3 Weeks in Japan – Part 2: Kyoto

Yes, we’re still in Kyoto. As I said it was my favourite destination and I took a TON of pictures.

After a long day outside Kyoto, visiting Arashiyama and its surroundings, we were late to visiting Fushimi Inari-taisha. The guides says that it takes 4 hours to visit this shrine, known for its long torii path up a mountain.

We arrived there for the golden hour and decided to push forward and see what it looks like in the dark. We went up quite far and admired an amazing view, but didn’t go to the top because it started to get late and we were hungry! So we went to look for some okonomiyaki… delicious!

 

Fushimi Inari-taisha japan night kyotoFushimi Inari-taisha japan night

Fushimi Inari-taisha lamps kyoto japanFushimi Inari-taisha view night kyoto

 

GOLDEN PAVILLON – KINKAKU-JI

Golden pavillon Kinkaku-ji kyoto japan

 

ENKO-JI TEMPLE

Enkō-ji Temple jizo statue kyoto

Enkō-ji Temple kyoto japan

Enkō-ji Temple gardens kyoto japan

 

PHILOSOPHER’S WALK

Philosopher's Walk kyoto Japan

 

The philosopher’s walk must be amazing during the sakura season! we were lucky enough to get there before it ended, but there were only a few flowers left.Philosopher's Walk kyoto Japan

Philosopher's walk kyoto japan sakura
Food of the day: delicious tonkatsu and green tea cream puffs!

 

TO-JI TEMPLE

To-ji temple kyoto japan

temple door

 

Behold! The heron vs. cat stand-off!


When you are entering a temple or a shrine you can wash your hand, sometimes face, sometimes you can even drink the water. Just purify yourself, fool!

 

For our last night, we went to see a « traditional arts » performance. We saw a tea ceremony, flower arrangements, a maiko dance and a puppet performance. It’s really touristy but I loved it!

gion kyoto japan

That’s it time to say goodbye to Kyoto…

temple mont kyoto japan

 

… See you soon for the next destination: Koyasan and Nara!

 

Previously on the blog…

Part 1: Kyoto

Next…
Part 3: Koyasan and Nara

Part 4: Kagoshima and Yakushima

 

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3 Weeks in Japan – Part 1: Kyoto

It was my life goal to visit Japan and I finally did it! I wanted to visit this country so bad but had quite a hard time deciding which places to see besides the obvious destinations like Kyoto and Tokyo.

I am an organisation freak when it comes to travel. I need to know that I am not missing something important: an awesome view, an amazing restaurant… I want to see and taste it all! Since I spent so much time and found so much interesting information on blogs and websites (I love to see bloggers post their travel photos), I thought that I could share my experience with the world and maybe help someone to plan his trip.

The fact that I wanted to see Yakushima (inspiration for princess Mononoke’s forest) made the route planning more complicated since it’s so far south. Here’s our travel itinerary:

 

japan map 3 weeks route itinerary tokyo osaka kyoto hiroshima yakushima kagoshima nara koyasan

 

Thank Glob for the Japan Rail Pass! Without it this vacation would have been very pricey.

 

We arrived in Tokyo and took the train to Kyoto right away. Kyoto was by far my favourite place in Japan! You can find very traditional neighbourhoods with temples and beautiful gardens, but you can also find « little Tokyo-style » areas. The best of both worlds. It’s the only place where we found tea houses everywhere. You could stop wherever you wanted to take a cup of matcha with some sweets or MOCHI ().

The first day was quite rainy, but that didn’t stop us.

Ryozen Kannon japan sakura cherry blossoms japan rain Japan-016

 

IT’S TEA TIME!

 

WE SPENT THE NIGHT IN AN AMAZING RYOKAN IN GION DISTRICT, EATING KAISEKI

 

You can find Jizo statues hidden in gardens or next to the road. They are Japanese divinities that are supposed to protect children (there is more to them, but I’ll talk about that later). I was obsessed with finding those little guys, they are so sweet and delicate.

Jizo Statue Kyoto japanJapan-037Japan-041

Japan-045

moss garden japan

tanuki japan moss fro

 

Next up…
Part 2: Kyoto (2)
Part 3: Koyasan and Nara
Part 4: Kagoshima and Yakushima

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Furiosa

I’m back from Japan and still working on the millions of photos I took there.

In the meantime I went to watch Mad Max: Fury Road and it blew my face off! What an amazing movie! I couldn’t resist drawing Furiosa. So here it goes.

 

furiosa mad max fanart illustration

 

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Japan

In one month I’m heading to Japan! It’s a lifelong dream of mine and I cannot wait to discover this intriguing country.

When I was younger I loved manga and anime, I learned to draw with Dragon Ball, Naruto, GTO and One Piece. Later I got more interested in Japanese movies, Ghibli and of course… THE FOOD!

Everything about Japan is so different from what I’m used to, I guess that’s what I love about it. Needless to say I’ve got quite the trip planned!

 

tea ceremony japan sakura cherry blossoms

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Mongolia

Lately I watched the Netflix show Marco Polo (which is GORGEOUS by the way) and was reminded of the amazing pictures I saw by Jimmy Nelson for his project Before They Pass Away in which he photographed tribes from all over the globe.

 

The tribe that fascinated me most were the Kazakhs from Mongolia. Feast your eyes on these:

 

jimmy nelson kazakh mongolia jimmy nelson kazakh mongolia jimmy nelson kazakh mongolia

©Jimmy Nelson

 

I went to Pinterest and started collecting images from various tribes and doodling. I liked this one sketch I did of some Mongolian children and decided to scan it in and put some color on it. Here’s the result!

 

mongolia mongolian children feed brother sister cute

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Django Reinhardt

Today is Django Reinhardt’s 105th birthday!

He was an amazing gypsy jazz guitarist and composer. After injuring his left hand in a fire he could only use his index and middle fingers, thus creating a completely new style of jazz guitar technique.

Here’s a portrait and a tune to listen to!

 

 

django reinhardt portrait guitar gypsy jazz guitar

 

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Sankt Martin

Each year around winter, I get a little « homesick ».

France is nice, but cold winter nights are just more magical in Germany. There are christmas markets, Glühwein, a sense of cosiness that I can’t find here.

On november 11th, german children get to walk in processions with paper lanterns (and to eat lots of pastries afterwards). I used to love St. Martin’s Day when I was a child. This Year on November 11th I got to sit at home all day long anyway, so I decided yo draw a little procession.

I bit off more than I could chew because it took me a really long time to finish it… but here it goes!

 

sankt martin, lanterns, november, children, lights

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Halloween!

It’s that frightening time of year again!

Personally, I hate horror movies. I can not watch them without ending up terrified for months. When people Suggest watching a horror flick, I’m out.

 

snow white disney scared run

 

What do I watch on Halloween?
Horror movies for noobs: The Addams Family, Nightmare Before Christmas, Hokus Pokus, Ghost Busters, Shaun of the Dead… That’s enough for me!

Being a huge fan of animation movies and Nightmare Before Christmas, I could not wait to watch Coraline, not knowing that this movie was going to mess me up. It is VERY creepy… The button eyes, the other father going nuts, the smile, the music! That’s why I chose this movie for my special Halloween illustration.

Happy Halloween everybody!

 

Coraline fanart other mother

 

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