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日本の庭園で春を楽しむ!

Get in Touch with Japanese Garden and Bonsai Culture Special column

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暦 Koyomi April

卯月

こよみを楽しむ

IN HARMONY WITH THE SEASONS

In the Season of Buds 蕾の四季

folding screens “First Snow”

ALLAN WEST Born in 1962 in the US, Allan West settled in Tokyo and eventually graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from Tokyo University of the Arts. You can visit his open studio in Yanaka, Tokyo. www.allanwest.jp text & artwork / Allan West, cordination / Mariko Takahashi, photo / Keiji Okazaki

Seventeen years ago this month, and mere days before my son

At that moment, the cherry tree caught my eye. I could see how

was to be born, I was preparing for a solo exhibition at the Reihokan

the scarred bark and distressed branches would fade from our

Museum. I had spent all night in the hotel bathroom with wadded

sight as the glor y of the blossoms would overwhelm us so ver y

up bed clothing muffling the sounds of my hammer as I changed

soon. “I am like a cherry tree, days before it blooms,” I said, tears

the frame on one of my paintings. I had just been told that the

welling in my eyes, my throat closing awkwardly. I had stumbled

commission I had counted on was cancelled the day before. Would

on raw truth; this yearning of pure potential not yet realized. In

this exhibition change my luck? I didn’t know, but all my unrested

this scroll, each fl ower of every season is in bud. We look back at

nerves were drawn as I faced the opening. I had had an invasive

youth, and forgetting the frustration, imagine it as better than

television crew follow me around for days asking me about what I

today. We blossom anew at every season in life. Blinking from the

eat, when I sleep. It was frustrating trying to guide the focus of their

glare that day seventeen years ago, I asked they not use that part

interest to my art. I was standing out in the sunlight, the interviewer

of the interview. They nodded in silent assent.

asked me if I were a tree, what kind of tree would I be. I thought that was the last of the silly questions I was going to put up with. WAttention Singapore |

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PARADISE OF WARM PASTEL COLOURS 庭園で春を楽しむ

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Get in Touch with Japanese Garden and Bonsai Culture -Japanese Gardens in Changing Times

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Get in Touch with Japanese Garden and Bonsai Culture After a long winter, people can´t wait for the arrival of spring. With the beginning of April, not only do the new school and business years start; also the first flowers and blossoms start blooming, providing a fresh and encouraging start. Immerse yourself in this paradise of warm pastel colors and experience Japan’s unique spring beauty while strolling through Tokyo’s many gardens. To aid you in your travels, we will introduce you to Japanese garden culture, its history and the special form of gardening called bonsai. Our guide to spring flowers will lead you through your exciting new adventures in and around Tokyo’s marvelous gardens.

Small steps toward magnificent garden culture In the past, gardens were created by the upper-class of society and could be classified into three main groups: 1. Gardens representing natural scenery for aesthetic pleasure and later for strolling through 2. Dry landscape gardens 3. Tea ceremony gardens Japanese gardens are meant to mimic natural landscape in a miniaturized form. The history of garden design goes back about 1,000 years. The first form of gardening was seen in sacred places, deep in the forest containing natural objects like trees, mountains and rocks with extraordinarily rare shapes. These places, marked with pebbles, white sand or rope ties, were used for ceremonies to honor gods or sacred spirits which were believed to live in or visit these areas. Chinese culture, especially Buddhism, started influencing Japanese garden design in the 6th century. Since then, gardening styles have changed throughout the centuries and Japan has developed its own special form of gardening. The ancient capital of Kyoto contains more than half of Japan´s historical gardens. 5

| WAttention Singapore

Eikando Zenrin-ji Temple

Address: 48 Eikando-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto URL: http://www.eikando.or.jp/English/index_eng.html


Japanese Gardens in Changing Times Nara Period (710 – 794)

Nara used to be the capital of Japan and, during the end of the 8th century, Japanese garden culture sprouted as gardens for higher society were built. These early gardens featured a pond with an island in the middle, surrounded by shorelines and stone settings.

The capital moved to Kyoto and the upper class started building large gardens using layouts inspired by the Chinese concept of feng shui. These places, visited both for amusement and ritual worship, featured large ponds and winding streams connected by bridges, as well as islands and pavilions. The late Heian Period was characterized by a new style of garden architecture, called Pure Land Buddhism. These ParadiseGardens were equipped similarly to their predecessors, but were much bigger and more colorful.

Motsu-ji Temple (Iwate) Address: 58 Hiraizumi Osawa, Hiraizumi-cho, Nishiiwai-gun, Iwate-ken URL: http://www.motsuji.or.jp/english/index.php

Kamakura (1185–1333)

& Muromachi Period (1336–1573)

Saishou Tea Garden inside Tokorozawa’s Aviation Memorial Park (Saitama)

Address: 22 Daigo, Higashioji-cho, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto URL: https://www.daigoji.or.jp/index_e.html

Address: 1-5-37 Sanjo-oji, Nara-shi, Nara-ken URL: https://www.jnto.go.jp/eng/pdf/regional/kinki/nara_shi.pdf

(794-1185)

(1573 – 1603)

Daigo-ji Temple (Kyoto)

Heijo Palace Site (Nara)

Heian Period

Azuchi – Momoyama Period

A new concept of garden architecture was introduced: the tea garden. These gardens were meant to resemble the spirit of wabi (侘び) through their rustic simplicity, utility and calmness. The narrow garden was regularly watered to stay humid and green. Besides a cherry tree bringing color during spring, other brightly colored flowers were not included.

Ruling power was taken over by a military regime (将 軍 shogun), which supported a new form of Buddhism called Zen. As a consequence, garden architecture changed, becoming more simple and compact. The results were dry landscape gardens connected to temple buildings, with the main purpose being to support monks during their meditation exercises.

Edo Period (1603-1868)

The minimalistic garden design changed back into one of recreation and extravagance, with large strolling gardens being built. Another new form of garden design was the tsuboniwa (坪庭), a small courtyard garden created by the urban population. They provided a piece of nature and fresh air, featuring decorative elements like stone lanterns, water basins and stepping stones meant to be viewed from a porch or from inside the house.

Meiji Period (1868-1912)

With the Meiji Period came the age of modernization and the re-opening of Japan to the Western world. A new law in 1871 opened old, private strolling gardens and abandoned gardens from the Momoyama and Edo periods to the public.

Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden (Tokyo) Address: 11 Naito-machi, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo URL: https://www.env.go.jp/garden/shinjukugyoen/english/index.html

Erin-ji Temple (Yamanashi) Address: 2280 EnzanOyashiki, Koshu-shi, Yamanashi-ken URL: http://erinji.jp/ (Japanese only)

“The Dry Landscape Garden”

Modern Japanese Gardens (1912~)

Tenryu-ji Temple (Kyoto) Address: 68 Saga-Tenryuji, Susukinobaba-cho, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto-fu URL: http://www. tenryuji.com/en/

Due to modernization, Western-style city parks were designed featuring new elements like flowerbeds and open lawns. After World War II, government agencies took over the task of building gardens instead of private citizens. These new gardens are meant to be consistent with the architecture, raising landscape design to a different level.

Adachi Museum of Art (Shimane) Address: 320 Furukawa-cho, Yasugi-shi, Shimane-ken URL: http://www.adachi-museum.or.jp/en/

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Spring Flower Guide for Tokyo’s Gardens 1

Showa Memorial Park / 国営昭和記念公園

2

Rikugien Gardens is a large strolling garden built during the Edo Period. You need about an hour to discover the entire area, which features a central pond surrounded by artificial hills and forests connected by walking trails. Have some tea and sweets in the Fukiage Chaya teahouse, located on the shoreline of the pond, and enjoy the lovely view over the garden. During spring, the breathtaking weeping cherry trees are in full bloom and are lit up after sunset, providing a special and romantic experience on mild evenings.

This national government park in western Tokyo features themed gardens and woods, a traditional Japanese garden (including a tea house and a bonsai area), playgrounds, a lake with rental boats, a BBQ area, flower fields and much more. Due to the large size of the park, rental bicycles are available to enjoy the place along the provided trails.

Hours: 9:30am – 5pm (Mar. – Oct.); (9:30am – 6pm on weekends & holidays from Apr. – Sep.) Admission: 450 yen(adults) : free(junior high school students and younger) Address: 3173 Midori-cho, Tachikawa-shi URL: http://www.showakinen-koen.jp/guide-english/schedule-english/

1

Tulips

2

Sakura

March 4

3

Sakura

Mukojima Hyakkaen Garden / 向島百花園

Hours: 9:00am – 5pm (Last entry 4:30pm) Admission: 150 yen Address: 3-18-3 Higashi-mukojima, Sumida-ku URL: https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/teien/en/mukojima/index.html

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/Hours: 9am - 5pm (Last entry 4:30pm) Address: 6-16-3 Hon-komagome, Bunkyo-ku Admission: 300 yen URL: https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/teien/en/rikugien/outline.html

2

Rhododendron

April

Mukojima Hyakkaen is a flower garden in eastern Tokyo and the only one remaining there from the Edo Period. The concept of the garden was that visitors could enjoy hundreds of different flowers throughout the year. When first opened, the main feature was its 360 plum trees. Over the years, however, different flowers highlighted in Chinese and Japanese literature and poetry have been added.

7

Rikugien Gardens / 六義園

1

Poppies

May 3

4

Wisteria

June 4

Iris

Koishikawa Korakuen Garden / 小石川後楽園

Koishikawa Korakuen Garden is located in the heart of Tokyo, right next to a popular amusement park area, Tokyo Dome City. This is a well-preserved vestige from the Edo period and one of the oldest gardens in Japan’s capital. Its design was based on the concepts of Zhu Zhiyu, a Chinese scholar of Confucianism. Influenced by the West Lake of the Chinese city Hangzhou, the garden features a Full Moon Bridge and other typical Chinese elements beside the usual central pond and artificial hills.

Hours: 9am – 5pm (Last entry 4:30pm) Admission: 300 yen Address: 1-6-6 Koraku, Bunkyo-ku URL: https://www.tokyo-park.or.jp/english/park/detail_05.html#koishikawa


BONSAI - Tradition that is small in size, but big in culture Besides gardening on a large scale, bonsai refers to the act of creating miniature potted plants. Since nearly every plant species can be transformed into a bonsai, people can enjoy beautiful spring cherry blossoms as well as fall foliage - without even leaving their homes! In Japan, pine trees are most common and traditional to be turned into bonsai. Originally, this specific art of gardening came from China during the 8th century and was called penjing , which used to be practiced only by higher society, and spread throughout China as luxurious gifts. This tradition made its way to Japan during the Kamakura period as a religious souvenir, and became a hobby practiced by virtually everyone. In the late 19th century, bonsai made its debut in the West; recently, the younger, more global generation, has been embracing it as well. Bonsai Master

Kunio Kobayashi

Award-winner Kunio Kobayashi (b. 1948), who was raised in Tokyo`s Edogawa district, says he dedicated his life to bonsai from age 28. For more than two decades, he has given lectures about bonsai all over the world

“Bonsai means Life” Kunio Kobayashi, world-famous bonsai master, runs his school and museum in Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward. At age 28, he dedicated his life to bonsai and gained the required skills through self-study. Having grown up in a nursery, he was familiar with the beauty of plants and nature from a tender age, but one encounter in particular set him off on his determined path in life: During an exhibition, he spotted a Japanese white pine formed in the shape of a bonsai tree. Fascinated by how its elegant shape represented life´s dignity, the young Kobayashi decided immediately to start creating such graceful trees himself. “Bonsai is art,” he said, and can be described using the three words of individuality (個性 kosei); harmony (調和 chowa); and elegance (品位 hini). Since it takes years of learning and practice to become a bonsai master, after 40 years of creating clear and beautiful bonsai, Kobayashi changed his style to one that showed several aspects of the tree which had never been seen before. “Aji no aru (味のある) bonsai ”, which communicates both depth and grace. With this new form observers can directly sense the Japanese culture of wabi-sabi (詫び寂び): quiet simplicity and subdued refinement. While scraping off parts of the bark to achieve this form (leaving a stem with just a thin string reaching the leaves), the dry wood turns white. The result – metaphorically representing the combination of life and death – shows the beauty of aji no aru bonsai, and rewards you with both life energy and a new way of sensing the power of life. Today, Kobayashi has more than 200 apprentices and international students studying and following his advice, and for over 20 years, he has presented his skills at lectures in over 20 countries. The Bonsai Museum offers a special one to three months program for international followers to learn directly from the master. Attendees live together with Kobayashi’s family and other apprentices to learn and observe the traditional way of creating bonsai trees. There is no need to worry in particular about Japanese language skills, as explanations can be provided in English and Chinese, too. A typical tokonoma arrangement

The Shunkaen Bonsai Museum, opened 15 years ago, and displays over 1,000 bonsai trees. The garden is designed with typical Japanese elements, and the museum itself is a traditional Japanese house with tatamimat flooring and paper sliding doors. One entire room is dedicated to each of the most elegant trees, displayed in typical tokonoma (床の間), a common alcove in the wall of Japanese homes. An inscribed hanging scroll (kakejiku 掛け軸) and a viewing stone, called suiseki (水石), create the perfect balance of simplicity to show the bonsai trees’ most aesthetically pleasing features. While strolling through the garden, visitors have the unique chance to observe the master and his apprentices as they work; suddenly, they feel like members of the team. Get yourself dressed in wonderful kimono and explore the garden or drink a cup of the delicious green tea you prepared yourself during a tea ceremony. This museum provides guests with the full range of Japanese cultural experiences in one single breathtaking place. We met Benjamin and Philipp (from Germany), wearing beautiful kimono and carrying katana swords, looking like real samurai from the past. They told us that the Shunkaen Bonsai Museum was the best place they have visited in Japan! Shunkaen Bonsai Museum /春花園 盆栽美術館 Hours: 10am – 5pm (Closed Mon.) Admission: 800 yen + a cup of green tea (adults); 600 yen (students) Address: 1-29-16 Niihori, Edogawa-ku, 132-0001 Tokyo Access: 7-min bus ride from Mizue Station (Toei-Shinjuku Line) until Keiyo-guchi bus stop URL: http://kunio-kobayashi.com/en/index.html

Bonsai Lesson: 5,000 yen per person (admission to the garden included) Tea ceremony: 4,000 yen per person for 30min Kimono experience: 5,000 yen per person for 30min Please make a reservation via “Japanese Culture Visit” (Mrs. Ichimi) Tel: 090-2409-2742 E-mail: kazuko.i@jcom.zaq.ne.jp URL: http://www.japanese-culture-visit.com/english.html

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Japan Premium Wine Japanese wines have been winning competitions and steadily gaining attention in recent times.

    Famous wine regions

YA M A N A S H I The birthplace of Japanese wine, Yamanashi boasts the highest volume of grape and wine production in the country. It is also the first geographical indication of wine in Japan. The “Yamanashi” label is a guarantee of quality and place of origin and is expected to gain prominence both domestically and abroad in the near future.

YA M A G ATA Yamagata, like Yamanashi, is well-known for its fruit. Its grape production ranks third in the country, and while the number of wineries in Yamagata lags behind Yamanashi, the prefecture has seen an increasing number of brands performing well in wine contests.

9

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Interview with Daisuke Kawai, popular Japanese sommelier who has won numerous awards

The Allure of

Japan Wine

The “Japan Brand” is firmly beloved in Singapore. Japanese food, in particular, ranging from ramen to high-end kaiseki meals, has become a mainstay and is widely available. Japanese whiskeys and sakes command a premium for their popularity. Can Japanese wines catch up to such illustrious predecessors? We speak to Daisuke Kawai, prizewinning sommelier and co-founder of popular bar La Terre, to find out what his take on the allure of Japan wine and its present situation is.

Taking on the challenge to wow wine lovers Up till now, the grapes grown in Japan have been mostly table grapes, with wine grape varieties making up less than 1% of the total. Unfortunately, cultivating wine grape varieties is indispensable to producing good wine as wine made from table grapes is just not good enough for true oenophiles. However, wineries back then had to get their grapes directly from grape farmers, and it was impossible to get these farmers to switch to cultivating wine grape varieties. This made it difficult for Japanese wines to compete on a global playing field. Fortunately, in the past 20 years, the cultivation of wine grape varieties has increased. This is in a large part due to the fact that many wineries now no longer rely on grape farmers for raw ingredients; rather, many have their own vineyards and are in control of the entire process starting from grape cultivation. Because of that, we have begun to see an increasing number of good wines. While the average quality of Japan wines is not particularly high yet, the best of them are now able to hold their own globally.

Just going by temperature alone, it is possible to cultivate grapes anywhere i n J a p a n . H o w e v e r, because Japan receives heavy rainfall, the grapes produced tend to have high water content, thus it is not easy to produce grapes that are as condensed as those in renowned wine-growing re g i o n s . J a p a n ’s h i g h humidity also means that the likelihood of disease is greater, which results in a more tedious growing process. So what did viticulturists do? They decided to cut down on the volume cultivated. True, a larger harvest means a higher shipping volume, but they chose to prize quality over quantity and eventually succeeded in growing grapes with sufficient body. Through great effort, they were also able to overcome the issue of disease. The delicious Japan wines that we are able to enjoy now are the results of all this hard work, and I would very much like to share this symbol of “Japan Quality” with the rest of the world.

Mr Daisuke Kawai’s profile Born in Kashiwazaki City, Niigata Prefecture in 1977, Mr Kawai started working in the Imperial Hotel, Tokyo after graduating high school where he built his foundation in food, wine and hospitality management. He then came to Singapore in 2010 and was appointed Chief Sommelier at Les Amis, a 3-star French restaurant. After 5 years of contributing to the wine service and brand improvement of Les Amis, he founded La Terre in 2015. List of awards: Best Sommelier of the year 2017 (World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence Singapore)

Best Bar Manager of the year 2018 (World Gourmet Summit Awards of Excellence Singapore)

Japan not suited to wine grape cultivation The Japanese dedication to manufacturing is reflected in Japanese wines’ ability to compete on a global stage. I say this because Japan is not actually suited for growing wine grapes.

There are still people who have doubts about Japan wines. I can understand how some wine lovers feel when they avoid Japan wines for fear of disappointment. But please put aside your biases and look at the liquid in front of you. Then, I believe you will be able to understand the allure of Japan wines.

Best Sommelier of the year 2019 (World Gourmet Awards Singapore)

Asia Best Sommelier Competition in French Wines by SOPEXA (2017) Singapore’s Best Sommelier for California Wines (2018) and many more WAttention Singapore |

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WA Shiok! | Japanese Food Guide

“WA Shiok”

A special blend of Singapore and Japanese senses. The title is inspired by the Japanese word washoku (和食, traditional Japanese food) and the local Singapore phrase “Wa, shiok!”. It is an amalgamation of the two, putting together wa (和, Japanese culture) and shiok (a good feeling). It epitomizes the satisfied feeling you get after a particularly good Japanese meal. Dedicated to bringing our readers the latest information on some of the most delicious spots in Singapore, we have created a guide to our five favourite Japanese food places in Singapore that make us go “WAshiok!”

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Traditinal Dietary Cultures of Japanese

As you all know, in December 2013, Washoku or traditional Japanese cuisine was added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list. Washoku means more than just Japanese food. This food culture is a social practice related to food and embodies the spirit of respect for nature and sustainable use of natural resources in food.

4 Reasons why we love Washoku Various fresh ingredients and using their natural tastes

Well-balanced and healthy diets (2)健康的な食生活を支える栄養バランス

(1)多様で新鮮な食材とその持ち味の尊重

Ingredients used in WASHOKU are diverse, fresh and available in four distinct seasons. WASHOKU requires minimum cooking and processing.

Emphasis of the beauty of nature in the presentation (3)自然の美しさや季節の移ろいの表現

The beauty of nature and changing of seasons is emphasized in the presentation of WASHOKU. Plates are decorated with leaves, flowers and bamboo, and natural motifs are represented in decoratively cut foodstuff. Decorating tables and rooms with objects matched to the season are also closely associated with WASHOKU.

WASHOKU contributes to a healthy life, long life expectancy and prevention of obesity among the Japanese since it requires well-balanced and lowfat diets.

Connecting to annual events (4)正月などの年中行事との密接な関わり

WASHOKU has developed using traditional knowledge and customs closely associated with nature and a connection to annual events. It strengthens the bonds of family and community members when they share mealtime together, appreciating nature-gifted ingredients.

“WA Shiok”opens up a new door to modern Japanese cuisine There are around 800 Japanese restaurants in Singapore excluding hawker stalls, which means the cuisine boasts a 17% market share, coming in second only to Chinese cuisine(※). From reasonably-priced ramen and izakayas to high-end sushi and Kaiseki, it is by no means an exaggeration to say that Japanese cuisine has become a familiar favourite on the Singaporean dining scene. There is good Japanese food, and there is even better Japanese food that we would like you foodies to try. Just as delicious as, or even better than what you’d get in Japan, with the seal of WAttention’s approval - “WA Shiok” ※ According to a survey by JETRO (Japan External Trade Organization) in March 2016 https://www.jetro.go.jp/ext_images/_Reports/02/2016/bf290058d8a77515/rp_research_jpstSingapore201603.pdf WAttention Singapore |

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WA Shiok! | Japanese Food Guide

Enjoy the bounty of the land and sea at Tomi Sushi Tomi Sushi was established in 1954, Niigata Prefecture, which is renowned for its fish from the Sea of Japan and plump Koshihikari rice - indispensable elements of sushi. Niigata enjoys hot summers and cold winters that imbue its seasonal produce with the goodness and energy of the earth and has also gained fame as a sakeproducing region thanks to its famous rice and quality water. For a rich dining experience, Tomi Sushi imports these quality ingredients and sake directly from Japan. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of its Singapore outlet, Tomi Sushi will be holding a promotion to delight local foodies. A must-visit.

Promotion Monthly promotion to celebrate the 10th anniversary! *Please check out the QR code for details

Millenia Walk

9 Raffles Boulevard #02-12/13 6238-1123 11.45am-2.30pm (L.O. 2.15pm), 5.45pm-9.30pm (L.O. 9.15pm)

Katong V

30 East Coast Road #02-14/15/16 6348-7897 11.45am-2.30pm (L.O. 2.15pm), 5.45pm-9.30pm (L.O. 9.15pm)

www.tomisushi.asia 13

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Novena Square (Velocity) 238 Thomson Road #02-76/77 6255-2355 11.45am-2.30pm (L.O. 2.15pm), 5.45pm-9.30pm (L.O. 9.15pm)

Tomisushi Echigotei Cuppage Terrace

35 Cuppage Road 6333-4633 4pm-11.30pm (L.O. 11.15pm)

Tommy’s Sake Bar

182 Cecil Street #01-09 Frasers Tower 6203-5457 Mon - Sat 11.45am-2.30pm (L.O. 2.15pm), 5.45pm-9.30pm (L.O. 9.15pm) Closed on Sun & PH

*Some products are subject to change and may not be available due to seasonal and stock availability. All prices are subject to service charge and government tax.


WA Shiok! | Japanese Food Guide

Bold but delicate kaiseki cuisine in Tanjong Pagar - Teppan Kappou Kenji Owner-chef Kenji Okumura trained at Nagoya Nadaman, a famous kaiseki restaurant founded in 1830, and has 16 years of experience under his belt. His bold ideas, coupled with the delicate taste and exquisite appearance of the dishes, will definitely blow your mind. Foodies who frequent the restaurant report satisfaction every single time, no matter what they order. Do try the à la carte menu that reflects the mood du jour, but for a more well-rounded experience the restaurant also offers course menus, as well as its flagship “Omakase” ($180~) which embodies the essence of Teppan Kappou Kenji. “Wa Shiok!” indeed! Soft Tofu Skin with Sea Urchin............................................... $15 Assorted Sashimi .....Small $48 / Medium $68 / Premium $108 Premium A5 Miyazaki Wagyu  Sirloin ......... Half Portion (60g) $50 / Full Portion (120g) $98  Tenderloin ..Half Portion (60g) $60 / Full Portion 120g $118 Dinner course ........................................... Hana Course$60 / Aoi Course $120 ........................................................................... Omakase $180 ~

Tanjong Pagar

Teppan Kappou Kenji 鉄板割烹 けん司 99 Tanjong Pagar Rd. #01-01, (S)088520 | 9152-3118 11:30-14:30(L.O. 14:00) 18:00-22:30(L.O.22:00) k.okumura@teppankappoukenji.sg www.teppankappoukenji.sg teppankappou kenji teppankappoukenji WAttention Singapore |

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GIHU

岐 阜 県

VOL.33 | SIGHT-SEEING

Writer’s profile: Tamie Hirano- Have travelled all

EXPLORE JAPAN’S PREFECTURE

of 47 prefectures in Japan as a writer. Last year, I thoroughly enjoyed the Rugby World Cup, which I managed to watch 6 matches while visiting various places such as Chofu in Tokyo, Yokohama in Kanagawa, Toyota in Aichi and Kumamoto. Currently live in Singapore.

Gifu Prefecture Gifu Prefecture is famous for Shirakawa Village,

Gifu City

Tokyo

岐阜市

World Heritage site hidden away deep in the mountains with gassho-zukuri houses and old streets remain in Hida Takayama District. However, you may

Chubu Centrair InternationalAirport 中部セントレア国際空港

not have to travel that far to enjoy a lot of historical

岐阜県

Chubu Centrair International Airport Meitetsu Gifu Station By “μSKY Limited Express” 56min ¥1,370 Meitetsu Gifu Station or JR Gifu Station Gifu Castle By Taxi 15min ¥1,500

attractions with the beauty of the surroundings and its rich culture. Gifu City, where the mighty Nagara River flows, is close to Nagoya, and it is a truly fascinating place that you can feel the medieval time in Japan. As you get off at Gifu Station, you will be greeted by a golden statue of Nobunaga Oda, one of the most popular and iconic warlords of Japanese history in the 16th century.

, The statue is 3 meters tall but is 11

meters in the height including the pedestal. You can imagine how powerful Nobunaga was at that time, and people in the region still respect him a lot. Gifu Castle

GIFU-VISITING A STAGE OF 16TH-CENTURY HISTORY

, the home base of Nobunaga, and

was said to be invincible because it stands atop impressive Mt. Kinka

, where you can enjoy a

panoramic view of the entire city and beyond while overlooking the Nagara River and the plains on the south side

. The castle is accessible from Gifu Park via

Mt Kinka and the Gifu castle

the Mt. Kinka Ropeway, but I would quickly become out of breath just thinking that I had to be climbing by horse or on foot at those time. It is said that Nobunaga's residence at a regular time was located at the foot of the house, but the master often entertained his guests at Gifu Castle so that everyone had to climb up to the

A golden statue of Nobunaga Oda 

Gifu castle

top of Kinka mountain! One of Nobunaga's hospitality was Ukai,

an

ancient fishing method that has been performed in Gifu for 1,300 year on the Nagara River, which flows north of Mt. Kinka. At night, a boat is flaming torchlights at the helms of their boats launches into the dark river, and large black birds called cormorant whose throat are lightly tied with a string are set about their work with their masters. Cormorants try to catch and

View from the Gifu castle

swallow river fish, but because of the string tied, large fish will remain in their throat instead of going down into their stomach. Ukai is performed every night from mid-May to mid-October, except on days of high water and on the You can eat a Bento watching Ukai 

night of the Harvest Moon in autumn when the

Ukai starts after sunset

masters only catch fish to be dedicated to the imperial family. This picturesque ceremonial tradition will bring you in time with its subtle yet profound beauty which would have been just like that for hundreds of years. Along the river, there is a famous hot spring area with several Onsen Ryokan or Japanese style inn in a quaint street, called the Nagaragawa Hot Sprin

,

which you should take advantage of if you come to watch Ukai! 15

| WAttention Singapore

Townscape of Onsen-gai of Nagaragawa Hot Spring

You also will find the traditional  costumes of Ukai master


For everything you need to know about Japanese food, lifestyle, travel and more.

MAKE YOUR NEXT DESTINATION wattention.com.sg

Singapore Edition

Read our digital copy online now at issuu.com/WAttention Available on


WA Seh :

Vol.

T h e Re ally Use f ul Japan T ravel Guide

17

The southern part of the prefecture is the Mino region, the northern part of the prefecture is the Hida region, and the Mino region is surrounded by low mountains. Mino-Ben which is dialect of Mino region, is similar to the Owari dialect in Aichi Prefecture.

Gifu Prefecture is located in the center of Honshu, and surrounded by Nagano, Aichi, Shiga, Ishikawa and Fukui prefectures.

2017 4:47:30 PM

MP 03:74:4 710

’ T i s a s e a so n t o b e j o l ly a n d m e r ry !

GI FU DIA L E CT 方言コーナー

ba

su

tei

BUS STOP

English

Standard Japanese

Gifu Dialect

very much

すごい(sugoi)

どえれー(doere)

no problem

問題ない(mondainai)

へともない(hetomonai)

a lot of

たくさん(takusan)

ようけ(youke)

I

わたし(watashi)

わっち(wacchi)

Good bye

さようなら(sayounara)

あば(aba)

Illustration credit: www.irasutoya.com & www.freepik.com

17

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Profile for WAttention

WAttention Singapore vol.55  

PARADISE OF WARM PASTEL COLOURS Get in Touch with Japanese Garden and Bonsai Culture 05 / "The Allure of Japan Wine" 09 / "WA Shiok!" (Tomi...

WAttention Singapore vol.55  

PARADISE OF WARM PASTEL COLOURS Get in Touch with Japanese Garden and Bonsai Culture 05 / "The Allure of Japan Wine" 09 / "WA Shiok!" (Tomi...

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