Saturday, February 28, 2009


This is a watchdog of Yasaka Shrine.
woof woof

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Hina Matsuri

March 3rd is Girls' Day called "Hina Matsuri," meaning Doll's Festival. Families with girls display dolls in their houses and wish their daughters' health and happiness.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Winter again!

It had been quite warm in Kyoto, but it's snowing today. Back to winter again.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Plum Blossom

Red and white plum blossoms are almost in full bloom.
Photo @ Yasaka Koushindou in Gion

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day & Chocolate

Japanese people celebrate St. Valentine's Day in a very different way. It's the day for ONLY women to give presents to men, and the present is mostly "chocolate." According to a survey, chocolate companies in Japan sell more than 50% of their annual sales in just one week before the Valentine's Day!
Photo @ Valentine's Chocolate Fair of Takashimaya Department Store (It was super crowded with women of all ages!)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Tsujiri is a very famous green tea sweets shop/cafe in Kyoto (located in Gion). People line up for this very popular "Green Tea Cream Parfait." It's sooo delicious!!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Koban means "Police Box" in Japanese. Police officers in Koban can help you with directions and guidance to people who are lost; accept reports of crime and respond to emergencies; act as a community lost and found. If you find yourself in need of assistance, look for Koban (^=^).
Photo @ Shijo Koban

Monday, February 09, 2009

Sento (Public Baths)

The history of sento in Japan goes back to more than 400 years. Now that most houses have their own private bath, people don't use sento as they used to. According to the Yomiuri Newspaper of June 2007, sento are disappearing at the rate of one a day (8,422 sentos exist as of June 2007).
Photo @ Nishiki-yu (Nishiki Bathhouse) in Shijo

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Chirimen Sushi...?!

Chirimen is a traditional Japanese crepe fabric. Chirimen crafts such as bags, pouches, hair ornaments and fashion accessories are popular gift items in Kyoto.
Photo @ Nishiki Market in Shijo-Karasuma

Friday, February 06, 2009

Spring Haze

I visited Koudai-ji Temple in Gion. The view of Yasaka Pagoda and Kyoto Tower from the temple was a little hazy. Spring haze is another sign that the winter is over. Both Yasaka pagoda and Kyoto tower are lighted up at night.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Setsubun Festival

Setsubun, meaning "seasonal division," is held on February 3rd each year which is the day before the start of spring. Shrines and temples perform "mame-maki" (bean throwing) ceremony on this special day: people throw roasted beans by shouting "Devils out, happiness in!"
Photo @ Yasaka Shrine in Gion

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Nabe-Yaki Udon

Udon is a thick white noodle made from wheat flour. There are so many varieties of udon dishes and Nabe-yaki Udon is a more popular one in winter because it's very hot (not spicy hot). Nabe-yaki udon has various toppings that you can choose. Mine has a prawn tempura, egg, shiitake mushroom, kamaboko (fish cake), bamboo shoot and green vegetables in real hot broth.
Photo @ Jinroku Restaurant in Higashiyama

Monday, February 02, 2009

Fujin and Raijin

This national treasure screen, painted by Sotatsu Tawaraya in early 16th century, is stored at the Kennin-ji Temple. It's said that this is one of his best paintings. Fujin is "God of Wind" (right) and Raijin is "God of Thunder" (left).

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Please walk your bicycles!

Kyoto is a very bicycle friendly city, but riding is not allowed on some streets, so watch out.
Photo @ Kyoto's No. 1 shopping district, Shijo-Shinkyougoku