Okuchichibu (1)

Hello and I’m back again!


Every week there is more news about Tamaki san’s new projects and I just hope he stays happy and healthy with all the work he is dealing with right now… once again, let’s wish him Good Luck ♡

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-23-04]

OK! Back to our Hikyo research XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-42-42]

This week I’m going to write about Tamaki Hiroshi’s Journey in

Okuchichibu, Saitama prefecture.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[16-23-39]

It’s a place surrounded by the beauties of nature.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-42-49]

Tamaki san starts his Journey in the town.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-54-39]

Visiting a nostalgic shopping street

which still has the atmosphere of the Showa era (1926–1989)

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-58-08]

He finds a small restaurant called “Pari (Paris)”

serving western style dishes.

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Looking at the showcase, Tamaki san says that

in restaurants like this (Western style),

Hikyo 12 Saitama[10-58-22]

actually the Soba is always unexpectedly delicious! XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-02-40]

Continuing his journey,

Tamaki san meets a a group pf three ladies and a little girl

in the streets of the town.

The little girl panics and hides behind her mother.


Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-05-47]

Tamaki san laughs but gets closer and greets them all.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-05-55]

The girl comes out and then she suddenly says

“You are very handsome!”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-06-08]


Everyone laughs!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-08-20]

Tamaki san too XD And thanks her

while smiling at her with the kindest look in his eyes XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-09-09]

Then he asks the ladies if they live here

and they answer with yes.

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There’s also a beauty salon right in front of them and

two other ladies are standing by the door!!

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Judging from the outfit, Tamaki san says

that they were obviously busy inside XD

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He starts walking again and heads toward the salon.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-16-56]

One of the ladies says that she is watching his

drama series on TV!! (she menas “zannen na otto”)

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-17-07]

He thanks her and while he is still talking to them,

suddenly another lady appears in front of him

holding her daughter in her arms!

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hahahahaha!! Leave him alone already XD

Then she asks him for a handshake and he shakes her hand.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-21-31]

The mother looks pretty happy

but the daughter is kinda scared of him XD again!!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-21-39]

Tamaki san says hi to the little girl and shakes her hand too!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-23-23]

She smiles…

Then Tamaki san tries holding her in his arms…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-23-46]

The girl is scared but her mother says:

“Look! He’s cooler than papa!!” 

ahahahahaha!! Poor papa (^_^;

Hope he wasn’t watching!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-30-00]

As soon as Tamaki san takes her from her mother,

the little girl starts nagging and struggling…

but Tamaki san says: “It’s OK… It’s OK!”

And starts playing with her and taking her up in the air XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-24-58]

The girl starts laughing XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-27-55]

But when she comes down she starts crying again >_<

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-30-17]

Tamaki san says that it’s OK,

and he’s learned how to deal with children lately.

It is true!! Before he plays in zannen na otto,

he couldn’t even hold one in his arms properly XD

But the girl is still nagging.. trying to get away!!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-30-48]

He uses the trick and tosses her in the air again.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-33-31]

She laughs out loud again and everyone laugh with her XD

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It’s obvious she is enjoying it XD

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But as soon as he stops…

she starts screaming again (^_^;

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Finally Tamaki san gives her back to her mother.

and when he is about to leave,

the little girl waves while smiling at him!!

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hehehehe I wish she could be this kind when he was holding her!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-38-41]

Tamaki san asks the ladies in the beauty salon

if they are having their hair permed or busy coloring!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-41-16]

And when they answer “Perm”

he wishes for a good result XD

Leaving the ladies behind.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-42-51]

Tamaki san gets back on the road again and starts walking.

He finds a meat shop selling fried food.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-48-36]

He gets close to the small window and greets the lady

who is frying the meat in the shop.

The lady becomes surprised seeing him!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-49-45]

Saying that she just thought that a very handsome man

has came to her shop… but it wasn’t just that XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-51-00]

Tamaki san tells her that the good smell of the fried food

attracted him to the shop and asks her

if he can have a Korokke (Japanese croquette)!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-51-34]

The lady says that right now she

only has Menchi ready…

Then Tamaki san immediately says that

menchi (menchi-katsu) is fine and asks her for one!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-58-04]

Then while they are talking the korokke becomes ready too and when she asks him which one he would like to have…

Tamaki san says:

“OK… then one menchi and one korokke please!”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-58-34]

He pays the lady and thanks her.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[11-58-51]

Then he starts eating them right there in front of the shop.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-00-12]

He starts with the korokke he wanted to eat XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-00-33]

Delicious, he says.

Then he starts walking again while

saying that there used to be more shops selling

fried food like this before in every neighborhood…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-02-08]

But these days you don’t get to see many of them around.

And the are cheap! Only 150 yen for both!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-03-58]

Still enjoying the menchi katsu in his hand,

Tamaki san notices a cafe with a very old building.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-04-11]

Says that the young generation have started to use these

kind of old buildings lately, and turn them into

interesting shops or cafe!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-07-03]

Then he suddenly finds a narrow passage between

two old buildings!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-07-07]

He can’t resist entering the passage XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-42-16]

Gets in and starts walking…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-42-36]

On the other side of the passage which leads to

another street, there’s an old man watering the flower pots.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-42-45]

Tamaki san greets him and then asks about the old buildings

lining in a row in this area. They are being kept just as they were!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-43-12]

Actually this area, was a very crowded place in the old days.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-44-47]

Being famous for the well-known “Chichibu meisen silk”,

the place was a center of fashion for the ladies during the

last years of meiji to the starting years of showa.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-50-00]

The old man says that people would have come here

from Tokyo and even Osaka to get the product.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-50-26]

And amazingly, they have kept the tradition alive!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-51-06]

And there are places making the meisen silk with hand,

even now after all these years.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-51-17]

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-53-11]

Back to wondering around…

Tamaki san finds another shop!

This time a bakery…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-53-23]

The board outside the shop says:
“Handmade koppepan, been in business for 91 years”!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-53-34]

Tamaki san enters the shop and greets the shopkeeper.

Then asks him about the koppepan (Hot dog bun)

and he strongly recommends him

to try one and see how tasty it is for himself! XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-53-40]

Then Tamaki san reads the sign behind the man:

“Best handmade bread in Japan!!”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-58-33]

He asks for one loaf of keppepan and

the man (Matsumoto san) goes back to the kitchen

to get the bread.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-59-31]

Tamaki san prepares the money

and waits while looking at the showcase…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[12-59-47]

But suddenly a lady’s screaming voice makes him surprised XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-01-41]

It’s the wife XD Matsuko san!

She’s excited to find Tamaki san in their shop!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-01-59]

She hands him the bread with a super happy face XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-03-59]

Tamaki san takes out the bread from the paper rapping,

and asks them if it has “an” inside. (Sweet bean paste)

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-14-39]

“An with butter.” Matsumoto san replies.

Tamaki san gives it a try and takes a bite!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-12-32]

“Delicious!” he says… but Matsumoto san says:
“Be honest!” ahahahahaha!! He is being honest!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-12-40]

Tamaki san insists again: “It’s really delicious!”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-12-47]

Also says that it’s been a long time since last he ate this.

Matsumoto san says that the bread is alive XD

And also says that

he and his wife are always working hard together to make

delicious bread… and the bread is always giggling and smiling

at them when they take them out of the oven… XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-14-47]

2 seconds of silence and then Tamaki san says:

“The bread?!”



And when Matsumoto san says:
“Yes… the bread!”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-16-16]

Tamaki san says: “Isn’t that your imagination?”

ahahahahaha!! That was harsh! XD

The wife laughs out loud with everyone else in the bakery!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-21-27]

When Tamaki san and the filming crew are about to leave,

Tamaki san calls out for Matsumoto san outside the shop,

and asks him about the sign on the window!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-24-32]

“Did you make a mistake writing this part?

I can see the black dot behind it…” 

he asks while pointing at a white piece of paper

which is pasted to the glass to cover the writing mistake


Matsumoto san and his wife are surprised of

how he could find such a tiny spot…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-27-36]

But Tamaki san insists that it was too obvious…

He could clearly see the dot

when he looked at it from inside the shop XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-28-35]

hahahaha! And is wondering why they didn’t consider

writing it one more time XD

Everyone laughs at the way he is interested in that dot!

after having that delicious koppepan,

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-38-05]

Tamaki san leaves the chichibu city and goes to a village nearby.

There aren’t many people passing by of course.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-38-14]

But Tamaki san finds a man and goes to him.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-38-25]

After greeting and asking him for a chat,

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-38-32]

Tamaki san finds out that the man (Tatsuzawa san)

was in the middle of making “Surikogi”

or the Japanese style Mortar

(The stick they use for grinding the ingredients into powder)

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-46-30]

Then Tamaki san reaches his hand for the stick and while

touching the surface, asks Tatsuzawa san

what kind of tree’s wood did he use to make these.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-46-35]

And Tatsuzawa san replies “Sanshou”.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-49-30]

Recently I’ve been wondering if Tamaki san is actually

interested in trees and the different types of them.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[13-49-40]

Then they keep talking about the sticks and

Tatsuzawa san kindly offers him to take one for himself.

“You can take them all if you want!!” he adds!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-12-57]


Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-13-37]

“No no, you’re going to use them now, aren’t you?”

Tamaki san says while laughing.

But Tatsuzawa san says that he can always go to the mountain

and gets more for himself XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-14-28]

But of course Tamaki san doesn’t

really need more than one XD

So he says that he will take one if it’s OK!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-14-36]

Then he looks at the stick again and asks if this is

the best one among all…

Tatsuzawa san takes a better look and then change it

with another one: “This one may be better!” XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-16-54]


Tamaki san now has his own Surikogi!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-17-02]

Tamaki san goes back on the road again…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-26-15]

Wondering around the village,

he finds an old lady working on her farm.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-27-29]

He greets her and then asks if she

has been living here all her life.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-28-08]

She says yes and while she is telling a story

about going to Kawasaki,

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-28-51]

she suddenly starts climbing up and

surprises Tamaki san! XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-30-58]

“Are you gonna climb up from there?”

Tamaki san asks nervously!!

I bet he doesn’t hear story anymore! XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-31-33]

He holds both his camera and the surikogi

with his left hand and

makes one if his hands free to help grandma!

But she keeps talking while climbing XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-33-00]

Hahahaha!! It’s funny how he wants to help

but doesn’t know what to do!

The old lady (Muratake san) comes up and sits down.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-34-02]

Tamaki san sits beside her and listens to her talk.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-34-33]

She says that she’s been living here alone

for 10 years now.

Tamaki san is shocked of course…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-35-39]

She is 90 years old she says.

Not the perfect age to live a lonely life in a village.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-37-16]

Tamaki san is amazed but he looks at her and says :

“But you look quite well!”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-37-21]

Muratake san says that she is not!!

She has different kinds of pain all over her body.


Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-47-43]

But Tamaki san insists, saying that she can

still walk and be this active in her own house.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-51-16]

Muratake san talks about the difficulties of farming

here in this field.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-51-37]

It’s steep and quite dangerous you can say!

But Tamaki san is trying to cheer her up again and says:

“But it’s so quiet and nice here!”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-53-54]

She agrees on that with him.

But also says that there are both

good and difficult things to take care of here in this area.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-55-25]

A little bit hard to leave her alone and move on…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-55-42]

But there is no other choice!!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[14-59-26]

Tamaki san gets back on the road again…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-00-11]

He reaches a place where it seems to be a shop…

The flag says “Tenku’s Oyaki”

Tenku is the name of the village,

and oyaki is a kind of a Japanese dumpling.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-02-08]

Tamaki san gets inside…

He finds three people,

two ladies and a man sitting in the yard.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-02-17]

He stands where he is and greets them.

They are of course surprised to see him and

the filming crew!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-03-08]

Then he asks them if this is a shop…

The man explains to him that they make

the traditional oyaki here.

He is surprised to see Tamaki san

coming all the way to the mountain XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-04-11]

Then asks him if he wants to try their oyaki

and of course he accepts the kind offer.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-08-50]

Tamaki san asks if he can sit in the yard with them and

the man kindly guides him to where the tables are.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-08-59]

He greets the two ladies

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-09-50]

and sits down on one of the chairs.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-09-59]

It’s warm outside in the sunshine.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-11-30]

Here comes the oyaki!

The people living in this area

have been eating it since the old days.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-12-25]

It’s still warm!

Tamaki san goes for a bite!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-12-38]

Delicious he says! Then asks them if the ingredients they

put inside the oyaki is different in every house…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-14-14]

And the man says that he’s right.

It’s different in every house.

Then while eating…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-15-25]

Tamaki san says that he just heard a stomach growling sound

coming from the filming staff members XD


Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-19-27]

Someone’s hungry and watching Tamaki san eating that

oyaki so deliciously must have been hard to bear! XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-19-48]

The man explains to him that this area has been the

source of inspiration for many famous haiku poets as well.

Then unsexpectedly he adds:

“Now that you have come all the way here,

do you wanna try it out?”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-22-18]

Tamaki san is troublled… hehehehe!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-22-38]

writing a haiku?!

He always says yes immediately

but this time he really looks troubled.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-22-45]

But he takes the challenge XD Let’s do it!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-27-08]

Each of them takes a wooden board

to write the haiku on,

and start going up to the mountain.

On their way up,

suddenly a lady with her dog appear in front of them!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-27-40]

Tamaki san greets her and the lady almost screams XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-29-30]

saying she watched him on TV last night ^^

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-31-57]

Tamaki san thanks her and she asks him “WHY?!”

hahahahaha… why he’s here she means I guess!

Tamaki san says that he’s just taking a walk…

but she doesnt let him finish and says:

“Small face!!” ← (considered attractive in Japan (^_^;)

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-32-02]

Then she keeps going:

“You look lovely in the TV… handsome…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-35-51]


very interesting… please shake hands with me!”

Tamaki san who kept denying everything

she said and thanking her all the time,

thanks her one more time and shakes her hand.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-35-39]

Then she starts again:

“My hand is cold right? But yours was warm…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-37-19]

(His hands are REALLY warm all the time!! >__< mukyaaa)

… Your voice is lovely too!!”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-37-44]

He denies and thanks again (^_^;

please let him go now!

“Meeting such a lovely man in person… 

I’m feeling dizzy now!!” ahahahahahaha!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-38-19]

Tamaki san laughs and denies again XD

But it’s really time to go…

He says goodbye and thanks her again.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-40-54]

Heading to the mountain,

they need to take the mountain road.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-48-38]

The old man says that they probably

won’t meet any living creature from now on XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-48-57]

They reach the top and it’s time to write the haiku!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-49-17]

Tamaki san takes a look at the beautiful landscape,

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-49-14]

and then starts writing…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-49-35]

After finishing the poem,

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-50-49]

Tamaki san gets closer to the old man and

looks at what he has written and says:

“OH! Great, isn’t it?”

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-50-59]

The old man tells him that he could not give him anything special or a souvenir to take home with him…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-54-52]

but he wants to delicate this haiku to him who came all the way here to this village in the mountain.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-55-09]

Tamaki san says that this is the best gift… perfect he says!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-56-01]

I won’t translate it because I never translate poems… (^_^;

but I will write it down in Japanese in case you wanted to

check out the meaning by yourself:


Now let’s see what Tamaki san has written for us XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-58-41]



Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-59-45]

They laugh but the old man praises him

and says that he is amazing! I agree!! He is XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[15-59-51]

Then he says that he regrets not taking his oyaki

with him up here and eating it all right away! XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[16-01-17]

Standing there and keep watching the stunning view,

Hikyo 12 Saitama[16-03-59]

it really makes you forget about the time!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[16-04-30]

Hikyo 12 Saitama[16-04-19]

Tamaki san gets on the train and goes faraway again…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[17-54-08]

The last stop is the mitsumineguchi station!

Hikyo 12 Saitama[16-07-33]

The most western spot in Saitama prefecture.

Hikyo 12 Saitama[16-09-31]

Getting outside the station…

Hikyo 12 Saitama[16-09-58]

Tamaki san continues his journey…

not really knowing what else is waiting there on the way for him XD

Hikyo 12 Saitama[16-10-14]

But let’s follow him around on the 2nd part…

It will be a very interesting journey

so please stay tuned!

See you!!

bai bai (´・ω・)ノ


End of part 1

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