Aug 29, 2018

My favorite "post last-train bar" in Kyoto

I don't consider Kyoto as a party city, although Kyoto is perfect place if you like to wander around at night and find hole-in-the-wall places.

Also fun part of going out in Kyoto is you can meet friendly locals as well as travelers from around the world!

Oops, you missed your last train? DON'T YOU WORRY. There are still many places where you can enjoy deep night drink/night cap in town until you catch the first train home! I will introduce you to my secret place to end the night.

Ishimaru Shoten
"What a tiny alleyway...!" I was so excited when my friend from home took me there for the first time which was almost 6 years ago. It's on a small alley in between busy Kiyamachi and quiet Pontocho, you will see cool stained glass lamps hanging from above, that's Ishimaru.
I love people there. They have two bartenders, first half until 0:30 is Ishi time. Ishi-san is super low-key and so funny, and he is very good at connecting people. And he told me that he's making new lamps himself (!) crafty person. And at Ishi time, I meet a lot of travelers! They surprisingly find the place by chance, and it's always nice to talk to them about their country, Japan and just anything and nothing in general.

After around 0:30, it would be Non time! Non-san is also very chill, seems quiet but I like to see his Kansai-person side being chatty and witty, and I think the best part of Non-san time is again people there - this place is open until early in the morning, so many people who work at other bars/restaurants come after they close their own. I really like to talk to working professionals who work for service industry, and love to make new connection!

Sometimes serious/silly conversations keep going until like 7:30 in the morning without even realizing it.

This photo is from Ishi's surprise birthday bash, giving him Nintendo switch from us Ishi regulars. Sometimes we "team Ishi people" hang out outside the bar too, like going to chill on the beach in Omi-maiko, or house party or just picnic.

Ishi-san and Non-san both speak good English, and as I mentioned, you always meet interesting people. Hope you find it fun! (And maybe you will find me there!)

Aug 24, 2018

Inspiring sweets in Kyoto

This is Saho from JKyoto.

I found an inspiring cafe the other day.
「Kamon piu」is located in north-west part in the city and is about 5 min walk from Enmachi station.

This is what it looks like from the outside.
As you see, the cute blue antique door is welcoming you.

The building itself is an apartment from 2nd floor and there is cafe 「kamon piu」on the first floor.

They are brought up on SNS these days because of their beautiful millefeuille.
Millefeuille is a french pastry that consists of layers of thin puff pasty and cream filling. Their strawberry millefeuille became very popular because of the impact of how it looks ! It might remind you of five storied pagoda !

But I tried Peach millefeuille that day.
(Maybe they provide their sweets with some fruits in season :)
They use one whole peach so it is filling and satisfying !

They also serve lunch  and you can find various types of pasta and pizza !
I tried lemon cream pasta with octopus and peppers :)
It was very new for me and refreshing :) !

More information about kamon piu is as follows:

Jun 23, 2018

Where to visit in Aichi (Nagoya) ?

Are you keen on traveling around the world but no time and no money for that ?
Here's the best place for you to explore the world in just one day !

Aiichi (Its capital is Nagoya) has fascinating theme park , what is called " Little World". It might reminds you of World Expo and you can walk through the park with the sight of houses of each countries and lean what their living like !
More interestingly, you can enjoy food each countries or dress in costumes and take pictures !  My friend and I tried Indian and Indonesian outfits !

Access from Kyoto : 35mins Shinkansen ride and get to Nagoya station
25mins train ride(Meitetsu Inuyama Line) and get to Inuyama station
20mins bus ride(Gifu Bus) and to get to Little World

The more people you have in your group, the more fun and enjoyable!!
Enjoy your time in Aichi Prefecture !!

Jun 22, 2018

New cultural center called "Neo Sujin"

I don't consider myself as "trend hunter" but my friends in Kyoto always bring me to all the new hot area!

My new favorite spot to hang out is called "Neo Sujin" (Sujin Shinmachi in Japanese) which is located pretty close to Kyoto station, 15 to 20 mins walk from J-Hoppers Kyoto.

I would say it's food stand complex or outdoor dining, which has large number of seats both inside and outside, including standing area in front, and fire place on the back, cool tipi tent as a smoking room!
And their food/drink selection is great - you can enjoy Kyoto burger to local delicacy called Choboyaki which looks similar to Takoyaki, to craft beer to organic wine!

It's not just a dining space, they sometimes have cultural event like Rakugo Japanese sit-down comedy, live-paint, coffee tasting and so on. They even have a Kimono rental shop!

Interesting (and sad) fact about this place is actually they are closing in 2 years when they relocate Kyoto university of art, so you better be hurry!

And surprising to see that they have been already listed on Google Maps saying "Neo sujin town open air beer garden" which is nice! I like it!

Apr 24, 2018


Kyoto never failed to impress me with many cultural things to offer all year around.

Kyotographie is one of my favorite events of the year - annual photo exhibition throughout the city from mid April to mid May, and the biggest reason why I'm so intrigued is the venues of this event. You can enter the world of "unreal" in this touristic city through Kyotographie.

Some of the unique locations this year:
Kyoto Shimbun B1, Former Printing Plant
Image result for kyotographie 京都新聞

Sazanga-Kyu(Former Ice Factory)

Image result for kyotographie 三三九

Kyoto City Central Wholesale Market, Bldg No. 10, 11 south wall
Related image

You can visit all the cool places that are usually closed and forgotten, it's so inspiring!

Until 13th May

Apr 20, 2018

Very last chance for HANAMI this year

I visited HARADANIEN in the middle of April to enjoy HANAMI(cherry blossom viewing) for the very last chance this year!
HARADANIEN is located northern part of city and in the middle of residential area apart from busy touristic places.

There are more than 20 types of cherry blossom trees along with some seasonal flowers on the ground.
One sakura hit the peak of bloom in early April but some are at the end of April so you can enjoy sakura for a whole month here.

Those are from 10th April when I visited.

This garden is opened in public until this Sunday the 22nd.
Apparently, you can still enjoy a late blooming sakura !

Go and visit cherry blossom paradise and enjoy the very last HANAMI ;)

Apr 13, 2018

Wisterias in Toba & Azaleas in Keage

 After the cherry blossoms, wisterias & azaleas gonna bloom in Kyoto.
There are pretty popular places to see them where open for public only 5 days in a year, at the best season!

【Wisterias in Toba】
Place: Toba Water Environment Protection Center
Date: 26th April - 30th April
Time: 10am - 4pm (last admission at 3:30pm)
Access from our guesthouse: Direct bus from Kyoto station

【Azaleas in Keage】
Place: Keage Water Purification Plant
Date: 2nd May - 6th May
Time: 10am - 4pm (last admission at 3:30pm)
Access from our guesthouse: Subway Kujo station - (transfer at Karasuma Oike station) - Keage station

 We still have some availability for some of these days, why don't you come to Kyoto to see not only temples & shrines but beautiful flowers as well?