Gion Hatanaka ryugin

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Kiyomizu Dera

Located in the eastern area of Kyoto, Kiyomizu Dera is certainly one of the most famous view of Kyoto. This temple, built in the 8th century is registered since 1994, on the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.

Kiyomizu Dera means "temple of clear water" in japanese, and was named after Otowa Waterfall. 

On the way to Kiyomizu-Dera and inside the temple, you will be surprised by the number of little shops selling all sorts of Japanese artifacts,such as pottery, pieces of clothes and food. When the weather is becoming very hot and humid, don't miss the famous "kakigoori", a delicious crushed ice topped with syrup.


Traditionnally, in Shinto and Buddhist temples, you can buy "Omamori", which are Japanese amulets said to provide various kind of luck or protection. They are dedicated to different life aspects, such as health, love or success.

To access Kiyomizu Dera, you will need to pay an admission fee of 300 yen/adult or 200 yen/child.
Moreover, from August 14th to 16th, every year, you can access the temple by night during the Thousand Day Visit. A wonderful opportunity to see the old buildings beautifully illuminated. 

Main Source:
Other pictures: Marjorie

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Nene-no-Michi Lane


This almost only-pedestrian zone is by far one of Kyoto's most beautiful and full of surprised area. Located in the Southern Higashiyama area, it was named after the wife of one of Japan's most famous warlord, Toyotomi Hideyoshi.

Statues of Nene and Hideyoshi.

The beauty of this place lays in all the wonderful suprises you may come across when walking down the street. Do not hesitate to explore and follow the stairs and the streets, for you might discover some enchantments and beautiful scenery.

"Follow the stairs" they said...

View of Gion and Kyoto from Kodai-Ji Temple

And what would be this path without its traditional shops, from Soja Sauce small factory to Traditional Liquors shops? Be sure to stop by one of the many artisan food shops present in the streets, and treat yourself with a Matcha Ice cream, ideal in the heat of Kyoto's summer.

Pictures: Marjorie

Monday, 11 May 2015

Yoshikawa Tempura Restaurant

If you are searching for the perfect place to be served a traditionnal Japanese lunch, Yoshikawa Tempura Restaurant is THE place.

Located in Central Kyoto, and adjoined to Yoshikawa Ryokan, this restaurant opened in the 1950s. For those not familiar with the Japanese term, "tempura" refers to a Japanese dish, composed of vegetables and seafood that have been deep fried, and which is eaten with salt.

Yoshikawa Tempura Restaurant is very popular among tourists and locals, for the quality and taste of the products are exceptionnal. If you are sceptic about the concept of "tempura", this place is the right one to give it a try. Although it consists of fried ingredients, we are far from the greasy meal. Plus, each type of product is to be eaten with a different type of salt or sauce, at your convenience, which is really great if you want to experience unique flavors.
Moreover, entering this restaurant makes you feel at home,as only 11 people can sit and eat at the counter at the same time. The food is prepared right in front of your eyes, and both the chief and the waitress are lovely people who will do anything to let you enjoy a traditionnal Japanese meal.

More informations here (website in English)

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Kyoto National Museum - Kyoto Kokuritsu Hakubutsukan

The Kyoto National Museum presents a collection of very rare and beautiful artifacts from Japan and other Asian countries. While it primary focuses on the millenium when Kyoto was the Capital of Japan (from 794 to 1868), you can also admire there more ancient pieces of arts as well as weaponery.

The main building (see the picture above) opened in 1897, under the reign of the Emperor Meiji. This building, designated an Important Cultural Property in 1969, is used today for special exhibitions, such as "Eitoku's Legacy".

Until May,17th 2015, you can have the chance to admire the work of the Kano Painters, members of the famous Kano School, a group of Japanese painters, supported by the Shogunate. After the death of the leader Kano Eitoku in 1590 and the Siege of Osaka in 1615 (marking the beginning of the Tokugawa's reign), the School suffered an important internal crisis. This exhibition shows the change of perspective taking by the painters under the new Rulers, "from bold dynamism to lavish splendor".

While it may be difficult for people not aware of Japanese History and Arts to really understand how the political crisis at that time influenced painters of the Kano School, one can simply be amazed by the talent and the sense of details these Painters had. The choice of colors and gold magnified scenes of everyday life, and the exhibition also diplayed portraits of famous people, such as Oda Nobunaga.
The general part of the museum is also stunning, from the weaponery (extremely well preserved) to the ancient Kimono, and the Buddhist Statues.

These exhibitions are a "must-seen" for all Arts and History Lovers, but also for the general audience willing to go back to these times where Kyoto was the capital-city of Japan.

Hours and Admissions Informations
General Exhibition

Kyoto National Museum