My name is xxxx, and please call me xxxx. I’m from Echizen City in Fukui prefecture, which is next to Kyoto prefecture.
A: Is it far?
It’s not so far. It takes about one and a half hours by train.
A: OK. I’ll ask you some questions. When and where can we see sakura?
Oh, sakura is our favorite flower. Sakura, or cherry blossom, can be seen in spring. There are some parks, mountains, shrines or temples which feature beautiful sakura. I would recommend you go to a big park where there are a lot of cherry trees. You can enjoy cherry blossom viewing.
A: What’s the origin of hanami?
I’ve heard that it dates back to the Heian period, which is from the 8th to 12th century. Then, gradually it spread among people and became a custom.
A: How long can you enjoy sakura?
Unfortunately, sakura lasts only for a short time, usually a few weeks. So, it reflects how short our life may be, and evokes sentimental feelings in our mind.
A: What is shogun?
Shogun was originally a temporaly title given by the emperor to the commander in chief of the expeditionary army. Later, it became an official title given by the emperor to the administrative head of the country. The first shogun in Japanese history is Minamotono Yoritomo, who founded the Kamakura Bakufu, or feudal government at the end of the 12th century.
A: Who is the most famous shogun?
I would say Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Bakufu, or feudal government.
A: As a tourist, what customs should foreigners remember?
There are some customs which are different from Western customs in Japan. One of them is to take off your shoes before you go into a house or ryokan , traditional Japanese-style hotel. We’d like to keep our homes and rooms clean. So you should take off your shoes before entering a Japanese house. If foreigners don’t know this custom, they might be embarrassed.
A: OK. That’s all. Thank you. Oh, from him…
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