Tag Archives: Cool

Higashiyama Ward – Kyoto, Japan

Higashiyama

Kyoto’s Higashiyama is a happening area with souvenir stores, cafes, restaurants galleries and more.  Yes, it is very touristic, but try not to apply a regular tourist stop mentality that one dons in other counties.  Everything is priced accordingly to quality .

Guidebooks (and the actual guides) fail to give good directions on how find this district (1 of 11 in all Kyoto).   They all seemed to claim ‘no definite address‘!   After butting heads with taxi drivers and walking and walking and walking …  we came to the conclusion the best way to get there is asking directions to The Ryōzen Kannon; a war memorial and giant white concrete statue of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara.  Across the main street entrance to the memorial  is an uphill walking street.  This is the best place to start your walk. See map at the end of the post.  (In our opinon, The Ryōzen Kannon is not worth the time in a city of more interesting temples and shrines.)

Start  early before the crowds arrive at Kōdai-ji.  Take a taxi to The Ryōzen Kannon – walk up and around  the Higashiyama streets,  stop for lunch wheverer catches your eye (or just enjoy all the street samples!).  Follow this with a short walk to the Hokan-ji (Yasaka Pagoda)  and walk back uphill  and continue to Kiyomizu-dera for  the astounding evening lights.

I you want to do something fun you can rent a Kimono (his & hers) at    at the beginning of the Higashiyama walk . Most Japanese woman and a few men rent Kimonos to tour Kyoto and other historical cities. It  is super cute, lends to wonderful photos! The rental house will also do your hair and accessorize! Returns are very easy.

Highly recommended is the the ume boshi store.  It is one of the best we found in all Japan.  We didn’t purchase enough at the cheaper tourist price and found the same brand at the Ginza Mitsokishi department store, but at a higher price.

seasoned rice crackers _ amazing!!
amazake stand – a must during the cold months

Amazake is a sweet, slightly fermented rice drink with  kome kōji (malted rice) can be mixed with spices and  served hot

  
street gallery
  
Hokan-ji (Yasaka Pagoda)
Hokan-ji (Yasaka Pagoda)
Hokan-ji (Yasaka Pagoda)
Hokan-ji (Yasaka Pagoda)

suggestedroute in pink – top right Kiyomizu-dera

 

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International Robot Exhibition – Tokyo, Japan

2015 Robot Show 001

International Robot Exhibition

Tokyo Big Sight
11-1 Ariake, Koto,
Tokyo 135-0063, Japan

http://biz.nikkan.co.jp/eve/irex

2015 Robot Show 002

If you are in Japan, GO to the International Robot Exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight!!  You are witnessing the future of humanity (and not-humanity) at the beginning of its era – perhaps one day to get its own scientific classification?  The Robotolithic age ?

Check the website for dates, as these change every year.  In 2015 the show ran Dec 2nd – 5th.  It was held at Tokyo Big Sight (Tokyo International Exhibition Center) on Tokyo Bay waterfront.  The complex is worth the visit just for the experience of being in a futuristic city on the set of a Sci-Fi movie.  It reminded us of Caprica from the modern Battlestar Galactica !

The International Robot Exhibition is the largest robot trade show in the World.  If you find yourself in Japan try to attend, a window into the future.  This is the reason you are in Japan!

IREX brings together roughly 500 domestic robot manufacturers and related businesses with over 50 international exhibitors.  Participating are 100,000 domestic technicians and professionals.

IREX divides itself into two parts.  Large Industrial robots (IR) and then the smaller, cuter service robots (SR), along side small production systems and robots deriving from R&D activities of government, industry and academia, Medicine, manufacturing, security, etc.

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2015 Robot Show 045(IR) Industrial Robot
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Le Grand Bleu – Tokyo, Japan

llabove photo © Le Grand Bleu

Le Grand Bleu

(81)  33.585.5650
Minato-ku
Tokyo , Japan

www.maniac-co.jp/boutique

Open Hours:
11:00 – 22:00    Daily

Le Grand Bleu is one of those shops, that unless you are on the inside ultra-hip fashion Industry you would never find or even take a second glance at if you happened to stroll past.

On a quiet street, not far from the Reiyukai Shakaden Temple, sits a true rock fashion boutique.  Complete with new and vintage clothing, accessories, and jewelry from all over the world.  Every world rockstar touring Japan makes a stop here.  The US based equivalent would be LA’s Maxfield., though, Le Grand Blue gives off a much more authentic vibe.

Le grand Bleu is part f a Maniac Corporation group of stores including  Circus,  Forbiden Fruit and BEDROCK in Omotesando, well worth the visit, if you are into this type of thing.

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Le Grand Bleu 001