Walking trail in Tokoname City
Walking trail in Tokoname City by Bariston
25th Fuku-Kuru Manekineko Festival

Ise Shrine & 25th Maneki-neko Festival – 2/2

On September 29th, from 9:29 in the morning, it will be the day when 929 Kicchou Shofuku Bells (auspicious good luck charm bell) that received purification by the local Ujigami (guardian god) will be distributed to the first 929 people who arrive. After I had Akafuku rice cake and barley tea for breakfast at the Akafuku main store, I arrived at the distribution site for the good luck charm bells at the entrance of Oharai-machi street before 9 o’clock. A considerable number of people were already lined up. I could hardly see the end of the winding line of people. The place I finally reached was near the west exit…


Ise Shrine & 25th Maneki-neko Festival – 1/2

On September 28th (Saturday) and 29th (Sunday), I visited the Maneki-Neko Festival (Beckoning Cat and Lucky Cat Festival) held in Ise City, Mie Prefecture, where Ise Shrine is located. This is the 25th time this year!! It was 9.29 (September 29), which can be read as kuru-fuku in Japanese, which means happiness is coming.

Fun Bonsai workshop at Bonsai Village, Saitama

The vibrant and twisted trunk of a Goyomatsu (Japanese white pine) brings an invigorating freshness to the tips of each green leaf in the beautifully pruned foliage. In their tiny pots, Bonsai fascinate me as a symbol of the strength and vitality of nature. Although bonsai have always fascinated me, I have been daunted by the seeming difficulty of growing bonsai. However, one day, I found that a one-day hands-on Bonsai workshop was held in Saitama, and decided to give it a try – on a whim! The workshop was held in Seikouen, a Bonsai shop, located in Omiya Bonsai Village, Saitama prefecture. It was still very hot on the…

Leather wallets

Lovely Wallet of Manekineko, Beckoning Cats!

I found a lovely wallet of Manekineko in Nara, Japan. Made of raven-black and lustrous leather, the inside the wallet is formed of yellow cloth and manekineko pattern cloth. Opening the clasp of its coin purse, then you can see a lot of manekineko faces again! This could bring me good luck, since manekineko is said to bring good luck. In addition, black is a good color for a purse, reminding me of being in the black. The leather is pleasant to touch and comfortable on the hands. Another one I found was made of blue-gray leather, a color I love very much. The cats in this wallet, some white…

On a sunny Autumn day – 1

On a sunny Autumn day, I made an impromptu visit to Gotokuji (豪徳寺) which is said to be the Birthplace of Manekineko (beckoning cat). During the Edo era, there was a priest of a run-down temple named Koutokuin (the predecessor of Gotokuji) who was precarious about a cat and fed it some of his own portions. One day he mumbled to himself wouldn’t it be nice if this cat could usher in good fortunes.

On a sunny Autumn day – 2

While I stared out the window on the train, I was quietly pondering that I never had time to visit Gotokuji even though I’ve been blessed by the Manekineko more than my fair share. The train had just arrived at Gotokuji station. I got off the train hastily and took an escalator from the 2nd floor of the station to the 1st floor exit. Exiting the station, I turned left toward the Gotokuji shopping street where a relaxed atmosphere waited the commuters. Walking along the street, my eye’s caught Manekinekos in many locations.