The Kyoto State Guest House was built in 2005 as facilities to welcome distinguished guests from all over the world and allow them to deepen their understanding of, and cultivate friendly relation with, Japan in Kyoto, which symbolizes Japan's history and culture.
From September, advance reservations for individuals will be no longer required. So now you can always visit there. However, please check the website before you visit because when they receive guests from abroad, the scheduled public opening is going to be suspended. （H.S)
Tapestry of Kyoto Mountain, which was woven using polychrome tapestry technique and portrayed the sun setting behind Mt. Atago, a peak to Kyoto's west.
Tea utensils and a gilded folding screen
In the garden pond, an evergreen plant called "nebikigusa" is planted to suggest a rice paddy.
Table setting in the banquet room
The water in the garden pond is very clear. The pond is stocked with varicolored carp.
A traditional boat. Dignitaries from overseas can enjoy boating on the pond.
In Novemeber 2011, the king and queen of Bhutan visited there and enjoyed boating.
Mt.Somugiyama in the center, from the summit of Mt.Nogo-Hakusan
Yesterday, I noted a nearby mountain at the summit of Mt.Nogo-Hakusan and found out the mountain was "Mt.Somugiyama (mountain in the shape of buchwheat berry)". I'm sure they compare the prominent shape of that mountain to the triangular shape of buckwheat berry.
I have seen this characteristic triangle berry in cookings recently. I never eat buckwheat noodles because I am allergic to buckwheat. And I'm afraid that buckwheat flour is used for cookings or sweets, so I check with salespersons or avoid eating if in doubt. If buckwheat berry is served in the triangular shape, it is easy to find but if it is crushed, it is hard to find.
I sometimes feel troubled when there is no description of ingredients or explanation in advance about food. For me, trips to local areas famous for buckwheat are like walking in a minefield.
I have been waiting eagerly for the release in Japan and I went to see the film on the opening day.
The film "Bohemian Rhapsody" depicts Queen, which is a British legendary band, and half the lifetime of Freddie Mercury, the lead vocalist. Actually, I am a big fan of Queen. When I was in junior high school, I heard the cool guitar riff of "Keep Yourself Alive" by Queen for the first time on the radio and I still remember the shock.
It is a well known story that Queen first became popular in Japan. Also, Freddie loved Japan so much and his house had a Japanese garden. He even had read "The Book of Five Rings" by Musashi Miyamoto (a Japanese swordsman). In the film, there was a line "If you get a hit record, you can go on a tour in Japan." , and there also was a paper charm of Kinkakuji Temple (Kyoto, Japan) was pasted by the door in a house set that was supposed to be in Munich.
Mr. Itami, who was Freddie's personal security guard in Japan, even now wears a wristwatch by Cartier that was a gift from Freddie.
The film is a masterpiece the you can experience real Queen's life by the actors' outstanding performances, especially Rami Malek, who played Freddie. The running time, 2 hours and 15 minutes, passes by like a flash with excitement and tears for Queen fans or rock fans. I didn't want the film to end. I would probably never see such a film again. Next, I am going to see the film at an IMAX theater , so I am very looking forward to it. (H.S)