58th Grand Antique Fair in Kyoto

From the Japan Times,


The 58th Grand Antique Fair in Kyoto will run from March 28 to 30, with more than 350 shops from all over Japan displaying and selling their wares.

Admission is free. The market will open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m. except on March 30, when it will close at 4 p.m.

The fair takes place in Kyoto Pulse Plaza, and a free shuttle bus will be provided from Takeda Station on the Kintetsu Kyoto Line and the Karasuma Line. Here is a MAP.

For further information, check www.kottouichi.jp/kyoto.htm (in Japanese) or call 077-522-2307077-522-2307.

Kyotographie: International Photography Festival 2014

“The KYOTOGRAPHIE International Photography Festival blossoms in Kyoto for its second year in April 2014…during the height of Kyotoʼs booming tourist season. The festival celebrates art and culture, bringing a distinct dimension to the historic city. KYOTOGRAPHIE creates opportunities and events that bring people together of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds. Situated in Kyotoʼs world-class atmosphere KYOTOGRAPHIE unites ancient history and contemporary art.”

Photo by Tim Flach

Photo by Tim Flach

This year’s Kyotographie photography fesitval runs for four weeks from April 19th to May 18th. Check the website to view the artists involved and the calendar of public programs!


Craft Beer Festa Kyoto 2014 – May 10th @ Sanjo Shopping Arcade

The flyer for this year’s Craft Beer Festa in Kyoto’s Sanjo Arcade has now been released!

Craft Beer Festa

Here are the details:
Date: Saturday 10th May 2014
Time: 14:00 ~ 20:00
Place: Sanjo Association Shopping Arcade centred on the Sanjo/Ōmiya Park


  • 10 minutes walk north of Hankyu Ōmiya Station
  • From JR Nijo Station’s east exit walk south to the first set of lights and then east for ten minutes.
  • Subway Nijojo-mae Station’s exit 3, walk south for 3 minutes.
  • Nearby bus stops are Shijo/Ōmiya (四条大宮), Senbon/Sanjo (千本三条), and Horikawa/Sanjo (堀川三条)

Here is a MAP.
For further details check the official website (Japanese): http://www.kyoto-beer.com/

Found via Japan Beer Times.

Kamo’s All You Can Eat Veggie Buffet

Now that Obanzai’s organic buffet is closing, it is good to know that there are alternatives. Kamo serves up all organic locally grown vegetables in all kinds of tasty combinations. They take pride in the fact their vegetables are 都野菜 or “Miyako vegetables” which means they are truly local. Apparently the famed label 京野菜 – “Kyo yasai” does not always guarantee that the veggies actually come from Kyoto! Mewby and I went there a couple of weeks ago for lunch and thought it was pretty good value. Here’s Mewby’s lunch:

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Here’s mine:

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As you can see there is plenty of variety. Here are the details:
Morning light meal buffet(7:00 ~ 10:00): ¥480 (includes a soft drink)
Lunch-time buffet (11:00 ~ 16:00): ¥880 (when full they have a one hour limit)
Dinner-time buffet (17:00 ~ 23:00): ¥1,300 (when full they have an 80 minute limit)
Limitless soft drinks: ¥300
All You Can Drink with alcohol: ¥950

IMG_7933v2Location: On the south-east corner of Higashinotoin and Ayanokouji. One block east of Karasuma and one block south of Shijo. Here is a MAP.
Check out also these 360 degree panoramic views of the interior: http://nasukamo.net/panorama.html
Website: http://nasukamo.net

First Impression – Daniel Kelly Exhibition at Hakuhou-Dou

Daniel Kelly’s exhibitions at Hakuhou-Dou have become an annual event!

daniel exhibition…And it seems only natural now, as the sakura blooms, that we celebrate the rites of spring at Daniel’s reception party. Here are the details!

First Impressions: April 1 – April 13 2014
Reception party Friday, April 4, 6:00 – 9:00pm
April 1 – 12, 11:00am – 7:00pm
April 13, 11:00am – 5:00pm
Closed Monday April 7

Hakuhou-doh is on the east side of Jingumichi, south of Niomon Dori. Here is a MAP.

Address: 〒606-8344
TEL: 075-771-9401075-771-9401
URL: http://blog.goo.ne.jp/hakuhou-doh
Opening: 11:00~19:00
Closed: Mondays

To find out more about Daniel Kelly’s life and art read my article here, or take a look at his spiffy website here.

Hafu the Film is Coming to Kyoto!

From Megumi Nishikura,

““Hafu” is the unfolding journey of discovery into the intricacies of mixed-race Japanese and their multicultural experience in modern day Japan. The film follows the lives of five “hafus”–the Japanese term for people who are half-Japanese–as they explore what it means to be multiracial and multicultural in a nation that once proudly proclaimed itself as the mono-ethnic nation. For some of these hafus Japan is the only home they know, for some living in Japan is an entirely new experience, and others are caught somewhere between two different worlds.”

HAFU_poster_smallHafu the film will receive its theatrical release in Kyoto from March 29th to April 4th.
Showings are at 8:45pm each day at the Kyoto Miniami Kaikan Cinema (京都みなみ会館)
Address: Nishikujō Higashihieijōchō Minami-ku, Kyōto-shi (京都市南区西九条東比永城町7979)
Location: South from Kyoto Station, on the south side of Kujo Street, a short walk west of Kintetsu Tōji Station.
Click here for the SCHEDULE.
Click here for a MAP.

“According to the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, one in forty-nine babies born in Japan today are born into families with one non-Japanese parent. This newly emerging minority in Japan is under-documented and under-explored in both literature and media. The feature-length HD documentary film, “Hafu – the mixed-race experience in Japan” seeks to open this increasingly important dialogue. The film explores race, diversity, multiculturalism, nationality, and identity within the mixed-race community of Japan. And through this exploration, it seeks to answer the following questions: What does it mean to be hafu?; What does it mean to be Japanese?; and ultimately, What does all of this mean for Japan?”

See also: http://hafufilm.com

Jazz Band Fujiya Mountain @ 和音堂

Walking up the Kamo river one day, we saw a lively jazz band playing under the Sanjo bridge that were so good we decided cross over and have a look.
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They were young, fun and funky, so we picked up a flyer for their next gig, which happened to be on the following day. The location 和音堂 (WA・ON・DO) was convenient and the price was only 1000 (+ another 500 for a drink) and let’s face it, you can’t see many jazz bands at that price. So we decided to go.
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和音堂 is pretty cramped inside so it was hard to get a full band picture, but Mewby took the panorama shot above with her i-phone. If it looks a little weird that’s because they were jigging about to the music. It was good music! Here try some!

They also had a support band, Cocopelie, playing Irish music. I didn’t recognize them at first but I have seen some of these musicians playing at Irish pub Gnome in the past…

For one song Tomoko Sato from Cocopelie and Fujiya Mountain played together:

A great night! This band are a lot of fun and jazz at that price is such great value. We felt like we had made a wonderful new musical discovery! Fujiya Mountain play a regular monthly show at 和音堂 and next month they are playing with the support of “jazz-metal-comic-band” Dead Hot Chilli Peppers. We are definitely going to see them.

Here are the details:

IMG_7953 (Medium)Fujiya Mounatin @ 和音堂 Vol. 7
Date & Time: April 29th Open: 7:00pm Show: 7:30pm
Charge: 1000 yen (+ 500 yen per drink)
Guests: Dead Hot Chilli Peppers
Location: 和音堂 is just off Kawaramachi Street on the north side of 竜馬通り (one street south of Sanjo). Here is a map.

I will leave you with the band’s joyful rendition of “Stand By Me”.

See also Fujiya Mountain’s schedule on their website.
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A Special Appeal on Behalf of Weird Crime Theater

This has nothing to do with Kyoto, but for my erstwhile-brother-in-rock I’m happy to break the normal rules.
This is my old friend Kumar Sivasubramanian:


Kumar: Look at him brood.

Once upon a time, we were in a band together. Yes. I was in a band.
berettaThat’s me rocking out with the long hair. And that’s him rocking out behind the hair. Really. Continue reading

Even the hardest hearts will melt at the sight of Jonangu’s plum blossoms.

I think it is safe to say that the weeping plum blossoms at Jonangu Shrine were at their peak when we visited last Sunday.
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Jonangu lies to the south of Kyoto, about 15 minutes walk from Takeda Station, which can be reached on either the Kintetsu or Karasuma Subway lines. When a shrine was originally built here in Heian times the area around it would presumably have been open countryside and farmland, but today it is a sorry mix of grimy commuter housing and love hotels. All the more the gardens feel a haven of peace and tranquility when you arrive.
IMG_5103 (Medium) Continue reading

Introducing the Kyoto Bloggers Support Group for Information Exchange, Community & Collaboration

IMG_5015 (Medium)On Thursday 6th of March 18 Kyoto based bloggers got together for a casual meet-and greet style party at “The Public House” on Shichijo. This building (a Taisho era neo-classical style bank building dating from 1915) was formerly the home of a Second House pasta restaurant, but has recently become a pub with a nice atmosphere, tasty grub and an extensive beer menu. It was an excellent location for a party such as this and I think we may well return to it again.
The meeting itself was a good opportunity to meet new people and learn about their blogs and other activities. For a full list of attendees, please see below.

Now that the Kyoto Bloggers Group is established it is time to set out our aims:

We are a mutual support group for  bloggers writing in English who are based in Kyoto. Through our Google Group forum we can exchange information about technical aspects of blogging (useful plugins etc) or about methods of improving and extending the reach of our blogs. It is also a good opportunity to make new friends and create a sense of community. I am hoping that by bringing together so many writers, artists, photographers and other creative people we may well become a melting pot for all kinds of exciting new collaborations! Continue reading