Exploring Japan's ancient capital with author Judith Clancy

Photo by Ben Simmons

Books by Judith Clancy

The Alluring World of Maiko and Geiko (cover photo by Hiroshi Mizobushi)

The Alluring World of Maiko and Geiko

Geiko is the term to describe the women of Kyoto who are professional performers in the five districts of Kyoto where they and their apprentice maiko live and entertain. Interviews with the people who inhabit this exclusive Japanese world reveal some of their motives for choosing this life and the artistic tradition they uphold.

Exploring Kyoto by Judith Clancy

Exploring Kyoto: On Foot in the Ancient Capitol

Among the world’s most cherished ancient cities, Kyoto, Japan, is perfect for exploring on foot. Exploring Kyoto is an essential guide to becoming an enlightened pedestrian in the area once known as Yamashiro (“the back of the mountains”).

Thoroughly revised and updated, this edition offers two new routes and spans a spectrum of geographical and cultural topography, from bustling downtown quarters to remote mountaintops, hip eateries to ancient shrines.

Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide by Judith Clancy

Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide:
Affordable Dining in Traditional Townhouse Spaces

Machiya townhouses are historic wooden structures in Kyoto that once served as homes and places of business. Many of these machiya are now being preserved and converted into wonderful restaurants.

Kyoto Machiya Restaurant Guide is an invitation to enjoy the affordable fare and admire the traditional craftsmanship of over 140 of these architectural gems.

Kyoto: City of Zen by Judith Clancy

Kyoto City of Zen:
Visiting the Heritage Cites of Japan’s Ancient Capital

Like a Zen Koan, Kyoto defines easy description. In this book, Clancy presents the most important sites of this ancient capital city and enduring cultural center. In addition to unveiling the city’s spiritual and historical riches, artistic crafts, religious ceremonies and architectural traditions that have flourished in Kyoto for over a millennium.

Kyoto Gardens: Masterworks of the Japanese Gardener's Art

Kyoto Gardens: Masterworks of the Japanese Gardener's Art

In their rocks and plants, empty spaces and intimate details — Kyoto’s gardens have for centuries manifested a unique ability to provoke thought and delight viewers. Their varied landscapes meld the sensuality of nature with the disciplines of cosmology, poetry and meditation. Japanese aristocrats created these gardens to display not just wealth and power, but cultural sensitivity and an appreciation for transcendent beauty. Ages later, a class of professional gardeners emerged, transforming the landscape design into a formalized art.

Kyoto Gardens is a labor of love from master-photographer Ben Simmons with text by Judith Clancy providing readers with the historic, aesthetic and cultural understanding that constitutes the Kyoto garden landscape.

Kyoto, the City

Kyoto was the capital of Japan for more than one thousand years. Its history includes the creation, development and importation of some of the world's most beautiful arts and crafts and gave rise to a highly refined artisan class. Read more...

Author Judith Clancy

A resident of Kyoto for over 40 years, Judith Clancy lives in a 120-year-old converted weaver's studio in Nishijin, Kyoto's weaving and dyeing district. She interprets for different groups and teaches about Kyoto's history and culture and is the author of “Exploring Kyoto.”