VACANCES Leather experience / original T-shirt experience

Okinawa painebag

What kind of activity this?


There is a shop in Ginowan City, Okinawa. We sell leather goods and T-shirts. How about making original leather items for making memories in Okinawa.

1. Creating your own T-shirts (for adults and kids) with full hand-making. You can make your own T-shirt with a logo or name. You can also produce shopping bags.
2. Even beginners can make leather items (coin cases, pass cases, key cases) while enjoying them. There is a legendary guardian god Shisa logo and other design logos that are only handled here, and you can also stamp your initials. How about making original memories for yourself and gifts for making memories of Okinawa?
Umi Tshirs Okinawa

Morioka Tour learning How to Cut Fish

iwate sashimi experience

Introducing Tokyo tour

Two families joined this experience. They were from US and Australia.
At first, two boys seemed a little bit tired, because they walked a lot in Tokyo Disney Sea yesterday.
The married couple from Australia tried some Miso soy beans paste. They liked the rich flavor very much and bought some for gift.
After watching the traditional method of killing fish in Fish market, we headed for the kitchen studio in Morioka.
In sushi making workshop, the Australian couple looked very interested when our chef showed hot to cut the tuna into small blocks. Then, the customers tried cutting fish with an edged tool. The 13 years old and 9 years old boys were very good at using knife and did a great job. But they could not eat raw fish so much that our chef cooked some food for them, such as tuna steak and grilled fish, using salmon, young yellowtail and mackerel. The boys liked grilled salmon and ate them with their parents. We were very happy to see them smile.
All of the adults enjoyed drinking sake while eating Sushi. They liked pure rice sake called Jyuyondai. “Kanpai !”
Thank you very much for joining our tour!

Morioka Tour

April season Hanami News

flower sakura

The author of this article is Naoko Miyajima.


What is Japanese Hanami

Hanami literally means flower viewing.
Spring is blossom time. Flower viewing is one of the most popular spring events in Japan, and mostly means cherry blossoms viewing. Cherry blossom is called ‘Sakura ’in Japanese. Hanami is like a picnic party among families, friends and coworkers. People gather together and enjoy eating, drinking and chatting while appreciating cherry blossoms under or near trees. Since ancient times, Japanese people have appreciated the beauty of flowers. The custom of Hanami is said to have started during the Nara period (710-794) when it was plume blossoms that people admired in the beginning. But by the Heian period (794-1185), cherry blossom came to attract more attention. Recently it attracts foreign visitors from all over the world as well.
Sakura 1st Japan April


When to Hanami/ Cherry blossom Forecast

As the weather warms up, cherries begin to bloom across Japan from late March to April, appearing from south part such as Okinawa and Kyushu up to north and finally ending in Hokkaido. The peak blooming period varies year to year due to the weather conditions of each year, and it lasts for only a week or so. This year temperature have averaged warmer than normal, and according to the weather association, the cherry blossom season is expected to come earlier than usual in many places around Japan.
To admire the transient beauty of the flowers, researching the information about the flowering dates and the peak timing for full bloom is recommended.
Below is the link for cherry blossom forecast.
https://n-kishou.com/corp/news-contents/sakura/?lang=en
It will be updated for the latest version during the season.


Famous places for Hanami in Tokyo

There are many places to enjoy cherry blossom viewing in Tokyo. Here, we introduce 3 spots which are designated as 100 best cherry blossom spots in Japan.

Shinjyuku Gyoen National Garden


shinjyuku gyoen garden tokyo
It was built as a garden for the Imperial Household in 1906 and was opened to the public in 1949. There are over 1100 cherry trees, and you can enjoy about 65 kinds of cherry trees. Shinjyuku Gyoen has three different styles of garden: English, French, and Japanese. Including cherry trees, there are about 20000 trees in spacious grounds. With its large lawn, it is a nice place for a picnics and relaxing strolls
(Tourist info)
Location:11,Naito-machi,Shinjyuku-ku, Tokyo
Opening hour:March15~September30/ 9:00~17:30(Gates Close at 18:00)July1~August20/9:00~18:30(Gates close at 19:00)
Charge:Adults 500JPY, Seniors(65 and over) 250JPY, Students(with valid ID)250JPY,Children(junior high school students/15 and under)FREE
Nearest Station: Shinjyukugyoenmae Station(Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line)
Website: http://www.env.go.jp/garden/shinjukugyoen/english/index.html

Ueno Onshi Park


Naoko Miyajime cherry blossum tokyo ueno
It is also popular to have a picnic under the sakura at night. Hanami at night is called yozakura in Japan, and Ueno Park is one of the most popular places to enjoy Cherry blossom at night. During the blooming season, many lanterns are hung in under the trees which are lit up after the sun goes down. Let’s enjoy the flower illuminations. It can be quite crowded, but it is worthwhile visiting at least once. You can buy a lot of food at food stalls in the park.
(Tourist info)
Location: Sanchome, Uenokoen Ikenohata, Taito-ku, Tokyo
Opening hour:5:00~23:00
Charge: Free
Nearest Station: Ueno Station(Tokyo Metro Ginza Line, Tokyo Metro Hibiya Line, JR)
Website: http://www.kensetsu.metro.tokyo.jp/jimusho/toubuk/ueno/en_index.html

Inogashira Park


sakura4th april japan
There are about 500 cherry trees in the park such as Yoshino cherry trees and Yamazakura. Approximately 250 cherry trees surround a central pond, and the reflection of the full blossom and scattering of the cherry petals are splendid. People can go boating, and the swan shaped boats are loved by families and couples.
(Tourist info)
Location:1-18-31, Gotenyama, Musashino City,Tokyo
Opening hour:9:30~17:00(Admission until 16:00)
Charge: FREE,
Nearest Station: Kichijoji Station(JR Keio Inokashira Line)
Website: http://www.kensetsu.metro.tokyo.jp/jimusho/seibuk/inokashira/en_index.html

For Bring Food and Drinks


In Japan, we have a famous proverb,“Hanayoridango”, which literally means dumplings rather than flowers. Actually, for many Japanese, it can be said “no matter how beautiful flower is, food comes first”. Why not get some food and drinks for Hanami picnic like local Japanese people do? At some famous Hanami spots, there are food stalls selling snacks and drinks, but if you visit basement floor of some department stores, you will easily find a variety of eye-pleasing bento lunch boxes beautifully arranged with seasonal ingredients. Let’s enjoy spring of Japan not only with eyes but also with the taste buds.
Bento Box Lunch Japan

Also, dumplings are recommended food for Hanami. Especially Sakuramochi is the traditional seasonal confectionary. It is a rice cake with sweet red bean paste inside and wrapped with a leaf of cherry tree which is pickled in salt water.
sakura mochi
It is eaten without removing the leaf, so you will enjoy a scent of cherry blossom. The mixing of the salty leaf and the sweet bean paste is superb.

Gifu Prefecture Ayu Hatchery

Gyobyou center ayu

Gifu Prefectural Ayu Hatchery


■ Objectives
Wild ayu resources change every year and they may not always fulfill the needs of fishermen. The Gifu Prefectural Ayu Hatchery was established in 1983 by joint investment of Gifu Prefecture and the Gifu Prefecture Federation of Fishermen’s Cooperatives in order to supplement shortages in wild ayu resources and to provide juvenile ayu generated from wild ayu for release into rivers.
The annual production of ayu in this hatchery has gradually increased since 1983. Currently, we produce more than 60,000kg of juvenile ayu in a year and fulfill an important role in providing stable fishery of ayu.
Annual Production of Ayu Juvenile in this Hatchery


■ Annual Aquaculture Plan for Ayu
[Fall-season]Collect eggs from wild matured ayu.
[Winter-season]Raise eggs to larvae.
[Spring-season]Release fry ayu into the river.
Annual Aquaculture Plan for Ayu


■Origin of Adult Ayu
It is preferable not to release groups that are genetically different from ayu originally live in the area in terms of continuous management of wild fish groups.
In order to keep genetic diversity specific to ayu in the Nagara River, we catch matured ayu mainly from the Nagara River and artificially collect eggs from them.
Origin of Adult Ayu


■Effective population size
The number of individuals that contribute to spawning and provide their genes to the next generation is referred to as the “effective population size.”
It is recommended to use at least 50 individual adult ayu in order to maintain genetic diversity.
Based on this standard, more than 1,500 individual males and more than 4,000 individual females are used for artificial fertilization every year in this hatchery.
Effective population size


■Number of Generations
When breeding fish continuously, much of the genetic diversity held by wild groups will be lost due to evolutionary reaction (genetic drift or natural selection).
In order to reduce this risk, continuous breeding of ayu is not implemented in principle in this hatchery.
Number of Generations .001

Tsukiji Outer Market Tour

Suzutoku Kaki

Enjoy Eating and walking


A couple from New York joined Tokyo Tsukiji Insider Tour. They were on their honeymoon. They arrived in Japan about 10 days before and visited some places such as Kyoto, Osaka, and Izu. The gentleman said he liked Izu the best of all for its rich nature and warm atmosphere. 
When we entered the intermediate wholesale market in Toyosu, they listened to what the guide explained, and sometimes asked the names of unfamiliar fish and how to cook them.
They were very interested in Japanese cuisine. In Tsukiji market, a variety of food sold at the street attracted them. “Today is the last day in Japan, so I want to try everything !”, said the gentleman with humor. They bought fried chicken, dumpling, shrimp-flavored fish cake, and also enjoyed sampling snacks such as wasabi-flavored peanuts, Japanese traditional bread with sweet bean paste, and Japanese omellete. 
When the tour ended, they smiled and said, “Yoi ichinichiwo ( Have a nice day ) !”.
Thank you very much for joining the tour.

About Fish Market

Iwate Key man You

A family from North Carolina in US joined Tokyo Sushi VIP tour.


We visited the intermediate wholesale market with our main chef. It was around 6 o’clock in the morning. The market was very lively right after the auction and the workers were very energetic, which attracted our guests very much. There were so many variety of fish. Among them, the father loved octopus and alfonsino, and the others preferred shrimp and crab. We visited some stores and got all of their requests. In addition, we got scallop from Hokkaido and a big block of tuna from Sakaiminato which was a very famous port for tuna’s catch.
Then, we headed to our kitchen studio where we had a sushi-making workshop. They made sushi with their favorite fish and seafood. The mother loved the sweetness of scallop and shrimp. The boys enjoyed salmon sushi. The father tasted several types of sake with sushi. Also, he was a big fan of whisky and would like to get some bottles. Our sushi master had deep knowledge about whiskey, so he recommended him a couple of good liquor shops in Tokyo.
After the tour, they would like to go back to their hotel by subway. About a week already passed since they had arrived in Japan, but it was the first time for them to use trains here. We explained the way to the hotel and how crowded the trains were during rush hour in Tokyo. They said, “Oh, good ! We like adventures !”
Thank you very much for joining our tour !