Antonio Bruno


Toni is an Italian guy that, after several adventures trough Italy and Spain, is approached to Japan more or less a couple of years ago. Too many dreams to work in an office, after the degree and several years of attempts to be a "regular" employee, Toni left behind everything going to Spain first, where he is living for some years, and Japan after. Toni is married with a Japanese girl and together they decided to live in Kyoto, city that both felt in love with since the beginning.

His/Her background

After university of Pisa degree in computer science, Toni worked in one of the biggest software company of Italy for several years. But his nature was not done for that style of life, Toni needs to be in touch with people much more than with machines. Left the job, he moved to Spain where worked in the tourism area, and it was happiness. But life had still different plans, a day he met a Japanese girl and soon they felt in love each other. She started to teach the Japanese culture to him, up to decide to move to live in Japan. After a bit of traveling together for this amazing country both could not resist to the enchant of Kyoto, deciding to move to live there.

His/Her advice for you

Must-see :

That's a very difficult choice! Don't miss a visit to the Daikaku-ji temple in Arashiyama. It's one of the oldest temples of Kyoto, interesting as temple but especially for his village conformation. It gives you the feeling to live, for a moment, in the old japan as nowhere else.
After visit the Kiyomizu-dera, that I'm sure you will, don't miss to walk around in the neighborhood and to discover the magic atmosphere that is still so strongly alive there: it will catch you for sure! Get lost for the little and spectacular street of wooden old house, try some (often free) local cake offered by the several old shops, and drink a tea of sweet beans. Taste the feel of Kyoto and enjoy the warm hospitality of people.  

To bring back with you :

Kyoto is full of shops of antique, buy an old print that figures ancient Japanese life time or a art draw of Japanese people, or an old book written with old Japanese kanji. It's something that will remember you forever the deep history you was for a moment part of.

Things to do :

Resist to the temptation to try to see a much as you can. Japan is a country so amazing that you be wishing to come back again (and every season has a different enchant). Kyoto itself has so many magic corner, so many beautiful place to visit, so wonderful Japanese garden that would be a pity to try to see everything in few time taking the risk to run and not enjoying enough the pure beauty in front of you. Relax, take a day more, enlarge the time, if you can and breath the Japanese culture and history you feel from this city. It will leave in your heart a warm feeling of peace and beauty.

Words to Know :

The two words that I mostly listen are "kawaii" that means "cute" and "sumimasen" that means "excuse me/sorry". But my favorite is "kudasai" that even in English is just translated as “please” literally sounds like "please do this for me". It's a very polite word to ask something in the most gentle and educated mood, even if you are not properly able to speak Japanese. Useful sentence: “kore o kudasai” that means "please give me this". 

Dishes to Try :

Kyoto is in the Kansai region, so you cannot miss to eat at least once the Okonomiyaki. The meaning of the word is about "how you like grilled". In the world the Okonomiyaki are the known as the "Japanese pizza". There are several versions in japan, the Hiroshima and Osaka one are quite popular (and good), but I think the Kyoto version is particularly delicious because has a more deep and elegant taste, that is a characteristic of the style of the kitchen of Kyoto.

Traps to avoid :

Consider that the bus is generally the most exhaustive way to move into the city. But don't just pay for single runs on the bus, if you plan to use it often buy a daily ticket that is much more cheap, and if you plan to use sometimes instead buy the paper tickets at the automatic machine in the main station: you will get several with a discount of the 25% about.