THE LATEST NEWS
SUMMER IN JAPAN...
It’s that time of year when most people are thinking about traveling
home for the summer, whether to visit family or to enjoy a summer
There are some brave people that are prepared to endure the heat and
humidity that summers in Japan bring - so this edition of the CHIC Chat
aims to help you keep you and your family occupied and (hopefully) cool
if you are one of those people staying! We hope that this edition of the
CHIC Chat will give you an idea of what the Fall program will offer you in
August as well as review Winter and Spring with CHIC.
We look forward to seeing you all again on Tuesday, August 16 when
we open for the Fall program!
will close on
Friday, June 24
for Summer Break
The Day Japan Changed Forever
On March 11, at 2:46 pm, Japan suffered the worst everything unfold. In fact, Matt and I stayed awake
natural disaster in its history and the most difficult crisis almost the whole weekend, watching the coverage. It
since WWII. A 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit off the was so surreal watching and knowing the horrible
Northeast coast of Japan, causing a catastrophic images we were seeing was happening where we live.
tsunami and crippling the city of Tokyo and northward. While Japan is not my home country, and we have only
lived here for 2.5 years, Japan has become my home. It
On that Friday afternoon, I was sitting on my couch is no secret how much I love living here. I have fallen in
watching television when Matt, my husband, sent me a love with the people, the culture, the country, and my
text message with one word –– earthquake. He was on heart ached watching everything that was happening.
the 4th floor at his office in a meeting when the
earthquake hit. He said you could see the window I cannot even begin to count the number of emails and
shades swaying back and forth and it felt like he had Facebook messages, instant messages, and phone
just stepped off a boat. All my kids were at Canadian calls we received asking about our safety. When most
Academy, which was very proactive and implemented people look on a map they think Japan is this tiny island
their "duck and cover" earthquake plan. and believe everything is close together.
Our house is part way up the mountain, It was hard to explain to everyone just
so I really didn’t feel anything here. how far away we were from the
earthquake, tsunami and the Fukushima
Since Kobe had a few little earthquakes Nuclear plant. It was hard to explain to
in the previous month, I had them that we were safe.
downloaded an application on my
iPhone that alerted me every time an I try not to think of the "what ifs". I try not
earthquake occurred. My phone chimed to think about living in one of the world's
and I received an alert saying a 7.9 magnitude most earthquake prone countries. I tell myself it won't
earthquake just happened. I changed my television to happen here in Kobe, but as we all know, it did 16 years
CNN seeing if there was any news, and the coverage of ago. I try not to think about my husband, my son, seven
the tsunami was just beginning. other adult chaperones, and almost 60 6th graders
sitting in the Sendai airport exactly three weeks before
I admit this is when normally cool, collected Alexis went the earthquake and tsunami. The horrific images we
into panic mode. I tried to get Matt on his cell phone but saw of the airport haunted me for days.
the call wouldn’t go through. I tried calling my oldest
daughter at school, but that call wouldn't go through This disaster has crippled Japan. Almost 30,000 people
either. I was finally able to get through to Marcy Finn lost their lives. Towns were wiped off the map. The
and the first words out of my mouth were me sobbing nuclear disaster has terrified the country. Buildings and
and asking how to shut off the gas to my house. Don’t homes were destroyed. People’s lived were forever
ask me why, but yes, those were my first words. Marcy changed. But I have faith and hope that Japan will
and I sat on the phone for over an hour watching the rebuild from this, and in the end, come back better than
news coverage together. Neither of us could believe before.
what we were seeing.
I sat in front of the television for hours watching ALEXIS JACOBS
MY EXPERIENCE UP NORTH
I have been blessed to be able to take two trips to the saw the parents smile because their children were
Tohoku region to help in relief efforts. The first trip was smiling.
just shy of three weeks after the earthquake and the
second trip was eight weeks after the earthquake. One woman had a hurt knee and asked if I could help
her back to her living area. Along the way she was
My first trip was March 30th - April 1st. On this trip I telling me how she thought she was going to die in the
spent most of my time feeling like I was walking on a tsunami. When we arrived at her place she asked me to
movie set. I found it hard to wrap my head around the “chotto matte”. She came back a few minutes later and
reality of the situation. So instead of thinking about the handed me a bag with some bread and sweets that she
total devastation around me, I concentrated on the was saving and told me to “tabette” and share with my
people we were there to help. Our main focus was to “tomodachis”. Here was this woman with nothing and
work with those who were not in evacuation centers. she was giving me something to say thank you. At
These people were living in their homes, usually on the another location a woman told me it was a special day
second floor, or in abandoned buildings. They seemed because we were there to help her. She then told me
to have slipped through the cracks as far as receiving how she feared every night going to sleep that she will
aid. In the morning, we went to a warehouse and die. There were hundreds of stories like these.
loaded our vehicles with food and supplies. Then we
went with other aid teams to Ishinomaki, one of the most I went back to the Ishinomaki area May 8th – May 11th.
devastated areas, to conduct “drops”. On the first morning when driving to the disaster area of
Ishinomaki, I kept thinking how much had been done,
At these drop stations we set up blue tarps and placed yet how little. In many ways it seems like some areas
food and supplies on them. We then spoke with people had just moved debris from one place to another. Some
in the area and asked them to help spread word that we areas were totally untouched. Cars were still
were there with supplies and food. You could tell during everywhere. Some places the people cleaned up
these drops which areas had not been visited in a long around their own house, yet all around them laid
time, as those people seemed more desperate for complete carnage. In one location the ground actually
supplies and food items. sunk, so everyday at high tide water flows into the roads
and houses. And the smell –– Imagine two month old
The people were completely amazing. I saw people stagnant water with rotting fish.
joking and laughing through their tears and fears. We
took candy in our pockets and passed it out to the
children and it was wonderful watching their faces light
up with the sight of a small piece of candy. Then you
This trip consisted of doing supply drops and then working in those areas. Over the course of two days we did two
food and supply drops, cleaned out a drainage system at a house, cleared dirt from the crawl space of a house,
cleared mud from a house and garden area, and moved debris from a small swing set area so kids could come
Besides doing manual labor and meeting the people physical needs, we also tried to meet their emotional needs. I
think in many ways this was more important than the actual work we were doing. We talked with the people,
listened to their stories and played with the children. One man told us that his house was destroyed and his wife
and baby died. He is only 33-years-old. The stories we heard were heartbreaking.
On both of these trips I worked with the organization BeOne, a Christian group out of Osaka. They have been on
the ground since shortly after the disaster and have made long-term plans for relief efforts. There are other local
groups such as the Japanese Red Cross, Second Harvest, Peace Boat Japan, Mercy Corp/Peace Winds, Habitat
for Humanity Japan, Canadian Academy and ARK/Hisaiba that are also involved in relief efforts and would be
good ones to contact if you are looking for ways to get involved.
This tragedy will not be over in a few weeks, a few months or probably even a few years. It will take a very long
time for things to be rebuilt and repaired. So I encourage you to not just think about how you can help now, but
how you may be able to help six months from now. Even something as small as sending letters and cards to a
nursing home would be a blessing for those affected by this disaster.
I have a hard time putting how this whole experience has affected me to "paper". My heart still aches and I think it
will for a long time. It makes me sad these people are already being forgotten around the world as it is slowly
becoming "out of sight, out of mind". It makes me more sensitive to other areas,which are experiencing their own
hell trying to recover from disasters like tornadoes and flooding. In a blink of an eye lives can be forever changed.
It could happen to any of us.
So this is my challenge to you. Go out and do something. Go change someone’s life. Go change your own life.
Volunteer to feed the homeless with Marcy Finn. Volunteer to read with kids at your child’s school. Make cards and
send to a local nursing home. Donate blood. Take a meal to the family whose apartment caught fire last month.
Reach out to those who may be affected by a tragedy or disaster near you.
Go make a difference.
Brockland Family - New Zealand
Blackburn Family - Hawaii
Congleton Family - Hawaii
Janes Family - Uji
Jayshree Ramani and
Futatabi Sujicho Canal
Bautista Family - Mt. Bizen, Shikoku
The exact origins of temari or ‘hand-ball” are The books can be purchased at Amazon. (Used
not known. It is believed to have started in ones at a better price!) In the search window
China. They were once used as children’s toys type temari craft or something similar.
for a bouncing game along with “temari-uta,” Patterns are also available on line using a
a chant that was sung during play. Over the search engine such as GOOGLE and typing
years temari was taken up as a craft and “temari ball free patterns”. It would be a good
became special gifts for friends or family on idea to understand the basic techniques to use
special occasions. They are not used as toys many of these patterns.
any longer, but considered an art form.
I taught our oldest daughter how to make one
The thought of me ever making colorful string of the easier ones. She has continued on her
balls, or “temari” since living in Japan for own by buying a few books and made
many years has finally been made possible approximately 16 beautiful temari already, I’d
thanks to 2 friends. I was admiring the works say she’s “hooked” just like I am. They make
of art in Betty Schwartzkoph’s home. She had great gifts and people usually like receiving
dozens of them displayed in a hibachi. The something you created.
conversation soon went to how Betty took
classes while living in Tokyo and learned the Materials for making temari can be found at
art of making many fabulous designs. Yuzawaya store in Sannomiya Center-gai.
The vast array of #5 perle cotton thread colors
Yoshi Fujisaki was at Betty’s on this day. She is unimaginable compared to the availability I
was interested to learn so she could teach her experienced in USA. If I continue creating
international friends how to create them. temari, I will be sure to stock up on many
Yoshi soon started taking lessons in a class colors before I leave Japan! At this writing I
taught in Japanese that meets once per have only made about 6 and already relatives
month. From this experience she is now are requesting a temari of their own.
showing me the techniques. Additionally, I
gained knowledge from the 5 books I This class will be in the Fall 2011 Program!
Now that summer is here, everyone is ready for some fun! free. Take the Hankyu Train to Oji Koen station. The zoo is a
There are many places to explore around the Hyogo area 5-minute walk.
with your family, friends or adventuring on your own. Also, Address: Kobe-shi, Nada-ku, Oji machi 3 – 1
Chapters 7 & 8 of Living In Kobe, sold at CHIC offers many
ideas as well. Himeji Central Park
ZOOS Himeji Central Park Zoo and amusement park is also a safari
style park in Himeji. Opened in March 1984, you can roam
Hyogo Animal Circle Park this safari in your own car and observe cheetahs, lions, tigers
http://eonet.jp/travel/data/3025319_1386.html and carnivorous animals and herbivores at close range.
Approximately 6,600 square meters of space, surrounded by Fireworks shows will be held every weekend in July and
the natural mountain slopes. You can run through the trails August. Open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
between the trees with your free-spirited dog! Play with other
dogs without a leash. Also, you can enjoy meals at the Entrance fee is ¥2,900 for adults, ¥1,700 for elementary age
barbecue corner. This place houses a shelter for dogs and children and ¥1,000 for children 3 years and above. Take the
cats, which visitors can adopt. JR train to Himeji station. From there, take the bus number
Open from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. 74, which goes directly to the Park.
Address: Hyogo-ken, Himeji-shi, Toyotomi cho
Entrance fee is ¥1,500 for adults, ¥800 for children and ¥500
Kodani 1436 – 1
for children under 3 years old. Take the Kobe Dentetsu train
to Flower Town station. From here, take the 16, 19 or 42 bus
to “Ningyou Watarihashi” stop. The park is a 10-minute walk
Address: Hyogo-ken, Kobe-shi, Kita-ku, Nagaochou kouzu
Kita Mukai 3897-1
Open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed every Wednesday.
Entrance is ¥600 for adults, ¥200 for Middle school students
and above. Elementary age children and senior citizens –
Himeji Zoo is at the southwest side of ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel at Shin
http://www.city.himeji.lg.jp/dobutuen/ Kobe Station.
This zoo is not only a place of recreation that can be Address: Hyogo-ken, Kobe-shi, Chuou-ku,
enjoyed by the elderly and children, it is a place for Kitano-machi 1 - 4 - 3
everyone to learn about the activities of animals and the
environment. The zoo is also plays an important role in Ikuta River Park
matters related to wildlife conservation and research, http://www.kobe-park.or.jp/kouen_keikaku/chuo/ikutagawa/
including animal consultation and the dissemination of index.html
knowledge about the animals. Open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. There are many playgrounds, toys and public bathrooms in
this park along the Ikuta River. Open 24 hours and free. 3
Entrance fee is ¥200 for adults and ¥30 for children minutes walk south of Shin Kobe station.
Take the JR train to Himeji station and walk north for about Address: Kobe-shi, Chuo ku, Ikuta gawa
15 minutes. If taking the bus, get off at “Ohtemon” stop.
Tel: 079-284-3636. HAT Yume Park
Address: Himeji-shi, Honcho 68 banchi (East of Himeji http://www.eld.jp/monthly/076.htm
castle) Yume (dream) Park is a park in an urban area about 7,500
square meters. The park grounds are spacious and people
Kobe Bird Park can play ball. Yume Park is relatively empty, so that even
http://www.kamoltd.co.jp/kobe/english/ on public holidays, you can find a vacant spot to enjoy.
With a total area of about four hectares and the area Open 24 hours and free entrance.
around the greenhouse consisting of 16,000 square Walk 15 minutes southwest from JR Nada station.
meters, water lilies, begonias and other plants and Address: Kobe-shi, Chuoku, Wakinohama Kaigan-dori 3-
gardening, birds, visitors can enjoy the interaction with the chome
organisms and fish. Open from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
HAT Nagisa Park
Entrance fee is ¥1,500 for adults and ¥700 for elementary http://www.nightview.info/emotion/yakei/kobe-city/nagisa/
age children. Take the Portliner from Sannomiya and get HAT Nagisa Park is located in the heart of the ocean front
off at “Port Island Minami, Kachoen Mae”. of Kobe. The beautiful lights of the Harbor Highway across
Address: 7-1-9 Minatojima Minamimachi, Chuo-Ku, Kobe the bay can be enjoyed from here. Very beautiful lighting in
the park can also be seen. It is beautiful to view the
fireworks launched every summer in the harbor. Open 24
PARKS hours and free entrance. Walk 15 minutes southwest from
JR Nada station.
Address: Kobe-shi, Chuoku, Wakinohama Kaigandori
Shin Kobe ropeway & Nunobiki Herb Garden
There are about 200 species, 75,000 types in Japan's
largest herb garden. Flowers bloom year-round here. The
park has 14 different garden areas, and you can enjoy a
variety of themes for each season according to each area.
Open from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. weekdays, until 8:30 p.m. on
weekends, and from July 20 – August 31 from 9:30 a.m. to
8: 30 p.m. everyday.
Entrance fee of the ropeway ticket and herb garden is
¥1,200 for adults, ¥1,100 for middle school children, and
¥600 for elementary age children. The start of the ropeway
Kobe Chuo Ryokuchi Park Miki Green Pia
This park expands across an area of 1.8 hectares. It is http://www.greenpiamiki.com/
popular among those who enjoy walking and recreation. In Spread over the Eastern hills of Miki, "Miki Greenpia" are
the central green space in the grounds of Port Island are a 347 hectares which is surrounded by vast greenery. This
lot of flowing streams, flowers blooming on the banks, and resort consists of a variety of activities, sport facilities
you can enjoy a leisurely stroll and relax. (cycling, go-cart, min-golf, rainbow slide, roller coaster ride,
Open 24 hours and free entrance. adventure maze and segway rental), camping, and natural
Take the Portliner from Sannomiya and get off at “Shimin hot springs at the hotel here. Surrounded by nature, visitors
Hiroba” station. can enjoy throughout the four seasons.
Address: Kobe-shi, Chuo-ku, Minatojima
The rides are open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and the hot
Kobe Kita Koen on Port Island spring until 10 p.m.
http://www.walkerplus.com/nightview/kansai/detail/ Entrance fee is free, but one-time payment of ¥500 is
nv2008.html required if you come by car, and separate payment for the
A great park for fishing, a leisurely stroll, watching the ships rides. Take the Shinki bus from Sannomiya towards Ebisu
sail by and enjoying the evening view of the harbor and light station (approx. 40 minutes) and get off at “Midorigaoka”
up of the Port Island bridge. Open 24 hours and free Station.
entrance. Take the Portliner from Sannomiya and get off at Bus timetable - http://navi.shinkibus.jp/snk/html/
“Naka Koen” Station and walk about 8 minutes. 23254_2.html
Address: Kobe-shi, Chuo-ku, Minatojima 2-3 Address: Hyogo-ken, Miki-shi, Hosokawamachi Makiyama
Kobe Sports Park
Univer Memorial Hall, Green Arena, Gymnasium. Training
Center, Baseball field, Athletic field, Multipurpose ground,
Tennis Court, Outdoor Stadium and lots more is housed in
this one area. Open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Entrance fee varies for each establishment
Take the subway from Sannomiya or Shin Kobe, Yamate
line, going towards “Seishin Chuo” and get off at “Sogo
Undo Koen” station.
Address: Kobe-shi, Kita-ku
Akashi Kaikyo Park
This park aims for a coexistence of nature and people,
people to people; this futuristic park across the Akashi
Kaikyo Bridge is based on the theme of an environmentally-
friendly zone, which is spread over the Akashi Kaikyo
National Government Park in Kobe to Awaji-shima, Hyogo
Prefecture. Open from 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. in the summer
months. Entrance fee is ¥400 for adults and ¥80 for
children. Take the bus from Sannomiya Bus terminal
number 5 to “Awaji Yume Butai”. The ride is approximately
one hour. Bus timetable - http://www.honshi-bus.co.jp/
Address: Hyogo-ken, Awaji-shi, Minami Unosaki 8-10
SCIENCE MUSEUMS Akashi Municipal Planetarium
Himeji City Science Museum The planetarium stands on the meridian of 135 degrees east
http://www.city.himeji.lg.jp/atom/index.html longitude, which determines Japan Standard Time. Inside,
Himeji City Science Museum includes a huge planetarium; there is a planetarium and facilities where visitors can learn
The facets of "earth", "nature", "science" and "space" in about astronomy and the universe. The observatory room
various exhibitions. Himeji City Science Museum provides has a breathtaking panoramic view of the Akashi Kaikyo
substantial facts and figures, which is shown through science Bridge and the Seto Inland Sea. Open from 9:30-17:00 (Last
displays, and the compelling skeletal model of Allosaurus and entry 16:30) Closed Mondays, 2nd Tuesday of the month
Stegosaurus. Visitors can also touch real dinosaur fossils. (When Tuesday falls on a national holiday, the planetarium
will be closed Wednesday), December 27-January 4.
Open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed on Mondays and public Entrance fee - Adults: ¥700; Junior and Senior High School
holidays. Entrance fee is ¥500 for adults and ¥200 for Students: ¥400; Children: ¥300
students. Planetarium fee is ¥400 for adults, ¥100 for high Directions: 3 minute walk to north from Sanyo Hitomarumae
school students and ¥50 for middle and elementary students. Station or 15 minutes on foot from JR-Akashi station in an
Take the JR train to Himeji station. From here, take the #37 eastern direction.
bus to “Hoshi no Ko kan” stop. The bus ride is approximately Address: 2-6 Hitomaru-cho, Akashi
Address: Himeji-shi, Aoyama 1470-15 Kobe Science Museum
Kobe Waterworks Museum Kobe Science Museum is a fun place where visitors can
http://www.city.kobe.lg.jp/life/town/waterworks/water/ explore the familiar and the strange, various phenomenon of
hakubutukan/ science, and have an entertaining and sensory experience.
We cannot live without water. The nature of water and its
Open from Monday-Friday 9:30-16:30, Saturday, Sunday,
relationship with people, in order to have a better
understanding of the water environment for a better National holidays, Spring and Summer vacation 9:30-19:00
(The last planetarium show starts from 19:00). Closed on
tomorrow, is the first step to creating a healthy global
environment. With the water fairy, "Mickle", visitors will Wednesdays.
Entrance fee is ¥600 for adults and ¥300 for children.
encounter the mystery and importance of this natural
resource. Planetarium fee is ¥400 for adults and ¥200 for children.
Open from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Entrance: ¥200 for adults
and ¥100 for children. Take a #7 bus from JR Sannomiya Take Portliner Railway to Minami-Koen station, and then
follow signs. The museum is about 3 minutes walk from
and get off at “Kusudani Machi” stop.
Address: Kobe-shi, Hyogo-ku, Kusudani machi 37-1 Minami-Koen station.
Address: Minatojima Nakamachi 7-7-6, Chuo-ku, Kobe city
Nadahama Science Square
The theme of this establishment is "steel power energy and
the environment.” Explore science and technology while
having fun and experience the wonder of it! Open from 9:30
a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Entrance fee is free. Closed on Mondays.
Take the JR train to “Rokkomichi” station and southwest for
about 25 minutes.
Address: Kobe-shi, Nada-ku, Nadahama Higashimachi 2
Itami City Museum of Insects Open from Golden Week to about mid-October, from 11:30
http://www.itakon.com/index.html a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Entrance fee is from ¥750 to ¥2,480. Take
The Itami City Museum of Insects opened in November 1990. the JR train to Asagiri station and walk about 3 minutes.
This museum has been established in the wonderful natural Address: Akashi-shi, Okura kaigan dori 1-chome
environment of Koyaike Park so that people can learn about
the environment and its relation to human life by finding out Kobe Fruits and Flower Park
about insects and other living things. This museum covers http://fruit-flowerpark.jp/
about 3,000 square meters, and has the facilities for nature Visitors can enjoy seasonal, colorful flowers and trees along
study, such as a butterfly farm, a movie hall, exhibition room the garden path throughout the year. Naturally produced fruits
for insect ecology, special exhibition room and study room. It can be enjoyed from the months of August to October. On
is hoped that, through the activities at this museum, visitors site, there is also an amusement park, flower arrangement
will not only increase their knowledge of insects but also learn school, go-carting, mini-golf, train ride, monkey show, animal
scientific methods of understanding and expand their land, and swimming pool. Open from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
appreciation of nature. Entrance is ¥500 for adults and ¥250 for children. Take the JR
train to Sanda station. From here, there is a free shuttle bus
Open from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Closed on Tuesdays. that goes to the park.
Entrance is fee is ¥400 for adults, ¥200 for junior high and Address: Kobe-shi, Kita-ku, Osawa machi, Kami ozawa 2150
high school students and ¥100 for children.
Take the train, JR or Hankyu Takarazuka line to Itami station. Shiawase no Mura (Village of Happiness)
From here, take the bus from #4 depot and exit at “Matsuoka” http://www.shiawasenomura.org/english/
or “Tamada danchi”. village_of_appiness_kobe.html
Address: 3-1 Koyaike, Itami-shi, Hyogo 664-0015 Shiawase-no-mura is a comprehensive welfare complex
equipped with a variety of integrated facilities designed to
Kobe Municipal Arboretum support independent living for the disabled and the elderly,
http://www.kobe-park.or.jp/shinrin/index.html and their participation in society, while also serving as a
This Kobe City Forest Botanical Garden is a botanical meeting place for all Kobe citizens to deepen mutual
garden, which was founded in 1940. The arboretum is based understanding and work together to create a society in which
on the idea of planting close to nature. Visitors can enjoy a everyone can lead a full life. Open from 9:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.
wonderful day and nature walks, as well as a flurry of Prices vary depending on which facilities are used.
seasonal forest birds. Open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on Take the #66 bus from Hanshin Sannomiya station, which will
Wednesdays. Entrance fee is ¥300 for adults and ¥150 for take you directly there in about 30 minutes.
elementary school students. Address: Kobe-shi, Kita-ku, Yamada-cho, Shimotanigami
Azanaka Ichiriyama 14-1
Take the #25 bus from Sannomiya bus terminal, which goes
directly to the Arboretum. This bus does not operate from Suma ura Sanjo Amusement Park
December – March. Bus fare is ¥530. Or take the subway http://www.sanyo-railway.co.jp/sumaura/index.html
from Sannomiya to “Kita Suzurandai” station. Sumaura Sanjo Amusement Park is a park with abundant
Address: Kobe-shi, Kita-ku, Yamada-cho, Kamitanigamiaza, greenery, including a botanical park in Sumaura-k!en, which
Nagao 1-2 spreads to around the summit of the mountain of Suma
prefecture. The park also has a route through Rokko
BARBECUE SPOTS Mountains, and it has been well maintained with excursion
routes for people to hike the trails.
Akashi Bridge Terrace Okura
http://www.kobe-j.co.jp/okura/barbecue/index.html Open from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Closed every Tuesday.
Roundtrip ropeway fee is ¥700 for adults and ¥350 for
Excellent beach location overlooking the Akashi Strait!
children. Take the Sanyo train line to Sumaura Koen station.
Address: Kobe-shi, Suma-ku, Ichinoya machi 5-chome 3-2
Maishima Sports Island Take the JR train and get off at Suma station. Pay-parking is
Maishima Sports Island is a man-made island located in Address: Hyogo-ken, Kobe-shi, Suma-ku, Wakamiya machi
Osaka Bay area, where visitors can stay and enjoy baseball, 1-chome
tennis, the athletic field, and stay over in their lodge.
Open from 6 a.m. – 9 p.m., but varies on the facilities used. Azure Maiko Beach
Take the JR loop line to Nishikujo station. From here, take the http://www.kobe-park.or.jp/azur/
#81 bus to the Island. In the spring and summer, this is a great spot for barbecues,
Address: Osaka-shi, Konohanaku, Hokukoryokuchi 2-chome and in the summer, a fun spot to enjoy the bright sunny days
1-107 along the 800-meter coastline. In the evenings, visitors can
enjoy the sunset by the Akashi bridge and watch the romantic
Miki Arboretum light-up scene. Open from July – August. There are 2
http://www.mikiyama.net/bbq.html showers and 2 toilets available for use.
The Arboretum is located in the heart of Miki city. There are
many facilities here, including a music hall. It is rich in nature Take the JR train and get off at ‘Maiko’ station and walk 5
and can be enjoyed all four seasons through recreational and minutes. Pay-parking available
cultural activities and sports. Open from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Address: Kobe-shi, Tarumi-ku, Kaigan dori 11
Closed on Wednesdays.
West Maiko Beach
Entrance is free. Take the Shinki bus from JR Sannomiya to http://www.akashikaikyou.com/turiba/files/maiko-4.html
Ebisu station. From here, take the Miki bus to “Shinrin This 400-meter beach is located in between Azure Maiko
Shokubutsuen” stop. Beach and Akashi Ookura Beach. This spot is for those who
Address: Miki-shi, Fukuiji, Miki-san 2465 – 1 like to spend some quiet time, untouched by commercialism.
There is a sushi place near by and a super-sento (bath
Miki Horse Land Park house) along route 2 towards Akashi, where you can unwind
http://www.miki-hlp.or.jp/ after a relaxing day at the beach. There are no facilities
At the Miki Horse Land Park, visitors can interact with available here but you can barbecue and bring fireworks to
equestrian animals in nature and enjoy races. Open from 9 light.
a. m. – 5 p.m. (until 4 p.m. from November to February).
Closed on Mondays. Take the JR train to ‘Maiko’ station and walk west about 1 km.
Address: Hyogo-ken, Kobe-shi, Tarumi-ku, Nishimaiko 1-
Entrance is free (additional charge for use of facilities) chome
Take the Kobe Dentetsu train and get of at ‘Miki’ station. From
here, take a taxi to the park (10 min. ride).
Address: Hyogo-ken, Miki-shi, Besshocho takagi
Every summer, this beach is lined up with many stalls serving
food and selling beach equipment, and 800,000 people enjoy
their summers along the 2 km coastline here.
Open from mid-July to end of August. There are 4 toilets and
2 showers available for use by visitors.
Akashi Ookura Beach However, after mid-August, jellyfish are abound so do take
http://www.yokoso-akashi.jp/spot-sea.htm care. Lifeguards are on duty only during the summer season.
A new beach spot under the Akashi suspension bridge - Cost is ¥1,000 for adults, ¥600 for children and ¥200 for
sunbathers can enjoy swimming, fishing and water sports toddlers from 3 – 5 years of age.
here during the day and enjoy the romantic scene in the Take the Sanyo train to ‘Shirahama no miya’ station and walk
evening. About 100,000 visitors annually visit this beach. south about 1.5 km.
Open from July to August from 8:30 a.m. – 5: 30 p.m. There
is 1 toilet and 1 shower available for use. Pay-parking on- CAMPING
site. Take the JR train to ‘Asagiri’ station and walk south for
about 2 minutes. Awaji Takataya Wellness Park
Address: Hyogo-ken, Akashi-shi, Okura Kaigan-dori http://www.takataya.jp/stay/camp.htm
A popular, full-fledged camping site for families to enjoy,
Akashi Matsue Beach surrounded by lush gardens, nature, and the sea breeze. It is
http://www.city.akashi.hyogo.jp/sangyou/kankou_ka/ full on weekends and summer vacation time, and tents are
g5_midokoro/midokoro_22.html seen propped up everywhere. An AC power cord is
Awaji Island and, of course, the Akashi suspension bridge is conveniently located throughout the camp and it is 5 minutes
right before your eyes at the beach. It is an ideal spot for away from the beach so swimming and fishing can be
families who can enjoy both high and low waves along this 1- enjoyed. In addition, a hiking trail is also nearby. Day camps
km coastline. 70,000 people visit annually. are also allowed. Open from 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Open from July to August. Toilets, showers and locker Cost is ¥3,500 per day. Other charges apply for extra use of
rooms are available. Pay-parking on site. facilities. Take the Shinki Himeji/Awaji Highway bus directly
Take the Sanyo train and get off at ‘Hayshizake Matsue to the park. 84-minute bus ride.
Kaigan’ station and walk about 5 minutes. Address: Hyogo-ken, Sumoto-shi, Goshiki machi, tsushi
Himeji Matogata Beach
http://www.himeji-kanko.jp/search/index.php?act=detl&id=52 Shiawase no Mura - Village of Happiness (see previously
From April to June, beach-goers can partake in clam digging mentioned article)
and from July to August, they can enjoy swimming. 5000
sunbathers can relax along this 500-meter beach. Showers Maishima Sports Island Camp (see previously mentioned
and changing rooms are available here. Open from July to article)
August. Clam digging cost is ¥1,200 for adults, ¥1,000 for
children, for beach use – ¥700 for adults and ¥500 for
children (includes use of shower and changing rooms.)
Take the Sanyo train to ‘Ooshio’ station and take the free
shuttle bus from there to the beach.
Address: Himeji-shi, Matogatacho, Matogata
Himeji Shirahama Beach
The peninsula's largest beach, "Shirahama Oohama Beach",
is airy and spacious sandy beach and about 800 meters from
north to south. The main beach in Shirahama, is popular
from the younger generation to families, crowded with
bathers who come each year seeking a sea of white sand
and blue sky and is most popular among surfers. The beach
officially opens from mid-July but weather permitting, beach
goers can enjoy from Golden week to mid-September.
ATHLETIC FIELDS located in the bay west of Osaka. They also have camping
facilities, which include bungalow styles of the nomadic Pao
tribe: Takayukashiki and Tateanashiki style residences, log
Mt Rokko Athletic Field
cabins, including other hut styles. Trailers, tents and car
parks are also available. At the barbeque corner fresh food is
There are 40 spots dotted around with equipment made from
sold. Utensils are also available for hire.
wooden logs, ropes for net climbing, and a small wooden
Open from 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Entrance is ¥800 for
boat for navigating around the lake. Various challenges
adults and ¥400 children.
Take the Shinki Express Bus from Sannomiya Bus Terminal,
Open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed on Thursdays.
Entrance fee is ¥900 for adults and ¥500 for children. which will take you directly to the park in approximately 70
minutes. Bus fare is ¥3,000 for adults and ¥1,500 for
Take the bus number 16 from JR Rokko-michi station or
Hankyu Rokko Station. From here, take the Rokko Cable to
Address: Hyogo-ken, Awaji-shi, Shiotanijima 8-5
the top, and then the Mt. Rokko bus.
Address: Kobe-shi, Nada-ku, Rokkosancho kita, Rokko
Himeji Central Park
Miki Arboretum Park (see previously mentioned article) http://www.ryuusenkaku.jp/english/himeji_central_park.html
(English personal website)
“Opened in 1984 as a safari park type zoo and amusement
park, the Himeji Central Park is a theme park located on a
vast plot of land that is 1.9 million large. It has a "sister
Tojoko Omocha Park
park" agreement with the Nairobi National Park in Kenya and
has many ways to experience a safari: a drive-through safari
It’s a favorite place for young children to enjoy playing with
where you can ride in your car and observe large
all kinds of toys, families to join in on amusement rides and
carnivorous animals such as tigers and lions and herbivorous
frolic in the pool within the park. There are special events
animals from your car window, a walking safari where you
planned every day. Open from 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. in the
can stroll and see such animals as water fowl and kangaroos
summer time, otherwise from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed on
up close, and a sky safari where you can see animals from a
Thursdays in non-summer months. Entrance for only the
rope way gondola. In the amusement park, there is a large
amusement park is ¥1,000 for adults and ¥800 for children.
Ferris wheel and suspended roller coaster that stands 35
Entrance for amusement park and pool is ¥1,800 for adults
meters off the ground. Also in the summertime, there is
and ¥1,000 for children. For only the pool, it is ¥1,300 for
"Aquaria" such as a pool with flowing water and a "Surfing
adults and ¥800 for children.
Downhill" where you can slide down a hill on a surf board
Take the JR train from Sannomiya and get off at ‘Shin
and in the winter there is "ice park" by skating on a chalk
Sanda’ Station (change lines at ‘Amagasaki’). From here
castle of wind.”
there is a free shuttle bus that departs at 9:30, 10:30 and 11:
30 in the morning and returning to the station at 3:00, 4:00
and 5:00 in the afternoon. At other timings, take a taxi to the
park, which will cost around ¥6,000 yen.
Address: Hyogo-ken, Kato-gun, T!j!machi Kurotani 1216
Awaji World Park Onokoro
A trip here will require a day, but it will be a day well spent.
The park itself is quite a novelty; there are miniatures of
famous world monuments and historical sites like the Taj
Mahal. There is also a Ferris wheel, a museum and other
attractions. This theme park is located on Awaji Island,
Open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Closed on Wednesdays. Address: Hyogo-ken, Amagasaki-shi, Ougimachi 14-1
(However, it is open on national holidays, and during the
spring, summer, and winter holidays.) Riso
Entrance is ¥2,900 for Adults (junior high school students and http://www.reso.jp/
above), ¥1,700 for elementary school students, and ¥1,000 Naruohama Resort is a health facility in the southern district
for small children (3 years old up to elementary school age). of Naruohama Seaside Park. The seaside spa resort complex
is close to Osaka and Kobe, consists of four floors above
Take the JR or Sanyo train to Himeji. From here, take the ground with a basement floor wide open fanning toward the
number 74 Shinki Bus, which goes directly to the park. Bus sea, holding an amusement pool, relaxing bath, fitness
fare is ¥530 for adults and ¥270 for children. facilities and a restaurant. Open 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. all year
Address: Hyogo-ken, Himeji-shi, Toyotomicho, Kodani 1436-1 round. Closed on Wednesdays on non-summer months.
Entrance is ¥1,700 for adults, ¥1,300 for middle school
POOLS students, ¥1,000 for elementary students and ¥700 for
Dekapathos – Rokko Island
Take the Hanshin train to ‘Koshien’ station. From here, either
take the free shuttle bus (departs at a scheduled time) or take
This swimming pool and water park was opened in July 2005
the Hanshin Dentetsu bus from depot number 7 and get off at
on Rokko Island. It is part of a sport complex, which includes
a skateboard park and futsal area. Open from 10 a.m. – 6
Address: Hyogo-ken, Nishinomiya-shi, Naruohama 3-13
p.m., every July to the beginning of September. Entrance is
¥1,300 for adults, ¥900 for middle school students, ¥700 for
Nadahama Garden Baden
elementary students, and ¥400 for preschool children.
Nadahama Garden Baden is an indoor heated pool area with
Take the Rokko Liner from JR Sumiyoshi and get off and
spa facilities. Programmed aqua exercise and aqua sports
‘Marine Park Station’. Or take the Minato Kanko Bus from
workouts, several Jacuzzi baths, and a wet & dry sauna all
Sannomiya and get off at “Kobe Kokusai Daigaku Mae’ stop.
promote a great workout.
Address: Kobe-shi, Higashinada-ku, Koyocho Naka 8
Open from 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Closed every 3rd Wednesday.
Amagasaki Sports Forest
Amarago Water Park Cost is ¥1,200 yen for adults and ¥500 for children. Take the
Hanshin Train to ‘Shinzaike’ station. Walk south past
Southern Mall. Turn west at the Family Mart and walk about
5-10 minutes. It is on your right.
This sports complex includes a futsal park, ground golf, ice
Address: Kobe-shi, Nada-ku, Shinzaike minami machi 2-
skating rink, water park, and kiddy land and fitness area. The
water park has a tube ride, downhill slider, wave pool and
many other attractions for avid pool enthusiasts. Water park
is open from July to the beginning of September, from 10
a.m. – 6 p.m. The ice skating rink is open from October until
the beginning of May. The other facilities are open all year
round. Admission for the water park is ¥1,200 for adults,
¥800 for middle school children, and ¥600 for elementary
children. Same for ice skating. Varies for use of other facilities
Take the JR train to ‘Tachibana’ or Hanshin train to ‘Koshien’,
‘Mukogawa’ or ‘Amagasaki Center Pool Mae’. From here,
take the free shuttle bus to the park. Bus timings vary
depending on route.
An onsen theme park with full resort facilities. Spa World
features an Asian and European zoned hot spring, sauna, a
huge amusement pool full of fun aquatic playground
equipment, such as our formidable waterslides. In our
adjoining Bade Zone, there is a panoramic bath for the whole
family, with commanding views of Tsutenkaku Tower, a
symbol of Osaka. There is also a fitness center, stone spa for
women only and an esthetic and relaxation salon.
The amusement pool is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Other
facilities are open until later. Cost is normally ¥2,700 for
adults and ¥1,500 for children. However, until the end of this
year, they have a promotional fee of ¥1,000 for adults and
From Osaka/Umeda station, take the Midosuji subway to
‘Dobutsuenmae’. Take exit number 5 and Spa World is
around the corner.
Address: 3-4-24 Ebisu-higashi Naniwa-ku, Osaka-shi
The Boon at Hirakata Park
A place for family-fun: four water slides, waterfall, tumbler, 4
pools and many more attractions. This pool is part of Hiraka
Amusement Park. Open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. from mid-
July to mid-September. Entrance for pool only is ¥900 for
adults and ¥500 for children.
Take the JR train to Kyobashi (changing lines at Osaka).
From here, switch to the Keihan train and take it to ‘Hirakata
Address: Osaka-fu, Hirakata-shi, Hirakata Koen machi 1-1
EASTER EGG HUNT PRIZE WINNER
Please see www.blackburnstudio.co.uk for more images
Mary Gail Congleton
• 1 onion chopped • In a stock pot or Dutch oven, heat about
• 2-3 cloves garlic chopped 3 tbs of olive oil. Sauté garlic, onion and
• 3 chicken breasts diced chicken until chicken is no longer
• chopped green chillies pink.
• 1 tsp cumin • Stir in dried ingredients. May add
• 1/2 tsp chili powder cilantro now or closer to serving.
• 1/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped • Add liquid ingredients and simmer on
• 4 cans chicken broth low for about an hour. May transfer to a
• 1 can water crock pot at this point to slow cook. Corn
• 28oz crushed tomatoes and beans can be added now or closer to
• 1can black beans rinsed & drained serving time. Add canned chili now.
• 1 can of corn drained • Have on hand several of the following
toppings: tortilla chips, sour cream, sliced
avocado, shredded cheddar cheese, green
HIKING IN JAPAN
On April 21, I went to Uda- take Kintetsu Line,
city, in Nara prefecture with exiting at Haibara
my hiking club for a fun day Station. From
exploring. Uda-city is Haibara St. take a
South East from Nara-city.
taxi to BYOUBU IWA.
Uda is famous for its size as It is often difficult
well as the large collection taking public
of cherry trees (there are transportation to the
millions of blooms on this mountain as it is
mountain). about a 30 minutes ride but
My hiking group is meeting
it is worth seeing if you are
at Hankyu Rokko at
April is too early for the interested in hiking and
9:00a.m. and from there we
Sakura to be in bloom as it seeing more of natural
will take the bus to the
is much colder in the Japan.
Rokko cable station. From
mountains than in Kobe.
there we start walking
Hiking to Mt. Kunimi we
down towards Nada.
My hiking group was quite walked up some steep
disappointed that we didn’t slopes but it was beautiful
Anyone who is interested in
get to see any Sakura as if it as on the way back down
joining us, please let me
had been in bloom we the mountain we passed a
know you are more than
would have been collection of waterfalls.
overwhelmed by Sakura
underneath the huge rock. We arrived back to Haibara
Contact CHIC for a date out
exploring with Kayoko!
After seeing BYOUBU IWA 4:00pm after a fun day
(rock screen), another name exploring a beautiful
for the mountain area in mountain!
Uda, we headed for Mt.
Kunimi,which is 1062 Our next hiking adventure
meters high. is Mt. Rokko, in an
unknown part of Rokko,
In order for you to travel named Yagino
there you would need to Towatashi.
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What to do?
Let’s climb Mt.Fuji!
It’s the highest mountain in Japan(3776m) It’s beautiful to look at
from afar. But it’s not only that. It’s so rewarding to have the view
on clear days on top of Mt.Fuji, especially the sunrise. It’s
challenging to climb for everyone however pretty much all aged
people are climbing from 10yrs old to 100 yrs old. It’s possible if
you have a good guidance.
Why in summer?
Summer is the only season that all climbers can challenge and
offically open between July 1st and August 31st, but still regarding
to the weather.
How is the climate?
No snow. The weather is relatively mild.
Are there many hikers?
Yes, of course!
Since you’re in Japan, popular places are all so crowded
Proper clothes(winter jacket/ it gets really cold when you climb
higher, tempeture gets below 0 often).
Small bottles of Oxygen
Enough Water and Food
If you’re seriously interested in , please go to
see the Japan Guide for further information!
Enjoy your Trip!
Living in Japan has provided our family with many the homeless men know exactly what needs to be
incredible opportunities and experiences, such as done, so they come and help prepare the tea and
traveling throughout Asia, learning about new rice. At approximately 11:45 a line will begin to
cultures, tasting new cuisines and meeting form and you will see chopsticks and spoons being
wonderful friends. Something we did not expect, passed out. By approximately 12:30 all meals will
however, was becoming involved with a local soup be served and you will have an opportunity to eat
kitchen. as well. Finally, the clean-up will begin, which goes
very quickly as those who we served all wash their
Every Saturday, volunteers from one of the local own dishes, as well as the cooking utensils.
churches sponsors a homeless feeding at
Onohama Park in Sannomyia. My family helps Many of us with younger children are looking for
host one of these meals twice a year. The number ways to involve our families in charity work.
of meals served varies, but we have provided as Feeding the Homeless, provides that opportunity.
many as 200 in a day. First impressions may No matter your age, there is a way for you to help
make this seem overwhelming, but it is truly more at these events. Younger children can help
fun than it is work. package items in a bag that will contain a hard
boiled egg, fruit and chocolates. Adults and older
Sponsoring a meal is a lot less time consuming children cut and prepare food for cooking, as well
than one would expect. First, we organize a group as, help dish the meals into bowls.
of people who would like to assist. These people
can help in many different ways. People can With the exception of shopping for the food
choose to provide food donations, monetary ingredients, the whole event is over in a matter of
donations and/or assist in preparing and serving three hours. Not only do we enjoy the time with our
the meal. Next, we choose a menu from the church friends, but we leave feeling very good about
recipe collection, and purchase the ingredients helping those less fortunate than ourselves.
needed. All cooking equipment is provided. On the
day of the feeding, other experienced soup kitchen If you would be interested in sponsoring a meal,
helpers are available to help prepare and serve the please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The efficiency of this process is amazing. When
we arrive at 10:00 a.m. there is a canopy and
cooking supplies already waiting for us. Several of
Chilled fine noodles called Somen are one of the most Ibonoito is one of the most famous somen noodle
loved summer foods in Japan. brands in Japan.
Somen are thin Japanese noodles. Let’s study the history of Ibonoito somen! Please go
to the internet site as follows to find out what it is*
Cold somen noodles are served with dipping soup and http://www.ibonoito.or.jp/english/03history.html
toppings. Mix toppings in the dipping soup and dip a
small amount of somen noodles in the soup to eat. It's Also on its site, you can find the detailed information
a popular summer meal in Japan. Our summer is so such as the address and access for Ibonoito Factory
hot and humid that it’s easy to lose appetite. Cold where you can visit Somennosato/Somen Village.
somen noodles are so simple but tasty and also
soothing. It can be your one day attraction on summer holidays,
to visit the somen museum to learn the history of it,
After eating it you feel cool and comfortable. That’s and to visit the factory to see how they make somen
why everyone loves to eat it in summer! and to go to the restaurant to taste how delicious it is.
Famous somen noodle restaurants At some places, people make “ Nagashi Somen” as an
attraction of a summer festival.
Actually there aren’t famous somen restaurants
because it’s something you eat at home like every day You can go to You Tube to see Nagashi Somen Video.
in summer in Japan. However those who ‘d like to try
it, I recommend “Somennosato/Somen Village” run Enjoy your summer with Cold Somen!
by Ibonoito in Tatsuno City next to Himeji City about
30min.drive from JR Himeji Station. Cheers!
In Kyoto, the month of July offers people the chance to enjoy the Gion Matsuri Festival –Kyoto's
Gion district is lit up with lanterns and becomes one of the largest festivals in Japan. The highlight is
the Yamaboko Float Parade on July 17th. Floats leave Shijo Karasuma at 9:00 a.m. and travel down
Shijo-dori to Kawaramachi-dori, then to Oike-dori. To get to Shijo Karasuma take the Municipal
Subway Line to Shijo Station. You will not be disappointed as you see the series of floats and
For more information please contact the Gion Festival Support Association Tel: 075-561-6155
Sunshine Wharf Obon Matsuri
July 23, 2011, 18:00 – 20:30 (cancelled in case of rain)
The annual bon odori dance festival will be held at Sunshine Wharf, off route 43. Zundoko dance,
Doraemon, Ryoma, Kawachi dance, and Ogura dance are some of the festivities planned, plus many
JULY stalls will be opened.
For more information please contact: Sunshine Wharf Kobe Management office Tel: 078-414-1516
July 24th and 25th in Osaka, gives you the chance to experience
the Tenjin Matsuri Festival, considered one of Japans three
most important festivals. Tenjin Matsuri is said to be over a
thousand years old. It is inaugurated with the Fure-Daiko Drum
core and the portable shrine is set sail from Tenmangu Shrine to
the port Tenjin-bashi Bridge. The evening offers a spectacular
fireworks display that is spectacular!
FESTIVALS The closest train station is: Osaka Subway Minamimorimachi
Station / Osaka Tenmangu Station.
For more information please see:
Mid-summer Ice Festival at Mt. Rokko Country House
July 16th – Aug. 31st, 2011, 11:30 - 16:00
(cancelled in case of rain)
This is a great spot to cool down in the middle of summer! A 20
m2 plot of land will be covered by snow using the Ice Making
System (IMS) and visitors can frolic in the snow and play the
treasure hunting game, which will be held once daily on
weekdays at 11:30 and twice on weekends, second time at 14:00.
For more information contact Rokko Country House 078-891-0366
Kobe Love Port Minato
July 17 & 18, 2011,
10:00 – 20:00
This year is the 10th
of this summer festival. Over
Suma Beach Party
140,000 visitors crowded the
Mid-July, 15:00 – 22:00
matsuri at Meriken Park last
J The party is a fusion of music, food and arts. Over
year due to the high level of
U 4000 people are expected to enjoy at Suma beach
L over the weekend.
organizations and local
Y businesses, which make this
festival a success.
On August 16th, in Kyoto, there is the Gozan Fire Festival (Daimon-ji Gozan Okuribi), which sees
five great fires lit on the hillsides that surround the city, creating magnificent displays that can be
seen for miles.
Thought to have originated in the Edo era the tradition has been continued to present day and
signifies the moment when spirits of deceased family members return to the spirit world. The name
‘Okuribi’ roughly translates to “send off fire”. The Japanese characters are created from fire at
Daimonji, Myoho, Funagata, Hidari-daimonji and Torii-gata.
Starting at 8 p.m. the giant bonfires are lit, each with a distinctive shape. The characters, their
locations, meanings, and the lighting times are:
• Daimonji ( ), the character meaning "large" or "great:"
on Daimonji-Yama/Higashi-Yama, Nyoigatake at 8 p.m.
• My!/H! ( ), the characters meaning "wondrous dharma"
(referring to Buddhist teachings): on Matsugasaki, Nishi-Yama/Higashi-Yama at 8:10 p.m.
• Funagata ( ), the shape of a boat:
on Nishigamo, Funa-Yama at 8:15 p.m.
• Hidari Daimonji ( ), again, the character meaning "large:"
on Daihoku-San, Hidaridaimonji-San at 8:15 p.m.
• Toriigata ( ), the shape of a torii or shrine gate:
on Toriimoto, Mandara-San at 8:20 p.m.
The best place to see this is at Daimonji Mountain(Nyoigatake), Sakyo-ku, which you can reach by
taking Kyoto City Bus to "Hyakumanben" or "Kitashirakawa".
For more information please contact the Kyoto Municipal Office for the Preservation of Cultural Properties Tel:
In Osaka, from July 30th to August 1st the Sumiyoshi Festival is one of the
last summer festivals to take place. This celebration allows children and young
geisha to carry portable shrines on a trek up to the Grand Shrine.
July 30 - Aug 1
July 30/ 20:00- (Yoimiya-sai Festival)
July 31/ 17:00- (Nagoshi-harai-shinji ritual)
Aug. 1: around 14:00-(Togyo mikoshi parade)
The features of Sumiyoshi Festival in Osaka include:
• Nagoshi Ohharai (purification in summer) with the participation of Nagoshi
girls from Imazato-shinchi, children and citizens is an essential part of this
• After the holy spirits are transferred to the mikoshi portable shrine and
Horen palanquin, Togyo Matsuri, a procession to Shukuin Tongu (Angu) in
Sakai, takes place. FESTIVALS
• As the mikoshi reaches Shukuin a ceremony is conducted. Aranigo-no-
Ohharai is conducted at Iigaibori, as with Nagoshi Ohharai.
• Traditionally participants walk through a "magic grass ring" and emerge
The procession runs through the streets of Osaka and heads to Sakai City
where a traditional ceremony takes place. Sumiyoshi Taisha is located in
southern Osaka, a few steps from Sumiyoshi Taisha Station on the Nankai
Main Line. From Nankai Namba Station, the train ride takes less than 10
minutes by local train. Please note that faster train categories do not stop at
Sumiyoshi Taisha Station. The shrine can also be reached by the Hankai
For more information please see:
Takarazuka Fireworks display
U About Four thousand fireworks are released in two days at the Mukogawa kanko dam
S (Takarazuka city). A subject of this year is "performance of art with competition of
T fireworks display blooming in your mind: one thousand purple and ten thousand
crimson”. In case of rain or the rise of water it will be put off.
For more information please contact: Takarazuka General Sightseeing Center Tel: 0797-77-2012
Sanda Festival And Fireworks display
Aug. 6th 2011, 20:00 – 20:30
About two thousand five hundred fireworks are shot off Mukogawa riverbed (Sanda
city). Sanda Festival, general dance competition, “fureai” market, and the town
parade, is held at 8: 00 p.m.
For more information please contact Sanda Festival executive committee
Awajishima Festival And Fireworks display
Aug. 5th – 7th, 2011
(firework display on 7th only)
20:00 - 21:00
About five thousand fireworks are set off Kaigan-dori 1,
Ohama koen (Sumoto city). All fireworks display shells to be
set off are made in Japan. Unique Starmines to be set off
coming from the sea is a must-see. At the climax, a
chrysanthemum shape fireworks display is seen called "A
flower bed of great chrysanthemum". A firework display which
appears like gold and silver waterfalls pouring into Sumoto
port is called "Huge falls" A good little-known viewing spot is
the top of Mt. Mikuma. In case of rain it will be put off at
For more information please contact: Awajishima Festival executive
committee: Tel: 0779-22-2571
Minato Kobe Fireworks festival
August 7, 2011, 19:30 – 20:20
As the last rays of the setting sun illuminate Port Tower and the Kobe
Port, the first fireworks are shot out to the sky at the Minato Kobe
Fireworks Festival in Hyogo. Then, when you think it can’t get more
fascinating, the final kick arrives: an incredible rapid series of underwater
explosions, the so-called ‘Star Mine’, will prove you that you didn’t know
anything about fireworks before. The sounds of music in the background
will make the sight and the experience truly unforgettable. Many voted the
event one of the best night views of Japan. Although this is difficult to
judge given the fact that Japan is the country with probably the most
fireworks displays in the world, one thing is sure: if you appreciate visual
pleasures, Hyogo is the place for you!
Suma Ryukyu Park Rainbow Light Up
April 29th – Aug. 31st, 2011,
9:00 - 20:00
Ever since this park was held open until late, from sunset until closing, visitors can enjoy the
rainbow light up of the fountains around this vast park. On the weekends in the summer, special
events have been planned. And until June 29th, 180 different species of roses, all named after
royalty, can be enjoyed in the Rose Garden. Concerts, gardening schools, flower arrangement
classes are also held.
For more information please contact Kobe City Suma Ryukyu Park Tel: 078-732-6688
and dessert. The average cost for dinner is about 3,500.
English menu and English-speaking staff available.
One way to enjoy the beautiful Kobe weather is by
having a meal with family and friends at an open patio
restaurant. There are several around town and here are
Shimoyamate dori 1-3-5, Chuo-ku, Kobe
(Walk up Higashimon Street from the south and the restaurant is half
Korean Cuisine Jyapuche way up the street on the left side, after Gessekai)
http://www.ko-z.com/japuche/ Tel: 078-333-8428
http://r.gnavi.co.jp/k130402/lang/en/ Open 5 p.m. – 11 p.m. (midnight on Friday & Saturday)
LOUPE TOR EAST F, Shimoyamate dori 2-12, Chuo-ku, Dishes include chili shrimp with mayonnaise, steamed
Kobe (Up the small street on the left of Don Kihote, near Tokyu gyoza, minced pork wrapped in lettuce, Chinese beef
Hands) Open from 5 p.m. – midnight. stew, balsamic pork & vegetable stir-fry, fried noodles
Tel: 078-321-3340 and desserts. An average meal can cost about ¥3,500.
This restaurant holds a table for 12 on the terrace plus a
private party room to seat 40 guests, 10 counter seats,
and 4 tables indoors. The menu includes a platter of
assorted kimchi, cream cheese and chanja ganache,
fresh spring rolls, yam salad with ume dressing, octopus
and Korean nori omelet, a variety of beef dishes,
pumpkin and cheese fried spring rolls, spring onion Chada Thai
pancakes, Korean sushi roll with mayonnaise sauce. http://www.chada-thai.jp/
The average price of meal here costs ¥3000. Nakayamate dori 1-27-12, Chuo-ku, Kobe
(Up the one-way street from Nishimura coffee near St. Michaels)
Laputa the Flanders Tale Tel: 050-5831-0220
http://r.gnavi.co.jp/c350315/lang/en/ Open from 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. for lunch, and 5 p.m. –
Progres Kobe 8th floor, Isogami dori 7-chome 1-19, Chuo-ku, Kobe 11 p.m. for dinner.
(Behind Sogo department store) Lunch sets start from ¥980 and include dishes like tom
Tel: 078-414-7508 yam ramen, coconut curry noodles, beef with basil stir-
Open for Lunch 11 a.m. – 2 p.m., dinner from 5 p.m. – fry, green or red curry, and pineapple fried rice. For
midnight. dinner, patrons can choose fish with tom yam soup, Thai
Here, seating is available for 40 diners on the terrace sausages on skewers, spicy pork with lemon grass
and 60 diners indoors. Lunch sets start from ¥890 – salad, minced pork and shrimp spring rolls, soft-shell
¥1,290. A la carte dishes can be ordered too – salads, crab curry, and tapioca with coconut milk for dessert.
seafood carpaccio, assortments of fritters, and Belgian The average cost for lunch is ¥1,000 and ¥3,000 for
dishes, cocotte, fresh pasta, gratins, pizzas, rice dishes, dinner.
TRINITY Resurrect Garden This establishment has a capacity of 12 seats out on the
http://www.pd-trinity.com/cgi-bin/trinity/siteup.cgi? terrace, 24 seats at the tables and 9 at the counter.
category=1&page=1 They serve a variety of sandwiches and pasta, plus
http://r.gnavi.co.jp/k588501/lang/en/ dessert. The average cost for lunch is about ¥1,000 and
MRSX building 3rd floor, Sakaemachi dori 1-2-1, Chuo-ku, Kobe ¥2,000 for dinner.
(Diagonally south from Daimaru, next to Starbucks)
Tel: 050-5831-2179 Grande Maison GRACIANI KOBE KITANO
Open from 11:30 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. Closed on Mondays. http://www.graciani-kobe.jp/espace/terrasse.html
Lunch sets (with soup, salad, rice or bread &drink) 4-8-1 Kitano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe
include hamburger set, omelet rice, pasta set, pork (Walk east from Kobe Club, against the traffic of the one-way street.
cutlet, chicken with balsamic sauce, or a “fusion” lunch. The restaurant is on the left side of the street)
Dinner includes a variety of pastas, gnocchi, risotto, fish Tel: 078-262-6650
and beef dishes. Make sure to leave room for their Open for from 11:30 a.m. – 11 p.m. and is closed on
delicious desserts. The average cost for lunch is ¥1,000 Mondays. If you are looking for an elegant place to
and ¥2,500 for dinner. dine, this French restaurant is it. They have 3 lunch
courses for ¥3,900, ¥6500 and ¥10,000. Their dinner
TOOTHTOOTH GARDEN RESTAURANT courses are ¥10,000, ¥12,000, and ¥15,000. Patrons
http://www.toothtooth.com/dining.html can enjoy sitting at their bar with a glass of wine at this
http://r.gnavi.co.jp/k113401/lang/en/ classy establishment.
Kobe Kokusai Kaikan 11th floor, 8-1-6 Gokoudori, Chuo-ku, Kobe
(Next to Sogo Department store) Plasir Restaurant at Hotel Kitano Rokkoso
Tel: 078-230-3412 Open from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m. http://www.rokkoso.com/restaurant/r_plaisir.html
For lunch, patrons can enjoy a choice of lunch sets, 1-1-14 Kitano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe
including soup or salad, bread or rice and a drink. For Tel: 078-241-9150 / 078-241-2451
dinner, they serve smoked chicken with salad, oysters Open from 11:30 a.m. – 9:30 p.m.
and salmon stewed in cabbage with a cream sauce, At this hotel, they have weekly lunch sets of ¥1,000,
steamed cod with vegetables, roast lamb, and ¥1,500, ¥2,500, and ¥3,500. Dinner course start from
charcoaled grilled beef, plus a variety of scrumptious ¥1,800, ¥2,500, ¥3,800 and ¥5,000. Depending on
desserts. The average cost for lunch is ¥1,000 and one’s appetite, there is a wide selection of meal
¥3,900 for dinner. choices, which can be made. This stylish hotel is a
popular place for Kobe weddings.
Bistro Cafe de Paris
http://www.cafe-de-paris.jp/ Café Terrasse de Paris
1-7-21 Yamamoto dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe http://www.terrasse-de-paris.jp/
(Diagonally south of Starbucks in Kitano-cho) http://r.gnavi.co.jp/k422902/lang/en/
Tel: 078-241-9448 Foreigner's house club 3F, 4-9-2, Kitano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe
Open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. weekdays/ 9 p.m. (Walk eastwards from Kobe Club, against the traffic on one-way
street. The restaurant is on the left side.)
weekends. Lunch sets are from ¥1,575 and include
soup, salad, bread and tea/coffee. For the main course,
Open for lunch, Wednesday - Sunday 11:30- 3:00,
diners can choose a meat or fish entrée, pizza or pasta
dinner 5 p.m. - 10 p.m., Tuesdays from 5 p.m. only.
dish. For dinner, they serve grilled bass with herb
Closed on Mondays. This restaurant is a branch of
sauce, roast red snapper with a red wine sauce, roast
Café de Paris in Kitano-cho, run by the same French
duck in orange sauce, roasted lamb in grilled mustard
owner who can speak English. Lunch sets start from
and steamed pork with white beans. Of course, there is
¥1,500 and an a la carte menu is available for dinner,
a delicious choice of desserts served as well.
serving meat, pastas, pizzas, risotto, and stews. Café
sets can also be ordered for ¥900.
HE mid DINER
2-17-2 Shimoyamate dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe
(Across the main entrance of Ikuta Jinja car park)
Tel: 078-321-4123 Open 24 hours
Pizzeria Tana Forno Pasta lunch sets are available from ¥1000 and various
http://tana.ecoweb.jp/piz.html fish, meat, pasta, and pizza dishes can be ordered for
http://r.gnavi.co.jp/k412102/lang/en/ dinner. English is spoken here but not very well.
Takagi Building 1F, 4-3-14, Kano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe
(Walk right, behind the McDonalds at Hankyu Sannomiya)
Open for lunch 11:30-15:00 and dinner 17:00-23:30 Daimaru 1st floor, Akashimachi 40, Chuo-ku, Kobe
A choice of pasta, soup or salad, focaccia and drink set (Outside the northeast entrance to Daimaru department store)
is available for ¥1,050 and a pizza set with soup or Tel: 078-392-7227 Open from 9:45 a.m. – 9 p.m.
salad and drink is for ¥1,680. A selection of appetizers, Patrons can enjoy a wide variety of coffees,
pastas and a wide variety of pizzas is served for dinner. cappuccinos, café lattes and desserts while people-
Average cost for lunch is ¥1,500 and ¥3,000 for dinner. watching at this café.
Alo Aro Café Terrace & Bistro Bar Mark Place
http://r.gnavi.co.jp/c916400/lang/en/ 63, Naniwamachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe
3-13-3 Kano-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe (2nd floor of Hotel Trusty, two streets eastward & parallel to Daimaru.)
Tel: 078-230-7388 Tel: 078-330-9001 Open from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Open from 11:30 a.m. – midnight. Closed on Mondays & The café is perfectly designed to enjoy a relaxed lunch,
Tuesdays. teatime or a garden party in the shower of sunlight and
This little café serves healthy meals with lots of veggies bright greenery. At the bistro bar, you can enjoy modern
on their pasta, pizzas, sandwiches and salads. It’s a bistro dishes arranged from the good old western-style
nice place to have a cup of coffee with a friend as well. dishes, surrounded by modern interior furniture, in an
Average cost of lunch is ¥1,000 and ¥3,000 for dinner. atmosphere like the living room of your house. A
breakfast buffet served until 11 a.m. costs ¥1,575 + 10%
Mother Moon Café – Rokko Branch service charge. Or opt for the breakfast set for ¥1,050
http://www.mothermoon.co.jp/rokko/ (tax included). Lunch sets start from ¥1,500 up to
http://r.gnavi.co.jp/k989200/lang/en/ ¥3,500 + 10% tax and is served until 2:30 p.m. A la carte
Southern Mall 2nd floor, 1-2-1, Minamicho, Shinzaike, Nada-ku, Kobe options and course sets are available for dinner, which
(On route 43 to the right, two traffic signals before turning for the is served until 9:30 p.m., and patrons can stay on until
Rokko Island bridge.) 11 p.m. to enjoy the bar.
Tel: 078-846-0730 Open from 11 a.m. – midnight.
Besides the usual menu for lunch and dinner, this place
with a sun deck can be reserved for a barbecue party
with friends up to 20 people. The food plan includes all
you can drink for 90-minutes, caesar salad, spare ribs,
chicken, beef, grilled vegetables with camembert
cheese sauce, and burgers for ¥5,000. For an additional
¥1,500 per person, seafood can be added too.
Bar & Bistro 64
Garden Café Astarté Naniwa machi 64, Chuo-ku, Kobe
http://www.astarte-kobe.jp/ (Two streets eastward & parallel to Daimaru, next to Trusty Hotel.)
http://r.gnavi.co.jp/c905102/lang/en/ Tel: 078-321-6411 Open from 11 a.m. – midnight
Toshin Bldg. 3rd floor, 2-21-3 Nakayamate dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe Lunch sets are from ¥1,050 – ¥1,575 and include soup
(On the main road from St. Michael school, eastward) or salad, all-you-can eat bread bar, and a drink. Meat,
seafood and pastas can be ordered a la carte for dinner.
Open from 11:30 a.m. – 15:00 for lunch, and 6 p.m. to
There is also a bar counter and dessert tray for diners to
midnight for dinner. Closed on Wednesdays. enjoy as well.
http://cafe-restaurant-central.com/central.html Real Dining Café
104 Edomachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe http://www.kobe-mosaic.co.jp/floorguide/dining/
(Four streets eastward and south from Daimaru)
Tel: 078-325-2033 Open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. Mosaic 2nd floor, 1-6-1 Higashi Kawasakimachi, Chuo-ku, Kobe
The lunch sets includes a wide array of delicious (Take the JR train to Kobe station or the Kobe subway line to
breads, from ¥1,200. A la carte and seasonal courses Harborland station.)
are available for dinner from ¥1,500. This restaurant is Tel: 078-360-1358 Open from 11 a.m. – 11: 30 p.m.
very nearby the re-entry office so if you have time to A popular restaurant for diners on the weekends; a
spare while waiting, it’s great place to catch a bite. choice of salads, pastas and pizzas and of course,
dessert is on the menu. The view of Meriken Oriental
Maya Terrace Hotel, cruise boats and boardwalk performers can be
http://www.mayaterrace.jp/index.html enjoyed from here.
Maya-san mach 2-2, Nada-ku, Kobe
(Take the Maya ropeway, all the way to the last stop.) Sannomiya Terminal Hotel Beer Garden
Tel: 078-805-0202 http://rsv.ihonex.com/cgi-bin/webmainte3/hotels/
Open from 11:30 a.m. – 10 p.m. (11 p.m. on weekends). wjrsannomiya/display_free.cgi?
Closed on Tuesdays and for dinner on 1st & 3rd cat=free&session=130568557616505&No=0073&hid=wj
Mondays. The view from this spot is known as the “Ten rsannomiya&preview=1
Million Dollar” view and one of the top 3 scenic locations Inside JR Sannomiya Station on the 12th floor.
in Japan. Because of this, it is highly recommended that Tel: 078-222-6757 Open from 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
reservations are made before visiting this French All you can eat and drink for ¥3,200 for women and
restaurant. ¥3,500 for men for 2.5 hours.
Café the Terrace
4-14 Yumotomachi, Nishinomiya
(Take the Hankyu train to Koyoen station, switching at Shukugawa.
From here, it is about a 15-minute drive north.)
Green Hill Hotel Beer Garden
Tel: 0798-73-1076 Open from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
(Up the street from Kobe YMCA)
This is a gorgeous location to enjoy the mountains of
Tel: 078-222-0909 Open from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Kobe, especially in the fall and springtime. Patrons can
The cost is ¥3,500 per person.
take in the beautiful scenery from the terrace of this
restaurant. Diners can have the roast beef, deep-fried
Seaside Beer Terrace
shrimp, salads and sandwiches for lunch and dinner.
Meriken Park Oriental Hotel, 3rd floor.
Visitors can come by for a quiet cup of tea and dessert
Open from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekdays & 5 p.m. –
Feel Dining Café & Sea
8:30 p.m on weekends, June 24th – September 5th.
9-5 Koyocho Naka, Higashinada-ku, Kobe
It costs ¥2,500 for adults and ¥1,000 for children for 90
(Take the Rokkoliner to Marine Park station and walk about 7
minutes, south and east, towards the waterfront.) minutes. Guests can order from a menu of 100 drinks,
Tel: 078-846-0205 Open from 11 a.m. – 9: 30 p.m. enjoy finger food and free pineapple. Side dishes start
A wonderful spot right up on the waterfront of Rokko from ¥500 and include fried chicken, French friends,
Island. A selection of appetizers and main meals are sausage with Camembert cheese, and beefsteak.
served for both lunch and dinner.
Sogo Sky Beer Garden
Open from 5 p.m. – 9: 30 p.m., May 12th to September
Cost ¥3,500 for men and ¥3,000 for women, which
includes an all-you-can-eat buffet for 2 hours. It is ¥500
cheaper for those over 60 years of age on Mondays and
on Tuesdays is Ladies Day (¥2,500)
Hotel Okura Beer Garden
Open from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m., July 1st – September 18th
Three different all-you-can-drink plans, starting from
Kobe Portopia Hotel Beer Garden
Sky Lounge Plein d’Etoiles, 30th floor.
5-9 PM (2 Hour Limit) Last Food Order 8p.m.; Last Drink JAYSHREE
Order 9p.m. ¥3,500 per person; ¥3,000 for prepaid
ANA Crowne Plaza Summer Beer Garden
Open from 6 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. on weekdays & 5 p.m. – 10
p.m. on weekends, June 16th to September 30th at the
Garden Terrace on the 30th floor. ¥2,500 per person for
all you can eat and drink for 2 hours.
UJI TEA TOUR NINJA VILLAGE KYOTO WITH SUZANNE
NARA SECRET GARDENS
KITANO TENMANGU OSAKA CASTLE
FALL 2011 HIGHLIGHTS
It’s an exciting time ahead as Fall 2011 promises to be a packed program that appeals to everyone! We
have a Newcomer’s Welcome Lunch, the Fall Fling, our famous Holiday Bazaar, the highly popular
Shichi-go-San, in addition to our regular classes, like Shodo, Japanese Language and Ikebana. There
will also be something new the Fall with the Photography Show as well as the Shodo Exhibition both held
in November in the CHIC Banquet Hall! Plus we are offering new classes, that includes the craft of
Temari and the Halloween Costume Making class which we hope is something of interest those who like
to be hands-on!
Fall is a great time to see the fall leaves changing their colors and enjoy the cool breezes that the
changing season offers and we have some fantastic trips that we know will be of interest to everyone.
We look forward to seeing you again in the Fall, and hope that you have a great Summer!
HIGHLIGHTS TRIPS ACTIVITIES CLASSES
Koyason Japanese Language
Ramen Tour French Language
Naramachi Washi Tea Box
Kitano with KWC Tamari
Mt. Maya American
Christmas Home Tour