Cafe Cheka

In retrospect it was probably a very good thing that I only found this sweet cafe, situated just a stone’s throw from my apartment, a few weeks before I left Kyoto…. Having a cup of coffee and a wee cake (or two  – after all how does one choose between the excellent regular items of “tiramisu” […]


If you find yourself deep in the heart of Kyoto’s CBD/shopping district and feel the need for a breath of cultural air  – make a B-line directly to Rokkaku-do (on Rokkaku dori –  just east of Karasuma and south of Sanjo).  The temple is situated on the very spot believed to be the birthplace of Ikebana and […]

Homemade Ume-shu (Plum Wine)

In Japan, early summer is the time for making Ume-shu or Plum wine. When the plums are taken early from the tree for preserving.  A sweet wine, more like a liqueur, it is delicious on the rocks, with soda or in cocktails and works well in desserts too – think plum jelly, ice cream or […]


It’s thirsty work lurking around  Kyoto’s Gion for that elusive geiko/maiko shot – and when I take friends or clients to Hanamikoji at the witching hour  (less and less these days as it has become so crazy busy!) I often like to combine it with a post voyeur-time stroll along Pontocho alley, gloriously illuminated by […]