Gion festival

Monday, October 26, 2009

[Click on the photos below for bigger size..]
The Gion-Matsuri Festival spans the entire month of July and is known as one of the three greatest local festivals in Japan. It is crowned on July 17th by a parade in which 32 enormous floats, adorned with ancient tapestries from the world over, are pulled through town with by volunteers with their bar hands alone. During the height of the festival, streets bustle late into the night with crowds of people in traditional dress and with booths selling barbequed chicken skewers, traditional Japanese sweets and many other culinary delights.

The Gion-Matsuri Festival began in 869 while Kyoto was in the grip of a horrible plague. At the behest of the emperor, a priest from Yasaka-jinja Shrine led a procession through the streets to pray for mercy from the god who was the source of the disease. The pestilence subsided but ritual continued, gradually evolving through the years into its modern form.

The floats are lined up on Shijo-dori from the 14th to the 16th of July to admire and tour. Each float has a specific meaning, and sells talismans related to it. On the night of the 16th a number of demonstrations of traditional Shinto performing arts are held at Yasaka-jinja Shrine. A number of smaller events are held throughout the month.

Most visitors to the festival opt to stand and watch the main parade on the morning of the 17th, but seating is also available for several thousand yen. Inquire at your travel agency or the tourist information center if you are interested. The most interesting points to watch the parade are perhaps Shijo-Kawaramachi and Kawaramachi-Oike. At these intersections, the massive floats are turned, like clockwork, at right angles using wooden boards.

The preparation of the festival is very much a community affair. Residents of the areas around which the festival takes place put their heirlooms on display for the public to view during the 14th through the 16th. They assemble the floats and break them down immediately after the parade on the 17th has ended.

Downtown Kyoto is open only to pedestrians during the nights of the 14th, 15th, and 16th.

I am showing you the photos I took during attending the festival at Shijo-Kawaramachi in Kyoto city of JAPAN. Hope you like them...

[Click on the photo for bigger size..]

Crowded of people in the outside of the gate from Shijo-Kawaramachi Hankyu station
Policemen are controlling the intersection of Shijo-Kawaramachi dori
Some shops closed and the staffs just enjoying from inside
They are coming

The first big float is going to turn left
Here it goes
Some staffs of coffee shop are enjoying from....the roof
It successfully turned left
The traditional instruments players on the float
Man with big jute rope on his neck
Men and children are matching

It looks like in the ancient movies

In front of Hankyu station
You can see how big is the wooden-wheel
Time for click on my Google Ads friends!
some notes from KyotoGuide book

Trafic at Shibuya

The most crowded traffic in Tokyo Japan, Shibuya. I took this 1 min video and wanna show you how it looks...

Shibuya (渋谷区 Shibuya-ku) is one of the 23 special wards of Tokyo, Japan. As of 2008, it had an estimated population of 208,371 and a density of 13,540 persons per km². The total area is 15.11 km².

The name "Shibuya" is also used to refer to the central business district of Shibuya Ward, which surrounds Shibuya Station, one of Tokyo's busiest railway stations. Shibuya is known as one of the fashion centers of Japan, particularly for young people, and as a major nightlife area. (some information from wikipedia)

Thai beauty

Sunday, October 4, 2009

A girl with loveable face walking along the old street in Suphanburi. I got this picture in fortuitous situation, when she was talking with her friends, she look at my camera and just smile. A spontaneous beauty of a Thai girl...

Shredded Chicken Salad - Ga Xe Phay

Saturday, October 3, 2009

We were invited to my friend's house for dinner with a huge table of Vietnamese foods. For along time I have not tasted many kind among them. First one, Shredded Chicken Salad (Ga xe phay). The following showing how did she make it. Seed red chiles, then mince, put chiles in a big bowl, then add garlic, sugar, rice wine vinegar, fresh lemon juice, fish sauce, vegetable oil, and onion. Mix together until sugar dissolves. Adding shredded chicken, shredded white cabbage, carrots, and fresh mint.


Friday, October 2, 2009

Have you try this kind of Japanese traditional wine? They stored it in big fir tank, the cup to use for drinking also by fir but in square-shape. This fir aromatic flavor and SAKE wine blend together, drinkers can savour excellent Japanese SAKE. I took this tank of sake when we already broke its cover... Enjoy!!!!

Tokyo -Odaiba

Tokyo - Capital of Japan. Those photos were taken by my friend - Hong and I.


POV from Shinagawa Hotel


Rainbow Bridge, Tokyo bay


At night time



Liberty statue


Odaiba street



Entrance of University of Tokyo


Shopping mall



The photo of my friend, Satomi, it was taken by me at Culture night in Itako hotel, Tokyo when she was playing Shamisen! The shamisen is similar in length to a guitar, but its neck is much slimmer and without frets. Its drum-like rounded rectangular body, known as the dō, is covered front and back with skin in the manner of a banjo, and amplifies the sound of the strings. The skin is usually from a dog or cat, but in the past a special type of paper was used and recently various types of plastics are being tried. On the skin of some of the best shamisen, the position of the cat's nipples can still be seen.

The three strings are traditionally made of silk, or, more recently, nylon. The lowest passes over a small hump at the "nut" end so that it buzzes, creating a characteristic sound known as sawari (somewhat reminiscent of the "buzzing" of a sitar, which is called jawari). The upper part of the dō is almost always protected by a cover known as a dō kake, and players often wear a little band of cloth on their left hand to facilitate sliding up and down the neck. This band is known as a yubikake. There may also be a cover on the head of the instrument, known as a tenjin...

March 2007

Pho Noodle Soup

Most of the foreigners come to Vietnam has tried Pho. Actually there have many kinds of Pho depending on the cookers. Three popular types of Pho noodle soups are made with pork (Pho ta), chicken (Pho ga) and last is the especial one Pho beef noodle soup - Pho bo. Easily you can find anywhere around Hanoi or Saigon. Price around 1.5-3$/bowl in restaurants and 1$ in street shops.

Pho Beef noodle soup - Pho bo

Pho chicken noodle soup - Pho ga

Pho Pork noodle soup - Pho Ta
Pho is the breakfast of most Vietnamese people.

Spring roll

I invited my Japanese lab-mate come to my house to taste the most favorite food of mine - spring roll. His wife and 1 year-daughter were very love it. Here is the photo we took before starting the party in my house. We made one disk of fresh spring-roll and two grilled one and some extra material such as shrimps, cucumbers, pineapples, rice papers .. but it seemed like still was not enough for 4 of us.

Luckily we could find same raw material in super-market in Kyoto to make Vietnamese foods. However, we prefer only rice papers from Vietnam cause it soft and good taste...

Vietnamese Broken Rice

A hefty plate of Vietnamese broken rice (cơm tấm VN) with a bed of warm broken rice (cơm tấm) made from "gạo tấm" accented with a slice of grilled pork loaf topped in sugar (thịt lợn rán) and fish sauce (nước mắm), with egg yolks (trứng chiên hành), and a mixture of pork skin and thinly shredded pork (bì lợn). Slices of carrot and cucumber with tastety fish sauce.

I love it!

Vietnamese sugarcane prawn