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!
All members being agreeable, we will probably hold our next meeting in May when I would like to see some of our members give short presentations about their blogs followed by a Q & A session. It will also present an opportunity for the many unable to attend the last meeting to join another enjoyable party.
If you are a blogger based in Kyoto, and you would like to join our group please drop me a line in the comments with your email address and the URL of your site, and I will send you an invite to our group.
Here are the bloggers who attended our first meeting (in no particular order):
Stephen Gill, from the U.K., is a haiku poet, artist, conservationist and radio broadcaster. He maintains the Hailstone Haiku Circle’s blog. For his conservation work please see the People Together for Mt. Ogura (PTO) site.
John Ashburne, from the U.K., is an author, journalist, award-winning photographer, bon vivant and a lover of classic cars. Read his blog here: http://johnashburne.com/
Stéphane Barbery, from France, is a photographer who blogs in French here: http://www.tropiques-japonaises.fr/ You can see his photography here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/barbery
The following blogger photographs were all taken by Stéphane at our meeting last week.
Florian Seidel, from Germany, is an urban explorer and photographer whose blog Abandoned Kansai has been featured in the most recent edition of Kyoto Journal and again today on CNN! Click this link for an introduction to his work via this article: Urban explorers: Uncovering abandoned sex museums and decrepit amusement parks
Hugo Kempeneer, from Belgium, writes the Kyoto & Nara Dream Trips site, introducing popular and not-so-popular tourist sites of Nara and Kyoto and information on famous historical events, and some less well known traditions.
Lisa Allen is a freelance writer, photographer and teacher with roots in America, Britain and Japan. Currently she is working as an intern for Kyoto Journal. You can view her photography at her site here: http://ethnicallydisoriented.tumblr.com/
Dr. Diego Pellecchia, from Italy, is a post-doctoral researcher at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto. He practices Noh chant and dance with Master-Actor Udaka Michishige (Kongō School), and has performed and led workshops in Japan and abroad as a member of the International Noh Institute. His site 外国人と能 The Noh Diaries is an excellent portal into the world of Noh drama.
Richard Keith Steiner, from America, is best known as a woodblock print maker, but he is also a photographer and poet. You can view his art at his site here: http://www.richard-steiner.net/
And follow his blog here: http://richard-steiner.blogspot.jp/
Sanborn Brown, from the USA, teaches at Osaka Kyoiku University. His site Cycle Kyoto has tonnes of useful information for would-be cyclists in Kyoto and he writes a blog: Miyako on Two Wheels. He is also a contributor to JapanVisitor.com.
Jeffrey Friedl, from America, is a software engineer known for his book on regular expressions, Mastering Regular Expressions. He is also a keen photographer and his work has recently been featured on Chris Rowthorn’s Inside Kyoto. You can view Jeffrey’s photography on his personal blog here: http://regex.info/blog/
Rachel Cockett, from the U.K., moved to Japan six months ago. She is musician and has already made a splash in town with her group, the Meadowlarks. Her blog Mountains Beyond Mountains details her discoveries and adventures as a newcomer to Kyoto.
John Dougill, from the U.K., is the author of Kyoto: A Cultural History, In Search of the Hidden Christians, and Japan’s World Heritage Sites. He is also a contributor to our book, Deep Kyoto: Walks. His blog, Green Shinto, gives fascinating insights into the world of Japan’s native folk religion. Green Shinto “is dedicated to the promotion of an open, international and environmental Shinto. It seeks to celebrate the rich heritage of the tradition, from sacred rocks and shamanistic roots to bawdy myths and fertility festivals. It believes Shinto to be essentially diverse, localised and community oriented.”
Ian Wilson, from the UK, is a teacher, rock drummer and impeccably dressed wine taster. He forms one half of the wine tasting video blog Wine Mothership on Youtube and his own blog goes by the same moniker:
Paul Crouse, from America, offers personal coaching from his site http://paulcrouse.com. His blog, “about living inside out,” has regular updates and advice on life improvement: http://paulcrouse.com/blog/
He is also a photographer, and you can see his photography here: http://www.paulcrousephoto.com/
Robert Moorehead, from America, is an associate professor at Ritsumeikan University. His blog, Japan Sociology, explores life in Japan from a sociological perspective. It is produced by Robert and his students at Ritsumeikan University‘s College of International Relations.
Yours truly. I am from the U.K. and have lived in Japan for 17 years (crikey) and in Kyoto for ten. I make my living teaching English in a high school. I write this blog to share information on events, good places to eat & drink, and anything else that interests me!
Ted Taylor, from America, is an old friend of Deep Kyoto and a regular contributor to Kyoto Journal. Based in Kyoto, his blog Notes from the ‘Nog is a record of his walks, hiking trips and travels across the islands of Japan.