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 info@kyotodreamtrips.com. Our guided tours are conducted by licensed Japanese guides. Languages supported are English and Spanish.

by / on June 18, 2016 at 3:35 PM / in Higashiyama-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Temples-Shrines

Azuma Asobi, Heian Style Dance at Yasaka Shrine.

Azuma Asobi, the annual Reisai Ceremony at Yasaka Shrine in Kyoto: The Azuma Asobi Dance is held every year, on June 15th, during the annual Reisai (例祭) ceremony at Yasaka Shrine (八坂神社) in Kyoto. When I arrived at Yasaka shrine, the Honden (本殿) was festively decorated and members of the Yasaka shrine community where entering to attend the ceremony. On […]

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by / on May 12, 2016 at 9:46 PM / in Nara Ken, Nara-City

Byakugo-ji: Treasures on Mt. Takamado in Nara City.

Byakugo-ji history and quick facts: Byakugo-ji (白毫寺), a Buddhist temple situated at the foot of Mt. Takamado, in Nara City, Japan. It is believed to have been originally built as the villa of Prince Shiki (志貴皇子), the father of Emperor Kōnin (光仁天皇), and a famous poet from the 7th to 8th century. Prince Shiki’s father was the 38th Emperor of […]

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by / on May 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM / in Nara Ken, Nara-City

Shin-Yakushi-ji, Built by Empress Kōmyō in 747.

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 […]

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by / on April 15, 2016 at 10:49 PM / in Temples-Shrines, Uji City

Uji River Steeped in History, Uji City, Kyoto.

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 […]

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by / on April 14, 2016 at 2:22 PM / in Daigo-ji Temple, Fushimi-ku, Kyoto WH, Matsuri-Festival, Temples-Shrines

Rice Cake Lifting Matsuri at Daigo-ji, Kyoto.

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 […]

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by / on April 13, 2016 at 4:06 PM / in Higashiyama-ku, Temples-Shrines

Toyotomi Hideyoshi ’s Mausoleum in Kyoto.

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 […]

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by / on February 11, 2016 at 9:00 PM / in Kamigyō-ku, Matsuri-Festival, Setsubun, Temples-Shrines

Rozan-ji Setsubun Demon Dance in Kyoto City!

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 […]

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