Hichigiri, special wagashi for Hinamaturi festival


Today, March 3 is an ancient Japanese festival, Hinamaturi festival. 

I ate a special Kyoto wagashi for this festival called Hichigiri!

It is a simple and mysterious shaped wagashi that has been around for over 1,200 years since the Heian period.

It is made by famous wagashi confectionery, "Oimatsu" in Nishijin, the bottom rice cake is Konashi (the green one is filled with tansy), and the top is Kinton.

The sweetness was a little subdued, and the fragrance of the tansy was so refreshing that it made me feel that spring was near. The cold winter in Kyoto seems to be finally over.
posted by toons at 12:34 | diary


Buri Shabu-shabu


"Buri", Yellowtail is the king of Japan's winter season seafood. I had it with shabu-shabu today.


Natural live fish is essential for shabu-shabu cooking. This one was so fatty, and so damn tasty!


The last one is ochazuke.
posted by toons at 23:58 | diary


Le Marche de Noel 2022 in Kyoto


Last weekend, I visited "Marché de Noël 2022".

This is a small Christmas market held at the Institut français Kansai Kyoto. I look forward to it every year.


Perhaps because I arrived just in the middle of a live music concert, I was surprised to see a larger crowd than usual.

Since we were in the midst of the 8th wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, I went through the entrance with a lot of caution.


It was quite cold at night, so I first warmed myself up with a glass of hot wine.


I liked the authentic campagne at Itami Bakery a little bit, so I bought some.


It is said to be a special campagne made with whole wheat flour from organic wheat grown in Hokkaido and milled in house, brewed with "traditional European techniques" and "Japanese sake brewing techniques". The largest one weighs 2 kilograms each.

Panoramic view from the balcony on the 3rd floor of the main building!


After all, it seemed risky to stay for a long time, so we left early.

I sincerely hope that next year this COVID-19 pandemic will be over and we will be able to enjoy the Marché more leisurely.
posted by toons at 23:54 | diary


Great Ginkgo tree on Onishi-san


I went to Onishi-san (Nishi-honganji temple) in Kyoto for the first time in a while. All ginko trees were completely colored yellow.


There you will find a gingko tree like you have never seen them anywhere else.


With its branches appearing as though they are roots spreading up into the sky, it is sometimes referred to as an "upside-down ginkgo".


Estimated to be more than 400 years old, this splendid tree has been designated as a Natural Monument by Kyoto city. The appearance of this tree is said to be due to the sophisticated skills of ancient planters.
posted by toons at 23:53 | diary


The world's smallest sunflower in bloom!


A very small sunflower bloomed successfully.
This is the world's smallest sunflower, "Konatsu," bred in Japan. The flower size is only about 5 cm.
It is a seedless variety, so it will continue to bloom for quite a long time.
posted by toons at 13:34 | diary


Ymamahoko-junko of Gion Matsuri Atomatsuri

The Yamahoko-junko (procession of floats) of Gion Matsuri Atomatsuri was held for the first time in three years.

The Yamahoko procession will be held in the reverse order of Gion Matsuri Sakimatsuri. The procession starts at Karasuma Oike and finishes at Shijo Karasuma.

A little after 8:00 a.m., I made a fixed-point observation at Shinmachi Sanjo of the Yamahoko floats heading for the starting point. Four Yamahoko floats on Shinmachi street and one on Sanjo street will pass this point.

- Hachiman-yama

- Kitakannon-yama

- Minamikannon-yama

- Ofune-hoko

- Takayama

The highlight of this year's festival was the resurrection of Takayama after a 196-year absence.
It located on the east side of Sanjo Shinmachi, it was necessary to turn 90 degree to go north on Shinmachi street. Takayama float had a hard time turning a street at a narrow intersection.



It moved safely to Shinmachi Oike. A tapestry with an eagle design was displayed on the rear side. The brand new white wooden roof shone in the morning sun.

posted by toons at 22:56 | diary


Yoiyama of Gion Matsuri Atomatsuri


Tonight was the last Yoiyama of Gion Matsuri Atomatsuri.



Many tourists seemed to be there because it was the last day of Yoiyama.



I left early to avoid the risk of corona infection. Tomorrow's Yamahoko Junko is expected to be held under very fine weather.
posted by toons at 22:53 | diary


Gion Matsuri Atomatsuri


This evening, the eve of the Gion Matsuri Atomatsuri festival began.

The lanterns that lit up the streets of Engyojayama created a wonderful atmosphere.

posted by toons at 23:56 | diary


Yamahoko Junko of Gion Matsuri Sakimatsuri 2022


For the first time in three years, Yamahoko Junko (float procession) of Gion Matsuri Sakimatsuri was held.

It was very crowded with tourists overflowing the main parade route. The number of people was about 140,000.

The parade reached its goal at Shinmachi Oike.

The floats returned to their respective towns. However, the order of return was adjusted here because it took time for the bigger floats to turn around and Shinmachi-dori was too narrow for them to pass each other.

- Hoshoyama

- Kankokuboko : It stopped at a crank on Shinmachi Anekoji, backed up once, turned the wheel again and again, and managed to pass a house without destroying it.

- Tukihoko : Tuji-mawashi (90-degree rotation) at Shinmachi Oike, smooth and successful in three turns.
posted by toons at 23:57 | diary


Last Yoiyama of Gion Matsuri Sakimatsuri


Yoiyama of Kyoto Gion Matsuri Sakimatsuri, a little after 7:00 p.m, photo from Takakura-Shijo to Shijo street.

I could see the Naginata-boko float in the distance, but it looked dangerous to get any closer, so I avoided them by taking a side street and left the area early.

According to news reports, there were 300,000 people at 21:30. The number used to be several times as many as this, so this year's number was much smaller. But I wonder if it is safe to gather such a large number of people.
posted by toons at 23:56 | diary