Kimono and Kaimono

7 10 2009

The need for sleep (especially after the overnight bus ride) overtook us so our first outing was for brunch at noon. We went to Cafe Proverbs 15:17 as we had enjoyed it so much last time we went. There seasonal menu had changed for autumn so there were new dishes to choose from. We feasted on the tempeh burger XD and teriyaki tofu set. Then we had the fig tart with tofu cream and cinnamon for dessert.

We caught the bus to the Nishijin Textile Center and watched the last few minutes of a kimono fashion show. However, there was a bus load of Chinese? tourists with all their cameras out so it was difficult to see. After the show the tour-group raced upstairs, tore the shop to pieces and then ran out the their buses again. We looked around at the silk kimono fabrics and watched people working the looms.

Although it was raining we next went for a walk along the Philosophers Path. From below Ginkakuji we wandered along the river, doing some shopping along the way for omiyage (chestnut yatsuhashi, a bamboo water gun, a wooden doll) and followed the path all the way to Nanzenji where we got on a bus back to where Atsu lives.

After dinner we went to the station near where our overnight bus was departing and found a Karaoke place. We sang songs until it was almost time for our bus to leave. Our bus was a ‘relax’ bus so we had these space-age seats. They tilted back 140 degrees, had extra padding around the sides and head, a little canopy to pull over your head when sleeping and long leg/foot rests. See the futurist seats here . We slept much better on the bus home, and then caught the express bus from Tokyo to Kisarazu where it was still raining, just as we left it.

The distant future, the year 2000, futuristic space seats on overnight buses - the canopy you can pull over your head to sleep well on the bus.

Maiko Makeover

20 08 2009

The professional photos from the Maiko Makeover at Yumekoubou Studio in Gion, Kyoto, 8th August 2009.

A Maiko is an apprentice Geisha. Sorry a lot of the images are the wrong way up but I just copied them straight from the CD and couldn’t be bothered rotating them.

Himeji Daytrip

12 08 2009

We used our seishun 18 kippu to catch the train from Nara to Himeji via Osaka which took 2 hours. In Himeji we walked the 15 minutes from the station to the famous castle. We wandered around Himeji-Jo, the main keep, the stage where samurai commited suicide, the outer walls, the western baily and the vanity tower.

From the castle we walked next door to the koen (gardens) that were arranged in rooms according to their different styles (e.g. pine, bamboo, water etc). We had our roasted vegetable baguettes for lunch that we had made the night before.

Then we walked around to the Prefectural Museum of History. At 3.30 we lined up in the Japanese room for the chance to try on Samurai armour or a 12-layered kimono. Out of the 10 or so people there Lara won BINGO! So she got to try on the 12kg heavy kimono, have photos taken and stickers made. We didn’t get to see the whole museum as the kimono dressing took about 30 minutes!

We caught the train back to Nara and had dinner Ragamala, an Indian place that served garbanzo curry with tumeric rice and 5 vegetable curry with chapati along with papaddums, mango juice and grapefruit juice.