Shin-Yakushi-ji: A few days ago, while visiting Kasuga Taisha in Nara, I dropped by the Shin-Yakushi-ji (新薬師寺) temple. Shin-Yakushi-ji is famous for Yakushi Nyorai (薬師如来) statue. Yakushi Nyorai is surrounded by a group of Twelve Divine Generals. According to records at Tōdai-ji, Shin-Yakushi-ji was founded in March 747 as Kōyaku-ji (香薬寺) by Empress Kōmyō (光明皇后 – 701–760) wishing for the […]Read more ›
Articles by: Hugo
I was born in Antwerp, Belgium, and enjoyed my teenage years during the peak of the "Flower Power Hippie" generation. I hitchhiked through Europe, living on a beach south of Agadir, Morocco for some time to learn English. For most of my adult life, I was a public relations representative for a Christian NGO in the Benelux area. Aside from Japan, I have lived in Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea, and Singapore, just to name a few. I love baking things such as bread, pies, and fruit cakes, and am an avid Blues lover; some of my favorite artists are B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. I enjoy a good movie with a glass of wine or a Belgian Trappist and some Roquefort blue cheese.
Since September 2012 I have been an honorary member of the " Kyoto Guide Club". I have been living in Japan for almost 25 years; 5 years in Tokyo, and then 20 years here, in Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan.
My aim is to provide information about this extraordinary city to the future traveler. If you have any questions related to Kyoto or Nara, don't hesitate to drop me a line.
We offer guided tours in Kyoto, Nara and Osaka. For info please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our guided tours are conducted by licensed Japanese guides. Languages supported are English and Spanish.
Uji River, Cherry Blossoms and Heike Monogatari: Uji City is a town not so far from Kyoto and steeped in history. Recently, I visit Byōdō-in (平等院) and afterwards strode along the Uji River. The Ajirogi-no-michi (あじろぎの道) is a walking path along the Uji River and is lined with sakura trees. During the summer months, cormorant fishing is the high lite of […]Read more ›
Rice Cake Lifting Matsuri: Every year, on February 23rd, the annual “Mochi age” (餅上げ) or “rice cake lifting” event is held at Daigo-ji Temple (醍醐寺) in Kyoto City. The rice cake lifting event is the high lite of the Godairikison Ninno-e Ceremony (五大力尊仁王会) and attracts many visitors from all over Japan. This ceremony dates back to the reign of Emperor […]Read more ›
Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Mausoleum of A Warlord: Toyotomi Hideyoshi and my journey to his mausoleum. Today (Sunday April 10th), I explored a part of Kyoto that has been to my “to see list” for quite some time. So I hiked up to Amidagamine Mountain (阿弥陀ヶ峰) to visit the mausoleum of famous warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi (豊臣 秀吉), who unified Japan in the […]Read more ›
Rozan-ji Setsubun 2016 in Kyoto City: Rozan-ji Setsubun matsuri is held on February the 3rd in kyoto City. Spring is welcomed with a ritual called “Setsubun”. The Rozan-ji Setsubun matsuri “Demon Dance” is one of the most famous and unique Setsubun ceremonies in Kyoto. It was a cold gray day here in Kyoto and many people started to gather at Rozan-ji […]Read more ›
Driving out Demons” matsuri, My journey: Driving out Demons: last Sunday, January 31st, was a beautiful sunny winters day here in Kyoto. It was also the start of the setsubun (節分) matsuri season, different events will be held on February second and third. Iwashimizu Hachiman-gū (石清水八幡宮) in Yawata City, Kyoto Prefecture is holding their annual Oni yarai hito (鬼やらい人) or […]Read more ›
47 Ronin Warriors and Akō City: 47 Ronin Warriors: after visiting Himeji castle and spending a wonderful evening along the Seto Inland Sea (瀬戸内海), I visited the Akōōishi Shrine (赤穂大石神社) and the 47 Ronin Warriors (四十七士). The entrance to the shrine is lined with statues of these Lordless samurai. Inside the shrine is a small museum and along the outside […]Read more ›