Toji Temple

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7:33am JST

What a lovely sunrise against a crystalline sky! I was too late to video tape the sunrise, but I did capture scenes of the Komagawa in the morning, and heron against the river. Also captured the early morning sounds of Kyoto on audio.

8:30am JST

Back at the hotel started loading this morning’s shoot onto the computer. Then headed to 7-Eleven to pick up some onigiri for breakfast, while the videos load and render.

10:00am JST

Packed and ready to role to today’s photo shoot: Toji Temple, home of the five story pagoda that is the tallest pagoda in Kyoto.…

Gion: Antique and Geisha District

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11:30am JST

Getting a late start this afternoon, so much so that housekeeping is pushing me out to get their job done. Think I’ll visit the Gion district, famous as Kyoto’s last old world enclave of geico, maiko, tea houses and antique dealers. Gion is conveniently located just Northeast of my hotel, allowing me to take the City Bus part of the way to Kawaramachi-Shijo and then walking East towards the river on Shijo-dori.

12:00noon JST

I haven’t eaten yet so I stop by the Matsuya shop just before crossing the river. Matsuya is a major restaurant chain serving beef bowl, donburi and curry dishes using a food “kippu” machine.…

Gentle Journeys

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11:00am JST

Back home I used to watch a sweet documentary program on NHK World called “Gentle Journeys,” dubbed in English Gentle Journeys chronicled small stories about just ordinary people in Japan. Well guess what NHK in Japan is airing at 11:00am right now? And its appearing with the original Japanese titles and narration intact. It’s interesting to compare the two versions and also seeing what the program looks like in full HD, just lovely.

The cinematography and editing of this program are lovely, a simple documentary style but crafted with loving care.

Today’s Gentle Journeys is about piano makers, tuners and repair people…

Gentle Journeys on NHK

“Naan that could choke Godzilla”

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5:00pm JST

Just wandered into a random Indian restaurant called “Ashoka” and ordered butter chicken masala, tandoor chicken, lamb biryani rice and a piece of naan that could choke Godzilla. Absolutely nothing Japanese about this restaurant, including the portions which were atypically huge. The chef and wait staff are Indian and authentic to the core.

The butter chicken was quite excellent as was the garlic naan. Paired together, they were superb, fragrant, subtle, wow.

Food is one of man’s basic instincts and necessities. The creation of great food that touches the senses and the soul, and leaves a memorable experience, is one of man’s greatest aspirations.…


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11:00am JST

I’ve returned to the hotel room to unpack my laundry and make a cup of hot green tea to go with the bean paste bun I just picked up from the local family bakery. Laundry day is a good time to relax, read the paper and recover from the rest of the week’s hustle and bustle, especially on a rainy day when temple hopping isn’t overly appealing or photogenic.

[ First-Time Travelers Tip: Plan your day by the weather and always allocate one day each week to do relax, do laundry and appraise your trip! ]

This evening I plan to explore the Shinkyogoku shopping arcade, a huge shopping complex at the corner of Kawaramachi and Shijo streets and just one bus stop away from the hotel.…

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