Monday, February 15, 2010

Weekend in Kyoto & Kobe           京都、神戸での週末

To kickoff the weekend festivities, I ventured out to Kyoto on Saturday evening to have dinner at the Shinkiro restaurant located not far from the downtown area in Kyoto but surprisingly in a part of town that I never knew existed. Within ten minutes by walk from the Shijo-Kawaramachi area, the architecture of the buildings in the neighborhood of Shinkiro take one back in time to that of ancient Kyoto. After getting settled in and enjoying the ambience over food and drinks, a 16 year old maiko by the name of Chika (shown in first picture above) came arrived as the main attraction halfway through dinner and spent a good hour interacting with us. As this was my first encounter with a maiko in a private setting, it was definitely an enjoyable experience.

With Kyoto situated to the east of Osaka, I headed to the west of Osaka to Kobe on Sunday to pay a visit to Yasuhito Fujiwara (shown in second picture above), owner of the Kobe Marine Air JAIRA Horse Riding Club. The horse riding club opened in May 2009 on Port Island in Kobe situated along the ocean with picturesque views of the surrounding Kobe landscape. With twenty some ponies and horses available for riding and training, I recommend all in the Kansai area to venture to JAIRA to experience horse riding in a state-of-the-art facility that incorporates not only design and functionality developed in Japan but also that from Germany as well. If planning a visit to JAIRA, please be advised to make a reservation for horse riding in advance.



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