Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Type of Onsen

There are 9 types of onsen that are regarded as having healing effects. In such establishments, these claims are usually clearly displayed. Bathing in the right onsen can be an effective cure for some illnesses.
1. Hot springs containing carbon dioxide are good for keeping your body warm.
2. The hydrogen carbonate springs are good for smooth skin.
3. Hot springs containing chloride are good for elderly people who have painful joints.
4. Sulfate springs are good for preventing the hardening of the arteries.
5. Iron-rich springs are good for painful joints, menopausal discomforts and chronic skin diseases.
6. Sulfur springs are effective for lowering high blood pressure and preventing the hardening of the arteries.
7. Although acid springs can irritate the skin, they are good for chronic skin diseases, women's diseases and diabetes.
8. Springs containing radium or radon ions are effective for lowering high blood pressure and preventing the hardening of the arteries.
9. The normal type of spring is a mild spring with a low mineral content, but this is also widely used as a treatment.

Beside that, there are some different onsen with special purpose. Sometimes it was very unique and special .. they are
Green Tea Onsen

Sake Onsen

Coffe Onsen

And then.. WIne Onsen... 


An onsen (温泉)  is a term for hot springs in the Japanese language, though the term is often used to describe the bathing facilities and inns around the hot springs. As a volcanically active country, Japan has thousands of onsen scattered along its length and breadth. Onsen were traditionally used as public bathing places and today play a central role in directing Japanese domestic tourism.

Onsen come in many types and shapes, including outdoor (露天風呂 or 野天風呂, rotenburo or notenburo) and indoor baths. Baths may be either public run by a municipality or private (内湯, uchiyu?) often run as part of a hotel, ryokan or Bed and Breakfast (民宿, minshuku).

Onsen are a central feature of Japanese tourism often found out in the countryside but there are a number of popular establishments still found within major cities. They are a major tourist attraction drawing Japanese couples, families or company groups who want to get away from the hectic life of the city to relax. Japanese often talk of the virtues of "naked communion" (裸の付き合い, hadaka no tsukiai?) for breaking down barriers and getting to know people in the relaxed homey atmosphere of a ryokan with an attached onsen. Japanese television channels often feature special programs about local onsens.

Traditionally, onsen were located outdoors, although a large number of inns have now built indoor bathing facilities as well. Onsen by definition use naturally hot water from geothermally heated springs. Onsen should be differentiated from sentō, indoor public bath houses where the baths are filled with heated tap water. The legal definition of an onsen includes that its water must contain at least one of 19 designated chemical elements, including radon and metabolic acid and be 25°C or warmer before being reheated. Stratifications exist for waters of different temperatures. Major onsen resort hotels often feature a wide variety of themed spa baths and artificial waterfalls in the bathing area utaseyu  (打たせ湯).

shibuya 109

Shibuya is a fashion and entertainment district in Tokyo that is constantly producing new youth culture. Its symbol is the Shibuya 109 (ichi-maru-kyu in Japanese) building, located close to Shibuya Station. The building itself is unique in that almost all the shops inside cater to teens and young people, and Marukyu (the nickname of the building) has become a byword for youth fashion. On holidays, the building is so crowded that it's hard to walk. The fashion trends that begin here instantly spread across the country, making 109 a fashion hub for Japanese teens.
The young people who gather in Shibuya are very fashion-conscious, so the streets of this district have been the birthplace of many trends. Shibuya was the fashion hotspot for female university students some 20 years ago and the kogyaru fashion among teenage girls that emerged about 10 years ago. Kogyaru fashion has continued to evolve, and the words ganguro and yamamba have been coined to describe girls that wear platform sandals and have heavy suntans and bleached hair. 
Harajuku, a short walk from Shibuya, is another hip district that has developed into something of a fashion town. While Harajuku as a whole has a more relaxed atmosphere than Shibuya, its Takeshita Street is a mecca for Japanese teens. This alley stretches for 400 meters from JR Harajuku Station to Meiji-dori, a main street. Crammed along both sides are numerous boutiques, used clothing stores, knick-knack shops, a big 100-yen shop, and cafes. Some shops sell their own original goods, and Takeshita Street has even become a destination for school field trips.
Not far from Takeshita Street is the local center of fashion, known as Ura Harajuku (Backstreet Harajuku). Street fashion rules here, and there are many shops that offer their own unique style, as well as some that appeal particularly to young men.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Wagashi (和菓子)

Wagashi (和菓子) is a traditional Japanese confectionery which is often served with tea, especially the types made of mochi, azuki bean paste, and fruits.

Wagashi is typically made from natural based (mainly plant) ingredients. The names used for wagashi commonly fit a formula—a natural beauty and a word from ancient literature; they are thus often written with hyōgaiji (kanji that are not commonly used or known), and are glossed with furigana.
Generally, confectioneries that were introduced from the West after the Meiji Restoration (1868) are not considered wagashi. Most sorts of Okinawan confectionery and those originating in Europe or China that use ingredients alien to traditional Japanese cuisine, e.g., kasutera, are only rarely referred to as wagashi.

In ancient Japan, people ate fruits and nuts as confectionery and sweets, to supplement nutrition in addition to grain, such as rice, wheat and millet. In an excavation of a Jōmon period archeological site, the carbonized remains of what appeared to be baked cookies made from chestnut powder were discovered.
According to the Kojiki, Emperor Suinin ordered Tajima-mori to bring Tokijiku-no-Kagu-no-Konomi (登岐士玖能迦玖能木實 a kind of orange) from the Eternal Land. 10 years later, Tajima-mori returned with the orange, but Emperor Suinin was already dead. Tajima-mori mourned since he could not carry out his mission and took his own life.[1] By tradition, Tajima-mori is worshiped as spirit like a patron saint among confectionery craftsmen.
Grain processing technology evolved through rice cultivation. People began to produce a parched rice (yaigome), sun-dried cooked rice (hoshi-ii), rice flour, dumpling (dango), mochi, ame (made of saccharified rice malt) and so on. Thus, ancient people's confectionery was very simple.