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FamousWorldTraveller Says: Imabari Castle is the focal point of the city. The castle originally had three moats surrounding it, but today it has a single moat connected to the sea. The moat is filled with sea water brought in from the Seto Inland Sea. The inside of the castle is a museum, and the top...
FamousWorldTraveller Says: The Nibukawa Hot Spring is a natural hot spring in the mountains near Imabari. It's waters have traditionally been known for their curative properties. Even without these beneficial curative properties, a soak in the hot spring water is incredibly relaxing. The Dogo Onsen is...
FamousWorldTraveller Says: The Third Kurushima-Kaikyo Bridge, the fourteenth longest suspension bridge in the world, connects Mashima island and Shikoku Island. The bridge is part of the bigger Honshu-Shikoku Bridge Project connecting Honshu Island with Shikoku Island. On a sunny day, it is fun to...
We ate mainly at our host's home. The restaurants across Japan, like-for-like, are all of the same high standard, in my opinion. The trick is to learn the names of the different types of restaurant, and each type has a specific menu, character, and method of service. There are no restaurants just called 'Japanese'. The restaurant with the largest menu was Italian fast food, and the one with no menu (no-I'm not kidding) cost about £400 UK per head - even the prawns were covered in pure gold shavings!
Here we are teaching defence against multiple attacks in the City Gym - absolutely nothing to do with restaurants!!!!!!
Written Aug 24, 2002
There are so many karaoke, yakitori and other clubs in Imabari that I don't know where to begin. There is something for every conceivable taste, from smooth jazz to blasting hip-hop garage or whatever it is that I hate. There are clubs with live bands and clubs with recorded music. Imabari fancies itself as the jazz capital of Japan, so there's no shortage of nightspots featuring jazz combos. Whatever your taste in night clubs, it's here.
I don't know the names of the clubs I visited or even where they were. I called up Mr. Uno at Imabari Cultural Tours we joined a group he was taking on a pub crawl of the town. I think that if you asked him to find a country-western disco garage karaoke bar that specialized in female impersonators singing George Gershwin in Russian, he could probably come up with it.
Dress Code: Most things are fairly relaxed. I was never aware of a dress code. I wore slacks and comfortable shirts with collars (no tie) and light jackets. Women wore slacks and blouses or simple dresses or skirts, or whatever they're called. Men don't notice what women wear! Anyway, it definitely wasn't fancy. Not grubby, but clean, neat, and simple. That goes for most place in Japan -- they are a little more formal than the US, but probably about the same as Europe (UK excluded). Comfortable, clean, and neat, with no extremes goes down well everywhere.
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: All over town -- the place is awash with them
FamousWorldTraveller Says: My wife and I took the Shinkansen from Osaka to Imabari. It's a three-hour trip, including an easy change at Okayama. Get the Shinkansen at Shin Osaka station. The station is in the center of town, near several hotels. If you have luggage, it would be easiest to get a taxi....
This "shop" is actually a museum, featuring some towels designed by many famous artists and designers you've probably never heard of. Nevertheless, it's fun to visit. Imabari is famous all over Japan for its towels. Every Japanese I've ever spoken with has said "Yes, Imabari towels" immediately after I've said I've been to Imabari. So, they are famous. As a bonus, you can get your name, or your wife's name, or your dog's name, or just about anything you want embroidered onto the towels right there in the museum. It's a fun visit. There are also toys, a restaurant, and a kind of snack bar attached.
What to buy: Uh, towels? I think that would be your best bet at this museum, although they do have some other gift items.
What to pay: How many towels do you want? How long is a piece of string? Probably anything between $10 and $50 (or more, if you have a lot of dirty friends who need towels)
Updated Apr 4, 2011
Address: Asakura-mura Ochigun
FamousWorldTraveller Says: This is a fun class in taiko drumming and traditional dancing. The taiko drum is an old Japanese instrument whose origins are pre-history. You may have seen the Kyodo Drummers doing their show in various parts of the world. That is the taiko drum (don't worry, you don't have...
FamousWorldTraveller Says: This is truly a hands-on (and teeth-on) experience. Under the guidance of a Japanese cook, you learn to prepare a traditional Japanese meal of such favorites as sushi, sukiyaki, tempura, and yakitori. Then you eat it. If you like to cook at all, it's a lot of fun. Who knows,...
Favorite thing: appreciate the hospitality of the locals! The Japanese are known for their politeness, but here, as in smaller rural towns across the world, the people are genuinely welcoming, pleased to see a strange face (no, mine isn't so strange!), and are very helpful.
Fondest memory: I went into a kimono/handkerchief shop and ended up having the owner do a tea ceremony for me, and giving me silk prints and some small silk drawstring bags as gifts! Don't even try to give the Japanese as many gifts as they give you - they will always win! Just remembering the correct etiquette is enough.
This is me helping to teach an Aikido class to kids in the City Gym.
Written Aug 24, 2002