Category Archives: Up-and-coming…

tRace elements – “Up & Down the Ki” – The 10th & Final Kiyamachi Tour

One night, ten bars, and a whole lot of foot-tapping tunes.

On Saturday  November 29th 2014, Max and Ryotaro will return to Kiyamachi as tRace elements for their tenth and final ten bar musical tour. Last year I followed the busking bravos from dusk till dawn and found myself caught up in a wonderful festive spirit of camaraderie and convivial good cheer. Join the tour at any spot on the following schedule and prepare yourself for some great music and magical memories:

17:45 ~ 18:15 Street Live (in front of school)

18:30~19:05 ING with HAKO (075-255-5087)

19:15~19:45 BAR【Lowo=Tar=Voga】075-251-2810

20:00~20:40 Tadg’s Gastro Pub 075-213-0214

21:00~21:40 Agave 075-254-7605

22:00~22:40 Jam House 075-351-9715

23:00~23:40 booze k 075-251-6763

24:00~24:40 UrBANGUILD 075-212-1125 with the Dodo Ensemble

25:00~25:40 八文字屋 (HACHIMONJIYA) 075-256-1731

26:00~26:40 Alphabet Ave. 075-251-0069 with YungTsubotaj

27:00~27:40 うさぎ(USAGI) 075-351-6093 with friends~

There’s no charge for entry to this event but please buy at least one drink in any of the bars you enter.

Video and Images from last year’s tour here: Kiyamachi Tour Highlights
A more detailed record of last year’s tour can be read in the ebook Deep Kyoto: Walks.

Media Coverage of the Fukushima Crisis – A Speech by Eric Johnston at Foodelica, Kyoto

Our good friend Eric Johnston will be speaking on media coverage of the Fukushima crisis at Cafe Foodelica on November 22nd (Saturday).Eric J

Eric will talk about how The Japan Times and foreign media covered the Fukushima crisis,  a bit about how they are covering it now, and how all that differs from Japanese media coverage.

DATE: November 22nd (Sat.)
TIME: 4:00-6:00 p.m.
LOCATION: Foodelica near Shugakuin station. Here is a MAP.
COST: 1,000 yen (includes one drink & a small sweet)
The speech will be in Japanese, but I’ll be using a bilingual PowerPoint for those who prefer English. Q&A will be in both languages.
Space is limited so anyone who plans to attend please RSVP Cafe Foodelica at (075) 703-5208.

Autumn Poetry Reading from Kyoto Journal at Be-Kyoto; November 16th

Here’s an up-coming event hosted by the good folks at Kyoto Journal.


An Autumn Reading
Sunday November 16th.
2pm~3:45pm at Be-Kyoto (
Entry: ¥500
RSVP: feedback[at]

Be-Kyoto is just west and north of the Imadegawa/Karasuma intersection.

About the Poets
MARGARET (MAGGIE) CHULA has been writing and teaching haiku, tanka, and haibun for more than thirty years. Her seven collections of poetry include: Grinding my ink; Shadow Lines (linked haibun with Rich Youmans); Always Filling, Always Full; This Moment; The Smell of Rust; What Remains: Japanese Americans in Internment Camps (with quilt artist Cathy Erickson) and Just This. Margaret serves as President of the Tanka Society of America. Having lived in Kyoto for twelve years, she now makes her home in Portland, Oregon, where she hikes, gardens, swims, and creates flower arrangements for every room of the house.

LINDA RUSSO ( is a creative-critical writer. Poetry works include Mirth (Chax Press), and picturing everything closer visible, an excerpt of a walk-in poem (Projective Industries); Meaning to Go to the Origin in Some Way (Shearsman Books) is forthcoming. Born in New York, she lives in the Columbia River Watershed and teaches at Washington State University.

GREGORY DUNNE is the author of the recently published critical memoir on Cid Corman: Quiet Accomplishment, Remembering Cid Corman (Ekstasis Editions, 2014). He is also the author of two collections of poetry: Home Test (Adastra Press, 2009) and Fistful of Lotus (2000). He lives in Japan and teaches in the Faculty of Comparative Culture at Miyazaki International College.

Christine Flint Sato’s Sumi Workbook & November Workshop

sumi workbook coverWell-known British sumi artist Christine Flint Sato has recently published a wonderfully accessible Sumi Workbook which presents a complete introductory course for anyone who would like to try their hands at the traditional sumi ink arts of calligraphy or brushed ink painting. Having studied these arts herself for over thirty years and taught workshops in both Japan and the UK, Christine has now come up with an innovative method of teaching and practice that stresses the meditative, experimental, and playful aspects of these arts. If you would like to enter into a new artistic venture and learn a little more about Japanese culture,  then this book could be the right entry point for you. I’ve read the book and can highly recommend it, but don’t take my word for it. Two opportunities are coming up to meet the lady in person!

If you would like to meet Christine, this coming Sunday (November 2nd), she will be at the International Exhibition of Art and Design being held in the annex of the Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. Her work will also be on display there, so if you have an interest in taking up the sumi arts this may inspire you. Christine will be there from 13:00 until 16:00. Here is a MAP to the location.

Christine will also be teaching a Sumi Arts Workshop in Nara on November 30th. The details are below… Take it away Christine!


Sumi Workshop Nov 30th 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

Come and enjoy working with sumi in a free and experimental way. We will begin the day with brush exercises to free up your body and mind, and then using dots, lines and shapes will work with gradations of sumi and wet and dry brushwork.
We will have the opportunity to try out the many sumi inks at Boku-undo Sumi Manufacturers during the workshop.

Date: Nov 30th 2014 11:00 – 4:00 (Please arrive by 10:45)
Meeting place : Boku-undo Sumi Manufacturers.
Please come to the Boku-undo shop inside Ganko Shopping Street , Nishinokyo
Here is a MAP.

Nearest Station: Nishinokyo on the Kintetsu Kashihara jingu line. At Kintetsu Yamato Saidaiji take the local train to Nishinokyo, it takes about 6 or 7 minutes.
Please bring: Shodo equipment: brush, felt, water container, paperweight
A packed lunch and drink
Warm clothes

Fee: 3,000 Yen. This includes fee for the room and for paper.

Please contact Christine if you would like to attend the workshop and if you have any questions.
See also her site at:

William Merrell Vories – A 50th Anniversary Memorial Tour in Ōmi Hachiman

vorie posterWilliam Merrell Vories was a brilliant and prolific architect who was active throughout the Kansai region in the early 20th century. He is said to have built up to 1600 buildings over a 35 year career, all while leading an active life as an educator, entrepreneur and Christian missionary. Many of the buildings he designed are still standing today, including quite a few in Kyoto. This month, the city of Ōmi Hachiman in Shiga, where Vories made his home, is commemorating the 50th anniversary of his passing with a series of special events. Last Saturday, Mewby and I visited Ōmi Hachiman to take a tour of some of the beautiful buildings that Vories built there. Until November 3rd, you can get a special “passport” for 1,500 yen that will give you access to all of the buildings on the tour, many of which are also exhibiting material related to his life. Passports and maps are both available at the tourist information center at Ōmi Hachiman station. You can also download the map as a PDF here: 市内マップ&展示案内. Even if you can’t go before November 3rd, you can still visit or view many of the buildings on the tour after the special exhibition is over, but I would give yourself a good day to walk around all the sites. I really enjoyed visiting this town and would very much like to learn more about this  extraordinary man.

Here are some pictures from our day.

Mewby meets W. M. Vories.

Mewby meets W. M. Vories.

Ikeda Machi Jūtakugai (池田町住宅街), the Western residential area of Ikeda town, is a cluster of homes designed by Vories very early in his career. He had a house here himself, but that has long gone and can be seen only in old photographs. Three fine buildings do still remain though. Continue reading

Kokoka Open Day Event at Kyoto International Community House

This Kokoka Open Day event on Monday November 3rd includes includes song and dance performances on the Global Stage, food and drink from many lands at the World Market and a rakugo performance from Diane Kichijitsu. Check the flyer below for more details.

Date and Time: Monday November 3rd 2014, 10:00 – 16:00
Location: Kyoto International Community House
〒606-8536 2-1 Torii-cho,Awataguchi, Sakyo-ku Kyoto.
TEL. 075-752-3511
Access: Five minutes walk from Keage Station on the Tozai line. Here is a MAP.


Thanks to Toshiyuki Nakano for sharing this information.

Autumn Antiquarian Book Fair 2014


Kyoto’s annual Autumn Antiquarian Book Fair starts Thursday Oct. 30th at Chion-ji Temple – just a stone’s throw away from the Hyakumanben intersection. Though the majority of the books available (about 200,000 in all) are Japanese, there are always some English books available, as well as art books and ukiyo-e prints etc. The grounds of the temple are also a very peaceful and pleasant location in which to browse for bargains.

Dates: Thursday October 30 – Monday November 3
Location: Chion-ji Temple
Time: 10 am to 5 pm
Access: Chion-ji Temple is on the north side of Imadegawa opposite Kyoto University. It’s a ten minutes walk east of Keihan Demachiyanagi Station, or 3 minutes from the Hyakumanben bus stop. (map)

This is one of three annual used book fairs held in Kyoto, the others being held in spring and summer. I have written about the summer sale here.

Nakagawa Non is the regular artist for the Book Fair flyers and I think you’ll agree that with her latest design (see above) she has done a lovely job. You can view more of her artwork at her site here:

Scottish Day in Kyoto – November 8th & 9th 2014

Thanks to Toshiyuki Nakano for letting me know about this upcoming celebration of Scottish culture. Though as it takes place over a weekend, perhaps they should have called it “Scottish Days”?

Lots of music, food and drink (in particular Black Isle organic beer) are promised. For a list of participating bars and eateries click here. You can also preview some of the musical acts on the event’s Facebook page.

Scottish Day in KYOTO

Saturday November 8th from 11:00 – 20:00
Sunday November 9th from 11:00 – 19:00
Food and drink sales will cease one hour prior to the event’s closing.

Place: Moto-Rissei Shogakko (元・立誠小学校グラウンド) on the west side of Kiyamachi, about mid-way between Shijo and Sanjo. Here is a MAP.

Drink tickets are for four drinks + a Black Isle Beer glass.
Tickets bought in advance:¥2,000 Tickets bought on the day: ¥2,500
Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased from participating establishments or via the event homepage or Facebook page.
Food should be bought separately.
Event Homepage:
Facebook page:

See also: Horie’s Bar

Irish Concert at Kurodani’s Eiun-in, with Niamh Ní Charra & Sean Whelan x Hatao & Nami

Irish music fans, of which there are more than a few in Kyoto, should take note. Irish musicians Niamh Ní Charra & Sean Whelan will be joining local duo, Hatao & Nami, for a show at Eiun-in on Sunday, November 9th. Details below!

Irish November Concert
Irish November Concert in 京都
~From Ireland & Japan, Two Duets~

Date: Sunday, November 9th 2014
Doors Open: 14:00
Show Starts: 14:30 Continue reading

REBELDOM 31st EDITION 〜尊芯塾 × DAM (from Palestine) @ Club Metro

This event at Club Metro on Thursday October 9th features the award-winning Slingshot Hip Hop film, a short discussion about current conditions in Gaza & the West Bank, and a rocking live performance by DAM, Palestine’s first and foremost hiphop group.
RebeldomDate: Thursday October 9th 2014
Part 1

19:00: Doors Open
19:30 Movie: Slingshot Hip Hop
21:00 -21:30: Discussion

Part 2
REBEL SOUNDS:DAM (from Palestine) / RITTO (from 琉球) / 志人 / STINKY SCIZA (BONG BROS.) / DR.HASEGAWA
/ DJ PLANT (尊芯塾)

Tickets for Part 1 OR Part 2: 2000 yen for advance tickets / 2500 yen on the door
Tickets for Part 1 AND Part 2: 3000 yen
All tickets include one drink.
Order advance tickets here: ticket[at]
Access: Club Metro sits beside the Kamo river on Kawabata Dori, below cafe etw and above Marutamachi Station. Take Exit 2 from the station to find it. Here is a map:
Check this page for details:

Rebeldom reverse