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Fast, Fresh and Easy Kyoto Lunch Ideas: Bento Lunchbox Carts around Oike Street

This little bento(boxed lunch) cart has lots of competition come lunch hour on weekdays,  and their low prices no doubt are a big selling point.These go for from about $2.50-$3, low enough to not only compare favorably with other stands that pop up every lunchtime and disappear as workers head back to their nearby offices, [...]

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The Morning Commute: Walking to Elementary School in Kyoto

You might well be able to guess this sign's purpose even if you don't read kanji.   I was struck by the charming silhouettes of a boy and girl, probably a brother and sister.  This road is often used by kids walking to the nearby public elementary school that's at the end of the road in [...]

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Watermelon or Godzilla's Egg? Creative Summer Gifts in Japan

At 7800 yen(about $62 USD) these watermelon aren’t cheap, but the novel name and packaging should make for a memorable summer gift.   Even if you can’t read the katakana and hiragana, the illustration will tell you that this is in fact not a melon, it’s Godzilla’s egg!  Run while you still can!These are from [...]

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Kyoto's Kamogawa River: Home to a Diverse Ecosystem, Including Some Unwelcome Guest Nutria

Nutria are native to South America and were introduced to Japan. We took the photos in this post along Kyoto’s Kamogawa(鴨川) River last year.It seems as though Kyoto City has stepped up its campaign to eradicate them, and this sign is part of that effort. It asks people not to feed them [...]

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The Torii Gates of Kyoto's Fushimi Inari Shrine

I took these photos on a visit to Kyoto's Fushimi Inari Shrine, known for its large number of torii, traditional shrine gates.  So many torii in such beautiful, natural surroundings is a sight you won't soon forget.  Don't miss this special place when you visit Kyoto!The two characters on the torii are read from right [...]

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Treat Yourself to a Great View of Kyoto and Make Some New Furry Friends at Arashiyama's Monkey Mountain!

When you visit Kyoto, especially if your trip comes on the heels of time spent in Tokyo, you'll likely be struck by the low skyline.  Kyoto City imposes strict regulations on construction, which has helped Kyoto to maintain its charms over the years, even as other locales succumb to development and the 'higher is better' [...]

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Tama the Cat and Spider Lilies: A Furoshiki That Captures the Spirit of Early Autumn in Japan

I recently came across a charming series of twelve cotton furoshiki wrapping cloths that feature a curious, somewhat mischievous feline named Tama. Tama is a typical cat's name in Japan, but her name seems to be the only thing ordinary about Tama.Tama can be seen in various scenic places, among various kinds of [...]

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Loquats and Japanese Meisen(Ikat): A Rare Combination!

The rainy season is here in Kyoto, and I haven't seen any loquats on the trees in my neighborhood for at least a week or so.I never paid much attention to loquat trees back home in California, though I'd see them occasionally, as they can tolerate the weather in southern California quite well. I [...]

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Traditional Japanese Patterns: Asanoha Hemp Leaf Motif

Asanoha happens to be one of my favorite Japanese patterns. It's no wonder that I so often run across it, given the amount of time I spend handling vintage fabrics that I sell along with new items you'll find in my store like tenugui and furoshiki cloths that so often feature this dynamic motif.  [...]

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