Coming into KCJS, I didn’t have a CIP in mind, and honestly, I was a little lost. My clubs and activities at Tufts didn’t quite translate to a circle I could join at Doshisha nor did I have experience in a sport of performing art. I bounced between Bazaar Café, calligraphy, a cooking school, and a hiking circle. Eventually, I settled on yoga at Tamisa Yoga and the Kyoto Cooking Circle ー two of the best decisions I made during my time here.
Tamisa Yoga is located on the popular shopping street Teramachi, about a 20 minute bus ride from Doshisha. The street’s hustle and bustle, with tourists and locals alike, is a refreshing contrast to the serene atmosphere inside the studio. While I did not have extensive experience before taking classes at Tamisa Yoga, I chose yoga because I was looking for a way to destress and relax. I began by testing out a few different classes to see which style I preferred, eventually settling on Rusie Dutton with Asako-sensei. If you end up choosing yoga as your CIP, I suggest attending the same class every week, so you can develop a relationship with the teacher and also familiarize yourself with the teacher’s routine. Because let me tell you, holding a yoga pose, mentally interpreting yoga instructions in Japanese, and simultaneously trying very hard to not make a fool of yourself, is extremely difficult! After a relaxing class, chatting with Asako-sensei is often the highlight of my day. My friendship with her is definitely part of the reason why I return every week, even after a long day of school.
I supplemented yoga with monthly classes at Kyoto Cooking Circle. While called a “circle,” Kyoto Cooking Circle is not your typical サークル affiliated with a university ー it is actually a class offered to the public at a local community center. Kyoto Cooking Circle also provides me a steady community within Kyoto ー I only wish it was offered more often! From the staff to the regulars that return every month, everyone is kind, accommodating, and excited about food. In the three classes I attended we made okonomiyaki, fall 和食, and nabe. After preparing the meal, we share what we’ve made over tea and conversation.
Emailing is not necessary in signing up with Tamisa Yoga. Your first time visiting, attend the class of your choice and pay for your pass then.
Facebook is the best way to find out and sign up for upcoming Kyoto Cooking Circle events. Make sure to fill out the form!
Hi Franny! It looks like you were really busy this semester. Two CIPs instead of one! What an undertaking. Did you ever feel overwhelmed, or did you find a good balance? Do you think you will continue taking yoga or cooking lessons when you return to the States? Did you ever encounter any issues with your CIPs that you had to resolve? For the most part, it seems like you had a really positive experience with both of your projects. They both look like really fulfilling projects. Do you think you’ll keep in touch with Asako-sensei? 🙂
Hi Dylan – thanks for your comment!
Of course, sometimes it was a little overwhelming; however, since Asako-sensei’s class was so relaxing, I always left feeling happy and refreshed. Even despite the commute, it was a never a burden. And, since Kyoto Cooking Circle was only once a month, it never felt like I was doing too much. However, I wouldn’t recommend doing two CIPs unless the nature of your CIPs are more relaxed, like mine.
I will definitely keep doing yoga when I return home. To be honest, I never thought the recent yoga “boom” was for me until I actually gave it a try at Tamisa Yoga. It has helped me relax midweek and also provides me routine, which I think is really important when studying abroad. As for cooking, I won’t be on a meal plan next semester, so it looks like I’ll have to practice! 🙂
Luckily, I never encountered any major issues. And yes, I definitely want to stay in touch with Asako-sensei! I’ll have to give her my email this week when I see her (thanks for the reminder!).
Loved reading about your experiences in both Yoga and Cooking class. It seems like both were awesome choices for you. Do you think you’ll try to replicate some of the dishes and techniques you learned in cooking class when you go back home?
Also, I’ve done yoga in the past and as I’m sure other people who have done it know, getting your body into the right position even with english instructions is difficult…I can’t imagine what it was like having to take the class in Japanese.
Anyway, like I said I’m really glad you had an awesome time, and your pictures in the studio have inspired me to maybe re-take-up yoga when I get home 🙂
Hi Julia 🙂
I definitely want to try to replicate some of these dishes when I get home. Especially the rolled omelette – it was one of my favorite foods before the cooking circle, and now I know how to make it for myself!
Yeah, I struggled in the beginning, but after settling on Asako-sensei’s class I learned her routine and was able to relax more. Happy you are inspired to take yoga too!