Here’s Ian Ropke with some advice for beating the summer blues…
Nine tips for residents who are feeling a bit low or a bit homesick
For foreigners who find themselves in Kyoto and who are feeling lonely or homesick, here are a few simple things you can do to get through the day with a smile.
1. Try to get to know as many dogs as you can. When you can’t get human affection, you can always count on a dog! It’s also an easy way to meet people. If the dog likes you the owner will too. [Ed: Dog Cafe & Nest are two good spots for doggy encounters.]
2. For new experiences and chance encounters, go to one of the many cafes, bars or pubs listed on Deep Kyoto or try Kyoto International Community House.
3. Rent a funny video like Doctor Strangelove, A Day at the Opera (the Marx brothers), or Mr. Bean (seat belt recommended!). Tsutaya rental store has a lot of movies by the late Itami Juzo, all of them with subtitles. Try Marusa no Onna (A Taxing Woman), Tampopo (Dandelion), or Ososhiki (The Funeral), they are hilarious!
4. Call home or a dear friend; forget about how much it will cost: a good conversation is priceless.
5. Write down what you are feeling in your journal or in a letter to someone you love. When it is out and on paper, you’ll feel lighter for sure.
6. Take a walk – without any idea about where you are going!
7. Go to sleep: often when you are feeling down all you really need is a good night’s sleep. Remember: your subconscious is your friend.
8. Go to a sento or the outdoor baths in Kurama and soak away your blues and the feeling that you are alone.
9. If you’re finding that none of these things are working, then maybe you should make an appointment at the Aoibashi Family Clinic (Tel: 075-431-9150 ・http://www.kyoto-afc.jp/) with a professional English-speaking counsellor.
Text by Ian Ropke. Picture of Rui by Michael Lambe. Ian Ropke is the author of the Historical Dictionary of Osaka and Kyoto, editor of Kyoto Visitors Guide, and director of Your Japan Private Tours. He posts regularly for Deep Kyoto on the 15th of each month.
For previous posts by Ian Ropke click here.
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