Nara And the Bowing Deer

On my tour of Japan for British people, I took them to Nara after Kyoto.

I have heard from Gifu prefecture officer, that the deer in Nara are very polite and bow to the people.

“Just kidding.” I said and couldn’t belive it.

But, I was wrong.

British people were enjoying to see polite deer too.

They were surprised to see such a lot of deers in Nara. Very different from Kyoto.

Toudai Temple 東大寺

Kasuga Shrine 春日大社

Koufuku Temple 興福寺

I asked if I could escape as their guide for a while, and I visited an Ink making company.

I went there from the station near Toudai Temple.


They show how to make Calligraphy ink and demonstrate.

Also we can see many kinds of calligrapy items.

I did not have enought time in Nara.
I hope to stay in Nara about two days next time.

British People First Visit to Kyoto

I made a schedule for some British people’s first visit to Kyoto for sightseeing.
They seached guide books, website and other material to find where to go. They asked me from January to make a list of places on Excel. But we did not visit all the places we had plan to.
We did not choose to go to the famous Japanese traditional restaurants and Sushi restaurant.
I hope the report will help your plan to visit Kyoto with foreign(Non Japanese) people.

Ryuuan Temple 龍安寺

Ryuuan Temple has stone garden.
It shold be silent… but there were many children as school trip.
If you want to have meditation time, must go there early morning.

Kinkaku Temple 金閣寺

You can walk to Kinkaku Temple from Ryuuan Temple. On the way there is a Sushi restaurant with a rotating counter. I really regret not going there.

If you want to take a photo without people, you should go in the morning.

There were a lot of people there. It was difficult to take a photo.

Take time to wait for your photo oppotunity.

Fushimi Shrine 伏見稲荷 Fox Shrine

Here is the popular spot in Kyoto known for the large number of gates.


We had a rest,

Then we started to walk.

We had good excicise there.

Kiyomizu Temple 清水寺

Kiyomizu Temple is a poplar spot but when we visited it was being repaired.

But we could enter inside

and enjoyed to see outside.

There are interesting spots and everyone looked like they enjoyed it

Yasaka Shrine 八坂神社

From town, it is easy to access the Yasaka Shrine.

We enjoyed taking a walk from Yasaka Shrine to Sannei-zaka it is a popular street.

I hope they enjoyed sight seeing in Kyoto.

Of course I checked the letters.

I was given advice to take them to Gyouza-no-Oushou it is a restaurant.

It was exaughsting to select a place for them to eat, ’cause they did not want to eat in a Japanese Restaurant.
Gyouza-no-Oushou is not a Japanese restaurant. It is Chinese resrautant a specialist for Gyouza.

They like Gyouza and other dishes It was a relief.
Many thanks to Gyouza-no-Oushou.

Mino Paper – Mino City in Gifu

I visited MINO-WASHI Traditional Japanese Paper Museum in Mino city Gifu Prefecture.



The River Nagara is in front of it.


The sign says Waku-Waku it means exciting House.

In the museum entrance there is a huge paper plane.

It was used in a TV program.

There is a large garden where children can play.

The museum has a lot of information about Japanese paper and its manufacture.
You can join a workshop to make paper.
The school children in Mino city, make their graduation certificate paper themselves. I am jealous of them.

After visiting the museum, I was taken to Mr. Masashi Sawamura who is a chairman of Hon Mino Paper Preservation Society.

Here he is putting his hands into chilled water and showing how to make Japanese paper.



It was a very cold day and he used a heater for his back.

I asked him to stop as it was so cold, but he said
“I must continue so we can make high quality paper.”

I could see his love of paper making.

There was a big poster on the wall next door.

Mr. Sawamura’s photo.

It was a lucky shot to catch the mist effect, it was NOT a photoshop picture.
“For the photo, I arranged for the wind to blow like that…”

The director of MINO-WASHI Traditional Japanese Paper Museum explained with a gesture.

I was thinking to leave, but Mr. Sawamura invited me into his office to show me some materials.

He also showed me some calligraphy.
Some of them are treasures, I enjoyed seeing them.
I thought we had finished, then Mr. Sawamura surprised me.

“Could you write on the paper?” Mr. Sawamura said.

“I DO NOT want to write on such a precious paper.” I could not accept his offer.

He said, “No problem. Try to write.”

“I know the value, so I can’t.”

At last he won the discussion.

He said that “I want you to feel how it is to write on my paper.” so I accepted.

But he handed me a calligraphy pen, not a proper calligraphy brush. I was sorry to use a calligraphy pen on such a precious paper.

“Show me your hand writing.” he asked me.
I wrote `MINO`美濃.

He saw my calligraphy, then asked
“Could you write bigger letters?”

He took a big calligraphy pen from his drawer.

I was very surprised to see such a big calligraphy pen, I did not know the company made them that big.
I was glad about the offer but I did not want to waste the paper, so I refused.

However he insisted, and I gave in.

It was valuable paper. I shouldn’t write without practice, I thought. Then I asked everyone what I should write for him.

`WA` for WASHI 和 `at MINO` 美濃

I was sorry that it was not my best work, but he was glad to see my calligraphy and people took a photo for us.

I was sorry that it was not my best work, but he was glad to see my calligraphy and people took a photo for us.I did not expect to write in Mino, but I could not refuse his smile.

After the visit, the Gifu prefecture officer and Mino city officer took me to town for sightseeing. They took me to Udatsu(firewall) rising street.

They showed me an Udatsu it is a gap between buildings that stops fires crossing over.

Only rich people used Udatsu during the Edo period, so we have a saying that “If you do not succed, you don’t need a Udatsu.

There are a lot of Udatsu in Mino city because the city’s commerce was thriving due to Japanese paper making and other.

In the town, there is the shop named Shiyuu.

Shiyuu sells many kinds of Japanese paper’s goods.

I could see the variety of Mino Japanese paper.

I am glad to know about Mino Japanese paper from the people in Mino. Many thanks to Gifu prefecture officers, Mino city officers. The director of MINO-WASHI Traditional Paper Museum gave me MINO-WASHI goods. Mr. Masashi Sawamura gave me his hand making paper.

Not only did I have a good experience there, I felt their passion for MINO-WASHI and thank them for their kindness in helping me.


I would spread the word about MINO-WASHI in the UK.

I am looking forward to going to Mino city again.
I hope to go there with my students next time.