Dec 20, 2012

Japanese Tipical New Year's Eve

J-Hoppers Kyoto Guest house will have a New Year's Eve Party!
Here is our plan :

 7:00PM-         Having "Toshikoshi Soba" together in the J-Hoppers Kyoto
 7:15PM-        Watching "Kohaku Uta Gassen" on TV

10:00PM          Walking to the Tofukuji-Temple to get a ticket to numbered ticket
11:50PM         Ringing  "Joya no Kane" of the Tofukuji-Temple
 0:15AM      Walking to the Fushimi-Inari Shrine
 0:35AM           Praying for having a happy new year in the Fushimi-Inari Shirine
 1:30AM           Going back to the J-Hoppers Kyoto Guest house by train

*We might change the plan depends on weather.

Toshikoshi Soba
Japanese pray for longevity by eating long thin buckwheat noodles, hoping for the health of the whole family in the coming year.

Kohaku Uta Gassen
The annual contest between male and female popular singers on New Year's Eve. The show ends shortly before midnight. The honor of performing on the contest is strictly by invitation, so only the most successful singing acts in the Japanese entertainment industry can perform.
In addition to the actual music performances, the costumes, hair-styles, makeup, dancing, and lighting are important.

Joya no Kane
Buddhist temples start ringing their bells late on New Year's Eve and continue into the early hours of New Year's Day -108 times in all. The figure symbolizes the casting away of 108 earthly desires.

A Happy New Year!!!

Dec 17, 2012

an exhibition; photographer Ihei Kimura

When Robert Capa was shooting the people and soldiers in Vietnam, Ihei Kimura worked on the streets to cut the ordinary lives out in Japan.
Ihei Kimura (12 December 1901 – 31 May 1974) was one of the most celebrated Japanese photographers of the twentieth century, particularly known for his portrayal of Tokyo and Akita prefecture.

Now his exhibition is held at Kyoto Museum of Contemporary Art named 'Kahitsukan'.

Dec 1st - Feb 17th
10:00 - 18:00
entrance: 1000 yen
access from J-Hoppers Kyoto: city bus No. 202 from Oishibashi to Gion bus stop, walk 3 minutes toward West

more information about Ihei Kimura, please refer the below;

Nov 7, 2012

Autumn Color Report 2012

Tons of people, either Japanese and foreigners come to Kyoto to enjoy the autumn leaves.
I found an useful site to know up-to-date information for it.

Why don't you post your report for others?

Oct 13, 2012

Roku (small shop of folk handicraft)

Roku is on a busy street called 'Marutamachi dori' however it is easy to miss.
I think that's because not only the entrance is on the second flour but also the shop itself has a 'we do not want to bother' atmosphere in a good way.

Roku means tidy, standard and plain in Japanese.
There are potteries, kitchen tools, clothes and stationary.
I bought a basket made in Burkina Faso the other day. ummm interesting!

[ roku ]
11:00 - 19:00
closed on Wednesday
access: from city bus stop 'Kumano Jinjya mae' walk one minutes


Oct 6, 2012

Monster Street

Ichijyo street lies on the northern tip of Heian-Kyo (one of the Japanese former capitals), that is, the border between the internal and external. In Heian-kyo, some also said it was the route between the human world and the non-human world.
Rumour has it that on a dark night during Heian period, the old materials and goods dumped by humans transformed into Yōkai (called ‘Kutsumogami’). One after another, a throng of monsters marched into the capital via this Ichijo street.
Moreover, a second-hand market has been held for many years on the 25th day of every month at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, in the vicinity of Ichijo street, because apparently the people in the past started reselling their old belongings before they turned into monsters according to “Onmyo (Yin-yang) Yōkai emaki” written by ARAMATA Hiroshi.

Monster Street on Ichijo street
Oct 20th (Sat)
Frea Market 16:00-
Monster Parade 18:30-

Oct 1, 2012

Kyoto Prefectural Office

Former Kyoto prefectural building was built by Meiji Era, It is the first of the Kyoto important cultural property.
Various work is made in this building still now.
And we can visit there on weekdays (Mon-Fri) between 10:00-17:00.
Some Volunteer will explore with us to show the inside (Free).

* Address: Yabunouchi-cho, Kamigyo-ku, Kyoto 602-8041
* Tel: 075-451-8111
* Access: 10-minute walk from Marutamachi Station on the Karasuma Subway Line

For further information;

Sep 27, 2012

Kyoto Vegetarian Festival

10th Anniversary Kyoto Vegetarian Festival 2012
September 30th (SUN)
10AM - 5PM
In the Umekoji Park (20min walk from J-Hoppers Kyoto)
Free Admission

The festival features over 100 booths of special vegetarian food, cosmetic, etc...
Also some performances are going on!

Aug 31, 2012

Cafe Kotsi

One day, I went to the Cafe Kotsi where was recommended by Kalie, one of my cool co-woker.

カフェ コチ - 店内写真:店内

There are not only many books but also magazines and picture books.
I read four magazines about Europe.
Mmmmm..... I want to go back there!

カフェ コチ - 料理写真:

They have some kind of french dish and bread.
The quiche I had was pretty good!

Kyoto is still hot.
During your sightseeing, discover some cafe with nice atmosphere!

Jul 24, 2012

Mitarashi Festival

People put their feet in the cool waters of the stream running through the shrine and pray for a healthy life.

detailed information;

Jul 26th - Jul 29th
at Shimogamo shrine
tel: 075-781-0010
access: Kyoto city bus No. 205 from Kyoto station (220yen)

Jun 13, 2012

Hydrangea(Ajisai in JPN) Garden Opening

Japan's month long rainy season, known as Tsuyu in Japan, has begun.

It is the period from spring to summer, when the country experiences a continuous spell of rainy weather. All areas except the northernmost island of Hokkaido have a hot and very humid rainy days. It is surely one of the unpleasant aspects of the Japanese climate.

However, you can savor the special beauty of Hydrangea, or Ajisai in Japanese during this season. They bloom from June to July in different regions in Japan and light up its gloomy rainy season.

The Cherry Blossom festival is well known, even outside Japan, but few are aware of the Hydrangea Festival of Flowers, a festival which signifies the arrival of summer.
Kyoto has many of the most famous temples for hydrangeas and the gorgeous blooms attract many visitors during June. Below are the recommended spots in Kyoto.

Mimuroto-ji Temple

You can enjoy about 10.000 hydrangea in this temple, known as "Temple of Flower".
It is located in Uji area of which the scene from the Tale of Genji is set.

Only on the weekends from June 9th to June 24th, they light up thousands of Ajisai flowers at night. fascinating. Ajisai at night have their own unique and fascinating attractiveness.

Mimuroto-ji Temple Hydrangea Festival

*Period: June 1st - July 11th  8:30~16:30
*Light up: On Sat. and Sat. from June 9th to June 24th  19:00~21:00
  Admission closes 30 minutes before closing time
*Fee: 500 yen
*Access: 15 min walk from Mimuroto Station on the Keihan Line

Sanzen-in Temple

This temple is located part way up the forested mountains in the east of Ohara, where is a rural town nestled in the mountains of northern Kyoto.
The temple was established in the early Heian Period (794-1185).It is a large temple with a variety of buildings and gardens and particularly popular in mid November during the autumn leaf season,

Why don't you experience the beauty of Hydrangea in the graceful, elegant, peaceful, relaxing, and refreshing temple?

Sanzen-in Temple Hydrangea Festival

*Period: June 10th - July 9th  8:30~17:00
  Admission closes 30 minutes before closing time
*Fee:700 yen
*Access:  One hour by Kyoto Bus No. 17 from Kyoto Station to Ohara Bus Stop, then 10 minutes on foot.

Fujinomori-jinja Shrine

Located in Fushimi area, Fujinomori Shrine was built before the relocation of the capital to Kyoto in 794.
Although the shrine stands in a busy residential district, Fukakusa, the grounds are extensive. They have two hydrangea gardens, one to the left of the approach to the shrine, the other at the back.

On the 17th, You can see some Japanese traditional performances such as Gagaku (traditional music) and Kemari(a traditional ball game) in this shrine.

Fujinomori-jinja Shrine Hydrangea Festival

*Period: June 2nd - June 30th  9:00 ~ 16:00
*Fee: 300 yen
*Access: A 5-minute walk from JR Fujinomori Station on the JR Nara Line, or a 7-minute walk from Sumizome Station on the Keihan Line

Jun 12, 2012

Great Tea Ceremony at Mt. Yoshida (21st cencury ver.)

2012/06/16(sat) - 2012/06/07(sun)
am10:00 - pm17:00
at Yoshida Jinjya Shrine
Free of charge

Keihan train 'Tofukuji' sta. to 'Demachiyanagi' sta. then walk 15 minutes
city bus from 'Kyoto station' to 'Hyakumanben' bus stop (No.17 and No.206) then walk 15 minutes

It is an annual tea tasting party.
There will be from Japanese green tea to several tea from Taiwan, South Korea, China, Turkey and Africa.
Most of them are organic.
You can even learn how to make tea from them!

Jun 3, 2012

Nishiki food market

 Have you heard about food market?

There is a very interesting food market street in Kyoto.
It's called "NISHIKI MARKET"

Fresh vegitable, fish, tofu, sweets and more.
 You should try croquette with chocolate flavor.

Access: Subway Karasuma line " Shijo sta." then walk 10min.

More detail below,


May 30, 2012

hunting for fireflies

June is a season for fireflies.

There are several spots in the town.

1, along a canal
  please catch subway 'Karasuma line' to 'Matsugasaki' station. walk to west about 150m, once you get to Matsugasaki-dori (street), go south about 10 minutes. it is north of Rakuhoku high school.

2, philosophy's path
   please catch city bus No. 5or No. 17 from Kyoto station. and get off at 'Ginkakujimichi' bus stop. when you walk along this path, you might see them. There are also some quiet temples around this area.

3, tatsumi bridge in gion area
  please catch city bus No.202 or No.207 to 'Gion' bus stop. go west on Shijo-dori (street) then turn right at the corner of 'Hanamikoji-dori (street)'. go straight about a couple hundred meters, you will see the little bridge on your left hand.

They appear around Jun 10th every year in Kyoto city.
Please enjoy the beautiful nights turning off the lights.

May 5, 2012

Handicraft Center in Kyoto

Handicraft Center in Kyoto
7days OPEN 

Did you know you could have a great experiences to make own Japanese traditional stuff there?
A doll, accessories,bamboo toy and etc.

There are souvenir shops as well. They have many kinds of Japanese things for your home.

More detail below,

Enjoy the traditional of Japan !

Access: City bus #203 or # 204 to "Kumano jinjya mae"

Apr 13, 2012

Kiyamachi Food Festival 2012

Kiyamachi area is a hub of restaurants, bars and other night entertainment for Kyoto local people.
On Apr 21st and Apr 22nd, an exciting festival will be held there.

--- Kiyamachi Food Festival---
* buy the ticket(5 pieces) in advance (3000yen) via website
* exchange that ticket at a liquor shop in Kiyamachi on the day
* you can visit the joined restaurants (78 places) with the ticket
* You get one food and one drink with one piece of ticket

To go to Kiyamachi area from J-Hoppers Kyoto Guesthouse,
please catch a bus No.207 then get off at 'Shijo-Kawaramachi'.(220yen)

Those restaurants open from the evening.

Apr 12, 2012

Shunki Taisai-Festival

Shunki Taisai-Festival

APR. 14th from 11:30AM @Shiraminejinja- Shrine

A football game played by the aristocracy in ancient times called
"Kemari" is shown after religious service.

Access : City Bus No.9 "Horikawa Imadegawa"

Mar 6, 2012

Kyoto Aquarium OPEN

Kyoto Aquarium is open soon!

March 14th from 10am - 17pm.

OPEN HOURS: 9am - 17pm
(*only the first day is from 10am)

PLACE : Umekoji park

ACCESS: Aquarium shuttle bus from Kyoto sta.(220yen)
20min' walk from Kyoto sta.

Dolphin performance show's on every single day!
If you love aquarium, you better visit once.

More detail:

Mar 4, 2012

Grand Sumo Tournament at Osaka 2012

The exciting Sumo Tournament is coming to Osaka on March.

'2012 March Grand Tournament'
Date: March 11th(sun) - March 25th(sun)
Place: Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium
Access: JR Kyoto sta. to JR Osaka sta. (30 min, 540yen) → subway(Midosuji line) Umeda sta. to subway Namba sta. (8 min, 230yen) → Exit 5, walk 350m

Ticket: seat from 3000yen~

14:30 Juryo(junior-grade wrestlers) on the ring
15:00 match between the Juryos
15:50 Mauuchi(senior-grade wrestlers) on the ring
16:00 Yokozuna(highest rank wrestler) on the ring
16:10 match between the Makuuchis
18:00 the bow twirling ceremony

The grand sumo tournaments are held 6 times a year, however it comes to Osaka only once a year. Let's enjoy our Japanese traditional sport and have a great experience.

Feb 11, 2012

Godai-Rikison-Ninno-e ( A Contest of Strength )

Godai-Rikison-Ninno-e ( A Contest of Strength )
Daigo Temple

People hold two enormous rice cakes to compete their strength, and who can hold the for the longest time will be the winner.
From 12:00PM.

* [ Daigo Temple ]
* Tel : 075-571-0002
Access : City Subway Tozai-line "Daigo Station"

Feb 8, 2012

Plum Blossom Viewing Festival

BAIKA-SAI@KItano Shrine

Baika-sai is plum blossom viewing festival.

Outdoor tea ceremony performed by Geiko and Maiko
girls is the highlight of the festival.(*Fee:1,500yen)

Date: Feb. 25th
Time: 10am - 15pm

☆Monthly Flea Market is also held on this day.☆

Access:City bus #50"Kitanotenmangu-mae"

Jan 25, 2012

SPECIAL OPEN @ Tofuku-ji

Tofuku-ji Temple is the head temple of the Tofuku-ji Temple branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism and number three of the Five Mountains of Rinzai Zen in Kyoto. The mountain name of Tofuku-ji Temple is "Enichi-zan"

Tofuku-ji Temple is noted for its many excellent landscape gardens arranged with a fine blend of moss and stones. Among the outstanding Buddhist architecture on the grounds is the twenty-two meter high Sanmon (gate), built in 1425, the oldest Zen main gate in Japan.

On this time you, can enter the Gate, and you can see many of national treasure.

DATE :2012/1/14(sat)~2/29(水) 10:00~16:00(reception close)
access from J-Hoppers :Walk about 20min
fee of charge :600yen

Jan 12, 2012

a train cafe

We are not talking about a cafe on the trains. There is a cafe with trains in Kyoto.

open (they call it 'the first train'): 12:00 weekday
10:00 weekend
close ('the last train): 23:30 weekday & saturday
19:30 sunday

They serve 'Special curry rice'(680yen) and several other foods. The price is set slightly higher than other restaurants. But other restaurants don't have trains in their place. So it is reasonable, maybe.

Of cause the staffs serve you in uniform. This is cool.

They are located in the downtown in the city, Shijo area.
Once you arrive at Keihan 'Gion Shijo' sta. please head to Hanami-koji street.Then please turn right when you come cross the street 'Shin monzen' street. You'll see a train model in front of the building. That is a train cafe!

Jan 5, 2012

The first shoot an arrow in the year

A Happy New Year !
We hope all of you have such a wonderful year.

As you see the picture above, there is a Coming-of-Age Day in Jan. (1st Monday of Jan)
It is for the people who is 20years-old both boys and girls celebration.
They wear a special Kimono or Hakama on that day.

Regarding the special event,there is a special shoot an arrow coming on the 15th Jan. at Sanju Sangen do Temple.

DATE: 15th Jan. 9:00 AM-3:30 PM

★The first shoot an arrow in the year
The shrine has a long corridor which is about 60 meter.
The people who play Japanese archery come from all over Japan.
They stand at an end of the corridor, and then they shoot the spot at another end.
It is called “the shooting through of the Sanjusangendo Temple.”

This event is lasting for about 500 years.

Free to observe!

Access: From J-Hoppers Kyoto Guest House City Bus #208"Hakubutsukan Sanjyu Sangen do"