Thursday, April 30, 2009

Children's Day (Boys' Day)

May 5th is Boys' Day called "Tango no Sekku." Families with boys celebrate their boys' healthy growth and happiness, and usually fly huge carp-shaped streamers called "Koinobori" outside the house. The carp symbolizes strength and success.
(March 3rd is Girls' Day called "Hina Matsuri.")

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

After cherry blossoms

Cherry blossom season is over and we are enjoying blooms of azaleas now in Kyoto.
Photo: Ken-nin-ji Temple in Gion

Friday, April 24, 2009

Chopstick Rests

"Kiyomizu-yaki (or Kyo-yaki)" is a comprehensive name for ceramics produced in Kyoto. These are chopstick rests of Kiyomizu-yaki: about 250 ~ 500 yen per one. They are not only practical but beautiful and fun to look at. Works of art!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Crowd around Fake Maiko

Take lots of photos of fake maiko girls.
(But don't take photos of real ones!)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Kobe Now!

This is China Town in Motomachi of Kobe City.

90 minutes from Kyoto by JR train directly to Motomachi (1,050 yen).

Kobe China Town, known as "Nankin Machi," is a rather small China town, but has a great atmosphere and offers very good Chinese food!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Cherry Blossoms along Takase River

Takase river is the small river that runs in the "Kiyamachi Dori" which is the famous street for bars in Kyoto. Cherry blossoms along the river are at their best right now.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Maruyama Jizo

Jizo Bodhisattva is a special protector of children, travelers, and women, and a very much beloved figure in Japan. Maruyama Jizo is situated in the Path of Nene (Nene-no Michi) in Maruyama Park. Cherry blossoms are still in full bloom!

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Kimono Rental

Kyoto is the kimono capital city of Japan, and there are lots of kimono rental shops. It costs from 3,500 yen for a full set, and an expert dresses you.


"Tamasaburo Bando" is a world renowned Kabuki performer in female role called "onna-gata."

He began his theatrical career at the age of six, and began studying Kabuki. His most involved and experimental collaboration was with Swiss director Daniel Schmid for "The Written Face," an impressionistic cinematic portrait of Tamasaburo featuring extensive footage of his stunning Kabuki performances.

Photo is the book I purchased yesterday at Junkudo bookstore, titling "Bando Tamasaburo --- All is for the beauty of the stage."

In the meantime, Junkudo sells English books on their 2nd floor.

Friday, April 03, 2009

"Happy Binbo Fair"

Binbo means poor, needy, or poverty in Japanese. Kyoto's Junkudo bookstore is having a book fair featuring "binbo" from March 23 to April 19. Some of the titles are "Dreams in a house of cardboard boxes," "Zero yen house, zero yen life," "Famous quotes for homeless people," etc. I don't know what to say...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Kofuku-ji Temple and Ashura

I just finished making this bag, with a design of "Ashura."

Kofuku-ji is one of the seven great temples in Nara City, and the temple's most popular treasure is the figure of Ashura (one of the Eight Buddhist Guardian Deities). Ashura is also one of the nation's most treasured sculpture made during mid-7th century. Currently, Ashura is in Tokyo National Museum for exhibition (March 31~June 7) to commemorate 1300th anniversary of the temple.