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No more ticket confusion – IC cards in Japan

Do you also find it hard sometimes to get the right train ticket in Japan? How much is it from here to there? With train line is it? JR line? Metro? Bus? There is a very simple solution to that: IC cards!   Easy traveling The IC card is a prepaid transportation card, that will […]

Happy birthday, hachi!

Today marks exactly one year since we opened Guest House hachi and looking back, we all had an amazing first year here. Within the last year, we made many new friends and created wonderful memories. I think, with this occasion, it is a good time to tell you how it all started.   We found the […]

Gion Matsuri in Kyoto

It is the month of July, a very important month for Kyoto because it’s the month of Gion Matsuri! You might have heard of it before since the Gion Matsuri Festival is one of the biggest and most famous festivals in all Japan. This festival actually originated for rather tragical reasons, because it started as […]

Romantic Star Festival (Tanabata) at Kodai-ji Temple

Kodai-ji Temple with its extensive gardens which include a bamboo forest and beautiful ponds is a popular Kyoto tourist site. This weekend on 7. and 8. July Kodai-ji Temple has a special evening light up event to celebrate Tanabata or the “Star Festival”. Tanabata celebrates the meeting of two celestial lovers (Orihime and Hikoboshi) who […]

Kyoto’s largest Machiya 2min away from hachi!

Sumiya Motenashi Art Museum Just two minutes walking from Guest House hachi you will come across a large wooden building, not only beautiful from outside, but from the inside as well! The building is Sumiya Motenashi, now open to public as a Cultural and Art Museum, used to be a very high-end restaurant, where Geisha […]

Mifune Matsuri (Three Boat Festival)

Mifune Matsuri (Three Boat Festival) takes place on this week’s Sunday. It is hosted by a small shrine named Kurumazaki-jinja, that worships gods for artistic talent. The festival starts there at 12:30 with a ritual, where people dress up in ancient Heian costumes, they then proceed to Arashiyama’s famous Togetsu-kyo Bridge and board about 25 […]

How to use a Japanese Onsen (Hot Spring)

One of the must-dos if you want to experience Japanese culture at first hand is taking a nice hot bath in one of Japan’s many Hot Springs! For some of you it might be the first time to go to an onsen in Japan and so to wash away any worries you might have, we […]

Aoi Matsuri

Every 15th of May the annual Aoi Matsuri takes place in Kyoto. Being one of the three big festivals of the city, visitors should not miss this opportunity when the procession starts at the Imperial Palace and moves on to the two northern Shrines (Kamigamo and Shimogamo Shrine) where the messenger of the emperor appeases […]

Popular Kyoto Souvenirs

A trip to Japan is always a special one. So special for me indeed that after visiting Japan six times, I finally decided to stay. During my travels I filled up my already bursting suitcase with loads of souvenirs so I could always remember my experiences and also let my beloved ones at home taste […]

Top 10 Hanami Spots in Kyoto

Just as important as the Japanese weather forecast these days – or even slightly more – are the sakura or cherry blossoms forecast which is all over the media. The forecast about where and when the cherry trees will bloom is a science for itself, predictions being as accurate as of analyzing the exact day […]