Monday, July 25, 2016

Invitation to the Shikoku Pilgrimage Experience

   The Junior Chamber International Japan, Shikoku Area Kochi Block Council is planning to hold a mini Shikoku Pilgrimage event. And Nankoku-shi International Association will be supporting it.
   If you participate in this pilgrimage event, you will learn a lot about henro, pilgrimage, culture through the members of JC and the English guides.

   August 28, 2016 (Sun)

   8:00(in front of the Nankoku City Office entrance)~ 17:00
   5km walking pilgrimage from Dainichiji to Kokubunji
   Dainichiji, Konan City: Worship Etiquette・Temple Explanation・Worship(Offerings)
   Kokubunji, Nankoku City: Worship (Offerings)・Temple Explanation
   Transportation to Chikurinji will be by bus
   Chikurinji, Kochi City: Worship (Offerings)・Temple Explanation・Sutra Transcribing
【Accident Insurance】
   Participants are insured against accidents
   The Junior Chamber International will provide tomato curry
   Clothes and shoes that are comfortable to walk in
【Things to Bring】
   Water bottle・change of clothes (if necessary)・towel
 If you suffer from car sickness, please bring motion sickness medication.
【Deadline for Entry】
   August 10th.
   Sachi Nagano, Nankoku-shi International Association
   TEL: 080-3162-2310

Friday, July 1, 2016

Enjoy an Organic Lifestyle at “English Garden House”

The roses bloom from early spring to
October, with their peak in early May.
   The scent of roses warmly enveloping the area, colorful and vibrant flowers, the faint sound of insects going about their business, and creative cuisine made from naturally farmed ingredients—you take peaceful refuge from the day-to-day and treat your five senses to something special. At least, that’s what we felt when we visited English Garden House in Kagami-cho, Konan City in search of an organic lifestyle.

Get in touch with Kochi’s Natural Side at “Nishijima Horticultural Park”

They’re even more delicious
when you pick them yourself!
Surrounded by Flowers and Fruits…
   Stepping into this Horticultural Park is like finding yourself in paradise—you are surrounded by tropical plants and have access to fruits like watermelons and Japanese melons year-round. This time, we tried our hand at strawberry picking! There is no time limit, and it’s all-you-caneat. The strawberries we picked ourselves and ate on the spot were very delicious. It’s so popular that you have to go early in the day before they run out. Sadly, this year’s season is over, but Nishijima has many other attractions that we will introduce below.

Enjoy Unique Art: Kaiyodo Hobby Museum and Kappa Museum

The unusual outside of the Hobby Museum.
Go out of your way for it! The distant Hobby Museum
   Get in touch with some unique art in this treasure chest of a museum that boasts the world’s largest collection of plastic models, by the world’s most famous designers! You can appreciate the craftsmen’s masterpieces, enjoy your favorite figures, and even make your own dioramas in a special studio. It’s an experience you can’t have anywhere else.

Kochi Life Q&A : Going to the Doctor

How do I choose a doctor / hospital?
   In Japan, the patient decides which department to go to. For example, for a cold, go to internal medicine (内科 / naika), and for a broken bone, go to surgery (外科 / geka). If you are unsure of where to go, go to the front desk of the hospital for help. You can ask for a “Multilingual Medical Questionnaire” (1) that is available in 18 languages to help determine the appropriate department to visit.
   For non-serious illnesses, we recommend going to a private doctor first. If necessary, they will write you an introduction letter to a general hospital, where you can get special treatment. You can also use the “Kochi Iryo Net” (2) (available in English and Japanese) to search for medical institutions in Kochi Prefecture. It includes information about hospitals open at night and weekends, as well as emergency care hospitals, so check it in your free time.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Watch Yamaguchi Sagi Style Kyogen with Foreigners!

Sponsor: Nankoku-shi International Association (NIA)
Ticket Reservations (Deadline: 6/10) and Questions:
080-3162-2310 (Ms. Nagano)
(NIA members have priority for tickets. If the event approaches capacity, non-members may be denied entry) 

Monday, May 2, 2016

Looking for SNS Reporters!

Promote Shikoku tourist information to the world by using the hashtag #LOVESHIKOKU
[Apply by: May23 (Mon.) ]

Award of Contribution Excellence A travel voucher will be awarded for the highest total number of Likes, Comments and Shares.

#LOVE SHIKOKU SNS Reporters Application Form

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Susaki's Beloved Character ☆ Shinjo-kun

It might be good luck to touch
Shinjo-kun’s bellybutton!
 (Saki-chan is on the left.)
Who is Shinjo-kun?
   Shinjo-kun is Susaki City’s mascot character based on the Japanese river otter, which is now considered to be extinct but was last seen in the Shinjo River, which runs through Susaki City. He wears a hat shaped like Susaki’s famous nabeyaki ramen, and sometimes he lets his fellow mascot friends who are other mascots wear his hat.

Shinjo-kun's Big Break?
   Shijo-kun gradually became more and more well-known after being introduced as an “interesting character” by fellow mascots like Barysan, Udonnoww, and Osaki-Ichibantaro, whom he co-starred with at events. He has also been introduced by the celebrity character Funassyi as a “character about to make it big,” but Shinjo-kun himself still doesn’t feel like he’s part of the big leagues.

Are You Hatappy (Happy)? ♪ Hatappy

Our staff was also surprised at just how cute Hatappy was!
Who is Hatappy?
   Hatappy is a daruma sunset* fairy who was born in 2013 to promote the Hata region (southwest Kochi). She’s a girl with a quiet personality, but she gets fired up when talking about the Hata region. Highlights of all six municipalities in the Hata region are represented on her small body. For example, her body itself is a daruma sunset from Sukumo City. The decorations on her hat represent the bountiful mountains of Mihara Villege, the Shimanto River from Shimanto City, a wave from Otsuki Town, whose ocean has the most variety of fish types in Japan, the lighthouse and tsubaki trees from the Ashizuri Cape in Tosashimizu City, and a whale from Kuroshio Town, which is famous for whale watching. Her necktie is in the shape of Shikoku, with the red portion representing the Hata region.
*Daruma Sunset = an optical illusion in which the winter setting sun around Sukumo City takes the shape of a daruma doll or snowman.

Kuroshio-kun, Poster Child for Kochi Prefecture

Check out Kochi’s internet broadcasting agency
Bringing Kochi’s Appeal Nationwide!
   Kuroshio-kun, Kochi’s “poster child,” was born in 1997 out of efforts to improve Kochi’s image and increase its appeal.
   Using the motif of the Kuroshio Current which flows through Tosa Bay, Kuroshio-kun expresses the silhouette of Kochi Prefecture boldly advancing into the 21st century. He’s frequently mistaken for a whale or a tadpole, but make no mistake, he is the Kuroshio Current!!
Kuroshio-kun Makes Waves at the National Sports Festival in Kochi
   At the 2002 National Sports Festival in Kochi, Kuroshio-kun contributed greatly as the mascot of the competition. Thanks to his cute shape, his stuffed toys sold out on the first morning of the competition, and his popularity was so extraordinary that the regional media named him “The most successful mascot in competition history.” Kuroshio-kun goods are only sold at competition-related events, so if you happen to own something featuring Kuroshio-kun, you actually own a very rare object!
   Also, in the Nenrinpics in Kochi 2013 (national sports festival for the aged), Kuroshio-kun debuted a new red vest and white hat outfit, and enlivened the competition as “the face of Kochi.”

Kochi Life Q&A: When an Acquaintance has Passed Away

   Today, we will give an example of the progression from when you hear that an acquaintance has died, through the end of a Buddhist funeral. (Be aware that there are differences depending on religion, denomination, and regional customs.)

GENKI Seinenkai Tosaben Musical 2016 - O-Henro ALL STARS -

A photo taken onstage with a selfie stick
at the 2015 Tosaben Musical
   Won’t you add a bit of “GENKI” to your life? Each year, GENKI Seinenkai presents the Tosaben Musical!
   This year’s title is O-Henro ALL STARS. One night in Tosa, known as the “austerity and discipline” section of the Shikoku Henro Pilgrimage, many pilgrims gather at an inn, about to give up on their journeys. But why do they want to give up…?
   In an adventure of tanuki, shibaten, magicians, nosy-parkers, and other “only in Tosa” protagonists and antagonists, the characters will learn about friendship and forgiveness all over again. We hope all of you will join the adventure too!
   Admission is free, but donations are requested. Proceeds from donations will provide financial support for a high school or university student planning a study abroad, so please give generously!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Hamakawa Shoten “Sake that the locals will drink”

The new Bijofu labels, released in October,
use photographs taken locally.
Bijofu: Out of the Depths
   “Bijofu,” which has won Gold Prize for each of the last 5 years at the Annual Japan Sake Awards, is the most popular brand of sake produced by Hamakawa Shoten, located in Shikoku’s smallest town, Tano, in eastern Kochi. “Bijofu” was first developed by Naoaki Hamakawa, the fifth-generation CEO of the company.

   Hamakawa became CEO at a time when the future of Hamakawa Shoten was in doubt. The company had to sell 70% of its product to larger sake companies in order to make ends meet, but it finally pulled through the rough patch. Around that time, Hamakawa first encountered ginjo (special brew) sake in Tokyo. At the time, ginjo sake was only being made for contests, but more and more voices were calling for this delicious variety of sake to be released for regular sale. Enchanted by ginjo, Hamakawa thought, “I want to make this sake with my own hands!” Following this powerful urge, with no tanks, no technology, and no rice appropriate for ginjo sake production, he began to fumble his way through a field of “no” toward an entirely different kind of sake that his company had ever made before.

Tsukasabotan Brewery “A True Classic”

The 90m long sake storehouse built around 1850.
A Time-Warp Back to the Edo Period
   Walking just a few minutes from the JR Sakawa Station, we noticed a large building with white plaster walls. The sweet, faint aroma of sake drifted over from the open brewery, and it was like we were immersed in the nostalgia of an old film. We were at the Tsukasabotan Brewery, a veteran business founded in 1603. This particular white-walled building is a sake storehouse called “Warehouse No. 1”, and it has around 160 years of history. Chief Brewer Asano said, “Ryoma Sakamoto likely visited this brewery when he left Tosa. Ryoma liked to drink sake.”

Mutemuka “Local Sake with a Twist”

Entrance to the brewery.
They steam chestnuts in the large stoves inside.
Chestnut Shochu for Rural Revitalization
   In the mountainous region of Western Kochi lies the town of Taisho, Shimanto-cho. There can be found a brewery dedicated to local sake since its inception: Mutemuka.

   Mutemuka, which began as a simple sake brewery, started making their signature chestnut shochu “Dabada Hiburi” roughly 30 years ago. They got their start when the mayor of Taisho at the time asked them if they could help revitalize the town by using locally-grown chestnuts. They heeded the call, got a shochu brewing license, and got to work making chestnut shochu. At first they were committed to only using local chestnuts, but their rising sales outpaced local chestnut production, so they currently do not follow that requirement. However, Dabada Hiburi, which is made from over 50% chestnuts, still uses only domestic chestnuts.