I really like japanese food. And I don't mean sushi, but everyday dishes you eat at home or at an "izakaya". So I was very happy to learn how to make dashi-maki-tamago (egg-roll) and other everyday japanese meals ("o-banzai" or "o-souzai") at Kitchen Mariko.
The classes are held in English, and Mariko explains also important points that you cannot read in any cookbook.
I got a copy of the recipes so that I was able to cook these delicious meals at home later. I even bought a frypan for dashimaki-tamago at Tokyu Hands!
Toei Movie Land is an amusement park about film making. Often real samurai movies are shot here. There are really nice shows, which make you understand more about the japanese samurai film. The ninja show was only in japanese and not like we are used to. So we laughed at the wrong times and missed a few crucial texts. But we learned a lot about japanese humor, and ended up with this picture of our group with the ninja´s.
address: 10 Higashi-Hachigaokacho
The Goyozaka area and street are not that of the beaten path, it is actually rather known to be a place to stroll around and inspect the architecture and small shops around. It is certainly gaining popularity and business developed to be a crowded place in the coming years. I added here 4 interesting images of this area.
I went to this shop near Kiyomizu-dera Temple to dress as Maiko. The name of the shop is Studio Shiki. They have two shop - you can check the website for the shop details. I love the experience so much and I love the kimono that I choose. The kimono has a beautiful painting on it but a bit heavy. As an Asian, our skin is a bit dark but it does not show at all, except for my hand. And everybody was surprise when I told him or her that is I. This make me happy knowing that the transformation is a success and I did not waste my money.
The price is not that expensive and compare to the other shop that you can find in the Internet, this shop offer the best rate. Plus the shop is on your way to Kiyomizu-dera temple. Since everybody will go to Kiyomizu if you go to Kyoto, why not stop by at this shop.
Please give a try if you have a chance. The experience and memory is price less.
If you look closely to the mountain of Kyoto, you will see that there are some Japanese characters on the spot that was denuded. Do you know what this is?
This is where the residents of Kyoto put tons of firewoods and light them on August 16. The festival is called Gozan Okuribi. This is the lighting fires on mountains to guide the spirits home.
You have to look closely at the picture because it is hard for me to take a good shot between the two buildings. The picture was taken close to the bus stop on our way back to the hotel.
If you get sick and tired of seeing temple and shrines but still have plenty of time before leaving, how about trying an easy hike to the peak of Mt.Daimonji? This 466-meter mountain is most famous for its annual okuribi fire festival at August 16th, but it's also a very poplar hiking spot among the local people.
Starting point is about 20 meters north of Ginkakuji temple. The climb is quite easy. You will reach its top with "Dai" only in half an hour. From there, you can enjoy panoramic view of the entire city.@
My sisters and I were walking towards the bathroom at the Kiyumisudara Temple, when we saw police officers running towards an aisle. There were also people running towards us. We did'nt really know what as going on. There was no chasing or anything involved so w didn't panic.
We followed the small aisle until we realized that it was leading us to a cemetary! Obviously, we didn't intend to go there but, it was kind of fascinating to see the different headstones in a Japanese cemetary. We kind of sneek in. We didn't know whethe we were allowd there or not. The cemetary was actually different. It was just something that we saw that was kind of out of the ordinary on our tour of the temple.
Love hotels are usually situated along the freeway, so if you see a cluster of buildings with fancy neon signs and advertising for hourly rests, you're there. There are different kinds, check out the ones with themes like hello kitty etc. Makes for fun exploring. The hotels are totally operated with no human personnel. You drive into the carpark, adn each lot has a panel of a picture of a room. If it is lighted and the lot is empty, the room is empty. You park there and go up the door beside that lot. If there's another car parked there, the panel is darkened.
Other love hotels have the usual lobby with the lighted panels. They also have a loyalty card programme with points reward system, and if you go often enough, you can even redeem a Gucci bag. Hmm...
We never went into one, but judging from the pictures on the panel, most were quite normal, not the interesting rooms that i've heard bout.. lol
Near Kyoto, in Sonobe there is a Rurikei Spa. Not an onsen but same concept (See my sonobe page for explanation) You can take a 2D1N package, with dinner and breakfast thrown in and it's really good. They even have a shuttle bus service from the train station. For me it costs around SGD120.
Directions: Take a JR train from Kyoto station to Sonobe station. Once there, a pre-arranged shuttle bus will pick you up.
What to do for the spa area:
Go to the counter, they will give you a locker key, a set of clothes, a swimsuit, and 2 towels. Go into the changing room (separate for guys and gals from this point onwards), put your own clothes into the locker room and one towel into the locker. Walk into the pool area with the small towel, go to the corner where everyone is sitting along the wall on stools and fine one empty spot and do your own bathing. After you have bathed, you go to the warm pool to soak, then the hot pool, then the cold room, then the sauna if you want. no particular order actually.
No swimsuit needed unless you are going out into the outdoor pool area where both men and women are there. The indoor pools are separated. Everyone I saw was in the nude.
I stumbled upon this garden on my way from my guest house (K's House) one day. Beautiful little garden well worth a visit. Just watch out for the bees ;) (See pic.)
Make sure to register at entry and give a donation! I wandered right in slightly confused and got chased after by the guard.
A short distance east of Higashi Honganji temple to which it belongs.
10min walk from Kyoto station
5 min walk from city bus stop
7 min walk from Gojo-eki subway station
We lived in a traditional japanese hotel called Luo Cui which only offers 8 rooms for maximum 32 guests. Hotel has a small Garden with exquisite landscape which is visible from all rooms. Room service is awesome and dinner is served in our room. Our room is around 15 square meters having the function of living room, dinning room & Bedroom. *-* We slept on the floor with comfortable mattress underneath called Tatami in Japanese. It's said that this kind of hotel is much more expensive than that of modern style in Japan.
Dress up in Traditional Japanese Kimono or Men's Hakama!
It's fun, and it really put me in a good athmosphere to eat Kaiseki Ryori (10 course traditional meal!) : )
If you can afford to, you should also eat Kaiseki Ryori, found at Japanese Hotels, and Ryokan. Meal may cost between $150-300 USD per person though. There are many courses of small, beautifully presented traditionally cooked Japanse food, using the freshest ingredients. At first, you may think, "I'm gonna need to pop round to Mc Ds after this!" but by the last dish, you will feel SO full, and surprised that you had a good time chatting in-between the many courses, and that so many small dishes made you so full!
It's me in the photo with my tea ceremony teacher, I'm already Asian, so I guess I look Japanese in the Kimono : )
The Japanese garden is not something you can miss. It costs you 500 yens but it certainly worth it. It is not huge but the landscape varied. It gives you a sense of serenity. Additional advantage is that It is not crowded. Since you must go to visit the red enormous wooden structure, Heian Shrine when you are in Kyoto, let's spend another hour in the garden as well.
Nishiki-koji market is a 'wet market' on the covered street of the same name, west of Teramachi covered arcade. You can enter the market from Teramachi, about 100m north of where Teramachi joins Shijo-dori. Wander slowly through Nishiki-koji and enjoy samples of products offered by sellers. The smells and sights make for a great morning experience. My last visit here was on a Sunday morning in April 2006. It was the busiest I have seen the market and made the experience all the more enjoyable.
The good thing about making holidays in Japan are volunteer tourist guids.
Most of the guides are females. Some have lots of knowledge about the area and local customs. It is best to start getting in touch with your guide three or four weeks before you visit Kyoto then you have time to talk about what you want to see and what not to see.
And don't miss a japanese SPA.
No worries about money, you don't always have to cover their full expenses.
We stayed 3 nights at Kyoto Granvia Hotel from Feb. 27 to Mar 1, 2008. We paid Yen 17,600 per night,...more
First thing when you enter this hotel is that you notice is that it has a small front desk area for...more
This hotel is situated a seven minutes taxi ride from the train station (about 7-800 yen) and five...more