The world of Japanese dango

September 11, 2020

How much do you really know about this quintessential Japanese snack?

Bringing the delights of hojicha tea to the West

September 10, 2020

KJ x Hojicha Co. KJ readers who have visited Japan before will almost certainly be familiar with roasted green tea—called hojicha in Japanese—which is invariably served upon sitting down in any restaurant or café. Moreish and refreshing served iced, and thoroughly warming and nutty when hot, it is one of those most welcoming aspects of Japan’s…

A Gourmet Journey Through Japan

August 14, 2020

Kokoro Care Packages are curated with natural products sourced solely from local farmers and producers in Japan, and can be shipped to wherever you are in the world.

Hiroshima Peace Memorial in Pictures

August 7, 2020

In 2015, Kyoto Journal writer and photographer Codi Hauka reported on the 70th Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony for OpenCanada. It was a hot and humid August day, volunteers passing out frozen hand towels and cups of ice water to the thousands of attendees. Elementary school children handed out programs that each contained a piece of…

A 75th Commemorative Year for the Hibakusha (2020-2021): Reflections on Our Tenuous Future

August 6, 2020

The year 2020 will long be remembered as the year of the coronavirus, unless more dramatic scenarios lie just ahead. Covid-19 has touched, perhaps transformed, humanity’s consciousness, and it will never be the same. Never before have so many of us been brought so close together while being requested to stay so far apart.

Hachise launches dedicated page for Otsu machiya properties

May 30, 2020

Our friends at Hachise have launched a new page for their beautifully-renovated Otsu properties.

Japanese Tea Houses Outside of Japan

April 27, 2020

A round-up of venues outside Japan that offer tea service and/or tea ceremony experiences.

Food: Our Five Most-Read

April 26, 2020

A passionate chef serving up shojin-ryori plant-based cuisine; the founder of Kyoto’s first (and so far, only) Korean teahouse; an encounter at an unusual temple restaurant and indigenous Ainu cuisine in central Tokyo: these are Kyoto Journal’s top five most read articles on food.

Japanese Craft: Our Five Most-Read

April 1, 2020

Our five most popular articles on the subject of Japanese crafts.

Kyoto City relaunches, the definitive guide for foreign visitors to the old capital

March 31, 2020

If you have ever connected to the Kyoto WIFI network at one of the more than 1,000 access points around the city, you will be familiar by now with the Kyoto Official Travel Guide at, which is the first page to pop up on your screen. Now, Kyoto City has launched a highly anticipated…

Encounters with Japan: Asia Art Tours interviews KJ’s John Einarsen

March 21, 2020

In the two videos below: Kyoto Journal‘s founder and publisher, John Einarsen, talks to Asia Art Tours‘ Matthew Dagher-Margosian about the circumstances in which he first set foot in, and fell in love with, Japan in the 70s; his introduction to Harada Shokei and the beginnings of Kyoto Journal; and also about the technique of…

KYOEN in pictures

March 14, 2020

Over three weeks this winter season, Kyoto Journal, with the help of some wonderful sponsors (Kyoto City Tourism Association 京都市観光協会, SunM Color サンエムカラー, Shoyeido Incense 松栄堂, Shimaya Stays シマ屋, Kyoto Distillery and Alishan Organics) and the Terminal Kyoto, was able to bring together the work of 25 artists in what was a rather unusual but…

Uncovering Japanese Gardens Outside of Japan

January 20, 2020

A selection of some of the most beautiful Japanese gardens outside of Japan.

Where can I find special Taiwan issue KJ96 in Taiwan?

January 9, 2020

Looking to get hold of a copy of our latest issue in Taiwan? Pop by these retailers in Taipei and Taichung.

Announcing the KYOEN 京縁 Exhibition

January 9, 2020

Kyoto Journal is delighted to announce that we will be holding a special exhibition at the Terminal Kyoto in early 2020 from January 25 – February 18. Over recent decades, international recognition of Kyoto’s deep and rich cultural traditions has established the city’s reputation as a new international art center. A wide variety of cosmopolitan…

New Life for Kyo-machiya

December 22, 2019

Hachise is a realtor that has come to the forefront of a growing city-wide endeavor to restore kyo-machiya. Starting in 2000, the company began to acquire properties for renovation and resale, hoping to spark renewed interest among locals who may otherwise have thought of machiya as stale relics of the past.

Coffee Ceremony with Doi Hirotomo

December 13, 2019

A report from a coffee ceremony with lacquer artist Hirotomo Doi.

Keeping it Local: KI NO BI Kyoto Gin

December 8, 2019

On a crisp autumn morning, members of the broader Kyoto Distillery community gathered for the yearly harvest of yuzu, one of the local botanicals that creates the distinct flavor of KI NO BI.

Creating Space for Artistic Expression: Reflecting on Kyoto Experiment 2019

November 29, 2019

Last month marked the 10th edition of Kyoto Experiment (KEX), an annual International Performing Arts Festival that presented avant-garde works by eleven feature artists who represented six regions of the world, running from Oct. 5-27. This year’s theme, Échos-monde: The Age of Ecology, explored the subtleties and complexities of our subjective relationship with nature to…

Miksang Contemplative Photography Workshops in 2020

November 26, 2019

Announcing the dates for John and Mitsue’s Miksang Photography courses in Kyoto in late spring 2020.

Minako Hiromi Exhibition at The Terminal Kyoto

November 8, 2019

Minako Hiromi’s new exhibition “An every-day life of reminiscence” (11.2–12.1, 2019) showcases her mesmerizing mandalas, each of which invite the viewer to explore the hidden stories in their stunning, hand-drawn detail.

Call for Submissions: Stories from Hong Kong for KJ 97

October 14, 2019

We are currently requesting submissions of short fiction and creative non-fiction from Hong Kong to be featured in our Winter Issue No. 97, which will explore the theme of “Next Generations.”

Bizen’s Past and Present at the Miho

October 3, 2019

With warm ochre blushes and the subtle textures of exposed clay, the ceramic style born out of Okayama prefecture’s Bizen is humble while retaining potential for visceral expression. The Fall show at the Miho Museum in Shiga prefecture, “Bizen: From Earth and Fire, Exquisite Forms,” running from September 14th through December 15th represents a rare occasion to view a diverse showing of Bizen ware and one which represents ceramic work as it evolved from is cultural emergence in the Momoyama Period (1573-1615).

The Politics of Memory: ICOM Kyoto confronts the role of testimony in museum narratives

September 10, 2019

“Museums are servants of memory,” said Bonita Bennet, Director of District Six Museum in Cape Town, during a plenary session at the International Council of Museums’ (ICOM) 2019 General Conference in Kyoto. “But the power they wield also makes them historical custodians of colonialism, and play a critical role in rituals of remembrance.”   This…

The International Museum Community Arrives in Kyoto

September 9, 2019

It is not uncommon for Kyoto’s streets to be filled with individuals immersed in the artistic and cultural atmosphere that suffuses the city. For the very first time, during September 1-7th 2019, those individuals represented museums of art, culture, history, and science from around the world. This year’s International Council of Museums, also referred to…

Expanding the boundaries of Ceramic Art: Takuro Kuwata at Kyoto’s Kiyomizu Temple

September 1, 2019

The name of this exhibit, “Day After Day”, is an expression of the ritual of production, paralleling the daily ritual of prayer that takes place a temple, the continued action of which build to result in a gradual refinement and accumulation of moments that in turn drive future expression and creativity. Kuwata’s impressive and thoughtful work encapsulates the message that the FEEL KIYOMIZUDERA project endeavors to convey.

Announcing Kyoto Journal x Shoyeido

August 11, 2019

KJ is honored to be collaborating with the venerable Kyoto incense maker, Shoyeido, for our upcoming 95th issue on Wellbeing. Shoyeido has been in the business of crafting hand-blended incense since the early eighteenth century and it is the only company doing so in the ancient capital today. Incense has been an integral part of…

Mourning, Rokujizo, Sunday July 21st 2019

July 21, 2019

Ken Rodgers   Every ten minutes, with every east-bound train, another contingent of Kyoto Animation Co. fans descends the stairs at Rokujizo-Keihan Station. Mutely they join a line stretching from the station to an improvised, far-too-small tent in a cramped bicycle park, to offer flowers and prayers to the 34 victims of last Thursday’s tragic…

Circling around Kyo-ryori

June 20, 2019

Whoever thought that food could shape a city and its culture in such a distinguished way?

Nagata Yuji: Mysterious Makie Artist at the Miho Museum

June 12, 2019

KJ intern Codi Hauka visited the MIHO MUSEUM for the press preview of their latest exhibition: Discovering Nagata Yūji, Unsung Makie Master, on until July 15. Makie (蒔絵) is the craft of using gold, silver and other metal powders to decorate lacquered objects that include everything from sake goblets to calligraphy boxes. It was developed…

Discover KJ: Join us for a Talk and Q&A May 24!

May 3, 2019

<Japanese below> What’s the story behind Kyoto Journal? What topics does it cover? And how is it possible for a magazine to be run entirely by volunteers?   We’re excited to hold an event that will speak to all of these questions and more about the longest-running independent English-language publication in Japan! Join us on…

Where can I find Small Buildings of Kyoto II outside Japan?

April 27, 2019

Looking to get your hands on the little book? We’re thrilled to share these international stockists with you and hope that you enjoy wandering their aisles to pick up your copy, much like how John enjoys wandering the streets of Kyoto discovering the charm of the city’s urban fabric.

Embrace slow travel: Head to “Kyoto by the Sea”: Part One

March 29, 2019

In the autumn of 2018, our Head of Design at KJ, Hirisha Mehta, was invited with a group of journalists to explore the northern and lesser-known areas of Kyoto Prefecture, called Kyo-Tango. This was part of an initiative by Kyoto by the Sea DMO (Destination Management and Marketing Organisation) to promote regional development through tourism.…

Artists’ Fair Kyoto

March 27, 2019

For its second year, AFK has proved itself worthy of being a highlight of Kyoto’s artistic calendar, bringing the energy of Kyoto’s local and international community together.

Chasen tea whisk-making with Tanimura Tango

February 23, 2019

One chilly Saturday afternoon in February several members of the KJ team ventured out to Nara for a workshop with Tanimura Tango-sensei, a master craftsmen of chasen: tea whisks used in the Japanese tea ceremony. We had previously featured Tanimura-sensei in issue KJ89: Craft Ecologies, in an article by Ai Kanazawa of Entoten. The workshop…

From the KJ Archive: Our Five Most-Read

February 2, 2019
Fukinuke-yatai painting techniques by which the viewer is invited to move from scene to scene. (Redrawn from Kasuga Gongen scroll c. 1300)

Spanning topics as diverse as the Japanese sense of place, the secret lives of the yakuza group and the arduous translation of a Heian-period classic, Kyoto Journal’s five most popular reads of all time are a testament to our vision: to delve deeply into timeless and emblematic facets of Asian cultures. 1. MA: Place, Space,…

Where can I find Kyoto Journal magazine in Kyoto?

January 27, 2019

Visiting Kyoto? Great! Other than coming along to our office to say hello (please e-mail us in advance or come on one of our drop-in afternoons), you can purchase a copy of the current issue of KJ at lots of venues around the city. Here are some of our favorites:   Gion Tenro-in Looking for…

Miksang Contemplative Photography Workshop in Kyoto

December 3, 2018

Making Contact: Relaxing This, Discovering THAT Learn to fully engage your eye, mind and heart in the present moment, see the world as it manifests, and express what you see with your camera. There is no better place to do so than in Kyoto: the city of Zen and ancient capital of Japan. Dates: May 8th-12th,…

Small Buildings of Kyoto is back!

November 13, 2018

We’re happy to announce that we have decided to publish a second book of John’s photographs in time for the holiday season! You can find more information and preorder your copy here. The photos have been making the rounds on social media, and thanks to you, they been picked up by Bored Panda for a second…

Autumn exhibition of chashaku (tea scoops) at the Miho Museum

October 24, 2018

KJ’s volunteer translator Hiroko Kawano went along to the MIHO MUSEUM press event for their new exhibition: 100 Modern Tea Scoops: Connoisseurship and Society, now on until 02 December. The chashaku(茶杓) is a small utensil, typically made of bamboo, used in Cha-no-yu tea ceremony to scoop powdered green tea (matcha) into tea bowls ready to whisk…

Glimpses of Wutai–shan

October 18, 2018

In August 2018, KJ managing editor Ken Rodgers visited Shanxi Province, particularly Datong and Wutai-shan, motivated by having read the 9th century Japanese monk Ennin’s travel journals (Ennin’s Diary: The Record of a Pilgrimage to China in Search of the Law, Edwin O. Reischauer translation) and John Blofeld’s account of his time there in the…

Kyoto Journal in Magazine B

October 14, 2018

Kyoto Journal’s John Einarsen and Ken Rodgers were interviewed at Social Kitchen for the Kyoto issue of Brand Documentary Magazine (or “Magazine B”), the publication from South Korea.

Hunter Gathering with Tomoko Konoike

October 8, 2018

This is a guest post by Anna Jamieson at Japan Objects (    This autumn, feast on the otherworldly paintings of Japanese artist Tomoko Konoike. Here at Japan Objects we spoke to Konoike about her show: ‘Hunter Gatherer’ now on at the Akita Prefectural Museum of Modern Art until November 25, 2018.     Tomoko Konoike…

Meet the KJ Team: Minechika Endo

September 10, 2018

Lisa Nilsson continues our series of interview with our super volunteers. She speaks to KJ photographer, Minechika Endo.

Meet the KJ Team: Maithilee Jadeja

September 3, 2018
Meet the KJ Team: Maithilee Jadeja

Lisa Nilsson speaks to some of our volunteers based in Kyoto. First up is Maithilee Jadeja.

Interview with David Cozy, KJ Reviews Editor

August 27, 2018
David Cozy at Mt Fuji

“What I am most proud of as an editor is that I have expanded the stable of writers who review for us, both bringing in talented people new to KJ, and also enticing those who’d done other kinds of writing for KJ over to the reviews section.”

KJ x Tea Life Audio

August 24, 2018

Tune in to TeaLife Audio, on everything Cha-no-yu!

Talking Yunnan

August 8, 2018

KJ’s director Lucinda Cowing spoke to Matt Dagher-Margosian, CEO at Asia Art Tours (, about Yunnan Province, China, where both have spent considerable time. Bordering Tibet to the north, Myanmar to the West and Vietnam to the South, the region has been exposed to the cultures of continent in ways that the rest of the…

A Distant Flickering Light: The Hibakusha Peace Movement

August 7, 2018
The Hibakusha Peace Movement

Mrs. Koko Kondo showing the manuscript written by her father, Reverend Kiyoshi Tanimoto, that inspired John Hersey’s classic, Hiroshima. Do you think the Hibakusha are still important? They are still very important. This is because those individuals of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are the only humans who have ever experienced and survived a nuclear bombing. That…

Kimono Style – A Guide

July 25, 2018
Kimono Style - A Guide

Guest post by Martin McKellar I respect the versatility of traditional Japanese kimono. What could give more convenience than a sleeve, the end of which serves as a pocket? How many times have I had to wrestle an item out of my front pocket while I sit scrunched up in the car in traffic? The…

Exploring Shiga: The Sacred Sites of Otsu

June 23, 2018
Ukimido Shiga 1

KJ’s Hirisha Mehta and Lisa Nilsson were hosted by Yukiko Reis at Biwako Visitors Bureau on an excursion of Otsu’s most important sacred sites, ahead of KJ’s Autumn/Winter issue: “Devotion.”   Situated on the south-western shores of Lake Biwa, Japan’s largest freshwater lake, Otsu is the capital of the scenic Shiga prefecture and the best…

Toyama: The Venice of the East

June 21, 2018
Toyama-ken Gogoku Shrine-min

In May this year, KJ’s Maithilee Jadeja and Minechika Endo joined the 23rd ‘Mizu no Miyako: Toyama Shuzai no Tabi,’ an annual press tour of Toyama City organized by Good Luck Toyama, in the company of journalists and photographers from around Japan. Located on Honshu island’s Japan Sea coast and just under 3 hours away…

Interview with Venantius J. Pinto

May 22, 2018
Venantius issue 80

The New York based artist Venantius Pinto describes himself as an artistic labourer and his drawing as an organic process.

Where to go in Kyoto and Shiga this season

April 30, 2018

Ukishima Garden Kyoto: Shojin-inspired, vegan cuisine in Kyoto Everyone knows how difficult it is to find vegetarian and vegan food in Japan: that tofu soup might contain dashi made from bonito stock, or sweet potato tempura cooked in the same oil as for the meat and fish! But when in Kyoto, look no further than…

KJ on Monocle Radio

February 18, 2018

KJ’s Director, Lucinda Cowing, went to Monocle Magazine‘s London headquarters at Midori House to speak to Henry Rees-Sheridan for The Stack, their radio segment on “the people and players shaping the future of print media.” She admits to having gone off on a bit of a tangent, but hopes you enjoy the short interview nonetheless.…

Exploring Shiga

October 19, 2017
Shirahige Shrine

KJ’s Anna Malpas and Minechika Endo spent the day exploring glorious Shiga, just a short train ride away from Kyoto! We were treated to some of the incredible tastes of Shiga, from the delicious Matsu no Hana sake, to a local delicacy called funazushi – a fish that has been packed in rice and fermented…