Friday, 27 December 2013

technical difficulties


Recently I haven't done any posts with lots of photos. This is because I have been having some technical difficulties which I can`t seem to sort out.

When I add photos to a post I can only highlight the first two. This means I can only change the size of the first two photos. So sometimes I put photos on another post and then copy them to my real post. But obviously this takes longer and because I can`t highlight them I can`t move or delete them.

While I try and work out what the problem is I probably won`t write any posts. This is really annoying as I have taken lots of photos recently which I want to share with you all.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Wishing you a merry christmas!


So here it is, our tiny tiny tree!! As you can see there isn't space under the tree for the presents so I made a display of some of them with lovely cards from friends. Hope you all have a great day wherever you are and whoever you are with.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Peko + Hello Kitty

Whoever thought up a collaboration between Peko chan and Hello Kitty is a genius! My two favourite Japanese characters dressed up as each other. Just look at the cute packaging! Early christmas present to myself.



On Saturday we went out for lunch to a French restaurant on the top floor of a hotel. All the tables were on a rotating floor which I didn't like the idea of, I thought it would be like eating while being on a spinning teacup ride. But actually it moved very slowly, it took two hours to make one circuit, so you could hardly tell it was moving.

It meant that we got a 360° view of Kyoto. The best view was watching all bullet trains going past Toji Temple, a mixture of traditional and modern.

When asked which puddings we wanted we all opted for a little bit of everything!

Then downstairs in the lobby I had major christmas tree envy! Will post a picture of our tiny tree later today.


Thursday, 19 December 2013

Sushi Celebrations!


Yesterday was the final day of term at school! I can`t believe how fast the last three months have gone. We had a closing ceremony where I did a speech about the places around Japan which I have travelled to and want to travel to in the future. (Red face plus shaking hands equals extremely nervous. More nervous than when I did a speech last term which is strange.)

Then we all started crying. No, not because we were really sad it was the end of school but because we made paella and the room stank of onions. Nice. Anyway, it tasted good and afterwards some of us went to a conveyor belt sushi restaurant to celebrate.

Must dash, I have extremely important things to do such as putting up our miniscule christmas tree.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013


When we went to Arashiyama we walked past Nonomiya-jinja which is located in the bamboo forest. This shrine has a long history and is referred to in The Tale of Genji written 1000 years ago by a court lady called Murasaki Shikibu. There was a long queue of women waiting to pray. This is because several gods are enshrined here, one of which is the god good match and marriage.

Price: Free

Location: 15 minutes from Kyoto station to Saga-Arashiyama station on JR railway San'in Honsen line. Then 10 minutes on foot.


Autumn Tea Ceremony


In November we went and bought these red bean sweets which are traditionally eaten at tea ceremonies.  Each season they bring out new designs. The autumn designs were based momiji leaves.


Friday, 13 December 2013

Thursday, 12 December 2013

green tea christmas scone

This is a green tea scone which a friend bought for me this week. I thought it was a christmas scone just because it was green but inside were white chocolate chips and dried cranberries, it was very tasty and I want to buy some more for the christmas holidays. But knowing Japan, the shop will have stopped stocking them...

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Kodai-ji Temple

During Autumn, a lot of temples in Japan open in the evening so that you can view the momiji light up. I only went once to view the light up of the momiji and unfortunately the evening that I chose, it decided to rain. Anyway I managed to get some photos while walking around with my camera in one hand and my umbrella in the other!


Sunday, 8 December 2013

Houkyou-in Temple

I haven't been out this weekend because I have been a bit ill. Maybe it`s because I have been very busy recently trying to see as much momiji as possible! So this weekend I just had a rest and did some christmas wrapping while listening to christmas songs!

The photos below are from Houkyou-in, the first temple that we visited last weekend on our trip to Arashiyama. It was so beautiful. All the trees were bright colours and the ground was covered in a blanket of red leaves. It was also very peaceful, nothing like the crowds at Tofuku-ji!

Price: One adult ticket is ¥400. I think it is definitely worth this price.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Handmade leather bag!

Last weekend I made a leather bag! Well, I didn`t exactly do all of it myself. J makes handbags so she helped me out. She did the preparation such as cutting out the leather and making the tassel. First I used adhessive to stick two peices of leather together. Then I used a fork like tool and a hammer to make holes in the leather. Then I hand sewed the leather together trough the holes. It`s kind of hard to explain, I wish I had taken photos during the process of making it.

Anyway once I had done that I used a sewing machine to sew the front panel to the back. It was nice to be back on a sewing machine again! Although there are some differences between a machine for leather and the machines for fabric which I am used to, most of it was very similar. The final stage was turning it the right way round and attaching the strap. It all took about four hours and I am very pleased with the result.



Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Okochi Sanso

One of the places I went to at the weekend was Okochi Sanso, the private villa of the silent film actor Okochi Denjiro. The gardens were designed with the intention of showing the best of all four seasons. It is particularly popular in autumn for it`s momiji and in spring for it`s sakura. Although the momiji was lovely I have been to places where it is more beautiful. Okochi Denjiro was very interested in Zen philosophy and there is Jibutsudo, small Buddhist Temple, which he built at the age of 19! There is also a small museum with photos and posters from his film`s.

Price: The entrance fee was expensive, ¥1000. However also included in the price are a postcard and a cup of green tea with a tradition Japanese sweet.

Location: The villa is located on the slopes of Mt. Ogura behind Tenryu-ji Temple and next to Arashiyama Park and the Sagano bamboo grove. The closest regular train station (about a 15 minute walk) is Arashiyama on the Keifuku Electric Railroad Arashiyama Main Line. Torokko Arashima Station on the special Sagano Scenic Railway is even closer.

The temple he built when he was 19

green tea and Japanese sweet