I’m an American in Kyoto. I enjoy exploring, letting serendipity guide me as I wander down narrow streets; 20 years here haven’t put a dent in the number of places waiting to be found!
I got my start in Japan as an English teacher, and although I took great satisfaction and pleasure in that, I was craving a deeper connection with Kyoto, and wanted to interact with Japanese people of all sorts in their own language on their terms, including those who have no particular interest in English.
For the last 16 years I’ve been representing people here who make and deal in traditional goods, friends of friends and the like. Through that I’ve been able to learn more about the culture and language and have some nice times over sake and sushi with some very kind, talented people.
I’ve also been lucky enough to meet some of the people who’ve found my offerings online when they come to see Kyoto. It’s a treat to put a face to the name-as central as the computer has become to my life, nothing can take the place of a warm smile!
I also help design wedding invites including a variety of Japanese sakura cherry blossom motif thank you cards at www.goattreedesigns.com.
And in 2020 I started a coffee grounds recycling project here in Kyoto called mame-eco which gets me out and about on my mountain bike collecting grounds to give to local farmers. Used coffee grounds recycling in Japan is relatively rare, and I want to see if I change that, even just a little.
Ookini(Kyoto dialect for arigato),
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