I had a few issues finding the place as hadn't got a good bus map...mine was mostly in Japanese! I have learned that in some ways it pays to have two - an English so you can understand it even if you have to hold it upside down and a Japanese version for wafting in front of anyone you need to ask for help!
I actually got off the bus a stop too soon I think, but at least was able to work out where I was and just got walking. As markets go, it was a very similar to the market at Osaka except I think it was more expensive...no surprise as Kyoto is a place for folk with deep deep pockets! Whereas kimono could be had for Y500 in Osaka they were at least Y1,000 and more. Still, you have to look hard wherever you are and be watchful. Many things are polyester nowadays, so if you have to pay more for a real 'vintage' job, then so be it...although you still need to watch what your doing. I really wanted obi more than kimono....and I got some, but they are heavy!! I also got some silk rolled up, - it had come from the Nishijin area as had stickers son it and it said it was silk...in kanji, which I had looked up! I also asked and was told it was silk...and thy opened up the rolls to check!
I think it is a very good job I don't live nearer as I would never stop buying all this gorgeous fabric...and braids as got some more for my collection. I did a bit of haggling, and made one chap giggle when I asked him in Japanese if he would do me a special price...I then said I had pretty face(in English) and beamed at him.....it worked...I think I gave him entertainment value with my effort at the Japanese! He called to his pal and said something and pointed at me and laughed...(more than likely spends half his time in London!!). I don't care, if money is being saved (for another trader!!) then I can become thick skinned!
I tried another delicacy or two but these were sweet things so should be safe. One looked like a thick scotch pancake but was more chewy, tasty enough, especially as it had chestnut puree centre (sweetened...it is used a lot here and I have had it before) I decided to avoid the eggy thing this time as it was quite possibly responsible for my dodgy tum a few days ago.
Eventually I had spent enough and couldn't carry any more anyway, so decided to change tack and start on my list of small museums. as usual the first one I went to....long walk and much checking of the map, but found it in the end only to find that it was closed! This is getting to be too much of a habit! In fairness, the book I had used for reference did say to check opening times for special exhibitions....and the upshot meant that this was if it was going to be open at all! Luckily there was another museum to go to nearby so that was OK. Funny thing was I nearly ended up at a Buddhist museum as the tourist info place had circled the wrong dot on the map...I tend to find that if a place is closed there will be something to make up for it and this was true here too as I found a little area where most of the shops etc had some sort of funny character outside ...a bit like we might see scarecrows at harvest time in some rural areas....you will see when I get to the photos!
The next museum was a little weaving museum and it was brilliant. I was welcomed with a cup of tea first and told to relax! The chap explained where to look and gave me a leaflet in English although he did speak a few words of English. His name was Canada...like the country! Photos were allowed..no flash, but hardly ever us it anyway, and I was left to wander at will and could look as much as I anted. When I had done, I went to go downstairs but Canada stopped me with a shout no Winn Sylbia, show more!! Mmm this could be interesting as I couldn't see anywhere else to go. before you new it , a door appeared out of nowhere and I was ushered through and along a corridor, round a corner and up some steps into the adjacent weaving 'factory'. This really was like going back in time. It was quite small but had lots of looms being used and each setup was much longer than I have seen here. My guide, a weaver himself, had only a handful of English words so I didn't get as much info as I would have liked. He explained that silk was sticky so they had long looms...5 meters long, with 24 shaft Jacquard bits at the front end. The remainder looked antique! As the looms are only about 33cms wide, they were very close...a bit like sitting at your desk in an office with another colleague next to you...There were patterns about, copies of original works that were being faithfully reproduced for use in Noh theatre of today...just like in the past. I tried to ask how long it took to set the loom up and also how long to do the 5 meters but the answers might be incorrect.....4 weeks to set up and 2 weeks to weave. I don't think this could be true as the patterns are so complicated with different colours being used for little sections as you look across the weft line.
Before long my visit came to a close....I went away with a far better understanding and much greater appreciation for what was in my swag bag!
As I made my way back towards the bus, spotted Takashimaya and thought I would go and have a look at the haberdashery area......I was so disappointed as in the past I have been to department stores that had a whole floor for craft and textiles...not here! Later I asked at tourist info and they didn't know of anywhere other than the Nishijin area and that is really weaving and not much else!
Along the way I had managed to locate the hand made needle place.....but guess what....sign on the door...closed...but only today! Never mind, will be back on Saturday no worries!!
As I was in the main shopping area, I took the chance for a McD as I couldn't face another soup and sandwich night! Getting a bit sick of burgers too so opted for a fish thing...won't do that again! Still the sit down was good!
I am writing this at the airport so don't know if I will get a photos done for you but will try and continue my story when I get home....however am going to be a bit busy as Ruth is moving and has to be out of the flat by midnight Friday, and they are coming to live with us for a few days before moving into London Road, the house that Paul has been working on for months. They will have no hot water or heating though as National Grid/Hinckley council and a bus company are conspiring against us and have been since July!!
Don't mean to shout...hit the caps key by mistake, but maybe the folk involved will hear me!!
YOU JUST WOULDN'T BELIEVE IT IS SO DIFFICULT TO GET GAS CONNECTED!
Going to post this as it is nearly time for boarding and I need to visit the facilities etc...so next update and the final flurry of Saturday and Sunday will follow...eventually. I still haven't forgotten about the photos from the first few days, so will do those in due course. Keep reading and following till you see a post that says I am done, as there may be other bits and bobs that I remember and think you might be interested in. ttfn from Japan.