Category Archives: Gero


We are having a beautiful autumn here in Gero!

in the parking lot


Well. We found ANOTHER Italian restaurant in Gero on Saturday night. It is actually on the same street as the other one and is called “Follow”. From the outside it looks like it would be Japanese-TexMex… (cont’d)


La vita e Bella

YES! Found an Italian restaurant in Gero “La vita e Bella”. We had seen the sign when we were walking by the river and we finally had a chance excuse to go because Shizue is in town. It was pretty amazing. We are definitely going back. (cont’d)

Happy Halloween!

Gu-me bears for everyone! We only saw two kids in costume (and they were eating dinner at Joyfull). One was a witch and the other was a pumpkin. I think they were coming back from an event at their after-school English lesson.

Imported from the USA!

Kinko x 2

We saw a new neighborhood cat last night. It could definitely be Kinko’s cousin… compare the pictures!

This is an unusually regal looking picture of the USA-based cat. She usually looks guilty like the Japanese one…

Annual Festival of Onsen-Jinja

MD wandered downtown and happened upon the Annual Festival of Onsen-Jinja.  It was a very small event, but still very neat to see! There was a parade (Sanshin-Gyoretsu) and traditional dances (dragon and maiko). All of the costumes were beautiful, but I especially enjoyed the egret* costumes.

At the end of the festival, the ladies served the crowd sake in a commemorative masu (box cups) and men climbed to the top of the scaffolding and threw rice cakes to the crowd (Sengomaki). My Louisiana upbringing came in handy as I was able to catch a throw and take video at the same time. As a side note, rice cakes taste absolutely nothing like king cakes.

Why is the egret is the mascot of the Gero Onsen? “From ancient days Gero Hot Springs were familiar to people for its bountifulness. One day the springs had been stopped because of a big earthquake. People were so sad. One day one egret swooped down on the Masuda River and stood for awhile. And the very next day he came the same place and stood there. Day after day he did the same thing! They wondered why, but look! There is a spring! They were so glad. The egret left the place and never came back again. They noticed that there was a statue of Yakushi-Nyorai. So they appreciate that the egret was the embodiment of Yakushi-Nyorai, who was pity for them and tell them the source of the Hot Springs.”



After all of the meetings, Ryan-san was able to fit a few hours of Hida River fishing. It was pretty anti-climactic. The basics of pole fishing, “You take a bait fish and dress him up with extra hooks and then play him out front hoping others wild fish school w/ him and get hooked by the trailing hook you planted.” Hmmm… (cont’d)

Nick at the Obon Festival

Not quite sure why people were dressed up, but we found them. Here is Nick-san enjoying the downtown festivities. (cont’d)

with Obon dancers

…with Power Rangers

Kankou yana!

Kankou yana! The river water flows down through the structure, and if there are any fish in that water, the fish end up above the grates. The fish flop around on the ramp until they either:

1. Find their way through the grates and back into the river or

2. Someone (or something) picks them up for dinner.

This is a neat way for kids to get acquainted with the water/fishing in a relatively safe setting. We took some videos, but we didn’t see any fish. The video below show it in action (around 0:19). The video is someone’s vacation to Gero, so it is a little awkward to watch the entire thing. Of course, if you don’t want people to watch it, it shouldn’t go on youtube in the first place…

The fish on the left go through the grates, the fish on the right go down the rapids. Not sure which is better…

Kankou yana

Japanese style!

Check out the videos from the Gero Dragon/Obon Festival and Parade. The parade route was just outside of our house – what a view! (cont’d)

We followed the parade around as they marched around town. It was a lot of fun, and they got a little more ridiculous the more they drank… (cont’d)

Obon Festivities

This was in downtown Gero – only a 5 minute walk from our house. There was lots of drum playing, fireworks, and dragon dancing. Videos coming soon.

Japanese snowcone?

Joyfull has shaved ice (best version of a snowcone ever). The Japanese name is kakigori (かき氷) (cont’d)


Mango + cherry + ice cream


…it was hard to eat.