Nara. A path less wandered.

Just a hop, skip and a jump away from my ‘home away from home’ Kyoto town is the charming city of Nara. Although famous for its history, giant Buddha, Kasuga Shrine and free roaming deer I often prefer to leave those with the first time visitors and simply wander the compact old town, shotengai (traditional […]


 Each time I visit Motoi I love it just that little bit more. Chef Motoi Maeda and his wife run this special occasion restaurant with spectacular food and service in a stylishly refurbed, traditional Japanese home in Kyoto city. There is a private room in the adjacent kura (storage house) if that floats your boat but  utilising […]

Kaiseki Who?

This is one of my favourite Kaiseki restaurants. And it’s not in Kyoto (shock, horror..)  I so wish I could share the name with you – but if I did I’d have to kill you. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t SHOW you…   it is too beautiful not to. I’m keeping this one a […]

Ryoria de Stephan Pantel

Kezako, one of my favourite high-end restaurants in Kyoto, closed down a couple of years ago  but lucky for the diners of Kyoto he opened his own place. While I was super excited about this fact I couldn’t help but wonder whether they would be able to retain the Kezako charm. It was obvious from the […]

Kyoto Cafe Culture

Japan’s cultural hub, Kyoto, has long been regarded as the best place to experience the soothing art of the traditional tea ceremony and I’ll happily admit that I’m as loved up with matcha and wagashi (whisked green tea and Japanese confectionery) as the next Japanophile! But I also appreciate a good cup of coffee and a welcoming place to […]


It’s been a year or so since eating here but if you are looking for  an intimate yet casual Kyoto eatery with a truly local vibe it would be hard to go past this Yakitori joint on Kawabata street  – above Shijo street and close to the Cacao Market.  Here’s a link to  Uzuraya  and if […]

Heian Jingu in May

I think that perhaps May must be the most underrated month in the Kyoto tourism calendar. The days are sunny with the temperatures oscillating between cool and warm ( very rarely hot or cold) and there is a lovely early-summer atmosphere. The air is clean and fresh with just a hint of sunscreen mingling with […]

Top 20 World Food Tours

Well who knew?  Tripadvisor’s Niumba blog has featured Zenbu Cuisine and Culture Tours as one of their Top 20 World Food Tours.  You might have to use a translator, and it doesn’t make a whole bunch of sense but the sentiment is there! Thank you so much Niumba – I do appreciate it!

Obon and Daimonji bonfire festival

It’s almost time for the annual Obon festival  in Japan. This sacred time on the Japanese calendar lasts several days during which the dearly departed return to earth to visit their families. August  16 2015 hosts the famous Daimonji (more formally ‘Gozan no okuribi’) bonfire light up in Kyoto town. If you look carefully you can […]