May 26, 2017

Chocolate Shop

Cacao 365 Gion Shop, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto
Fujifilm Finepix X100

A chocolate shop with a novel concept on the south side of Gion (祇園). The surface of each chocolate bears the design of a Kyōto seasonal motif. Following a Zen philosophical saying, "Everyday is different, this is the best treasure", the design is changed daily. To keep its freshness, the chocolate is prepared with minimum heat which creates an incredibly smooth texture. The mellow texture, gentle sweetness and rich aroma of cacao and milk – what a surprise and happy moment in the mouth.

May 25, 2017

Cremation of Mini Dharma

Shakuzō-ji Temple, Kamigyō-ku, Kyōto
Nikon CoolPix 5700

From Japanese Buddhist Statuary: The historical Bodhidharma (達磨, known as Daruma in Japan) was an Indian sage who lived sometime in the fifth or sixth century AD. He is commonly considered the founder of Chan (禅, Zen) Buddhism, and credited with Chan's introduction to China. Important Note: Zen is the term used in Japan, but Daruma's philosophy arrived first in China, where it flowered and was called Chan Buddhism. Only centuries later does it bloom in Japan, where it is called Zen. (Read more...)

May 24, 2017

Menu of the Pickles Shop's Bar

Takakura-ya Pickles Shop, Nakagyō-ku, Kyōto
Fujifilm Finepix X100

A tavern is a place of business where people gather to drink alcoholic beverages and be served food, and in most cases, where travelers receive lodging. An inn is a tavern which has a license to put up guests as lodgers. The word derives from the Latin taberna whose original meaning was a shed, workshop, stall, or pub. (Read more...)

May 23, 2017

Japanese Handheld Folding Fan

Ōnishi Kyōsen-dō Store, Nakagyō-ku, Kyōto
Fujifilm Finepix X100

Imagine a device small enough to fit in your pocket that can store and transmit messages and pictures, lets you network with various communities, advertise wealth and social status, and even lets you play games in your free time. You might be thinking of a cell phone, but in Japan, centuries ago, there was already a devise that could do all that and more. In English it is called a fan, but that word fudges over myriad distinctions that are important in Japanese culture. (by Alan J. Wiren, read more...)

May 22, 2017


Matsuo-taisha Shrine, Nishikyō-ku, Kyōto
Fujifilm Finepix X100

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia: Miyamairi (宮参り, literally "shrine visit") is a traditional Shinto rite of passage in Japan for newborns. Approximately one month after birth (31 days for boys and 33 days for girls), parents and grandparents bring the child to a Shinto shrine, to express gratitude to the deities for the birth of a baby and have a shrine priest pray for his or her health and happiness. The practice is not dissimilar to a Christian infant baptism. (Read more...)