Welcome to Kyoto
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Daniel is a Ph.D. candidate at Kyoto University studying the Sociology of Tourism. A continuation of his master's thesis, which he also completed in Kyoto, Daniel's Ph.D. studies examine how touristic ideas of Japan have evolved from the 19th century to contemporary times, and what historical events, artistic, intellectual and consumeristic movements have played a role in shaping ideas of Japan. Beyond looking at tourism through a critical lens, he also teaches about the problems of intercultural communication at Doshisha Women's College, as well as being active in organizing Japanese cultural events for international students in Kyoto. A nine-year Kyoto resident, Daniel is hugely interested in food culture both in his native Melbourne and in Japan, and is studying the latter by going to food seminars and eating out as much as possible. He has studied Japanese tea ceremony for nine years and has been learning <i>aikido</i> for eight; both practices have taught him much about Japan's spiritual side.
During his first foray to a Kyoto food market, Tad was so excited and intrigued by the beautiful displays of strange ingredients that he vowed to learn to cook Japanese food. He poured over photo-illustrated cookbooks and magazines, learning to read Japanese characters from the pictures. Whenever he encountered a new dish, he hunted down the recipe, searching for cookbooks in old bookshops and at the book fairs of Shimogamo Shrine and Chion-ji Temple. With his Japanese “family,” he spent hours at the dining table and in the kitchen absorbing the flavors and cooking methods of kyobanzai home cooking. He bantered for advice from fishmongers, vegetable sellers and tofu makers. At kaiseki restaurants he trained his eye: from kappo restaurant chefs he stole snatches of technique, from a Zen monk he learned the importance of respecting ingredients just as they are. He cooked and cooked and cooked. Today, over twenty years since his first visit, he loves to share his knowledge and enthusiasm about the many delicacies of Nishiki Market.
Alejandro is an architect specialized in architectural history and heritage conservation, with work experience in Japan, Europe, and Southeast Asia. Since he started living in Japan in 2010, he has been researching the Japanese philosophy for the conservation of wooden monuments. He completed his PhD at the University of Tokyo in 2017. His main interests are traditional Japanese architecture and design, Japanese history, and urban history. Many little known treasures lay hidden in the centuries old city of Kyoto. He enjoys helping others discover them during their visit to the ancient capital.
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