary called juzu from the priest for free.
This is the best season for pilgrimage. We also enjoyed walking around this sacred area.
By the way, a unique cafe has opened just in front of the temple.
I can't help wondering if it's appropriate to the pilgrimage...
Saturday,26 October, 2013
Today was a regular tour day but unfortunately we had no guest .So we walked up castle hill as we checked our guiding points. We talked about effects of low stone wall at Tonashi-mon(the doorless gate). Then we went to back side of the castle tower. We often skip there when we guide,but there are many nice points to see, for example Zigzag stone wall, purple bamboo,Nohara turret and so on.
Sunday,20 October, 2013
We showed the Lithuanian guest around Matsuyama Castle today. At a top of the castle hill, we found unseasonable cherry blossom!!! The cherry tree must be out of order because the last summer was too hot and long.After a tour we went down to Ninomaru Garden and enjoyed a tea ceremony there.We can join a casual tea ceremony on almost every weekend and holiday from 10:30 to 15:30 in Ninomaru Garden. (A garden entrance fee: 100 yen, a cup of green tea and sweet: 300 yen)
Saturday,19 October, 2013
Today's guest came from Lithuania. He is 1.94m so we had to look up at him to talk :). We walked around Dogo area and Ishiteji temple. After that we enjoyed local beer and foods at "Bakushu-kan". He asked us what we cooked at home. The following photos show supper at my house. ( I'm not good at arranging food, you see....)
Wednesday,16 October, 2013
At Ishiteji Temple, we had no guests today. Some temple assistants were preparing for an annual event which will be held from Oct. 20th. The event is called “Fukutoku-Jyuyo Kanjo-Sai “ , one of Esoteric Buddhihst rites, the most important event of Ishiteji temple. Believers can go inside the main hall and chant mantras, pray peace of mind.
Sunday, 13 October, 2013
We guided a nice American couple and a cute baby. It was taken place a moon viewing festival in Matsuyama castle. There were moon viewing decorations, silver grass, rice-flour dumpling and vegitables on the topfloor of the castle. We also saw a nice sunset from the top floor.
We were lucky to see wonderful scene with nice guests!
Saturday, 12 October, 2013
After having a late breakfast, we started walking around Dogo area.This is "Tamano-ishi", round rock with a deity's footprint on it. At Isaniwa shrine, we saw a portable shrine with dents. Portable shrines bumped against each other to evoke divinity during the autumn festival last week. We went to Ishiteji-temple,too. I think they enjoyed Matsuyama:)
Friday, 11 October, 2013
We had nice American guests from Yamaguchi Prefecture. Their coworker was our first booked guest who recommended them our website.We planned for them two days tour. First day today, we went to Matsuyama castle. We walked up to the castle hill through Shinonome shrine and show them castle defensive points like gates, turrets, weapon halls and so on. On the top floor of main tower, we felt nice breeze. We had lunch at Izakaya restrant named ”Kokoro” on Okaido street. After lunch they went to Sakanoueno Kumo Museum with our member. They enjoyed full course tour!
9 minutes animated film about Matsuyama
Matsuyama city has released an original animated film featuring the charm of Matsuyama (^0^)!
Wednesday, 9 October, 2013
The typhoon veered north and the good weather returned today :)
We met a tourist from London. This time was his 10th visit to Japan and he knew a lot about Japanese music from Hibari Misora to Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. It's quite amazing!
Wednesday, 2 October, 2013
Hogonji- temple was burnt down by accidental fire last August. It was sad to see the vacant area of the temple. The statue of Ippen, made in 1475, was lost in the fire...
The chief priest of the temple kindly showed us the picture of the statue. We hope the main hall will be rebuild soon.
Today, we have no guests at Matsuyama castle tour. So we did guide training and checked guide points. First we went to Shinonome shrine which located on the way to the castle. At Otemon(main gate site) , a new member talked about the gate and winding roads in Matsuyama. It was interesting topics for us.
At Isite-ji temple, we met two young ladies from Canada , who had seen our website and joined us just like last Wednesday’s guests.
We had a great time showing them around thanks to their bright and friendly attitudes.
They were big fans of Japan and Japanese pop music. Actually it was Amuro Namie’s concert that brought them to Matsuyama.
It’s exciting young people from abroad get familiar to both new and traditional culture in Japan .
We would be happy if we were of some help to them.
We guided a mother and her son who came from Hawaii around Dogo hot spring. They saw our web site and asked us our guiding service at the tourist information in Dogo. They are Japanese-Americans and have been to Japan many times. They knew Matsuyama because they watched several movies and TV dramas, that were set in Matsuyama.
Then, one tourist joined us! He is Japanese, but lives in Washington D.C. He made a trip to Matsuyama. We talked together and spent a happy time.
The trip brings a wonderful encounter.
Excursion in Tsuwaji island
I made a one-day excursion with some members on Tsuwaji island. The island is located near the prefectural border of Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and Ehime. ( http://goo.gl/maps/z8A6j )
It took 1 hour 40 mimutes by ferry. The first photo shows our lunch. Turban shell was used in all dishes. They tasted fantastic.
The second photo,ball-shaped creatures are sea urchins.
Stab a special tool into it, open it ,then take out the roe.
The cruising around the island and strolling along the seaside road with a guide were really fun.
On the way back we ate the fresh sea urchin roe. That was very tasty:)
Wednesday,21 August, 2013
It was such a hot and humid day that noboday wanted to take a foot bath... Popsicles are available at the information center:)
Saturday,17 August, 2013
Today we got an email on our website from Italian couple. 4 days have passed since they came to Matsuyama. They have already done their tour by themselves but they asked us if we had time to meet them. It was a sudden notice and a bit difficult to contact with them, yet we promised to meet them at 10 a.m. the next day. They showed up at the meeting place. Wow, they were so nice and friendly. We talked and discussed on various topics for a while. That was interesting.
In the evening, we went to Senyuji-temple to eat Shojin-ryori vegetarian food. Everything on the plate was gathered and cooked by the temple people. They picked some kinds of leaves in the mountain and fields. There is nothing to throw away even a leaf and a tiny root of vegetables. We all enjoyed eating the blessings of nature at the temple. ”Thanks for coming to Matsuyama. We had a good time!"
Saturday,10 August, 2013
We guided a nice Canadian couple today. They requested us to guide on our website. So we made a half day tour for them. We enjoyed Dogo Onsen Honkan, Enmanji and Isaniwa Shrine in Dogo. Then we went to Matsuyama Castle. After the tour we had lunch in our favorite restrant “うえだ(ueda)” near a ropeway street. They said they enjoyed a tour so much. We are really glad to hear that!
Fish and Chips Ehime version
Fish and chips eatery has opened near Matsuyama castle.
Battered fish is sea bream (= Tai in Japanese). Ehime prefecture is famous for its sea bream catching and farming.
Other foods such as Senzanki ( deep fried chicken flavoerd with soy sause), sausages and gelati(ice cream) are also made from locally harvested ingredients.
AGETAI(Fish and Chips) http://goo.gl/maps/3CLpk
Wednesday,7 August, 2013
On 7th of August, we trained the guiding of Matsuyama castle.
It was hot, but the wind was refreshing and pleasant on the castle hill.
The schools in Japan are in the summer vacation, so there are many schoolchildren. They were so energetic to climb the castle hill. They made us cheerful! There were also many foreign people. We felt very happy about their visit to Matsuyama.
Today some members explained how to repair national cultural properties such as Doorless gate or Hidden gate. These gates were made of wood. When they get damaged, only broken or decayed parts are replaced with some pieces of woods.People try to preserve original structures as much as possible. When you visit Matsuyama castle, please look at the gateposts or the gate doors carefully. You will find the wooden marks on it.
Wednesday, 24 July, 2013
Gogoshima-island is on my hand? As you see Matsuyama is in the height of summer:)
We had a good chat with foreign visitors from England. This couple showed us some pictures wearing suit of armors. Please do not hesitate to try it when you come to Matsuyama castle. The illustration shows how to wear a suit of armor, or we will be happy to help you!
Monday, 22 July, 2013
If you come to Matsuyama, I recommend you to spend one more day and visit "Shimanami-kaido" in Imabari city.
Beautiful landscapes of Seto-inland sea, cycling on the bridges, crusing on rapids, believe me, it's great:)
Wednesday, 17 July, 2013
Scorching weather continues here in Matsuyama. This lizard in Ishiteji-temple seems enjoy the hot and sultry days. Many pilgrims visited here, resited the sustras and placed the name-slips today,too.
Saturday, 13 July, 2013
Whoo, it’s hot and humid! But it was a lovely day. We guided Australian nice brothers. They travel around Hiroshima,Okayama and Shikoku Island by car. They traveled Shikoku Island last year and they came back! They said Shikoku, especially country side, attracted them so much. We are glad to hear they love Shikoku!
We visited Enmanji temple, Hogonji temple and Isaniwa shrine. Luckily we could see a traditional wedding ceremony in the shrine.
Wednesday, 19 June, 2013
We met tourists from Switzerland at Ishite-ji temple. One lady is a professional artist. Her works are related to papers. I wonder if she visited Ozu city, where a small Japanese paper maker produces "Washi" and you can try making it.(500 yen. Reservations required)
Saturday, 15 June, 2013
We went to the meeting point at the ropeway station to Matsuyama Castle and waited a while for some travelers from abroad. As we couldn’t find any foreign travelers and moreover it was raining hard, we decided to have a talk over tea instead of walking around. We went to our favorite sweet shop named Kirinomori, near Matsuyama Castle. There we bought one piece of rice cake each, and then they served us a good cup of green tea. We talked about various things, from private affairs to volunteer work-related issues. Kirinomori means a misty forest. We felt like we were in a forest in mist. We tasted and smelled green tea and June’s rain.
Wednesday, 12 June, 2013
We met tourists from Italy. Buon giorno!
They were lucky. Because it was a beautifully clear,sunny day in the middle of the rainy season.
We explained Matsuyama castle briefly at the castle hill. Thank you for coming to Matsuyama:)
In the early morning or during lunch time lots of locals go up and walk around the castle hill for exercise. Fresh air and the great views are good for your health.
Wednesday, 5 June, 2013
Matsuyama is in a rainy season now. The sky was grey.
We rewiewed our English guiding and shared information with some members who could not join the tours.
We are always willing to guide Matsuyama. Feel free to contact us.
Sun Princess Cruise 31 May, 2013
On the 31st, Matsuyama city was flooded with many tourists from various countries for several hours. They were mostly the passengers of Sun Princess Cruise Ship. It was anchored at a piar in Matsuyama port for a night. The passengers seemed to enjoy looking and walking around Matsuyama city. We showed two groups of them around Matsuyama castle and Dogo hot spring. They were very surprised to see many strategic spots in the castle. In Dogo, they really enjoyed Botchan mechanical clock and a foot bath. About five hours later, they got on a shuttle bus to the port. We were very glad and relieved to see great smiles on their faces. "Bon Voyage!"
Saturday,26 May, 2013
On the second day, we guided Matsuyama castle.There used to be a gate called "Naka no mon(a middle gate)".This gate was also trick. We can see the castle tower over there but there are no shortcut.
There are some tricks in a wall, weapon holes and sotone drop hole.
And it is said that this wall was desgined to be able to throw down over enemies at battle.
Saturday,25 May, 2013
13 students from Michigan, USA came to Japan to learn Japanese culture.
We guided them around Dogo area on the first day of their visit to Matsuyama:)
Nio-mon, a national tresure, was built in the 14th century. It is also worth seeing and touching a pair of giant straw sandals:)
Ring the bell when you enter a temple ( a general rule).
Walking around the bell after ringing it ( Ishite-ji rule).
Kariteimo-ten is a deity of mother and children. There are many stones. What are they for? Please ask us!
Wednesday,22 May, 2013
23 students from USA came to Matsuyama. We showed them around Dogo today.
I'm sure they enjoyed visiting temples,a shrine etc.and soaking their feet on a footbath.
Wednesday,15 May, 2013
It was a hot sunny day!
We practiced how to put a suit of armor on a tourist.
This is the second floor of the main castle tower.
We helped them to wear armor. The man on the left came from Switzerland. I think it really suits them!
When you come here, please try it ! It's so fun and free of charge!!
One of the members put on armor. She looks great:)
Saturday, May 11, 2013
We joined a tea party in Ninomaru garden of Matsuyama castle.
This is first time for us to have green leaf tea ceremony.
Tea ceremony master serviced us a cup of delicious green tea and sweets with fine manners.
We enjoyed Japanese culture very much!
Green peas, Broad beans!
Green peas,broad beans and other various kinds of beands are in season! Do you like it?
Localy harvested those beans are easily available at a reasonable price.
My favorite dish " Green peas rice"
160 cc rice
200 cc water
1 tablespoon Sake
5 cm square Komb (kelp)
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Cover with a lid. When it comes to boil,leave it simmer very gently for 15 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed.
Wednesday, May 9, 2013
The vermillion-lacquered shrine was beautiful against the blue sky, isnt' it?
While we were walking the shrine's corridor,a pair of pretty birds kept watching us. They must have their nest in the shrine. Sorry to disturb you!
Regular tour on 21 April 2013
Today was a fine day. Many tourists visited Matsuyama castle. We talked to American tourists and offered to guide but unfortunately they don’t have enough time. So we couldn’t guide but we went over guiding points preparing for guide reservation of next month. We’re really looking forward their arrival!