Clément Gougeon

Clément

Coming from the North of France, Clément decided to move to Kyoto two years ago, discovering the old Japanese capital riding his bike on its picturesque streets. Captured by its charms, Clément decided to settle there, to experience its daily life and study its rich history.

His/Her background

Graduated from a business school, he worked for 5 years in Paris in new technologies consulting. Then, his thirst for history and travelling -he lived in Peru and Hungary during his study- led him to the Land of the rising sun.

His/Her advice for you

Must-see :

"Myōshin-ji", a temple complex of Rinzai Zen Buddhism off the beaten tracks. A city inside the city, with nice cobbled streets threading their ways among many temples. Some of them can be visited, other are opened to people for meditation initiation. This rare jewel can be easily reached from Kyoto station in 10 minutes, on the way to Arashiyama.

To bring back with you :

Kiyumizu ceramic: potteries in Kyoto have been producing ceramic and porcelain products since the 17th century. This pottery includes tableware, utensils for Japanese tea ceremony, incense holders and ornaments. Most of the shops are located on the Gojo street, on the way to go to the famous Kiyomizu-dera temple. Do not miss the famous beginning August ceramic fair.

Things to do :

A bike ride along the Kamogawa river, up to Kamigamo Shinto shrine, one of the oldest in Kyoto. The river is a real wildlife sanctuary in the heart of Kyoto: herons, ducks or even tortoise live there. Flora is not outdone, with beautiful trees and flowers on the edge of the river, especially during spring with the famous cherry blossom.

Words to Know :

"Irasshaimase": meaning "welcome". This word is always used by shop or restaurant staff when a customer arrives. As a tourist, you will hear that expression much more than the usual and famous "konnitchiwa".

Dishes to Try :

Okonomiyaki, Kansai famous savoury salty pancake containing various ingredients to electrify your taste buds. "Okonomi" means "what you like": indeed, you can choose many different toppings, such as vegetables, fish, meat, shrimps, etc. And "yaki" means "grill": okonomiyaki is cooked on a hot plate, teppan, right before your eyes!

Traps to avoid :

To spend too much time in Tokyo, and too little in Kyoto…

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