Friday, September 06, 2013

Dinner of "Kasuien-Minami" Ryokan in Tamatsukuri Hot Spring

One of the pleasures of travelling is enjoying different meals.  When we were seated, a small Jubako (layers of lacquer boxes) was served.

In the Jubako boxes, the upper box has "hors d'oeuvre":  sesame tofu, kidney bean, burdock root and a maple leaf shaped wheat gluten with miso based sauce. A beautiful presentation from the beginning made us excited!

The lower box has an "appetizer":  ika-no-shiokara (fermented squid) in a yellow dish, and jellied enoki mushroom and junsai (brasenia) in a glass dish.

A beautiful arrangement in a nice Biwa guitar shaped dish!

A very warm soup of sea bream, shrimp dumpling, iwanori (rock seaweed), white onion, Japanese wild barsley, and sansho pepper. Awesome shrimp dumpling and great soup!

Assortment of sashimi.

A famous Shimane beef steak!

Flatfish with root vegetables.

The plate called "Two Summers".

The round dish contains Japanese pumpkin dumpling with baby corns in thick soup, and a square dish contains deep fried sweetfish with vinegar sauce, baby potatoes, lotus root, baby okra, grape leaf shaped carrot.

And mozuku seaweed was really nice and refreshing, after the main dish.

The local specialties of "Nita rice" cooked with famous Mt. Sanbe's spring water, and Lake Shinji's shijimi (basket clams) in miso.

Dessert:  black sugar syrup gelee with grape beans and yellow peach on top of green tea pudding, seasonal fruits, and chestnut cake.

After the meal, we went to watch the famous and humorous local dance performance called "dojou sukui (loach catching)."  We were totally entertained!!

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Tamatsukuri Hot Spring in Shimane

Tamatsukuri is a very renowned hot spring town in Shimane and there are many historic ryokan accommodations.  This time, we booked our accommodation at "Kasuien-Minami."

Upon our arrival, we received a welcome gelee and tea in the lobby. 

Our room on the 7th floor.

Complimentary green tea, coffee, and sweets in the room.

View of hot spring town from our room.  Lake Shinji in the distance also.

And the roof top hot spring onsen bath!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Susa Shrine in Shimane

A friend from Hiroshima and I went to a very famous and popular power spot in Izumo, Susa Shrine. In spite of it being a remote place, there were many visitors. 

This is the main shrine. The enshrined deity is Susano-o.

It is said that the sacred tree "Great Sugi" has been protecting the shrine from lightning.

There are four kitsune foxes in Inari shrine.

Small foxes are also lined up.

The direction stone on the driveway in front of Torii gate.

There is another shrine across the street from Susa Shrine.  An enshrined deity is Amaterasu (Sun Goddess), the sister of Susano-o.

After the Shrine, we went to the Tamatsukuri Hot Springs.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Round designs found in Shimane

Designs represent the characteristics of each town.  Manhole near Izumo Station.  

Manhole in Izumo Sada Town.

And a scenery stamp of Agou Post Office in Misato Town.
I am back in my home town of Shimane again!

High School "Kagura" Competition in Hiroshima

I visited "Kagura Dome" of Aki-Takada City of Hiroshima, a very famous town for Kagura (court music and dance dedicated to the Shinto gods), to watch the high school Kagura performances in the last weekend of July.  Due to my tight schedule, I only had time to see the first two performances.

This is the first performance "Sarutahiko."

It was my first time to watch Kagura by high school students and it was very exciting and quite captivating.

The second performance "Tsuchigumo (Earth Spider)," was performed by girls, which I've never seen before, as the dancers are always males.

The voice was very clear and words were very clear and audible.

The sudden transformation to the demon was also brilliant, and there was a huge applause.

Great performance, girls!!

"Kagura Monzen Touji Mura Village" holds Kagura performances on a daily basis.  There is also a wonderful hot spring and has a convivial atmosphere.