experienced an earthquake, typhoon, fire or other disaster, you
can truly understand the importance of disaster prevention. It
is necessarily for every citizen to make an effort to minimize
the damage caused by natural disasters.
Kyoto City Citizen's Disaster Prevention Center, you can learn
about different types of disasters by experiencing them first
hand through simulation rooms. In these rooms you can be blown
away by the 30 meter per second wind speed of a Typhoon, get shaken
up by a level 7 simulated earthquake, escape from a room filled
with smoke and hot air, and learn about the importance of disaster
prevention by viewing high-vision imagery. The center uses the
latest technology to replicate the feeling of a real disaster,
so you can have a fun time while learning important information
about disasters and their prevention.
Guide Club recently went of a tour of the Kyoto City Citizen's
Disaster Prevention Center with 15 foreign residents of the city.
According to one Chinese participant: "In China we don't have
many earthquakes, so it was my first time feeling a room shaking
like an earthquake. It was so scary I hid underneath a table and
didn't want to come out again!" "It was more fun than I expected,
and I learned a lot of useful information," was the response we
received from many of the participants.
City Citizens Disaster Prevention Center is open from 9:00-17:00
most days, (last entrance at 16:00). Holidays are Mondays and
the third Tuesday of every month. Admission is free. Reservations
are necessary for a group of ten or bigger, a reservation can
be made by calling 075-662-1849.
The Kyoto City Citizens Disaster Prevention Center is located
at 7 Sugata-cho, Nishikujo, Minami-ku, Kyoto.
The center can be accessed by taking city bus 19 or 42 to Shimin
Bosai Center Mae, or taking Kyoto City Subway Karasuma line to
Jujo Station and walking 18 minutes west.
More information can be had by calling the center of visiting
You can view the Kyoto City English language disaster prevention
Step One: Keep Necessary Supplies on Hand
It's important to have a stock of clothes, food, medicine, drinking
water, blankets, first aid kit, etc. prepared in case of disaster.
After an earthquake, roads may be closed and government assistance
may not be able to get through. Keep important documents such
as bank book, health insurance, passport, etc. in an easy to find
place, along with a battery operated radio and flashlight.
Step Two: Secure Furniture Around the House
Secure furniture within your house.During the Great Hanshin Earthquake,
many people died as a result of being unable to move while trapped
beneath heavy furniture that had fallen over. Make sure to secure
tall furniture (such as chests of drawers) and electric appliances
against the wall to prevent them from falling over. Make sure
that there is nothing that could fall on top of you when you are
Step Three: Fire Preparedness
In the case of a fire. Alert nearby people by yelling "Kaji" (fire!).
Have someone call the 119 emergency number for help. The first
three minutes are the most important in controlling a fire. Don't
waste time- use a fire extinguisher, water, or a blanket to smother
flames. Once the fire has reached the ceiling it cannot be controlled-
evacuate as quickly as possible.
Step Four: The Importance of Community
Over 6,000 people died in the Hanshin Earthquake. Of the 35,000
people who were rescued, 80% were aided by family members or neighbors.
Particularly in the epicenter of Awaji Island, many people were
buried alive within their own homes as the result of the destructive
earthquake. People within the neighborhood worked to rescue each
other. As a result, three hundred people were rescued, and the
missing person count was zero.
The Hanshin Earthquake has made us realize the importance of
interacting positively with the people we encounter in our daily
lives. Our cooperative efforts can be ones of our greatest strengths
during times of disaster.It is important to build relationships
of trust with the people in your local community as another kind
of disaster preparedness.
-Article by S. Onda, Translation by B. Jarvis
DESIGNATED EVACUATION AREAS
Kyoto Golf Course
Right bank of the Kamo River
Omiya Kotsu Park
Ritsumeikan University Grounds
Rakusei High School
Prefectural Botanical Gardens
Prefectural University Grounds
Left bank of Kamo River
Kyoto University Dept. of Agriculture
Right bank of Kamo River
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Kyoto Imperial Palace
Shimadzu Factory North grounds
Hiyoshigaoka High School
Tsukinowa Middle School
Senyuji Temple grounds
Delta Training Institute
Ninnaji Temple grounds
Horikawa High School
Kyoto Kogei Seni University
Nishikyogoku Undo Park
Banks of Katsura River
Katsurazaka Elementary School
Oeda Middle School
International Japan Culture Research Center
Katsuragawa Middle School
Kawaoka Higashi Elementary School
Katsura High School
Katsura Self-Defense Forces Garrison
Obatagawa Chuo Park
Municipal Arts College
Sakaidani Elementary School
Rakusei Middle School
Take no Sato Elementary School
Yamashina Chuo Park
Anshoji Middle School Sankai Elementary School
Higashiyama Middle, High Schools
Yamashina Middle School
Rakuto Automobile Training Institute
Kanshu Middle School
Heian Woman's Academy
Ogurisu Elementary, Middle Schools
Ikeda Elementary School
Ritsuryo Middle School
Kyoto Fu Police School
Kyoto Kyoiku University High School
Hasukashi Undo Park
Yokooji Undo Park
Kyoto Police Driver's License Test Center
Kyoto Race Track
Fire Fighter's School
Fushimi Kitahori Park
Mukaijima Middle School
Mukaijima Ninomaru Elementary School
Mukaijima Chuo Park
Mukaijima Higashi Park
Left bank of Uji River
Mukaijima Fujinoki Elementary School
Kasugaoka Middle School
Hino Elementary School
a map and a complete listing of evacuation areas in Kyoto
in Japanese, please visit:
Japan has a mild, humid climate that is suitable for growing
a variety of natural produce, but also makes food susceptible
to spoiling through the growth of bacteria. Resultantly, a lot
of the seasonings used in Japanese foods originated as preservatives
to help control the growth of bacteria. In the case of seasonings
such as shoyu (έϋsoy sauce), miso (‘X fermented soy paste), mirin
(‘ηΜJapanese cooking sherry) and so forth, natural bacteria was
combined with malt to create a new flavor through fermentation.
There are a number of basic seasonings that are frequently used
to create the delicate flavors of Japanese cooking. There is a rule
in that seasonings should be added in the order sa-shi-su-se-so,
(which is also the order of sounds in the hiragana syllabary). These
sounds are abbreviations for Sato (sugar),
Shio (salt), Osu(vinegar)
, Seiyu (aka shoyu: soy sauce), and
Miso (fermented soy paste). The seasons
are added in this order to ensure the best flavor for the food-
for example, miso is added last because boiling kills the beneficial
bacteria contained in miso and ruins the taste.
I would like to introduce each of these seasonings in order and
explain their role in Japanese cooking:
Sugar (») is often used in Japanese
savory dishes as a preservative, and to soften strong or sour tastes.
Salt () is perhaps the most important
seasoning in Japanese food. It enhances the flavor of foods, acts
as a preservative, and helps maintain the attractive color and texture
Vinegar (¨|) Vinegar adds depth to flavors
by adding a sour flavor that balances saltiness. Vinegar also helps
preserve foods by killing bacteria and preventing oxidization to
keep colors bright. Therefore, vinegar was historically used to
preserve foods through pickling. In modern times it is frequently
used in sushi and salads. There are many types of vinegar used in
Japan: including grain vinegar (¨|), rice vinegar (Δ|), and fruit
Shoyu (έϋ) adds a rich salty taste and golden
color to food. There are a wide variety of soy sauces based on the
thickness, darkness of color, type of beans used, salt content,
etc. Koikuchi shouyu (Zϋέϋ, dark color, 16% salt content) is most
typically used in daily cooking and eating. Some dishes call for
usukuchi shoyu (ϋέϋ) which is a lighter color.
Miso (‘Xj is a fermented soy
bean paste that removes unpleasant odors, absorbs oil and adds a
rich, salty taste to foods. Like vinegar, miso was traditionally
used to preserve fish and vegetables. Miso is traditionally made
with soy beans, but some varieties are made using other grains such
as rice and wheat.
Sake (Japanese rice wine) adds depth
to flavors, removes unpleasant odors, and helps keep fish and
meat soft. It is typically used in stewed dishes known as nimono
Mirin (Japanese Sherry) is sweet seasoning
sake, and is an indispensable seasoning for Japanese cooking.
It adds a sweet taste and an appetizing flavor to foods, and is
frequently used in glazes.
Ponzu is a light lemony soy sauce
which can be used as salad dressing, or as a dipping sauce to
be served with nabe hotpot dishes.
Teriyaki sauce is a flavorful
glaze used for broiling meat, fish and vegetables and can be either
bought at a store or made at home by simmering together 1/2 cup
soy sauce, 1/2 cup mirin and 2 tbsp sugar. You can also add other
seasonings like ginger or sesame.
Wasabi is hot green horseradish paste
that is traditionally served with raw fish, and sometimes used
as a seasoning in other dishes.
Tsuyu is a thick, flavorful mixture
of Shoyu, Mirin, and dashi soup stock which can be used as a dipping
sauce for tempura or soba noodles, or as a base seasoning for
boiled dishes such as nikujaga and nabe.
Umeboshi are pickled plums, not traditionally
considered to be a seasoning, but is often used to add flavor
to a dish. The citric acid contained in umeboshi stimulates the
appetite and aids with sterilization.
Goma are roasted sesame seeds, available
in black and white varieties. Goma is commonly used to make ohitashi
(boiled vegetable like spinach mixed with ground sesame, shoyu
and a little sugar.) Ground sesame and sesame paste are very useful
for Japanese cooking.
Katsuobushi are flavorful flakes of
dried bonito fish. It is used along with konbu to make soup stock
known as dashi. It is also used as a topping for salads, udon,
okonomiyake and so forth.
Konbu is a thick, broad type of kelp,
and is used along with katsuobushi to make Japanese broth (dashi).
It is also boiled with sugar, shoyu, sake and mirin to make a
dish called kobu no tsukudani.
This is only a list of the most basic types of seasonings- you
may be overwhelmed by the variety of dressings, sauces and dips
available in the supermarket. Why not try making some seasonings
and sauces at home using the following recipes?
EASY RECIPES USING JAPANESE SEASONINGS
=== Salad Dressings
Japanese Dressing Mix 1/4 cup each of
shoyu (soy sauce) and lemon juice or rice vinegar with two or
three tablespoons of salad oil. Add sesame seeds or grated ginger
Chinese Dressing Mix 1 teaspoon sugar,
1/4 cup each of shoyu and rice vinegar and 3 tablespoons of sesame
oil. Add tobanjan (Chinese chili bean paste) to taste.
Umeboshi (Pickled Plum) Dressing Mix
3 tablespoons vinegar, 1 tablespoon of shoyu, 3 tablespoons salad
oil, adding 1/2 tablespoon of mashed umeboshi last.
=== Flavored Vinegars (νΉ|) ===
Nihai-zu Mix 2 tablespoons each of
rice vinegar and shoyu (soy sauce). Serve with fish.
Sanbai-zu Mix 2 tablespoons of rice
vinegar, 1 teaspoon of sugar,@1/2 tablespoon of shoyu, and 2 or
3 tablespoons of dashi (katsuo broth). Serve with vegetables or
Mustard Vinegar Mix 1/2 cup of Sanbai-zu,
2 teaspoons of mustard paste(karashi),and a little of salt. Serve
with boiled greens such as spinach (horenso) or komatsuna.
Ama-zu (Sweet Vinegar) Mix 3 tablespoons
of vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons of water and sugar, and 1 1/2 teaspoons
salt. Serve with turnips or cucumbers.
Kimi-zu (Egg Yolk Vinegar) Mix 3 egg
yolks, 1 tablespoon each of vinegar, sugar and mirin,1 teaspoon
of usukuchi shoyu, a little salt and dogtooth violet starch (katakuriko).
Serve with shrimp, crab, or cucumbers.
Sushi-zu (1) (Sushi Vinegar) Mix 4 tablespoons of vinegar
and sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt.Use for seasoning rice for
inari-zushi (fried sweet bean curd stuffed with boiled vinegar
Sushi-zu (2) Mix 4 tablespoons of vinegar,
1/2 tablespoon of sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt. Use for seasoning
nigiri-zushi rice( hand-rolled sushi ).
Sushi-zu (3) 3 tablespoons of vinegar
and sugar, 1 teaspoon salt. Use for seasoning chirashi-zushi rice
(sushi rice topped with different ingredients )
=== Flavored Miso (νΉ‘X) ===
Su-miso (vinegar miso) Mix 100g
of shiro miso (white miso), 2 tablespoons of mirin, 3 tablespoons
sugar, 2-3 tablespoons vinegar. Serve with boiled green onions,
wakame, or sea weed.
Karashi-miso(mustard-miso) Mix 100g
of akamiso(red miso), 1 tablespoon of sugar, 2 teaspoons each
of shoyu and karashi, 2 tablespoons of dashi stock.Serve with
Goma-miso (sesame-miso) Mix 100g of
akamiso, 3 tablespoons of sesame and sugar. Serve with furofuki-daikon
(boiled Japanese radish).
Dengaku-miso Mix 100g of akamiso, 3
tablespoons of sugar, 2 tablespoons of mirin and dashi. Serve
with tofu, konnyaku, or eggplant.
Yuzu-miso Mix 100g of akamiso, 3 tablespoons
sugar, 2 tablespoons mirin, shaved rind of yuzu (Japanese citron).
Serve with tofu.
-Article and recipes by A. Tara