Randy Channell, Tea master introduces philosophy of Chanoyu to the world

Kyoto: the Mecca of Japanese culture

Kyoto is the Mecca of the Japanese cultural arts so for me that alone could be my favourite 'thing' about Kyoto. Another ''Japanese cultural art'' I enjoy is the BLUES. Kansai has a very good Blues scene and has many great musicians and famous live houses. I play the blues harp and I often used to 'tobiiri' with different bands all over Kyoto, it was a lot of fun but recently I haven't been doing it so much. Maybe once or twice a year compared to before when I used play once or twice a week! I do miss it so hopefully I'll get back into it again someday.

When I was very young I tried judo, it wasn't something Japanese for me and at that age I would not have cared as it was just something to play with my friends. I imagine though that it probably planted a seed of interest in me as later I became very interested in kakutogi (combative sports) then Japanese Budo in particular. However I wasn't really interested in Japan when I first came to Asia. I went from Canada to Hong Kong to study kung fu. While living in there I visited Japan many times before deciding to move here. On several of my visits I was able to go to many dojo and attended several budo exhibitions. It was through this exposure that I made the decision to move... I came here looking for a ''way''.

Kyoto is a vibrant and at the same time cultured city that it is a must for anyone visiting Japan. From the Imperial Palace to the Manga Museum there is something here for EVERYONE. Hope to see you soon!