In Japan for another 5 years

6:57 AM Béné (ベネ) 0 Comments

Early spring arrives and this season is for me a sign that I have to think about my residence permit renewal. After a few days filling all the papers and a short week and a half of waiting, I finally got to go get my new resident card.
Surprisingly, I got ... five years !

A five-year stay is difficult to get and usually can not be own before some renewals. In Japan, in the case of a working visa,  people can obtain a residence permit for one, three or five years. Last year, I had one year which is quite normal for the first time. For this renewal I asked for three years without really believing it, saying that at worst I would have one and if I 'm lucky three . I did not even think about five years.  When the person in immigration handed me my new card , saying " we made ​​you a card for five years," I could not believe it and had to take few seconds to react .

Following the water

5:19 AM Béné (ベネ) 0 Comments

I write a lot of posts speaking about specific areas of Fukuoka Prefecture but recently I realized that I have never really showed the atmosphere of the city, places that have no real interest in eyes of ordinary tourist but which are for me all the charm of this city .

Fukuoka is a city crossed by several rivers and streams. This is one of those rivers, the Naka River (那珂川) that, in the past, defined the cities of Hakata and Fukuoka. 
They are part of my daily life : I cross the Naka River every morning and evening to go and come back from work, my company faces another river and I live next to a small stream. From my house , I like to loop along these rivers. For the first article of the serie, I take you with me over the water.

Note : Photos are taken on different days and at different hours of a difference between shot. There is a map at the end of the post.
Nakagawa, Fukuoka
Mark 1 on the map

Hakata doll painting experience

8:23 PM Béné (ベネ) 0 Comments

As you may know, since this Friday, I became a special correspondent for Fukuoka Prefecture Tourist Information Association. It is the first of all the projects I have in mind. This collaboration makes me really happy and I am really honoured to have been chosen by them. I really hope that it will make people of all over the world the opportunity to discover Fukuoka.

To celebrate that, I decided to give me a gift, an activity I wanted to do for months: painting a Hakata doll. Before anything else, here are a few words about this doll.
Their history started in the 17th century, but it was in the 19th century that they were known to general people, thanks to a craftsman who seems to make them easier and less expensive to create. Different from other Japanese dolls, Hakata ningyo (博多人形) are only made ​​of clay (took near Mount Aburayama in the southern Fukuoka city). The dolls are made ​​very carefully and before it could go on sale, it takes between 20 to 60 days.

Let's back to painting !
The course of the experience is very simple: we first choose a doll to paint from a dozen models available (dolls, traditional figures, animals...). Then we sit to the big table where the owner has prepared brushes, toothpicks (for details), a cup of water to rinse brushes, a paper plate for painting, tissues, tons of colors colors and you can start painting! Feel free to ask for a model if you have no idea about how painting yours.

Hakata doll painting experience