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★ Hand-Made Soba!! Demonstration & Tasting on 31st of Dec

If you are planning to visit Kyoto on 31st of Dec and not decide yet what to do. Why don't you join us to this wonderful event!! :)

"Tasting of Hand-Made Soba" !!

Do you know Soba? It's brown narrow noodle (buckwheat noodle), very popular cuisine in Japan like white noodle of Udon.  But as for Soba, we have a special culture/traddition to eat Soba (not Udon) on the eve of New Year, to say good bye to old year and welcome the New Year.

Almost all Japanese people enjoy eating Soba on this day. :)

Click the picture to Enlarge

The hand-made soba is so unique and delicious, you can NOT have such a real soba in the usual restaurant!! what do you think to visit the authentic soba restaurant in the evening of 31st of Dec, and enjoy the show of making soba in front of you and taste together? It's from 4pm to 6pm.

If you're interested to visit, please contact with me, I can give you the detail directions, so that you can visit on you own.

Or email to or call Journal Kyoto : 075-212-0882 . 
(just in case, you can contact with them even after 29th)

Enjoy such special and delicious memory for your travel... :)

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★ Drop your Luggages at Kyoto Station!!

Say Good-Bye to your heavy luggages right after you arrived at Kyoto Station!!

You know "Carry Service" in Kyoto station?

There are many lockers here and there in Kyoto station, but looking for an available locker one by one is really hard work... and you might get lost soon while walking throughout the station :(

But don't worry!! If you use this service, the reception keeps your luggages for the day (days), or take the luggages to your ryokan or hotel for you!! You can start the tour right away, and then, check in easy!! Sounds great? especially in the rain, or hot sticky summer season!!!

"Carry Service"They take your luggage from Kyoto station to your hotel, or from your Hotel to Kyoto station! They accept almost all ryokan or hotels in Kyoto.


Take the descending escalator in front of "Central Exit" of normal JR train.  * not the central exit of Shinkansen.

On the 1st basement, turn left.
Print out this map to carry with you. Click

◆Ask at the desk to carry your luggages to your Ryokan!! You need to fill in the application and get the receipt by return. Keep the receipt carefully as proof. When you check-in the ryokan, you need to show it to get your luggages.
(the delivery man will check your name at the ryokan before dropping your luggages, so it's safe, not lost)

When you check out, you can ask your ryokan to carry your luggages to Kyoto station. Just tell them at the front, "Carry Service Onegai-shimasu"! Or ryokan to ryokan also available to ask.

◆ Reception and Delivery Hours
From Kyoto station to your Ryokan
Apply 8:00am to 14:00pm - Delivery time is by 17:00pm
(in winter time by 18:00)
From your Ryokan to Kyoto station
Apply by 10:00 at the front - You can pick up from 14:00 to 20:00pm at the station
From your Ryokan to your next Ryokan
Apply by 10:00 at the front - Delivery time is by 17:00pm
(in winter time by 18:00)

◆Delivery Fee
750yen per luggage
◆ Form of application as sample.  Click  you need to fill in as below
* your ryokan's name
* ryokan's telephone number
* Your name
* How many luggages
* When you're planning to check in.

Baggage (Deposit) Room Service  Use as Coin Locker!!

◆Ask at the reception to deposit your luggages for the day!! You need to write down your name and get the receipt by return. Keep the receipt carefully as proof.

◆ Reception Hours:  8:00am to 20:00pm

◆ Deposit Fee
410yen per luggage
* possible for several days, too.

They can't accept these luggages; over the two meter long, over 30kg etc...

At first, I recommend you to check in advance if your hotel has a "satellite concierge service" that your hotel has a shuttle bus to carry your luggages to your hotel for you. Of course it's for free. The reception desk is near from Hachijoguchi Shinkansen exit in the south of Kyoto station.

Now enjoy your tour!!! :)

★ Astro Boy Museum in Kyoto Station

Are you a fan of Astro Boy?

Why don't you visit "Kyoto Tezuka Osamu World" to see him!! It's just 2 minutes walk just from JR Kyoto station Central Exit.
*not Bullet train exit in the south but Normal train exit in the north)

Take a picture with Astro Boy!!

Store Hours: 10:00 to 19:00 (Throughout Year)
Location: East side of Kyoto station , 2nd floor of Kyoto Theater
Admission fee: 400yen (adult), 200yen (child)
* No fee if just shopping around

Many goods of Tezuka Osamu character are sold such as Jungle Emperor Leo, Princess-Knight, and Black-Jack. Let's take the photograph with lovely Characters Statues of Tezuka!
Check more goods >>> click

Also, you can't miss Anime Theater to show their original anime story, each month different story, too

(200yen - 10:00 to 19:00)!!

Enjoy forever Heroes for all generations in the world from child to adult!! You can touch, watch, and feel the dream-like Osamu Tezuka's world in there!! Find your favorite characters or feel the future message from Tezuka in his stories.

Kyoto Visitors?
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★ Get Yukata or Kimono and Learn How to Wear

When you visit Kyoto, especially in most traditional Higashiyam area, you see many women enjoy walking through the city in beautiful kimono or yukata.

And one of the most popular souvenirs from Japan must be Kimono or Yukata (light cotton kimono)

So that you still can enjoy the Japanese traditional mood even at your home after your trip!

But for overseas people, I know it's very difficult to wear Kimono yourself.

So I would like to introduce "how to wear yukata" here!!

For kimono, there's many more steps about what and how to wear, so you can learn "how to wear yukata" at first as your basic information!!

If you wear yukata for the first time, I recommend to buy all you need to wear, such as Obi belt, Koshi himo and Geta sandal. So you can wear your yukata on the very day when arrive at your home.

How to Wear Yukata

Step 1: Wear Yukata and adjust its width

Wear Underwear called "Hadajuban", or just long camisole, and Wear the Yukata. Bring the left overlap over the body and adjust its width such that its edge runs along the right point of the hipbone, and continue to hold the yukata tightly. Open up the left overlap and bring the right overlap over the body. Lift the end of the right overlap by about 3-5cm. The skirting of the yukata is worn just above the ankles. Put the left elbow on the right hand so that the Yukata doesn't loosen, and pull the right hand.

Step 2: Tie up the 1st koshi-himo

Bring the left overlap over the right overlap and hold its end with the right hand. Take the first waist sash (‘koshi himo’ sash) with the left hand. Remove any creases around the stomach, waist and back with the left hand. Tie the ‘koshi himo’ sash at around hipbone. If you put on the Obi with a waist, you will suffer from hard obi.

Step 3: remove any creases

Insert both hands into the openings under the arm (‘miyatsuguchi’). Use both hands to remove any creases around the waist on both the back and front of the body. Hold the ‘centre’ line on the back with the left hand and adjust the distance between the collar and neck by pulling the collar ends with the right hand. Please note that the distance between the collar and the neck should be the size of a clenched fist.

Step 4: Tie up the 2nd koshi-himo

Fold the top right overlap to make a triangle shape. Bring the upper left overlap over the upper right overlap. Tie the upper overlaps with a second ‘koshi himo’ sash. Check that the top and bottom parts are aligned. Check the centre line on the back.

Step 5: Put on Obi
Hold the obi board (‘obi ita’) with the left hand. Please note that ‘obi ita’ is used to maintain the shape of the obi tie. Wear the ‘obi ita’ on the front of the body.

Short Movie for Step 1 to Step 4
You can use the Koshi-himo(waist string) twice, use the 2nd string after the 1st string of removing any creases at front and back, in order to put on your obi later easy and beautifuly

Short Movie for Step 5 (Hira-Obi)

Short Movie for Step 5 (Heko-Obi)

If you feel it's impossible to tie obi yourself, I recommend you to use Tsukuri-obi. This obi is "Pre Tie Obi", the ribbon part is already completed so you don't have to tie yourself! you just can attach it to the back :)

Short Movie for Step 5 (Tsukiri-obi)

How to Fold Yukata

Short Movie is from the internet shopping store "Yukata kimono market sakura". They have a shop in Tokyo, between Chofu and Fuda station. (no store in Kyoto)
Yukata kimono market sakura

Enjoy dressed in beautiful yukata and walking through the Kyoto's traditional streets! or Get them as souvenirs for you or your friends!!

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★ Arashiyama Hana Touro Illumination Festival

If you visit Kyoto in the beginning of December, you can't miss this famous night light-up Festival in Arashiyama. Hanatoro (lit. "flower and light road"), It's wonderful Lanterns and Colored Autumn Leaves Illumination!!

Since 2005, the Hana Touro event has been held in the winter season in the Arashiyama district and many people enjoy visiting such awesome magic colors of the night view.

The festival begins from 11th of Friday until 20th of Sunday.

Illumination Hours: 5:00pm to 8:30pm (it goes even in rain)

For ten days, Arashiyama will be featured by combination of ground lanterns and ikebana artwork.

Also Japanese music performances and mini-concerts, with guitars and the ancient Shaku-hachi flute, will also form part of the event highlights.

Enjoy strolling through the 5.2km path from Horin-ji Temple, over Togetsukyo Bridge, through the Tenryu-ji Temple area. The surrounding temples, shrines, and cultural facilities will hold special viewings and illumination events. Very exotic and romantic!!!

Here is Must to Visit.

Illuminated bamboo forest behind Tenryuji Temple. Noted: Tenryuji temple is not open at night.

Togetsukyo Bridge illumination.
People strolling along the river

Daikakuji histrical heritage illumination 17:00 to 20:30

Hogonin Temple 17:00 to 20:30


There is a shuttle bus service for Daikakuji temple. Bus will leave in front of Tenryuji temple.

There is Free Jumbo Taxi service available between Nisonin Temple and Daikakuji.

Click to Enlarge the map

Take JR train from Kyoto station. It's around in 20mins until Saga-Arashiyama station. Or I recommend you to stay in Arashiyama for one night to fully enjoy this exotic night festival!!!

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★ Autumn Special Night Light-Up

Kyoto has a various different appeal in each season, but I have to say that Autumn is one of the best seasons to visit Kyoto!!!

Now in this late Autumn, the leaves begin turning red and yellow... The look of leaves with the background of temples and shrines will surely take your breath away!!!

I promiss you would be amazed the breathtaking colors of beauty more than you've expected.

There are lot's lot's of beautiful places in Kyoto, but among them these places are my recommend that you "MUST" to visit!!! :)

Arashiyama area

Higashiyama area
Philosopher's path

Kibune/Kurama area
Kibune Shrine
Kurama Shrine

In this special flower season, my another recommend is to experience such a Special Light-Up performance in some famous temples.

This is Kodaiji temple. Enjoy this famous beauty that the awesome color reflection on the pond. This magical illusion only happens at night!!

After your dinner, why don't you start your another night adventure!!! Those night presentation would be one of your unforgettable memory.

Sorry, my weekend guide in November is fully occupied, but if you're still interested to visit these places, I can give you the itinerary map or detail directions for your own exploration!! :)

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★ Try "Omikuji" ! Enjoy reading your fortune

Have you ever heard "Omikuji", Literally "sacred lottery"?

When you visit the shrines or temples in Japan, you may see the people who read a slip of paper seriously, sometimes with excited, or sometimes very disappointed. :)

They are reading their fortune written on the paper.

Omikuji's history is very old.

Originally, it was a very important shrine ritual to read the intentions of the gods in ancient times.

But nowadays Omikuji has come to be more popular, and one of our most famous and favorite entertainment!!

There are various types of Omikuji depending on the shrines/temples.

Now that there are lot's of foreign visiters, some shrines are offering Omikuji in English. :)

Nishiki Tenmangu
is the famous shrine located in the central Kyoto city, near from Nishiki food market.

There is an unique "Omikuji" in this shrine, written in both English and Japanese.

Why don't you experience one of our Japanese traditional entertainments!!

Take a deep beath and relaxed!! Ready?

Throw your money (200yen), press the button and see!!

The Karakuri(Dancing) Lion will be dancing and tell your fortune.

Take the omikuji from the pick-up place

Here is the rank of your fortune: Excellent, Good, Reasonable, Evil Fortune.

If you draw an "excellent", congratulations!! Enjoy trusting yourself where you are and keep going :)

But even if it was a bad fortune, Please don't worry too much. It's a kind of warning, so if you follow the advice written on it, you're still blessed. :)

Also enjoy some individual topics like your health, things you're searching for, and people you're waiting for etc...

As you can see its symbolic animal, "ox" as his messenger, Sugawara no Michizane, or God of Study is enshrined in this shrine.

If you wish to be intelligent, don't forget to stroke his head gently before you're leaving!

Good Luck!! :)

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★ Kyoto Souvenir Tips 2

Here is another souvenirs tips! I hope this will help your idea! :)

Check the part 1 >>> ★ Kyoto Souvenir Tips 1

Japanese paper

Speaking of typical Kyoto souvenirs, one of the most famous is traditional Japanese paper.

Beautiful pictures on high-quality Japanese papers.

There are four designes.

Each picture is showing the beautiful different four seasons, you can see from the flowers

Life of noble people in Heian Period over a thousand years ago.

Ancient Japan...

It will be a nice decoration on the wall of your Japanese-style room...

Bookmark featuring a Special Kyoto Design

Do you like reading a book?

Why don't you bring some home and remember Kyoto trip from your favorite book! :)

Cell Phone Strap

This tiny folding fan is actually open... nicely detailed work!

Oil Absorbent Paper

Do you know "Aburatorigami"? A special type of Japanese paper.

Remove the oily sheen of the skin in your face.

You may find this shop display very often in Kyoto.

This is one of the most famous cosmetic company, and very popular with all Japanese women.

There are many branches in Kyoto, some of them includes nice "Cafe" next to the shop like in Arashiyama or Philosopher's path.

Enjoy nice Green Tea and shopping! :)


While you're in Kyoto, you may sometimes wonder where this subtle scent is coming from?

These scents always remind me "I'm in Kyoto".

There are various kinds, so you can ask the store what is their recommend. :)

Japanese designe Cloth

These nice Gauze cloth would be perfect gift for all women who love casual dressing up! :)

The material is cotton 100% It's soft to touch.

You can use these cloth like a bag if you learn how to wrap like below.

Japanese Umbrella

In Kyoto, Umbrella is not only for rainy days, but you may find many stores which using Japanese Umbrella as decoration.

Why don't you bring these beautiful miniature in your room?

Perfect addition to your Japanese tasted room!

Kimono textile drawstring bag and folding fan

You may feel hard to decide which designes and colors...

There are various beautiful models...

Handkerchief on the wall

There are various kinds of handkerchief in Kyoto. Some of them are very special designes and material.

You don't have to buy the picture...

If the store's selling the frame set...

You can use handkerchief as decoration on the wall.

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2011 Kabuki Calendar!

2011 Kabuki Calendar!
1600yen at Minamiza (Kabuki Theater in Gion) This is Minamiza Orivinal Design! What a Perfect Souvenir Idea!! Or Nice Wall Decoration in your Room! Limited Stock, Hurry to get soon! :)

Kyoto Guide Index

Ask Free Guide 
Kyoto Visiters? Welcome to Guide You! :)
Feedback from the Tourists! Thank you! :)
Kyoto Travel Tips
Drop your Luggages at Kyoto Station!!
Kyoto Itinerary (sorry, now in the rennovation)
"Must to Visit" Nijo castle, Kinkaku-ji, Ryoan-ji, Shijo Karasuma Shopping area, Kiyomizudera,Gion
"Must to Visit" <2nd Day> Arashiyama, Tenryu-ji, Bamboo Forest, Togetsu-bridge, Heianjingu shrine.
"Must to Visit" <3rd Day> Ginkakuji, Philosopher's Path, Nanzenji, Shorenin, Chion-in, Maruyama-Park
"Must to Visit" <4th Day> Fushimi Inari & Nara area
Kyoto Tour by Bicycle!
What to do after Sunset
"Must to Visit" <4th Day> Kyoto Night Cruise (Yoru Bus) Bus Tour
Suberbs of Kyoto
Boat Tours down Hozu River
Boat Tour Movie
Kibune area, Kawadoko Kaiseki Cuisine on the River! (summer)
Takao area, Kawadoko Dinner with Maiko (spring and autumn)
Dinner Retaurants
Twilight Pontocho or Kamogawa Riverbank Dining (summer)Okonomiyaki (at Downtown)
● Okonomiyaki (at Kinkakuji area)
● Kobe Beef
Kyoto Sweets
Kyoto Famous Flavor, What is Matcha?
Kakigoori (Shaved Ice)
Souvenir Tips
Recommend Kyoto Souvenir Gallery 1
Recommend Kyoto Souvenir Gallery 2
Maneki Neko (Lucky Cat)
Shichimi Spice
Astro Boy Museum
Japanese Wooden Doll, Kokeshi
How to Wear Yukata
Tea Ceremony
Tea Ceremony Experience
Matcha (Powdered Green Tea) History
Meet Maiko
Winter Gion - Tea Party with Maiko only by One Coin!
Maiko Dance Performance Every Sundays
Meet and Chat with Maiko on Weekends & National HolidaysKawadoko Dinner with Maiko
Maiko Dancing Movie (Gion Higashi Kouta Music)
Funaoka Onsen, Special Public Bath
Kurama Onsen, Houroku-yu
Plum Festival at Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
Higashiyama Hana Touro Illumination
Kiyomizu Temple, Blue Dragon Dancing
Yabusame-Shinji (Archery on Horseback)
Aoi Festival Parade
Iris/Azalea Viewing
Bonfires, Daimonji Yaki Festival
Ancient Princess Parade (at Arashiyama)
Arashiyama Hana Touro Illumination
Spring Sakura (Cherry Blossom)
Hirano Shrine
Daigoji Temple
Omuro Ninna-ji (World Heritage)
Winter Special
Public Viewing 2009 (Toji, Chionin etc...)
Night Light-Up
What is Autumn Colors
Shoren-in Temple Night Illumination
Try "Omikuji" ! Enjoy reading your fortune

Okonomiyaki in Kyoto

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