A Tale of Two Ryokans in Kyoto Japan

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We have always wanted to stay in a ryokan, a traditional Japanese guesthouse where rooms are separated (or at least decorated) by paper screens, rooms are decorated tastefully, yet sparingly: floors covered with tatami mats, low dining tables at which you sit on cushions on the floor, mattresses that (after dinner) are laid directly on [Read more …]

Kyoto Restaurants and Food Markets

Kyoto has a lot of wonderful restaurants and food markets. We tried our best to sample as much as we could. Our ryokan dining experiences were special experiences that we will talk about in our upcoming blog on Kyoto Ryokans. Nishisaka, which is in the heart of Gion, specializes in Shaba Shabu, but offers [Read more …]

Exploring the Mysterious Gion District in Kyoto Japan

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No trip to Kyoto Japan is complete without a visit to the Gion District. Originally developed in the Middle Ages for travelers and visitors to the Yasaka Shrine, the area evolved to become one of the most well-known geisha districts in all of Japan. We wanted to learn more about this lovely and mysterious [Read more …]

Kyoto: Temples and Castles and Gardens…Oh My!

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The first and last time we were in Kyoto was special. Warm April days and evenings during Sakura (Cherry Blossom) celebrations, where Japanese humbly invite Westerners to join their celebratory picnics (with sushi and sake) as a favor to them–so they can practice their English. This, combined with the majesty of the temples, the serenity [Read more …]