Saturday, January 16, 2010

Winter event

“Winter Event”

In comparison with summer and fall, we feel a little lonely in the winter because there are fewer guests. It’s true that it gets really cold in Kyoto, and coming to a ryokan is a hard when it’s cold outside, but we have lots of events this winter, so if you have a chance, we hope that you would come!

So, let me explain about what we have planned!

On Sunday of this week (1-17), what else can I say; it’s the Sanju-sangendo long range archery. In Japan there is a tradition of archery, is called “Qu-do” in Japanese. The event shows what one

shoots the arrow head towards a target in the 120-meter long. During the event, it is free admission to the temple all the day, moreover, many foreigner tourists from all over the world visit to see Japanese female becoming 20 years old this year with wearing a Japanese traditional skirt, “Hakama”, giving the traditional archery performance.

In early February, there is another special event, is called “Setsubun”. The purpose of Setsubun is to wipe out an ogre around house and what people usually do is to throw a bunch of beans toward the ogre.

The event would be held the all over in Japan on the same day. I still remember that my brother and sister threw the beans toward my dad wearing a cloth looking like the ogre in the childhood. Those events leave in my great and happy memory. Setsubun is held in Japan on the 3rd Feb every year. I hope you will enjoy every moment and share a cheerful experience with us.

Even though there are various popular events around here in winter season, I believe snow landscape is still the best of all winter events. All of the buildings around here would be completely blanketed by snow as if by magic it were a fantastic scenery. Its snowy shrine feels like my true happiness and fortune deeply in my heart.

Even if a cherry blossom would be a great seasonal scenery, the snowy landscape in Kyoto should be an unforgettable memory in your life after all. I hope you get a chance to come to see the best snowy landscape in Kyoto and please visit our place as well if you never seen before in your life.

“Seeing is believing”

Sunday, January 10, 2010

New Year’s Eve in Japan Blog

The end of the year in Japan is a mysterious time.

After we celebrate Christmas Eve on the 24th of December, everyone cleans their houses (O-souji), workplaces and buildings, while being thankful we clean.

The 31st of Decemeber we call Oomisoka. This is where we go to temples and ring the big bells. This is a custom called, “Joya no Kane” (Ringing of the New Year’s Bells). The bells are very large, and are struck with a large wooden hammer.

The bells ring 108 times; they say that is the same amount of times as the sins of man, and if he listens to them all he will be cleansed of his sins, however every temple from about 9 PM to about 2 AM continues to ring their bells, so really no one can tell how many times they ring them. (Haha.)

In the new year, we visit shrines for “hatsumoude” which is the first visit to a shrine in the new year.

During that time, we write our goals that we wish to achieve in ink on paper.

This is called “Kakizome” or new year’s resolution.

This is something interesting I think,

Christmas -> Christianity

Joya no Kane -> Buddhism

Hatsumoude -> Shinto

So in the end of the year to the beginning of the New Year, we experience a lot of different religion’s customs.

The scenery of the streets changes from Christmas to the new year.

I’m sure those guests who were able to enjoy the New Year’s Eve in Japan experienced a lot of culture.

There are lots of events left in winter as well!

While looking forward to when the snow paints the temples and shrines white, let’s really enjoy winter in Kyoto together!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

From everyone at our ryokan we wish you a happy new year!

So, as we passed Christmas and the end of the New Year approached, our ryokan was extremely busy.

We had many people from many different countries come to visit us, so I was really excited to spend the New Year’s Eve with everyone, but every day I had a lot of cleaning and laundry to do.

It’s too bad, I wanted to talk more to our guests, but communicating was hard to do.

Actually, I was really looking forward to spending Christmas, New Year’s and the New Year mochi making party together. Let me explain a little about making mochi. In Japan, at the end of the year we make mochi together. Mochi is rice that has been pounded into a sticky paste. We usually eat it on New Year’s Day. This year unfortunately, I didn’t have any time to do those things.

However, reflecting on this year, next year for 100% sure I will work towards satisfying my goals!

I hope that everyone continues to come to our ryokan!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Sushi Night !! 11th November

Happy New Year!

We held a sushi night on the 11th of November, so here's a little info about what we did at the party.

In essence, this was a "guests and staff make traditional hand rolled sushi (makizushi) and eat it!" kind of party.

We let each group make their makizushi as they would like, and then we had taste testing to to deterimine who made the best. Of course, that is to say, especially since everyone came from many countries around the world, each makizushi had its own distinct personalities!

The above plate of sushi was voted best in show. The name given to it is, "Mapleleaf." Its really pretty, isn't it?

This is a picture of everyone making their really loooong sushi together. Is it a huge success??!
We wish to express our thanks to everyone who participated in our sushi rolling contest and party! We hope that you had as much fun as we did and we were glad we made happy memories with you.

We would like to have more events in the future, so everyone please look forward to it!