Jan 3, 2017

Toka Ebisu Fes !!!

A very happy new year !

The first festival in Kyoto we introduce here is Toka Ebisu festival :)

It will be held at Ebisu shrine from January 8th to 12th.
For five lively days in January thousands throng to a small shrine in Gion to pray to Ebisu, the god of good fortune.
During these 5 days, there will be many events and also so many food stands are opened around the shrine. You can definitely enjoy this event !

So why don't you go and get fortune !?

For further questions, please refer to the following link as below ;

Dec 16, 2016

Vegan cafe to go !

Hi this is Saho from J-Hoppers Kyoto Guest House.
My topic today is Vegan cafe, "CHOICE" and it is highly recommendable place for someone vegan, dairy free or gluten free !

They serve a variety of meals such as vegan burgers , gluten free pastas or pizzas and pancakes so this is a cafe to go for breakfast through dinner.

The cafe is light and airy and peaceful so good with solo, friends or couples.

Acai Bowl

Rum and raisin pancake

It is accessible from Sanjo Keihan train and please check it out if you ever have chances :-)


Thank you .

Dec 8, 2016


Arashiyama Hanatouro, one of the most popular illumination events in Kyoto is staged from Dec. 9th for 10 days.

During the period, "Tsukijuya" an event on the theme of moon is held at Shigureden.
The event contains astronomical observation, cafe, workshop, market, etc.....

You can see illuminated Togetsu-kyo Bridge and bamboo forest from the hall.


Dates: Dec. 10th (Sat), 17th (Sat), 18th (Sun)
         *Dec. 9th, 11th-16th Art Exhibition
Hours: 17:00-20:30  (Last admission 20:00)
Venue: Shigureden, the hall of Ogura Hyakunin Isshu
Admission: 200yen

-Arashiyama Hanatouro-

Dates: Dec. 9th (Fri)-18th (Sun)
Hours: 17:00-20:30

Dec 5, 2016

Yamazaki quality time

If you're whiskey fan (or even if you're not),you might have heard of Yamazaki whiskey which has been recognized as one of the best whiskeys in the world.

Luckily I got a chance to visit the Yamazaki distillery thanks to my friend who made a reservation for the guided tour at very last minutes, actually it was full until a day before but he kept an eye on online booking and he took a spot that someone just canceled! Lucky me!

We took JR line to Yamazaki station which only took 15 mins from Kyoto station, and the town itself looked lovely being surrounded mountains. And here we are, Yamazaki!

I think you can get better/more information about Japanese whiskey and what makes it special

my sister, being excited

Guided tour was pretty impressive, my friends who are non Japanese native speakers got offered English audio guide that you sometimes see at museums, and tour guide will tell you which number to press and you can follow along with the tour, so language is not a problem!

distillation hall with three different shapes of pot stills for different characters

aging room - that cask is as old as her!

At the end of the tour, we got to the tasting room! (Look how happy my sister is!)

We got to try 3 different whiskeys - 2 from right are the same, tried one straight and another with soda (highball)

of course Instagram #Yamazaki

Kanpai with our perfect highballs! OMG, what kind of highballs have I had? The one made with proper instruction was so different from what I've ever tasted, smooth yet refreshing!

Thank you Lane and his crew for making reservation for us!
 And after fun tasting time, we walked around the museum part and studied their history and other top whiskeys - Scottish, American and Canadian.

After we left the distillery, we decided to go for a walk in the bush to see the last autumn colors - the air was crisp enough to cool us down a bit after extra tasting, red is vivid, the area was so quiet that made me ask myself "where am I?" especially compared to hustle and bustle in Kyoto for its busy season!  

I'd definitely recommend everyone to visit there for a small trip from Kyoto/Osaka.
You can check their tour vacancy through this link:

Happy winter! :)

Nov 6, 2016

Leaf peeping !!!

Day by day, it is getting cooler and cooler here so leaves start turning yellow or red.

Kyoto is now telling us the best season of the year is just around the corner :)

On this season, some temples in Gion area open even after sunset so you can enjoy illuminated Japanese maples not only daytime.

If you are not sure what to do night time in Kyoto, these may be tips of your leaf peeping :)

*Kodaiji Temple : until December 11th, sunset - 9:30 pm, 600 JPY for entrance

*Entokuin Temple : until December 11th, sunset - 9:30 pm (Except December 9 & 10th), 500 JPY for entrance


*Chionin Temple : until December 4th, 5:30 pm - 9 pm, 800 JPY for entrance


*Shorenin Temple : until December 4th, 6 pm - 9:30 pm, 800 JPY for entrance


*Kiyomizu Temple : until December 4th, 6 pm - 9 pm, 400 JPY for entrance

Alright People ! now are you ready for leaf peeping !?

Oct 31, 2016

Kodaiji art and nature

Kodaiji - one of my favorite temples in Kyoto

I was excited to visit there again for its beautiful light-up event, which takes place twice a year Spring and Autumn.

What you can see (blurry) in between trees is called "Gion-kaku" pagoda, and I figured it out that it's also called "Copper temple"!

The highlight of this event is projection mapping at the beautiful Zen garden, the theme of this Autumn is "Hyakki Yakou", a night walk of a hundred Demons. It was very quiet, still a bit spooky but very dynamic and cool!  

We started walking around the temple.

My favorite spot of Kodaiji is this great reflecting pond which is incredibly clear and calm (it was not windy at all), the water mirror was absolutely breathtaking!  

And they small bamboo forest - walking through the green bamboo was very spiritual, still refreshing and relaxing at the same time.

The night was crisp, and we decided to have some warm treat at a small cafe space at the entrance. Something hot and soupy - Matcha Zenzai (green tea red bean paste soup) was simply amazing after the temple walk!

I definitely recommend you to visit there for beautiful Autumn season, temple + art + nature + night view + sweets...what could we ask more?!

Kodaiji temple
526 Kodaiji Shimo-Kawaramachi, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto
Light-up till 11th Dec, last entry 21:30 
entrance fee: 600JPY

Oct 11, 2016

Get yourself pampered !

Do you fancy SENTO ( Public bath) ?

My recommendable Sento in Kyoto is  "GOKOYU(五香湯).
Not only they  have a bubble bath, an electric bath , sauna and so on like normal bath houses around, but they also have a GANBANYOKU (Bedrock Bath).
Ganbanyoku is a sauna-like spa that you lie on warm natural stones.
The ultra red ray from the stones activate our autonomic nerves and let metabolism go well !

What makes this Gokoyu stand out is a  Ore Bad Gastein from Austria.
It is really effective for many diseases.
So relaxing and soothing !

Why don't you get your body fresh ? :-)