Instagrammer Kazuho Ishida Travels to Sabae, the City of Glasses

Instagrammer Kazuho Ishida Travels to Sabae, the City of Glasses

Touring Fukui, “Many Wonderful Photos”

In an effort to promote Fukui Prefecture’s charm on social media, famous Instagrammar, Kazuho Ishida (aged 29), was invited from Tokyo to explore the prefecture on December 12th and 13th. On the 13th, Ishida visited the Megane Museum (located in Sabae City, Shinyokoe, 2-Chome). Ishida was able to enjoy a number of activities, including creating an original strap made from the same material used for eyeglass frames, as well as shopping, fully experiencing the production area’s appeal.

Focusing on the Hokuriku Shinkansen expansion within Fukui Prefecture in 2023, the prefecture is aiming to increase its number of fans, with the help of social media influencers.

Using colourful acetate, the same material used for making eyeglass frames, the strap is filed down to its desired shape, and then polished into its final form with a machine. While having her picture taken, Ishida worked diligently in crafting the strap. Eventually, on her hand, she showed off the finished product with a smile.

During the two days, Ishida was able to fully enjoy many of Fukui’s cuisine and nature, going to the Meikyo Cave (Takahama Town), seeing the Tsuruga Port Illumination “MIRAIE” (Tsuruga City), and visiting the Echizengani Museum (Echizen Town), among other places.

“There’s a charm that can’t be found in the big cities. I could also take many wonderful photos!” says Ishida, about her first visit to Fukui.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/993001

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Closed Until February

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Closed Until February

Renovations to Relieve Congestion, Starting From December 20th

The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, a popular tourist spot which holds many pieces of modern art in Ishikawa Prefecture’s Kanazawa City, will be closed from December 20th. The museum had celebrated its 15th year anniversary in October. In efforts to relieve congestion, as a result of the recent surge of visitors, renovations will have the museum closed until February 3rd, 2020.

According to the museum, its 2nd floor and sub-basement was completed in 2004. With the opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen train line, there had been a surge of visitors, with 2018 seeing approximately 2.58 million visitors, a new record high. In an average day, there are about ten thousand Isidore, with the wait time to enter reaching up to one hour; the congestion within the museum has become an issue.

The improvements will include an expansion of the main reception counter, and two additional admission ticket machines, raising the number of machines to five. New monitors will also be installed, which will contain a museum guide and important notes in multiple languages; visitors can check on a variety of information while waiting in line.

According to a museum associate, the museum is also currently considering an online reservation system for certain exhibits happening during the next year.

“We wish to create a better environment for visitors to enjoy the artworks,” said the associate.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/992590

Approaching the Year’s End, Soba Production Peaks

Approaching the Year’s End, Soba Production Peaks

Fukui’s Noodle Manufacturers, Soba as Year-End Gifts and for New Year’s Eve

Closing into the end of the year, noodle manufacturers within Fukui Prefecture are approaching their peak production season for soba (buckwheat) noodles.

Nichifuku Seimen (“日福製麺”, located in Fukui City, Terute, 1-Chome) has been operating from 7:00 a.m., day after day. Using soba flour produced in Ono, freshly kneaded dough are rolled down to a 1.5 millimetre thickness, before being cut into equal lengths. The employees then skillfully package the noodles for distribution.

Using a significant amount of water, along with using udon flour, the soba noodles are described to have a “smooth and satisfying sensation as it travels through your mouth.” From the last part of November, soba noodle production speeds up, in anticipation of the year-end gift season. The crucial period for production concerning its use for New Year’s Even will be from the 27th. In other words, as New Year’s Eve gets closer, production will also get busier.

Company president Tatsuya Iwasaki (age 43) explains, “When the noodles become moist, after being boiled for a long time in plenty of hot water, the smooth texture will really stand out. The noodles are perfect for making Oroshi Soba!”

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/991814

A Winter Scene of Ten Thousand Interwoven Daikon Radishes

A Winter Scene of Ten Thousand Interwoven Daikon Radishes

Produced to be Used as Takuan in Fukui

In various areas within Fukui Prefecture, daikon (Japanese white radish) are being dried, in preparation to be used as takuan (pickled daikon). As a farmer working in Fukui Prefecture’s Fukui City, Akihiro Shimada (aged 58) has a field with about ten thousand daikon radishes dehydrating; exposed to the cold winds, the radishes’ umami flavour becomes condensed, producing a sweet aroma lingering in the air.

From six years ago, Shimada has been cultivating “miyashige” (a type of white radish relatively larger than other daikon radishes, and harvested in fall to winter). On December 5th, Shimada’s wife, Miho, also worked hard to help with the cultivation. After being rinsed with water, the roughly 30 centimetre long radishes are tied together in bunches of four, and hung one after another, along a pipe structure installed across the field, measuring 2.5 metres high, and 35 metres long. After dehydrating for roughly two weeks, the radishes are shipped out. It will then be sold within the prefecture’s Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA) direct sales markets, and at the Michi-no-Eki (a roadside rest area) located within Sakai City’s Mikuni-cho.

Grown in a field of sandy soil, Shimada has pride in the radishes’ sweetness and white colour.

“Through continuous trial and error, this year’s batch is the best ever. I want the youths to also try the challenge of making tsukemono (pickled food),” says Shimada.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/987416

The Countless Scratches, a Sign of Good Will

The Countless Scratches, a Sign of Good Will

Green Snow Shovels, Deployed Within Fukui Prefecture

In 2004, Fukui suffered through torrential rains. The shovels used to clear the mud and dirt resulting from the incident is now used for snow removal, as part of the “Green Shovel Project”. On December 2nd, Fukui Prefecture began installing stations at various places, including traffic intersections, within the prefecture. Until December 7th, at intersections and bus stops within 15 cities and towns, there will be 159 stations, with a total of 388 shovels. Like the years before, the prefecture is asking everyone to volunteer the time used waiting for the traffic light to change, to clear just a little bit of snow along the sidewalk.

When the project began in 2005, there were 32 stations, with a total of 111 shovels. With the project gradually gaining more awareness, requests of more stations were received from various groups, including local neighbourhood councils, the Parent-Teacher Associations, and community centres; and thus, the number of stations continued to increase.

On December 2nd, at various spots within Fukui City’s Ote, 2-Chome, such as intersections, approximately 20 stations were installed.

With the paint on the underside of the shovel wearing off, the iron and aluminum material is also becoming bare.

“We should spray paint this”, a prefectural staff commented with a smirk, but the countless straight scratches are a sign of good will, continuously building up from when it was used by volunteers during Fukui’s torrential rains 15 years ago. According to the Fukui Local Meteorological Office, central Okuetsu is predicted to see snow from the evening of December 3rd.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/985676