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Aoyama Golden Ginkgo Trees

François Rejeté

Tags japan, tokyo, travel

Aoyama Golden Ginkgo Trees

A beautiful sunny Friday outing to see the ginkgo trees (イチョウ) in Aoyama Jingu Gaien park (神宮外苑)     It's a 300 meter long avenue planted with tall ginkgo trees on both side, leading to the imposing Meiji Memorial Picture Gallery building at the end.     During the second part of November, when the leafs turn a bright gold color, the avenue is closed to cars to let visitors walk freely. Many events, such as beer gardens, are also organized during that time.     We decided to skip the beers and crowds and go to a new spot...


Japan Less Traveled Spots – Gifu Castle

Rejeté François

Tags gifu, japan, travel

Japan Less Traveled Spots – Gifu Castle

Back to our trip to Gifu prefecture last month, I'd like to present you a little excursion to the Gifu Castle (岐阜城) in Gifu city. In the middle of the city there is a small mountain called mount Kinka (金華山) and the castle was first built in the 16th century at the very top. At night it is illuminated and seems to float in the heavens above the city.     There is a ropeway to get to the top of the mountain although hiking seems to also be a popular activity. When we were there the trees had just...


Japanese Sweets – Kuzumochi

François Rejeté

Tags food, japan, sweets

Japanese Sweets – Kuzumochi

As a new series on this blog, I will introduce Japanese sweets we love and want to share with the world. My first installment is Kuzumochi (葛餅). Made from starch powder, it is usually eaten with kinako (sweet roasted soybean flour) and kuromitsu (black cane sugar syrup).     This particular one is from Funabashiya (船橋屋), a 213 years old shop from eastern Tokyo. Their kuzumochi is fermented for 450 days to achieve the perfect chewiness. It is said to be great for your skin and digestion too! Unfortunately, it must stay very fresh and expires within 2 days of...


Japan Less Traveled Spots – Tajimi Mosaic Tile Museum

François Rejeté

Tags gifu, japan, tile, travel

Japan Less Traveled Spots – Tajimi Mosaic Tile Museum

So while we were in Tajimi to visit our friend's tile accessories workshop, we also checked out the sights in town. We were most impressed by the Tajimi Mosaic Tile museum which you should definitely visit if you are in the area. The visit starts on the top fourth floor with a opened roof room with walls covered in square tile mosaics, some of them very large. It's quite an impressive sight and most people – us included – spend a long time taking pictures of every detail.     Then the floor below explains the history of tile making...


Workshop visit in Tajimi

Rejeté François

Workshop visit in Tajimi

This past week we went on a trip to 多治見市 (Tajimi city) in Gifu prefecture for a visit of the workshop that makes our tile earrings line.   Tajimi is the bedrock of the tile industry in Japan and has a thousand years old history of ceramic production, known as 美濃焼 (minoyaki). As a side note, there is a very nice mosaic tile museum in the city which is worth the visit if you're in the region.     Our supplier has been producing tiles for the housing industry since 60 years ago. Suzuki-san, the grandson of the founder, took...

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