Nicolas Le Bacquer


Nicolas is a hiker and a carpenter who lived in the Corsican mountains during his formative years. An adventurer at heart, he has travelled in most countries throughout Asia, often in regions which are off the beaten track, sleeping in the jungle, climbing mountains and volcanos.

His/Her background

It was his encounter with a Japanese girl in Indonesia which led to Nicolas coming to Japan in 2004. The birth of their two children, traditional Kyoto, woodwork techniques and nature in Japan all combined to convince him to settle there.
In 2006, he restored two old traditional Kyoto houses in order to transform them into guest houses.
After nearly five years in the former capital, he built a house out of Japanese cedar in the south of the Izu peninsula, where he lived with his family for several years, learning ever more about country life in Japan as well as the flora and fauna which could be found there.
Back in Kyoto, Nicolas will be delighted to help you explore nature in Japan and the temples which are hidden away in the north of the city, an area which is not visited so much by tourists.

His/Her advice for you

Must-see :

In Kyoto, there are, of course, the essentials: Kiyomizu-deraHeian JinguKinkaku-ji...
But in order to experience the gentle delight of these ancient places and harmony with nature, you will need to travel along the back roads, to travel along the edge of the forest which borders the city to the east, following the quiet lanes. You will need to explore the little temples, the walls of mossy stones, the groves which burst into music when the wind blows and, among this calm and stillness, listen to the Japanese bush warbler...

To bring back with you :

For DIY fans, the famous Japanese saw with interchangeable blades is on sale in DIY shops: a genuine wonder.
And for those who love crafts and history, the netsuke, small wooden sculptures which, attached to a piece of string, are used to hang objects from the belt (obi) of the kimono.

Things to do :

Take the forest road on the left of Ginkaku-ji (Silver pavilion) and climb (40 min) up the little Daimonji Mountain to have a picnic with a view over all of Kyoto.

Dishes to Try :

"Nishisoba": lightly candied mackerel fillet in a soba (buckwheat noodles) soup, a local speciality.

Traps to avoid :

Sushi restaurants with electronic screen ordering: noisy, charmless and not very practical.