Thursday, February 25, 2010


This morning, I woke up very early (5:30am). After getting ready, Melody and I headed out to Makino Station. We got tickets to another station, switched to an express (and less crowded) train, met up with Nikki and J.C. and went to Kamishichiken. After a crowded train experience, we experienced an even more crowded local bus! IT WAS SO CROWDED... that I was pressed up against a handrail and I was sweating. I never sweat! (Not to that extent.) It was weirding me out. When we finally got to the Tenmangu shrine, we immediately saw all of the Plum blossoms. They smelled so beautiful and were very pretty. I seemed to be the only person who was smelling them though. (I will admit, I have a very keen sense of smell and taste). I think it is a very potent flower, given that when I spotted some on my way home, I smelled it first.

The Tea Ceremony didn't start until 10:00am, so we bought our tickets and took some pictures of the flowers. I even got a sneak peek of the Geiko and Maiko as they were getting prepared.
A local train that generally takes us to Kyoto. I will probably use it a lot.
The first Plum Blossoms we encountered at the shrine. Very beautiful. Smelled wonderful.
My 1500¥ ticket for some tea, a sweet and a chance to see Geiko and Maiko.
Here is Nikki, Me, and Melody waiting in line. Nikki and Melody totally skipped class. (Worth it). I ended up skipping my Japanese class because we arrived back at the school too late. I bought Melody lunch and we ate outside instead. :p
Plum blossoms from the line.
J.C.'s head. How asymmetrical of him.
I really like the white ones. *^^*
A place to pray.
Dark pink blossoms too.
Getting closer!
What could possibly be behind this wall?
Do you see what I see!?
My very first real life Geiko sighting! (F.Y.I., Geisha are called Geiko in Kyoto).
All of the Geiko and Maiko come out of this purple tent to come and serve you green tea that they have whipped up themselves. (I've learned how to do this, supposedly ^^, but I dare not compare). First, it seems like a geiko is kneeling, a Senior Maiko comes out, and various girls inside the tent.
Ah. SO many people were there to take pictures and have tea. It was very difficult for someone like me (yeah, short) to take decent photos. ;-; Here a Geiko mixes tea.
See? Pretty crowded.
Probably the best photo I had taken. This girl was popular for her online blog of her maiko experience. I wish she had never stopped. She didn't post much anyway. Blogging is not for the busy! (As I can see). The ladies without make-up may be Senior Geiko. It is said that once you are matured, you no longer really wear any make-up except for special occasions. I don't know, I would consider this a special occasion, but I suppose it's a bit relaxed as well. I honestly thought they were the Okaa-san and Obaa-san. But, I can't say without knowing who they are.

I'm becoming desperate. . .
A funny face! Hehe.
Bleh. More crowd.
Beautiful kimono. I was very happy to see their hair and wigs upclose! (Yep, Geiko wear wigs. Maiko have to deal with the pain of getting their hair done).
I wanted to capture how elegantly this maiko sits. I think I was a bit late or early, though. It just hurts my legs looking at this mid-action photo. Haha.
After having our tea and sweet, we looked at the blossoms for a moment. I'm being silly.
Here is a pretty little box with an interesting gift inside. I have NO idea what it is. There was a little folded paper with what seems like a couple of grains of rice. I also am thinking that they may be Plum Blossom seeds? (I really hope so). There are also two flower-shaped mystery things inside. Supposedly, they may be treats, but they taste absolutely awful. Kind of like wood and flour. Yeah.
On the way back to Hirakata, I spotted this poster on the wall and about died from laughter.
Melody had also taken some photos. Unfortunately, my camera had died right when the girls were coming so close to me. (Close enough to observe their hair). I was unbelievably depressed about it, but I took a fresh and deep breath of the flower-flavored air and just tried to enjoy the process itself instead of worrying about photos. I did get a video as well. Let's see if this works:
I may have missed my Japanese class, but I'm not worried about it. They learned Humble form, which I already have learned and just need to review. I know that there is a vocab test tomorrow because it's on the syllabus. (Yip! for syllabus'). I attended the "Interrogation" activity for my Body Comm class and it was a blast. The funny thing is, there were a lot of strange things that happened in this activity. One boy got so overly nervous that he practically gave away certain words and motions that proved he was guilty, but he wasn't! It was so much fun. I ended up guessing who the guilty person was too. So I was happy about that.
Until next time, my sweets.


  1. I bet you were smiling ear to ear the whole time. I think the pictures came out great considering how many people were there. I'm sorry your camera died :( but yeah, keep positive, it was an incredible experience to be a part of.

    I didn't notice the llama in the picture at first, or you standing next to it. I lol'd for sure.

    Are you sure those "treats" were really treats? You always have great analogies for how food tastes (horses, metal, etc..) Maybe it was fertilizer for the seeds they gave you? Haha.

    Great job on the body language test/show. That sounds like it would be fun. You always seem to know when I'm guilty about something. I wonder how? -eye brow twitch-




  3. Your taking so many great photos, it's like you are bringing Japan to us. We love it! Always love seeing you in some pics too, so thank you!

    Was the tea good?

    Talk to you soon,
    Love you!
    Mom & Tim