An Introduction to Japan (III) – Kyoto at night

Back to An Introduction to Japan (II) – The mountain of the Red Gates

We leave again and head for a famous district of Kyoto named Gion. The city hasn’t been destroyed in WWII since the commander in charge of the American bomber force had spent his honeymoon in the city and avoided it as a target. This district is conserved like in the old times with its small wooden city houses and temples. Unfortunately, we are still to early for Sakura, the famous cherry blossom, and the trees seem still parsimonious.

At night the Zenkojido temple gets illuminated and represents a stereotype picture opportunity of Japan. It’s also known, that here still Geishas exist. 

Lesson 10: Geishas are no prostitutes
The young women who join a Geisha house, before and now, learn the traditional ways of social entertainment. This includes dancing, playing music and tea ceremony. In the history there were famous Geishas that the highest lords competed for to have on their festivities. And today a Geisha is a very expensive but impressive entertainment for private celebrations or business meetings. 

Mariya tells me “if you see a geisha in Gion it’s not a geisha, because geishas don’t want to be seen in public”. We are lucky, though, and in a pavilion at night we could witness a geisha performance in honor to a holiday.  Apparently, they seem to be real geishas. It seems to be these want to be seen in public. Someone paid…

Back at home me make our own sushi wraps, which is a common family dinner. You prepare vegetables, sashimi (raw fish), dried seaweed paper, rice, sauces, soy and wasabi and just stuff your own sushi wraps. You don’t bother to roll them and you are flexible to fill it with your favorites only. 

The next day is Monday and my friends need to work. I take the bus to get to the pavillion at Kinkaku-ji, which was a former villa of a rich man who covered the entire building with gold. I visited a temple with a zen garden – stones and lines in the ground. I went to a bamboo grove and met a nice Austrian couple, which impressed me by traveling with their baby. 

In the evening we had another dinner together, a hot pot, which is popular all around Asia. It’s like a European fondue, but you through everything in the pot of broth, like meat, fish or vegetables, and eat it with rice. 

Continue to My Deer city of Nara

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *