A few pictures of the wish cats from a local temple.
As I understand it, people buy a cat figurine and make a wish. They take the figurine home, but if the wish comes true, they return and place the figurine amongst the ones you see on the pictures.
In other words, every figurine on the pictures represents a wish come true.
I like that.
Mameshiba (豆しば?) is a Japanese merchandise franchise created by copywriter and Korean Japanese national Kim Sukwon. The Mameshiba are different varieties of beans (and other legumes) that have dog-like faces and tell trivia. Their name derives from a series of puns. The Japanese word for “bean” is mame (豆?), a toy version of the Shiba Inu is a mameshiba (豆柴?), and the Japanese word for “trivia” is mamechishiki (豆知識?, literally “beans of knowledge”).
So much for the introduction from Wikipedia.
Mameshiba are a somewhat ‘only in Japan’ idea that has spread far since. When you see them….it’s hard to explain…let’s just let them talk for themselves, shall we? And get ready to know more about hippos and kissing than you did before….
Making traditional rice cakes, known in Japan as mochi, might not exactly sound like anything special. It does, however, take on a bit of kick-ass attitude when you do it like these guys at Nara’s Nakatanidou :-)
A lovely little video about the history of the Houshi Ryokan.
Houshi (english) from Fritz Schumann on Vimeo.
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A few pictures from a visit to the Meiji Jingu shrine and the sake barrels donated to the shrine by sake producers from all over Japan.
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A few Sakura pictures from around Tokyo.
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A few pictures from Sakura in Tokyo, where the locals go for Hanami, the age-old tradition of lunching beneath the blossoming cherry trees.