Find the Doggie in the Garden

These spidery flowers are celebrated with their own festival

Among all the hubbub of Japan’s big cities, the bits of green here and there make it calmer and more enjoyable

A beautiful flower along the way
Houses and shops find ways to include nature
Flowers brightened our walks

Doggy all dressed up in a kimona and carrying his own flowers
A Zen garden at one of the shrines we visited
Real life bonsai
And a flower to finish off the day and the post

Kimona Party at the Tea House

Bento Box Lunch

Nine generations after a village money lender moved to Kyoto to establish a kimono tailor shop, the family still carries on that business and operates a traditional Japanese tea shop. The ground floor hosts their businesses; the second is their residence.

Chopstick rest

Built long before the advent of electrical lighting, the rooms are oriented around two gardens open to the sky in order to admit sunlight. The smaller garden is about 6’x6’ and the larger is about 15’x15’ with a pleasantly sounding trickle of water from a hollow bamboo tube.

Patio at teahouse

Closed Bento box

Two small separate alcoves shelter both a Shinto and a Buddhist shrine. An alcove denotes great esteem, so being seated near an alcove reflects one’s high status.

Safe from original money exchange business
The founder designed a room for Noh theater performances. Tatami mats covering most of the floor to suppress sounds. However, a 4’ wide section along a wall was covered by a thin reed mat so the the Noh actors could stamp their feet according to the classical format.

Spectacular mother of pearl table in Noh theatre room

Sweet served before matcha tea

The traditional tea service begins with a hostess whisking powdered green tea into solution and pouring the tea into a handle-less cup. Upon receiving the cup, the guest rotates it so that the decoration faces the host as a gesture of respect. Two small sips, followed by a third slurping gulp to demonstrate the guest’s appreciation.

Our teahouse experience included a kimona try on. There are lots of layers under those kimonas!

They even had “wigs” to go with the kimonas