gbv ACR
Back to Index


News from December 2005

December 1st
In Japanese, the month of December has another name. It is [Shiwasu]. There are a few different theories about the origin or the meaning of this name. I like this one the best; [Shiwasu means that December is such a busy season for everyone and even monks run around]. I think itfs so true that December is a very busy season. I have been pretty busy already for the past two dayscand that is why I am writing this entry for December 1st nowcwhich is December 2ndcin North America...in Japan, itfscoops, a bit too late. (Junko)

December 2nd
My boss and I went to a bar restaurant after work last night. This bar is in the same building as our office. I think one of the many things I like about working here is this bar, You-You!!! I think there are many people out there who wish to have a good bar downstairs from their office. Well, we do! Herefs the picture of the owner of the bar.

He is very friendly and the food is absolutely delicious! As you can see in the picture, he has various kind of Sake and Shochu (distilled spirit made from rice, barley, potato etc.), but I like drinking beer there.
Many people go there alone to talk to the owner and other customers. The owner speaks English a bit so please check out the place! And donft forget to check out our office too since itfs in the same building! (Junko)

December 5th
I was at JR Kyoto station last night and found something beautiful, so I took a picture of it. Herefs the picture.

You canft really tell the size of the Christmas tree in the picture but itfs pretty big. (Itfs 22 meters tall.) I didnft even know about this pretty tree before yesterday but I was just walking to

the station and my eyes just spotted it. It was like finding a treasure on a big treasure island of Kyoto Too bad I didnft have anyone with me to tell me my mouth was open.(Junko)

December 6th
Itfs suddenly very cold here in Kyoto (and Kansai). It was really windy last night in Nara (thatfs where I live). My apartment was shaking from the wind. But when I checked the weather forecast on TV last night, they said it was going to be a bit warmer and they didnft say anything about rain! So I went to bed happily thinking about nicer weather the next daycwell, it was raining in the morning. I got wet on the way to the train station. It didnft make me very happy. And right after I got to my office, it started snowing pretty hard!!!

Herefs a picture of the first snow of the season.
I thought we were going to have a warm winter since it had been very warm (even the maple leaves stayed green longer than usual!!) but I guess I was as wrong as the weather forecast from last night! (Junko)

December 7th
Some of you might know gdaikonh, and some of you might know that itfs a Japanese word. Daikon is Japanese radish. Itfs white and pretty long. Japanese people love daikon especially in winter. There are many delicious dishes of daikon. My favorite is godenh. Oden is Japanese hotchpotch boiled in kelp-based broth. It makes your body really warm from inside. Hmmmcyum.

I am writing about daikon because there is an event today and tomorrow in Senbonshaka-do temple. They cook apotropaic daikon and celebrate the day Buddha achieved enlightenment. Of course you can eat deliciously cooked daikon there. To celebrate something important by eating great foodcI love the idea.

Herefs a picture of daikon I found on the internet. (If we are not allowed to put this picture here, please contact us. Wefll remove it immediately.) Isnft it cute? A daikon is crossing its legs! (Junko)

December 8th
Time goes by so fast. I got a funny e-mail from one of our clients today. He said something was due November 17thcwhich is like 3 weeks ago and he didnft realize it. He soon wrote me back saying that he just realized it was already December.

The day went by really fast for me too. I was working hard and when I looked up for some reason, the sun was going down and the sky was pink! So I took a picture. (Junko)

December 12th
It is an old custom in Japan to send out New Yearfs Card but sending Christmas cards is not that big here. So we have a bit more time for card writing compare to the people from those Christmas card countries. However, we are getting busy writing New Yearfs cards by now and so does Kyoto Guesthouses team. We are sending cards for the first time as Kyoto Guesthouses this year! Itfs very exciting! I just made a rough draft today and my boss is checking it. I hope we can send out 100 times more cards next year!!! (Junko)

December 13th
The kanji (Chinese characters used in Japanese language) of the year was announced yesterday at Kiyomizu temple. They choose a kanji every year and a monk at Kiyomizu temple writes it on a big paper. They choose a kanji that reflects the year the most. This yearfs kanji was [
]. It means love and is pronounced like [I]. They chose it because of the Aichi expo. The theme for the expo was love. Also there were many tragic incidents such as murder and if the criminals had received more love they could have been stopped from happening. Therefore the kanji of the year was [LOVE]. Hopefully next yearfs kanji would be chosen for a positive reason! (Junko)

December 14th
Yesterday, I was in Arashiyama. One of the most popular sightseeing spots in Kyoto. The river and the bridges over the river are very beautiful. In autumn, the leaves turn burning red. There must have been tons of people a bit earlier but it wasnft crowded at all yesterday when I was there.

Although it was a bit too quiet there during the day time, there must have been lots of people at night because of this.

They are having a lantern lightning up event there until this Sunday. They put lanterns everywhere!! I have never been there for this event yet but it looks sooooooo beautiful in the poster, doesnft it? (Junko)

December 15th
I went to Ohara yesterday. Ohara is located in north part of Kyoto city. Far, far north. It takes about 75 minutes by bus from Kyoto station. Even though it still is the same city, the temperature drops quite a lot there compare to central area of Kyoto city. I talked to a nice old man from Senbei (Japanese rice cracker) store. He told me that they had 20 centimeters snow on the ground the week before.


It seems like someone made a snow hut. If you are a snow-lover, Ohara is a place to go in winter. There are several temples up there too. One of them is Sanzen-in temple. If you want to find out more about the temple, please go to the map on our site and find Sanzen-in temple. (Itfs in the northeast part of the map) (Junko)

I found the trace of it.

December 19th
The weekend was so cold! Itfs unbelievable. For those of you who have read the entries a while ago, it is understandable why I am so amazed with this cold weather. It had been really warm this autumn here in Japan and I kept writing how warm it was and how nice it wascand now this COLD!!! I feel betrayed. It snowed for most of the day here downtown Kyoto but the snow didnft stay on the ground. (Junko)

December 21st
One of my best friends in the States wrote me an e-mail and told me that she has just finished reading [Memoirs of a Geisha] for the second time and it made her want to come to Kyoto even more than she did before. I thought eThatfs a great news for Kyoto!f because the movie [SAYURI] is showing right now!!! (or it will be showing soon in some countries)

Maybe tons of people would be interested in Kyoto thanks to that moviecbut I find interesting how people from other countries would want to come to Kyoto after reading the book (or watching the movie) because many of the period films in Japan take place in Kyoto or Edo (Tokyo) and they donft make me want to go to Tokyo. I guess itfs because Edo is not there anymore. Tokyo is such a big city now that maybe there arenft many places left as they were in old-times. BUT Kyoto still has many places that are left as they were in old-times!!!!

What I am trying to say iscfCome to Kyoto, everyone! (No offence to Tokyo. Tokyo is a nice place too!!! Just not as good as Kyotocokay, I should stop.) (Junko)

December 27th
It sure is December! We have been really, really busy and thatfs my excuse for not writing entries for this news page for about a week. (Sorry boss!) And I hope someone except for my boss DID realize that December 21st entry was the last one I wrote, but I doubt it. Well, I have sad news today. You-you (the bar/restaurant downstairs from our office) had been closed down. It really bothers us. We loved that place and now itfs gone. I am sad for all of you who havenft been there. It was such a nice place and he was such a nice owner!!! (See his picture on December 2nd entry) I wish him all the best with whatever he is going to do next! (Junko)

December 28th
We added a new ryokan on our web site yesterday! The ryokan is called Gion Fukuzumi in southeast area. Please check out their page! They are in a great location, right across from Chion-in temple. The people there were very nice when I visited there.

Herefs another quick story for today. You-youfs owner gave us a great present today. Herefs a picture of it.

It is something to hang on the wall. Yes, Hanshin Tigers!!! Many people from Kansai area (including Kyoto and Osaka) are big fans of Tigers! Oh I almost forgot to write but itfs a professional baseball team. They won the

league championship this year. We are hanging it on the wall somewhere in the office, so we can be happy every time we look at it. Go Tigers!!! (Junko)

December 29th
I canft believe 2005 is almost over! And I canft believe our Oshogatsu Yasumi (New Year holiday) is starting tomorrow. Although I enjoy working here very much, holidays are always wonderful. So herefs an important notice:

Our office will be closed from December 29th, 2005 to January 3rd, 2006. (JST) The e-mails or faxes that are sent during our New Year holiday will be replied after January 4th, 2006.

We wish you all the best this holiday season! I hope I have a lot to write here when I come back after the holiday. See you all next year! (Junko)