Tono

  

Tono in Iwate prefecture is the heartland of Japanese folk tales.

It is a good place to experience the Japanese countryside. 

There are deep rivers where Kappa (human-like river creatures) sometimes appear.

Cucumbers are Kappa’s favorite food.

At The Tono story house, local story tellers tell folk tales about the places around there.

I didn’t have enough time to see everything, so I want to visit there again.

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Craft beer

  
There are several craft beer companies in Iwate prefecture.

These are from the “Iwate Kura beer” company, which was established in 1995.

This IPA uses 4 times more hops than usual and it is very bitter.

My husband, who likes beer a lot, drank it, and he said it’s very good.

 In Tono in Iwate, the production of hops is number one in Japan.

And a craft beer named “zumona” is made there too. 

Hiraizumi

  

Hiraizumi is located in the northwest of Iwate prefecture.

The Heian Period temples and ruins here stem from the Ousyu Fujiwara family. 

Five of them were registered as world heritage sites in 2011. 

 This photo is a pond in the garden in Motsuji temple.

http://www.motsuji.or.jp

I also went to Chusonji temple.

The Konjikido attempted to express the state of Buddha’s paradise.

It is shining in gold. 

http://www.chusonji.or.jp/index.html

And also there is Amidha and two Bhaisajyaguru bodhisattvas. 

I liked them.

Wanko Soba

  
This is called Wanko Soba.

Wanko means “bowl”. 

Conventional Wanko soba is where a waitress stays near you and after you eat each serving of soba, she keeps giving you another one until you turn over the bowl to show you are full. 

In Hiraizumi Iwate, it is little different. 

From the first, the soba is served in many bowls.

Soba in each bowl is one bite size, so it is easy to eat.

You eat it with spices like chopped green onion, driedbonito shavings, seaweed, etc.

Next time I want to try conventional Wanko soba.

Yoshimoto Shinkigeki

  

I went to see the Yoshimoto comedy show. (Yoshimoto Shinkigeki)

There are two theaters in Osaka and Kyoto.

First, several comedians do their stand up comedy, then there is a funny play by a troupe. 

You can see their comedy play on TV on Saturday afternoons. 

Yoshimoto is famous in the Kansai area. 

It is funny and laughing is good for the body.  

I enjoyed it.

Two Ravines

  

There are two ravines in Ichinoseki Iwate prefecture: Geibikei and Genbikei.

They are magnificent.

You can take a river ride at Geibikei.

There are 18 different river rides in Japan, and this one is distinctive in that they use only a pole to navigate the river. 

On the way back, the boatman sings an old song. 

It was nice with a lot of minus ions and good views. 

I enjoyed it.

Soft ice cream

  

This soft ice cream is the one at Marukan department store’s restaurant.

It is so tall.

People eat this by using chopsticks.

It is in guidebooks.

Anyway, when I went there, a lot of young and old people were eating it.

By the way, the Marukan department store has been open since 1959.

It feels very nostalgic.