Category Archives: Kyoto

Kyoto’s 30th Summer Antiquarian Book Fair

Source: deep kyoto

This year’s Summer Antiquarian Book Fair will be held from August 11th – 16th from 10.00 till 17.30 (until 16.00) on the last day. As always it will be held under the trees of Tadasu no Mori woods which are just in front of Shimogamo Jinja Shrine. Though this book fair takes place at the hottest time of the year it is always noticeably cooler under the shade of those ancient trees. And though most of the books on sale are Japanese, there are usually a large amount of English books in there, as well as art books, prints, and old photographs. I wrote previously about a visit to this event here.

This is the 30th year of the book fair and the 40th anniversary of the founding of Kyoto’s Antiquarian Book Society. As is now traditional, the flyer for the book fair has been designed by local artist Nakagawa Non, and as usual she has done a sterling job of it! You can view more of her artworks here:

This is the 2nd of three annual book fairs held each spring, summer, and autumn in Kyoto. If you can’t make it this time around, there will be another fair from November 1st – 5th at the Chion Temple near Hyakumanben. Here are the details for the summer fair:

Summer Antiquarian Book Fair (August 11 – 16)
10:00 – 17:30 (until 16:00 on the last day)
Access: Kyoto City Bus #205, get off at Shimogamo-jinja-mae (map)
Tel: 075 231 2971
Link (Japanese)

…continue reading


Hyatt Regency Kyoto

Source: deep kyoto

The Hyatt Regency is a lovely hotel on Shichijo Dori Street that occupies the affordable end of luxury. Mewby and I have a special fondness for this hotel because we stayed there on our wedding night. Imagine this – after a very happy, but of course very busy and honestly quite nerve-wracking day, we arrived at the hotel tired and relieved to be greeted with warm smiles and were told we had been given an upgrade! A big old Deluxe Balcony King was ours with a complementary bottle of wine to boot! This particular room features a balcony overlooking the hotel garden (very nice garden!), and a massive hinoki cypress wood bath which we were particularly happy to soak in whilst enjoying the aforementioned wine. It was the perfect end to our day, so to express our thanks, a brief review of this fine establishment is the very least I can do and certainly well overdue.

Our room on arrival with wedding gifts strewn across the comfy sofa!

The Hyatt Regency has three basic room types which are on an ascending scale of price and comfort: Standard, Deluxe, and Suites. All rooms have the same distinctive style of interior decor which manages to be simultaneously both modern and traditional with stylish lamps, colorful silk kimono tapestries hanging behind the bed, and simple wooden furnishings. Standard rooms come with either a King sized bed, or twin beds and have everything you need: free Wi-Fi, a writing desk, a minibar, a TV with cable and satellite channels, a closet, a safe for your valuables, and a private bathroom with a decent sized bathtub. Deluxe rooms have seating areas with sofas and some of them also have those fantastically …continue reading


Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

Source: deep kyoto

Last week I happened to be in the area of the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, and decided to have a bit of a snoop around inside. What a place!

The entrance to the Four Seasons Kyoto.

The Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is Kyoto’s newest luxury resort having opened just last autumn, but it feels like it has been around a lot longer. Everything about this hotel from the softly lit interiors, and the magnificent gardens, to the warm and good-humoured smiles of the staff, suggests stately grace, calm, and tranquility. If you really want to spoil yourself then this is clearly the place to stay. It feels like a palace!

The reception desk.

The interior design is a perfect blend of modern comforts with traditional style. This extends to the guest rooms which are decorated with artisanal touches like paper lamps, and fusuma screens. Some rooms also have their own balconies and suites also have their own dining areas and walk-in closets.

A premier room with garden view.

Dining options include a Brasserie stocked with local craft beer and a varied cosmopolitan menu, a sushi restaurant, a traditional tea house and a combined bar and lounge. In-room dining is also available and breakfast is buffet style.

From the Brasserie’s panoramic windows you can enjoy a view onto the 800-year-old pond garden.

For the full resort experience, this hotel also has a fitness center and a luxury spa with massage services, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, and a swimming pool. Should you want to venture out from this haven, the hotel can …continue reading


Ten Reasons to be Thankful for Life in Deep Kyoto

Source: deep kyoto

I used to have this idea that I hadn’t really settled into a new area until I’d found my najimina bar, my friendly local, the kind of small hole-in-the-wall type place where everyone knows each other and your drink arrives before you even order. It took me a while to find my najimina bar in Kyoto, but when I did, it opened all kinds of doors to me. I met a group of like-minded music-loving weirdos who became my first real Kyoto friends. And through them I discovered other places of interest: bars, cafes and restaurants, and I started writing about them. It was in that bar that I first heard the words “deep Kyoto” and it gave me the idea for a website, a website that led me to yet more friendships and encounters…
– Excerpt from “Up & Down the Ki’” in the e-book anthology Deep Kyoto: Walks.

Ten years ago today I wrote my very first post for Deep Kyoto in which I laid out my intention to introduce independent shops, cafes, bars and restaurants of character and “to venture a little deeper into the Japanese community… meet more good people and find more good places.” Well, from a simple idea born in a Kiyamachi bar, this website has grown and evolved to cover a much wider field than dining and drinking. Indeed in some ways Deep Kyoto seems to have taken on a life of its own and become much more than just my blog (take a look at the lively Deep Kyoto Group on Facebook for example). For me personally, writing this website has also been a life-changing experience. I think I ought to be grateful for that, so here on Deep Kyoto’s tenth anniversary are ten good …continue reading


The 5 Yokai You (might) Meet During the Rainy Season

It’s official: The rainy season has started in Japan. The NHK nightly news announced this week that we’re in for a wet, humid, and rather uncomfortable June. After the driest May in years, this month is supposed to be particularly damp.

But don’t let the rain get you down! Not only are there plenty of great things to do in Kyoto on a drizzly day, but the rainy season brings with it a chance to spot some rare creatures called “yokai” that have haunted the homes and forests of the Japanese islands for centuries (…maybe).

Every culture has its legendary monsters, and yokai are the classic Japanese bogeymen. From ghostly to playful, ugly to enchanting, timid to dangerous, yokai come in all forms. A recent book about Yokai describes these critters as such:

“Yokai are the things that go bump in japan’s night, the faces behind inexplicable phenomena, the personalities behind the strange hands that fate often deals us. They represent the attempts of the fertile human imagination to impose meaning on an often difficult-to-explain world. This is essentially what yokai are: superstitions with personalities.”

— Hiroko Yoda and Matt Alt in “Yokai Attack!”

That’s right, yokai aren’t real of course. Sorry to burst your bubble. As fascinating as the yokai are on their own, it’s the stories and reasons behind them that I find all the more interesting than the gruesome creatures themselves. Yokai …continue reading