Adventures of an American Seoul-Sister

Adventures and Observations of an American Seoul-Sister

Monday, April 23, 2012

Arashiyama Monkey Park

There is a wild snow monkey (aka: Japanese monkey) preserve in the Arashiyama mountains on the west side of Kyoto.  For only a few dollars, tourists can walk along marked trails through the habitat.  The monkeys can be seen roaming the mountainside and even be enjoyed up close and personal.  They are quite used to and therefore unafraid of humans.  The adult monkeys are about 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall.  The littlest baby I saw was around one foot tall. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Gion Culture Show

My first night in Kyoto, I was able to catch a show in the famous Gion District.  This is the traditionally center of geisha and teahouses.  The show featured iconically Japanese cultural exhibits. 

Embroidered stage curtain

Tea Ceremony

Court dancer

Court musicians

Kyogen play

Meiko: Dance of the Butterfly


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hostel Haruya in Kyoto

Here's some pics of the hostel I stayed at in Kyoto: Hostel Haruya.  What a great place!  It's a traditional, old Japanese house, complete with futons, tatami mat floors, and sliding paper walls.  It was beautifully furnished and included everything I could have needed: internet, washing machine, books, hapi coats to wear when cold, and a small kitchen.  The host was so nice.  He greeted me with a personalized itinerary and always informed me about the daily weather. 

Haruya is within walking distance of many tourist sites including the Silver Pavilion and the Gion District.  I saved a lot of money by walking.  Also, there is a traditional bath house around the corner which was fun to experience. 

If you are planning a trip to Kyoto, I recommend this hostel and look forward to returning there myself one day. 

Leaving Kyoto with all my new stuff just outside the hostel. 

Bitchin' lamp in the girls' dorm room.

My final night was upgraded to a private room by my generous host. 

Upstairs shared lounge area.

Other side of upstairs shared lounge area. 

Doors to my private room.
My room with futon set up.