Friday, May 17, 2019

Golden Week Adventures 2019 Day 5 Lunch at Lavender and a stop at Tsugaru no Aji / ゴールデンウィーク冒険 2019年 ラヴェンダーでランチと津軽の味

It's Thursday, May 2nd. The second day of the Reiwa Era and the middle of my Golden Week holidays. My wife had the day off as well so we decided to eat out for lunch. We chose a place called [Lavender].


I think it's a cute sign.


A nice at home atmosphere. It wasn't crowded the day we went. Perhaps people thought the place was closed for the Golden Week holidays. 


You can borrow a variety of manga while dining here.


My wife ordered a favorite dish of hers. Deep fried prawns.


I ordered the omuraisu (rice omelette). It was so delicious. Probably my favorite to date.


After lunch, we popped by this place called the [Tsugaru no Aji Shokudo-bu] and picked up a bari bari frank which is a frankfurter simmered in a flavored broth. It's a nice little snack. While I was waiting for my order, I was checking out all the old posters that are plastered all over the walls and ceiling.

ランチを食べ終わったら、妻がスナックでバリバリフランクが食べたいと言ったので、「津軽の味 食堂部」の店に行ってきました。注文を待ってる間に店内の壁と天井に飾ったあるポスターをいろいろ見てた。昭和から平成のアイドルや女優がいろんな商品を宣伝してるポスター。

Ooh, I like Kasumi Arimura.


Speed advertising Mitsuya Cider.


Namie Amuro / 安室奈美恵

I'm not sure who the person is in the Mezzo poster but on the top left is Yuki Uchida.


My friend is a huge Eikichi Yazawa fan so I had to take a picture of this and send it to him. He said this poster was from about thirty years ago.


Enjoying our bari bari furanku in the car.


Back at home, I decided to pop open one of my craft beers I bought when we went to Akita Prefecture. I opened my bottle of Wild Rice Amber.


I thought I was buying a craft apple beer but it turned out to be a craft chu-hi. Still, pretty good. Also has an 8% alcohol content.


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Golden Week Adventures 2019 Day 4 The First Day of the Reiwa Era / ゴールデンウィーク冒険 2019年 令和初日

So what did I do on the first day of the Reiwa Era with the ascension of Japan's new Emperor? Well, first, I had my wife drop me off near Aomori station so I could grab lunch at the recently opened ramen shop, Hiroya. My plan was to then go to Hirota Shrine and get a goshuin (shrine seal) to commemorate my visit there on this day. On the way to the shrine, I decided to explore the Aoimori Park first.


I stopped by this restaurant that had an interesting window display. These packages look like some Showa era instant noodles. 


I like walking around town and discovering different monuments. This was a monument commemorating the starting point of the East Japan Longitudinal Ekiden, a race that began in 1951 and extended from Aomori City to Tokyo, Japan. It was a race to commemorate the signing of the San Francisco Peace Treaty.  


Okay, this doesn't have anything written on it so what is it?


Oh, I see. This is a National Highway Monument. It marks the end of the National Route No.4 which starts at Nihonbashi in Tokyo and is also the ending point of National Route No.7 which starts in Niigata.


Exploring Aoimori Park.


I spotted a weeping cherry blossom in Aoimori Park.


This is a sculpture by an Aomori artist named Masaharu Suzuki and is titled [Omoide no Zo] which translates to [Statue of Memory]. There's an inscription in the back that says "Shinmachi Shogakko Koko ni Aruki" which translates to "Shinmachi Elementary School : I walked here".

これは青森出身の彫刻家鈴木正治の作品。作品名は「思い出の像」。像の裏に”新町小学校 ここにあるき”。

The back of the sculpture.


More cherry blossoms.


This is an azimuth meter and also a sundial. 


I was just wandering around the Flower Square at the park.


A stone showing the latitude of where we are.


After exploring all there was to explore at Aoimori Park, I continued walking to Hirota Shrine. I wanted to get my first goshuin of the Reiwa Era. I was surprised at how crowded the shrine was. It wasn't just me who wanted to get a Reiwa Gannen shrine seal. I had to take a number and wait. So, while waiting, I walked around the shrine grounds.


The water purification basin at Hirota Shrine.


The weather wasn't that great today either, so the cherry blossoms don't look as grand as they could be. This is called the Sanekatazakura, a sacred tree that brings happiness.


The main shrine at Hirota Shrine. 


A display of all the eras from the bottom left to right - Meiji, Taisho. The top row from left to right - Showa, Heisei, and now Reiwa.


Mikoshi (portable shrine) / 神輿

The large sign on the left of the building says Hirota Shrine.

I see a crane at the top of the tower.


Almost a cherry blossom carpet.


Kaneumi Inari Shrine / 金生稲荷神社

Hachidairyu Jingu / 八大龍神宮

Fortunes written in the Tsugaru dialect.


Scallop fortunes / ほたておみくじ

Apple fortunes / りんごおみくじ

The lamp on the right is a Chinese Zodiac Good Luck Stone Lantern.


I finally got my shrine seal. On the left is written today's date with the new era - Reiwa Gannen, May 1st. This the seal with the outline of Aomori Prefecture.


I also picked up a seal commemorating the beginning of the Reiwa Era.


Earlier, I had passed by an arthouse movie theater called Cinemadict that I had been wanting to go to. A movie that interested me was currently playing and as my wife had to work until 6pm, I decided to see a movie here. I went and saw a UK film titled [The Bookshop]. As a longtime bookseller, movies that have a book or book shop theme are always of interest to me.


The movie theater is located on the third floor of this building.


I thought this old projector displayed outside the building was really cool.


The movie I was about to watch.


One movie chair placed in the lobby.


As I said, it was a very small theater with a very small movie screen.


Hey, do you remember Jennifer Love Hewitt. This was a stand-up board for the Jackie Chan film "The Tuxedo".


I still had time to wander around town before going home before my wife gets back from work so I went to Utou Shrine.


You can spot these Jomon era replicas of a dogu here and there.


Here's another one.


Cherry blossoms at Utou Shrine.


Okay, that isn't a real turtle.


Mikoshi (portable shrines) / 神輿

Today, I came in from the rear entrance to the shrine. This is the main building of Utou Shrine.


Also celebrating the start of a new era.


This is the bird the shrine is named after. It is called an Utou in Japanese. In English it's apparently called a rhinocerus auklet.


Even though I already have shrine seal from Utou Shrine, I decided to get another that shows that I came here on the first day of the Reiwa Era.


It isn't just temples and shrines celebrating the new era. Even simple snacks have Reiwa commemorative packaging.


Afterward, I went home to get there before my wife came back from work.