Kyoto

Kyoto Aquarium serving up cute breads…and tadpole soup?

Kyoto may be well-known for its traditional buildings and breathtaking temples, but there’s also a different side to the city; one that’s totally modern and cute! Kyoto Aquarium is giving us a peek into the cute innovations going on in the city with an adorable range of sweet breads, available exclusively from their on-site cafes. This month, they’re paying homage to the frogs of Kyoto and the world with a new exhibit and some very unique additions to the menu.

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“So a Muslim, a Christian and a Buddhist enter a marathon race” is not the start of bad joke: Kyoto marathon to feature interfaith teams

The city of Kyoto is considering including a special interfaith relay race segment to the third annual Kyoto marathon to take place in February 2014.

Kyoto dispatched a city worker to observe the June 2012 interfaith race at the Luxembourg Marathon that saw 50 participants from 11 countries and seven religions taking part. That race garnered plenty of media attention with its high profile runners and sponsors that included the Dalai Lama and the world’s oldest marathon runner, 101-year-old English Sikh, Fauja Singh. The Japan Buddhist Federation is also expressing interest in an interfaith race at next year’s Kyoto marathon.

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Cute Kyoto! We Taste Hidden Delights From a Traditional Sweet House in Pontocho

Pontocho is one of Kyoto’s most beautiful geisha districts. With traditional tea houses, restaurants and bars all crowded together along atmospheric, stone-paved narrow lanes, this area breathes the air of an old, timeless Kyoto. Within its maze of weaving, intersecting alleyways, there are plenty of secrets to discover and hidden areas to explore. Walking through Pontocho, you might notice one of its many mysteries: the area is dotted with Japanese paper lanterns, all bearing the mark of the chidori, the plover bird. They’re incredibly beautiful, but why would a cute chidori design come to be on such traditional products?

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Japanese Permanent Resident Status to be Awarded to Overseas Students? A New Appeal by the Mayor of Kyoto

On April 10, the mayor of Kyoto Keiji Yamada made public his intentions to appeal to the government to award overseas students who graduate from Kyoto University with the right to permanent residence. It is a proposal entitled ‘Kyoto University Special Ward’ and also incorporates other supportive measures for foreign students. With a decrease in student intake within Japan in recent years, it is hoped that by providing incentives for academically skilled overseas students, Kyoto will not only be able to compete with other cities like Tokyo but will also be able to add a new lease of life to its cultural city.

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Minecraft User Decides to Make Kinkakuji, Eventually Creates the Entire City of Kyoto

Oh, Minecraft.  You masterful time-suck!  How is it that I can spend thirty hours of my life playing you, but only land up with a shanty of a shack and a tunnel that continues into the ground because I got bored and decided to pickax it up (at least I found diamonds!).

For those of you unfamiliar with the game, Minecraft is basically the game that never ends (yes it goes on and on, my friend).  It’s an open world game with no specific goals and players are free to build and create anything they want by breaking and replacing blocks of different materials (dirt, stone, wood, etc) that can be found all over the virtually endless map.  It’s surprisingly addicting.

You do not “win” Minecraft. You either 1) play until you’ve exhausted all of your creativity and fall on the floor in a crumbled heap after realizing how much time you’ve wasted (like me) or 2) build an incredibly elaborate, visually stunning block world that is the envy of the poor suckers who landed in category 1.

A user who goes by the name, Gawara, has earned his rightful spot amongst the envied Minecrafters in category 2 by recreating the entire city of Kyoto out of Minecraft blocks.

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Kyoto Noodle House Serves One Big, Long Noodle

Udon is one of Japan’s most well-loved noodles dishes, ranking in line with soba and ramen. Everyone has an opinion over which is the tastiest, but those who like a bit of girth in their noodles will probably go for udon, which are traditionally rolled thicker than other Japanese noodles.

If you really want something to chew on, Tawaraya, an established noodle house in Kyoto, makes udon noodles so thick that only one fits inside the bowl.

Our resident foodie, Kuzo, recently took a train out to the ancient capital to try Tawaraya’s udon for himself. Check out his report below!

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Is It Possible to Take a Photo of Mount Fuji from Kyoto? One Teacher Says Yes

Alright all you photographers, this might be your chance to take a historical, never-before seen shot of Mt. Fuji taken 261km (162mi) away in Kyoto.  Although it was calculated to be possible by a geography teacher at Tsukuba University High School, Hiroshi Tashiro, it’s certain to be easier said than done.

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TripAdvisor Ranks Top 20 Japanese Travel Destinations For Foreign Visitors, Hiroshima Edges Kyoto For Top Spot

The Japanese arm of tourism website TripAdvisor gathered user comments and evaluations from the past year and used them to rank the Top 20 travel destinations in Japan over that time. Hiroshima Prefecture maintained its popularity with two destinations in the Top 5 while five Kyoto sightseeing spots made the list.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and A-Bomb Dome moved to the top of the list after coming in second last year. Read More

In Kyoto, a tragic and fatal incident unfolded involving an unlicensed driver who ran their car into a crowd of people consisting of elementary school children and a pregnant woman.  It’s one of those horrible accidents that bring out the deepest hurt, shock and anger in all of us.

So it’s no surprise to hear people lash out at whomever or whatever is responsible but an especially scathing commentary has sprung from a surprising source.  Tajima Emergency & Critical Care Medical Center (TECCMC) who had sent an air ambulance to the accident scene, released an uncharacteristically harsh attack not on the driver of the vehicle but on the mass media outlets for their intrusive reporting on the premises in an article titled; Do people in the media have hearts?

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Gifu, Kyoto Rack Up Highest Averages in Japanese Boob Size Survey, Saitama Falls Flat

Cosmetics website “LC love cosmetic” (www.lovecosmetic.jp)  shared the results of a quick-and-dirty survey it conducted about women’s bust sizes, and the surprising facts are certain to titillate men (and women) with certain – ahem – outsized preferences.

The website, which bills itself as being “for two persons who love,” posted a list of Japan’s 47 prefectures arranged by average cup size, and for persons who love two large, shining orbs, there are no better places in Japan than Gifu and Kyoto Prefectures, where E is the norm.

For those who don’t like speed bumps between themselves and their lovers, Saitama Prefecture and its A-cup average beckon. The national average fell between B- and C-cups, with a majority of prefectures in East Japan at B and a majority of those in West Japan at C. Read More

Japan’s World Heritages Fly Well Under Radar

Did you know that Japan has 16 locations on the list of UNESCO World Heritages? Could you name them all with any sum of money on the line?

Survey Research Center, Co. Ltd. conducted a survey that showed that most people could not. When asked whether they were interested in Japan’s world heritages, 67.8% of those surveyed responded affirmatively. However, only 4% of respondents knew all 16 Japanese sites.

See how many you can name before looking at the list below:

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