Posts Tagged ‘ akachochin ’

Chochin (堤灯) – Lanterns

Chochin ( 堤灯 ) — pronounced “cho・cheen” — lanterns.  Of course back in the day they were all candlelit.  I have an old one somewhere, one that used a candle.  Years ago, I so often expressed my fascination with them during my stint working at a middle school in rural Hyogo Prefecture that, as part of a “going away” load of gifts given to me by the town and teachers, I was presented with red lantern (akachochin・赤堤灯) with my name written on in in akachochin restaurant style (click the link just provided and look at the top photo, just over the fellow’s shoulder; in that style).  Chochin are, as mentioned, used to advertise restaurants, as store “billboards,” at shrines and temples (often all lined-up, on display, with shrine or temple donors’ names prettily painted on them), for festivals and holidays, or just general, around-town decoration.  Below are just a few of the very many chochin photos I’ve taken over the years.  Most are recently taken, from just the past five or six years and the photo quality varies. Click for larger image.

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Okazaki Shrine, Kyoto. 2007.

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Todai-ji, Nara. 2008.

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Yasaka Shrine, Kyoto. 2008.

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や。き。と。り。Restaurant, Tokyo. 2005.

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Kabuki Theater, Shi-jo・Kawabata-dori, Kyoto. 2005.

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Gift Shop, Kyoto. 2005.

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Ryoan-ji Temple, Kyoto. 2010.

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Along Marutamachi, at Okazaki Shrine. 2009.

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“Akahige” – “Red Beard.” Restaurant on Kiyamachi. Kyoto, 2007.

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Fushimi-Inari Taisha, Fushimi. 2008.

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Yurakucho “Gahdohshita” restaurant, Tokyo. 2007.

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“Takoyaki” (octopus fritters) hole-in-the-wall. Kyoto. 2007.

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Gion - Kyoto - Chochin. 2007.

Gion – Kyoto – Chochin. 2007.

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Kyo[to] Udon, Soba. Near Heian Shrine. 2003.

Kyo[to] Udon, Soba. Near Heian Shrine. 2003.

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Just one more . . .

This is an “old one,” from 2003, out front of Nanzen-ji Temple in Kyoto –

Restaurant on way to Nanzen-ji Temple, Kyoto. Late Summer, 2003.

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A Few Favorite Posts You May Have Missed…

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In order to see older Home Page posts (from, say, a couple of months ago, or last summer) one would have to go to the bottom of this page, click on the “Older Entries” tab to the bottom and left, then scroll down that previous “Home Page,” then repeat the process again and again.  A hassle of sorts.  So in order to bring some of those older pages to you, I’m posting their links right here.

After Work:  いざかや、ガード下、赤提灯(from early last September) discusses my favorite kinds of little, hole-in-the-wall restaurants and watering holes.  These are some of the best kinds of places to eat and while away time with friends no matter where in the world one is.

Izakaya in Kyoto, “Pontocho.”

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Dear, Beautiful Kyoto (from early last August).  A little homage to a place that’s wafted into and out of my life (or my life has drifted into and out of Kyoto) since the fall of 1984.

Near Kyoto University, looking East towards Shinnyo-do Temple. 2009.

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And here’s one about “kotowaza” (wise sayings/proverbs):  Spring Trips / C’est la Soul Sonic Boogie.   And here are Five Favorite Post from 2011.

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One more:  this one’s just a couple months old, but it surprisingly didn’t get as many “hits” and looks and so forth that I thought it would, and deserved:  “Regain, Chibi Maruko-chan and (in retrospect) Simpler Times.”   If you don’t check out the Regain and other vids (one of them below), you’re really missing out.

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I’ll do this again from time to time, bring forward former, fun posts.  Enjoy.

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After work : いざかや, ガード下, 赤堤灯。

A couple of friends are heading to Japan next month.  Their first trip.  I have some great restaurants and other places to recommend in Tokyo and Kyoto.  All sorts of cuisines and price ranges.  All in all, though, my favorite restaurants are the low key, working stiff, cheap, grilled chicken-on-a-stick-type joints.  You who travel around know that these are really the best places.

Most commonly, these cozy, friendly, local holes-in-the-wall are called “izakaya” and sometimes “akachochin” (“aka“/red + “chochin“/lanterns with whatever the specialty of the house is shine and advertise out front).  In Tokyo, behind the shockingly expensive Imperial Hotel, in Chiyoda Ward near Yurakucho Station, there are a series of pedestrian tunnels under an elevated section of the Yamanote train line.  Jammed into these tunnels are numerous akachochin, called “gahdoshita“, literally “under the overpass” restaurants.  Pictured above is one of them I frequented over the course of five or so days in Tokyo, almost two years ago to date.  That fellow in the foreground to the right is one of the cooks, taking a photo of some *Japanese* tourists . . . just out-of-frame to the left.

Yakitori with plenty of bainiku, shisomaki, gyuuroso, little grilled shishitou . . . and draft beer.  This is all good and simple and delicious and inexpensive fare.  I’ll be referring my friends — and in May taking a group of MBA students — to these kind of places, as well as to the more “refined” restaurants.  Count on that.

Motsuyaki "gahdoshita".  Under the Yamanote Line.  Tokyo.  2007.

Motsuyaki “gahdoshita”. Under the Yamanote Line. Tokyo. 2007.

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Friends after work at an akachochin.  Tokyo. October 2007.

Friends after work at an akachochin. Tokyo. October 2007.

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Friends at an akachochin in Kyoto.  2007.  That's the cook/owner in the background.

Friends at an akachochin in Kyoto. 2007. That’s the cook/owner in the background.

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Izakaya, late afternoon before the evening rush.  Ueno, Tokyo. April 2008.

Izakaya, late afternoon before the evening rush. Ueno, Tokyo. April 2008.

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A few more photos from more recent times:

Harumi-ya. A great hole-in-the-wall. San-jo Street. Kyoto. 2011.

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A friend’s mom looks on as another round’s poured. Ichi-ban Yakitori. Kyoto. 2011.

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Fantastic sake bar (with owner, his granddaughter), Kiyamachi-dori. Kyoto. 2011.

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