Blogs from Kyoto, Japan, Asia

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Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto January 1st 2023

From 2010. Unfortunately, all my Aunts who know how to prepare Shogatsu are getting too old to do all of the preparation and cooking. But the memory will always stay with us. From 2022, my 90 year Aunt in SoCal will prepare a modified shogatsu meal for her family!!! If you should ever get invited to a Japanese family on January 1, you MUST go! It is a life-changing experience, and ensures you will be invited into perpetuity!! The three-day New Year holiday is a very special time in Japan, a time of solemn prayers and joyous greetings. While New Year's Day is a holiday in many parts of the world, the occasion has a unique significance to the Japanese, who take the opportunity to begin anew many aspects of their lives. New Years is regarded ... read more
Need more sushi!
Meguro celebration

Asia » Japan » Kyoto December 18th 2022

Today we tightened up our laces and got some good walking in to a breakthrough bamboo forest and the Kiyomizu-dera Temple. Both were in different directions, but we found them via public trains and busses. You'll see one of my pictures is if a pictorial in the toilet. Japan does toilets right! Seats are heated, but not in a way where you are feeling the ghost of the previous occupant, does go to the floor with no huge cracks, there's an option in most to turn on a running water noise so no one can hear what you're up to, and overall it's the best toilet experience in the planet. Ridiculous that I'm writing this? Yes. Am I sincere? Also yes. Japan is wonderful and I am so glad I came in December during the off ... read more
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My wish
The bamboo forest

Asia » Japan » Kyoto December 17th 2022

Such a fun day! Today we first participated in a tea ceremony where we were dressed in kimonos and had traditional matcha tea. Even though I am very much not the typical size (both height and width) of a woman here they were extremely accommodating and made it a truly memorable experience. We walked through Nishiki Market, a market for all sorts of local foods and the place where I was able to eat my must have, octopus stuffed with a quail egg. It was so good! Lunch was filled with squid, more octopus and dumplings. Then! You all will love this- we enjoyed coffee while petting cats in the Fluffy cafe and then played with otters at a different site. I understand that we must consider the ethical implications of these sorts of visits, but ... read more
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Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Arashiyama December 16th 2022

Today we utilized our Japan Rail Passes and boarded a train to Kyoto, luckily catching sight of Mt. Fuji on the way. Today we visited the Kyoto Tower and saw the entirety of the city while roasting alive. Seriously, everyone here is so tiny they ramp up the heat to meet the chill of December. One thing that's really surprised me is just how much time you can spend in the rail station- there's so many shops and places to eat, you really could spend days in them. The architecture you see in the photos today are from the Kyoto station- just an incredible site to appreciate in and of itself. It's been a busy day so it's lovely to turn in to a nice hotel room and relax. ... read more
I love bookstores!
Bookstore cont.
Throughout the city

Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Senbon September 3rd 2022

Over two billion people worldwide rely on rice as their primary food. According to new study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, increasing levels of carbon dioxide are not only warming the planet, but also severely lowering the nutritional value of key crops like rice. CO2-exposed rice has dramatically less iron, zinc, and B vitamins. Speaking of rice and Japan: Did you know there are over 30,000 certified sommeliers in Japan, 13k of whom are women? A modest 26.5% of all Japanese sommelier candidates pass the exams as sommelier training is quite rigorous there. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Japan’s induction into the International Association of Sommeliers. Japan also boasts countless wine schools and a flourishing wine b... read more
Sushi time

Asia » Japan » Kyoto March 28th 2021

25th March Night time Cherry Blossom - Kyoto #heygo http://www.heygo.com Gion Shirakawa is in the entertainment district with traditional wooden houses, restaurants and teahouses. The true magic of Kyoto comes out when dusk falls, transition into a magical nighttime town illuminated with paper lanterns mixed with argon lights. The illuminated cherry blossoms give off an ethereal glow, are called yozakura—cherry blossoms at night. Kinya our virtual guide took us for a night stroll along Shirakawa Street in Kyoto's Higashiyama Neighbourhood. Kinya explained how the cherry blossom was highly regarded by Japanese people from old times & shared the philosophical connotations behind the scenes of the Japanese cherry blossoms. We learnt about Geisha The profession of a geisha was officially recognized in the second half of the eighteenth... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto January 24th 2021

18/1 Kyoto Kyoto - Higashiyama District Usually the virtual tours from the Far East are very early here in the U.K. e.g. 2 am but last night I was awake so joined the tour at midnight with Kentaro to enjoy the Higashiyama District of Kyoto. What a delightful young man who was born and raised as a country boy in Fukushima who told us that his English was not taught to him at school but during a long trip he made hitchhiking through Canada & USA. The Higashiyama District along the lower slopes of Kyoto’s eastern mountains is one of the city's best preserved historic districts. It was 9am on Sunday morning and very few people were about so it was a lovely meander through the narrow lanes with the wooden buildings and traditional merchant shops. ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto January 23rd 2021

Japan Trip with Grandaddy d and Grandma, Mummy and Daddy and Uncle Bobster.... read more
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Asia » Japan » Kyoto » Kyoto » Higashiyama May 23rd 2020

Which country has the most Michelin-starred restaurants? The Michelin guide was founded in 1900 by brothers Andre and Edouard Michelin as a way to encourage drivers to take more road trips. It included maps and recommendations on where to sleep, fuel up, and eat. The hope was that it would encourage people to put more wear on their cars and thus buy more tires from their company. Today, restaurants covet Michelin stars. Even a single star is a tremendous honor as it denotes a quality restaurant. Excellent restaurants are awarded two stars, and the crème de la crème receive three-stars. Despite France's reputation for fine food and it being the home of the Michelin guide, France's 600 odd starred restaurants only put it in second place. The most Michelin star restaurants can actually be found in ... read more
Wow, I would love this!!!!
My favorites!!
n/naka in Los Angeles

Asia » Japan » Kyoto November 20th 2019

As we disembark from the bullet train after a remarkably comfortable and smooth 2 hour journey speeding across the 400km from Hakone, we finally set foot in Kyoto - our last stop in Japan. Kyoto used to be the old seat of Japan’s Imperial Court; it is home to ancient emperors, the mysterious world of the Geisha, numerous breathtakingly beautiful temples and shrines and is known as the cultural capital of Japan as well as an internationally renowned center for higher learning. We step into this dazzlingly historical and culturally rich city and into the beautiful sunshine... “Looks like Calais,” says Charlie. He sniffs. “Smells like it too.” As we strolled through the Kyoto streets and along the river Charlie was forced to admit that his first impressions were wrong, but it’s fair to say that ... read more
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