Nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Fukuoka Prefecture in Japan, the Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine stands as a place of reverence and cultural significance. Each year, during the enchanting Tanabata Festival, this sacred site comes alive with vibrant decorations, captivating performances, and a sense of celestial wonder. Let’s discover the ethereal charm of Tanabata at Dazaifu Tenmangu Shrine.(more…)
From ancient times, Fukuoka bay served as a gateway to the outside world. That includes Itoshima—once a small fishing village, now a popular Instagramable tourist spot. Twin rocks at the shore of Sakurai area symbolize Izanagi and Izanami, two lovers and, at the same time, most powerful deities of Shinto.(more…)
This year’s Kyo Odori was held at Shunjuza—a stage located within the campus of Kyoto University of Art and Design. An artsy college atmosphere was very welcoming and familiar, while the performance was excellent, easy to understand, and extremely entertaining.(more…)
Kyoto is well-known for its elegant and serene Zen temples but this eternal city has a spooky side, as well. I visited one of its most mysterious places in Kyoto, a “power spot” shrine hidden in a thick and tall cedar forest far north from the city center.(more…)
If you think of the word geisha you probably automatically think Kyoto. Understandable—Kyoto maiko’s image is one of the most popular symbols of Japan (I even did my own academic study confirming this thesis) and it’s so distinctive that it serves as a pattern of a unified geisha look.
But not far from Kyoto lies a real treasure: a small one-house geisha district in Nara, abundant with culture, traditions, and hope for a bright future. Let’s have a look inside.
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At a tranquil August evening, just a night before a typhoon hit Kyoto, I had a privilege to be entertained by a charming maiko Toshinaho of Miyagawacho district. It is one of my job’s perks when a customer requests to meet a geiko or maiko privately. It was quite difficult to arrange an ozashiki in the middle of Obon holidays, but luckily, while the Gion Kobu artists and local businesses are off, the Miyagawacho geimaiko don’t mind the holidays and keep on working. So young Toshinaho of the Komaya house was chosen to be our star that night.(more…)
I’ve been waiting anxiously for snowy weather over here. This year’s winter in Kyoto, however, is mild and quite warm. There were only four snowy days, including the past weekend, this season. Downtown Kyoto was covered only with a thin, fragile layer of wet snow. But up in the North, there is a magical area called Kibune. (more…)