Today is Deep Kyoto’s birthday! On June 8th 2007 I sat down and wrote in my very first blog post:
…there are many â€œBritish-styleâ€ pubs and Starbuckses aplenty if you need to retreat back to your comfort zone, and no blame to you if you do. But if you want to challenge yourself a bit further, dust off that phrasebook and encounter the average people who make up modern Kyoto, I might be able to help you. This blog is intended for foreign residents and tourists who would like to venture a little deeper into the Japanese community…
Back then the primary focus of the blog was on “cafes, bars and restaurants of character” and this is still a major emphasis today. But a simple glance at the category list (in the right central column) shows how much the scope of this blog has grown and evolved, and with it my own interests. Forming connections with People Together for Mt. Ogura (P.T.O.) I became more involved in local conservation. With the Hailstone Haiku Circle and Japan International Poetry Society I enhanced my life with poetry. Joining the volunteer staff of Kyoto Journal I joined a global community of people dedicated to good works. More recently with IDRO Japan I became involved in local fundraising efforts for disaster relief in Tohoku. And in the near future you can also expect me to be working more closely with the Kyoto Center for Community Collaboration who are working to preserve traditional machiya townhouses and machiya culture in this great city.
Little did I know in 2007 how many wonderful people I would meet, how my world would be expanded and how many new friends I would make thanks to this little blog. I would like to extend my profound thanks to guest contributors Ian Ropke, John Dougill and Keiji Minato and also to my friends Ted Taylor, Sean Roe, Mitsu Salmon, ryotaro, Stephen Gill and of course our resident princess, dear Mewby.
I should also extend thanks to our sponsors Tadg ofÂ Tadgâ€™s Irish Bar & Restaurant and Taga-san of Kyoto Cycling Tour Project (K.C.T.P.). Both Tadg and Taga-san love this fine city as much as I do and I count them as friends. When I started this blog in 2007, one of my aims was to support those small businesses that enhance our life in this city with their unique services and character. I am happy and proud that such businesses are in turn supporting Deep Kyoto today.
Deep Kyoto was never primarily a financial enterprise however, and nor should it be. I am simply following my bliss and along the way have discovered that a lot of people share my interests. It is thanks to your readership that I am able to promote the small businesses, charitable causes, local campaigns and all the wonderful people and places that make up this City of Dreams.* So thank you all for reading. It means a lot and I shall sup a toast in your honour later on this evening. As I wrote four years ago, Deep Kyoto remains ” my excuse to venture still deeper, meet more good people and find more good places. Iâ€™m looking forward to it.” And I do hope you will join me.
*Thanks to Tadg for that one.