Past News (July 2007)

July 30th

How was your weekend? Had a neat one? Yes, I did. I went to Mie Prefecture for a hike with a friend on Saturday. Have you ever heard of [Akame Shijuhachi Taki]? There are more than 25 waterfalls, and you can see different types of waterfalls there. They are really amazing! I definitely recommend you to go there if you like hiking. You will get lots of negative ions and get 100% refreshed after the hike! Actually I did! (Risa)


July 26th

I have good news for you! [Yuzuya Ryokan] offer you a special discount rate during summer. The ryokan is the center of world attention, and lots of people come to stay at the ryokan from all over the world. Wefve also sent quite a few guests to the ryokan, and they loved it. If you are interested in staying at the awesome, fantastic, and beautiful ryokan, please contact us!!! Donft miss your chance! What do you think they are for in the photo below? (Risa)


July 24th

Itfs very beautiful day today. When I woke up and look at the sky through the window, I was impressed at the colour. It was so bluecand no clouds in the sky. I think the rainy season will end in Kansai area really soon. I am still happy thanks to the fine weather! (Risa)

July 20th

I found a nice picture to share with you. Donft you think itfs very Japanese? Beautiful huh? Have a great weekend! (Risa)


July 18th

Today, I want to share the atmosphere of Gion Festival with you. The photo is the most famous floats called [Naginata-boko]. The weather wasnft really good during the weekend, but millions of people visit Kyoto to see the festivals from all over the world. The festival peaks on the 17th, when 32 beautifully decorated floats parade through the city, accompanied with lively music. When I went out around noon yesterday, I saw many people waiting on the street in the downtown. How about coming to Kyoto to see the festival next year? (Risa)


July 17th

Did you have a neat weekend? YES! is my answer. A friend and I went to the hot springs in Hyogo Prefecture (about 4-hour-drive from Kyoto) and stayed at a ryokan (a Japanese-style inn – Ifm sure you know what a ryokan is!) for Saturday night. Because a big typhoon was approaching to Kansai area, we couldnft swim in the seacbut we had a very relaxing time thanks to the typhoon! I hope you had a neat weekend. (Risa)

July 13th

A big typhoon is coming to Japan! According to the weather news, it has already caused great damage to Okinawa including small islandscI am so sorry for the victims. As Monday is a public holiday (Marine Day), lots of people are planning a weekend tripc Actually I am one of themcI am still going, but Ifm sure some people have already cancelled their tripc We canft control natural disaters, but why this weekend? I guess quite a few people feel the same way. Anyway, have a neat weekend! (Risa)

June 10th

The Osendo-no-gi ceremony, where young children and preservation society members of the Naginata-hoko float pray for the safety of the Gion Festival in which the float will appear, was held on July 1st Yasaka Shrine, Higashiyama Ward, Kyoto. Many Yamahoko-cho or communities that own the Yamahoko floats, carried out Kippu-iri, a rite which marks the opening of the month-long festival that is the highlight of summer in Kyoto. Just before 10am, Junzaburo Oka, who is this yearfs Chigo or sacred child, Kouki Asami and Keiichiro Morita, who are erforming the assisting roles called Kamuro along with 24 members of the preservation society, entered the shrinefs precincts from the south gate. Oka wore white make-up with a cool long-sleeved kimono and vermillion Hakama, a kind of pleated skirt. After paying homage at the main shirine, he walked around its perimeter three times under a large red umbrella that was held for him. After being purified by a priest from Yasaka Shrine at a local community building, a neighborhood meeting was held to make arrangements for the festival. In the evening, Nikai-bayashi or an official musical accompaniment practice, began. A festive atmosphere rose up as the sound of gongs, flutes and Taiko drums filled the air the building. (Risa)

July 5th

On the evening of June 23rd, the summer tradition of [UKAI] cormorant fishing opened with the annual Kawa-biraki, or river-opening ceremony, on the Uji River, along the edge of Tonoshima Island in Uji City, Kyoto. Spectators were intoxicated by the view of the techniques of Ukai fishing masters, or usho in Japanese, amidst the fantastic scenery of bonfires reflected on the riverfs surface. Each time the cormorants dived into the water with a splash to catch a sweetfish, tourists on the boats applauded and cheered. Ukai fishing takes place every evening around 7pm until September 30th. Are you getting interested??? (Risa)


July 3th

Have you heard about [TANABATA]? It is a Japanese star festical, derived from Obon tradition and the Chinese star festival, Qi Xi. The festival is usually held on July 7th and celebrates the meeting of Orihime (Vega) and Hikoboshi (Altair). The Milky Way, a river made from stars that crosses the sky, separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year. This special day is the seventh day of the seventh lunar month of the lunisolar calendar. In present-day Japan, people generally celebrate this day by writing wishes on tanzaku, a small pieces of paper, and hanging them on bamboo, sometimes with other decorations. Many areas in Japan have their own Tanabata customs, which are mostly related to local Obon traditions. When I was walking along the street, I saw lots of bamboo here and therecso I chose it as a todayfs topic. Enjoy the Tatanaba Day! (Risa)