Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rice ears

Rice ears - inaho 稲穂

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kaiji & Kyoho

Kaiji 甲斐路 & Kyohō 巨峰 grapes

Thursday, August 20, 2009

A bunch of grapes

Bon Festival

お盆 (Bon Festival) which is celebrated around 15 August(or July) is a Buddhist custom in Japan.

Bon ornament - a cucumber horse & an eggplant cow with saddles of udon

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Enkōin 円光院 was at first in Isawa and called "Seikōin 清光院", which was built in Hōgen era 保元年間 (1156-1159) . Then it was renamed "Jōjuin 成就院." In 1560, Takeda Shingen moved and reconstructed it in the current location. When his wife Sanjo-fujin 三条夫人 passed away in 1570, it was renamed "Zuiganzan 瑞巖山 Enkō-goji-zen-in 円光護持禅院" after her posthumous Buddhist name. Her grave is in it.

Hondō 本堂

A bell tower 鐘楼

Priest's quarters 庫裏

Kōfu basin 甲府盆地

Takeda Shingen's gravestone is in the vicinity of the temple. It is said that he passed away at Ina 伊那, Nagano in 1573 and he was cremated at the place near Enkōin. Then his cremains were buried at Erinji 恵林寺 in Kōshū city. Before his death, he had ordered his following to keep his death a secret for three years. Stories founded on it are played out in Kagemusha 影武者 by Akira Kurosawa 黒澤明.

Enkoin's Official Web Site (Japanese version only)

View Enkōin 円光院 & A gravestone of Shingen 信玄の墓所 on Google My Maps

■ Refer to Kofu-Gozan & Kai Zenkoji and Kai Pilgrimage

■ Reference Data
・Yamanashi Shinpō newspaper's site on Kai Hyakuhachi Reijō

Sunday, August 9, 2009


Kōbaiyaki 紅梅焼 which has rustic sweet taste is a Japanese traditional snack and something like a large soft biscuit, and appears in Botchan 坊っちゃん which was written by Natsume Sōseki.

At Takekawa Kashi-ten 竹川菓子店, you can buy fresh-baked Kōbaiyakis.

In the vicinity of the shop, there are some spots associated with Dazai Osamu.

■View Kōbaiyaki 紅梅焼 on Google My Maps

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Chozenji, Shingen and Buddhism

Sanmon 山門 (temple gate)

'Chōzen-ankoku 長禅安国', set up on the gate

A stone monument in front of the gate, on which the following is written :
Zuiunzan 瑞雲山 Chōzenji 長禅寺
has the grave of Ōi-fujin 大井夫人 (1497-1552), the mother of Takeda Shingen,
and is the studying and training location of Shingen (Harunobu 晴信) in his childhood,
and the venerable location where Shingen (Kizankō 機山公) practiced Zen meditation and took the tonsure to enter Buddhist priesthood.

Sanmon from its back, with a train of Chūō line

Niōmon 仁王門 (deva gate) and a stone monument, written "Zuiunzan Chōzenji"

A big temple bell 梵鐘

Kuri 庫裏 (priest's quarters)

A garden

Hondō 本堂 (main hall) under restoration

Mausoleum of Ōi no Kata 大井の方 (Ōi-fujin 大井夫人)

Five-storied stupa

Three-storied stupa

Five-storied stupa and grape fields in Mt. Atago 愛宕山

View Chōzenji 長禅寺 on Google My Maps

■ Refer to Kofu-Gozan & Kai Zenkoji and Kai Pilgrimage

■ Reference Data
・Yamanashi Shinpō newspaper's site on Kai Hyakuhachi Reijō

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


In Yamanashi, plums (Sumomo すもも 李) can now be picked. The yield of plums in Yamanashi takes up 30% of that in Japan.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Katsuyori and Hosenji

Hōsen(zen)ji 法泉(禅)寺 was built in 1330 by Takeda Nobutake 武田信武 (1292-1359). He invited Gesshū zenji 月舟禅師 who was one of the leading disciples of Musō Soseki 夢窓疎石 (1275-1351), also known as Musō Kokushi 夢窓国師, as the resident priest*. This temple is famous for the tomb of Takeda Katsuyori 武田勝頼 (1546-1582). After Shingen's death (1573), Katsuyori took over as head of the Takeda's family, but the clan was defeated by the coalition troops of Oda Nobunaga 織田信長 and Tokugawa Ieyasu 徳川家康 at the Battle of Nagashino 長篠の戦い (1575) and then was declining. In 1582, Katsuyori, the family and the remaining subordinates suffered defeat to the combined forces at the Battle of Temmokuzan 天目山の戦い and he and his family commited suicide. Then Nobunaga ordered to put Katsuyori's head on public display at the Rokujō-gawara 六条河原 (known as an execution ground) in Kyoto. Kaigaku 快岳, the resident priest of Hōsenji at the time, knew that and brought the head back to the temple. And he built Katsuyori's tomb.
*Gesshū declined to be Kaizan, the first resident priest, of Hōsenji, asked his master Soseki to be it and became the second.

Shōrōmon 鐘楼門, built in 1636.

Garden lanterns and Hondō 本堂, built in 1680.

One of 16 Arhat Statues

Kongōfukujusan 金剛福聚山

Hosenji's Official Web Site (Japanese version only)

■ View Kongōfukujusan Hōsenzenji 金剛福聚山 法泉禅寺 on Google My Maps

■ Refer to Kofu-Gozan & Kai Zenkoji and Kai Pilgrimage

■ Reference Data
・Hosenji's Official Web Site

Friday, July 24, 2009


There are a lot of filming locations in Yamanashi and some scenes of Water Boys 2 (2004) was shot at the athletics track field and the indoor pool / accommodation facility on the following picture. Also at an outdoor pool in the sports park, some scenes of Limit of Love: Umizaru 海猿 [also known as Umizaru 2: Test of Trust] (2006) was shot.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tokoji and Rankei Doryu

Hōgaizan Tōkōji 法蓋山 東光寺 is a temple associated with Rankei Dōryū 蘭渓道隆 (also known as Daikaku Zenji 大覚禅師) (1213-1278). He, from Southern Song 南宋(1127-1279), dynasty of China, was a founder of Kenchō-ji 建長寺 which is one of the most famous Zen temples in Japan. After he tried to diffuse Rinzai Zen 臨済禅 at Sennyūji 泉涌寺 in Kyoto and so on, he came to Kamakura 鎌倉 on invitation by Hōjō Tokiyori 北条時頼 and became Kaizan, the first resident priest, of Kenchō-ji. Then he played a further active role in popularization of Zen in Kamakura & Kyoto, but, entrapped by a scheme, he had been banished to Yamanashi (Kai) for a period of time. Takeda clan which was a Shugo 守護, military governor, of Kai, gave him a warm welcome. With the help of Takeda clan, he resuscitated a temple and renamed it "Tōkōji."

Taken in front of Sanmon 山門, of which at the back you can see Butsuden 仏殿


Chūmon 中門 (Middle gate) and a bell tower 鐘楼


Azumaya 四阿 (Arbor)

Butsuden, built in Tenbun era 天文年間 (1532-1555) and designated as a national important cultural property, where it is said there are some sword-cut-marks of Nobunaga's troops.

Butsuden and Bhaisajyaguru statue 薬師如来像 as the principal image 御本尊

Hondō 本堂

Busshintō 佛心塔, built for the purpose of performing services in perpetuity for the repose of departed souls.

Tokoji's Official Web Site (Japanese version only)

■ View Hōgaizan Tōkōji 法蓋山 東光寺 on Google My Maps

■ Refer to Kofu-Gozan & Kai Zenkoji and Kai Pilgrimage

■ Reference Data
・Tokoji's Official Web Site

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Speaking of Japanese Summer, I think of fireworks. In Yamanashi, a lot of firework festivals are held every year. I would like to introduce to some of them.

■ Yamanakako Hōkosai 山中湖報湖祭 (Firework festival of Lake Yamanaka) August 1 (19:30~21:00)
Firework festival of Lake Yamanaka on YouTube

■ Lake Kawaguchi on-the-lake festival 河口湖湖上祭 (Kawaguchiko-kojōsai) August 4 (20:00~20:30) &5 (19:30~21:00)
Lake Kawaguchi on-the-lake festival 河口湖湖上祭 on YouTube
Lake Kawaguchiko's "Kojōsai" fireworks festival (FUJIKAWAGUCHIKO Sightseeing information site)
Access Guide (FUJIKAWAGUCHIKO Sightseeing information site)

■ Shinmei no Hanabi Taikai 神明の花火大会 (Firework festival of Shinmei) August 7 (19:30~21:00)
神明の花火大会(2008) HD1280x720p版 by AQUA Geo Graphic on YouTube
神明の花火大会 Shinmei-no-hanabi-taikai The Fireworks of Shinmei on '日本吉 nippon-kichi'

■ Nanbu no Himatsuri 南部の火祭り (Firework festival of Nanbu) August 15 (20:00~21:00)
Firework festival of Nanbu on YouTube

■ Isawa Onsen Hanabi Taikai 石和温泉花火大会 (Isawa Hot Springs Firework festival) August 21 (19:30~21:30)
Isawa Hot Springs Firework festival on YouTube

■View FIREWORK FESTIVALS 花火大会 on Google My Maps

Friday, July 10, 2009


チャイルドフッド which is a female duo, erina and mayumi from Yamanashi, was set up in September 2003. Then the duo has been awarded prizes in several local music contests, especially awarded a grand prize in KARUIZAWA Love Song AWARD 2007. In September '08, they released the first indie album "Taisetsu na Jikan 大切な時間 (important time)" and until now have performed live concerts on a regular basis in Yamanashi, Tokyo and so on.

■Songs on YouTube
Hanabi 花火 (Firework) (the Grand Prize song in KARUIZAWA Love Song AWARD 2007)
Kokoro no Kakera 心のカケラ (Fragments of the Heart)

チャイルドフッド's official site (Japanese version only)
ibaneez's channel on YouTube, where you can watch many live videos of チャイルドフッド.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

50~80's Photographs

I have been fascinated with the pictures which have been archived by Incorporated NPO 'Study Society for Digitalization of Regional Data 特定非営利活動法人 地域資料デジタル化研究会 (Digi-KEN).' In the photos, people, sceneries, disasters and so on in 50~80's Yamanashi show up.

Digi-KEN's official site (Japanese version only)
Digi-KEN's site on Flickr
Digi-KEN's channel on YouTube

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


  Taken in front of the stone monument of his now-defunct house 新居跡


Taken at Misaki Shrine 御崎神社

■View Osamu Dazai 太宰治 and Yamanashi on Google My Maps
■Refer to Osamu Dazai