Friday, March 26, 2010
I loved Kyoto best of all. It is much smaller - in fact small enough that we hired bikes one day and rode everywhere we wanted to go which was great. We got to look into little streets and alleyways which are always much more interesting . Unfortunately I kept crashing into things including a poor little old man with a stick. We were both a little stunned but laughed about it. Next day my poor bottom was very sore so we reverted to public transport.
There are a lot of museums for textiles in Kyoto but we didn't find all of them. We did however find the Nishijin Textile Centre and as it was Sunday there were lots of artists demonstrating. This man is painting the most intricate patterns on silk.
This man is tieing Ikat style threads prior to dyeing and weaving.
Our hotel Travellers Rest was a member of this group - I just loved this logo - pity the person on the bottom - he obviously has to sleep upside down.
The best place we found was the monthly flea market at the To-ji Temple. It is held on the 21st of each month and there are over 100 stalls selling everything from food to kimonos to tools to jewellery. In fact everything you can think of.
To my delight I found this stall (later found many more just like it) which sold second hand kimonos for 500 yen (about $6) each or 1000yen for a bag full. I, of course, went for the bag option and put in 3 but the owner kept saying there was room so I got five. I think I would have been able to add a few more but it was heavy enough. So for about $12 I got 4 full length lined kimonos and one jacket sized. How lucky am I. Here she is folding one of my purchases.
I also found a stall selling threads for shashiko including big big cones. I bought the biggest one I thought I could fit in my bag and it was only about $5. Now I can't wait to dye it.
I was fascinated with these cakes. They are baked on a sort of rotisserie in tubes and then sliced. Aren't they cute.
This was our favourite restaurant - how a Teppanaki should be. They made the best okonomiyaki - big sort of vegetable pancake topped with vegetables and mayonnaise. The plate in front of you was hot too so once your meal was cooked it kept warm on the hotplate. The staff were friendly and chatty too so it was a terrific meal experience.