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Greg Koch (Hands On Kyoto)
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Yesterday, checked out final day of "Cosmos in a Tea Bowl" exhibition, displaying Raku ware tea bowls spanning fifteen generations of the Raku family. One quote in particular stood out to me. "Tradition does not mean being bound by the past. It means living in the era you live in, and building the world you believe in" Kakunyu XIV Generation #handsonkyoto #japan #kyoto #raku #cosmosinateabowl #tea #wabisabi #日本 #京都 #らく #京都国立近代美術館 #わび www.handsonkyoto.com
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Snowed in Kyoto again, leaving beautiful snow covered vistas, reminding me of Canada. 
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Yesterday, @handsonkyoto finally did the tour of the Yamazaki Whiskey Distillery! The tour guide spoke mainly Japanese which was fine for me, but out of curiousity I got an English audio guide to see how it stacked up. It was pretty good, providing detailed information on whiskey distillation and the Yamazaki Distillery itself. Highly recommend the tour when you come to Kyoto. Found booking can be difficult, but recommend a weekday and try to book as early as possible, say one month ahead of time. www.handsonkyoto.com
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Look what I found in Gion yesterday! White plum or shiraume, already starting to bloom in front of one of my favorite ryokan in Kyoto, aptly named Shiraume. The okamisan or head proprietress said the shiraume tree is about 140 years old. This little guy was resting just below in the sun. #handsonkyoto #shiraumeryokan #shiraume #kyoto #shirakawa #gion #白梅 #京都 #祇園 #白梅旅館 http://handsonkyoto.com/gion-night-tour
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Saw this expertly crafted miniature reconstruction of Rajomon Gate, Kyoto City's main gate during the Heian Period (794-1185). Although it ultimately succumbed to devastating storm, it was the symbol of Heiankyo, standing at almost 7 stories in height and about half a football field, perhaps inspiring the novel Rashomon by Ryunosuke Akutagawa and film by Akita Kurosawa. On display now at Kyoto station!

www.handsonkyoto.com
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On my way home, caught site of #yamabushi or mountain-monks making annual blessings to individual houses inside #kyoto Found this interesting as they are usually found deep in the seclusion of #japanese mountains searching for spiritual enlightenment. @handsonkyoto www.handsonkyoto.com #shinto #buddhism 
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I appear in the current issue of #whykyoto about #kyoto 's new #kyotovisitorshost guide system. Available at hotels and info centers around Kyoto www.handsonkyoto.com 
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I did Hatsumode or made my first shrine visit of New Year at Fushimi Inari Shrine. It's said 2-3 million people visit between January 1-3. I can confirm that! It was packed around the bottom, but as I climbed the people thinned out and I could relax. After Fushimi, I continued along to other lesser known shrines and temples, part of a new tour I've developed!

http://handsonkyoto.com/break-dawn-tour/ 
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#handsonkyoto went to #kiyomizudera early this morning. Long time since I didn't have to worry about the crowds! #kyoto 
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#gregkoch of #handsonkyoto was interviewed in a feature edition on #kyoto city's new guide system known as #kyotovisitorshost on #asahitv 
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