The Signs of Dotonbori

Dotonbori is a huge shopping/eating/drinking/partying area in Osaka. At night, the thousands of neon lights are lit and hundreds of people are walking around looking for a place to eat. Restaurants make the most elaborate signs on their walls to hopefully stand out amidst the neon craziness. Hmmmm where shall we eat… Maybe some takoyaki? …

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Kaiseki Birthday

Yay happy birthday Ward! We celebrated by going to a “kaiseki” restaurant called Grotto, located near our house. Kaiseki is a very traditional Japanese multi-course dinner. Our dinner had 9 courses of the most delicious and real Kyoto style foods. Ofcourse we made a lot of pictures :-) We ordered some fantastic Japanese sake. Ofcourse, …

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Snowy Kyoto

When we woke up this morning, Kyoto was suddenly covered in a big pile of snow! So we went outside and made some photos in our neighbourhood :-) Our neighbours made a snow Totoro :) The beauty of our neighbourhood: My attempt at making a snowman: And then the sun came out and everything melted …

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Osaka Aquarium

Since we both finished our projects, we have some time to travel around! So, we went to Osaka Aquarium! Osaka Aquarium is a huge building filled with bigger and smaller tanks that hold the most magnificent seacreatures. You start at the top floor and walk your way down through the different aquaria. Here are some …

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Long time no see!!

Three years ago, during our exchange, we met a very nice family here in Kyoto, the Okuda family. Yesterday, after all those years, we met up again! It was so nice to see them again! They took us out to dinner to eat absolutely delicious shabu-shabu (raw meat dipped in soup). Also we tasted crab, …

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Relaxing From Busy Tokyo: Yokohama

To conclude our Tokyo trip we went to Yokohama, the second biggest town of Japan, and Tokyo’s neighbour. Actually the two towns are really intertwined,  so it feels like one big town. But where Tokyo’s city center is busy and flashy, Yokohama feels like a more relaxed place, with a lot of water, wide areas …

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Tokyo Parasites

Oooo the Parasite Museum in Tokyo is really nasty… :-p The museum is filled with bottled up parasites, growing out of all kinds of animals and body parts… The museum shop has some funny souvenirs, including tapeworm keychains haha. We had fun, but I also felt a bit queezy afterwards :-) Parasite artwork!   So …

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The Skyscrapers of Shinjuku

We visited Shinjuku, the business district of Tokyo. This area has the world’s busiest station (!!) and the area is filled with huge skyscrapers, really impressive!   The view from Tokyo Metropolitan Building, 45th floor, 202 meters :) The fantastic buildings of Shinjuku:   Tokyo Tower 2012! Tokyo is so big, even from the 45th …

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Electric Town Akihabara

  Today we visited Akihabara, a lively, loud an colorful neighbourhood in Tokyo, completely filled with electronics, manga, anime and game shops! Here are some impressions of this hectic area.   Thousands of weirdly shaped buildings filled with games, dvds, books and electronics   Neon lights and signs everywhere   Extravagant manga cars   The …

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New year in Tokyo

Happy 2012, the year of the Dragon!! We travelled to Tokyo to celebrate the new year! We took the shinkansen, the fast bullet train, and bought a nice ekibento, which is a lovely little lunchbox especially made for train travel. Kyoto and Tokyo have no snow, but the area in between was completely white! New …

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Family in Kyoto

Our family visited us in Kyoto and again we discovered a lot of new and exciting places in our beautiful city! We ate Kyoto sushi with Jurgen and Carlijn. Because Kyoto is located far from the sea, the traditional sushi is not made with fresh fish but prepared fish and herbs.  This sushi has so …

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Autumn colors!

Whoa it’s finally autumn in Kyoto! And wow, the city transformed into bright red colors, with all kinds of flowers and trees bursting with fruits. It’s really spectacular. Here are some photos we shot in our neighbourhood, which is one of the most beautiful areas to see the colors of autumn!

Friends and Family

    The past few week we had a lot of visitors, first my family came by and then our friends joined us for over two weeks. Together we discovered a lot of fantastic new things in and around Kyoto! Some highlights:   Arashiyama and it’s nature is fantastic. The bamboo forest is enchanting! We even saw a real …

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From Marthe to Maiko

I celebrated my birthday in a very special way this year: me and my twinsister Dorith did a Maiko makeover! A Maiko is an apprentice Geisha, with a beautiful white face and red lips, elaborate hairpieces and a really colourful kimono. We’ve seen them strolling around in Kyoto, but what is it like to dress …

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Asia-trip PART 3: Seoul

After visiting Busan we took the high-speed train right through South Korea to the capital Seoul. This city is absolutely amazing!! It’s almost unbelievable how this city has grown into such a vibrant metropolis, when you consider that it has seen so many devastating wars and it wasn’t before the 1990’s that is was properly …

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Candle Festival in Nara

The Japanese know how to celebrate summer! This time we visited the candle festival in Nara. Nara is the old capital of Japan, and is a very traditional town with a huge park filled with wonderful temples. For this occasion, the beautiful park was completely decorated with candles and lanterns! The atmosphere was amazing, wandering …

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Otsu Fireworks

Yesterday we went to Otsu to view a fireworks show. Otsu is a city on the other side of the mountains from Kyoto, and is beautifully located next to a huge lake (the biggest in Japan). Every year there is a fantastic fireworks show above this lake, and this time we went to see it! …

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Kibune Water Festival

Last week we travelled to the mountain town Kibune, north of Kyoto, to visit the temple there and see the water festival. During the festival, the temple is lit with hundreds of lanterns and people can write down their wishes and hang them in beautifully decorated trees. It felt like a fairytale walking there! Kibune …

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Pumpkin eating

Today we went to Anraku-ji, a small but beautiful temple right behind our house, to the special Pumpkin Memorial Service. This tradition is over 200 years old. Visitors can eat special cooked pumpkin and drink cold tea while viewing the beautiful garden. It is said that by eating these pumpkins, you stay healthy for the …

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Cicada noises

In Japan, summer is very noisy! This is the time when the cicadas emerge from the ground, climb in the trees and start making intensive noises that sound like electricity… Some sound like an alarm, but most remind me of engines or fridges or something :p It’s sometimes so deafening!! We managed to make a …

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Gion Matsuri

Yes, it is July, so it’s time for Gion Matsuri again! Last time we celebrated Kyoto’s most famous festival wearing yukatas (summer kimonos), but this year we decided to go in our normal clothes :) Gion Matsuri is celebrated by a colourful parade of over 60 different floats. We went to the evening festival before …

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Exchange Student Exhibition

  Yesterday was the opening party of the Exchange Student Exhibition at Kyoto Seika University! Our work can also be seen there. We printed some of the work we made so far during our stay here :) If you’re in the neighbourhood, come see, and if you’re not, see these photos :)    

Mukade!!

We encountered this monster last night in our kitchen!!! The only way to kill these dangerous creatures is to poor hot water over them… Now it’s like a boiled shrimp :-s

Mountain temple

Today we went to a beautiful temple high up in the mountains! It was so secluded that no one was there, a really calming experience. Also there was a picture of the temple’s guardians, the monkeys that live there. Before that we had a delicious lunch in an old soba (Japanese noodles) restaurant.  We even …

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Bugs!!

I bought a nice children’s book about Japanese bugs :-D now I can look up the names of all the creepy, nasty and way too big insects we encounter here :-) …

Art, gardens and insects

We don’t update this blog very often, mostly because we post on Facebook as well :-o SBut I will try to post those messages here too! We’ve been busy the last couple of weeks, mostly with our school projects, but also learning Japanese and working on our own art projects. Here is some art we …

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Golden Week

Time goes by so fast! We’ve been here for over a month now and have been quite busy with school. Ward is drawing a 40-page manga for his class about Dutch folklore, and it will be exhibited in the Manga Museum next year! The story is about “de Solse gat” and it’s going to be …

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Sakura Explosion

This week, the sakura (Japanese cherry blossom) started blooming! Since there are so many sakura trees, it is truly an awesome sight to behold. The trees, that are actually somewhat bland during the rest of the year, suddenly explode with pink/white flowers. The trees stay like this for about a week, and then the flowers …

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Mountain Temple

Together with our friend Tokutaro, we had a trip to Lake Biwa, the biggest lake of Japan. Tokutaro has a car, so he showed us places we didn’t go before, and it was a lot of fun! One place in particular was fascinating, a mountain with a large temple build on to it. When we …

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Seika Lip Dub

This is a very funny video, made by Kyoto Seika students. It shows the university’s library  and surroundings, but most of all it’s a very entertaining video :D So watch and enjoy and taste the atmosphere of Seika University!

Maiko Madness

Gotta catch ‘m all! While walking through Gion, the old entertainment district of Kyoto, we stumbled upon two Maiko. Maiko are Geisha apprentices. At the height of the Geisha era, the 1930’s, men came from all around the country to compete with each other to be with the most popular geisha. From what we saw …

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Hello Japan!

Yesterday we arrived in beautiful Kyoto, and as the taxi dropped us of at our new home it started to snow! We live in a lovely tradtional Japanese house with tatami mats, futons and no chairs :-). The surrounding are amazing, there is a very nice and quiet temple in our backyard (Honen-in) and Ginkaku-ji …

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