Kyoto Al Fresco

Newsletter No. 14 - June 2014
Kibune : Terrasse in Kyoto  
 Terraces in Kyoto

When summer comes, so do the kawayuka, terraces on stilts, popping up on the banks of the Kamo River. The Kamo River is not only the "river of ducks," as its literal translation might indicate, but also that of terraces: as soon as warm weather arrives in May, these open air spaces flourish on stilts along the banks of this river.

Fireworks festival in Kyoto  

The Fire Flowers in the Capital

Hanabi, or "fire flowers," exploding in the sky, reflecting in the nighttime waters, under the gaze of a packed crowd.
Summer fireworks are an institution in Japan.

Tips for viewing fireworks in Kyoto

Lake Biwa, North of Kyoto  
Biwa, Kyoto's Oasis

Just a stone's throw from Kyoto is the largest lake in all of Japan. To best enjoy this getaway, it's best to get as far away from Kyoto, to the lake's northern shores.

More about Lake Biwa

Dressed for Summer
Fitting Yukata in Kyoto With an average summer temperature of 26° in Kyoto, yukata (light cotton kimono) are the ideal clothes to prevent sweating profusely while also strolling the streets dressed as a true Japanese.
Our opinion

+ Diverse style options

+ Walk through Kyoto in a yukata
Night time Noh: the Takigi Noh Festival in Kyoto
Takigi No in Kyoto Noh Theater is more subtle and mysterious when performed during the night at Heian-Jingu in Kyoto. In this ancient shrine, the theater stage is bathed in the light of torches. In this fantastic atmosphere, the audience holds their breath at the appearance of every actor, who come from the Kanze School, one of the most prestigious Noh schools in Japan...

Check out more 

Our opinion

+ Outdoor night time activity

+ A unique experience
The "Sea" of Kyoto
Kyoto Aquarium More modest than its cousins in Osaka and Miyajima, the Kyoto Aquarium is home to over 250 species and 15,000 specimens, from sharks to jellyfish. Take a journey to discover the underwater fauna of Japan.

For more information 

Our opinion

+ 15 minutes by foot from Kyoto Station

+ See the largest salamander in Japan
Hunting Fireflies
Fireflies hunting
Each year, the soft glow of fireflies in the night announces the coming of summer in Japan. This traditional night time activity, formerly appreciated by the Japanese bourgeoisie, continues in several cities around the country. In Kyoto, they flicker down the Path of Philosophy...

More about firefly 

Our opinion

+ Explore the nocturnal landscapes of the countryside

+ Discover an ancient custom
 Video: Mystic District in Kyoto
Video: District Yoshida In the north-east of Kyoto, the Yoshida district exudes serenity. Between the mountains and shrines, next to the Silver Pavilion, this neighborhood reveals the tranquil beauty of the ancient capital. Another face of the city, preserved from urban activity.

Check out YouTube video here 

Our opinion

+ Very close to the Philosopher's Path

+ Long walks under the trees
Cooking Class in Kyoto
Kyoto Cooking Class
For travelers who want to come away from Kyoto with a deeper knowledge of local cuisine, the newly opened Cooking Sun classroom is a fantastic opportunity. Work with real chefs and instructors fluent in English in an array of courses given throughout the day. Their traditional-style machiya location is easily accessible by public transportation. Visit their excellent English website for more details.

More about the cooking class 

Our opinion

+ Cooking class in English

+ Typical Japanese recipes
 The Sunrize Izumo overnight train
Izumo Sunrize with Japan Rail Pass The Sunrise Izumo is one of Japan's most famous overnight trains. This train takes you all the way from Tokyo to Izumo in Shimane Prefecture, by way of Okayama. Izumo is a well-known destination because it has the oldest and largest Shinto Shrine in all of Japan! 

How to ride this train with Japan Rail Pass 

Our opinion

+ Available with the Japan Rail Pass

+ A fun experience
 Half Bus, Half Boat
Skyduck Tour To explore Tokyo, you already know about buses and boats. The Sky Duck combines these two means of transport for an excursion on both land and sea.

More about Sky Duck 

Our opinion

+ A visit on land and on water

+ Tours start near Tokyo Sky Tree and Kameido
 Tokyo Voted the City with the "Best Experience" for Tourists
Best City in the world : Tokyo Tokyo has steadily been rising as the ultimate metropolis to visit, and a recent survey reveals its massive popularity.
Voted as the city with the nicest locals and cleanest streets, among other categories, travelers the world over are marking Tokyo as their top destination.

For more information 

Our opinion

+ An accessible travel destination for all

+ Tokyo is rising as it looks towards its Olympic future
 Brother of Bears
Bear tour with Oscar In August, Oscar offers a unique experience: following the traces of Japanese bears. With only four tours (the 23, 25, 28, and 30th of August), don't miss this rare opportunity to discover these majestic animals in their natural habitat.

For more information 

Our opinion

+Two-day mini tour

+ Unusual experience
 Live in the Heart of the Ancient Capital

Stay in Gion House : Kyoto

Gion, the historic district of Kyoto, retains many vestiges of its former grandeur. Among them are our traditional Gion houses. An ideal location to make the most of the area, here you will be neighbors with the maiko and geiko (Kyoto geisha) of the city. These homes will bring you closer to the best of the local customs.

Discover our houses in Gion

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