Dec 30, 2013

Osechi, the traditional new year's food

Osechi-ryori are traditional Japanese New Year's foods. The tradition started in the Heian Period.
Usually dishes are put in the boxes called 'Jubako'  which resemble the bento boxes.

The dishes that makes up 'Osechi' each have a special meaning celebrating the New Year.
For example;
'Kuromame' , black soy beans, 'Mame' (beans) means 'health', symbolizing a wish for health in the New Year.
'Ebi', skewered prawns cooked with sake and soy sauce. It symbolizes a wish for a long-life.

It might be difficult to have a chance to eat Osechi unless you are invited to the family New Year's celebration by the local people. And there is getting less and less to prepare their own Osechi at home.
Major department store provide the mail-order service of Osechi. However you need to order earlier for the famous ones, usually it will be sold out by New year.

Dec 27, 2013

New Year's Events in Kyoto

Jan. 1-3
Obuku-cha New Year's Tea Service at Rokuhara Mitsu-ji Temple

A cup of green tea made with pure water taken on New Year’s Day will be served to visitors; It is believed that drinking this tea at the beginning of the year can prevent illness throughout the year; 9:00-17:00; 300yen; Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Kiyomizu-michi; Tel: 075-561-6980;

Jan. 2-4
New Year Calligraphy at Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine

The deity of Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine is Sugawara no Michizane, an important court officer as well as a gifted poet and calligrapher in the Heian period (794-1185); From 13:00 on the 3rd, kyogen comic theatre will be performed; People also come here during this period to write the first calligraphy of the year (50yen/paper; 10:00-16:00); Access: Kyoto City Bus #50, get off at Kitano Tenmangu-mae; Tel: 075-461-0005;

Jan. 3
Karuta Hajime at Yasaka Shrine

At 13:00, fourteen women dressed in Heian period court costumes play karuta (a traditional Japanese card game introduced by the Portuguese in the 16th century); Access: Kyoto City Bus #206, get off at Gion; Tel: 075-561-6155;

Jan. 4
Kemari Hajime at Shimogamo Shrinee

Kemari, a kind of football game dating from the Heian period (794-1185) is played here by men in court costumes starting at 13:30; Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Shimogamo-jinja-mae; Tel: 075-781-0010;

Jan. 7
Nanakusa Ritual at Gokonomiya Shrine

On this day, from 9:00, people come to the shrine to offer seven kinds of edible grasses (nanakusa) to the deity; After the ritual, rice porridge made with the seven grasses will be offered to visitors; Nanakusa-gayu rice porridge: 300yen; Access: Kintetsu Momoyama Goryo-mae Stn.; Tel: 075-611-0559.

Jan. 9-12
Gafu Bonsai Exhibition at the Miyako Messe

Over 1,200 bonsai dwarf trees will be exhibited. These trees have been carefully cultivated by famous bonsai specialists; 800yen; 9:30-16:30 (until 15:00 on the last day); Access: Kyoto City Bus #5, get off at Kyoto Kaikan Bijutsukan-mae; All Japan Bonsai Association: Tel: 072-754-0481;

Jan. 15-31
Azuki-gayu Festival at Torin-in Temple in Myoshin-ji Temple

Kyoto people believe that eating red bean rice porridge (azuki-gayu) at the beginning of the year will prevent illness. Azuki-gayu is one of the vegetarian dishes regularly eaten in Zen temples; 3,700yen (plum tea, azuki-gayu, shojin vegetarian cuisine; reservations not required); 11:00-15:00; Access: JR Hanazono Stn.; Tel: 075-463-1334.

Dec 16, 2013

New Year's Eve Event at J-Hoppers KYOTO

 Here is a plan for our New Year's Eve at J-Hoppers Kyoto !

DEC 31st

18:30   Start to cook "Toshikoshi-Soba" (We are tempted to eat black wheat noodle during the last days of the year, based on our unique customary thoughts from the ancient times that we cannot finish up the old year without eating this. )

19:15   Start to eat with watching "Kohaku-Utagassen" (An annual music show. AKB48, Perfume, kyary pamyu pamyu...will be in the show!)

21:00   Walking to Tofukuji temple to get a number ticket and then ring "Joya-no-kane". (the ringing of the temple bell one hundred and eight times at about midnight on New Year´s Eve. It is believed to remove 108 worldly desires of human beings and purify the soul for the new year.)

0:00    We will disperse there as soon as you finish ringing the bell. If you still have energy, Why don't you go to Fushimi-Inari for "Hatsumoude" (First visit of the year to a shrine.)

We hope you will have a Happy New Year!


Dec 7, 2013

Spanish Bar "Santres"

If you have a plan to visit Japan or Kyoto, no wonder you would like to experience Japanese food. But would you spare even one meal to Spanish food? If you ever stay at Kyoto Hana Hostel, there is an amazing cozy Spanish Bar "santres" close from us:) Just 10 mins walk would give you a amazing dinner or a drink! There are lots of great non-japanese food restaurants in Kyoto actually you know..

Nov 30, 2013

Hana-touro in Arashiyama 2014

Even if you have been to Arashiyama area before,going the place for this season makes you surprise because of the event 'hana-touro'. You can see light up view spread in the area and the atmosphere is difference as usual. It is not only for a small area but also the both side of train line. Walking as seeing the view as visiting some places,the river,the bridge and bamboo forest. It could be like in a dream. Let's enjoy a short trip to Arashiyama for this season. Until:December 23rd Time:17:-20:00 Train:JR san-in line

Nov 28, 2013


TOVA cooks TOFU hotpot on NOV 29th !

TOVA is one of the cutest volunteer staff from Sweden.
TOFU is one of the typical food of Kyoto.

Tofu pieces are simmered in plain dashi soup.
You can add various vegetables/mushrooms if you would like. This time we also add chicken :-)
Simple food is the best !

Why don't you come to join us?!
The party starts at 19:30 and we charge only 200yen.

Nov 9, 2013

Momiji Garden at Kitano Tenmangu

Beautiful Momiji Garden at Kitano Temnmangu is now open to public! Coloring is not really started yet, but you may enjoy beautiful colored leaves in 2 weeks or so:) I've been there last year with our ex night duty staff Tsubasa. It was too beautiful to make Tsubasa stick to her camera lens. It is till 12/8, from 10am to 4pm (lighting up: 11/16-12/8). Adult: 600yen Children:300 yen For access: (basically city bus #102 from Kyoto station takes you there) Cant wait for this year's colored leaves!

Oct 31, 2013

secondhand book fair

An Annual antique book market in the temple is held.

Oct 31st (thr) - Nov 4th (mon)
10:00 - 17:00
at Hyakumanben Chionji Temple

City Bus No. 17, 102 and 206 from Kyoto Station to Hyakumanben (about 30 mins)

Oct 29, 2013

Minamiza Kabuki Museum 2013

Minamiza KABUKI Museum returns this fall to display the splendors of kabuki right inside the theater! 
The unique traditions and characteristics related to a kabuki performance, from artwork to props and vehicles used for the staging, can be viewed up-close, touched, and experienced, also making the perfect opportunity to take souvenir photos during your visit.
In addition, "Experience the Stage of Minamiza” allow visitors to experience the unique stage mechanism of the kabuki theater through group tours conducted daily during the exhibition period.

Experience Minamiza and KABUKI
DATES: November 8 (Fri) - November 24 (Sun), 2013
          *open every day except Thursdays (closed November 14 & 21)
Opening HOURS: 10:15am - 6:00pm
Admission FEE: 500 yen (tax inclusive)
          *Tickets available at the Minamiza Theatre Box Office.
- No advance reservation necessary
- Display provides bilingual explanations (Japanese-English)
- There are NO Kabuki performances at Minamiza Theatre during the above dates. The next Kabuki performance at Minamiza will begin on November 30, 2013.
GROUP TOUR: Experience the Stage of Minamiza
DATES: November 8 (Fri) - November 24 (Sun), 2013
          *tours available every day except Thursdays (closed November 14 & 21)
Tour HOURS: 10:30 / 11:15 / 12:00 / 13:15 / 14:00 / 14:45 / 16:00 / 16:45
Ticket PRICE: 1,000 yen (tax inclusive)
          *ticket price includes admission to “Experience Minamiza and KABUKI”
<How to Purchase Tickets>
Over-the-counter at Theater Box Office (available from Sept. 17): Minamiza, Osaka Shochikuza, Kabukiza (Tokyo), Shimbashi Enbujo (Tokyo)
Online (available from Sept. 15): Ticket Web Shochiku
Telephone (available from Sept. 15): 0570-000-489 or 06-6530-0333 (10:00am-18:00pm)
*Tour will be conducted in Japanese. English handouts will be available for international participants.
Museum closes at 15:30 on the final day, November 24. There will be no tours at 16:00 and 16:45 on this date. 


Oct 11, 2013

Marche @ Bukkoji temple and Kujo Green Onion Festival @ Umekoji-park

Marche @ Bukkoji temple

OCT 11th, 12th and 13th   11AM - 9PM
Free entrance

There are many food booths from popular restaurants of Kansai and Tokyo.
Also you can enjoy very cool live music !


Kujo Green Onion Festival @ Umekoji-park

OCT 12th, 13th and 14th  10AM - 5PM
Free entrance

If you are Ramen lover, Don't miss it!
There are many types of ramen with kujo green onion.
Also they sell fresh local vegie and fruits.

おいしおすえ京野菜〜京都「九条ねぎ」フェスティバル 2013年10月12日、13日、14日

Both are only 10min by bicycle from J-Hoppers : )
Have a nice local food !!!

Oct 2, 2013

Book Off

Do you like Japanese comics,books and music? You should go to Book off which is the place for second hand things,if you do not mind to get second hand one. There are many branches of the store in Japan and one of them is available in Kyoto. They sell tons of comics,books and CD with a pretty nice price! It is located on Gojo Horikawa street and takes 10mins from Kyoto Hana hostel if you go by bike!

Sep 13, 2013

Light Up Promnade ・Nara 2013

What to do in Nara? There is a lighting up event happening now in the whole city center of Nara. All the main historical sightseeing spots are beautifully lit up between 18:00-22:00 till 9/29. Daytime in Nara in also wonderful, but illusionist atmosphere at night should take you to somewhere you haven't been to before:)

Aug 30, 2013

Hasegawa Residence Opens for the Public

It is only 10 minutes walk from J-Hoppers Kyoto Guest House, there is 270 years old Kyoto style townhouse. The end of Edo period, some Samurai stayed at, and we can find the swords cut on the pillars.
Also they show the collection of landscape painted by 11th house owner.

Open everyday until September 30th, 10:00-16:00. (600 yen)
Toward south from the guest house about 10 minutes, next to the old people's house (Rojin Home).

Aug 28, 2013

Special Summertime Lightup @Iwashimizu Hachimangu-Shrine

Iwashimizu Hachimangu shrine, founded in 860, was selected by Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) for the 2013 summer Kyoto sightseeing campaign.
The special summer night admission is the first ever for the shrine.
The shrine is illuminated between the hours of 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. from July 13 to Aug. 31.

Iwashimizu Hachiman-gu Shrine is one of the three most important Hachimangu shrines of Japan. The main vermilion-lacquered shrine building, which was remodeled in 1634 by the third shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604-1651), gives off a brilliant glow. Sculpted in the gorgeous Momoyama style, the entire building is designated as an Important Cultural Property.

Address : 30 Yawata, Kobo, Yawata City
Telephone : 075-981-3001(domestic)
Access : Get off at Keihan"Yawatashi"station and take Keihan Otokoyama Cable to the top of the mountain (3 min ride)
Fee : Free

Aug 12, 2013

One of the biggest festival in Kyoto: Gozan no Okuribi (五山の送り火)

Coming August 16th would be Gozan-no-Okuribi Festival. You could see five mountains with 5 different shapes/characters lit with fire. It is obon (the period spirits of ancestors coming back to their home). Gozan-no-Okuribi is for sending the spirits off. It is on the16th from 20:00! You could check this map from the link below:

Aug 7, 2013



Meeting Point : J-Hoppers Kyoto Guesthouse Lobby
Meeting Time : 6p.m
Fee : 460yen (JR train return ticket)

Grab some beers and see the fireworks !
We have some munchies :P

Jul 30, 2013

Animate Kyoto

If you are a big fan of Japanese manga,Animate is the place you should visit. It is one big comic goods store and they have many branches all over Japan. One of the branches is available in Kyoto. You even do not need to go to Manga museum in down town area to get some comic goods as the store is just next to the main Kyoto station! Animate in Avanti Kyoto 5th floor 075-693-8921 AM10:00~PM9:00

Jul 2, 2013

Ao Onigiri

Have you ever tried 'Rica Ball' in Japan? There is a place where you can try hand made rice ball near Ginkakuji temple. The ingredients are not only something from Japan but also western style. If you go to the area for a walk,it would be nice to have some of them for your lunch! 'Ao Onigiri' TEL/FAX:075-201-3662 11:00-20:00 Ginkakuji Area Ask at the reception to know how to get there!

Kibune Shrine

Tanabata; (meaning "Evening of the seventh") is a Japanese star festival. It celebrates the meeting of the deities Orihime and Hikoboshi. According to legend, the Milky way separates these lovers, and they are allowed to meet only once a year, on July 7th.

Between July 1st and August 15th, there is a Tanabata decorations at Kibune shrine. And it is light-up after sunset until 20:00. It is free to enter.

Also on July 8th (mon), "Kibune Shrine water festival" will be held.
Starts at 8:00 and finish at 12:00, it is better to visit early in the morning. It is free of charge, unless you join the tea ceremony, it costs you 3,000 yen.

Access: from Kyoto sta. catch 'Kyoto Bus'  and get off at 'Kibune Jinja Mae (in front of Kibune shrine). It takes about 1 hour ride.

Jul 1, 2013

Summer is here! Get ready for Gion Festival!

Kyoto's Original Festival Dedicated to the Capital

Gion Matsuri - synonymous to Kyoto's summer. Being not only Kyoto's, but also one of Japan's three largest festivals, the Gion Festival is celebrated by all Kyoto locals and visitors from afar. The city of Kyoto becomes filled the with energy of people who have waited for this month since the previous year. The mere ''Kon-chiki-chin'' of the Gion Bayashi music ignite this town and create a festive mood.

Traditional rituals and events related to this amazing festival are held throughout the month of July. Join in this year's Gion Festival and experience the wonders of Kyoto's history, craft and people.

Gion Matsuri Main Event Calendar

Naginata-boko Osendo
From 10:00 at Yasaka Shrine, this year's Chigo (the sacred page boy who rides on the leading Naginata-boko) visits Yasaka Shrine and prays for safety during the festival.
Omukae Chochin Welcoming Lanterns

Men wearing formal kimono depart from Yasaka Shrine at 16:30. They escort children dressed up in gorgeous traditional outfits and head west along Shijo to Kawaramachi. Their role is to welcome the mikoshi portable shrines carried out of Yasaka Shrine later in the evening.  

Hoko and Yama Construction

The festival's 32 floats are assembled in the communities they belong to. This is a great opportunity for getting a close up look at the floats.

Hoko & Yama Trial Pulling

The people of each respective float community try carrying or pulling the newly constructed floats, accompanied by Gion Bayashi music, to ensure that they are ready for the parade on the 17th.

Yasaka Shrine Visit by Naginata-boko & Kuze Komagata Chigo

This year's Chigo (the sacred page boy) who rides on the leading Naginata-boko and another Chigo from Kuze region who leads mikoshi portable shrines in the Shinko-sai & Kanko-sai Festival visit Yasaka Shrine and pray for safety during the festival (11:00 & 14:00).


On the three nights before the grand parade, the festival's energy reaches its peak. The streets west of Karasuma and south of Oike are crowded with people looking at the lit up Yama & Hoko floats. Gion Bayashi music fills the air, and countless stalls are set up along the colorfully decorated streets.

Folding Screen Display
On these days the old textile merchant homes and businesses on Shinmachi and Muromachi open up the front parts of their homes and shops to show off their valuable folding screens and other treasures.

Traditional Theatre Performance Dedication

From 15:00 to 18:00, traditional Japanese theatre performances (kabuki, biwa lute, harp, kyogen, dance, sword play, etc.) will be performed on the stage in the center of Yasaka Shrine.

Iwami Kagura

From 18:30 at Yasaka Shrine, ancient court dance called Iwami Kagura Shinto dance and music will be performed to the music of flutes and bells.

Yama Hoko Grand Parade
At 9:00, the leading Naginata-boko starts forward. When it reaches Fuyacho Street, the float's Chigo cuts a straw rope with a sword and the parade begins.

Shinko-sai Festival

At 18:00, the shrine deities that preside over the festival are transported in three special mikoshi (portable shrine) from Yasaka Shrine to the Otabisho. More than 1,000 people will participate in this important procession.

Biwa Lute Music Dedication

From 13:00 at Yasaka Shrine, traditional biwa (Japanese lute) music will be played for the deity.

Hanagasa Flower Procession

At 10:00, about ten large umbrella floats attended by nearly 1,000 people depart from Yasaka Shrine. Various dances are performed as part of this event.

Kanko-sai Festival
From 17:00, many people join to carry the three mikoshi from Otabisho back to Yasaka Shrine. When mikoshi arrive at the shrine, special prayers will be held to welcome the spirits back to their main ''home''. This ceremony ends around midnight.

Kyogen Performance

At 13:00, the Shigeyama Family will perform special kyogen (comical theatre) plays at Yasaka Shrine.

Mikoshi Arai Purification

As on the 10th, the mikoshi are again purified on Shijo Bridge at 20:00 before they are stored away until the following year.

Nagoshi Summer Purification

This event completes the one-month-long festival. The ceremony starts at 10:00 at Yasaka Shrine. A huge circular chinowa wreath made of long green rushes is set up in the shrine precinct. Passing through the wreath is said to purify the spirit and ward off illness in the coming year. 

Jun 16, 2013

Cormorant Fishing

UKAI, Cormorant fishing of Uji river has just started! 
This is a nice activity for the summer night.

File:Kisokaido54 Godo.jpg

From KYOTO to UJI sta. by JR train. (230yen, aprox 30min)

No need any reservation. Just get a ticket around 18:00 and the boats leave at 19:00. 

(1800yen/Adult, 900yen/Child, daily activity)

Jun 3, 2013

Cicago **second hand cloths**

I love second hand cloths so much since I was a high school student. It's getting hard to find a nice and cool stores these days because there are much more some fancy and cheap stores came form other countries these days,like H&M or forever 21. However I still love second hand. It is not only cheap but also unique. One of my recommendation is 'Chicago' on Teramachi street in down town area in Kyoto. They sell cloths from all over the world and Japanese kimono as well. Visit their web site to see some information and pictures of them!

May 28, 2013

Obyan cafe just 7mins from Kyoto Hana Hostel

About 7mins from our hostel, there is the cafe which i really want to recommend!!

It is located at crossing Shichijyo st and Kamo River. The best point of this Cafe is that
you can definitely enjoy the beautiful river view by the big window from inside of the Cafe!!
Menu is mix of American&Japanese whatever girls like:)

Opens from 11:00-23:00 Please check this out!

May 13, 2013

Nikiniki-a lovely Nama Yastuhashi shop-

Nama Yatsuhashi is the most famous and popular sweets to bring it back home in Kyoto.

With sweet paste (usually made of sweetened red beans) folded with squared dough (cinnamon or mattcha flavored and etc..) into triangular shape.

You could find it whereever you go in Kyoto without any effort to find it!

Maybe you will get bored how they look and they become not to fancy you anymore...?
In that case, this might still fancy you.

The shop's name is "nikiniki" . It is owned by one famous Nama-Yatsuhashi shop.

You could choose combination of paste and dough among the choices by yourself:)
Mattcha and chocolate, cinnamon and apple....

they make its shape like flowers when you order yours at the counter!

Why not try it?

Place: Shijo-Kiyamachi (it's just at the corner right next to the Hankyu Kawaramachi station)


May 2, 2013

Lovely lingerie shop 'Amphi'

Japanese lingerie is so lovely,fancy and cute. One of my recommendation is 'Amphi' by Wacol which is the biggest lingerie company in Japan. The shops are not only in Kyoto but there is one in Kyoto station in 'Cube' shopping mall. They have a sale until the 6th. Get some lovely lingerie in Kyoto. The picture is not Kyoto shop but one of the shops. Looks so nice,isn't it??

Apr 29, 2013


"The Ritual of the Racehorses" at Kamigamo Shrine
May 5th  start from 14:00

The horse race (in Japan) is said to originate from this shrine. This ritual became popular during the 11th century and has continued until today. It is designated by the City of Kyoto as an. "Intangible Cultural Property."

access: From 'Kyoto sta.' to 'Kamigamo misono bashi' City bus no. 9

Apr 27, 2013

International Photography Festival

In spring which is the most beautiful season in Kyoto, the Festival will infuse the city during 24 days with photographic images selected from all over the world, being staged in Kyoto-esque sites such as temples and Machiya (Kyoto townhouse). Kyotographie aims at bringing Kyoto city,a city of arts and culture, together with photography and also strives to make photography permeate more in our daily lives by various collaborations with traditional craftsmanship of Kyoto. Every year Kyotographie will present high-quality programs from Kyoto to the world.


Apr 21, 2013

Machu Picchu in Kyoto ?

If you feel like visiting Machu Picchu when you are in Kyoto, Go there!

The Inka Empire Revealed
Century After the Machu Picchu “Discovery”


APR. 16 —JUN.23, 2013
Hours:10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Fridays until 7:30 p.m (last entry 30 minutes before closing)
Closed:Monday and APR.30 and MAY.7(Open : APR.29 and MAY.6)

Mar 22, 2013

Dance show in Kyoto

 The town of Geisha, Kyoto has Geisha dance show in spring.
As they usually don't have the performance for the public, it is the best chance to see their show.

The number of tickets are limited but if you have a luck, you can get the ticket at the door.
Please try!

Miyako Odori  April1-30
Kyo Odori  April 6th-21st
Kitano Odori  March 25th-April 7th
Kamogawa Odori    May 1st-24th

Mar 6, 2013

Come visit Kyoto to see beautiful lanterns!

Fantastic lanterns and flower lane

  Kyoto Higashiyama Hanatouro 2013, an event that marks the coming of spring in Kyoto, will be held between March 8-17. "Higashiyama Hanatouro" is an event that decorates about 5 km of promenade from Shoren-in to Kiyomizu Temple with 2500 Andon LEDs, a standing lantern, as well as works of Ikebana traditional Japanese flower arrangement. The cobble-stoned promenade and the streets in which the long history of old Japan still alive will emerge under the faint lights and create a fantastic atmosphere.

During the event, neighboring shrines and temples will be illuminated and also have special opening hours to allow you to visit during the night. Furthermore, there are various events every day; exhibitions like "Contemporary Ikebana" by young artists and "Illumination Art Work" by art students as well as "Fire Watch and Ohayashi Music Group ", a parade by local school children, just to name a few. Visit and experience Kyoto's fantastic night event. This is going to be an unforgettable experience. You shouldn't miss it!

Location: Higashiyama area
Date: March 8th - 17th, 2013 (held rain or shine)
Illumination hours :18:00 - 21:30
Access: 10 min walk from Subway "Higashiyama" station, 14 min walk from Kyoto City Bus "Gojozaka" station, 8 min walk from Keihan "Gion Shijo" station, 10 min walk from Hankyu "Kawaramachi" station

Mar 3, 2013

'Sukibiawa' dish store

In kyoto,you can find many fancy stores here. There is one of them which sells fancy and lovely thing. 'Sukibiawa' handmade dish store is located in Demachi Yanagi area in north part of Kyoto. There sure are something special which you can not find anywhare else available. In addition,I believe thet if you ask a gift wrapping there,you would get a lovely package more than you expected. However they open irregular dates. Making the dates sure beforehand is reccomended. 'Sukibiawa' dish store: 5 min walking from 'Hyakumanben'bus stop only)

Mar 1, 2013

Sanjusangendo Temple

A Buddhist memorial service will be held on Mar. 3rd (Sun) at Sanjusangendo temple which locates just 15 minutes on foot from J-Hoppers Kyoto Guesthouse.
And here's another happy news; it's FREE to enter on that day (usually it costs 600yen for admission)!!

One of the most famous monk (Setouchi Jakucho) in Japan is going to throw a speech outside the temple, too.

--- Shuntoe---

Mar 3rd (Sun)
9:00 - 15:30
From J-Hoppers Kyoto: city bus No. 208 to Hakubutsukan・Sanjusangendo mae

Feb 28, 2013

Time trip to Showa period

 Do you know how to time trip?
   - Just go to the Matsuyu public bath!

Public bath is a communal bath house where customers pay for entrance. 
Since the second half of the 20th century, these communal bath houses have been decreasing in numbers as more and more Japanese residences now have baths. 
Some Japanese find social importance in going to public baths and others go there because they live in a small housing facility without a private bath or to enjoy bathing in a spacious room and to relax in saunas or jet baths.

Matsuyu public baths is only 3 minutes walk from J-Hoppers Kyoto Guest House.
(At the reception desk you can get a discount ticket for \390)
They have some baths and a small sauna in retro atmosphere of the Showa era*.
You will be able to enjoy communicating with local people there!
It is arrowed if you have tattoo.

*The Showa era, is the period of Japanese history corresponding to the reign of the Shōwa Emperor, Hirohito from December 25, 1926, through January 7, 1989.


Jan 11, 2013

Maiko Experience -四季 Shiki-

Wanna be a Maiko?

At 四季(Shiki), the studio where you could experience Maiko make up and dress up, you could be a perfect Maiko:)

This is near from Kiyomizu temple, just in front of the bus stop "Kiyomizu Michi".

Why don't you be a Maiko for one day?

For more details:






Jan 3, 2013

The naked festival

The naked festival, aka Hadaka Matsuri is the type of Japanese festival held in dozens of places throughout Japan every year.

If you are interested in watching (almost) naked Japanese men dancing around at a temple, this is the event for you.

Every winter, a traditional naked festival is held at Hokai-ji Temple in Kyoto.

The dancing will start from about 7:00pm, which means the men who are participating in this festival have to be naked in the frigid environment...!
Even worse, they need to "purify" their bodies by pouring cold water over their heads before they start dancing. After the ceremony, they start dancing like crazy shouting the word"Chorai" (means prayer) repeatedly.

Kids Hadaka Odori...

 Adult Hadaka Odori...

This event is so heroic that the naked guys could blow off the coldness of the chilly nigh!
As a special favor, the local people serve you a tasty traditional soup at the temple.

Date: Jan. 14th 19:00~
Place: Hokai-ji Temple
Entrance Fee: Adult 500yen Child 200yen
Access: 20 min walk from"Ishida station" (Kyoto city subway Tozai Line )
           or take JR Nara Line and get off at "Rokujizou station". Take Keihan Bus from there and get off at "Hino Yakushi". just a few min walk