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Day three pictures.

stone steps at Ryōan-jiAnother early morning: this time to beat the crowds to Ryōan-ji, a temple with a famous Zen rock garden. The crowds wouldn't be fellow tourists but rather kids on school field trips. We did enjoy a while there in the hushed morning stillness. In my fantasies I'd love to have the grounds all to myself. I'd stretch out on the moss, close my eyes, take a deep breath...

the katazome craftsman's brushesBut we were off to the next activity: a katazome workshop. Here they take long stretches of white silk and use stencils to paint pigment on them, producing elaborate designs. Each nine-meter bolt of finished silk leaves the workshop to be sewn into a furisode. This wasn't a hands-on workshop; we just watch them do their thing, oo-ing and ah-ing over the precision of their technique and the beauty of their results. And the expensiveness of the results: my impression was that the finished garment would carry a price tag of well over $10,000.

And then we were off to another temple, this time Daitoku-ji. I wish I'd read up on it beforehand and realized it's where Sen no Rikyū, godfather of Japanese tea ceremony, is buried. We walked here and there throughout the temple grounds. I think the only building we could enter was a little one set up to provide a break for weary tourists with benches, shade from the hot sun, and a cup of (hot) tea. It was refreshing anyway. I was feeling smart for having brought my parasol, being that the sun was pretty brutal that day. After wandering through what seemed like a maze of walled pathways, we reached Izusen, a restaurant within the temple grounds that serves Buddhist cuisine. Under a canopy of trees, we sat at low tables attended by servers who brought out a cavalcade of small dishes for each of us. Even if I didn't love every dish (I couldn't identify many of them), the idyllic garden setting made the meal just blissful.

After lunch we spent some more time wandering around Daitoku-ji and over to Daisen-in. Outside of the temple, we stopped for a grilled dango snack and wrapped up our sightseeing for the day.

I must have taken a nap after that, because the next thing I remember—and the next thing in my pictures—is dinner at a noodle shop near the Teramachi shopping district. I had a bowl of delicious ramen in a dark soy-sauce broth. At the end of the meal each of our tables was presented with a special treat on the house: a fish head. I hear the cheek meat is good, but I don't think anyone touched the eyes. A few of us went to the shopping district afterwards, but there were very few shops open that late into the evening.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
ovrclokd
Jun. 9th, 2007 01:16 pm (UTC)
another amazing day... i'm so enjoying your trip vicariously! and your photos are just gorgeous.

the workshop sounds like a real treat. does a single furisode take the entire 9 meters of fabric?
radhardened
Jun. 9th, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
My understanding is that yes, a single furisode (for an adult) takes up nearly the entire 9 meters of fabric. (The fabric is only about 12 inches wide, so it's nowhere near as wide as standard western bolts of fabric.) I figure there must be some scrap left over from parts like the collar that wouldn't take up the full width of the fabric, but I could be wrong.
(Anonymous)
Jun. 10th, 2007 04:18 pm (UTC)
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(Anonymous)
Jun. 10th, 2007 04:22 pm (UTC)
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(Anonymous)
Jun. 10th, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC)
Nice to meet you!!
Nice to meet you!!
Hi,I'm maro.
I'm a university student in KYOTO.
I join the project.
The project is introducing KYOTO. It is the project's purpose that much more people come to love KYOTO. Then, we decided to use the Internet especially blog and pod cast to introduce KYOTO. the blog's name is【kyoto-sodawari】.

If you were interested in the blog, I'm really happy.
http://kyoto-sodawari.cocolog-nifty.com/blog/

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )