Uchinada World Kite Festival May 3-4

Courtesy of Drachenman

Finally, an excuse to bring your flip-flops out of hiding! If you’re sticking around Ishikawa this Golden Week come on out to Uchinada Beach, just 15 minutes from KZ station, on May 3rd and 4th (Thursday and Friday) for this exciting daytime event.

The Uchinada World Kite Festival is in it’s 23rd year (last year was cancelled due to tsunami concerns), and it is the first event to re-open the Uchinada Beach area after winter – lots of fun, food, and sun to be had! If you’ve not been to this festival yet, I recommend it. The kites themselves are enormous! They seem more the size of a hot-air balloon than a kite and the people that fly them come from all over the world. The stunt kite competition is also very impressive, with teams of up to eight pilots flying their kites within inches of each other and performing all manner of figures and formations in the air while somehow narrowly averting disaster.

There will be cheap Japanese kites for sale, festival attendees are encouraged to try their hand at flying their own tako!

Read on for schedule and transportation info:

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Sending Nengajō Overseas

If you’re planning to send winter holiday greetings this year, how about sending your friends and family back home a nengajō, a Japanese new year’s card? Nengajō can be purchased anywhere from conbini to department stores, and you can even make your own. If you are planning to send them via international airmail, the Japan Post has some guidelines to ensure that your greetings get to their destination in a timely manner.

The carbon-offset nengajô from Japan Post.

Read on for detailed instructions on writing and addressing the perfect nengajō.

21st Annual Toyama International Charity Show

Every year, our JET neighbors in Toyama put on an International Charity Show to raise money for local and international charities.  The first Charity Show was held in 1990, and 2011 marks its 21st anniversary.  The show is attended by more than 900 people every year and is written, choreographed, and produced entirely by JETs.  Sorry for the short notice, but if you’re free this weekend, you should definitely check it out!

On July 1st & 2nd, the Toyama International Charity Show Committee proudly presents Dance Royale, the 21st annual Charity Show.

A visual and aural treat, Dance Royale is a musical comedy that follows the trials of high school student Rin and her teammates who belong to the school’s Pop Idol Team club. This light-hearted tale of the underdog promises to entertain while reminding us that there is no ‘I’ in team.

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International Exchange Party at IFIE

This information comes to us from Ishikawa CIR Rohan:

Kanazawa IFIE International Salaon

Hello everyone,

IFIE is organizing its first International Exchange Party ‘Salon de Talk’ of 2011 on 1st of July. This time we’ve decided to make it a 2-in-1 affair. You’re welcome to wear a traditional ethnic costume…I’ll probably try and look Indian…for a change!

Please see the attached poster for details. Let me know if you’re interested in participating (rohanranade AT ifie DOT or DOT jp)…but please HURRY, since there only 30 slots available for foreigners.

Have a great week!

Night of the Ad-Eaters 2010

This information comes to us from Sophie, a CIR in Kanazawa.

From the official website.

Come see the International Commercial Festival in Kanazawa on November 7!


-Location: Kanazawa Art Hall (金沢市アートホール)
(in Porte building across from Kanazawa station)
-Date: Sunday November 7th
Matinee : from 14:30 (doors open at 14:00)
Evening show:  from 18:30 (doors open at 18:00)
-Cost: 2000 yen in advance, 2500 yen on the day itself (all free seats)
Ticket PIA: P code 556-927 (Circle K, Sunkus)
Online purchase
Reservations by email: bouvier AT cmfestival DOT com


「世界のCMフェスティバル2010 in KANAZAWA」

時間:昼の部 14:30~(開場14:00)
夜の部 18:30~(開場18:00)
料金:前売券2,000円 当日券2,500円
・チケットぴあ Pコード556-927 (サークルK,サンクス)
メール要約: bouvier AT cmfestival DOT com

Pancake Tuesday

Pancake Tuesday, the day of eating many, many, many pancakes is almost upon us. This year it is on February 24th.

Basically this is a day for eating pancakes, and those who enjoy pancakes, know that their are many delicious ways to enjoy pancakes.

In Ireland, the UK and some other countries in the world, Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Tuesday.

On this day people eat pancakes, lots and lots of delicious pancakes. This derives from the fact it is Shrove Tuesday, which is the day before Lent in Catholic and some Protestant belief systems. Lent is a time of abstinence, of giving things up. So Shrove Tuesday was the last chance to indulge yourself, and to use up the foods that aren’t allowed in Lent. Pancakes are eaten on this day because they contain fat, butter and eggs which were forbidden during Lent. Although origionally a religious holiday now it is a day for enjoying the wonderfully delicious food known as the pancake.

As the position of Lent is based on the position of Easter, Pancake Tuesday moves a lot. As I said this year it is on February 24th.

Many people have many different recipes for Pancakes, but I will post one I stole from the internet here anyway.


For the pancake mixture:
110g/4oz plain flour, sifted
pinch of salt
2 eggs
200ml/7fl oz milk mixed with 75ml/3fl oz water
50g/2oz butter
To serve:
caster sugar
lemon juice
lemon wedges

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl with a sieve held high above the bowl so the flour gets a airing. Now make a well in the centre of the flour and break the eggs into it. Then begin whisking the eggs – any sort of whisk or even a fork will do – incorporating any bits of flour from around the edge of the bowl as you do so.

Next gradually add small quantities of the milk and water mixture, still whisking (don’t worry about any lumps as they will eventually disappear as you whisk). When all the liquid has been added, use a rubber spatula to scrape any elusive bits of flour from around the edge into the centre, then whisk once more until the batter is smooth, with the consistency of thin cream. Now melt the 50g/2oz of butter in a pan. Spoon 2 tbsp of it into the batter and whisk it in, then pour the rest into a bowl anduse it to lubricate the pan, using a wodge of kitchen paper to smear it round before you make each pancake.

Now get the pan really hot, then turn the heat down to medium and, to start with, do a test pancake to see if you’re using the correct amount of batter. I find 2 tbsp is about right for an 18cm/7in pan. It’s also helpful if you spoon the batter into a ladle so it can be poured into the hot pan in one go. As soon as the batter hits the hot pan, tip it around from side to side to get the base evenly coated with batter. It should take only half a minute or so to cook; you can lift the edge with a palette knife to see if it’s tinged gold as it should be. Flip the pancake over with a pan slice or palette knife – the other side will need a few seconds only – then simply slide it out of the pan onto a plate.
Stack the pancakes as you make them between sheets of greaseproof paper on a plate fitted over simmering water, to keep them warm while you make the rest.

To serve, spinkle each pancake with freshly squeezed lemon juice and caster sugar, fold in half, then in half again to form triangles, or else simply roll them up. Serve sprinkled with a little more sugar and lemon juice and extra sections of lemon.

Finally enjoy.


Feel free to change the recipe to fit your tastes.

For example you can enjoy pancakes with Icecream, Chocolate spread, Chocolate (Small chunks placed on the Pancake and allowed to melt), Syrup, and well whatever you like the sound of really. Pancakes are versatile and peoples tastes are very different, so feel free to experiment.

Also here is a mostly useless but entertaining youtube link about making pancakes.

Also another Pancake Tuesday tradition, which i only discovered researching Pancake Tuesday for this post, is the Pancake Race.  On Pancake Day, pancake races are held in villages and towns across the United Kingdom. The contestants carry a frying pan and race to the finishing line tossing the pancakes as they go. As the pancakes are thin, skill is required to toss them successfully while running. The winner is the first to cross the line having tossed the pancake a certain number of times.

pancake race

I hope you try and out this delicious day.