Blogs from Gion, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan, Asia - page 6

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Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Gion March 16th 2009

March 16 I woke early in the morning ready to hit the ground running. I still hadn't decided what to do about staying in Kyoto for another day or heading back to Osaka. The hostel serves a 500 yen breakfast (about $5: tart yogurt with pistachios and dried cranberry, two homemade organic rolls, one wheat and one green tea, with butter and honey, and one egg scrambled with chopped ham and parsley) so while I ate I read a Frommer's Guide to Japan. After just a few minutes of reading I knew I had to stay in Kyoto for another day. I let the manager know I'd be staying one more night, put my things upstairs next to my mat, reorganized my backpack for a day of sightseeing and walking, and headed out. I walked to ... read more
Chopstick Store
A Rice Food, I think
Fushimiinaritaisya Shrine

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Gion March 15th 2009

For those of you who don't know, I made the very difficult decision to quit the teaching job I love and accept a position as a career counselor, a contracting job with the Army. The U.S. economy is having a worldwide affect, and Korea's economy took a sharp downturn about 5 months ago. The Korean dollar is worth about 30% less than when I arrived. Therefore, I needed to earn U.S. dollars. Sounds easy enough but visa laws are pretty strict. I've been jumping through hoops for a week, and one of the thing I needed to do was leave the country. Dan and I went to Tokyo last May and I vowed I would see more of Japan. So here I am. March 15 I arrived at Kansai International Airport after a 90 minute flight. ... read more
Fruit Tree
My First Kyoto Picture
Strolling Through the Marshy Water

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Gion March 12th 2009

Kyoto is supposed to be one of the most beautiful cities in Japan. For that reason, I've booked 5 nights at the Kyoto Hostel (sister hostel of the one I stayed at in Tokyo). I've been told over and over that if there's any one place that I need to visit in Japan, its Kyoto. Its kind of a downer that the sky is crying my first day there - I barely leave the hostel all day and wander for just a couple hours in the streets not far away. I found a park and a little temple before hunkering down again in the lounge for the night. It was supposed to rain for a few days, so the next day I decided to make my day trip out to Osaka. Originally I had planned to ... read more
Whale Shark in Osaka
Cherry Blossoms
Kiyomizu-dera

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Gion February 4th 2009

On Tuesday, the last day of my train pass, I headed into Kyoto itself and decided to follow another lonely planet walking tour, walking up Chawa Zaka, Sannen Zaka, Ninen-Zaka, which truth be had are 3 very touristy streets, but they were very cool, full of shops selling traditional Japanese food, sandles and bags etc. At one point I needed to go to the loo, so I asked the owner of a shop I had just bought something from. Well, I said "toilet," I didn't actually made a Japanese sentence. Anyway, she let me borrow hers, although she did warn me it was going to be a Japanese one... Along the way I stopped along the way at Kiyomizu-dera, a large temple complex. I first went into the belly of the Buddha (I think, maybe womb), ... read more
Kiyomizu-dera
Kiyomizu-dera
Charms

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Gion November 18th 2008

With only 2 days in Kyoto we could not do the city justice. Literally 100's of temples and fascinating alleyways and streets to explore. However, we did our best. We also had the pleasure of meeting up with 2 of Rami and Rob's friends Tomo and Nicola whose company we enjoyed whilst they very kindly treated us to a superb authentic Japanese and gave us tour of the Gion district taking in the sights.... read more
2 Duncan in the Yakatori bar
3 Kiyomizu Temple (water temple)
4 Girls in Komonos

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Gion September 12th 2008

12 Sept 08 Today was another lazy day...to a point. It was overcast so the bright (beautiful) sun didn't have us up at the crack of dawn. Still, the girls left early this morning to visit a school to check out the lunches' situation. By all accounts they had a lot of fun and the 3rd graders were so cute that Rachel wants to bring 10 of them back with her. I agree with the concept, but boggle at the quantity! In fact, she said tonight that her as-of-yet-unborn kids are getting sent to Japanese boarding school so they'll be like these kids. High, if slightly strange, praise indeed. I slept in and then blogged. This is fun, but it takes more time than I expected! Plus, I'm running at the mouth like crazy. Just consider ... read more
Gallery of Kyoto
Gallery of Kyoto
Kyoto Int'l Manga Museum

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Gion August 23rd 2008

They say Kyoto is the most visited tourist destination on the entire planet, eclipsing heavyweights like Paris and New York. Even so, we have yet to spot more than a handful of Westerners. With countless World Heritage listed temples and shrines, the mysterious Geisha underworld and a multitude of calming Zen gardens, Kyoto is in every sense the most traditional of all Japan's large cities. Our Japanses-style guesthouse is in a fantastic location and the cheapest in town. (Who could go wrong for AUD $25 a night?)Management didn't even bat an eyelid when Dave's hair blanketed the tatami after reaching epic lengths. Too tight to pay for a professional cut, he let Pen loose with the kiddie-soft left-handed scissors for the first time in her life. (You be the judge of the results via our blog ... read more
A Real Live Geisha!
Pen Under Torii
Giant Bamboo Grove

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Gion August 16th 2008

Okay, I know that I wasn't going to post anymore Osaka or Kyoto blogs, but this is one that I couldn't omit.... Four wonderful, adventurous, and exciting years have passed while I have lived in Japan, and although I was constantly trying different things and visiting new places, there was one thing that took me forever to do.... become a maiko!!!!! After studying and observing Japanese culture for so long I have always wondered what I would look like dressed as a maiko-san (geisha-in-training), and so on August 16th (my second last day in Japan), I finally decided to visit a studio in Gion. I arrived at 9am and spent the next hour or so choosing my kimono, getting my make-up done, and having a wig pinned to my head. The white powdery make-up was thick, ... read more
Entrance to the Studio in Gion
Introducing:  Maiko-san Lisa
Spot the Foreigner...

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Gion July 15th 2008

I Headed out with the head teacher of my school to Gion, to see the massive hikiyama carts. They basically shut down that area of the city for 4 days, all the roads are closed, and you can see men and women in traditional summer robes, known as Yukata. It was really nice yet strange to be out with head teacher. I mean I usually see him at school. but part of me felt guilty and wondered 'Is it okay for me to be out drinking with my boss?' I love Japanese people. They are breaking stereotypes every day. We walked along eating karaage (fried chicken), drinking biru, and we even went to a small restaurant and ate Hoke (a fish that comes from the Hokkaido region). I even had an impromptu Japanese lesson.... Subject-Object-Verb, ... read more
Sponsor Lanterns
Hikiyama
Lanterns

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Gion July 2nd 2008

This is definitely my last entry. Im sorry I didnt update more recently but we've been jammed packed nonstop for many days now. Several days ago (Friday) we rode the bullet train to Hiroshima and it rocked our socks! I believe the average speed of these trains is 300mph - man do I wish we had these back in the States. We stepped off the train and the leaders waved goodbye to teh delegates as they were whisked away by their host families. Each student was returned to us Monday with a new appreciation and understanidn of the lifestyle in Japan. I heard many a stories about trying new foods, playing kimono dress-up, great moments at a karaoke session, days at the beach, lots of laugther with their host brothers, sisters, and parents and a few ... read more




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