Welcome to Kyoto’s fall! (November 16, 2017)
Autumn leaves are finally kicking in, and the city is full of tourists from different parts of Japan and the world looking forward to seeing the foliage in the midst of the color change in beautiful gardens, temples, shrines, and streets.
Today we had guests from Malaysia, Singapore, China and Australia.
Nicole, a Malaysian based in England, did the travel plans to celebrate her mother’s birthday together with her in Japan. On that day they woke up early, as soon as the sun is up, to avoid crowds and visit Fushimi Inari Taisha, Golden Pavilion (Kinkakuji), Arashiyama and Bamboo Forest.
Seated beside them, an Australian family of three that the parents came to Japan on business and took some days off to enjoy Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Kobe, Hiroshima, and Nagoya with their daughter. Then, our Maiko-san and we also welcomed a couple from Beijing and another group from Malaysia and China.
Accomplishing a dream
Originally from Chiba (40 kilometers from Tokyo), Fukune-san was ten years old when she watched a TV program about geisha word. She had been thinking about it for a while, dreaming about it, and four years later, on one Monday, she just came to Kyoto and had to do it. Now she is in the final year as an apprentice geisha (next year she will become a professional geisha). Her life is daily endless lessons in history, traditional music, dance, and tea ceremony, and countless hours in front of the mirror painting her face chalk white and her lips red. Since she goes through a lot of hard training, she only has two relaxing days a month. One these days she likes shopping and goes to a cinema.
Such a lovely girl!
An 8-year-old girl demonstrated her keen interest in maiko-san world asking questions like “It’s hard to dance in your kimono?“, “How long did it take to do your makeup?” “Why your face is pure white?“.
After a conversation with maiko, it’s time to challenge yourself to a drinking game called Konpira Fune Fune. This is a variation of “Rock, Paper, Scissors.” Playing on a little table with a bowl, the players take turns to take away the bowl in rhythm to the “Konpira Fune Fune” song. If the bowl isn’t here when it’s your turns show the rock (a fist) and if the bowl is here show the paper (keep your hand flat). Only you need to do is distracted your partner and take care not to be distracted by theirs. Although it seems complicated, it’s amusing!
The person who makes a mistake loses. If you fail, maiko-san will serve beer or tea, and you need to gulp the drink down. But, if you win, our staff will take a picture of you with and maiko-san. Since it’s an Instax camera, you can immediately get a printed photo and take home as a memento of your adventures in Japan.
These two hours have just flown by. It’s time to say goodbye to our lovely maiko-san. But not before taking some pictures in front of the golden folding screen and say “ookini!” (that means “thank you” in Kyoto dialect).
See you soon!
We can’t wait to meet and share with you the best of Kyoto and Japan! We are waiting for you!