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Things To Do

  • Arashiyama
  • Culture
  • fall
  • hot spring
  • Kurama
  • Onsen
  • sightseeing

Experience going to Onsen!

Onsen_in_Nachikatsuura,_Japan

What you must never miss experiencing in Japanese culture is taking bath in hot spring!!!

*Hot spring is called “Onsen” in Japanese

     Onsen is how we call hot spring in Japanese. Even the oldest chronicles of Japan has mentioned about Onsen, which was written almost 1400 years ago. This helps you understand how old the history of Onsen is in Japan. Japanese people take bath everyday using the wooden Japanese style bathtub(modern houses have acrylic made) and do love visiting Onsen once in a while and take bath in the bath made from cypress wood. In Western countries, just taking shower is the most common way. Moreover, some apartments don’t even have a bath tub. However in Japan, no apartments lack bathtub even though japan posses such a tiny portions of land. I have an experience of studying abroad in America for 10 months and not being able to use a bathtub was what I missed the most.

温泉

 

*Difference between a hot spring and just a bath

     I mentioned that using bathtub taking a bath is our culture, but a bath and hot spring are completely different. A bath is just filled with hot water but hot spring has a lot of natural mineral or gas in the water which improves your health. Each Onsen has different effects, like for your sour mussels, neuralgia, high blood pressure, or even disease of digestive system. That’s why Japanese people go to Onsen a lot, not only for relaxation but also for their health.

*You don’t need to take all your clothes off

     Some of you might think that you don’t want to take all your clothes off in front of many strangers when you take a hot spring bath. However, there is a way you can enjoy it without being hesitant.

—>This is a private hot spring bath that you can borrow from the hotel when you want to enjoy it by yourself. It is also available to use with your friends, lover, or family. You can just enjoy it with someone you know in the private space.

 

a private hot spring bath

 

—>This is one of foot baths. Some hot spring districts have foot baths that are available for everyone on the street. You can just insert your foot in the small bath and feel the warmth of what Onsen is like. Some places provide hand towels but it would be better if you carry yourself one just in case.

footbath

*There are famous Onsens also in Kyoto

Of course, Kyoto has Onsens and Ryokans, a Japanese style hotel. The most popular ones are in Arashiyama and Kurama. Both areas are very well-known as sightseeing spots in Kyoto. Especially, a lot of tourists visit here to see Japanese maple leaves changing their color in fall. Imagine, you can completely be relaxed in a hot spring and see such colorful leaves amongst the beautiful scenery. How nice it is!

     Please try to experience our Japanese culture, the hot spring in many ways! You will get your body and heart warmed up.

 

Onsen

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  • beautiful
  • four season
  • Kamo-River
  • kyoto
  • nature
  • sightseeing

Do you want to know the other side of life with river “Kamogawa” in Kyoto?

Kamogawa

 

 

Another life with “Kamo-River” in Kyoto?

Kamogawa Couples

 Have you ever heard of Kamo-River, which flows in the middle of Kyoto City? You must definitely take a visit at least once when you come to Kyoto City. It is a river invested with traditional and cultural importance.

      Since a long time, sacred water from the river is used for cleansing the body at rituals and in habitual life. Obviously as one would expect the local residents of Kyoto  must have played around the pleasant area along the Kamo river-side at least once in their childhood. Of course the children but even adults take a refreshing evening walk enjoying the scenic beauty along the river-side. You may find people with pets, some running, some playing sports, and so on.

    The Kamo river is thus a needful essence for the residents of Kyoto. I would like to introduce to you Kamo river’s varied beautiful features that represent each season.

 

 

*Spring

     You might have known how beautiful cherry blossoms are in Japan. Kamo river is one of the most famous spots to enjoy cherry blossoms in spring. There are more than 1000 cherry blossom trees along the river side of Kamogawa. It usually starts blooming from the end of March. Many decide to have a lovely picnic under the trees along the side of Kamo river with home cooked lunch box and alcohol, especially beers.

     It’s one of the Japanese refined tastes. I bet you want to have THE Japanese experience in here, right?


桜

 

 

*Summer

     People get together around Kamo-River the most in summer. Why? Because the weather is hot and humid during the daytime at Kyoto, place to relax beside the river Kamogawa at night helps you to cool down and enjoy the pleasant chilly breeze . Especially on weekends, not only students, but also workers and tourists enjoy a cup of drink sitting along the side the river. You’re wondering if alcohol consumption is allowed in public ? Yes, in Japan, we are allowed to drink alcohol even in public!

     In addition, we have a type of restaurant with candle lit balconies overlooking the river, called “Kawadoko”. You shall have a Japanese traditional lunch or dinner along the side of the river Kamogawa. It is really popular even amongst Japanese people, so I recommend you to reserve your seats before you plan to visit.

鴨川夜

 

 

*Fall

     In fall, beside the river Kamogawa you can enjoy “Momiji”, autumn leaves change color to yellow or red. Along both side, leaves make like a red or yellow “carpet”. Kamogawa is one easily accessible place to see the beautiful view of autumn leaves.

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*Winter

     Kyoto is known as one of the extremely humid cities in summer. On the other hand, Kyoto experiences freezing winter. By the way, are you aware that when Kyoto is covered with snow and it displays  an overwhelmingly pretty scenery  ? When Kyoto turns really cold, the water is even frozen sometimes.

鴨川 雪

 

*One more point of river Kamogawa

    River Kamogawa is a well known dating spot for couples. It is not surprising to find couples flirting every 1 meters (about 3 ft) along the river side, especially around the evening. In fact, this is one such picture taken around 6pm.

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      I’m sure you see a lot of youngsters sitting beside the river? Now you know what I told you is true. Actually, it’s pretty ludicrous. Don’t get too concerned, besides couple you even find groups of families and friends.

     Notably, Sanjo-Ohashi and Gion-Shijo area are more lively with people hanging around since they are close to Kyoto city center consisting of  a many sightseeing spots and shopping centers.

  During the daytime or in the evening after dinner when you feel like taking a break after a tiring day out amongst the crowded streets of Kyoto, come relax alongside river Kamogawa like we Japanese do.

Have fun relishing the four seasons of Kyoto walking along side river Kamogawa !

 

 

 

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Things To Do

  • Culture
  • food
  • hotpot
  • Japan
  • Winter

Do you know what Japanese favorite food, “Nabe”, is?

hotpot

Nabe is Japanese style hotpot!!!

     Do you know what Nabe is? It is Japanese style hotpot that we especially eat in winter. Japanese people love Nabe when the weather is really cold. We eat Nabe and get warm at home or at a restaurant.

     The very old style is Nabe with “Kotatsu”, which is furnished with a heater under a small low table covered by thick blanket called “Futon”. We surround the Nabe placed on the center of Kotatsu and eat together.

 

kotatsu

 

 

*How to cook?

     Nabe is the easiest Japanese dish to cook. I’ll show you how you can easily cook Nabe at home!

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Step1

     Buy some nabe seasoning that you like such as soy sauce, soy milk, or Korean spicy taste…there are a lot of flavors. You can easily get them at a supermarket in Japan or an Asian market in your country.

Step2

     You need a pot, water and ingredients that you want to eat. First, put some water in the pot and add ingredients when it is boiled. You can put WHATEVER you want into a pot. We usually use vegetables (Nappa cabbage, Green onion, Daikon, and so on) and meats (chicken, pork, beef), other stuff (rice cake, gelatin noodle)…like, literally, a variety of food!

Step3

     Wait till vegetables and meats are completely boiled. When they are done, LET’S EAT!

 

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     Wasn’t it super easy to cook Nabe? There are also a lot of restaurants you can eat and each one has different taste.

These are example of different kinds of Nabe.

*Motsu nabe

     Motsu is hormone of beef or pork. For this Nabe, the hormone is the main ingredient and also we put Chinese chive, cabbage, and garlic in soy sauce flavor soup. It’s originally from Southern part of Japan, Kyushu area but recently there are a variety of famous restaurants  in other areas as well.

Nabe

 

 

 

*Shabu-Shabu

     Shabu-Shabu is another style of Nabe. For this Nabe, we use really thin sliced meat as you can see in the box made in wood. It’s boiled only in 10 second right after you put in a hotpot. That’s why you just need pick called “shabu-shabu” in Japanese.

Shabu-Shabu

 

     

     I assume you are getting hungry after you looked at these delicious looking pictures of Nabe. When we cook and eat Nabe along with some friends, it’s called “Nabe Party”. As I explained, Nabe is popular food in Japan and everyone likes it.

     Please try Nabe, Japanese style hotpot, at your home or at a restaurant in Japan! We are waiting for your visit with the best delicious Nabe!

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