We spent last two weeks in Kyoto and Tokyo and it was just great! We went to many places I've been dreaming to go to for a long time. I'm so happy! Completely broke, but happy ^_^
What's the first thing you do when you go to Tokyo? Visit Mamechiyo Modern kimono shop of course! They have a new shop in Shinjuku but I went to the Nishi-Ogikubo shop. One of their staff, Fumiko-san, speaks excellent English and she was kind enough to help me choose this kimono set:
Kimono set closeup
The most comfortable zori ever
Next day we went to Meiji shrine. There was a wedding going on.
I was glad I insisted on buying a 40-150 mm telephoto lens. Didn't have to get too close to get good pictures of them.
After a couple of days in Tokyo, we took the Shinkansen and traveled to Kyoto. I had reserved a stroll plan at Studio Shiki but it was a rainy day so we had to live with studio photos. But it was fun anyway :)
The hikizuri I chose is so pretty! It has spring flowers: cherry, peony and iris. I liked all of their geiko hikizuri but most of them had autumn flowers. They also had a very beautiful ro hikizuri but I wanted a spring kimono so the decision was very quickly made. The lady who helped me was surprised that I chose so fast.
I had to say several times that no I don't want the maiko plan, I want the geiko plan. I guess many people don't choose it because it's more expensive. But I like the geiko look more and I'm too old to be a maiko anyway. I also had to say no, I don't want to wear okobo! But they still made me hold an uchiwa.
More henshin photos here.
The next day the weather was wonderful! I met Fuyou, my friend from internet kimono forums and we had a lovely day strolling through Kyoto. Thank-you so much for the day, Fuyou!
We also met other kimono wearers. I love their style!
Maiko henshin. The tall maiko is a guy.
I was able to take many photos of maiko and geiko! All of them didn't turn out so well I had hoped. They walk so fast... I also didn't want to get too close. Some of them looked a bit surprised to see us. Well, I guess even in Kyoto you don't see gaijin in kimono everyday. My favorite pic is this one of Fukumomo:
Maiko&Geiko photoset here
Next day we went to Fushimi Inari shrine. Of course I ended up buying a kimono again.
We also visited Kiyomizudera and I was happy seeing so many young people in kimono! I guess most of them had gone to a kimono rental shop. This super cute musubi is definitely professional work:
More maiko henshin! My telephoto lens proved to be useful again.
We stayed in Kikokuso ryokan. It was so great to stay there! I give my recommendations if you ever go to Kyoto and want to stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan. Also the food was great, probably the best I've ever had.
I bought the green obi at Yasaka shrine flea market. I think it goes well with my Mamechiyo kimono too! I found the purple obijime at Chicago Harajuku. My juban sleeve had a will of its own...
We spent a week in Kyoto and then headed back to Tokyo. I went to many kimono shops but most of them were quite expensive.
We also went to Kabuki-za. We saw one act of Genroku Chushingura, Saigo No Daihyojo. I'm happy I could go there now that the building still exists. This play was a part of the farewell series to the old Kabuki-za building.
Actually I didn't want to come back at all. But I must work and make money for our next trip to Japan, ne? :)
We took so many photos. If you're interested, you'll find my flickr photoset here.