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Saturday, 6 August 2011

Beautiful Kyoto - part 1

  We had four fantastic days in Kyoto.  The city is so well preserved yet functioning on a modern level.  I could take countless photographs of the beautiful houses of Gion and the many many temples of the city. 

Headquarters of Ikenobo
 We stumbled upon the heaquarters of Ikenobo - a style of Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging).  I was expecting a shop but the whole building was the offices for this type of Ikebana.  The ground floor had a lovely atrium with birch trees and coloured birds of many varieties.  Usually I don`t like to see caged birds but they had such space and sympathetic surroundings it seemed like a great home for them. There was also a carp pond and in the courtyard was a shrine, Rokkakudo, which was where Ikebana began!
Rokkakudo Temple


Me and Matt, Gion

A geisha
 We had some fun in Gion.  We had to pose for a group of Japanese amateur photographers as they shot us looking curiously into some of the old homes.  This area is where the geishas work and it is unusual to see them out in the day.  However, we must have hit upon the right time and saw about 8 in total!  They looked immaculate in full kimono and make-up on such a hot and humid day.
Kodai-ji dry garden
 A Zen garden - gravel raked perfectly to provoke meditation and contemplation.

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