Sunday, July 17, 2016

Ocean weather ship of Quickwater at Strait of Kurushima

Riding the straight of Kurushima, more information can be found here.

More information on the bridge route can be found here.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Ocean weather ship of Quickwater at Strait of Kurushima

At Imabari, you can take a cruise of the Strait of Kurushima and enjoy the ocean ride, view the tidal pools and witness the magnificence of the Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge (4km/2.5mi). The world’s first three successive suspension bridge. The bridge at its highest point is 604 ft. (184m) above the ocean water and the bridge itself is 213 ft. (65m) above the ocean water, enabling the passage of any size ship through the Kurushima Strait.

More information can be found here. 
The cruise leaves from underneath near the bridge
For dinner after the cruise, also a stop for cyclists
Scenic overlook
古い亀の海 (Old Turtle of the Sea)

A review - Three Stripes in the Sun

This is a movie that is not well known but is remarkable in its story, cast, location and it is based on actual events. Sgt. Maj. Hugh O'Reilly is stationed in post-war Japan and his disdain for the Japanese is transformed when he goes to an orphanage, where the deplorable condition that the children live in, moves him deeply. The cast is interesting, Aldo Ray is likable enough in his role but the cast is carried by Dick York and Chuck Connors (The Rifleman). Dick York and Chuck Connors provide the humor to this movie and this is one film where Chuck Connors can be seen playing baseball, a profession he did in real-life. "The Rifleman" played professional basketball for the Boston Celtics and professional baseball for the Chicago Cubs (1951). 

The movie was shot in 1955 on location in Japan. It is a glimpse into post-war Japan and examines the relationships of the Japanese in their changing attitudes towards the occupation by the Americans, who also must examine their own prejudices towards the Japanese. It's an enjoyable movie and well worth the time to watch.


An interview with Yuko O'Reilly in tribute to her husband. 

An excellent review of the movie can be found here.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

The oldest hot spring in Japan

An early morning visit to the oldest Onsen in Japan. Although it is a creaky, old, funky building, it is  the heart of Matsuyama. Architecturally, it is a combination of traditional Japanese architecture and an exhibition of vibrant, every day Japanese life. On this particular day, an exhibition of textiles was on display, as part of the sliding screen doors that shade the floors of the onsen.

This is the only onsen in Japan that has a onsen for use by the Imperial family only. It is open to the public for a tour but not for use. It was last used by Emperor Hirohito.

The crane is the symbol of the onsen and is said to be how the onsen was discovered. It is said that the crane was healing itself in the waters of the hot spring when the spring was discovered. 

I wrote about my onsen experience in a previous posting here

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Lunch at Ko:Hi:Kan

Ko:Hi:Kan is a chain of coffee shops throughout Japan. Their reputation is for great coffee and an escape from the everyday hustle of humanity that is daily life in Japan. It's a great place for quiet conversation, reading the daily newspaper and enjoying a fresh cup of strong ko-hi.
Ko:Hi:Kan website (in Japanese) 
The shop location in Matsuyama
It's as good as it looks (that is green tea ice cream)
Pasta with Nori! Quite good!
A Mikoshi for a local school, from a Shinto Shrine

Samurai Sword Craftsmanship

The skill that went into the making of Samurai Swords is alive and well throughout Japan. Exquisite but expensive authentic katana (gatana) are available in Japan (limited supply due to restrictions). This display was for hand crafted gardening implements made by hand in the tradition of the Samurai Sword makers. Although the gardening equipment made in this manner is much more expensive than mass produced tools, it will work much better and last far longer than anything else.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Star Wars Similarities with Samurai

It's no secret that George Lucas modeled his Jedi after the Samurai. It's only when you see them side by side do you realize how much he was inspired by the Samurai.

Star Wars memorabilia is well suited to the Japanese love of porcelain.

The museum display had authentic costumes from the original Star Wars film. Luke Skywalkers outfit was unimpressive. The belt for his light saber was made in a machine shop and when you look at it up close, you can see how flimsy it is. 
Ehime Museum of Art (in Japanese)