Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Gion Matsuri

Hi folks!

Today I would like to tell you about Gion Festival. Gion Festival is one of the most known festivals in Japan, and a lot of people come to Kyoto to see it. It is held around Gion district, hence the name.

It's a very long festival that spans from July 1 to the end of the month, containing several high lights. One of which is a parade called Yamaboko Junko (山鉾巡行) in June 17.The Festival originally made as a part of purification ritual to appease the gods of disasters. The emperor of the time ordered the citizens to pray to the God of Yasaka shrine, Susanoono Mikoto.

You can see a big float walking around in Kyoto. (See the picture above)

During Gion Matsuri Kyoto will be crowded with many tourists all over the world.

Why don't you come to Kyoto this time and be a part of it?


Thursday, June 16, 2011


Hi friends!

Summer is coming, and we are all craving for something cold to devour so we can cool down our hot bodies.

Some eat ice cream, some gobble down a bottle of extreamly cold tea (or coke), some love to compete with the heat and eat boiling ramen (and excessive sweat would chill them out. A bit disgusting, but you know it works).

But what's loved throughout the summer is Somen. I have never heard anyone disliking it.

Somen is a type of noodle which is mainly made of flour. After we boil the noodle, we put it in very cold water and serve with ice to maintain its cold temperature (See the picture above).

When we eat it, we can't help but feel that the summer is just round the corner, or maybe already out there somewhere.

We once held a Somen party in 2009 just outside the street of the hotel. We installed a bamboo slide, which resembles the waterfall, and from the top thrown a chopstick-full of somen. As the noodle slides down the flume one must catch it quickly to eat., or it goes out for someone else.

We call it "Nagashi Somen" (flowing noodle).

We invited neighbors and the guests!

If we you have a chance, please try Somen!


Sunday, June 12, 2011

June Event Highlights

Hello Friends!

I bet you noticed the change in the background and colours.

Following the previous post the blog has turned into the season's special edition.

But after the rain Kyoto will be brimmed with summer heat.

Today I would like to introduce some of the main events in June.

Hope it will be an usefull guideline to your travel.

June 15

Yasaka Shrine Reisai Festival

This is an annual ceremony and dance perfomance, based on a dance style that was developed by the Heian imperial court.
From 10:00 a poetry reading will be also organised.

June 17-July 17

Bell Flower Viewing Party at Tenju-in Temple in Tofukuji Temple

Tenju-in temple is famous for exquisite bell flowers. The temple will also be open at night.
Entry:500 yen.

June 17-19

Kyoto Antique Fair

About 350 antique dealers, including many foreign dealers will participate in this exciting event, which is the largest antique market in western Japan.
This fair will be held at Kyoto Pulse Plaza.

Please give it a try.
I'm certain you'll have a heavenly experience.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Rain Season Has Come!

Hello, friends!

The year 2011 has reached the half point already, and now we are in the month of rain, June.

According to Wikipedia,

The month is named after the Roman goddess Juno, wife of Jupiter and
equivalent to the Greek goddess Hera, whilst the second is that the name
comes from the Latin word iuniores, meaning "younger ones".

Also, Juno is believed to be the guardian of marridge, so the brides that marry in June are called June Bride, wishing to be blessed by the goddess power to preserve the marridge in peace.

We also believe in this tradition, and lots of women like to have the ceremony in June.

BUT, June in Japan is not necessarily a good season to have the wedding because we will be in Rain Season.

Funnily enough, in olden Japanese name, June was called 水無月(pronunced Mi-Na-Zuki), and each kanji represents different meanings.

水 means Water and 無 means None while 月means Month. June was called the month with no water.

And it is pararell to the rain season, for the rain brings lots of water!

There are many interepretaton and studies have been made, but the one I trust the most is this;

"The seasonal rain dried the water in heaven"

How Romantic is that!

Kyoto, not to mention, is also in rain season at the moment.. But there's also some virtue in staying home and read hearing the rain drops.

And the rain in Kyoto will start to look not as bad.