Friday, October 29, 2010

Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages)

Jidai Matsuri is one of the three biggest festivals in Kyoto, along with Aoi Matsuri and Gion Matsuri. It is held on October 22 every year. The event started in 1895 in celebration of the 1,100th anniversary of the transfer of the capital to Kyoto.

The procession of approx. 2,000 people wearing costumes representing the styles of each hitorical period from 1868 (when the capital was moved to Tokyo from Kyoto) to 794 (when the capital was moved to Kyoto) travels from Imperial Palace to Heian Jingu Shrine.

There were groups of "gaijin (foreigners)" in the procession.

Especially a loud cheer arose for a man who dressed as one of the country's favorite historical figures "Ryoma Sakamoto."

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Comb Festival in Gion

"Comb Festival" was held in Gion on the fourth Monday of September.

Hair designers and maiko/geisha girls bring their worn-out combs to the Yasui Konpiragu Shrine, and have their combs to be blessed for the work.

After the ceremoney, a parade of women, with their own hair done in various coiffures representing each era from ancient times to the present day, started from the Shrine and went through Gion district.

Hair designers spent hours to arrange these hairstyles.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Ramen Kouji

"Ramen Kouji" means Ramen Alley. Japan's famous seven ramen restaurants are put together in this alley. It is on the 10th floor of Isetan Department Store in JR Kyoto Station building.

My favorite is Hokkaido's Sapporo style "Sumire" ramen.

There are three types of ramen soups; soy sauce, salt and miso base, and I tried out their miso ramen. Curled noodles and very thick and rich flavored soup were excellent!!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Restaurant "Kyo Sakura"

"Kyo Sakura" is a so-called Japanese fast food restaurant, and is located on the very busy Karasuma Street.

They serve Japanese udon noodles and sushi.

This is a set menu of "Kitsune udon" and "5 pieces of sushi" which I ordered for lunch --- 670 yen.

Kitsune udon is a soup noodle with sweetened deep-fried tofu.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Blue Man Group in Gion!

I walked through Hanami-koji street to Gion the other day. Hanami-koji area is the heart of Gion, lined by old Japanese wooden houses, teahouses and restaurants.

There is also the Kaburenjo Theater where you can see maiko and geisha girls walking in and out.

As autumn deepens, the number of TV crews increases, in addition to the tourists.

And much to my surprise, there was Blue Man Group!

They were taking PR photos in front of the famous "Ichiriki Teahouse."

Friday, October 01, 2010


Teishoku is a set meal which is available in many Japanese restaurants and is very reasonably priced. Standard teishoku comes with main dish, bowl of rice, miso soup and pickles.

Below were my teishoku sets on a very busy day.

Breakfast: Baked mackerel teishoku with all-you-can drink tea and juice at "Joyful" (499 yen).

Supper: Chinese style teishoku at "Yayoi Ken" (860 yen).