11/10/2017 Word of The Week 必需品

hitsujuuhin foa

Friends of Aomori presents 必需品 (ひつじゅひん/hitsujyuhin) which means essential item. This word is especially important as we enter the winter months, there are many 必需品 specifically helpful when dealing with cold weather! 

The first kanji that makes up this word is, 必 (kunyomi: かならず/kanarazu onyomi: ヒツ/hitsu) which means inevitable and certain. The second is, 需 (onyomi: ジュ/jyu)  which means request or need, and the final kanji is 品 (kunyomi: しな/shina onyomi: ヒン or ホン/hin or hon) which means article or goods. 

Fall Foliage in Aomori

While Maine is in its peak season of fall foliage, and encountering the subsequent stream of leaf-peeping tourists, Hirosaki Castle Botanical Garden in Aomori, Japan is gearing up for its annual Chrysanthemum and Autumn Foliage Festival which runs from October 20th through November 12th. During this event, the Garden is filled with different events for visitors, including craft-making, boat rides, petting zoo, apple pie tasting, and many other Autumn related activities.  There is also an ‘Autumn Foliage Light Up’ where the garden is open late (until 9pm) and the trees are lit-up in the night by outdoor lights in order to accentuate the bright colors.

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Photo retrieved from : Hirosaki Tourism and Convention Bureau 

Of course, the Hirosaki Castle Botanical Garden is not the only place to see the fall foliage of Aomori; in fact, there are many viewing locations scattered throughout the region! Perhaps the most well-known viewing location is the Oirase Gorge, a National Natural Monument and National Scenic Place of Beauty located in Towada-Hachimantai National Park .  With the thick forest and roaring waterfalls of the Oirase Gorge, hikers can experience fall foliage in an untouched, wild environment far away from the hustle and bustle of Hirosaki City.

oirase_stream_fall_foliage_aomori
Photo Credit: Tak H. at Flickr

For information on more areas to view the Fall Foliage in Aomori Prefecture, or to learn more about the two highlighted here, please click on the links below!

Hirosaki Castle Botanical Garden:

http://www.hirosaki-kanko.or.jp/en/edit.html?id=autumn-foliage

https://www.en-aomori.com/culture-044.html  

Oirase Gorge:

https://www.en-aomori.com/scenery-002.html

Other Places:

https://www.en-aomori.com/tag/autumn

https://www.kyuhoshi.com/2017/07/18/best-places-to-see-autumn-leaves-in-aomori/

Hokkaido Releases Instructional Manga, About Recent Missiles.

Aomori’s neighboring prefecture Hokkaido has released a four page Manga entitledミサイルが飛んできたときには (When a Missile Flew) by Manabu Yamamoto, instructing citizens on what to do incase of another Missile launch from North Korea. Click Here to read more in an article from Japan times.

foa missle

The full four-page Manga is available on the Hokkaido Government website, which can be found Here.

Rice Paddy Art in Inakadate, Aomori, Japan

Did you know growing rice could be a form of fine art!?

In Inakadate Village, in Aomori prefecture you can visit enormous images constructed from different kinds of  rice. The images reference Japanese culture by evoking mythologies and sometimes even popular culture!

Visit the link below for more information on the imagery, how they are constructed, and tourism information.

Rice Paddy Art Info.tanbo art

There are new Rice Paddy images every year, so include these magnificent creations in your future Aomori travel plans.

Vending Machines in Japan, Art and Innovation

The culture surrounding vending machines is very different between Japan and America. Check out the JapanTimes article linked below to learn about how one Japanese photographer, Eiji Ohashi, explores the relationship the people of Japan have with vending machines.

In Japanese vending machine is 自動販売機 (Jidohanbaiki) but is often shortened in conversation to 自販機 (Jihanki)

Follow this link to read the article!

For an in depth understanding of Japan’s vending machines and their history watch the following short documentary from NHK world’s series Begin Japanology. Did you know that you can get hot drinks and even fresh, hot food from a Vending Machine?

Gonohe International Music Festival

If you will be in the Gonohe area, or are planning to make a trip to Aomori this coming Fall, you may want to think about planning your trip around the one-of-a-kind event known as: The Gonohe International Music Festival!

Beginning in 2013, the Gonohe International Music Festival is a free event that takes place annually at Kowataritai Park in the town of Gonohe, which is located within the Aomori prefecture. Started by Dave Herlich and Michael Warren two friends who were English teachers in the town of Gonohe for several years – as a means of intercultural outreach and community, the Gonohe Music Festival has expanded over the years to include a wide variety of musicians, cultural performances, and seasonal/specialty foods from around the world as well as Japan/Aomori. While the festival features many cultural aspects unique to the Aomori prefecture, the Gonohe Music Festival also includes musical acts from a variety of foreign cultures and countries – such as a West African Drum Line (2013), a Reggae group (2015), and Beatles covers (2016) – while additionally showcasing Japanese indie, rock, jazz, fusion, and traditional music groups/bands.

The Fifth annual Gonohe International Music Festival will be held Sunday, October 8th of this year (2017) and is an all day affair – running from Sunrise to Sunset. While the music lineup has not yet been released, looking at the lists from previous years, it is safe to say that 2017 is sure to be a blast!  

All images property of http://www.gonohemusicfestival.com/

To hear samples of the music played at the 2013 Gonohe International Music Festival, click on the link here: https://gonohemusicfest.bandcamp.com/  

A commentary by the founders of the Gonohe International Music Festival on the back story, goals, and future of the festival is available for listening here: http://www.pechakucha.org/presentations/harmony-in-aomori-the-gonohe-music-festival/play  
For more information and to keep up to date on the 2017 line-up, please visit the festival’s main page at: http://www.gonohemusicfestival.com/2017