How was your weekend? I came to work on Saturday, but I had a relaxing day yesterday. My daughter and I went to a galette restaurant for lunch and visited a friendfs place near there. We lied down and just chatted for hours. My daughter went to sleep while talking, so we could talk to the full. We are busy every day with doing this and that, so I felt we sometimes need this kind of holiday! (Risa)
I canft believe July is almost over. July 31st is the day lots of people climb Mt. Atago (924m) which is the highest peak of the mountain range surrounding Kyoto City, followed by Mt. Hiel. Itfs been a religious mountain from ancient times and the Atago Shrine situated on its top is the head of all Atago shrines across the country. People believe the Shinto deity protects us from fire disasters, so they walk up the mountain and buy a strip of paper at the shrine, which is put on their kitchen wall as a charm for fire safety. Itfs always a popular mountain for climbers except winter seasons because there is a lot of snow, but July 31st is the special day for the mountain and shrine. Itfs open through the night, and if you climb and pray on the night, it is said you will be protected from fire for 1000 days! My husband is a cook, so hefs going to climb the mountain with his workmates tomorrow night. (Risa)
As I wrote a bit yesterday, we went to Shiga for a drive last weekend. We visited Ishiyama-dera temple (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ishiyama-dera) to pray for our happiness and then went to an Italian restaurant LARGO on our way back to Kyoto. I heard itfs a popular restaurant, so I booked a private room in advance. My daughter was tired and ran around, so I think I made a good decision. I felt the room is a bit too small for four people, but the taste was good. We had a rest for an hour or so at my parentsf place and took my mother in law to Kyoto Station. I got a text message after she arrived back in Fukuoka. She had a great time in Kyoto & Shiga and also enjoyed her time with her granddaughter. I was exhausted, but it was a good opportunity to catch up together. (Risa)
Sorry I havenft posted any news for a while. Last weekend, my mother in law visited Kyoto and stayed here for a night. My mother and I took her to Shiga on her second day, and I will write more details about the day trip tomorrow. (Risa)
I went to Gion Festival with my family last night. When we started walking around 6:30pm, we could walk without stress, but more and more people visited the area to see the decorated floats, buy street foods & drinks, and enjoy the atmosphere. I had a stroller, so it made me hard to walk in the crowds of people. We also enjoyed the festival, but all of us were exhausted and we went to sleep pretty early last night! If you come to the see the festival on your vacation, you will definitely enjoy it 100%! (Risa)
The atmosphere of Gion Festival is everywhere in Kyoto now. The decorated floats have been built on the streets, and the local people have been preparing for the festival. I am planning to visit the festival on the night of July 16th, so I will let you know how it like! (Risa)
The temperature went up to 38 degrees in Tatebayashi, Gumma Prefecture today. According the weather forecast, it will go up to 35 degrees in Kyoto tomorrow, so donft forget about good hydration and be care of heat stroke! (Risa)
Hello! Itfs been while since I posted newsletter on this page. Since we are in the middle of rainy season and a typhoon is also approaching, the weather has been gray these days. One of the three main festivals of Kyoto, Gion Festival will be held next week, so, I hope the sun will be out soon! (Risa)
You can see the illuminated shrines and temples in Kyoto a lot in winter and Sakura season but now if you want to see bright shrine, you should go to the Kifune Shrine!
Kifune Shrine is now illuminated and decorated with many ornament for Tanabata (Star Festival). There is a legend about Star Festival, and according to the legend two stars were separated by the milky way but once a year, they can reunite. The day they can see each other is July 7th (Tanabata). People make a wish and writ it on a piece of paper and hang them on bamboo. You should try it at Kifune Shrine in Kyoto!!
I am living in Osaka, and recently I have started working in Kyoto. Kyoto is perfect for everything such as sightseeing, food, and even working but I have only one concern. That is the weather in Kyoto. Kyoto is surrounded by the mountains and is shaped like a basin. It means in summer it is very humid, and winter is very cold.
I believe that summer and winter is not much moment to welcome but we should always remember that we have autumn after summer and spring after winter. We can endure the hotness because we can meet the beauty of Kyoto in autumn afterc.