June - April, 2013


Lotus garden in Mimurotoji temple is now open. And in somehow, they bloomed much earlier this year so it is a good timing to go there. The weather is not that good this couple of days but please forget about the weather and check it out! (Saori)


Recently, one of the Japanese symbol, Mt. Fuji became a National Treasure. It is not in Kyoto, but this is a one thing that you should see once while you are in Japan. If you take Shinkansen, you take three hours to get there to the mountain trailhead. However, since this is a big mountain, you might see it from different prefecture or on the way to Tokyo from Kyoto. (Saburo)


We had a threat of typhoon hitting Japan, however, it turned to an extratropical cyclone this morning. We have no threat of strong winds, but we are still expecting lots of rain this week. Stay dry and stay cool because humidity is still 80% and hot! (Saburo)


Its raining and lots of it! We were having very dry monsoon season, so it is nice to have rains. However, it is raining a lot in one day. I was walking to work yesterday. I got soaking wet in 15 minutes. Today is raining again. Everybody stay dry and enjoy your visit! (Saburo)


We have typhoon nearby and it starts raining from this morning and it is still rainingc


It seems that it rains for a couple of days~ (Saori)


I went to a massive temples in Kyoto last weekend. The temple complex is called Nanzenji. You can get there by taking a subway and get off at Keage station. After you get out the station, you will see a brick tunnel across from Westin Miyako Hotel Kyoto. Walk about 5 minutes, you will see a huge wooden gate, that is the beginning of the temple complex. There is a brick bridge inside the complex. You can walk up to the top of the bridge. You will be surprised when you see the top of the bridge because this is a bridge that carries water to different places. Since this place is close to Gion, you can walk up to Yasaka shrines afterword. (Saburo)

Nanzenji Suirokaku


In some parts of world, it is still Thursday but It is Friday in Japan! SO I wonder there are any even on the weekend And I found one. It is Reisai Festival at Yasaka-junja Shrine. At the festival, they perform Azuma- Asobi. It is an elegant court dance of the Heian period and the dance is with gagaku, old court music. The aim for the festival to get connection with God. After the festival, you also can see people reading Tanka poetry. If you are interested in the even, the Reisai festival starts from 10am and the reading Tanka poetry starts from 3pm.Probably it is very hot so please don't forget to take care for sun. (Saori)


This is my first Summer in Kyoto, and so far, it is very hot! I already start using AC today. There are many Japanese sweets available in Kyoto, and few of them matches with this beautiful town of Kyoto. It is a good idea to cool off once in awhile after visiting temples and different places under this hot weather. Please use this hot weather for an excuse to go in to a restaurants and enjoy the beautiful and delicious Japanese sweets while you are in Kyoto! (Saburo)


It hasnft rained that much after it became rainy season. Of course, I prefer sun but it starts getting a bit problem. It was on news that it gets less water at some reservoirsc I donft like rainy season but I know rain is necessary so I hope we get some good amount of rain soon. Because of less rain, hydrangeas are less cheerful :( (Saori)



I went to see lightning bugs last weekend. I live at Moriyama, Shiga prefecture and it is one of the famous places to see them. The season is late May so the number already got less however they were still pretty. I wish I could show you some pictures of them but their lights werenft strong enough to get on my picturesc A funny thing is we walked all way down to little river for an hour or so but we saw one on the way back. It was very close from my home. That means we didnft need to walk that far... :p It was funny but in the same time it made me surprise they are here even in neighborhoodc(Saori)



We are suppose to be in monsoon season right now. However, we are having beautiful weather lately. You might see people using umbrella in bright sunny day. They are using special umbrella to block the sunlight. Drink lots of water when you go out, and stay cool! (Saburo)


It was on news that Noryou-yuka is getting more modernized. First do you know about Noryou-yuka? They are terraces above Kamo-river in Shijyou, Kyoto. Before most of restaurants were Japanese restaurants but now there are changing. To bring more young people and to make there more variety places, more western restaurants and modernized restaurants are opened. I got interested in a couple of restaurants. I asked my family to go there to eat so hopefully I can go there soon and bring back some pictures to show you! If you are already here in Kyoto, check the following restaurants! (Saori)





It has already became rainy season from last week in Kansai area but there is nice sunshine in this week. It seems that the weather continue for a couple of days. If you are coming to Japan soon or if you are already in Japan, please take care for sun before you go outside. (Saori)



Today was very wet and dark day. Yes, we are officially in Monsoon season now. Looks like we have few sunny days on this weekend, but after that, we will have rainy days. Make sure to take a raincoat with you when you go out. (Saburo)


Have you considered taking Jinrikisha in Arashiyama? Jinrikisha is a human-pulled- cart. This service is quite popular among couples and seniors because you can go to different popular spots in Arashiyama without walking on hills. The price may differ from one agent to the other, but it cost about 3,000 yen per couple for ten minutes ride. If you wish to ride it, just talk to a guy like in the photo below. (Saburo)



Today, I had to go get some electronic appliances, so I went to Yodobashi Camera by Kyoto Station. I canft believe how you can gat everything from this store. The main is an electronic appliance store. However, on upper part the store building has restaurants and boutiques. On down part of the store buildings have grocery stores and a 100 yen shop. If you want to go shopping for electronic appliances, I recommend you to go to Yodobashi Camera. (Saburo)


Summer is coming here little by little and it is getting hot. That means it is a good season for cold food. There are many kinds of food for summer. Zaru-soba, Zaru-udon, Rei-men, Soumen etc If you are visiting Japan in summer, please try those. Even it is too hot and it makes you want less food, those food tastes so good. Here is one kind I ate. It calls eUshio-sobaf. It is soba with Seaweed and Japanese radish. (Saori)



This weekend, I went to Tokyo just for a night by myself. I only have been there for short trip with my friends, so it was hard to walk around the town by myself. However, It was a great experience to see the biggest town in Japan. This might opens up possibility to travel more to different part of Japan. If you take a Shinkansen, it only takes little over two hours, so if you are planning to go there from Kyoto, it is easy trip there. (Saburo)



We have had nice warm days lately, however, today was little bit cooler than usual. It is hard to find right clothes for unstable weather like today. Especially the temperature in the evening dropped quite a bit. I have experienced winter of Kyoto, and it was very cold, but never spend time in Kyoto in summer. People say Kyoto gets really hot because of humidity. I am hoping that weather become stable soon and get warmer soon. (Saburo)


When you visit temples, you usually visit them in day time. However, I personally like visiting them in the night. My favorite shrine is Yasaka Shrine. Tonight was able to see a beautiful moon over the gate. Before you go back to your hotel room, may be visit one or two temples or shrine to see them in different atmosphere. (Saburo)


Today, I took my friend from Ireland to shab shab restaurant today. The restaurant is called Gyuzen ( and they serve all you can eat food. They also have one person serving food too, so if you are traveling here alone, you can still enjoy shab shab. The food that they serve was absolutely amazing and tons of food. It is right by Shijo subway station. The menu is available both English and Japanese. If you are looking for shab shab experience, I recommend Gyuzen! (Saburo)


We just got back from Golden Week, the long public holidays. If you were in Japan during the time, Ifm sure you got surprised how crowded everywhere was. So many people go back to visit parents and relatives, go for trip or just hung around. During the weekend, some of beach got open. It is still cold to get in water but it is a good time for clam digging. It is one of the seasonal Japanese customs. But in this year, there is a problem. More of clams have poison this year than usual and they cannot bring back clams which you dug with you. It is sad, isnft it but donft worry! You can swap the clams to clean clams at the entrance. Clam digging is still on a season so if you are interested in it, try it out! (Saori)


Kumamoto has lots of famous foods. One of the famous food is Tonkotsu ramen. It is a bone marrow soup ramen. Close to my home, there is a ramen restaurant that services the best Tonkotsu ramen. The ramen have black oil in it. This black oil is burned garlic oil. It brings intense flavor to the ramen. You can find some ramen restaurants that serve Tonkotsu ramen. You may not find the same thing, but This is another Japanese food that you may want to try while you are here. (Saburo)


I am visiting my family in Kumamoto prefecture right now for few days. Shinkansen station at Kyoto Station was packed with people. While I was waiting for the train to come, I stepped into a gift shop, and I found out that many Kyotofs gift is related to traditional Japanese either items or cuisines. What would you buy if you are buying a gift to your family and friends? The gift that I chose was a product call Yuba. Yuba is a thin sheet of pure soymilk. When you boil soymilk slowly, a thin film forms on top of soymilk. You scup it up with a stick and dry it up, it become yuba. It is not a cheap product, but healthy and delicious. Not very much flavor to it, but you can put them in a soup, or you can make sashimi style after you wet it to make it soft. (Saburo)


I went to a shrine that is close to my home, but never been to today. The shrine is called Seme Shrine. This shrine is for worshipping historical figure named Seme Abeno. He was famous for practicing magic and healing. There were so many people from all over the country. It was interesting to see so many people worship Seme. There were two movies, at least that I know, about Semefs miracles. After they pried at the shrine, people goes to a gift shop next to the shrine. Very surprising to know such a famous place is located near by my house. (Saburo)


Some people in Japan already started Golden Week. 10 days of holiday, what would you do? Since Kyoto is a popular travel destination, the city of Kyoto will be packed with tourists. You also will see many people from different countries. Since Japanese Yen is cheaper now, easier people have more desire to come to Japan. While you are in Japan, eat great foods that we offer, and visit lots of famous temples, and experience things that you can only do in Japan. I hope your visit will be amazing! (Saburo)


I went out to eat dinner tonight with my friend, and I found interesting food. This is called gBaguette Tree.h It looks strange, but this is absolutely delicious. My favorite flavor is honey butter. The restaurant is a pasta restaurant on top of Yodobashi Camera. Try it once! You gonna love it! (Saburo)


Its has been cold and hot, everyday is different. What do you do to keep you from getting sick in your country? I think Japan have two ways to keep ourselves from getting sick. From inside and outside! From inside, we can do so by eating healthy food. Japanese food is known for healthy food because of the amount that they serve, lots of beans, and balanced food. From outside, we can use Onsen to relax, and heal ourselves. While you are visiting, you do not want to get sick, so lets eat healthy and keep yourself warm and have a wonderful weekend!(Saburo)


In Japan, we have a holiday call Golden Week (GW), over a week - long holiday. It happen to have many holidays in one week, so many companies take over a week break from work. This is the time of the year that Japanese like to go to either a domestic travel or a trip to out of the country. My family lives in Kumamoto prefecture, so I am going back to home during GW. What is would you do if you had a-week-long holiday? (Saburo)


It seems that Abenomics; reforming by Prime Minister Abe, seems effecting foreigners as well. I saw it on news that more visitors are visiting Japan now because Japanese Yen is getting weak. I really believe so because I see more foreign visitors recently. Maybe it is a good time to plan a trip to Japan! If you are one of them, please feel free to contact us to stay at Ryokan.(Saori)


I had a chance to go to Sanjo shotengai again yesterday. Because they had a little festival, there were so many people walking in shotengai. I actually went inside many stores this time and found so many interesting things. The most interesting place that I found was a basket store. The store sells different types of baskets and containers Because I needed to organize my house, I bought few items there. I can decorate my house and organize with these baskets. I like it! (Saburo)


Japan is having lots of earth quake lately. Kyoto had a earth quake few days ago too. Since we are used to earth quakes, our buildings are all earth quake proof and you can find so many items in stores for make your home safe. If you are curious about Japanfs earth quake history, you should visit neighbor city Kobe. There is a earth quake history museum.(Saburo)


How is the weather like in your country? Is Nice weather time there like here in Japan? It is very warm today here! The temperature gets up to 27C. mmmcIt seems that early summer is just around there, isnft it!? The weather before rainy season is always nice. Not too hot, not too humid. Ifm enjoying the weather :) (Saori)


I woke up a little early so I took a longer way from home to the station to enjoy the spring. And I found a cherry blossom tree with flowers in shade :)


I was little upset that I missed the season this year but the tree made me happy! Most of trees are done with flowers.. but still some are pretty. (Saori)


When you walk around the town of Kyoto, you will see little shrines everywhere. You can tell from that religion has been very close to peoplefs life for Japanese. Every morning I walk to my office, I see people playing to those shrines and I see same people everyday. When I see that, I realize that I live in Kyoto, where many temples and shrines are located. (Saburo)


Sanjo Shotengai is a place that has lots of local stores and restaurants under a long ceiling. You can see lots of stores that sell flesh vegetables and sweets. One of my favorite store in Sanjo Shotengai sells Galette. Galette is a French dish that looks like a crepe, but it made with buckwheat flower. Flesh vegetables and deli product are folded into the buckwheat sheet. I like this place because you can taste the fusion of French and Japanese. (Saburo)


When you are visiting Kyoto, you might be searching for place to go at night. I recommend you to go to Kawaramachi area to find dining areas and nightlife spots. You can find different restaurants from different cultures. They have a great Indian food restaurants in Kawaramachi, so when I go there, I usually go to Indian restaurants. They have different type of bars. My recommendation for you is go to Izakaya bar. Izakaya means a bar, and place that you can eat great foods and relatively affordable drinks. The best thing is if you go to old style Izakaya, you have a chance to get connected with locals. I believe getting connected with locals is something that you can look forward during your travel. (Saburo)


After traveling to a foreign country for a month, first thing that I wanted to eat in Japan was Ramen. I believe that Japan has many great carbohydrate foods, and they are easy to get them. Different locations have different flavors that belong to each prefectures and provinces. One restaurant that I go to in Kyoto is call Hichifukujin. The restaurant is located in few locations in Kyoto. What I like about this ramen restaurant is that they use ingredients that are grown or harvested in Kyoto. I hope you have a chance to taste this delicious ramen while you are here in Kyoto. (Saburo)


When you are visiting Japan, you might be using Japan Rail Pass while you are traveling in Japan. If you visit Kobe using Shinkansen train, you should consider staying at ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel. This hotel is located next to the Shinkansen train depot of Kobe, so it is very convenient to access. Also this hotel have employee that speak great English, so they will help you if you need any help. Subway is running at the base of the hotel, so you can go to the center of Kobe with one train ride, and next stop is the Sannomiya station, the center of Kobe. Try to experience the Japanese hospitality with this hotel! (Saburo)


When I visit Kobe, I always go to China town in Kobe. Mostly I enjoy eating in China town. They have different types of sweets and savory foods. My favorite food there is a steam bun with different fillings. If you have time to kill, you should visit China town in Kobe! (Saburo)


After you enjoy the garden in Kobe, why not go to Onsen (Natural hot spring). Arima Onsen is one of famous onsen in Japan. They have different types of onsen. One is call Kin, which means gold, and the water is yellowish brown. Another onsen is call Gin, which means silver, and the water is clear water. The town of Arima Onsen is beautiful and very Japanese. It is even fun to just look around the town and check out some stores in town. (Saburo)


Take your time to visit different prefecture is easy in Japan especially with train. If you ever have time to go to Kobe, you should go to Nunobiki Herb Garden by Shin-Kobe station. There are many different herbs and flowers growing in the park. The park is located on a mountain, so you have a beautiful view of Kobe. To get there, you have to take a gondola, or you can hike up to the midsection of the park. I recommend you to take a gondola because the view that you can see from the gondola is absolutely gorgeous. There are different types of gardens, restaurants, and a gift shop in the park. If you are thinking about eating lunch at the park, I recommend you to eat herb buffet. All the foods use herbs. They have different types of herb tea, and you can mix your own herb blend. My favorite food there is Lavender sorbet. If you are interested in herbs and nature, you will enjoy this park. 45 minutes travel time from Kyoto, so it is a great place for a day trip fun. (Saburo)


Spring is here, and daylight is getting longer and longer every day. My favorite time of the day is Sunset. You might have seen on post cards or Photos of Kyoto, but my favorite sunset photo was when the sunset is behind one of the pagodas in Kyoto. My favorite spot to see the Sunset is on top flower of Kyoto station. There is a long concrete path that goes over very top of Kyoto station. Part of the wall has clear glass, so when you go to farthest wall towards Big Camera, you can see a beautiful Sunset. I think this place is the best place to see the Sunset in Kyoto. (Saburo)


Kyoto has a lots of interesting places to visit. One of my favorite place to visit in Kyoto is Arashiyama. You can get to Arashiyama by Araden, the train line to go to Arashiyama. What I like to see in Alashiyama is beautiful scenario of Kyoto. There are bamboo forests that you can walk around, take Jinrikisha (A cart that poled by a man) to places, and visit Togetsukyo to take photos of the bridge with Arashiyama on background. Arashiyama is such a beautiful place, and amazing place to enjoy fore seasons of Japan. You should take your time to visit Arashiyama while you are in Kyoto. (Saburo)

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