Monday, November 29, 2010

Hanshin Expressway - MukogawaIC Loop


The Mukogawa off ramp on the Hanshin Expressway is one of the most elegant pieces of urban infrastructure in Kansai. Driving it is boring, but looking at it from below is breathtaking. A large loop towering over the local community center, park, and a few houses.

The expressway traveling down the narrow coastal plain between the mountains and Osaka bay offers a great view of how this area has been developed. Typically congested, it allows the driver to take in some of the scenery while waiting in bumper to bumper traffic.


I grabbed this shot while driving towards Kobe around 4pm. The sky was just incredible.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Nishiki SA - 西紀SA

A quick tour of Nishiki SA on the Maizuru-Wakasa Expressway (Maizuru side). I enjoy a lovely bowl of wild boar udon... very recommended if you like wild boar.

A sign advertising the wild boar udon, soba and sweet black bean soft cream

My wild boar udon


Saturday, November 06, 2010

Yonegees ヨネギーズ


Yonago, Tottori is a city 148,000 people along the Japan sea coast. It's a local population center and provides access to Kaikae onsen and Minatosekai, the home of Gegege no Kitaro.
I love traveling along the San'in coast and stopping at Yonago station is always a highlight. Don't know why, but I really Yonago.

Recently the city created it's own mascot characters. Something not too uncommon, but the Yonegees are just way too cute, with a touch of the ehhhh...
The city's mebutsu or famous thing is green onions, and using the green onion motif they created a boy and girl green onion character. Negita and Negiko. Ta and Ko are common kanji used in boy's and girl's names. Negi being the Japanese word for onion. Negita and Negiko are joined by Kashiwagi-san an acorn character.

The characters all have full backgrounds, including the date of Negita and Negiko's marrage--March, 31, 2005.

The tourist info center at Yonago station sells various Yonegees goods. They have their own page on the Yonago city website. You can even download graphics for your cellphone. Oh, and of course... they are on Twitter... as am I!

Pins and a cell phone strap that is also a screen cleaner
The towel is sold rolled up like this so it looks like a green onion. The tape is the same tape used on real onions you'd get in a super market
Close up of the characters on the towel