About Michael Lambe

This picture by Stewart Wachs

I am a teacher, originally from Middlesbrough, in the U.K. I moved to Japan in 1997 and over the last sixteen years I have lived, worked and (sometimes) studied in Fukushima, Saitama, Tokyo and Kyoto. I moved to Kyoto nine years ago for the simple reason that I love it. Now I work in a 135 year old high school, where I teach English with somewhat haphazard results. The job is full-time, but I still have enough time to indulge myself in my key interests: eating good food, drinking tasty beverages, listening to good tunes and having a grand old chat. I like to practice speaking Japanese as much as possible, so I tend to go where other foreigners are less likely to be… And this is why I know a little of the “Deep Kyoto” that many other foreign visitors may sadly never see. If you are interested in venturing a little deeper into the Japanese community, then I’d like to share that knowledge with you. In addition to Deep Kyoto you can also find me at the splendid sites below:

deepkyoto on twitterconstant updates on life in deep kyoto
deep kyoto on facebook –  for further interaction with deep kyotoites
michael lambea personal journal
flickr – photographs
youtubeassorted videos for your delectation and delight

In 2009 I became public relations representative for the fine magazine Kyoto Journal. You can find out more about Kyoto Journal here. Any queries about Deep Kyoto or Kyoto Journal should be addressed to me at my mail address here: m.0.luain.23[at]gmail.com
(The 0 is a zero and the [at] is an @ !)

Disclaimer: Please note that the author of this blog is not able to help those looking for work or accommodation in the city of Kyoto.
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18 Responses to About Michael Lambe

  1. Thanks for your writings good sir!

    We’ve used some if your info to help plan our venture back to Kyoto next week!

    Are you Vegetarian or Vegan yourself?


  2. Michael Lambe

    Glad to be of service. Personally, I eat fish but not meat.

  3. Hi Michael
    Love your blog! I visited Kyoto in the late 90’s and was totally blown away. I understood why it has been a spiritual centre – there is an amazing vibe there. I hope I get the chance to visit again.

  4. Michael Lambe

    Thanks Sue. Nice to hear from you. I hope you can make it back some time!

  5. Dear Mr Lambe,

    My name is Shachar and I head an international aid agency called IsraAID. We have been active in Tohoku since the earthquake in 2011. We are currently expanding our work to help evacuees around Japan and have started our first post trauma session program last week in Osaka. I read your article about the students in Kyoto who volunteered to help children from Fukushima and I would be most grateful if you might be willing to connect us to them.

    Please feel free to visit our FB page at http://www.facebook.com/israaid and learn more about our work in Japan.

    Sincerely yours,

    Shachar Zahavi

  6. Thank you for your message Shachar. I shall try to pass your message on.

    Best wishes


  7. jane ormonde

    wow michael. I think I have found a lot of helpful things here – right up our alley. One question, if that’s ok, we (husband and 20 year old daughter). Where do kyoto people go to stay for a few days to escape the Summer heat? (we will be in Kyoto region for the first two weeks of July) We love nature and spiritual places, rivers and the sea – quiet rather than commercial. Any suggestions for regions? anywhere within a couple of hours I guess…And I speak some japanese too…Thanks. Hope that’s not too much trouble.

  8. Dear Michael, I just found an old post of “ぼーぼーず (Booobooozz), two girls Y子 and K子, playing bass and accordion, with big hair and a rocking attitude” playing Iron Man. So fantastic! I’m visiting Kyoto 8-20 September 2013 (staying at Kyoto Seika University) and wondered if you knew of any similar/metal gigs on then? Or where I might start looking? Thank you for your very helpful blog!

  9. Michael Lambe

    Hi Sharon,

    Yes Booobooozz are fantastic, aren’t they? However, they seem to be on hiatus at present and I don’t really know of anything similar. You might try contacting the organizers of Head Bangers Death Night (an irregular metal event): https://www.facebook.com/pages/Headbangers-Death-Night/176381534484?fref=ts https://myspace.com/headbangersdeathnight
    Or take a look at the schedule for live house Socrates: http://sound-powder.com/index.html
    Alternatively maybe go to a rock bar like Chigaighouken and see if they know of anything or have any flyers that take your fancy.
    Best of luck!


  10. Hi, Michael – we will be returning to Kyoto at the end of October, for a month, and would love to continue exploring craft beer in the city. We’ve been to Tadg’s and loved it. I see your mention of Bungalow, and will head there. Can we buy you a beer when we’re there and hear your other recommendations?


  11. Michael Lambe

    Thank you for the kind offer of a beer Susan. However, I get a lot of invitations to meet from readers of this blog and simply cannot find time for all of them, and so regretfully will have to decline. I hope you have a good trip!


  12. Michael, THANK YOU for the time you’ve invested in this blog!

    I was thrilled to stumble upon Deep Kyoto & have learned a lot from your writings. Before moving here this past July, I knew nothing about Japan (oh wait, that’s hardly changed!)

    My husband is an English teacher and I work from home as a graphic designer. Coming from Seattle, I was spoiled with a plethora of laptop-friendly coffee shops that provided wifi and power outlets. Do you know of a similar setup where I could work in the Kyoto area? Coffee shops here, I’ve discovered, are for cake & chats–not hours of html & css. I know of Seattle’s Best coffee by the station, but that gets old quickly.

    Thank you again for your wonderful insights! We are excited to check out Tadg’s soon.


  13. I’m sorry Charissa as I’m not entirely sure, but I was under the impression that Starbucks have wi-fi and power outlets. And they are everywhere.

    – Michael

  14. Deep in the computer, planning nine days in an apartment in Tokyo in April, with an overnight in Kyoto; so refreshing to find your omnivorous and peripatetic blog.

    It’s evident from others’ comments that people find your entries of value. Please don’t stop!

    On hunch we made a booking with a new hotel near Sanjo Karawamachi. So much in your blog and elsewhere confirms my accidental cleverness.

    It seems from what you and others write that we should cruise up to the Sanjo bridge to see if we can chance upon impromptu entertainment on the Friday night we will be there, 11 April. Much enjoyed the Fujiya Mountain clips you uploaded the other day. Thanks.

    My partner, having trembling read your notes on vinyl shops, finally said to me that she would really have to limit her vinyl shopping to one shop, else miss Kyoto … maybe one suitcase, we shall see :-)

    We have found on the map the izakaya at the location of the Ikedaya Incident, on way from Kawaramachi to the Sanjo bridge. Maybe it’s going to be a place of disappointment, but perhaps we’ll be able to breathe in some interesting molecules of past skirmishers.

  15. Susan Pavloska

    Hi Michael- Speaking of vegetarian-friendly fare… Have you heard anything about why the 2 Falafel Gardens were closed?

  16. Susan Pavloska

    Never mind! I found their website. Apparently they are re-opening in a new location on Kawabata, near their original shop.

  17. Michael Lambe

    Hi Susan,

    What I heard was that the owner of the building that the original Falafel Garden was housed in had decided to demolish that and some of the other old buildings there after consulting with a tarot card reader. I kid you not.
    Anyway, the plan as I understood it was for Falafel Garden to move to a new location, near Imadegawa I believe, but I don’t know anything about when all this was due to happen and haven’t been up to Demachiyanagi recently to check it out. I didn’t know either that there was a second Falafel Garden – was that the Imadegawa location?


  18. Michael Lambe

    Link please!

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