Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Festival time again!

I was starting to get festival withdrawal after going a whole month without going to any! However I have found quite a few going on in Kyoto this month. The only problem is that they are all on the same days. Last Sunday I had two festivals planned but due to a typhoon and lots of rain I decided to give one of them a miss. But no amount of rain would have stopped me going to the other one! It was called Seiryu-e Festival and was at Kiyomizu Temple.
There was a long dragon marionette which danced through the temple and then the local streets. Despite the rain there was a big crowd of people there so I couldn't get a good view of it dancing in the temple. But when it went into the streets we stayed in the temple for a small ceremony. I`m not quite sure exactly what was happening but there were men in strange long grey gowns and women who looked like they had come from Venice Carnivale!  As I was walking out of the temple suddenly I heard the dragon arriving and got a great view as it went past. It even bowed at me as it went past! (Well not me but whatever it was I was stood in front of!) 


Nara day trip: part two

After visiting Yakushiji Temple we made our way to Nara park. Before we even got there, there were deer wandering around freely everywhere. From a distance they look so cute but once you have some food in your hand the wild side comes out. There are stalls every few metres selling senbei (a type of biscuit) to feed to the deer. As soon as I bought a packet I was surrounded by deer. I was trying to take the packaging off but they didn't want to wait so they started biting and tugging and my clothes! I got a bit panicked so I just shoved the food into my Dad`s hand! Eventually we managed to feed them and then ran off!
After all the excitement we headed towards Todaiji, one of Japan`s most famous temples. Many people visit here to see the Daibutsu, one of Japan`s largest bronze statues of Buddha. The statue is 15 metres tall and his hand is as tall as a human being! I was surprised to see that you were allowed to take photos inside, however it was difficult to get a good photo because of the light. Also very popular is a pillar with a hole the size of the Daibutsu`s nostril! Apparently if you can squeeze through this hole you will reach enlightenment! The children found it easy but I saw some people who had to be pulled through by their friends!

Everyone was taking photos of this boy with a circle of deer around him!



Monday, 16 September 2013

Nara day trip: part one

On Saturday I went to Nara for the day. Instead of heading straight for the deer in Nara park as most tourists do, we stayed on the train and got off at Nishikyo Station in order to visit Yakushiji Temple. It was built in the 7th Century for the Emperor Temmu to pray for the recovery of his sick wife. However during the construction the Emperor died and his wife acceded the throne. In fact it was she who oversaw most of the construction. Originally the temple was built in Asuka, to the South of Nara. However ten years after completion the capital was moved to the North of Nara and Yakushiji was moved to its present site. It was very beautiful here and there were hardly any other tourists. However unfortunately the East Pagoda of Yakushiji is undergoing major renovation, which won`t be finished until 2019. Despite this, there are still many other buildings to see and I really recommend it for anyone visiting Nara. 



Saturday, 14 September 2013

A Japanese wedding

Today I went to Nara for a day out. I started of at Yakushiji Temple where there happened to be a wedding group walking around taking photos. This bride is wearing a traditional white kimono, but for some reason she has accessorised it with a bunch of flowers on her head! It`s probably more appropriate on the catwalk at London Fashion Week, but I thought it was interesting how she had opted for something different.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Hanging on to last of summer

Everywhere I look Autumn is creeping upon us. I go shopping, and all I can see are woolly jumpers and coats. I read blogs, and they suggest autumnal craft activities. I open a magazine, and read all about the Autumn/Winter collections. But here in Japan it is still over 30 degrees!
So I have torn out some of my favourite images from summer magazines and made a mood board which is propped up on my desk. I can look at it while doing my homework and hang on to the last of summer.


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Just wandering around...

Here are some photos I took a while ago, as I was wandering around Kyoto. It was early in the morning so there were hardly any tourists. As they say; the early bird catches the worm!

Monday, 2 September 2013

Kobe Collection

Last weekend I went to Kobe Collection Autumn/Winter 2013 fashion show. It was nothing like I expected it to be. We were in a massive arena filled with girls all dressed up in their best outfits. Many came along with their best friend and they wore matching outfits, like how some mothers will dress their twin babies in the same outfits. The thing that surprised me was that none of the girls actually went to see the clothes, they went to see the models! Of course I didn't recognise any of them, but I knew when a famous model was on the catwalk because there would be cheers and everyone around me saying, "ahh kawaii!" On the big screen the focus was on showing the models face, not the clothes! However I enjoyed seeing the clothes! Some of the brands there, were Kate Spade, Samantha Thavasa, B Donna and Lily Brown. The low point of the day was the 'Special Stage,' i.e adverts. The adverts, for brands such as Orangina, consisted of models walking along the catwalk, holding the product and smiling like it was the best drink in the world. All in all it was a good day out, finishing off with a visit to one of Kobe`s many brilliant cafes!