Our (little) BLOG

The Hanami season has started.  With the cold of winter fading away, the weather is becoming more pleasant every day. The flowers are blossoming around the city, and that gave us the idea of starting this little blog. We’ll try to post photos and news on a regular basis to show you how Kyoto is looking, changing according to the seasons.

Akiko & Patrick

March 2015

Gion Matsuri, User Manual

Gion Matsuri, User Manual

The Gion Matsuri, the most important festival of the year in Kyoto takes place in July. This is not just Kyoto’s biggest festival, it’s one of Japan’s biggest annual events. It’s a month-long series of events, culminating with the spectacular Yamaboko Junko Parade on July 17.

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Hanami Party in Maruyama Koen

Hanami Party in Maruyama Koen

Hanami (“flower viewing”) is the traditional Japanese custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers. This often involves a picnic party to enjoy the cherry blossoms as well as food and drinks. People have a Hanami party with friends, family or colleagues . . .

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For photographers

For photographers

The Photographer’s Guide to KYOTO — A 94-page e-book giving you the best and broadest coverage of Kyoto’s most photogenic locations. The book includes a Bucket List locations and includes over 100 photographs, maps, suggested itineraries and planning essentials . . .

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Okame Cherry at the Chotokuji Temple

Okame Cherry at the Chotokuji Temple

This year’s cherry blossom is a bit late…. But there are still various places where one can see and enjoy cherry flowers. The Omake Cherry Tree in front of the Chotokuji Temple is one of the first to bloom in Kyoto. And it’s been an amazing view for the last few days.

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Best of 2016 in Photos

Best of 2016 in Photos

Best of 2016 in Photos
Yes, we like Kyoto and spend a lot of time enjoying its discovery. We have decided to offer our visitors a few photo galleries of what we liked and enjoyed last year: The Best of 2016 in photos

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Kuromontsuki Kimono

Kuromontsuki Kimono

If you walked around one of Kyoto’s Hanamachi (flower town or Geisha District), early January, you may have seen Maiko and Geiko beautifully dressed in their formal black “Kuromontsuki” kimono, and wearing a real rice stalk “kanzashi” or ornamental hairpin.

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Arashiyama Hanatouro 2016

Arashiyama Hanatouro 2016

“Light and Blossoms Pathway” is the way this year’s illumination of the whole area of Arashiyama is called. Hundreds of lanterns placed along the way, inside temples and gardens, and mainly along the famous Bamboo Grove, make it easy to move around.

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Light-Ups in Autumn

Light-Ups in Autumn

Enjoy the beautiful Autumn foliage by taking advantage of the evening opening and illumination of these gardens. Here is a list of some of this year’s light ups around Kyoto, together with the dates and opening time.

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Photo Partner West Photo Contest

Photo Partner West Photo Contest

The Maiko photo sessions, organized by “Photo Partner West”, an organization regrouping several Photographer Associations of Western Japan, took place on March 21st in a garden of the Heian Jingu Shrine. Almost 600 photographers attended the three sessions.

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An evening at the Eiga Mura

An evening at the Eiga Mura

Toei Kyoto Studio Park , also known as “Eiga Mura”, is the only theme park in Japan where you can observe the filming of period dramas (jidaigeki films). Samurai, Ninja, Geisha, Oiran, traders, gamblers, and more, they were all present, and fun.

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Kanki Jinja, Gion Higashi

Kanki Jinja, Gion Higashi

On May 14th is the annual festival of a little shrine located in the middle of Gion Higashi — Kankame Jinja (with its nickname being “Kanki”). So the day before, there is a big public party around the shrine, a street beer garden party, with Maiko and Geiko, and a lot of other people.

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Junsei: Tofu Restaurant

Junsei: Tofu Restaurant

This time, I’d like to mention a different kind of restaurant, a different kind of food. It is about a well known “Yudofu” restaurant located near Nanzenji temple. Junsei serves “yudofu”, or boiled tofu in English, a popular dish around Nanzen-Ji

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The Aoi Matsuri Festival

The Aoi Matsuri Festival

The Aoi Matsuri (葵祭) is one of Kyoto’s three most famous festivals and takes place every May 15th. The festival’s main attraction is a large parade in Kyoto, in which over 500 people dressed in the style of the Heian Period (794-1185)

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Shuba-Shinji Archery Ceremony

Shuba-Shinji Archery Ceremony

In preparation of the Shimogamo shrine’s main festival, the Aoi Matsuri that takes place on May 15th, the Busha-Shinji ceremony is held and members of the Ogasawara-ryu School of Archery shoot arrows to a target representing evil and bad spirits, to drive them away.

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Seeing Maiko and Geiko

Seeing Maiko and Geiko

It rains a lot in Japan. I actually don’t mind the rain so much as it often is a great opportunity to get interesting photos. The light is different, the colors are more saturated, often we can get some beautiful reflection of lights on the paved streets. But most of all, ….

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