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In case you thought Dianne Vapnek was totally dithering around since covid hit, I’m here to tell you that’s only partially correct. Well, mostly correct.  The one redeeming activity I can share with you is that I’ve been writing. Periodically.   I’ve enjoyed it too.  Ok, perhaps I’ve been too sedentary, no argument there.  But I just might have helped some number of people have a more meaningful journey when they travel to Kyoto, Japan.


poodle cuteness

After spending too much time, let’s just say a few months, attempting to decide the best format for a Kyoto travel guide I intended to write, I did write it and I finally decided it was a wrap.  Everything I thought I could do easily proved to be far more complicated than I’d been led to believe.  This meant revising my plans several times, as I went back and forth between one plan and another.  I also vacillated on titles for my masterpiece.  Finally decided on Lovekyoto.


sanzen in temple garden, Ohara

An E book publication was my original idea.  Whoa.  I’d need computer skills that are far more serious than mine to do that .  I followed that yellow brick road for a while, thinking I’d learn some new skills, only to finally throw up my hands in frustration and despair, once I was able to acknowledge I was way in over my head.

IMG_1446 (1)

reflections in a garden pond, Kyoto

“Do the easiest thing, “counseled my academic daughter. Wise.  I went back to  creating a pdf file, and completed the text, for the most part.  Now it sits on my desktop just waiting for someone’s request.  Now that no one is traveling anymore.


The idea for this book arose out of the fact that I’d received many inquiries about how to structure a few days in Kyoto.  Figuring out what to include and what to leave out for any travel adventure to a new destination is a complicated endeavor.  After responding to several requests, I saw that there might be a need for an alternative kind of guide to Kyoto, other than those that currently exist.


just another perfect water lily.

There’s tons of stuff out there now.  All fairly traditional.  All fine, but mostly boilerplate.  The guides contain information overload for most travelers.


Kyo-maki tea cup celebrating sakura.

I decided to write something that was more personal. The guide represents what I like to do when in Kyoto.   Just in the few years we’ve been visiting, the tourist numbers in Kyoto visitors have exploded. Not for the better.  I believe there are many fine alternatives to the traditional tourist suggestions that will lead the newbie towards a more enjoyable trip.  There are a great many alternative options to investigate rather than just the oldie goldies.  It’s not difficult to get away from the crowds and the selfies if you want to, but some guidance is needed.


am not sure of this one! It might be in Koyasan.


summertime parfaits!

Kyoto is a fascinating city.  But not all of it.  I stay away from attempting an in depth guide to restaurants and hotels.  I leave that to others. My hope is that if you are traveling to Kyoto, you’ll ask me for the guide.  Just email me, and I’ll send the link. Free!IMG_7191.jpeg It will always be somewhat of a work-in-progress.  That will keep it timely and give me the flexibility to add or subtract items. I can’t wait to get back there for more investigation.

Dianne Vapnek

In an attempt to slow life's quickening pace, I'm writing to share my personal perspective on the aging process, its dilemmas, the humorous self-deception, the insights and the adventure of it all. I spent the bulk of my time in beautiful Santa Barbara, CA, but manage to get to NYC a few times times a year. I've been a dancer/dance teacher and dance supporter almost all my life. For the past20years, I help create and produce a month-long creative residency in Santa Barbara for contemporary American choreographers and their dancers. It's been incredibly gratifying. This year, I decided it's time to retire! Big change. I also now spend several weeks a year in Kyoto Japan, residing for several weeks in the spring and the fall. I've been magnetically attracted to Japan for many years. Now I live out a dream to live there part-time.


  • Mora Chartrand says:

    Hello, Dianne.

    Loved reading about your process and want to congratulate you for all the hard, hard work that goes into creating something like this. You are to be commended and more!

    Would you be so kind as to include me on the PDF distribution? I have enjoyed your travels to Kyoto for some time now and am eager to learn of new spots for our next trip there.

    Thank you so very much. And as Robert says…kansha always.

    • devapnek says:

      MOra, Thanks for your kind words! You’re right. It was a lot of work, but mostly enjoyable.I’ll get the pdf to you today! cheers, Dianne I don’t think I have an email address for you. Please send to me at

  • Gail Rieke says:

    I would love a PDF copy.
    The photos are vibrant and so upbeat.
    Thank you so much for sharing your insights with us.

  • Mark Dendy says:

    Amazing this makes me want to leave today! If only

  • just keep doing you dear friend, lets get through this with our families and friends.

  • Albert Reid says:

    How about “My Kyoto” or “Kyoto, My Love”, but perhaps too reminiscent of “Hiroshima, Mon Amour”.

    • devapnek says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Albert. I’ll think about it. All best, Dianne

      • sheri Overall says:

        Kudos Dianne! Let’s hope that travel once again allows us to explore this beautiful part of the world.

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