We Went to Toei Kyoto Studio Park III

Just a little bit more of the movie theme park scenery.


This “Bridge” set can often be seen in the period dramas. It is not very clear in the picture, but the foreground part is considerably steep. I’m guessing that the actors wearing zōri (Japanese sandals) during a rainy scene must be pretty scared not to slip.



This is how the other side of the bridge looks.


This is an atelier where they repair the rao, which is the middle part of a kiseru (a sort of smoking pipe). Apparently, this occupation was still existing when Hiroshi was a child. Nowadays, the number of people using kiseru pipes has decreased, so we don’t see this kind of shops anymore.


There is also a space where pictures and objects of people connected to movies are displayed.


This is Kurosawa Akira. He is a famous film director.



This is Hasegawa Kazuo. He was active from before the Second World War up to the period after the war. Long time ago…



This is Tsuburaya Eiji. He is a film director famous for the tokusatsu special effects. He is the father of Godzilla.


Let’s check out the souvenir shop!



There was a special corner, probably connected to Evangelion: 3.0+1.0 Thrice Upon a Tim, (an anime).



My friend looking at Matsudaira Ken (an actor, still alive) goods. For some reason, this feels surreal. I was thinking of buying a clear document folder as a souvenir, but Hiroshi did everything he could to stop me from doing it. I ended up not buying anything.



The cherry blossom was beautiful both inside and outside the park.



Therefore, our one month blog has reached its final day! Thank you for keeping up with our updates. We would be very happy to hear your opinion and impressions next time we meet!


Hiroshi Yanagi Oriental Art is hoping to receive your support from now on as well!



We Went to Toei Kyoto Studio Park! II

All right! Let’s continue our trip!


A sword fighting show was put on, it lasted around 15 minutes.

The character to the left wearing the umbrella hat is Okada Izō (his other name, Hitokiri (man-slayer) Izo, is more famous). The man in the middle wearing the blue haori is Okita Sōji, it seems. They both lived at the end of the Edo period (1603-1868).

The actors deeply ignored the historical accuracy and wore masks (preventive measure against the corona virus).



This is the meeting place for Shinsengumi (a special police force) of which Okita Sōji was a member.



In the house in front of the meeting place, there were a ninsōgaki, which is the equivalent of a WANTED poster, and a sodegarami (tangle-sleaves), a utensil used to capture criminals (the policeman would slide the fork so that it tangled up in the kimono sleaves of the criminal and then they would knock the criminal down).

It seems that this was a rather agitated area.



Next to the meeting place of Shinsengumi, there is a lake, home to a dinosaur that is coming out once in 5 minutes to say hello; quite often I’d say.  



We found an antique shop!



What do you think? Any wealthy people around?



Then, let’s check out the souvenir shop!


To be continued tomorrow….


We went to Toei Kyoto Studio Park I

This is the last stop of our journey! Thank you for visiting our blog throughout the entire month! For our last round, we went to a peculiar touristic spot in Kyoto.


This is it: Toei Kyoto Studio Park. In spite of the rain, we went forward with our plan.

It is a theme park about Japanese movies, a quite old one. (it opened in 1975)

A part of the filming studio of Toei, the Japanese company of production, distribution and entertainment located in Uzumasa, was transformed into the Toei Park. Toei is making both anime and movies, so most probably all Japanese people have seen at least one piece made by this company at one point in their life.


This time, I invited a friend who likes history to come along with us. Hiroshi is going for the first time in 30 year, I have not been here in 25 years, and my friend in 20 years.

When I went 25 year ago, it looked kind of deserted. I am wondering how it looks now, a quarter of a century later.

Let me tell you right away!


The entrance fee is 2400 yen (1 adult).


Once we got in, we are greeted by various characters from anime.

The characters in the upper picture I thought were from the anime for young girls called “Futari wa Pretty Cure” (literally “The Two Girls Pretty Cure”), but there is an entire crowd there, way more than the two characters I was expecting. I wonder when did they multiply like this?

In the bottom picture, there are characters from Dragon Ball, an anime that has constantly been popular since the 1980s. The display was rather random. Part of me wants the figurine from the right side, the old man with sunglasses.


Inside this park that is not even trying to hide its 21st century modern feeling, we are guided by this person looking like they are coming straight from the Edo period. It feels kind of strange.


Inside the park, there are several streetscapes that were used for filming period dramas. This here is (the entrance to) Yoshiwara street. I am passing by it wondering if it’s ok to have these display windows meant for prostitution in a theme park for kids.


We are not allowed in here since the place is used for filming. It must be dating from sometime around the Taishō period (1912-1926).


We can also see the back side of the set from the Taishō period. It has a more solid structure than one would expect.

To be continued tomorrow…

About Japanese Sake II


The sake I bought this time is called Yamahōshi (山法師) and it is said to be the driest sake in Japan.


But what does dry mean when it comes to Japanese sake?? In order to find out, I also bought Tatenogawa (楯野川), another sake made in the same region, Yamagata Prefecture.


Hiroshi and I drank together and tried to compare the two types of sake. Let’s say that Yamahōshi has a dry, astringent aftertaste, while Tatenogawa has a soft taste, a taste that you can only find in a popular sake!

Apparently, the dryness of white wine is not the same as the dryness of sake.


Wanting to make a thorough comparison, we brought in some sashimi as well, but we ended up getting drunk, and we both agreed on this conclusion:

Tatenogawa is very good!

…a pretty useless report.

Being amateurs, we surrendered in front of the popular sake. Yamahōshi has such a complex, difficult to describe, philosophical taste; it’s not for everyone, but who likes it really likes it.

If you are trying sake for the first time, I recommend you Tatenogawa; if you had sake several times, Yamahōshi. They are both tasty and you can buy them for a rather reasonable price.

Please, give them a try!

About Japanese Sake I

Hello, everyone!

Do you like Japanese sake?

In case you are wondering if I like it, I can tell you that I do like it, but not that much. If I am being served sake I take a small sip, but I don’t go to buy it myself. This is not a rare thing among young Japanese people. By the way, Hiroshi loves sake.


There are two types of sake bottles. The one shō bottle (一升瓶), and the four bottle (四合瓶). The one shō bottle is 1800ml, and the four bottle is half of that.


the one shō bottle



The four bottle. It has almost the same size as a wine bottle.



This is the standard size for one . The container is called ichigō masu (一合升).


The one shō bottle is more reasonable if we think about the price and the volume, but it has an enormous disadvantage in that it is too big to fit in the fridge.


The Japanese sake is not that strong, so if you want to try different types of sake, I recommend you to buy four bottles. If you already have a favourite sake, and you want to drink only that one, the one shō bottle is by far a better deal.


For next time, I drank several types of sake to compare them.

I will get back to you with to my report!