Blogs from Kyoto, Japan, Asia


Asia » Japan » Kyoto March 28th 2021

25th March Night time Cherry Blossom - Kyoto #heygo 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 eighteen... 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

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

Asia » Japan » Kyoto November 15th 2019

You can’t arrive at the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove too early. Set your alarm and get there at sunrise and not a moment later; it’s totally worth it. The light is magical and you’ll have the grove almost to yourself for a few moments, before tourists join you to visit what is one of Kyoto’s top sights. You’ll take lots of pictures but it’s difficult, if not impossible, to capture on film the surreal atmosphere on standing beneath the swaying stalks of bamboo. Try not to be too disappointed. There’s one path through the grove, which leads slowly uphill from outside the north gate of Tenryū-ji to just below Ōkōchi Sansō. After this you’ll definitely want to make a visit to Tenry-ji Temple, right next to the grove, and ideally have lunch at Shigetsu. Note that you ... read more
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove
Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Asia » Japan » Kyoto November 14th 2019

Probably the most rewarding day trip from Kyoto is the hike from Kibune to Kurama to visit the temple followed by a trip to the onsen. The train ride is a highlight in itself, especially with the changing autumn leaves, but likely all year round. This adventure would only be improved as an overnight trip or even a long weekend; Kibune itself is an incredibly cute little village with several beautiful inns that would be well worth a stay, and there are some great restaurants here too. The hike between the two towns is not overly long or strenuous, with a chance to visit some lovely shrines along the way, and it’s nice to get out into the mountains and away from the crowds. If you’re not interested in the hike you can take the train ... read more
Kifune Shrine
Kifune Shrine
Kifune Shrine

Asia » Japan » Kyoto November 13th 2019

Kinkaku-ji, Kyoto's famed 'Golden Pavilion', is one of Japan's best-known sights. The main hall, covered in brilliant gold leaf, shining above its reflecting pond is spectacular. Arrive on a weekday as soon as it opens and still expect to be rubbing shoulders with tour groups. The original building dates from 1397 and was a retirement villa for shogun Ashikaga Yoshimitsu. His son converted it into a Zen Buddhist temple. In 1950 a young monk consummated his obsession with the temple by burning it to the ground. In 1955 a full reconstruction was completed that followed the original design, but the gold-foil covering was extended to the lower floors. The gold employed was intended to mitigate and purify any pollution or negative thoughts and feelings towards death. Each floor represents a different style of architecture. Although it ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto November 12th 2019

You can't arrive at Fushimi-Inari Temple too early; head out before sunrise so you can watch the sun break though the vermilion torii gates either near the temple entrance or through the trees higher up the mountain of Inari-san. The higher you go the thinner the crowds, and you'll still encounter seemingly endless arcades of gates, mostly large but also small ones, and tiny ones, all bright red against the dark green foliage and gray stone foxes, scattered by the hundreds throughout the shrine and sub-shrines. It's a beautifully surreal experience. Fushimi Inari Shrine has ancient origins, predating the capital's move to Kyoto in 794. Fushimi Inari was dedicated to the gods of rice and sake by the Hata family in the 8th century. The fox is considered the messenger of Inari, the god of cereals, ... read more

Asia » Japan » Kyoto November 11th 2019

Our day started early at Ginkaku-ji, the Silver Pavilion, a Zen temple along Kyoto’s eastern mountains. The temple began in 1482 as a retirement villa for shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa, and after his death it was converted into a temple. The interior of the building is not open to the public but it is supposed to contain a statue of Kannon. The shogun's ambition to cover the elegant building with silver (if this was his intention – it’s also possible that the name arose because the moon light reflecting on the building's dark exterior gave it a silvery appearance) was never realized but it is still lovely to behold. In front of Ginkaku-ji is a dry sand garden with a large cone of white sand and ranked undulating sand which is supposed to be symbolic of a ... read more
Dry Sand Garden at Ginkaku-ji
Dry Sand Garden at Ginkaku-ji

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