Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Kyoto Day 4

I skipped the morning sessions again. I had booked into Jenny Parry's Workshop however I decided that I probably had enough to handle with my first 2 classes. Given that I wouldn't get my own Takadai until Easter 2008 I thought that I had enough to go on with.

Again, I had plans to sit in on the mornings Keynote Speakers. That was until we discovered a monthly market held on the 15th of every month. We were feeling very confident and decided that we would like to try taking a bus. We had our map which gave the bus number etc, we double checked with the Hotel Staff and off we went. We got the bus stop and there was a queue at least 8 -10 buses long.

We stood in the queue for a few minutes before Elise asked if there was another way. We got the subway and walked. It turns out that on the 15th of November EVERY year there is a special ceremony to welcome children into Middle Childhood. This is a very special occassion as its the first time that children are allowed to wear the traditional clothes. This is why there was such a huge line up for the bus. Our bus went to the temples that conducted these ceremonies.

Our walk from the subway station to the market passed the Imperial Palace, a number of Universities and a French Cafe. We noted that for the return trip. And the Turtle Stepping Stones.

The markets were "very Japanese" - no Imported Stuff. Quite refreshing! I bought a heap of Silk Fabric from a number of different stalls.

Every Stall that I bought something from gave me something extra with the heartfelt " a gift from me". This was said with their hands over their hearts. It really does give new meaning to a " Gift with Purchase".

This a sample of one of my gifts.

These thongs (flip flops) have been woven from fabric.

That evening was the Conference Dinner at Azekura. I can recommend that you have dinner here if you ever get the opportunity to visit Kyoto. Elise's camera worked over time as each course was presented.

They have the most amazing gardens with views. I have lots of photos that I took especially for my Mother. The Autumn leaves are quite something. The Americans couldn't understand this Queenslander's fascination with the colour of the leaves. Here on the coast we just don't get that. In fact ,even the trees that are supposed to lose their leaves don't.

After dinner, we caught the subway back. At the Kyoto Station there is the most delicious Cake Shop, BERRY. Over the week we had noted so many people having their photos taken in front of the window. Not to be outdone....

They definately taste as good as they look.

Now I know this post doesn't include any photos of braiding, however, I wanted to leave you with this image. Naomi Kunishi and Mitsue Ui in their traditional kimonos before leaving for Azekura. Thanks Ladies for graciously agreeing to pose.

1 comment:

meushi said...


looks like you had fun :) Shichi-go-san is a very interesting festival to see, unfortunately I totally missed it during my last visit.

Another interesting festival to see in Kyoto around mid-November is the Momiji festival. It recreates the leisure cruises the Emperor and his court took on the Oi River in the Heian period. It is quite a sight, according to my wife.

Watch out, the cake shops in the train stations are very bad for the diet :) I gained a few kilos in Osaka due to the waffle and cake shops in the JR train stations. My favourite waffle to date is the double chocolate marble from the "Manneken Pis" in the Takatsuki JR station (

Shopping in Japan is really something else, try shopping in Osaka some day... it will blow your socks off. Osaka was the commerce and industry center of Japan for quite a long time. That still shows in many ways, including the language (you ask "how are the profits going?" instead of "how do you do?" for example). Eating out in Osaka is also an experience... most restaurants compete to give you the best quality in the biggest quantity for the lowest price and it has a the widest choice in food styles. From a customer point of view, it's the best place to be on holidays.