Yes dear Travellers, it has been a while since we’ve been visually meandering in Kyoto – (search: meanderings 1-6 for more). I started wandering seriously with my camera in Kyoto about 6 years ago, snapping away at things that drew me in – and occasionally I share some records of my walks here to give people just a hint of Kyoto life – the streets, people, places, foods and importantly textures.
Often these days the images are taken either side or during my winter Zenbu Cuisine and Culture Tours. But for the most part you wouldn’t know it. People often ask whether it’s cold in winter when I take the majority of my tours and truth is – it really doesn’t compare to true cold weather countries. At least not in Kyoto. She certainly has a share of cold days and nights and if you don’t have proper heating in a traditional house you can really notice it. But the last few years have been unusually mild for the most part with with temps averaging around 12C in the day and rarely getting below 1 or 2C ish at night. The skies are predominantly blue and clear like the top image and the one below – with sun-shiney days and the odd sprinkling of snow – it is truly delicious.
Sadly somedays my big camera feels too heavy so I’ve had to rely on my iPhone – while it’s certainly not the fanciest version it is so damn handy for those occasions where you need to snap the stuff you were least expecting to cross your path that day!!
The images in this post are all from Dec-January 2016 – around the time of my Tours – if you are interested to hear about the 2017 tours please checkout ZENBU ZEN or ZENBU WA-MONO for two very different but equally wonderful journeys -one based solely in Kyoto and one that starts and ends in the wondrous city – but travels through the mountains to the sea and back again. Of course I’ll be offering small private day tours between the longer tours – but closer to time so stay tuned if that’s of interest.
According to the Chinese (and Japanese) zodiac -2016 is the year of the Monkey and as I happen to have been born in a monkey year (albeit decades ago!) it was a lot of fun for me to wander amongst my tribe – snapping away at Monkey-related posters, temple votifs, statues and the like in early 2016.
Can you spot the cheeky monkey hiding between the fox votifs from Fushimi Inari Shrine below?
It is so incredibly inspiring to walk the streets and laneways, mountain paths and gardens and see so much incredible natural or considered beauty, style, talent, tradition and technique at every step. Japanese architecture always calls out to me -old or new.
Mountain vistas (Kyoto is encircled by them!) and forest walks
Craftspeople and their wares
Serene gardens, sculptured, raked or left looking natural and the seasonal beauty and sacred offerings within temples and shrine grounds
And a teensy snippet inside some temple grounds ‘live’… it’s the deeply relaxing sound of running water and twittering birds that help to earth you
View from a window, of a window, of the street
And just a sprinkling of snow…..
Pssst…. If you’ve been tempted to come along with us in January 2017… make sure you check out the EARLYBIRD SPECIAL on each of the two winter tours – but you had better hurry! Here are the links :
And while we know how just much effort goes into making sure these tours are like nothing else you have ever experienced we are very aware of the importance of word of mouth – so if I might direct you over to our testimonials page.…. and the press have been very kind to us too – see what they have to say here.