📚Some useful Japanese vocabulary to know when reading “Bura-Bura Kyoto”📚

あぶり餅aburi-mochi (n): grilled skewered rice cakes in a sweet miso sauce

あんこanko (n): sweet bean paste…there are two types of anko: こしあんkoshi-an (strained sweet bean paste) and 粒あんtsubu-an (slightly-crushed sweet bean paste).

ぶらぶらbura-bura (n): exploring, rambling, roaming, wandering

だるまdaruma (n): Dharma; a hollow, round Japanese traditional doll modeled after Bodhidharma, the founder of the Zen sect of Buddhism, for good luck

どら焼きdorayaki (n): a red bean paste-filled sponge cake sandwich

団子dango (n): dumpling

絵馬ema (n): prayers written on wooden plates at shrines

fusuma (n): Japanese sliding screen

がまぐちgamaguchi (n): (coin) purse or pouch with a metal clasp

ギリギリgiri-giri (adj, adv): just barely, at the last moment

Golden Week: three consecutive national holidays from May 3-5…when there is a weekend before or after them, some people are lucky to have a week off.

はんこhanko (n): seal or stamp often used as a signature

初詣hatsumohde (n): one’s first shrine visit (usually during the first week) of the new year

本堂hondou (n): main hall of a temple

方向音痴 houkou-onchi (n): one who is bad with directions (方向 houkou = direction, 音痴 onchi = no sense of)  *音痴 onchi can be used for just about any noun to indicate one who has no sense of it.

お地蔵o-jizou (n): bodhisattva who looks over children, travellers and the underworld; Jizo

重要文化財Juuyou Bunkazai (n): Important Cultural Properties

数珠巡礼 Juzu Junrei (n): Rosary Pilgrimage which takes place at the beginning of the year for a few months at appointed temples in Kyoto, Shiga and Hyogo Prefectures area during which one can collect each temple’s rosary bead at ¥300 each

寒天kanten (n): agar or vegetable gelatin, often made from algae

唐門karamon (n): Chinese-style gate at temples

菓子パンkashi-pan (n): sweet buns or rolls

きなこkinako (n): soybean powder

黒豆kuro-mame (n): black bean

黒蜜kuromitu (n): brown-sugar syrup

京都16社朱印めぐりKyouto Juuroku-Sha Shuin Meguri (n):  Kyoto 16 Shrine Red Seal Tour which takes place from January 1st to February 15th each year during which one can collect the red seal of each of the 16 shrines that participate in the tour

抹茶matcha (n): green tea

町屋 machiya (n): traditional Japanese townhouse

豆知識 mame-chishiki (n): trivia

みたらし団子mitarashi dango (n): dumplings on a stick covered with a sweet soy glaze

都七福神めぐりMiyako Shichifukujin Meguri (n): Miyako Seven Lucky Gods Tour which takes place for the whole month of January at temples and shrines in Kyoto during which one can collect each temple or shrine’s red seal and special calligraphy

もち米mochi-gome (n): rice used in making rice cake

もったいないmottainai (adj): wasteful

蒸しパンmushi-pan (n): steamed bread or bun

長屋nagaya (n): tenement house, row house

生菓子nama-gashi (n): fresh Japanese sweets, usually filled with red-bean paste

懐かしいnatsukashii (adj): a term that used when expressing feelings of nostalgia, mainly for “the good old days”

おばんざいobanzai (n): light Kyoto-style home cooking with boiled vegetables and marinated food, also now served in restaurants

お茶席o-cha-seki (n): tea ceremony

おはぎohagi (n): rice (used in making rice cake) ball usually covered with sweet red bean paste, soybean powder or sesame seeds

おみやげomiyage (n): gift/souvenir

お守りo-mamori (n): (good luck) charm

大橋 oo-hashi (written Ohashi in the posts) (n): big bridge

温泉 onsen (n): hot spring, spa

おやき oyaki (n): Japanese steamed or baked bun or dumpling filled with anything from vegetables to fruit or anko originating from 長野県Nagano Prefecture

ーっぽい-ppoi (): -like, -ish

路地 roji (n): alleyway

sakura (n): cherry blossom(s)

山門sanmon (n): a temple’s main entrance gate

朱印めぐり shuin meguri (n): red seal tour (I know of only three, all done at the beginning of the year.)

すごいsugoi (adj): amazing, great, wonderful, terrific

和紙washi (n): traditional Japanese paper

手ぬぐい tenugui (n): Japanese hand towels made of a gauze material

月見tsukimi (n): viewing of the moon, said to be the most beautiful during mid-autumn

和菓子wagashi (n): traditional Japanese confectionery or sweet

焼き鳥yakitori (n): grilled chicken on skewers flavored with salt and pepper or Japanese-style sauce

優しいyasashii (adj): gentle, kind

羊羹youkan (n): sweet bean jelly

雑貨zakka (n): miscellaneous goods

座禅zazen (n): Zen meditation, usually in a cross-legged position

贅沢 zeitaku (n): luxury


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