My favorite things in Kyoto




Ikebana and the sign of the year

2012-01-06 | 日記

Here is my New Year Arrangement.
We Japanese arrange flowers, ikebana for festive events beginning with the arrangement for the New Year. The typical materials are pins, bamboos and plums. They express an auspicious feeling for the New Year cerebration. For this New Year I chose and arranged pine trees, red berries and three white chrysanthemums with a hanging scroll drawing a crane in Indian ink. A crane is a symbol of longevity and prosperity in Japan.

This year, 2012 is the year of the dragon. In this reason I also decorated a beautiful iron ornament of dragon in the alcove.
In Japan there are the signs of the zodiac which correspond to twelve kinds of animals, a rat, an ox, a tiger, a rabbit, a dragon, a serpent, a horse, a sheep, a monkey, a rooster, a dog and a boar.
So the animals can express one's age.
Do you know your animal of the zodiac?
I was born in the year of the tiger... Who is counting on my age??
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New Year's Eve and Jyoya-no-kane

2012-01-06 | 日記
 New Year, SHOGATSU is generally celebrated for the first three days or the first week of January and it is the most important period for Japanese. Schools and businesses close for one or two weeks around New Year,SHOGATSU and many people who live away from their families return home to spend this time with their families, it is just like Christmas time in European society;a happy, enjoyable moment with families.
On New Year's Eve, we ring out the Old Year and ring in the New Year. We call it JYOYA-NO-KANE and we toll a temple bell 108 times whose number is human worldly desires. Don't you know that we have so many worldly desired?! I really love and enjoy listening to this boom of a temple bell in the end of the year. If you visit Kyoto, you can listen to the beautiful sound of a temple bell. When I listen to it, my heart resonate with the tone of the bell and it makes me refresh! If you are interested in the bell tone or something in Kyoto, give your comment on my blog.
On the eve night my husband and I went to Yasaka-shrine which is dedicated to the deities of expelling evil and prospering in business. There were already many people around the center of the shrine and some people buy lucky charms of New Year and some people drink sacred sake,I'm sure it must be good!
And then we visited Chion-in. This temple is the head of the Jodo sect of Buddhism and also the mausoleum of Honen, the founder of this sect.We wanted to see the giant bell, which weighs roughly 70tons, is struck by 17monks on the New Year Eve.
But, but unfortunately there were too crowded to see it! You have to wait for more than two hours! Alas!! We learned from the experience... OK, next time we will carry hot drink,some snacks and two small chairs! Maybe we need cards??? huh?



2011-12-26 | 日記
Do you like "wasabi"? i like it but I don't know "wasabi" is so useful like that...

Japanese researchers have won an Ig Noble Prize, a parody of Noble Prize, for developing a fire alarm that smell like "wasabi".
The prize is awarded to ingenious research that is also the most humorous.
Wasabi is known as Japanese horseradish and also has an extremely strong flavor.
It is typically grated into a green paste and served with sushi and other Japanese dishes.
A team of seven Japanese researchers won the chemistry prize- for inventing a fire alarm that emits the pungent odor of wasabi. the researchers said that developing the system for people with hearing disabilities who fail to notice conventional sound alarms, especially while they are asleep.
One of the researchers made a speech and said that;
This prize is a gift from the subjects who slept in the examination room and had been choked with pungent smell, with tears and cough. Do not spray onto sushi!!

I am really proud of them who marked such a humorous achievement!
Japanese wasabi is so cool(pungent?) and great!


2011-12-22 | 日記
I went to see Kabuki with my husband at Minamiza theater.
In the end of the year of Kabuki play, we call it "kaomise".
This annual event is very popular in Kyoto.
Some ladies are fond of wearing beautiful kimono in the opportunity.
You can enjoy kabuki and also watching those kind of people.
Kabuki stage has a number of unique installations.
The elevated runway or hanamichi is a passage built as an extension of the stage.
It is used for actors's entrance and exit, important scenes take place on it.
Fortunately we could get seats beside this hanamichi!
So we appreciated watching beautiful actors very close!!
( my favorite actor is Nizaemon who is very good looking! MATSUSHIMAYA!!)

96old years NANA in kimono

2011-12-20 | 日記

Nana visited me with her family on October 201
She was so vivid and lovely lady.
She loves Kyoto very much and she enjoyed wearing my mother's kimono.
I'd love to see her again soon here in Kyoto.