Togetsu-kyo Bridge

“Once was enough”

This is the famous bridge that goes across Katsura River. It connects the two sides of Arashiyama. The Togetsu-kyo Bridge is Arashiyama’s most iconic landmark because it seems to look perfectly placed with the forested mountainside in the background. During the spring and fall, the cherry blossoms and fall leaves also attract crowds to this bridge. Continue reading


Yasaka shrine

“Popular Meeting Spot”

An often visited shrine in Southern Higashiyama, is the Yasaka Shrine. The shrine includes several buildings, including gates, a main hall and a stage. The Yasaka Shrine starts  at a main cross road in Gion and went a bit up a hill. Because it is between a main road in Gion and Maruyama Park, during festivals, crowds often pass through the temple on their way to Maruyama Park. Especially during April because Maruyama Park is a popular hanami (cherry blossom viewing) site. Continue reading


Owarai is a modern Japanese style of stand-up comedy that appears on television. Owarai is the more modem version of Manzai. Owarai is written as お笑い, which directly translates to “a laugh” or “a smile.” Owarai is usually based on gags or skits by individuals or comedy teams. Their jokes and skits frequently include cheap, old-fashioned sound effects — these sound effects are for intentional comedic effect, Japanese puns and word play, and hidden-camera prank videos — this was a commonly used skit/joke that they took from western culture. Continue reading

Fish Market and Sushi Making Experience

This tour consists (as the name describes) a tour of a famous and popular fish market and then a chance to experience sushi making with a master. The fish market we went to was Tsukiji Fish Market. Tsukiji Fish Market is composed of two sections, an outdoor section and an enclosed section. This tour took us around both and explained several different foods, and traditional/ unique snacks.  Continue reading