Sunday, 22 July 2012
My home is my castle, a peek inside my mini-apartment at Kyoto
This post is looooong overdue! Some of these pictures were already made in March in preparation for this article. In the pictures of my street you can see the abundantly blossoming cherry trees of spring. Before today there was always something more newsworthy that had to come first. Since the upcoming stories are the last few from Kyoto, I wanted to take this time to show you where and how I have been living my blissful life in Kyoto. (I will, however, keep posting new stories on So Kyoto, since there is a lot more to tell than I could manage to put online every week).
In the meantime: Welcome to my home in Kyoto! I live on the 3rd floor of an five story apartment building in the neighborhood of Kamigyo-ku. Every neighborhood in Japan has it's own shrine it belongs to, and 'mine' is Kitano Tenman-gū. I recommend to visit the temple and it's antiques market when in Kyoto, they're both worth your time!
Furthermore, Horikawa dori, a main 'artery' of Kyoto is at the back of my building. Luckily the traffic noise does not reach me. I merely enjoy the positive side of living near this street, with the bus stop in front. And there are many different trees and flowers planted alongside plus a lowered river bed where you can have a nice walk. I even watched fireflies there last month.
As you can see on the pictures made inside, the apartment is little more than a tiny bedroom, with a tiny, tiny kitchen and an even tinier bathroom! In the bathroom everything is made of plastic, top to bottom. Easy cleaning, simple living. :) The kitchen is less of a sturdy luxury, being so small, there's no space to put a plate even. And it get's so hot when cooking, which was nice in the cold month of March, but soon became something of an in-house-onsen the following months (An onsen is a Japanese bathhouse). Which meant way more cheese grilled sandwiches for dinner. Or ah… way more eating outside than I had anticipated for. Poor little me!
To make it my own I put up posters of cool and beautiful art exhibitions and fun events. The best ones I find grace the kitchen cabinets, front- and bathroom door, even on the inside of my built-in closet! A few strings of postcards on strings of ribbon hang above the dinner table (if one can call it that) to enjoy while eating that cheese-grilled sandwich.
Apart from the colourful cards and flyers I also have a view to savour that I will never, ever forget! A nicely done small Japanese garden and a little further up, the mountains! Maybe hard to see in the picture, but easy to see from my window. Every day waking up, looking out and seeing those mountains…. bliss, bliss, bliss.
Somewhere between the little garden and those mountains I can see the happy flags flying of the neighborhood Uniqlo. Who doesn't want to live around the block from this wonderful Japanese fashion chain store? And as if that's not enough, there's my supermarket, Life (Pronounced 'Raifu' in Japanese) and up the road, around the corner there's also one of the two Muji stores in the whole city of Kyoto. And it doesn't stop there. You can find some very, very good restaurants which will make you want to come back. Isn't this all a dream come true? For me it is. And I will miss Kyoto so much!