The last few days of fall are upon us. The changing colors came late this year. Soon, winter will be here, and with it, the last season I'll spend in Japan. I'm still processing what that means to me, and the gravity of the change that is in my future... but for now, I'm keeping [...]
It's the time of year in Kyoto when the rice starts hanging heavy in the fields, gradually browning. The grains brush against each other, the winds from the mountains cooling the city, harkening the last, lingering days of summer. Fall is upon us. The maturing of the rice brings with it a general sense of [...]
The paths one can take in Kyoto are long and meandering. As a city, Kyoto's boundaries stretch about 830km², nearly seven San Franciscos in area. One of my favorite places to go is Ohara, a small mountain village to the north, about a forty minute bus ride from my house. I discovered the beauty of [...]
There are three big festivals in Kyoto, and one of the most famous, Gion Matsuri, is happening this month. The festival takes place throughout the entire month. For about a week now, the streets have been flooded with people coming to watch the construction of the floats and the display of the richest Kyoto families' treasures. Friday [...]
Hydrangea are known as the "fickle" flower in Japan, since over the years, the hue you planted is not always the hue that blooms. Because of this, many Japanese look at the hydrangea like a fickle lover's heart -- at one time being with you, but then changing color, and passions, for another. In the West, the language of flowers has often said that hydrangea mean gratefulness, or, on the negative end of the spectrum, vanity. Whatever their meaning, they are gorgeous, and in Kyoto, are not to be missed!