Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Kyoto Travel—Philosopher's Path (Along the Old Canal)

The North-East Area of Kyoto includes the following famous temples:

The whole area (click the map to enlarge) can be visited by walk along the canal in about 50 mins.[1] This is a pleasant city stroll following the old canal, lined with cherry trees, between Ginkakuji Temple and Nanzenji Temple. Local scholars call the little alley flanking the canal "The Path of Philosophy".


  • Ginkakuji Temple (銀閣寺 Silver Pavilion) best of Japan
    • Is a Zen temple along Kyoto's eastern mountains (Higashiyama).
    • Consists of the Silver Pavilion, half a dozen other temple buildings, a beautiful moss garden and a unique dry sand garden.
      • Can be enjoyed by walking along a circular route around its grounds, from which the gardens and buildings can be viewed.
    • Admission: 500 yen
    • Hours:
      • 8:30 to 17:00 (03/01 to 11/30)
      • 9:00 to 16:30 (12/01 to 02/29)
  • Eikando Temple (永観堂) best of Japan
    • Is very famous for its autumn colors and the evening illuminations that take place in fall[3]
    • Eikando's most recognizable building is its Tahoto Pagoda, which is nestled in the trees on the hillside above the temple's other buildings.
      • Visitors can walk up to the pagoda, from where the rest of the temple grounds and the city of Kyoto can be seen.
      • The view from the pagoda is particularly attractive in autumn, when the maple trees of the temple grounds are changing colors.
    • Another attractive spot during the fall is the Hojo Pond, around which an attractive garden has been cultivated.
      • Autumn colors are usually best in the second half of November, when the temple is opened in the evening for special illuminations.
    • Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (entry until 16:00)
      • Special evening hours during autumn illuminations.
    • Admission: 600 yen (autumn daytime: 1000 yen, autumn nighttime: 600 yen)
  • Nanzenji Temple (南禅寺) outstanding
    • Whose spacious grounds are located at the base of Kyoto's forested Higashiyama mountains, is one of the most important Zen temples in all of Japan
    • Nanzenji's central temple grounds are open to the public free of charge, but separate fees apply for entering temple buildings and subtemples.
    • Hojo (former head priest's residence)
      • Is most famous for its rock garden whose rocks are said to resemble tigers and cubs crossing through water.
      • Also highly regarded are the paintings on fusuma (sliding doors), which include a more realistic depiction of tigers on gold leaf.
        • Visitors enter the Hojo building complex through the former temple kitchen (kuri), where they can also find a small tea room to their right with a view of a miniture waterfall.
      • Hours: 8:40 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February)
        • Admission ends 20 minutes before closing time.
      • Admission: 500 yen
    • Nanzenin Temple
      • It includes a garden centered around a pond which becomes particularly attractive in autumn.
      • Hours: 8:40 to 17:00 (until 16:30 from December to February)
        • Admission ends 20 minutes before closing time.
      • Admission: 300 yens
    • Tenjuan Temple
      • is noteworthy for its two gardens, a rock garden and a pond garden, which are particularly attractive during autumn when they are illuminated in the evenings.
      • Admission: 400 yen (500 yen during the evening illumination)
      • Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:30 during winter)

Get There and Get Around

Ginkakuji can be accessed by direct bus number
  • 5 (Bus Stop A-1)
  • 17 (Bus Stop A-2)
  • 100 (Bus Stop D-1)
from Kyoto Station in about 35-40 minutes and for 230 yen one way.

Alternatively, you can reach Ginkakuji by foot along the Philosopher's Path from Nanzenji in about 30-45 minutes.

Photo Credit

  • ema-mino.com


  1. Kyoto Walks (JNTO)
  2. Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion)
  3. Japan: Best Autumn Color Spots near Kyoto (Travel for a Purpose)
  4. Jakuchu Revealed—300th Anniversary of Ito Jakuchu's Birth (Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art)
    • October 4 (Tuesday) -December 4 (Sunday)
    • 9 am - 5 pm
    • Admission: based on the exhibition
  5. JAKUCHU The Divine Colors NHK Documentary (video)
  6. Kyoto Station (Kyoto Transportation Guide)
  7. Taking a bus in Kyoto
  8. Public Transport in Kyoto (important)
  9. Kyoto Guide: Kyoto Buses
  10. Kawaramachi Sanjo ⇒ Ginkakuji Mae (Ginkakuji Temple)
  11. Sanjo Keihan Mae ⇒ Ginkakuji Mae (Ginkakuji Temple)
  12. Arukumachi kyoto route planner (bus and train)
  13. Shirakawa-in Garden (白河院庭園)
  14. Kyoto 14 day weather forecast, Japan 

Friday, June 24, 2016

Travel: How to Count in Japanese?

Watch Yuu Asakura's video here to learn how to count from 1 (ichi) to a big number 1000,0000,0000 (issen oku). Here are some basic units:

1 / いち / ichi
10 / じゅう / juu
100 -— / ひゃく / hyaku
1000 / せん / sen
1,0000 / まん / man
10000,0000 / おく / oku

Note that 4 and 7 has two pronunciations:

4 = shi /yon
7 = shichi / nana

Sometime pronouncing 4 as yon or 7 as nana sound better in a different context.


  • Small-object counter (個 / / ko)
    • ikko, niko, sanko, yonko, goko, rokko, nanako, hachiko, kyuuko, jyukko
    • Watch Yuu Asakura's video here to learn how to count in (個 / / ko)
  • Counter for the hito-futa-mi counting system (similar to 個 and often used with Kanji)
    • hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu, yottsu, itsutsu, muttsu, nanatsu, yattsu, kokonotsu, too
    • Watch Yuu Asakura's video here to learn how to count in (個 / / tsu)
  • Person Counter (人 / にん / nin)
    • hitori, futari, sannin, yonin, gonin, rokunin, nananin/shichinin, hachinin, kyuunin, jyuunin
    • Watch Yuu Asakura's video here to learn how to count in (人 / にん / nin)
  • Animal/Insect Counter (ひき / hiki)
    • ippiki, nihiki, sanbiki, yonhiki, gohiki, roppiki, nanahiki, hachihiki/happiki, kyuuhiki, jyuppiki
    • Watch Yuu Asakura's video here to learn how to count in (ひき / hiki)
  • Bird/Rabbit Counter (わ / Wa)
    • ichiwa, niwa, sanwa, yonwa, gowa, rokuwa, nanawa, hachiwa, kyuuwa, jyuuwa
    • Watch Yuu Asakura's video here to learn how to count in (わ / Wa)
  • Cylinder-object counter (本 / ほん / Hon)
    • ippon, nihon, sanbon, yonhon, gohon, roppon, nanahon, hachihon/happon, kyuuhon, jyuppon
    • Watch Yuu Asakura's video here to learn how to count in (本 / ほん / Hon)
  • Flat-object Counter (枚 / まい / Mai)
    • ichimai, nimai, sanmai, yonmai, gomain, rokumai, nanamai, hachimai, kyuumai, jyuumai
    • Watch Yuu Asakura's video here to learn how to count in (枚 / まい / Mai)
  • Cup Counter (杯 / はい / Hai)
    • ippai, nihai, sanbai, yonhai, gohai, roppai, nanahai, hachihai/happai, kyuuhai, jyuppai
    • Watch Yuu Asakura's video here to learn how to count in (杯 / はい / Hai)
  • Machinery/Device Counter (台 / だい / Dai)
    • ichidai, nidai, sandai, yondai, godai, rokudai, nanadai, hachidai, kyuudai, jyuudai
    • Watch Yuu Asakura's video here to learn how to count in (台 / だい / Dai)


  1. How to Count in Japanese (video)
    • 1-10
      • ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku, shichi, hachi, kyuu, jyuu
    • 11-20
      • jyuu ichi, jyuu ni, jyuu san, jyuu shi/yon, ..., ni jyuu
    • 21-30
      • ni jyuu ichi, ni jyuu ni, ni jyuu san, ni jyuu shi/yon, ..., san jyuu
    • 40
      • yon jyuu (common)
      • shi jyuu (old)
    • 44
      • yon jyuu shi/yon
    • 70
      • nana jyuu (common)
      • shichi jyuu (old)
    • 77
      • nana jyuu shichi/nana
    • 99
      • kyuu jyuu kyuu
    • 111
      • hyaku jyuu ichi
    • 140
      • hyaku yon jyuu
    • 170
      • hyaku nana jyuu
    • 200
      • ni hyaku
    • 300
      • sanbyaku
    • 600
      • roppyaku
    • 800
      • happyaka
    • 1000
      • issen or sen
    • 3000
      • sanzen
    • 8000
      • hassen
    • 1,0000
      • ichiman
    • 100,0000
      • haykuman
    • 1000,0000
      • issenman
  2. Money

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Kyoto Travel: Visitng North-Western Area

Based on Japan National Tourism Organization's (JNTO) publication—Kyoto Walks, it says that, in Kyoto, the best surprises are reserved for those who are willing to walk. Among those recommended routes, it includes
  • Kinkakuji/Ryoanji Area (or the North-West area of Kyoto)
This area includes the following famous temples:
In this article, we will provide detailed travelling guides to this area.


  •  Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺videobest of the best
    • It is designated as a National Special Historic Site and a National Special Landscape, and it is also one of 17 locations comprising the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto World Heritage Site.
    • Mirror Pond
      • Kinkakuji is an impressive structure built overlooking a large pond
    • Gardens
      • Hold a few spots of interest including Anmintaku Pond that is said to never dry up, and statues that people throw coins at for luck.
    • Admission fee: 400 yen
    • Open Hours: 9 am - 5 pm
  • Ryoanji Temple outstanding
    • Is the site of Japan's most famous rock garden, which attracts hundreds of visitors every day
      • An interesting feature of the garden's design is that from any vantage point at least one of the rocks is always hidden from the viewer.
    • Temple grounds also include a relatively spacious park area with pond
      • Besides some nice walking trails, the park also offers a restaurant which specializes in the Kyoto specialty of Yudofu (boiled tofu).
    • Admission Fee: 500 yen
    • Open Hours
      • 8 am - 5 pm (Mar - Nov)
      • 8:30 am - 4:30 pm (Dec - Feb)
  • Ninnaji Temple best of Japan
    • One highlight is the Goten, the former residence of the head priest in the southwestern corner of the temple complex
      • Built in the style of an imperial palace, the graceful buildings are connected with each other by covered corridors, feature elegantly painted sliding doors (fusuma) and are surrounded by beautiful rock and pond gardens
    • Is also famous for a grove of locally cultivated, late blooming cherry trees called Omuro Cherries
    • Admission Fee: 500 yen
    • Open Hours: 
      • 9 am - 5 pm (Mar - Nov)
      • 9 am - 4:30 pm (Dec - Feb)

Northern Kyoto Half Day

In [3], it says that you can plan a half day itinerary for Kinkakuji/Ryoanji Area. However, this itinerary can be easily extended to a full day plan with a few additions. A popular plan is to do Northern Kyoto in the morning and continue on to Arashiyama in the afternoon. Here are the itinerary:

Kinkaku-ji (stay: 45 mins) ⇒ Ryoanji Temple (stay:1 hour) ⇒ Ninnaji Temple (stay: 1 hour)

If you plan to walk from temple to temple, view this video and also click the map to enlarge.

Get to There and Around

There are two main types of buses operating in Kyoto: 
In addition to Kyoto's regular city bus services, Kyoto city also operates three loop buses specifically for tourists. These are the Raku 100, Raku 101 and Raku 102.  Read this article "Public Transport in Kyoto" to get yourself oriented first.

Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺) can be accessed from Kyoto Station by direct Kyoto City Bus number 101 or 205 in about 40 minutes and for 230 yen. Alternatively, it can be faster and more reliable to take the Karasuma Subway Line to Kitaoji Station (15 minutes, 260 yen) and take a taxi (10 minutes, 1000-1200 yen) or bus (10 minutes, 230 yen, bus numbers 101, 102, 204 or 205) from there to Kinkakuji.[1]

Photo Credit


  1. Kinkakuji (金閣寺 Golden Pavilion) 
  2. Kyoto Walks (JNTO)
  3. Northern Kyoto Half Day
  4. How to travel between Kyoto and Tokyo
  5. Kyoto Guide: Kyoto Buses
  6. Mapping Kyoto Streets (06/27/2012)
  7. Raku Bus 100
  8. Raku Bus 101
  9. Raku Bus 102
  10. Kyoto Bus 205
    • West-side route
      • Begins in south Kyoto at Toji-michi and travels to Kinkakuji on the west side of Kyoto via Kyoto Station, Kyoto Aquarium, Nishioji Shichijo, Nishioji Gojo, Nishioji Shijo, Kitano-Hakubaicho, Kinkakuji and on to Kitaoji Bus Terminal.
  11. Kyoto Bus 204
    • clockwise 
      • Kitaoji Bus Station in northern Kyoto past Kinkakuji Temple, Waratenjin, Hirano Jinja, Kitano-Hakubaicho (convenient for Kitano Tenmangu Shrine), Enmachi, the southern end of the Imperial Palace along Marutamachi,Kurodani Temple, then north up Kitashirawaka past Ginkakuji Temple, passes Mototanaka on the Eiden Line, convenient for Maki Shoten, and then west along Kitaoji back to Kitaoji Bus Station.
    • counter-clockwise 
  12. Kyoto Bus 12
    • Ritsumeikan-yuki (Ritsumeikan-bound)
      • Begins at 7.38am on week days and 7.38 on weekends; the last bus is 10.50pm.
      • The bus is popular with Ritsumeikan students and staff who have commuted into Kyoto on Keihan railways.
      • Route
        • Shijo Keihan Station (四条京阪) ⇒ Sanjo Keihan Station (三条京阪) ⇒ Yasaka Shrine in Gion
          • Then west along Shijo Street, a major shopping area, turning north on Horikawa past Nijo Castle, Nishijin Textile Center and Hokyoji Temple up to Kitaoji then west to Kinkakuji past Bukkyo University to terminate at Ritsumeikan Kinugasa campus.
    • Sanjo Keihan-yuki (三条京阪 Sanjo Keihan-bound)
      • Begins at 6.20am daily and the last bus is 9.30pm.
  13. Keifuku Randen Tram Line 
  14. English language online route finder 
  15. Kyoto Station (Kyoto Transportation Guide)
  16. Taking a bus in Kyoto
  17. Public Transport in Kyoto (important)
  18. Kyoto Guide: Kyoto Buses

Friday, June 17, 2016

Japan Travel: Eating in Nara (奈良)

Nara (奈良) was the capital of Japan from 710 to 794.  In 2010, Nara celebrated the 1,300th anniversary of its ascension as Japan's imperial capital.

Because of its long history, Nara has developed a unique cooking culture (和食 / Woshoku) as detailed in [1].

Washoku (和食) in Nara

In [1] and [2], both of them mention the following two delicacies: 
  1. 鹿肉の大和煮 (shikaniku no Yamato-ni)
    • The venison meat that is high in protein is stewed and when you bite into its tender meat, you can’t help but agree at how delicious and fragrant the stew is.
  2. 柿の葉すし (かきの葉ずし /  kaki no hazushi)
    • Made of rice seasoned with vinegar and slices of salmon or salted mackerel on top
      • The mackerel used in this food is prepared according to a special method which is kept secret by the people who make it. This is why kakinoha zushi is only available in Nara.
    • Formed in the shape of a cube, and wrapped with a "kakinoha" or persimmon leaf.
      • Persimmon leaves contain tannin which acts as a natural antibacterial agent. They also contain vitamin C and can help to control high blood pressure. 


Based on the reviews on Tabelog.com, here are some recommendations for your consideration:

More Food Sources

As mentioned in [7], there are other stores than restaurants that sell food items such as bento, side dishes, vegetables, etc.  Here are some of them in Nara:

Photo Credit


  1. Washoku in Nara
    • 葛料理—dishes made from arrowroot starch
  2. 13 Top Local Culinary Delights in Kyoto and Nara
  3. What is Kakinoha-zushi?
  4. Hiking Trails in Japan 
  5. Tabelog.com (Nara)
  6. Japan: Visiting Nara (奈良) in One or Two Days (Travel for a Purpose)
  7. Japan Travel: Eating in Kyoto
  8. Survival Japanese as a Traveling Vegetarian (Travel for a Purpose)
  9. Survival Japanese at Restaurants (Travel for a Purpose)
  10. Survival Japanese—How to Order 丼ぶり (Travel for a Purpose)
  11. Japan: Best Autumn Color Spots near Kyoto (Travel for a Purpose)
  12. 50 things to do in Nara, Japan’s Oldest Capital

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Kyoto Travel—Visiting Ohara for Autumn Colors and Moss Garden

Ohara (大原) is a nice walking area (1.5 hours) somewhat comparable to Arashiyama, where you can touch the heart of rural Japan.  Sanzen-in Temple (三千院)  is the main attraction of the rural town of Ohara.

In Japanology's video "moss", it has introduced Saiho-ji temple (西芳寺) — a  Buddhist temple with famed moss garden.  However, you cannot visit it without advance reservation and satisfying preconditions (see here). Then, Sanzen-in Temple could be a good alternative for you to visit a moss garden. Read [2] for more details.


  • Sanzen-in Temple (三千院)[4] best of Japan
    • From the main hall (神殿 / shinden ), visitors can enjoy the most famous view of Sanzenin Temple—the Ojo Gokuraku-in Hall seen through maple and cedar trees across a moss garden.
    • Admission: 700 yen
    • Open Hours
      • 9:00-17:30 (Mar-Oct), 8:30 - 17:30 (Nov)
      • 9:00-16:30 (Dec-Feb)
  • Jakko-in Temple (寂光院outstanding
    • A long flight of stairs leads up to the temple gate, which is particularly attractive during the autumn (紅葉 / こうよう / kouyou; see picture above)
    • Admission: 600 yen
    • Open Hours
      • 9:00-17:30
      • 9:00-16:30 (Dec-Feb)
  • Waterfalls (音無の滝 / おとなしのたき / otonashi no taki)
    • If you follow the walking trail behind the temples further into the forested mountain, you will eventually get to Otonashi Waterfall.
    • Is an attractive waterfall located in the forest behind Ohara.
    • Read [1] for more details
  • Hot springs
    • For travelers with less time, the baths are also open to day trippers in combined lunch and bath sets.

Get There and Around

Using buses in Japan can be intimidating to foreign tourists because there are usually few English displays or announcements, and there are different systems of ticketing depending on the company.
Read this good article for how to use a local bus.

To reach Ohara (大原), there are at least three options:[7]
  • From Kyoto Station (~40 mins)
    • Take the Karasuma Subway Line
      • to its terminal station Kokusaikaikan Station (20 minutes)
    • Then Kyoto Bus number 19 
      • to Ohara (20 mins)
  • From Kyoto Station (60 mins)
    • Take Kyoto Bus number 17  (Bus Stop C-3) to Ohara
      • Check out the timetable here (in Japanese)
  • From Shijo-Kawaramachi Station 四条河原町 (45 mins)
    • Take Kyoto Bus number 17 to Ohara
      • Check out the timetable here (in Japanese)
      • Stop over Sanjo Kehan Station (三条京阪) too
The timetable(s) are shown in Japanese only.  Here are some important translations of them:
  • 行先 (Destination)
    • 大原 (Ohara)
  • 経由 (Stopover)
    • 四条河原町(Shijo-Kawaramachi Station)
    • 三条京阪 (Sanjo Kehan Station) 

Finally, remind you that:
  • The bus rides are not covered by the 1-day bus pass 
  • To get around, see the map (click to enlarge)

Photo Credits

  • Japanhopper.com
  • JNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization)


  1. Ohara Area (大原) outstanding
  2. Sanzenin Temple outstanding
  3. Ohara Bus Timetable 
  4. Kyoto Walks (JNTO)
  5. Autumn Colors
  6. Local Buses (important)
  7. 三千院門跡
  8. お得な乗車券 (Discount Bus Tickets; in Japanese)
  9. 寂光院 (in Japanese)
  11. Arukumachi kyoto route planner (bus and train)
  12. 春を呼ぶ水仙 (in Japanese)
  13. At Home with Venetia in Kyoto
    • Venetia Stanley-Smith has been living in Kyoto's Ohara district for a decade. We introduce her eco-people-friendly way of life.
  14. Kyoto Bus Route Map (pdf)
  15. Kyoto 14 day weather forecast, Japan 

Japan Travel: Eating in Kyoto

As a traveler in Japan, you could be worried about simple things such as where to dine or lodge. For example, many people have asked where to buy breakfast in the early morning. It's true that most restaurants don't serve breakfast and won't open until 10 or 11 am.

Also, as a budget traveler, you may want to save money on meals while, at the same time, want to experience real Japanese Foods. If you are such a person, this article may offer some helps for you when visiting Kyoto (京都) area.


Not many eateries serve breakfast (朝食 / ちょうしょく / choushoku) early morning in Kyoto. As a visitor, you may want to plan ahead. Here are some suggestions:

In a Hurry

If you are on the road and don't have much time to eat in a sit-down restaurant, consider bento (弁当 / べんとう) and side dishes sold at the following locations:
  • Department Stores
    • At the Department Stores of Japan, most of them have the food shops at their basement, where you can buy bento, sweets, side dishes, etc.
    • The two food floors below Isetan Department Store are a wonderland of culinary delights. They’re the best high-end supermarket in the Kyoto Station Area.
      • Read [6] for 7 recommended food items to buy
  • Train Stations
    • Read [1] for 15 recommended bento to buy at Kyoto Station
  • Traditional food markets [10-13]
    • Nishiki Market (錦市場 Nishiki ichiba) outstanding
      • Known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", this lively retail market specializes in all things food related, like fresh seafood, produce, knives and cookware, and is a great place to find seasonal foods and Kyoto specialties, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi.[11]
      • As same with Kuromon Ichiba (黒門市場) in Osaka, some shops offer ready-to-eat snacks for take away.[12]
  • Convenience Stores[15]
    • You can get many kinds of meal there. Not just snacks, there are many meals suitable for breakfast, lunch or even dinner. For example, these are the 3 best meals you can find:[14]
  • Supermarkets[18]
    • Department store basements usually have a small-size supermarket (i.e., place that sells general groceries), but they are usually relatively high in price.
    • Fresco (Kyoto Area)
    • Gourmet City
    • Kyoto Coop

Have Time

If you have time for a formal meal and would like to experience Japanese-style foods, consider the following choices based on food categories:

Photo Credits


  1. 15 Recommended Bento To Buy at Kyoto Station
  2. 15 Fine Dining Restaurants in Kyoto to Die for
  3. This is Washoku 日本料理 (video)
  4. Restaurants in Kyoto (TripAdvisor)
  5. Japan Travel—Get Your Tax Refunds at Department Stores (Travel for a Purpose)
  7. 20 Locally Recommended Restaurants in Kyoto
  8. 30 Must-Buy Food Souvenirs from Kyoto
  9. 13 Top Local Culinary Delights in Kyoto and Nara
  10. Cultural Immersion: Experiencing a Traditional Market in Kyoto
  11. Nishiki Market
  12. Local food market, Nishiki Ichiba(錦市場) in Kyoto
  13. Nishiki Market 錦市場 – The Kyoto Kitchen
  14. 3 Cheap Meals You Will Find in Japanese Convenience Stores
  15. Convenience Stores in Kyoto
  16. Supermarkets in Kyoto
  17. Budget places to eat
  18. Supermarkets or grocery stroes in japan?
  19. tabelog.com
  20. Core Kyoto Kyoto's Cafe Culture 28.04.2016
  21. Core Kyoto - Japanese Cooking 
  22. [Core Kyoto] Shinise Food Culture
  23. Food Documentary Japanese Food: Kyoto Full Length

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Japan Travel—Get Your Tax Refunds at Department Stores

As a foreigner holding Temporary Visitor visa, you are qualified for some benefits (e.g., discounts and tax refunds) compared to Japan residents.[1]

In this article, we will cover tax refunds when you shop at a department store.

Layout of Department Stores in Japan

The floor plans of Department Stores in Japan look similar:
  • Top floor 
    • Restaurants
  • Basement (デパ地下 / デパちか  / depachika )
    • Food shops
      • In most cases, in the basement of department stores, there is a floor that's full of small kiosks and storefronts where you can buy side dishes, bento, sweets, and more. 
Both floors in a Department Store take care of customers' stomach first.  Then customers will stream through each floor based on two effects:
  • Fountain effect (shown in the diagram above)
    • if customers start visiting food shops first
  • Shower effect
    • if customers start eating at restaurants first

Tax Refunds

As a foreigner visiting Japan, you are eligible for tax refunds on some non-consumable items.  You can get more information below.  This information (downloaded on 06/09/2016) was posted on the web site of Takashimaya Department Store (Kyoto).  This Department Store charges 1.1% handling fee on the price of the product subject to tax exemption.

To get tax refunds, you need to use your passport.  Note that it  is also a legal requirement that you carry your passport with you at all times as a foreign national in Japan.  Finally, you should apply for a credit card that charges no transaction fee on foreign purchases.[1]


  1. Tips: Traveling in Japan (Travel for a Purpose)
  2. Duty free shopping in Osaka
  3. Takashimaya Department Store (Kyoto Store)
  4. BEGIN Japanology - Department Stores (video)
  5. 7 Recommended Items from JR Kyoto Station’s Isetan Depachika Food Floor
    • At the JR Kyoto Isetan depachika, you can try these 7 shops that offer the tastes of Kyoto and its surroundings

Monday, June 6, 2016

Japanese: Top 25 Adjectives to Learn

You can watch Risa teaching top 25 must-know Japanese adjectives from youtube here.

In this article, we list those phrases in written forms.  So, you can practice them repeatedly or you can copy the phrases from here and paste them to japandict.com or a Japanese language-learning tool for further research.

  • Many  

    • 多い / おおい / ooi

  • Cheap   

    • 安い / やすい / yasui

  • Hot

    • 熱い / あつい / atsui

  • Long

    • 長い / ながい / nagai

  • Fast or Early

    • 早い / はやい / hayai

  • Like

    • 好き / すき / suki

  • Same

    • 同じ / おなじ / onaji

  • Scarce or Few

    • 少ない / すくない / sukunai

  • Necessary

    • 必要 / ひつよう / hitsuyou

  • Skilled or Expert

    • 巧い / うまい / umai

  • Delicious

    • 美味い / うまい / umai

  • Cool or Great

    • 凄い / すごい / sugoi

  • Close or Near

    • 近い / ちかい / chikai

  • Difficult

    • 難しい / むずかしい / muzukashii

  • Good or Nice

    • 良い / いい / ii

  • Small or Tiny

    • 小さい / ちいさい / chiisai

  • New or Latest

    • 新しい / あたらしい / atarashii

  • Bad

    • 悪い / わるい / warui

  • Big

    • 大きい / おおきい / ookii

  • Cold

    • 冷たい / つめたい / tsumetai

  • Delicious

    • 美味しい / おいしい / oishii

  • Tall or High

    • 高い / たかい / takai

  • Far

    • 遠い / とおい / tooi
    • Example
      • それは遠いか近いです 

  • Short

    • 短い / みじかい / mijikai

  • Fun

    • 楽しい / たのしい / tanoshii


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