Nimoko’s Nippon Blog – Kyoto

Konnichi wa minna!

The last but beautiful stop during my Japan trip is Kyoto! It was the most beautiful city I have visited so far, very traditional, with so much nature and many temples and shrines that give you so much peace in your heart.

First of all, I’d like to show you pictures of Kyoto’s beautiful temples and shrines. Of course there are many others but unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to visit them all …

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Washing your hands before prayer is a Japanese tradition
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When Japanese people pray, they can make a wish and write it on a small paper or piece of wood
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These small wooden boards are called Ema
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This seems do be a traditional ritual but¬†unfortunately I couldn’t find out the meaning of it ūüė¶
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A beautiful small Japanese shrine
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The entrance of a Japanese palace in the middle of a park in Kyoto
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The temple itself

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I love these Japanese gardens, so peaceful and green …

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Japanese cemeteries look quite different from the ones we know in Europe. More crowded, but very peaceful though …
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The beautiful view over Kyoto from a cemetery near the temple on a mountain.
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Do you remember these traditional Japanese kimonos from my first blog entry? They are seen all over Kyoto and tourists can rent them in many shops.
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The famous Teramachi shopping street in Kyoto

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So many small shops with traditional Japanese food. I loved exploring them!
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And soooooo much Sakura (cherry blossom) flavored food <3<3
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Some shrines can even be found within the shopping areas
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I just had to capture this little puppet temple with the kawaii dancing puppet Miko (priestess) ‚̧
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View over the Kamogawa (Kamo river) in Kyoto

 

So this was my last entry in my Nippon blog and I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did ^^ if you ever get the chance to travel to Japan, I highly recommend it to you!

Ja nee minna! <3<3

Nimoko’s Nippon Blog – About Japanese Culture

Konnichi wa minna! (Hello guys)

I had the chance to travel through the beautiful country of Japan during the last two weeks and I wanted to give you some impressions I got about this beautiful landscape and culture. At First, I will give you a brief impression of the country and its culture, before I give you a deeper sight to different Cities and places I got to explore ^^.

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Traditional Japanese Houses are kept small, made of Bamboo and wood. They are mostly seen in smaller cities or country sides. I saw a lot of them in Kyoto.

 

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A great part of the Japanese Culture that many of us really appreciate is Anime and Manga! There are so many different Anime types and much merchandise for every taste.
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As Anime and Manga makes a big part of the Japanese Culture, you can see it spread everywhere throughout the cities. For example on buses and trains.
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This is something I have only seen in Japan and it’s¬†really cool ūüėÄ Ufo-Catching! It is all about trying to catch an Anime Good by grabbing it. One try is 100 Yen. But it is quite tricky.
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Gashapon machines are also quite popular in Japan. You see them everywhere, especially in Akihabara. For the cost of 200 to 400 yen you can get a plastic ball containing a sweet little toy. There are many different types to collect.
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One of the biggest passion of many Japanese people: Pachinko Halls. They are countless and spread all over Japan. Many Anime Themed Gaming Machines building long lines give occasion of spending your money in a playful way. It might be similar to our casinos.

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These “Koi no bori”¬† are decorative and traditional Japanese¬†flags in shape of a carp and¬†exist in many different colors. Captured at the Entrance of Tokyo Tower.
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Your surely have seen these little dudes before, Japanese carps called “Koi” They are very appreciated in Japan and mostly quite expensive.
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If you ever make a trip to Japan, you will see many people wearing these mouthprotection. There are different reasons why they are worn: Because of self-protection against infections, or to prevent others of your own infection. Japanese people are very hygienic and protective. Even if it might look weird for us, I think it is quite effective.
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A small Graveyard shrine.
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You might have seen Japanese Graveyards in Anime. Compared with European ones they seem very crowded as Japan has a much higher population. Usually, if someone dies, they are burnt and their ashes are buried in “Haka“, which mean family Graves.
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On the Gravestone itself is only written the family name. Small pieces of wood with dedications to every family member, the “ihai” are placed in front of the Gravestone.
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85 % of the Japanese people are Buddhists. They make their prayers at Buddhist shrines and temples.
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Many shrines or temples are decorated with “Ch√Ķchin“, Japanese Lanterns usually colored in white or red made of Japanese “washi” paper. You can buy lucky charms and protective goods.
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I absolutely love these traditional Japanese clothes. These are Kimonos mostly worn by “Maikos“. Maikos undergo a five-year training of dancing, singing and playing traditional Japanese insruments, just as the “shamisen” to entertain people during a traditional tea ceremony. It is a very hard training.

 

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Japan is also very popular for its Cherry Blossoms. The Japanese call them “Sakura” and use them as an ingredient¬†for Food and Drinks as in beauty. Cherry Blossom Tea is very tasty.
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A traditional Japanese Sword is called “Katana“. They are very old and popular of the Japanese Swordsmen “Samurai”. There are many differtent types.
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In Japan, many Restaurants show samples of their dishes in windows. These are usually plastic made and look almost like real. Very convenient for tourists, if they can’t read the Japanese writing, they can choose their dishes from the windows.
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Now I am going to introduce some Japanese food to you. In Japan, traditional food is mostly fresh-made and hand-made. Often you can watch the preparation.
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These fish shaped cakes are usually filled with red soy bean paste or other sweets like chocolate or jam. They are called “Taiyaki
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At “Candy Show time” a candy shop in Japan, you can watch people make the traditional “Kintaro-ame” candys which you can purchase in different colors and shapes.
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They are shaped to long tubes and then cut to small roud pieces. Mostly made of colored sugar.
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This was captured in Kyoto in a very traditional bakery. A man making cookies with Japanese black beans. They are quite tasty.
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Food in Japan is usually not expensive but often freshly made, what makes it so special and tasty.
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You surely have seen this dish before. A traditional Noodle Soup called “Ramen“. It is served in a big bowl, containing Japanese noodles, meat, seaweed, eggs and vegetables.
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Another Japanese Food tradition which is very similar to our well known Barbecue. The “Yakiniku“. I have tried it myself. You can choose out of different meats and prepare it over a fire by yourself. Nice experience ūüôā
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This is one of my¬†favorite Japanese food. It is called “Tenpura“. Fried shrimps, fish or vegetables that are also often served with Ramen.
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Ever seen Anime characters eating these? Sure, as they are very popular especially for teenagers. Octopus Balls “Takoyaki” usually toppd with soy sauce.
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This is one of the main ingredients for any dishes in Japan next to Soy Beans: Rice. So many dishes and desserts are made with rice, like Sushi or…
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…these famous snacks called “Onigiri“. They are filled with fish or meat.
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Next to Soy Beans and Rice, Japanese people eat very much fish and sea food. They can fleshly be purchased at Japanese Food Markets.
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Another very traditional good of Japan is Rice Wine. It is often served at meals. Different from Chinese Rice Wine, it is less strong in taste and alcohol. They call it “Sake“.

 

Well,¬† that’s it for now. I hope you got a small impression of Japanese food and Culture. I will show you more of my¬†Japanese Adventure next time.

Ja nee! ūüôā