Past News
(December 2007)

December 28th

I went to Osaka for dinner with a friend the other night. We were going to a Thai restaurant, but it was closedcso, we decided to eat [FUGU] which is blowfish in English. If you know well about Japanese food culturecyes, it is very expensive fish. Fugu has been eaten in Japan for centuries, although its historic origin isnft so clear. Bones of fugu have been found in several shell mounds called in Jomon period that dates back more than 2300 years! Unbelievable eh! Its prices rise in autumn and peak in winter, which is the best time to eat fugu, as they fatten to survice the cold. A full course of fugu meal can cost easily between 10,000yen and 20,000yen or even morec I donft have a chance to eat fugu very often, but I love it, especially its texture. If you come to Japan in winter, how about trying fugu? I wrote too much about fish here(Yes, Takashi and I always write about food!!!), but this is the last post in 2007. I wish you a happy happy New Year!!! (Risa)

December 27th


I met up with my Swiss friends yesterday after work. The 4 of them have been travelling around Japan since last week. We went to gShiroki-yah which is so called an gIzakayah. We thought it would be nice to take them to an izakaya as they are in Japan. It was so crowded there but we luckily got a table for 7 people. I do think itfs not a good ideal to let people smoke in a dining space. For those who donft smoke, itfs just a pain that smoke wafting around. Oh wellc We had a course menu starting with a salad of burdock with wasabi sauce. Swiss guys seemed to be stunned and suffering from the peculiar taste of wasabi. We had a gnabeh later and finished with noodles. With alcohol and all the food, we were so full that we couldnft move for a while. It was really nice seeing them in Japan. It seems like itfs my turn to go and see them in Switzerland. (Takashi)

December 26th

How was your Christmas? I hope you had a good one. I went on a trip to Izu area with a friend on the weekend. The weather wasnft so nice on Saturday, but it gradually cleared up on Sunday. So, we could see Mt. Fuji beautifully on our way back. It was not a busy trip at all. We relaxed at a natural hot spring and had a long chat all the way though we often fell asleep on the bus. She is moving to Tokyo next month, so it became a nice memory for us. I believe she will do a good job in a new company, but Ifll keep my fingers crossed for her!!! (Risa)

Mt. Fuji

December 25th

How was your weekend? Mine was alright. I went to a night club with my friends on Friday and we danced until 4:30am. Literally we danced until we fell on our knees. Then we headed for home. On the way to the Subway Station, we dropped at McDonaldfs. Itfs sort of yucky to eat McDonaldfs at that time of the dayc But it was alright as long as I can remember. I cannot remember what I ate at all. I went to bed at about 6amc Phew, I was dog-tired.

Itfs holy CHRISTMAS today. I celebrated Christmas on the 23rd with my friends. We had a huge pizza and hushed potatoes, and a lot of dessert. We just watched movies and had a good long chat. It was good enough though. I got tipsy, hahaha. No wonder about it. I hope you have a wonderful CHRISTMAS today!!! (Takashi)

December 21st

4 more nights until Christmas day! A friend of mine has already gone for a holiday (actually he is still at the airport)cand some are packing in a hurry nowcMe? I am stuck in the officec but, thatfs ok as I like my Kyotoguesthousesf job. Ifll take care of your inquiry mails even during Christmas, so please email me if you have questions about Kyoto, ryokan, and so on! (Risa)

December 20th


Tuesday evening, I went out for dinner with my friend to gShinpu-kanh, which is close from the office. After looking around for a wee while, we decided to have noodles as it was a cold day. We ordered noodles for each and shared dumplings and deep-fried-chickens. My noodles were cooked in chicken based soup and it got a few chicken legs!!! You can see the photo above. As I donft eat much, I felt really fullc Yesterday, I went back to Shinpu-kan to buys a gSpiderman Maskh. Itfs totally a lame joke, but should work on my friends. Ifll see what happens. (Takashi)

December 19th

Yeah, Christmassy everywhere! What are your plans for Christmas? Are you all set? Takashi went to [SHINPUKAN] near our office for dinner with his friend last night and took the photo below. He said it was really pretty.


I am going on a trip to Izu area with my friend this weekend. They ryokan/hotel is located by Mt. Fuji, so we might be able to see the mountain if we are lucky. As the hot spring is also famous there, we are very looking forward to it. I will let you know how it goes when I get back next week. (Risa)

December 18th

How are you today? I had a good surprise when I got home last night. First of all, I found 2 nice Christmas cards in my mailbox and half an hour later, I got a box from my home which contained some food and CHOCOLATE. Yum. I have to be really careful not to finish them off soon. As for my Christmas Cards, I sent them out yesterday, so I hope those will get to my friends by the time of Christmas. I hear Christmas music wherever I go, and sometimes I find myself humming songs even while Ifm listening to other songs with my iPod. I am so washed away by this cheerful and merry atmosphere. Almost a week to Christmas, I hope you have a great time. By the way, URAWA REDS won the 3rd place in the Club World Cup. (Takashi)

December 17th

How was your weekend. I went to a market held at Chion-ji located in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto with a friend on Saturday. Its market is held on the 15th every month, and itfs been very popular. We got there after 11am, but there were already so many peoplecand, we could hardly walk. It was the first time for me to go to the market (thatfs because I canft take a day off to go shopping on a working day, right?), but I found it very interesting. It was bigger than I expected, and there were lots of small shops and stalls in the temple ground. If you have a chance to come to Kyoto on the 15th, how about going there? I believe you will find something nice for your Kyoto memory! (Risa)

December 14th

How are you today? T.G.I.F.!!! Itfs supposed to be really cold here today, but itfs not as bad as the weather forecast said. Maybe itfs warm here in this office. Anyway, gURAWA REDSh did really well against gAC MILANh last night although they were defeated by 1-0. It seems like Italian Press complimented REDSf performance. But that score shows the difference between the worldfs top team and REDS. I look forward to watching the next game on Sunday, the 16th.(Takashi)

December 13th

The Kanji of the year was announced at Kiyomizu Temple yesterday. Look at the below picture. Tha Kanji means FAKEc It was chosen because there were so many counterfeiting problems this yearcwhat a sad reason it is! I really wished a better Kanji had been chosencmaybe next yearc (Risa)


December 12th

I got a cold again. Or this nasty cold has been dormant in me for a long time. Anyways, Ifm fighting against it and maybe spreading this virus. Who knows? I guess I need a hot bath tonight. I hope you readers are all fine. To change a subject, my favorite soccer team gURAWA RED DIAMONDSh won the quarter final in Club World Cup 2007. Then, they have a match against European Champions gAC Milanh. Ifve been their fan since I was young, since they were the worst team in J-League, so I just cannot believe that this team joins this event at first place. The big match is on the 13th, I cannot miss it. Christmas is coming, and the team color of Reds is RED, so something might happen. Fingers crossed!!! (Takashi)

December 11th

I hope you had a great weekend. I was kinda busy busycbut I enjoyed myself a lot. I went to a café opening event with a friend on Sunday evening. The café [les trios maisons] building was an old Kyoto town house, and it was refurbished nicely. The owner hasnft set the prices yet, but you can stay there if you want. There is an en suite room upstairs (the bed looked so comfortable!!!). The café/guesthouse is located in Nishijin, northwestern part of Kyoto citycso, I canft say itfs very convenientcbut, I guess itfs a good idea to stay there if you want to get away from the bustle of city life!!! (Risa)

December 10th

How was your weekend? I had my friends around on Saturday. Although we didnft have any specific plans where to meet up, we instinctively gathered under the gAstro Boyh statue in front of Kyoto Station. Meeting at Kyoto Station equals meeting at gAstro Boyh statue, doesnft it? We went to an Italian restaurant at Isetan. I had a lunch deal: salad, pizza, risotto and dessert. It was really nice. After that, I took them to Nanzanji-temple as they wanted to see the Roman-style-canal. It was such a beautiful day that we needed to take off a jacket. There were fewer people there than when I went there last time, so it was just peaceful to be there. We walked around Nanzenji and got back to Karasuma Oike. A day hasnft finished yet, we went to a café called gPaper Moonh in Kitayama. As the air got colder, we decided to have dessert inside. The cake was beautiful. I had a juice casis and raspberry, which was fuzzy, as well. I shouldfve taken a photoc Anyway, I had a great time with my friends. My Sunday was dreadful, Ifd better not talk about it here. Hope you have a good week. (Takashi)

December 7th

Yay! Itfs already Friday! I will have a Bonenkai with friends tonight. Bonenkai is a Japanese eating/drinking party that usually takes place at the end of the year (any day during December), and is generally held among groups of co-workers or friends. The purpose of the party, as its name implies, it to forget the woes and trouble of the past year, usually consumption of large amounts of alcohol. I donft think we drink too much tonight, but it will be fun night! (Risa)

December 6th


What are you up to? I have been in Kyoto for nearly 3 months and Ifm thinking of going home for New Yearfs to see my crazy family. Itfll be nice to see old friends and countryside landscape as well. I kinda miss gInakah scenery even though where I live is also a quiet areac Therefs no ocean near the centre of Kyoto, so I do miss the ocean I used to think itfs normal to be there. After all, I grew up in the countryside. lol (Takashi)

December 5th

I received a letter yesterday. That was a nice surprise when I found it in my mail box. I like sending/receiving letters (I mean proper letters here) even though we live in a technologically advanced society. E-mails are much easier and quicker, but I still prefer writing a letter. I know we are too busy with our life to write a letter every daycso the letter I received yesterday made me so happy. Thank you! (Risa)

December 4th


How are you today? Itfs getting colder here day by day. It seems real winterfs coming. I need warm clothes to wrap myself. Anyway, I had a good weekend with my friends. We had a takoyaki party with some drinks. At first, we just put normal ingredients such as veggies, octopus, and red ginger. But we tried kimchi, cheese and even chocolate. Chocolate in takoyaki sounds gross, but it turned out to be pretty good. Maybe everyonefs sense of taste became numb by drinkingl. We cooked takoyaki heaps that I felt so full after the 3rd round. lol After the party, I thought I wouldnft eat takoyaki for a while, but you know what? I ate some last night. Takoyakifs kind of addictive for me. I hope I can get rid of this addiction soon. Hope you have a nice week. Take care of yourself. (Takashi)

December 3rd

Did you have a good weekend? My weekend was pretty relaxing. My good friend, Ayano visited Kyoto overnight and stayed at my place. We went to an Izakaya (Japanese-style dining place) for dinner near Kawabata-Nijo. We ordered various kinds of seafood dishes as the Izakaya always has excellent reputation for serving fresh seafood (I donft think they have meat dishes on the menuc). We so much enjoyed the dinner, and we will definitely go back there again. If you are interested in the Izakaya, please contact me. I want to keep it secret, but I will teach youc Hey Takashi, how was your weekend? Please let us know how great your weekend was! (Risa)