Judith Clancy first came to Asia as a paramedic in the Peace Corps in South Korea. It was a childhood dream to live in Japan, so after her two years of service, she settled in Kyoto in 1970. She entered the Urasenke School of Tea Ceremony and studied there for six years while taking lessons in Ikebana Flower Arrangement. Her first book, Naturescapes was about the floral arrangements of her teacher, Tamura Suiko. While writing for the Kyoto Visitor’s Guide, she assembled these articles and turned them into a series of walks for this very walkable city. "Exploring Kyoto – on Foot in the Ancient City" was published in 1997. "Kyoto: City of Zen" and "Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide" were both published in 2012. In 2015, she published “Kyoto Gardens — Masterworks of the Japanese Gardener’s Art,” and in 2016, “The Alluring World of Maiko and Geiko.” She currently lives in an 120-year old renovated weaving studio in Nishijin, Kyoto’s weaving and dyeing district while teaching at Otani University, interpreting, and guiding.
Alexander Bazes, originally from New York, has lived in Kyoto for 6 years. After finishing his BA in East Asian studies at Brown University he went on to take a master’s degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania, where he focused on pre-modern Japanese Buddhism. In early 2012, he began training in the craft of Japanese knife making, which he is pursuing full-time. Passionate about Japanese craftsmanship and culture, he enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences with others.
John was born in 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. At Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota) he majored in English and German literatures, graduating in 1974. A chance to teach English for Panasonic brought him to Kansai, where he settled in Kyoto in 1977. Soon after arriving, he started studying Japanese at the Kyoto Nihongo Gakko, and, in 1979, he took up Nihon Buyo (classical Japanese dance) under the tutelage of WAKAYAGI Kimiha. Practicising this art form occupied much of his time and energy until his teacher's death last year. Writing and editing have also kept him busy: for three years he served as editor of the “Kyoto Visitor’s Guide”, and, as a freelance writer, he has contributed articles to The Japan Times, Asahi Evening News, and the Japan National Tourist Organization’s website. He also authored the Kyoto chapter of Eyewitness: Japan (Eyewitness Travel Guides, Dorling Kindersley publisher, 2000). Interests include sumie, Kyoto food culture, the Thai language, and travel, especially to Southeast Asia. Although submerged in the Kyoto milieu, he is grateful that Osaka is only a 45-minute train ride away.
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Ryoan-ji, Ninna-ji, and Golden Pavilion
Local Tea Studio