Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Last night, I made more of my dreams come true. After the anticipation, Melody and I finally went to Kyoto (Gion) and attended the 138th Miyako Odori. For 4500 yen, you reserved 1st floor tickets with and attended a tea ceremony served by the geisha. (Now, when I say Tea Ceremony, this is a very cheesy here's your tea, it was made by a maiko, drink it, eat the snack and get the heck out of this room sort of feeling). You also have the option of exploring the garden at the theater, but we didn't have time to do that. :[ It was really pretty looking too.

We shuffled into the theater and took our seats. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to take any photos!! I was SO disappointed because I was looking forwards to getting good pictures of the Geisha, but I could not. Here are photos of what I did get.

Here is the Mochi snack with red bean paste inside. It is tastey with the Matcha. (Green Tea). You can slightly see my ticket and little info pamphlet. I eventually bought a program for 600 yen. It has good pictures and explanations inside.

Here is a photo of the stage with the curtain down before the performance. I like the paper lanterns that surround the stages.

Here is a photo of the balcony and stage on the right side. You can spot a Maiko.

Alas, I think I captured a Maiko staring this way. Haha. This was so impossible it was depressing.

A better photo of the Balcony. On the right side, underneath the balcony, the older, experienced Senior Geiko played Shamisen and spoke the story.

A Senior Maiko, I assume.

The balcony and stage on the left side. Under this balcony, there were many maiko and geiko (I assume) who played percussion and shakuhachi.

Here is the regular entrance to the dances. The crest on the banner is the crest for Gion Kobu. The kanji in the middle is "ko" in Gion kobu's name. The eight circles stand for the other 8 subparts of the city.


The entrance for the "Special Ticket" Guests.

Paper lantern including the crest.

The ichiriki tea house! I've read about this place a lot! Can you imagine the feeling of seeing it materialized?

Catch ya later Gion. I'll be back. For sure!

Now, I didn't leave the performance completely up to mystery for you guys. I was a bad girl and took some recordings. Hehe. Please follow this link to hear them:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sumie Trees and Algorithm dancing.

Not much is really going on aside from school things. I've had to create a Japanese speech (on geisha, because I like them,) as well as a Japanese skit for my speaking class. While I was in my sumi-e class on Friday, I remembered that I had my camera, so I took a photos of the paintings I did this week.

I also participated in a real ohanami. The girls at our house on campus are having one on the 16th! Be sure to go relax under our beautiful trees and enjoy some snacks! (No Sake for you, it's a school event!)

Pretty Sakura

Looking for a place to sit

Our feast!

Sakura above us... raining bugs.. haha.

Other Sakura adventurers.

Sakura close-up

On Tuesday I go to Kyoto to see the Gion geisha dance the Miyako Odori! I'm so excited and a little nervous. I hope I can take lots of pictures! Here's a video of my classmates for your amusement:

Friday, April 2, 2010

Food Stuffs I

So, since this post has to do mostly with food, I'm going to start blogging about some of the food I have here in Japan. I've been a bit resistant to taking photos, but I really would like to share more.
So, this interesting dish here peaked my taste bud interests. The main dish is called Omu Rice. (Omelet Rice). What is on top is some fried shrimp. The soup in the bowl is something like egg drop soup, I assume. It wasn't half bad, except that the soup had something in it to make it a little spicy. What was worse was the Omelet Rice. It was gross. The whole dish tasted like plastic. I threw it away and had a dessert thing instead to make me feel better. I did eat the shrimp though. The red sauce on top is just ketchup. :x

After going grocery shopping today, I decided to cook up some stir fry. I am so glad I did. This stuff was SOOOOOOOOOO (x100 more O's) good!! I was so happy. I really like cooking when I have nothing better to do.

First, chopped up half an onion and a whole red pepper and boiled them in a frying pan with water.

Next I added in the meat, carrots, some strangely delicious (nut flavored) Japanese vegetable, that came in the package I bought to make this. I also added in the pineapple I bought. I should have cut them even smaller, they were still a bit big.

Finally, I added in the sauce that came with the package, as well as mushrooms! Doesn't it look delicious?! Aah~

While all that was going on, I had rice cooking. Tah dah!

Yep. Clean Plate Club.

I even have leftovers. And yes, I was drinking a grape fanta. :p

Tomorrow, supposedly I'll be going to ohanami.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fushimi Inari Shrine

So, one VERY rainy day, Pat and Melody made plans to go visit the "Fushimi Inari" shrine. I was a little reluctant to go, but I decided that it would be for the best that I just tagged along if not for some scenic experience.

This is where we entered the shrine. Now that I look at it, we were destined to start off on a bad foot. That gate looks backwards to me. I'm thinking we've entered the out. The Fushimi Inari Shrine is in Kyoto. It was very rainy and never stopped once.

As if there wasn't enough water already, here you purify yourself before entering the more sacred grounds. You take a ladle, collect the water from beneath it, pour it onto both of your hands, but don't pout the water back where you got the water from!

Here is a photo of the main entrance at the front. (Where we should have come in).

Here is a photo of the entrance up close. You can see the "mon" or crest of the shrine.

In front of the entrance, there is an apparatus that looks like it is for ceremony performances. Oddly enough, I came to that conclusion only after seeing things similar to it in Second Life.

This is a close up of the apparatus.

This is the place where you pray. You give a donation, ring the bell, clap twice and pray. Hopefully your prayer comes true!

Prayers in action.

A close up.

The fox deity of the shrine.

Looking back. . .

Pretty Plum Blossoms

Written wishes...

More wishes...


Another place to pray.

The Fushimi Inari shrine is famous for it's multiples of "tori" gates that take you through and over a mountain path.

On the backside of all the "tori," there are company advertisements. It is very expensive for a company to put their name here. :)

Beautiful forest surrounds the paths.

After that, my camera died. :(
Along the path there are many traditional sit down cafes. I wanted to eat at one, but since it was rainy, it would be strange to sit on our wet feet. Udon sounded very delicious in this cold rain. We also ended up taking a "trail" path.. which eventually got us lost. We somehow ended up two stations away from the station we had arrived at. Silly how that works out! All we knew was that we had climbed over a mountain. haha. We just followed groups of school children to the trains. I ended up getting sick from being in the rain the past two days. :\

I'm better now, and spring break is over. More studies are on my way. I've had to spend a while thinking about what courses to sign up for back at Mount. I've decided to pick up a "Non-western Studies" minor. I'm also taking random computer science classes for fun. (I need the credit hours to graduate...).

Next semester is looking great!