Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tomb of Christ



Ah, Shingo, the village of Mystery and Romance (or so the sign said). Here you can find what is believed by some to be the  burial mound of Jesus Christ and his brother, Isukiri. Oh, you didn’t know?

The legend states that when He was 21 years old, Jesus Christ (イエスキリスト) came to Japan and studied theology for 12 years. He came back to Judea at the age of 33 in order to preach, but people there rejected His teachings and arrested Him to crucify Him.
However, it was His little brother Isukiri (イスキリ) who took His place and ended his life on the cross. Jesus Christ, having escaped crucifixion, resumed His travels and finally came back to Japan, where He settled in this village, Herai, and lived till the age of 106.
In this holy place, the tomb on the right is dedicated to Jesus Christ, while the tomb on the left commemorates His brother, Isukiri. All of this is written in Jesus Christ's testament (which He wrote Himself and can be seen in the museum located beyond the burial mounds). You can read more details about the Tomb of Christ here.


When you first arrive you are greeted by the calming rush of a small waterfall.  From there, it is a  220 meter walk to the site.  You will notice a Japanese style graveyard. This is for the Sawaguchi family, the owners and, according to the story, descendants of Christ.



We did not enter the museum (pictures weren’t allowed anyway) but did go into the entrance where they have mobile wooden sculptures of daily life during the time Jesus was in Shingo. They also sell Dracula garlic flavored ice cream.



At the Jesus’ and Isikiri’s gravesites there are baskets to throw in a coin and say a prayer.

There isn’t much to do at this location but it is a pretty drive and interesting place to talk about. Whether or not the legend is true it’s always nice to stop somewhere in quiet meditation and prayer.

Directions: Drive west to Route 4 in Towada, then turn left and head south about 20 miles to Route 454. Head west on Route 454 for 9 miles and look for the “Tombs of Christ” sign in Shingo.

Hours: The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. April through October.
Admission: 200 yen for adults, 100 yen for children.
Information: Call (0178) 78-2111.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rokkasho Salmon Festival 2011



Rokkasho Salmon Festival was held on October 25th and 29th this year. It is extremely popular and the main event is catching your own salmon (with your bare hands). This event is not free and you do need to buy a ticket in advance. (Tickets are appx. ¥2700). Each ticket allows you to catch one fish, so if you buy three tickets you can catch 3 fish. You only have about three minutes to catch your salmon. After that if you haven’t caught one, they will catch one for you.  I did not participate because 1: no ticket 2: it is pretty cold when they hold the event 3: I’d probably get really attached to my fish. (They slaughter it immediately afterward). It’s as close to punching a dolphin in the mouth as you’ll ever get.


The first six people lucky enough to catch a salmon can enter the salmon race. The winner gets a prize. (Not exactly sure what the prize is).


After the catch you can bring your salmon to get “cleaned” (read killed). No, I’m not a vegetarian or vegan, its just amazing one minute the salmon is alive, the next it’s knocked out and then CHOP…headless. Well, that’s the best way to get fresh fish!



For those who are thrifty and like to keep warm and dry and still want salmon, there is a salmon net pull and they sell the salmon at a discounted rate. (This year they were only  ¥200 each!)


There are plenty of other events that take place during the festival such as contests and entertainment. We got to see the adult and children’s Squid peeling / Naga-imo (Japanese yam) grating contest and the Rock ShuS &  Rokko Jazz Band show. Other events were Shochu and milk drinking contests, dance shows, DIY BBQ, charity face portraits, bingo and different types of theatrics.





Rokkasho Town is only a 45 minute drive north of Misawa Air Base. Go out the main gate, turn left at the first light and go straight until you hit the T at the Pacific Ocean. Turn left, you will now be on Rt. 338 going north. From the T go 21.9km and turn right at the light (there will be a convenience store on the left at this light). Follow this road 6.6 km and turn right (the sign will point to the Rokkasho Village Office) follow this road 6.6 kilometers and turn right (there is a small post office on the left). This road will take you to the festival site at the pier.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011





Moritoyama is a soba shop located in Misawa. It is one street across from Nakashio Gifts on white pole road.






You can order  either a hot or cold soba dish. It is a great place to try to mix up from your routine restaurants and also great for soba lovers!

This building is actually two stores, Matsuda liquor store is on the right and Moritoyama is the entrance on the left.