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Festive Kyoto – Day 5

Festive Kyoto – Day 5

Today was an unusual confluence of festival events, with the annual Aoi Matsuri and the Mifune Matsuri both falling on the same day.   Matsuri is basically the Japanese word for Festival and Kyoto’s festivals are some of the most elaborate in Japan, with spectacular costumes, floats, horses, drums, and more.   They’re not festivals in the sense of all day eating. carnival booths, fireworks, etc.   The festival activities are, like much of Japan, quite structured and predictable.  We took in both in a whirlwind day. Starting at promptly 10:30, the first...
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Steve Beimel’s Japan Living Arts

Steve Beimel, who works with some of us at Esprit Travel, has started a great new blog on insights into the arts in Japan, both traditional and contemporary. His blog focuses on his encounters with the living arts and creative people– craftsmen, chefs, artists, musicians, monks– of his adopted country. Regular posts will include ceramics, textiles, art, architecture, cuisine, sake, street fashion and much more. Join with Steve as he continues his exploration of Kyoto–the 1200-year old city that continually reveals itself to him — and the rest of...
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Gardens at Night

Gardens at Night

Kyoto is known for its gardens, which date back for centuries and create a foundation of silent wonder in this very busy city.   But what you may not know, is that during two seasons of the year (fall foliage and cherry blossoms), many of the gardens and temples are open late into the evening with gardens and buildings alight to show off the special seasonal transformation.  Each site’s schedule is different, so you’ll need to check with the garden before going.  However, some hotels (the Hyatt Regency Kyoto, for example), create a list of all the gardens with...