Dried Bitter Persimmons

Friday, November 30, 2012

Persimmons (kaki) are either eaten fresh in Japan or dried in the sun. The round variety is the one eaten fresh, usually hard, whereas the oval, more elongated persimmon is dried. Sold as souvenirs, dried persimmon are expensive.

Japanese persimmons drying in the sun
Jake Davies

© JapanVisitor.com

Guide Books on Tokyo & Japan

MY ADVENTURE.... outside!!!!

Hello Dollies and their Mommies! ;-) Ever heard of "The Drive"? Well, you're about to. IT'S A STORY ABOUT ME! ;) You better read it because I went through a lot of trouble. lol.

 See my gorgeous car? It's Our Generation that my mom got for her B-day this year in June. It's really cool.


 I'M SAFE lol. I'm driving now, on the right side of the road like you're supposed to lol.

 Now I'm on the grass.... (bad idea if you don't like leaves)

 HEY LET'S JUMP INTO THAT BIG PILE OF LEAVES!!!!! (BAD idea don't do it!!!!!)

 Uh oh. My mom's not going to be happy about my car lol.

 Now how do you climb this thing?

Oh. So that's how. lol. (Don't my eyes just sparkle in this picture?)

Wasn't that funny? "The Drive" almost sounds like it could be a novel. My mom will have to be the very on who writes it!!!!! lol.

Whaddya think?



Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway is a popular sightseeing railway running from Kakunodate Station through beautiful and sparsely populated countryside north to Takanosu.

Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway, Kakunodate

However during weekdays the line is little used and the company operating the 94km line and 29 stations faces financial difficulties in turning a profit.

Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway

The first train from Kakunodate leaves at 5.09am with the last train at 8.27pm. The fare from Takanosu to Kakunodate is 1620 yen and the journey takes two hours 45 minutes.

Akita Nairiku Jukan Railway Kakunodate

Turn right out of Kakunodate Station and the classic wood paneled waiting room is on your right opposite Kakunodate Tourist Office.

© JapanVisitor.com

Guide Books on Tokyo & Japan

Akita Station

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Akita Station won't win any awards for architectural excellence but it's extremely functional with a good range of shops, convenience stores, cafes, restaurants and the Topico department store - a good place to pick up souvenirs of Akita Prefecture.

Akita Station, Akita

Akita Station has trains on the following lines: the Akita Shinkansen to Tokyo, the Ou Main Line to Fukushima and Aomori Station via Omagari Station (change here for local trains to Kakunodate), the Uetsu Main Line to Niitsu Station in Niigata and the Oga Line to Oga in Akita.

Both exits of Akita Stations have bus stations. There are highway bus services to both Sendai (3 hours, 40 minutes; 10 services daily) and Tokyo (8 hours, 20 minutes, 1 daily service). There are local buses to North Asia University and Akita Airport.

Akita Station platform entrance

Akita Tourist Information Center is directly opposite the entrance to the platforms. Nearby hotels to Akita Station include the ALS Hotel Metropolitan Akita and the Toyoko Inn.

© JapanVisitor.com

Guide Books on Tokyo & Japan

Follower and another STOP-MOTION!!!!

Hey dollie's and their mommies! it's been busy! But thankfully, I've got the time to post! ;)

First, I want to thank you guys for following! You guys rock! Thank you soooo much! And I'd appreciate if you would tell others about my blog, too! ;)

OK, To that stop-motion. My mom made it. WITH LEGO's! Yes! Not me! :(:(:( Well, it's pretty cute anyway, ;) watch away!

HERE WE GO! No need to click "original video" BECAUSE I'VE GOT IT RIGHT HERE! :) Comment and tell me what you think! :)



Akarenga Red Brick Folk Museum Akita

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The red rick former central branch of Akita Bank dates from the early 20th century and has been renovated and turned into a repository of Akita's most representative arts and crafts.

Akarenga Red Brick Folk Museum Akita

Designed by local architect Yamaguchi Naoaki, the Akarenga-kan Museum was completed in 1912 and served as a functioning bank until 1969. On the 100th anniversary of Akita Bank and the 90th anniversary of Akita municipality in 1981, the bank building was donated to Akita city authorities and re-opened as a museum in 1985.

Over half of the cost and construction time was spent on the bank's solid foundations which have kept the structure safe from earthquakes for exactly 100 years so far. The Renaissance style exterior gives way to the Baroque interior complete with colored tiles, white marble staircases, plaster ceilings and archways and zelkova wood paneling. A particular highlight are the huge metal doors of the bank vault.

Akita Akarenga Red Brick Folk Museum Interior

The interior of the bank now hosts rooms dedicated to some of Akita's greatest crafts persons such as Katsuhira Tokushi and Sekiya Shiro.

Katsuhira Tokushi (1907-1971) was a celebrated wood block print artist working in bold colors depicting scenes of local Akita life and customs. Visitors can view a recreation of Katsuhira's studio and see the original tools the artist used to create his works along with a fine selection of his art.

Katsuhira Tokushi print, Akita

Sekiya Shiro (1907-1994) was a metalwork artist who worked in a variety of metals specializing in a fusion technique called hagiawase. The second floor of the  building displays a number of the artist's masterpieces as well as a selection of the tools of his trade in the Sekiya Shiro Memorial Room.

Sekiya Shiro Memorial Room, Akita

The Akarenga Red Brick Folk Museum also puts on special exhibitions and on the day I visited there was a show dedicated to the haiku poet Ishii Rogetsu (1873-1928).

Akarenga Red Brick Folk Museum
3-3-21 Omachi
Tel: 018 864 6851

Hours: 9.30am-4.30pm
Admission: 200 yen

There are city or Chuo Kotsu buses from Akita Station to Koshu Kosha mae. The "Kururin" Pass for 500 yen allows admission to Akarenga Red Brick Folk Museum, The Satake Historical Material Museum, Kubota Castle's Osumiyagura Turret, the Akita City Folklore & Performing Art Center, the Old Kaneko Family House, the Akita Senshu Museum of Art and the Old Kurusawa House.

The Akarenga Red Brick Museum is close to the Omachi and Kawabata entertainment and red light district on the Asahi River.

Akarenga Red Brick Folk Museum Akita

© JapanVisitor.com

Guide Books on Tokyo & Japan

Takeda Castle Ruins

Monday, November 26, 2012

Takeda Castle ruins are located in Hyogo Prefecture and can be accessed via the Bantan Line between Himeji and Asago. When you reach the train station you will find an information center there. Please notice the bamboo hiking sticks and take one.

Takeda Castle Ruins Hyogo

On the other side of the train track lies a trail leading up to the mountain top. I ascended to the mountain via this path and I must tell you right away: Don't climb this trail unless you are accustomed to hiking regularly. The way is rough and difficult, and I wished I had not done it. I walk a great deal, but that did not translate into an easy climb.

Takeda Castle Walk

At the very least, I was fortunate to have the walking stick for help. Instead, take a taxi to the parking lot. You will still have to walk a bit before you reach the castle ruins, but the road is paved. If you really want to hike the trail, I recommend taking it on the way back to the train station when it's downhill and gravity works as your ally.

When my daughter and I saw the castle ruins we were completely awed. The castle must have been enormous. It was constructed in 1414 by Ohtagaki Mitsukage, a samurai and military commander for the Yamana Clan. Hideyoshi conquered and took the castle in 1577. The last lord was Akamatsu Hirohide, and he supported Ieyasu on the battlefield at Sekigahara in 1600; later that year, however, he committed seppuku and Takeda Castle was soon abandoned.

Takeda Castle

There are no railings or fences to spoil the ambiance of the environment, which we both appreciated. We knew it would have been different in the USA, where somebody would inevitably engage in risky behavior, fall off the mountain, and then claim no personal responsibility for his actions.

Takeda Castle has been referred to as the "Machu Piccu of Japan" and the "Castle in the Sky." When the fog rolls in, the castle seems to float among the clouds.

Takeda Castle map

© JapanVisitor.com

Guide Books on Tokyo & Japan


Sunday, November 25, 2012
I posed for a stop-motion! I know, I'm taking a shower, gross........:p but I don't really have 'private' parts ;) so watch away! just click, "original video" :)

Original Video - More videos at TinyPic class="bbc_img">



Mariage Freres in Japan

マリアージュ フレール

The venerable French teahouse, Mariage Fréres has a presence in sixteen different locations in Japan. The store at the top of the list is the one in Japan's most famous fashion and art district, Ginza, in Tokyo.

Mariage Freres, Ginza, Tokyo.

Mariage Fréres Ginza is right in the heart of the Ginza district, down a small street off the main Chuo-dori Street. This most prestigious of Japan's Mariage Freres stores has a graceful, wood-paneled facade, with wrought iron window bars upstairs, that reflects its French origins.

Step inside Mariage Freres Ginza and you are greeted by one of the white-clad staff - as well as a wallful of teapots and tea canisters, as varied in shape and color as the kinds of tea offered here.

Inside Mariage Freres, Ginza.

Mariage Freres Ginza is a three-floor cafe and our party was taken to a table on the top, third floor. The tea menu had hundreds of teas organized by growing region. I found out for the first time that Darjeeling tea comes in green varieties too.

Unfortunately the Exilir de Amour was sold out, so I went for "Master Darjeeling" and a piece of pumpkin tart.

The teapot is nothing like I have ever seen in Japan in terms of size and build. It held at least twice, probably three times, as much tea as you normally get in a Japanese cafe, and the delicious piece of tart was at least twice the size of a typical Japanese serving.

Tea in Mariage Freres, Ginza.

The waiters - including more than a few strapping young men - are plentiful, attentive, and very smartly attired.

A very pleasant time - about an hour and a half - at a table of our own over superb, rarely found tea and sweets, in generous quantities, and in Tokyo's most expensive area, came to a reasonable 2,000 yen each.

Mariage Freres Ginza is a cafe with a pleasant blend of intimate comfort and chic sophistication. There are boxed teas and sweets for sale in the store as well as books about tea, the history of tea, and tea paraphernalia. The Mariage Freres Ginza store comprises a tea emporium, tea museum, restaurant, and tea salon.

Tart at Mariage Freres Ginza, Tokyo.

Most Mariage Freres in Japan are inside department stores, but the Ginza and Shinjuku stores in Tokyo are stand-alone.

There are other Mariage Freres in Kobe, Kyoto, Osaka, Nagoya and Yokohama.

Mariage Freres Ginza
Suzuran-Dori, 5-6-6 Ginza
Chuo-Ku, Tokyo
Phone. : 03 3572 1854

Tea emporium & Museum 11:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Restaurant & Tea Salon  11:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Ginza station, exit A1, 1 minute walk.

© JapanVisitor.com

Guide Books on Tokyo & Japan

Testing, one two three.......

Saturday, November 24, 2012
Hey girls! Wow! One blog post followed by ANOTHER! Wow! :) Well, I'm experimenting on some stuff so if you see some crazy stuff don't go crazy yourself! I'm changing things around, and stuff. :) Bye for now!



How Delightful World Of Dolls Came to Be!

Hello dollies and their mommies! ;) Today, I was just being lazy, wondering if making a post today was worth getting up and prepping for it, when I realized that I've never told you the story of how Delightful World of Dolls was even created! I could never have been so silly! Enjoy the fun photo's of below, and then get ready for the tale of your life! ;)

 Hey guys! Yes, you!


 Do you know Delightful World of Doll's history? No? Then come on this way, and get ready for the story of a lifetime..........

It all started with American Girl Doll Central, Julie's Jumbles blog I think. Well, I love their blog so much, I decided to check out their picasa albums, and I loved it. I wanted my mom to get one so badly, and she wanted one too, so she could share with the world all these cute pictures and photo-storie's she took of me. She asked her dad, and he checked it out, but you have to be 13, to get your own e-mal address, and you have to have you own e-mail address for your own Google Account, and you have to have a Google Account to have a blog.

Then, her dad made this incredibly extremely intelligent, and exquisite offer. They'd share google accounts! It was perfect! They tried naming this blog "Molly's Madness," but somebody had already got that one. They tried, "Molly's musings," but somebody's got that one, too. We tried Doll's Digest, and we were disgusted. Another word for Digest is really a newspaper. Nobody had that name, and we could guess why. Then, we came up with the Name, Delightful World of Doll's, and here I AM!!!!

The reason I can't follow any of ya'll is because If I follow, there is a pic of.....of......my mom's dad! I don't want people thinking I'm a man! :o So I always love commenting on your blog's, though!

And that is the story. A 9-year-old with a blog, but a 7-year-old- doll who steals it and claims it her own! HA-HA! xD



Japan News This Week 25 November 2012


Japan News.When Yakuza Come Calling One in Five Japanese Companies Admit Paying Them Off

The Atlantic Wire

Japan's ninjas heading for extinction


A Call for Japan to Take Bolder Monetary Action

New York Times


Our Planet

Is Japan really on the brink of a sudden downward spiral?


Japan's Ogasawara Islands: one year after UNESCO

Japan Times

日本扣押运往朝鲜铝合金 指其或用于核武导弹 


Japan: Building a Galapagos of Power?

Japan Focus

Last Week's Japan News


Japan is the most sexless country in the world. According the the Japanese Medical Association, the definition of "sexlessness" is: "a couple that, without diagnosed 'special circumstances' (i.e., ED or other physical or mental issues), engages in consensual sex once a month or less."

The average Japanese couple has sex 17 times a year, and a whopping 33.9% are "sexless." The well-cited Durex survey of annual number, by country, of fornication is noted below:

1. Greece (138) 
2. Croatia (134)
3. Serbia Montenegro (128)
4. Bulgaria (127) 
5. Czech Republic (120)
5. France (120)  

7. England (118)
41. Japan (45)

Forty-one countries were surveyed.

Source: Sexless Kaisho Shiawase

© JapanVisitor

Book a hotel in Japan with Bookings

Japanese Fiction

Happi Coats


Akita Prefectural Museum of Art Hirano Masakichi Museum of Fine Art

Friday, November 23, 2012
平野政吉美術館, 秋田県立美術館

The Akita Prefectural Museum of Art also houses the Hirano Masakichi Museum of Fine Art which is the main draw for visitors, as this part of the museum displays a large collection of the paintings of Tsuguhara Fujita (aka Leonard or Leonardo Foujita or Tsuguohara Foujita) as well as other European masterpieces by Goya, Rubens, Rembrandt and Picasso.

Akita Prefectural Museum of Art, Akita

The modern building, which opened in 1967, contains the unremarkable Akita Prefectural Museum of Art on the first floor. The upper two floors display the collections of Hirano Masakichi (1895-1989), an avid art collector and friend of the maverick, modernist artist Foujita.

The centerpiece of the work by Foujita on display is the huge Events of Akita which depicts the changing seasons and festivals in the prefecture and measures a staggering 3.65 x 20.5m - reputedly the world's largest canvas painting. A wall in Foujita's studio had to be removed to get the giant painting out.

Hirano Masakichi Museum of Fine Art, Akita

Tokyo-born Tsuguhara Fujita (1886-1968) is one of Japan's greatest modern artists and lead a colorful, Bohemian life in Paris before World War II.

Settling in Montparnasse in 1913 he met and befriended such influential figures as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Man Ray and Isadora Duncan. In the 1930s Foujita made a successful tour of South America where his work was enthusiastically received. Foujita is particularly remembered for his female nudes and cat portraits.

Seemingly somewhat strangely for one who had enjoyed success and friendship in the West, Foujita became a fervent supporter of Japan's war effort in the 1940s. Perhaps the movement from modernism to fascism was an easy one for the artist.  Foujita also seems to have become disillusioned with the debauchery of his time in Paris and may have felt slighted by the behavior of his usually penniless European friends, who often relied on the rich and successful Foujita for sustenance. Indeed the French surrealist poet Robert Desnos ran off with Foujita's third wife, Lucie Badoul aka Youki.

Autoportrait by Leonard Foujita, Akita Prefectural Museum of Art

An official war artist, Foujita was commissioned to produce scenes of the Japanese army's heroism during the war. These canvases were confiscated at the end of World War II and sent to America but were later returned and can now be seen in the National Museum of Modern Art in the Ueno district of Tokyo.
Foujita left Japan in 1949 and returned to France, where he converted to Catholocism and became a French citizen. Foujita is buried in a chapel in Reims that he designed himself.

The collection will eventually be moved to the new Akita Museum of Art designed by Tadao Ando across the road.

Akita Prefectural Museum of Art
3-7 Senshu, Meitokumachi
Akita 010-0875
Admission: 610 yen
Tel: 018 834 3050

© JapanVisitor.com

Guide Books on Tokyo & Japan

The Black Friday Party!

Hi guys! I can't say "sorry I haven't been posting lately" because I HAVE been posting lately! xD
So ANYWAYS, Happy Black friday! My mom went shopping and found some cute shirts :)


My mom made me wear my nicest party dress, glasses and braids and told me that I needed some socialization. She said that since there were no AG dolls around, she said that I could visit some Barbies. "Snobby Barbies," I thought. They were so modern and fufu and girly. They didn't care a wink about History!

 Blech. I would much rather be dancing in my Miss Victory dress with Emily Bennett!

 I went on over to the Black Friday party, and found only two Barbies, (instead of mom's lot of them) talking. I knew their names. The one in the white dress was a Barbie Fashionista, Named Laia. Yes, Lay-uh like from Starwars. :) Funny thing is, I've never watched Starwars. The one in the blue dress was named Brittany, but Strawberry was her nick-name. I think it was because she always wore a Strawberry Shortcake shirt.  :)

 Laia was saying, "I am SO relieved Mattel took over AG. They need to learn to stop being such dinosaurs. Ipod Touch's and pixie cuts are whats in style! History is not important at ALL." I was SO steaming mad. I wanted to burst in there, yell, "WHAT THE TACO ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT, YOU MEANIES!!!!" But I knew better. I WAS better. Than THEM. I walked in with a big smile and said, "Hello!" They looked at me like if I had just jumped into a garbage can. "Hey, dude,  what's up?" said Brittany. "And girlfriend, SO change your outfit."

 I felt a hot, warm, tear spring form behind my glasses.

 "Aww, did we make you cryyyyyyy?" teased Laia. Brittany laughed and said, "We don't mean nothing, Honey. Stop being a big baby!"

"No, thank you," I said crisply. "I think I will like to spend time with family. And Friends." I walked off, feeling strong. I wasn't going to let Barbie's stand in my way. I was better than them. They just weren't worth suffering for.

The best part; when I left, I heard Laia whisper, "Do you think we were a little mean? I mean, History does has some purpose......" I didn't hear what Brittany said. What do you think she said? What do YOU think she answered? Yes? Or no? :)



Thanksgiving Craft

Thursday, November 22, 2012
Hey dollies and their mommies! ;) Sorry I haven't been posting lately! Thanksgiving sure 'stuffs' you! Haha! OK, So today we have this really fun, cute, and simple craft! PHOTO'S!!! That's your cue! Where the taco are you?!

Oh! Here we are! *ach-hem* excuse me. I was cooking Thanksgiving rolls at the moment. My dress is not fit for cooking, but I wore it any way for the special occasion! :)

The roll mix! *ach-hem* Can we please get on with the crafts? HURRY UP, photos!

Now, where the taco are my craft supplies..........

TURKEY!!! Trace your hand (doesn't my hand look BEAUTIFUL?!) and cut it out. (of the paper) Cute a beak and the little red wobbly thingy out of paper, add a googly eye, glue your contents on and you have a cute little turkey! You can add feathers, too, if you want to! Gobble gobble! xD



Labor Thanksgiving Day


Today is the day after Thanksgiving Day in the United States, and is a similar day in Japan: Labor Thanksgiving Day, or Kinro Kansha no Hi. The roots of Japan's Labor Thanksgiving Day are much the same as those of Thanksgiving Day: the harvest festival - or Niiname-sai - and thanks to the natural powers that be.

For some reason, that inchoate sense of gratitude was crystallized in 1948 into thanks specifically for those who work, or, perhaps as is more appropriate these days, for the opportunity to work (and get paid for it).

Happy Labor Thanksgiving Day 2012!

 © JapanVisitor.com

Guide Books on Tokyo & Japan


Wednesday, November 21, 2012
HEY! Molly here! Yes, the thanksgiving craft I will show you on; well duh, Thanksgiving! :)
SO, guess what we got at Target for 8 dollars?

I know, It's plain, but guess what we also got for like 3 dollars?
DECORATIONS!!!!! Tinsel, christmas bulbs, and a star for the tree-top!!

 I stood on top of the Our Generation Salon Chair so I could reach the high tree-top!

 Well guess who also came to help? COCONUT!! "Here, Coco!" I crooned, reaching for the bulb. (see my owners hand in the tiny little corner? hehehe.)

 Decorations! I hung one by one up until that's when I saw it. TINSEL. Squealing with delight, I hung the rest up and ran toward it.

The finished tree! Isn't it amazing? :)

AND HERE'S THE FIREPLACE!!!! YAY! My mom sewed the stockings (one for me, and one for Josefina if she comes for Christmas) and she made the fireplace by printing out an image of an empty fireplace (our printer doesn't have color so if she printed out fire it would look weird) and taping it to a super small box. :)

I know, a little early to be putting up your Christmas tree, huh? Hehehe! :) :) :)