Urasenke Tea Ceremony

December 1, 2019

By Sakina Nishitsuji & Yunji Choi

Green tea and matcha (powdered green tea) are both very popular among Japanese things in the world right now. Also, tea ceremony is growing in popularity among young people in Japan. One of the most famous tea ceremony schools in Japan is Urasenke.

What is Tea Ceremony?

Tea ceremony is one of the most popular aspects of traditional Japanese culture. Traditional tea ceremony is called sado in Japan. In sado, the tea master invites guests and serves matcha in a ceremonial way. The ceremony is full of meaning and tradition. It can have a calming and contemplative effect on people who experience it.

Japanese tea ceremony room

History of Tea Ceremony

Tea came into Japan during the Heian period (805). A Heian period monk, named Saicho, and an early Heian period monk, named Kukai, went to China. When they came back to Japan, they brought Tang period tea which they just thought of as a medicine. Later in the Kamakura period (1141∼1215), the priest Eisai, who brought the Rinzai school of Zen Buddhism to Japan, also brought back a Chinese tea, which he thought was also medicine. That’s why Eisai wrote a book called Kissa-yojoki. It is a Chinese classics book which is written about the different kinds of methods for making powdered green tea, and tea drinking for promoting health.

In the Muromachi period (1336-1573), when Yoshimitsu Ashikaga built Kinkaku temple and Yoshimasa built Ginkaku temple, a tea meeting place was made for art lovers. The art came from China, but there was little respect for spirituality. Murata Shuko (1422-1501), who appeared in the era of eight Shogun, made a four-and-a-half tatami mat room for tea ceremony that uses not only Chinese utensils, but also Japanese-made tea utensils. He came up with a spiritual tea world that disciplined against selfishness and self-attachment. An expert in the tea ceremony, Takeno Joo (1502-1555) inherited this spirit, and Sen no Rikyu (1522-1591), a famous tea master during the Azuchi-momoyama period (1568-1600), invented wabicha, which is a style of Japanese tea ceremony that became the origin of modern tea ceremony. He also built Soancha no Yu, which is Sen no Rikyu’s tea room.

The Three Schools of Tea Ceremony

There are three schools of tea ceremony in Japan. Generally, Urasenke is the most famous schools of the three. Most people who study tea ceremony learn Urasenke. Of the three stules, Urasenke is the most casual style. That’s why people find it easier to learn.

The name san-Senke refers to the Omotesenke, Urasenke and Mushakojisenke schools of the tea ceremony. Omotesenke is the head family. Actually Omotesenke and Urasenke share almost same the basic actions, but there are some minor differences. In the tea ceremony, a fukusa (or cloth) is used for cleaning up tools. Omotesenke uses a vermilion-colored fukusa, but Omotesenke uses a red one. Also, the way to make tea is different. Tea made by the Urasenke school has finer bubbles, almost like a cappuccino. On the other hand, the tea in the Omotesenke style has a stronger taste. People can directly experience the taste of matcha.

Mushakojisenke is the most unfamiliar style of the three. This was started by Soushu, who is a son of Sen no Rikyu, on Mushakoji street in Kyoto. Mushakojisenke set up a branch family from Omotesenke. The way to make tea is similar to Omotesenke. There are no bubbles in the tea. They also use a vermilion-colored fukusa, as in the Omotesenke tradition. Other differences include how to prepare the tea and actions taken during the tea ceremony.

Koicha

Usucha

Otemae お点前

The act of making tea is called otemae.

There are two kinds of tea in tea ceremony: koicha and usucha. Koicha is a strong tea. If you drink koicha for the first time, you will experience a very bitter taste. Koicha is also called okoicha. Koicha is uses a lot matcha in the tea. That’s why it looks so thick. On the other hand, usucha is a thinner tea than koicha. Usucha also has another name: ousu. These tea types have other differences, too, like tools used to make them, for instance. When making usucha, chawan (tea bowl) are used. Many of these chawan have beautiful paintings on them that people can enjoy. In the summer, chawan made of glass are used. However, more expensive chawan without any paintings are used to make koicha. People who do not know deeply about tea ceremony, are probably familiar with usucha, as it is more famous than koicha.

Tools Used in Otemae

Chashaku 茶杓: A chashaku is the tool which scoops up matcha from a natsume, which is the box for matcha. It is generally made from bamboo.

Chawan 茶碗: A chawan is the bowl in which tea is prepared and from which tea is drunk. Chawan are very important items in tea ceremony. If you use a good quality chawan, the tea ceremony experience is heightened.

Fukusa 袱紗: It’s a square silk wrapping cloth. It is used in the tea ceremony to set tools on or to wipe them.

Sensu 扇子: Sensu is a folding fan. It is used to fan yourself, but in the tea ceremony, We use it when we greet people, like say hello. It’s kind of a communication tool.

Urasenke in Kyoto

Below are some places were you can learn more about Urasenke tea ceremony, and even experience it.

Konnichian 今日庵

Konnichian is a retreat located in the former residence of Urasenke in Kyoto. It was built when a tea master Sen Soutan, the grandchild of Sen no Rikyu, handed the house over to Sen Sousa. Sen Sousa is the third son of Sen Soutan and he is also a tea master of early Edo period (1619∼1672). This retreat is located in Honjoji-mae, Kamigyo-ku of Kyoto City. In 1949, a foundation of Konnichian was established. Their purpose was to preserve and nurture the Urasenke tea ceremony that was inherited from Sen no Rikyu’s tradition, spread the spirit of tea ceremony to the general public to contribute to the development of Japanese culture and also to preserve the remains, artifacts, arts and crafts, and structures that exist at the Konnichian.

Tankosha 淡交社

Tankosha is a publisher located in the Kita Ward of Kyoto City. They publish books that are related to tea ceremony and Kyoto. When Yoshiharu Naya, the ex-president of Tankosha, graduated from Doshishya University in Kyoto, he established a publishing organization to publish the newsletter of Urasenke, called Tanko, in the following year. His father, Soshitsu Sen is a traditional name taken by the business grouping of the Urasenke family, and he is the fifteenth-generation grandmaster of the Urasenke. Yoshiharu Naya’s grand brother, Yoshito Naya, is currently managing the company. The company name comes from the word of a Chinese philosopher, Soshi. The name Tankosha means that the communion between scholastic and respectable people should be a clean relationship like water, and compassion without a selfish motive will not break. The employees of Tankosha publish books and magazines on various fields, such as traditional culture centered on tea ceremony. They are related to Kyoto culture and tourism. In fields other than tea ceremony, there are arts and crafts, history and culture, travel guides, cooking, and hobby life, or they publish books that are related to Kyoto, like ‘Kyoto Encyclopedia’ and ‘Kyoto Tourism Culture Certification Test Official Text Book’. They handle books in languages other than Japanese. Besides publishing, they sell tea ceremony architecture and tea utensils. The first floor of the Kyoto head office (Murasakino Miyanishi-Cho) has a floor for selling books and selling tea utensils.

Kyoto Murasakino 京都むらさきの

Using authentic tea utensils, a standard traditional tea ceremony will be conducted for visitors. An experience of making your own bowl of tea with those utensils is included. You can practice tea ceremony in the Urasenke style. The ceremonies are held only on Saturdays and Sundays, but even then there are days on which the ceremonies are not held, so be sure to check the website before you go. You have to make a reservation on the website at least two days in advance. Here is the homepage URL: https://www.shin-shin-an.com/ 【Address】 6 Kamigoshodencho Murasakino Kita-ku, Kyoto JAPAN

Jinmatsuan 甚松庵

Jinmatsuan is a place to discover and experience Japanese culture. It is located near Gojo station, Kiyomizu temple, and the Gion area. They are open every day, but sometimes they hold special events, so be sure to check the homepage. You can make and drink matcha along with making Japanese tea ceremony sweets, or ohigashi. You can also make a Japanese traditional sweet wagashi and dancing with maiko, the girls who please people in the banquet by the trick such as dancing and Japanese orchestra. Here is the home page URL: https://www.jinmatsuan.com/tea 【Address】 BELK Karasuma 2F, 135 Manjuij-cho, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto City

Conclusion

As you can see, Urasenke tea ceremony is rich in meaning, history, and tradition. There are many people, both Japanese and foreign, who don’t know the history of tea ceremony even though the tea ceremony is very popular overseas. There are many places in Kyoto where you can actually experience the tea ceremony. The general foundation has a lecture on tea ceremony which was introduced at Konnichian. We introduced some places where you can both learn and experience traditional tea ceremony in the Uraksenke style. We hope that you will discover the beauty and tranquility of tea ceremony while you are in Kyoto.

 

Winter Sightseeing Spots and Events in Kyoto

Winter sightseeing spots and events in Kyoto

by Akane Mukai, Riho Miyagi, and Yuka Yamazaki

In winter, a lot of people might go to western or northern Japan to do winter sports or to see winter events, however there are also popular and famous spots in Kyoto. As people know, Kyoto has a lot of world heritage sites. Moreover, people enjoy the winter view at these beautiful places. The reason for the low temperature is that the area of Kyoto is a basin. The world heritage and cultural heritage sites are covered with snow, which attracts a lot of tourists. The beautiful scenes reflect Japanese culture.

Hanatourou

Hanatourou  is an event held in Higashiyama, and Arashiyama in Kyoto. It is the lantern festival, and is at the beginning of March, lasting for 10 days. A lot of lanterns are along the Yasaka street in front of Chionin (知恩院). These lanterns use LED light bulbs from Rohm, which is a company of electronic components.During the event, the lanterns are lit from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. every evening. It started in the 21st century with the goal of becoming a tradition of night viewing in Kyoto. In 2003, in March, Hanatourou started to hold this event in order to create business as a new tourist attractions. “Tomori” (灯り), which means light, is the theme in the Higashiyama area. There are also other events at the same time. Firstly, Flower arrangements, called “Ikebana”, which are organized by a flower arrangement association in Kyoto are displayed along the street. People enjoy seeing beautiful lighted up flower arrangements. “Kitunenoyomeiri” (Fox wedding) parade in the same street to Hanatourou. This parade will go to Maruyama park (円山公園) though the Yasaka street, two years slope(二年坂), three years slope (三年坂), and other streets.

“Kitunenoyomeiri”(Fox wedding) is Japanese folk tale. In the story, it rains but is sunny on the same day, then a female fox marries a male fox.

Reenacting this ancient story, the Fox wife, wearing a pure white Kimono for her wedding rides on a rickshaw (人力車) passing through the street slowly. If people watch this parade, it is said that the people will be blessed with good relationships. It starts 19:00 and 20:00. People rarely watch this parade. Lastly, In Yasaka shrine, people can take part in an event, which is to write people’s hopes on colored leaf stickers and then put them on large lanterns with paper shades. People can enjoy writing their hopes on stickers. There are some enjoyable events with Hanatourou.

 Projection Mapping Winter Kyoto

Recently, many projection mapping events are held in Japan. Projection mapping is the fairly new technology that allows computer-generated 3D images and video to be projected onto three dimensional objects, like buildings. You can see the projection mapping in some temples or shrines in Kyoto. There is an event using projection mapping techniques in Kodaiji temple (高台寺). Kodaiji temple is one of Japan’s greatest historical figures, by Hideyoshi’s wife Nene. This is an outstanding temple in Kyoto‘s Higashiyama District. It was established in 1606 and is the most famous temple at which to see beautiful autumn leaves in Kyoto. These days, not only Japanese visitors, but also many people from abroad, visit there to see the autumn leaves and some great zen gardens in Kodaiji temple. In addition, you can see a beautiful bamboo there.

In such a great temple, a projection mapping event is held from autumn to winter, and summer. The last winter’s theme of the projection mapping was “Hyakki-Yagyo” (百鬼夜行). One performance has three minutes and the beautiful display is projected onto the Karesansui (枯山水) garden and the gate behind it. In order to watch the performance, you will pay 600 yen, and there are usually long lines of people waiting to get in. The open time of the mapping is 5 p.m. and it closes at 9 p.m. The ticket counter will be very crowded, so you should buy the admission ticket in advance before night.

 Popular hot foods in Kyoto

Kyoto is cold in winter  time. So you absolutely want to eat hot food because of the freezing cold winter in Kyoto. If you are in Kyoto this is a very special trip for you and your memory. So I really want you to eat delicious special meals. First I recommend that you have a delicious hot meal. This udon noodle shop’s name is FUMIYA. This udon noodle shop has been carrying on for 50 years. This food is udon noodles served in a pot with a variety of ingredients. This hot food is popular in Kyoto. So you should go there. Next I recommend as a delicious hot meal noodles in sauce in yuba. Yuba is diced bean curds. This dish of noodls in sauce in yuba  shop name is Toyouke tea house. This shop is near the Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine so you can go there easily. The shop is mainly making tofu so you can eat it as well as simmered tofu and other tofu dishes. This shop is really popular, so be prepared to line up. Next, I recommend as a delicious hot meal of simmered tofu. This simmered tofu shop name is Tosuirou. This shop is not so expensive so you can eat lots of hot tofu meals. Next I recommend a hot sweet delicious called Zenzai. Zenzai refers to stewed red beans sweetened with sugar that are served in a bowl with mochi (sticky rice cake), shiratama dango (dumplings made of sticky rice flour called shiratamako), and chestnuts stewed in sugar. This shop’s name is Umezono. This shop is near Kawaramachi. So you can go there during shopping breaks. This shop sells not only zenzai, they have mitarashi dumplings and shaved ice with matcha sauce as well. I could recommend only these shops but Kyoto has lots of shops so you can eat lots of delicious food and sweets in Kyoto. You should try it.

Conclusion

Kyoto has lots of winter sightseeing spots and people can feel charm of winter events. These winter events are really fantastic events and you can feel traditional of Japan and you can find lot of new things. Kyoto is trying lots of new things. Projection mapping is one of the new winter night events. You can go to a winter night event with family or with a girlfriend or boyfriend. You can feel really romantic. You can spend really good time and have really good memories. Kyoto is a really good place for eating traditional Japanese foods. So you can eat a delicious meal and then you feel warm in both your body and mind. Let’s enjoy winter Kyoto.

Traditional ryokan in Kyoto

By Taiga Fukushima, Kana Kobashi, Masakazu Terasaki

A lot of foreign visitors come to Japan recently. Most of them want to experience Japanese-ness, like traditional culture or history so they come to Kyoto. There are old traditional buildings, the beautiful views with changing four seasons, washoku (traditional cuisine) and a chance to experience Japanese culture in Kyoto. It means you can enjoy all of them in Kyoto. That’s why people come to Kyoto. However, you can experience all of them in just one place. That is a ryokan (Japanese-style hotel). Ryokan is a uniquely Japanese hotel tradition that can only be experienced her.

Explain about Ryokan

First of all, the Japanese hotel busiess act has rules for what a ryokan is. For example, a ryokan must have at least 5 rooms. Each room must be more than 7 square meters. If a ryokan is within 100 meters from a school site, they have to have something to obstruct passersby from seeing inside the hotel, for example, a hall which can be used for dancing or some games. Managers or owners have to apply to the prefectural governor for permission to name and establish a ryokan. However, managers can choose the name of accommodation freely no matter the size of their business.

A feature of ryokan is that you can feel WA –Japanese elegant culture- there. This feature can be seen in many parts of services. All rooms are basically Japanese style and estimate guests to be two per one room. In fact, some ryokan don’t allow guests to stay alone. You can enjoy green tea and teacakes for free. In addition, people usually wear a yukata (informal summer kimono), provided by the ryokan, while they stay in ryokan or go for a walk around a hot spring resort. In winter, ryokan provide a short Japanese overgarment or a thickly padded oversize kimono as protection against cold. There are many good points in ryokan However, the biggest sales point is hot spring. Hot springs have many effects for health. It is not too much to say that people stay at ryokan for hot springs. Hot springs have several medical benefits such as relief for neurological pain or to promote healing of wounds so they are popular not only with foreign visitors, but also Japanese travelers.

Tawaraya Ryokan

We would like to introduce three ryokan which have a long history. The first one is Tawaraya, which was built three hundred years ago. Some famous people, such as Hirobumi Ito, who was the first Japanese prime minister. and Steve Jobs have stayed there. It has fans both domestically and abroad, and it is a luxury inn which is representative of Japan. It doesn’t have an official web site, and only people who has visited know the whole picture of the inn. The information of the inn itself is surrounded by a veil. However most people become repeat customers as they are so impressed by the inn. Service, facilities, atmosphere, food, which is a suitable Japanese inn for a very first name. It has an appearance that makes you feel it is old, but it has been properly maintained. Not only the appearance but also the application of professional craftsmanship, maintenance and management are carried out. From the general gardener to the cleaning staff, staff specialized in bathing, changing sliding doors, changing tatami mats and glass wiping, no detail is neglected. The building is old, because it is an established inn, but the comfort of customers is seen to at all times, and this is an inn that matches traditional space with modern comfort. Decorated with Western and Oriental decorations, museum quality art decorates the hall, and the main furniture for fine furnishings.

Sumiya Ryokan

Another ryokan, Sumiya Ryokan was established in the Taisho Period (1912). Masters of the tea ceremony use the facility for meeting. In there, tea ceremony is held on the 7th and 17th days of each month. You can join the tea ceremony if you stay at the ryokan on these days. They serve Kyo-kaiseki which is a traditional Kyoto style course. This is prepared to bring out the natural flavors of fresh seasonable Kyoto vegetables. The rooms are basically Japanese style. Every room has an alcove that is a tea ceremony style room. And you can enjoy seasonable atmosphere with the five senses.

Hiiragiya

The last ryokan is Hiiragiya. Hiiragiya was established in 1818 in Kyoto. It has a long history, so internationally famous men and women-writers, artists, politicians, scientists, and members of the imperial family have stayed there. Nobel Prize winning novelist, Yasunari Kawabata said, “There is no inn with more memories than the Hiiragiya.” The name is taken from Hiiragi Shrine in Shimogamo shrine. Hiiragi is the name of leaf. In the past, it is said that Hiiragi can protect worshipers from evil. You can find the symbol of Hiiragi throughout the inn. It is the staff’s wish that it will bring you the good luck it has brought us over the years.
Hiiragiya are preparing two types of rooms. First is the main building. Rooms are preserved in the tea-ceremony arbor in the Edo (1603 – 1868) to Showa Period (!926 – 1989). You can feel utmost atmosphere of the ancient in Kyoto through them. Another building is new wings. Rooms have new facilities and amenities but with the sophisticated style of traditional Japanese architecture. These rooms inherit Hiiragiya’s traditional and hospitality spirit. You can get there from JR Kyoto Station by taxi or subway. If you use the taxi, please tell the driver “Hiiragiya”. It takes 15 minutes. If you use the subway, you have to take a subway Karasuma line. Get off the subway at Karasuma-Oike station and walk for 7 minutes.

Conckusion

These three ryokan have a long history, so you can feel Japanese-ness very much. Although the style of ryokan may be different from a modern, western style hotel, a stay can allow a visitor to experience a Japanese traditional lifestyle. Sleep on a futon rather than a bed in a tatami mat room with sliding paper covered doors and get the feeling of old Japan. Please try to stay in a ryokan and experience wonderful Japanese traditional cultural until you sleep.

Various ways of enjoying the climate of Kyoto

by Fumiya Tamaoki and Masahiro Komatsu

Have you fully enjoyed each season in Kyoto?

In Japan, the temperature in Kyoto is not too high. However, many people living in Kyoto and tourists say “Summer in Kyoto is very hot.” Why is it that many people feel hot in Kyoto, although the temperature is not particularly high? The answer is in the topography of Kyoto.

Kyoto city is surrounded by mountains in all directions, and it is a basin. So, the wind can’t blow through Kyoto city, and this makes us feel humid. Also, since Kyoto city is far away from the ocean, the temperature does not drop much even at night. In general, it is said that this basin city is not only hot in the summer, but also it feels cold in the winter. As you can see, it seems like summer and winter in Kyoto is a very difficult to stay. However, Kyoto has become one of the most famous cities that has a lot of sightseeing spots. Tourists visit Kyoto regardless of the season. Of course, the truth that Kyoto is hot is not escapable. However, tourists and residents spend their seasons in a way that is unique to Kyoto. They know how to make use of the characteristics of the land in Kyoto. These are some ways to spend enjoyable summer and winter in Kyoto.

Freshen up by “Hozugawa Kudari”

First of all, what can we do to get comfortable in the hot summer? Do you go swimming in the sea? Or do you want to go to the pool? Playing in the water makes us refreshed. There are not only seas and pools, but also rivers in Kyoto.

You can travel about 90 minutes to Arashiyama.

In Kyoto, it is very popular among tourists to ride down a river in a canoe. Especially famous is “Hozugawa Kudari”, a trip down the Hozu River. Departing from Kameoka city next to Kyoto city, we can travel about 90 minutes to Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama. Receiving a cold splash and feeling refreshed, you can also see and feel the nature of Kyoto. It is one of the perfect ways for having a hot summer fun. Also, we can do “Hozugawa Kudari” not only in the summer but throughout the year. It’s fun as a summer play, but you can enjoy it well in other seasons. For example, you can enjoy autumn leaves in autumn and enjoy snow scenery in winter because the course is surrounded by nature.

Have a nice time on the riverside

You can have nice meals and time on the riverside.

Next, we will show you how to eat coolly while you are outside in a hot summer. It is Noryo doko, built in the Kamogawa that flows through the center of Kyoto. Shops on the east of the street face the Kamo-gawa River, and many restaurants among them lay out the Noryo doko (wooden platform over the dry riverbed for enjoying cool breezes). Noryo doko can be enjoyed from May to September, so you can have a good meal in the hot summer. Also, this covers about 1 kilometer, and various restaurants, bars, and pubs are participating. Because many restaurants are participating, you can enjoy various dishes. Of course you can also enjoy Japanese traditional meals. Having a meal above the river will have a special taste as it is an experience you cannot usually do.

Keep warm by hot spring

You can keep your body warm by hot spring.

Next, we will show you how to spend time pleasantly in the cold winter of Kyoto. One of the famous tourist spots in Kyoto is Arashiyama. The bridge named Togetsu Bridge and the road of bamboo grove in Arashiyama are very beautiful, so it is a popular spot. If you go to Kyoto by sightseeing, you should go to Arashiyama. Arashiyama also can be enjoyed in any season. However, in this article we will show you how to spend the cold winter happily. It is different from the purpose of this article to introduce only Arashiyama. However, there is a place where you can spend a pleasant cold winter near Arashiyama station. It is a hot spring called “Kyoto Arashiyama Onsen fu fu no-yu“. It will heal the tired body and cold body in sightseeing. The point is, the area of Arashiyama can be enjoyed with a set of sightseeing and hot springs. This facility has hot springs as well as mist sauna and it is popular. Like this way, is it possible to enjoy sightseeing and hot springs at same place? Or, is it ban be in only Arashiyama? Actually, Kyoto is the prefecture with many public baths in the top level among Japan. There are many public baths in Kyoto city. Therefore, if you also check public baths near the place you are planning to go sightseeing, you can enjoy sightseeing in the cold winter.

Become warm from inside in the Nisiki market

Next, how about consuming some warm food and alcohol to warm your body and heart in the cold winter? To enjoy warm and fresh ingredients, there is a place called the Nishiki market in the center of Kyoto. Because this place is a market, you can enjoy various meals mainly fresh seafood. Especially, in March every year, events are held to enjoy local alcohol in Kyoto. Why don’t you visit events that you can enjoy with delicious ingredients and local sake in March of Kyoto where cold still remains.

Nishiki market is a famous street which has many shops.

Kyoto is a tourist destination that anyone can enjoy in all seasons. Visitors can feel a different atmosphere in each of the four seasons whether going to a temple or a shrine or enjoying nature. But they may have to do sightseeing not only in pleasant weather, but also in the more severe environment of summer and winter. At such a time, tourists can enjoy more than usual if they do sightseeing in the way introduced in this article. Kyoto is one of the leading tourist destinations in Japan, not only because it has great places and scenery, but also because there are many ways to enjoy the environment.

Ichijoji Kyoto Ramen

by Hanami Yanagi, Saya Ishida and Tomoka Yamazaki

Japanese foods are recognized to be delicious all over the world recently. Therefore, we would like to introduce ramen (Chinese-style hot noodles) because it is popular and everybody likes it. There is a district in Kyoto known as Ichijoji and it is famous for being the location of many good ramen restaurants. We chose two ramen shops Gokkei and Takayasu. We went there and ate some ramen. Therefore, we will introduce two famous ramen shops here.

Gokkei

Access: Near to the Kyoto City Bus route 31 ‘Ichijoji Kitaomarucho Station’ stop.

Business hours: 11:30~22:00

Closed: Mondays

Gokkei is the most popular ramen shop in Ichijoji. There is always a line of people wating to get ramen there.

There are three types of ramen. First is Toridaku and simmered egg ramen. The price is 750 yen. It is ranked No.1 in Gokkei.  Toridaku features a thick soup, which is created through long hours of simmering chicken bones.  The soup lis almost like carbonara sauce.  You can even let the Chinese milk spoon stand in the soup. But it isn’t heavy. Medium thick noodles are used. Bamboo shoots in the soup are too big, three times the size of usual servings. the slices of roast pork are also large and very tender. the dish is topped with a soft-boiled egg and green onions which are a good accent.  Toridaku looks hearty but woman can easily eat it. It is very delicious!

Toridaku

The second type of ramen is called Akadaku. It costs 750 yen and its color is red! It is topped with chili.  It looks very spicy but only has a moderate hotness.  It goes well with rich soup and satisfies a big appetite.  The ingredients are the same as Toridaku.

Akadaku

The third type of ramen served here is Kurodaku. it also costs 750 yen. Kuro means garlic. The smell of garlic fills the air when you order this ramen.  It satisfies the appetite.  If you eat Kurodaku, you become full of power!  When you need energy, I recommend you eat this ramen.  Its ingredients are the same as Toridaku.

Kurodaku

Takayasu

Access: Near to the Kyoto city Bus 31 ‘Ichijoji Kitaomarucho Station’ stop.

Business Hours: 12:00~23:00

Closed: None

Takayasu is another famous Chinese noodle shop in Ichijoji. Like Gokkei, there is always a line.  The shop assistant is so friendly and kind. We ate two types of ramen here and side dishes. We introduce them.

First is Chinese noodle. The price is 600 yen. It is the most popular ramen in Takayasu. Although It is a very simple ramen, its taste is impressive.I t has a mild and smooth soup. The taste is like the Samgyetang, but it has a thick Tonkotsu soup. The noodles are straight. There are tender Char-siu slices of pork atop the ramen. These Chinese noodles are very filling, so you can get full only with this ramen!

Chinese noodle

The second kind is Suji ramen. Suji is beef gristle in English. The price is 750 yen. The ramen has many tender and melting pieces of beef gristle. Its ingredients are the same as Chinese noodle. The third type of ramen is Spring Chicken. It features a big piece of chicken! The taste is spicy because the seasoning is curry. The coating is crispy and chicken is juicy.

Suji-ramen

Ramen is popular all over the world nowadays. Ichijoji is a famous area for ramen and each shop features its own style of ramen. In fact, there are a lot of other shops than the ones written about here. Ichijoji is an attractive area. Therefore, we want you to go Ichijoji and find your favorite ramen.

ACCESS:

By bus: use bus number 3. It takes about 40 minutes from Kyoto University of Foreign Studies and the fare is 230 JPY. Continue on foot for about 10 minutes to reach the ramen area

Yojiya

Yojiya Kyoto Kids Project is a company that was born in Kyoto and is one of the representative companies of Japan. Yojiya has lived with Kyoto Make Up that is flamboyant and elegant. Yojiya is one of the few cosmetic companies that have protected “sense of beauty of Kyoto” as a successor. We have doubts about why Yojiya is so popular and they can stay in business for over one hundred years. We look into about Yojiya to find answers about these questions. We are going to describe on these three points; history, production and café.

History

Yojiya started with the name of Kunieda Store in 1904. It’s peddled makeup kits for theatrical performers since Kyoto is famous for its traditional entertainment districts and performing arts like Kabuki and makeup kits are needed because of them. Then it started to produce toothbrushes as modern dental hygiene developed. At that time a toothbrush was called “Yo-ji” so Kunieda Store was popular with the name of Yojiya and it changed its store name to Yojiya. In 1920s, oil blotting paper received favorable reviews. It has been a star product of Yojiya and helped Yojiya to be famous across the whole country. The first Yojiya’s logo was drawn by Nobuo Kunieda, the second president, with clown motifs in 1945 and Yojiya started to do business with other companies but in those days make-to-order manufacturing was standard as Yojiya’s business. However, Nobuo Kunieda designed a new logo of a hand mirror, an essential item for a lady’s appearance, with a beautiful Kyoto lady. This logo of a beautiful Kyoto lady has spread as the face of Yojiya.

The origimal logo
The current logo

The current president, Yasuhiro Kunieda, established a development section for online shopping, expanding abroad, and so on but this change built Yojiya brand. Now Yojiya has some shops outside Japan in places like in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Hawaii. Since 2000, Yojiya started a new project, called “The 2000s Project,” and tried new makeup products, café, and beauty salon expanding its business flexibility. This is the chronological table of Yojiya.

・2000: The first duty-free shop at Kansai Airport opened This shop begun with small corner but now there are some duty-free shop in Haneda Airport and Narita Airport.

・2001: The basic cosmetic, Uruoi-plus, was produced In 2000, Yojiya distributed samples in Tokyo. It was in great success and then Uruoi-plus went on be sold from 2001

・2002: Yojiya makeup kits started on sale Although Yojiya makeup tools had been popular among the traditional entertainment districts and performing arts, to pass down the traditional makeup kits culture to the future, this project came true.

・2003: Yojiya Café opened nearby Ginkakuji Temple The café has opened so that customers can wait there when the Yojiya Store is crowded. It is based on Japanese Omotenashi mind.

・2004: The first Yojiya shop in a department store opened  

・2006: Yojiya joined Taiwan International Travel Event Yojiya appealed to Taiwanese with the star product, oil blotting paper.

・2007: Joined JAPANESE EXPO in Paris, France It was held for 5 months for a limited period.

・2008: Renovated the second floor of Gion Yojiya Store as a cosmetic floor.

・2009: Joined CIDESCO world conference in Kyoto Yojiya gave a presentation saying oil blotting paper is the only daily beauty salon and displayed and sold it. It was a chance to tell not only the Japanese culture and the sense of beauty also oil blotting paper was getting to be popular as skin care item not just for makeup freshening.

・2010: The logos for Yojiya café and Yojiya cosmetics were designed

・2012: The first Yojiya beauty shop and café opened in Tokyo

・2014: Joined The Pacific SOGO in Taiwan for a limited period It led to approach the Asian market.

・2016: Joined Japanese Style Faire in Thailand

Production

Yojiya consciously selected their production. They give first priority to gentle on the skin and have an earnest heart of craftmanship that is committed to maining quality in all of their ingredients. They take good care that their products are comfortable to use since they are to be used every day. Therefore, they consider about sensitive skin and only use low simulation natural materials. In addition, they use the term “brushing on lipstick” not “putting on lipsticks” because it makes women feel a polite mood such as taking time for beauty. The behavior is very feminine and shows attractive “Kyoto Make Up” has had a long history.

It is not too much to say that the representative blotting papers of Japan is made by Yojiya. The initial blotting paper was 4 times as large as the current one, but it has been improved to same size with the palm of a hand and it is popular. It has many varieties such as cherry blossom for the spring version, maccha for the summer version, and yuzu for the autumn version.

Nowadays, cosmetics that complement Japanese traditional colors have been created. The brightly-colored makeup that was used in previous eras is an attractive and have a quaint atmosphere. Their products are not only for women, but they have a skin care line for men such as facial sheet, cleaning foam and skin lotion. Other than those, they have some kinds of cologne, especially solid perfume which comes in small container. The Yojiya fragrance line includes peach’s classy sweet, lily of the valley’s elegant floral and mild musk’s odor. Yojiya fragrances use all-natural materials except for aroma. Their products are also alcohol-free.

Moreover, cookie that is delicious and good for their skin was released. Barley has plenty of dietary fiber is included in sable and helps promoting the activity of the gut and makes enteral environment be normal. If it is abnormal, it causes skin problems such as rough skin and acne skin. Hence, improving gut environment has a potential for skin condition’s advancement.

Tourists who visit Kyoto can enjoy shopping Yojiya as a souvenir or traditional item of Kyoto. All of these products can be ordered on the internet, so customers who live in far from Yojiya’s stores can also enjoy the products.

Café

Yojiya is one of the biggest Japanese cosmetic company. Yojiya is famous for its cosmetic products, but actually they run cafes too and these are very popular too among especially tourists and young people. Young people want something of photogenic because it is good for Instagram. Yojiya’s café matches their needs.

There are several Yojiya cafes in Kyoto city. You can enjoy Japanese sweets in there. Those sweets are not only delicious, but Yojiya’s logo is printed on their goods, so you can enjoy seeing it. The most popular menu is Yojiya cappuccino. A Japanese woman, in Yojiya’s logo is drawn on the surface. Just like latte art. Some people hesitate to drink it because of the high quality of the drawing. There are other flavors available, including matcha. Sometimes matcha is used as a seasoning in Japan. Especially people use it for sweets and drink. Matcha has been used by Japanese people since the olden days. It can be said to be a traditional seasoning. How about trying matcha?

Yojiya café serves the sweets with seasonal fruits. If you have a favorite fruit, it’s better search before you visit. All foods are delicious. Don’t worry about finding something you like. You can take the light meal at the café. Why not have lunch at Yojiya café. The Yojiya’ café’s location is nice. One of Yojiya cafes is next to Ginkaku-ji temple. It’s a very scenic sight and it was registered as a cultural site of world heritage. Another Yojiya café is in Arashiyama, and here you can feel nature. Arashiyama is famous for bamboo forest and bridge over the big river. And surrounded the mountains. You can enjoy meal with nature. There are some Yojiya cafés in Kyoto apart from these, but all Yojiya cafés have good access from Kyoto station. You can drop by there during a tour of Kyoto. And the goods of Yojiya are available at the cafe. Many unique items are selling. For example, T-shirt the Yojiya’s logo is printed, Matcha flavored chocolate and plates and teacups used at the Yojiya café. These are suitable for souvenirs.

Conclusion

Yojiya company was born in Kyoto and improved with history of over one hundred years in Kyoto is definitely representative of Kyoto and Japan. They consider it is common sense to prioritize natural materials that are also gentle on the skin and cherish intangible values. They do not sell items except for truly good quality. They try to keep making products carefully that Yojiya is the only one that can make by taking time and effort. What they are aiming at is the true beauty of a woman which was made from “sense of beauty in Kyoto”. Lastly, what made Yojiya popular and trustworthy is considered behavior of manufacturing have no qualms about taking time and keep going passionately over one hundred years.

Toji Temple Market and Overseas Stuff

by Kyosuke Maruyama, Shunpei Sakoda, Shiho Koutoku

Kyoto

There is a lot of culture and history in Kyoto. For example, macha, maiko and yatsuhashi are popular culture. Kiyomizu temple and Kinkaku temple are known as favorite historical places in Kyoto. In recent years, many foreigners come to Japan from a lot of countries. So Kyoto is becoming a sightseeing destination for tourists to experience another culture. 

Toji temple

Do you know Toji temple? Toji temple was built in the year 796 by the emperor Kanmu. later, The emperor Saga gave it to Kukai, who was the high priest. He founded the Shingon sect of Buddhism. This temple has been poplar since then. Now a lot of visitors come to this temple to honor Kukai. 

Toji temple

Toji Temple Market

Toji Temple Market is held on the 21st of every month at Toji temple. It is called Toji temple market or Koubou sama. Koubou sama is another reference to the founder, Kukai. Kyoto people love Kukai and Toji temple. So 20,000 people come to this festival every month. In particular, more people come to this market in year-end and New Year holidays. In Japan, festival doesn’t mean only an event or party. Many shops gathered in one place is also a called a festival. It is called ennichi too in Japanese. 

Ennichi means special day. En means relationship and nichi means day. And 21st day is the day of Koukai’s death. So Kyoto people believed that Koukai is in the temple on the 21st day.

This kind of temple market or ennichi is often held in shrines and temples in Japan.

There are about one thousand two hundred shops at the market in Toji temple. 

Three months ago, I went to Toji temple market with my friends for the first time. I was so surprised. Because about half of people is foreign country people. They look at a lot of stuff. They can buy Kyoto curios, textiles and figures. Of course, they can buy food and drink there. There is a lot of food and drink shop which sell regional food and local beer. I think they will be able to be here for half a day. 

Then, I looked at one shop. This shop seemed unnatural for me. I came into this shop. There are a lot of felt dolls and clothing. I had never seen this kind of stuff in Kyoto. It was Nepal stuff. I had thought the sellers had to sell only Kyoto stuff. But this was different. After I talked a little to the seller,  I sought out shops which were selling overseas stuff. Then I can found several such shops in this festival. For instance, wine shop, doll shop and curiosity shop without Japanese stuff. In particular, wine shop gathered a lot of people. This shop held free wine festival. I heard that sellers selling overseas stuff is increasing here. Because I was interested in this process and the seller, I wanted to interview him to find out more about his experience.

He is a 39- year-old Japanese man. He organizes a lot of companies and jobs. When he was 22 years old, he first went to Nepal. He was impressed deeply by Nepal. He thought he wanted to do something for Nepal. But he had to seek good tools and methods to earn money. Then he heard by chance that buttons which are made in Nepal is so rare and expensive. He went to a factory by using his relationship with a friend in Nepal. Because of this visit to the factory, he was able to start a business. These buttons were so beautiful. He decided to sell these buttons. These buttons have been made for over one hundred years. From there, he went to other companies and shops. He made connections to stock cheaply. 

When he started this business, he was unsure of what place he could sell. So he began selling at a lot of festivals. There is many historical place in Kyoto. So various festival every month. There is a theme of festival per this place. So he tried to sell a lot of festival in Kyoto. And he decided to sell in Toji temple market. But most shops there were about Kyoto. This festival is just in Kyoto. However, there is no required theme. So he can sell his Nepal stuff here. He pays ¥5000 rental fee to Toji Temple every time he comes to the market. Why did he choose Toji temple? He said Toji history is so deep. So this traditional event will not decline or disappear in the future. The kindness of Kyoto people was another important reason. Of course, there is power balance. Veteran vendors who sell every month can get a good location within the market, which is critical to making sales and attracting customers. 

He can earn up to five hundred thousand yen per day at the Toji Temple Market. He thinks it is such a good place. In the future, goods and sellers from other countries may increase. He may face a struggle to continue his business in the future. 

He comes and goes between Japan and Nepal every month to looking for goods to sell, and brining them to his Toji temple market stall. He buys and sells in a lot of places and has a variety of goods, for instance, vegetables, dolls, antique coins and coffee. He usually seeks a possibility of job all over the place. He said it is important to seek small awareness in all places and keep facing challenges every time. 

Toji temple market will be changing. But I think it is not bad thing. A lot of culture comes to Kyoto. Possibilities will be increasing too. The Nepalese buttons he sells are used by Ralph Lauren in the Paris correction. 

Maybe, Kukai smiles above from the sky.

Access

Address Toji temple (Kyoougokokuji temple)

        601-8473

        1 banchi Kujo-machi Minami-ku Kyoto-shi

        Tell  075-691-3325 / Fax 075-662-0250

15 minutes from Kyoto station Hachijoguchi by walking

10 minutes from Toji station by walking

Please get off on Omiya station and change to bus (18, 71, 207 line)

 To Toji temple higashi mon-mae

Homepage  https://toji.or.jp/


The Relation between Kyo-nigyo and Bisque Doll

by Rio Yamada and Hazuki Yamagata

There are a wide varriety of dolls in the world. Japan has a varety of dolls, sometimes being called a “doll’s warehouse.” Dolls have been made in Western Europe as a tool to use for various purposes. In this article, we will introduce Kyo-ningyo (“Kyo” means “Kyoto“, “ningyo” means “a doll”) made in Kyoto, and “bisque doll” that has been popular around Europe.

What is Kyo-ningyo?

Kyo-ningyo is the high-class Japanese-style dolls that have been developed around Kyoto from a long time ago. Kyo-ningyo is made through subdivided production processes by craftsmen. This highly specialized production system brings the depth and quality unique to Kyo-ningyo. Kyo-ningyo was used as a distraction for forces of epidemic and disaster that are called “katashiro” (=形代), and “hitogata” (=人形).

The orign of Kyo-ningyo back to “dogu” (=土偶) which is human clay figure in the Jomon Period (c. 14,000 B.C – 300 B.C), and “haniwa” (=埴輪) which is a clay figure shaped like men, women, animals especially horses in the Kofun Period (c. 250 – 538). There were all used as a subject for faith and magic. Even now, the custom has been passed down in some areas that a “Nagashibina” that transfers human’s sins and misfortune to hitogata is placed in the river to keep off evil. This hitogata guradually turned into a girl’s plaything. During the Heian Period (794 – 1192), it was popular as a toy among himegimi (=姫君 means “princess”). It was mainly developed in Kyoto even in the Edo Period (1603 – 1867). Kyoto’s long history and sophisticated traditional handcrafts have supported the high quarity of Kyo-ningyo.

Dogu
Haniwa shaped like human
Haniwa shaped like horse

There are many kinds of Kyo-ningyo. Next is introduction of some kinds of Kyo-ningyo.

  • Hina-ningyo (=雛人形): A costume doll which is displayed during Hinamatsuri (=雛祭り “Doll’s Festival” in English) on March 3rd. Hinamatsuri is a traditional Japanese event to pray for young girls to grow up healthily, and their happiness.
  • Gogatsu-ningyo (=五月人形): Essential doll for Kodomo-no-hi (=こどもの日 “Children’s Day” in English) on May 5th. On this day, people cerebrate children’s healthy growth and their happines. Originally called Tango-no-sekku (=端午の節句), or “Boy’s Festival.” During this event, people cerebrated boy’s healthy, and thier happiness.
  • Gosho-ningyo (=御所人形): Displayed for various celebrations. Mainly these are shaped three heads tall, naked child dolls. This doll has a chubby body, and sleek skin.
  • Ichimatsu-ningyo (=市松人形): A costume doll shaped like a child. Also called “yamato-ningyo” (=やまと人形). It has different figures for a boy and a girl. The boy doll is dressed in haori (=羽織) and hakama (=袴) which is Japanese  male formal attire. The girl doll is generally dressed in furisode (=振袖) which is a long-sleeved kimono with bobbed hair.
  • Fuzoku-ningyo (=風俗人形): A costume doll which is also popular as well as hina-ningyo. Mainly it is put in the case, and displayed as an ornamental.
Hina-ningyo
Gogatsu-ningyo
Ichimatsu-ningyo

What is Bisque Doll?

Bisque Doll

Bisque Doll” was in fashion among lady and young lady who were the bourgeoisie in the 19th century. Over 100 yaers later, now it is an “antique doll.” It is also called “china doll” because it is made of chinaware. Between the 14th century and the 18th century, many lady dolls which were dress-up dolls were made. The now-loved bisque doll was born inspired by “Ichimatsu-ningyo” that was exhibited at Paris Exposition in 1855.

The word “bisque” of bisque doll comes from French word “biscuit” the same word as biscuit, which is a snack. As the name suggests (“bis” means twice, “cuit” means bake), it is made of unglazed ceramic that is baked twice.  Its skin is not only smooth and clear, but also attractive in that its rosy texture looks like human skin. The practical bisque dolls that can move their body freely, were developed to use as toys for children.

As mentioned before, a bisque doll can move its body. Next is introsuction of some body parts of bisque doll.

Head

  • shoulder head: It is combined head and chest like a bust. It is common in initial bisque dolls.
  • turn head: It is a kind of a “shoulder head“, but its neck is fixed in state facing the right.
  • open mouth: Some dolls have a mouth that is open. Some have teeth, and some have a red paper to make the inside of doll’s head invisible.
  • closed mouth: Some dolls have a mouth that is closed. Usally this is more expensive than open mouthed doll.
  • swivel neck: These dolls have a neck that can move. The tip of neck is thin. It is attached to “composition body.”
  • flange neck: It is an open neck that fasten to a “cross body.” Its tip of neck is splayed like a vase. This style is common in a baby doll.

Eyes

  • set eye: These eyes are made of plaster in a fixed position.
  • sleep eye: A doll with a weight on both eyelids so that they can move.

Body

  • kid body: A body that is made of goat skin, attached to a china “shoulder head.”
  • composition body: It is very strong because it is made of many flat papers that are pressed together.

Bisque dolls are made by these parts of the body put together.

Lastly

These dolls have been loved not only thier home countries, but also internationally. As time passed, thier utility and purpose has been changing, but dolls have always been by our side, and we have lived together. As children get older, they have less time to spend with dolls, and distance themselves from dolls. We hope that people who read this article will have a little interest in dolls.

The Differences between Oiran and Maiko

by Ryusei Asamoto

Kyoto is known as the typical ancient Japanese city. There are many unique buildings and cultural things like temples, shrines and the way of building houses. Especially, you know about Maiko (Geisha) maybe. It is very popular in Japan as you know. You can not only take pictures with them but also dress up like them in Kyoto. However, do you know about Oiran? A lot of people think there’s no differences between Oiran and Maiko (Geisha). Let me tell you about it. First, let’s take a look at Oiran.

The Origin of Oiran

In the Edo period (1603~1868), the Tokugawa government approved Yukaku (licensed prostitution area) to make men obey easily and allow them to refresh themselves. At that time, regulations of Tokugawa government were strict, so citizens often revolted. Since then, a lot of Yukaku opened in all around Japan.  There were many brothels of girls in Yukaku. The men could choose a girl from these brothels. The girls who worked there were prostitutes, called Asobime. Asobime had to make money to live because of their poverty.

In addition, there were ranks in Asobime. If the girl who the man chose had the lowest rank, her fee was relatively cheap. Obviously, the expensive brothels had girls who were more desirable, younger, more educated or prettier. The best Asobime was called Oiran.

The Duties of Oiran

What did Oiran have to do in the first place? Was it just hooking up with a customer? Drinking alcohol with him? The answer is “Yes”. Maybe, their job is harder than you think. As stated above, they had to drink alcohol and hook up with him. They had to act his wife, in other words. This is first difference between and Maiko (Geisha). Maiko didn’t need to sell sexual favors. What Maiko had to do is dancing or playing music instruments. Of course, but Oiran could dance and play music instruments too. Also, Oiran also accepted their clients as lovers as well as performing for them as entertainers.

In addition, Oiran had to spend the night with unspecified large number of men, they could be exposed to venereal disease always. If an Oiran got a disease, it meant she couldn’t continue to work as an Oiran. On the other hand, Maiko (Geisha) didn’t need to worry about venereal disease.

Maiko didn’t take time for guests who weren’t introduced by clients or through other social networks, but Oiran didn’t have such protection. It was important for Oiran to be available if a guest wanted to be looked after. In contrast to Oiran, who might receive a stranger as a customer, the guest needed an introduction by someone who had been to the Maiko’s shop in order to become a customer of the Maiko.

Oiran in the Present Day

In 1957, 4/1, the anti-prostitution law was released, so the traditional Oiran officially ceased to exist. However, you can see Oiran, which are close to real ones of old times in Toei Kyoto Studio Park. It reconstructs the shop which Oiran worked. If you are interested in Oiran, please visit there. You can see cultural things like Oiran’s clothes and pictures there.

↑Toei Kyoto Studio Park

Teamlab in Shimogamo Shrine

By Akari Higashino & Natsumi Nishimura

There are many shrines in Kyoto. One of the most famous shrines is Shimogamo Shrine. We will introduce you to a special event there that you can definitely enjoy.

Simogamo Shrine

It is officially called “Kamomioya Shrine”. Kyoto is built around the Kamogawa River. It is called “Shimogamo Shrine” because it is a shrine that sits on the Kamogawa River. Both the east and west main shrines are designated as national treasures. Shimogamo Shrine is very old and there is a record that the shrine was renovated in 90 B.C. and there is a theory that it was there before that. Excavations have revealed a lot of earthenware from the Jomon Period (14,000 – 1000 B.C.) and the remains of residences from the Yayoi Period (1000 B. C. – 300 A.D.) In addition, festivals, shrines, dedications and sacred treasures are recorded in the biography and history books. In 698 of “Shokunihongi”, there is an article that an order was issued to guard the shrine because there were many spectators gathered at the festival. From this, we can see that this shrine had a big and a grand festival held before the Nara Period (710 – 794).

The Highlights of the Shrine

Walk! Walk!

There are some highlights of shrine precinct. First, the Aioinoyashiro has the god of marriage. Aioinoyashiro is part of Shimogamo. It is said that Aioinoyashiro is the place where you can get love power. The sacred tree is there. This tree is actually two branches tied together in the middle, so this is said to be giving us godlike power. The procedure for worship is easy for us. At the first, you write your wishes on the Ema, which is a board for that purpose. Second, you go to in front of Aoinoyashiro, and if you are female, you go around twice toward the right. However, a man goes around toward the left. Final, you dedicate your Ema. Your love will go well. The second highlight is Kawai Shrine in the Shimogamo Shrine. Kawai shrine is dedicated to the god of beauty. The procedure for worship is to make up your cosmetics on an Ema shaped hand mirror. You can draw your favorite face, so you will enjoy drawing, and you will be beautiful.

Summer Event

Spheres
Forest

Shimogamo Shrine has a special event in summer. This event’s name is “Digitized Forest at the World Heritage Site of Shimogamo Shrine –Art by TeamLab- “. TeamLab is an organization that conducts an art project. The Digitized Forest means a forest remains a forest and become an art. This is the concept of event. Teamlab event in Shimogamo Shrine has been held since 2017. There are some artworks displayed at this event. First art is “Walk, Walk, Walk – Tadasu Forest at Shimogamo Shrine. This is like a projection mapping, and portrait people keep walking along the river in the forest. The characters of a work keep walking endlessly and facing various events. The visitors also follow them. This work is drawn in real time by a computer program. We can’t see the same portraits of people, images are forever changing. Second, “Floating, Resonating Spheres- Shimogamo Shrine.” This art features many bright floating spheres. These spheres change as if breathing and ring a beautiful sound. These seem to be breathing slowly. The spheres are touched by people, and they change color with the light and make a special sound. Third, “Resonating Forest and Autonomous Resonating Life-Tadasu Forest at Shimogamo Shrine”. This is a work of many ovoids and trees lighting on the road. The ovoids are pushed by people, and change color. Fourth, Autonomous Resonating Life on the Water –Mitarashi Pond at Shimogamo Shrine. This work is spheres floating on the surface of the water. The light reflected from the water’s surface is very beautiful. Finally, “Forest of Autonomous Resonating Life”. This work is a space filled with ovoids. People will surely be more conscious of their existence than usual from encountering these ovoids. All of them are wonderful works. This event will be enjoyable, regardless of age or sex. You should visit there once a year. Let’s have a fantastic time!

Conclusion

Shimogamo Shrine is a traditional and very famous shrine in Kyoto. In addition, there is special event which is such a fascinating event in summer. Of course, you can enjoy it anytime, but if you attend the event, you can enjoy it more. You should visit Simogamo Shrine if you go to Kyoto.

Access

From Kyoto Station to Shimogamo Shrine-mae (or Aioinomori) by city bus. It takes about 30 minutes. 59 Izumikawacho, Shimogamo, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, 606-0807 No regular holiday The opening hours 6:30 a.m. to 17:00 p.m.