“Vision and Insight in Classic Japan”

The culture* of rice

  If I were to ask you what Japan produces, chances are you would say something along the lines of “cars, TVs, cellphones, video games”. And in our travels outside of Kyoto, we did see many factories that produced just those and more. But there was something else that dominated the landscape as far as the […]

What remains: Food

It has been only 3 days since I have been back yet my adventure in Kyoto feels like it occurred ages ago. In a state of severe jet lag, I find myself remembering everything I learned in the country I fell in love with. One of the many parts I loved was the food. This […]

In the Mountains Around Kyoto: Fushimi Inari Taisha

Now while anyone who knows a thing or two about tourism in Kyoto has probably heard more than enough about the Fushimi Inari shrine, after having visited this gorgeous, sprawling, mountain shrine myself I honestly think it deserves its fame. Since I was already interested in visiting Shinto shrines, loved hiking mountains and knew Fushimi […]

Gion Matsuri Festival

The Gion Matsuri Festival is an annual event that started out as a purification ritual to ward off sickness and has been going annually since the year 970. For the three days preceding the final parade, the main shopping district of Kyoto is blocked off to vehicles and is absolutely flooded with pedestrians. Stalls line […]

My experience in Japan

I always find that the most interesting thing about a country isn’t its large skyscrapers or its natural wonders; neither of which Japan lacks. What makes a trip worthwhile (in my opinion) is finding and marveling at the small differences in everyday life. Here are some of my observations, which may or may not only […]

Nijo-jo Castle

  Today, I visited Nijojo-mae, or Nijo-jo Castle. I was definitely happy that it wasn’t too far of a walk from my apartment–especially on a very hot and humid day like today. (I’m really beginning to appreciate that the Global Seminar was scheduled during June and July instead of August with its relentless heat). While at […]

Kinkakuji and Ginkakuji

 On Friday, I visited Kinkakuji, a famous site in Kyoto where the Golden Pavilion is located. The Golden Pavilion, with its exterior covered in gold leaf, overlooks a pond-garden, and its sunbeam reflection in the water is striking in the summertime. It is no wonder why so many tourists want to visit it–even on the Friday […]

Nihonga and Osaka

This past weekend, I had an fantastic time–from painting in the Japanese nihonga style to taking a trip to Osaka. On Friday, half of our global seminar visited the atelier of Professor van Tonder’s wife where we were able to see many of her nihonga works. She then led us in crafting our own nihonga paintings. […]

Toji Temple Flea Market

  The Toji Temple Flea Market is a truly authentic Kyoto antiques market on the grounds of Toji, a temple built in the 700s during the Heian Period. The flea market is only held once a month on the 21st, so we were encouraged by our professors to make the trip to Southern Kyoto to […]

Scouting Unit 38 Service Project

I was walking down Horikawa Street when I coincidentally met Mr. Oh-yabu and other members of Scout Unit 38 of Kyoto Scout Council. As an Eagle Scout myself, I recognized the Scouting uniforms that they were wearing, so I decided to stop and ask them about the community service project that they were doing. With water flowing around […]