Shugakuin Imperial Villa

JO Juyeon

I like Japanese gardens and have visited many of them. Among the gardens I have visited, the best is the Shugakuin Imperial Villa. Since so many people submit applications to visit, if you want to visit there, you need to get permission from the Imperial Household Agency Kyoto office. In the case of foreigners, they have to wait about a week to obtain permission. And I heard that Japanese have to wait about 3 months. When you are guided through the villa by the staff, you will feel as if you were in another world. It is a quiet and beautiful place in which you can forget the stress and worry of daily life. Why don’t you go?

Imperial Household Agency URL

Shugakuin Imperial Villa

Shugakuin Imperial Villa

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Communication through Cooking!

tofu dishes

A cooking class for foreigners was held by the Daily Life Adviser Group of kokoka on 4th March at Kyoto Terrsa. Each dish was made with tofu which is a traditional Japanese food. On the menu was Tofu Hamburger, Kenchin-jiru (soup), Komatsuna & Tofu Salad, and Tofu & Yoghurt Bavarois.

19 participants were divided into 4 groups and started cooking after they listened to the instructions and watched demonstration by staff members. At first, the atmosphere was tense because some participants came to the class alone or did not have a lot of experience in cooking. As they cooked together, however, conversation increased gradually and the atmosphere became very friendly. After all the dishes were completed, everyone enjoyed tasting them. The delicious dishes and amusing conversation filled their stomachs and hearts, and there were smiling faces everywhere.

cooking class / cooking
cooking class / participants

The Daily Life Advisers can give you advice or information when you have questions or need help in your daily life. The recipe written in basic Japanese for the above dishes is also available. It’s okay to just say hello. Please feel free to drop in on the Information Service Corner at kokoka anytime.

Daily Life Adviser Group URL

TAKII Tomoko

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Household Goods in Japan - TENUGUI


TENUGUI is a cotton cloth (90cm approx). It is used in the same way as towels or gauze are, mainly to wipe the hands or body. In Japan, it has been used for 400 years. It has been widely used in the lives of ordinary people. In Ukiyoe prints, you can see young men with tenugui wrapped around the heads like bandannas, enjoying a festival. Used tenugui also turned to be a cleaning cloth.

wrap with tenugui

Recently, it has come to have both utility and fashion. There are many kinds of them, which you can use to wrap around plastic bottles and lunch boxes. The materials and designs are various too. You can also wind one around your neck like a scarf. Speaking of TENUGUI, traditionally it was a dark blue (indigo) stripe on a white background. But you can also find Kabuki-like designs or a mascot of the place were it was printed. So, we can not use them as a dust cloth.


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International Students Association Disaster Drill

An International Students Association’s disaster drill was held on the 17th of February at the Kyoto City Disaster Prevention Center. The international student exchange party is sponsored by Kyoto City and is held once a year. The Kyoto City Mayor also participated. The association’s principal aim is to introduce the culture of Kyoto to foreign students.

In this disaster drill, 31 foreign students and 16 Japanese students who are part of the Kyoto Students’ Fire-fighting Supporters group, participated. The theme was to experience a disaster drill. During the mayor’s greeting, he mentioned that there are many national treasures such as shrines and temples in Kyoto. Our challenge is how to protect those important assets from disaster as a community. Last year, we experienced a devastating earthquake in eastern Japan. After observing the proper use of an aerial ladder truck at Minami fire station, we experienced ① a simulated earthquake in an earthquake car, ② strong wind in a room, ③ fire fighting by using a fire extinguisher, and ④ how to escape from a smoky room (how to react in a case of overwhelming smoke). The participants were interested in the aerial ladder truck, whose ladder can extend up to 30m. They were also frightened when they experienced the strong winds of 30m/s. Actually, I was afraid when I was surrounded by smoke in a room. I hope this experience will help in case of a real emergency.

In addition, everybody can experience this at the Kyoto City Disaster Prevention Center. The Kyoto City Students’ Fire-fighting Support’s aim is to connect students to the knowledge and technique of disaster prevention in the area. There are now 303 members in the group. They are recruiting members from the middle of April to the middle of May. There are also female members. If you are interested in this activity, please enroll. You can inquire at your nearest fire station. The fire fighters are frank and much kinder than you may think.

Kyoto City Disaster Prevention Center URL

IKUTA Minoru

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Gambappe Tohoku!

broken house

Almost ten months after the historic disaster in Tohoku, I finally had the chance to see the scene for myself as a volunteer. I was first shocked by the devastation in Yamamoto-cho in Miyagi prefecture, where the waves had gutted entire neighborhoods of homes or washed them away altogether. Just as unbelievable were the massive growing mountains of garbage that dot the landscape.

I was able to work with other volunteers from all over Japan who had given up a few days, weeks, and sometimes months of their lives to help bring the area back to life. It has been one year since the disaster, and reconstruction is slow. I can only hope that this next year will bring a revival of support to the region.


volunteer car

Yappesu! Ishinomaki!!

Why don't we support the disater area by purchasing goods?
Goods to support Ishinomaki of Miyagi prefecture are on sale at the 1st floor of Kyoto International Community House kokoka.

handmade bracelet & file & sticker

handmade bracelet & file
& sticker 500 yen

cell-phone charm

cell-phone charm 500 yen

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Kyoto Mania Quiz

The answer to the last issue’s quiz was “d”:0.

Every ward has at least one station.

★ Please fill out the following questionnaire. ★
1) Which article was the most interesting to you in this issue?
2) Please tell us topics you want to be picked up by LIK in the future.
 Thank you for your cooperation.

 You can get a free original kokoka product by filling out our questionnaire! Ask for it at the kokoka information counter on the 1st Floor.

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Kyoto Guide Club

Information from the Kyoto Guide Club
- Tours for foreign residents

The Kyoto Guide Club holds enjoyable tours for foreign residents. There will be tours held in April as follows:

Apr. 8th (Sun.) Ceremony honouring Yoshino Tayu (courtesan), and cherry blossom viewing)

Also, the club will hold a tour to experience making Washi (Japanese style paper) in May. Please find details on the Kyoto City International Foundation website.

International Foundation website.

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kokoka news * * kokusai koryu kaikan news

Welcome party & seminar for foreigners held on April 15th!

Welcome to Kyoto who started to live in Kyoto from this spring! In this seminar, we will give you some useful information about living in Kyoto. We will also have a welcome party which anyone can participate. Why don't you come to the Kyoto International Community House (kokoka),and make a lot of friends?

*The information session will be held in Japanese, Chinese and English.

◆Date&Time : April 15th (Sun) 2:00pm~5:30pm
◆Place : Kyoto International Community House (kokoka)
◆Application: Please visit our website(, and see the orientation page by seeing the 'News', and apply using the orientation page.

It's also held on October 21st, Sun!

Easy Japanese

< Easy Japanese Ⅰ >
 This class is for those studying Japanese for the first time. The goal is basic Japanese language ability. For example, topics may include basic greetings, food, shopping, and many others.

< Easy Japanese Ⅱ >
 This class is for those that already have the ability to read and write hiragana and katakana. The goal is to develop your knowledge of Japanese expressions further and also help you with your writing.

Fee: 6,000 yen for 12 classes, including teaching materials
◆Date: April 6th through June 29th, every Friday
◆Applications: Please fill in the form and turn in at kokoka counter by April 30th, Monday, Holiday

Kyoto City Hall Flea Market
- If you don't need it, give it to someone who does!

When : April 15th (Sunday), May 3rd (Thursday, Holiday) 10:00am - 4:00pm
Organizer:Plus One Network
Where : On the corner of Kawaramachi Dori and Oikeseihoku, in front of City Hall

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Library Letter - Kyoto International community House Library

The Recommended Book

“風の海峡 上・下” (Windy Strait / two volumes)

Windy Straint

Author: Yoshihashi Michio
Publisher: Kodansha Ltd.

In the 16th century, Toyotomi Hideyoshi sent troops to Korea. This is young-adult literature about a young man's growth (personal growth OR growth into adulthood) and a relationship between two nations.

A young man from Tsushima has a friend in Busan, Korea. Suddenly, his friend becomes his enemy by the power of the state. Common people with common minds kill each other. He experiences various feelings, such as weakness and sadness which come from surrender to power. "You should start with establishing a friendly relationship of mutual trust with person in front of you." Such sentences are present in this book.

Many of them can gain the sympathy of students from overseas. This is a young-adult book that is easy to read. You can have fun while looking at the origin of international communication.

Books for cycling or hiking

Spring is the season for going out. You can enjoy the cherry blossoms in Kyoto by cycling or hiking.

Kokoka library has a lot of guide books for cycling or hiking. We also have map books of Kyoto, Osaka or Japan available, which are written in both Japanese and English. Please make use of them.

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Volanteer member of this issue

Shugakuin Imperial Villa

Editors of paper edition

ARTHUR Derek / IKUTA Minoru / KOMATSU Takehisa / SUZUKI Hidetoshi / SEKINO Masako / TAKII Tomoko / NAGATAKE Yoshinobu / MINATO Masayuki / YAMASHITA Motoyo / WATANABE Takeshi

Designer of WEB edition

SUZUKI Hidetoshi

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