Saturday, May 5, 2018

A Favorite Japan Adventure

Hi there. Hope everyone's enjoying their weekend. 
Today I have some more photos from my Japan trip to share. Today's grouping is from one of my favorite little adventures on my journey. While in Kyoto we visited one of the Gion districts, which are the old historic districts. The area was a fascinating collection of architecture. This is how Kyoto looked before all the modern buildings were constructed. It is also an area of tea houses and private clubs

 The streets are narrow and there are these little alleys with courtyards at their end tucked into many places.
And you might ask why we visited in the evening, and not during the day.
And I can tell you why.
Because we were hoping to pass one of the areas famous citizens while they were on their way to work.
These historic districts of Kyoto are where the Geishas live.
You can see it was a wet night, which decreased our chances of seeing any Geishas since the rain would ruin their make up. But we explored, undeterred.
(These are a few of our kids and the woman standing on the left is Deb, one of my coworkers and friends who also went on the trip in the upper photo.)
This particular school trip hadn't seen any Geishas for quite a few years, but we weren't going to let that deter us either.
I stepped onto one of these side streets to take a photo of the architecture, and one of my other co-workers joined me. And low and behold, we snapped our photos and then realized that we had 2 Geisha's walking towards us.

We just stood there in disbelief as they walked right by us. When they got close were so absorbed we didn't even bother to snap any photos.
But wait. It got even better.
Back up on the road where the rest of our group was, we had a woman in a kimono and make up walk past us. 

Then we followed behind her and came up to an old building with and open gate leading into the courtyard.
And then she and another geisha came out of the courtyard and got into a waiting taxi.

 How cool and exciting was that? 

Let me show you a few more photos of the outer street along the main thoroughfare. We had to walk down this street in order to head back to the subway.

 And to answer a few questions from comments today.
First of all, I think many Japanese people speak a few words of English, and a few speak much better. In the cities there is some English signage, but outside of the city, there is not any. It is interesting how  outside of the city we were the rare non-Japanese people, but in the big cities, although most people were Japanese or Chinese (as they are MANY Chinese visitors) , there are more European or European descent looking folks. 
And yes, I do know how LUCKY I am to work in a school district that values sending their teachers on these trips. This entire trip cost me only around $300, and that was just my personal spend money for gifts and trinkets I bought myself. It was a really amazing trip, and my fellow travellers, students and teachers, were fantastic people.
That's all for me today.  I have some catching up from yesterday to get to, but I was out all day running errands and now I am ready for bed, so I will stop tomorrow when I am being lazy at home while it rains.
Thanks everyone for visiting.


Valerie-Jael said...

Wow, fantastic photos, and good that you managed to spot the geishas. You were lucky to be able to go on such a wonderful trip and see so many unusual things. Have a fun Sunday, hugs, Valerie

Rita said...

Wow! How exciting to see all those geishas! Like being transported back in time. :)

Let's Art Journal said...

Fabulous post! When I saw that you photos were at night and there were tearooms I thought of the Geishas straight away and how amazing it must have been to see them in person 😁. They look so beautiful in their kimonos too. Thanks for sharing your great adventures and Japanese culture! Happy Sunday! J 😊 x

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

What a lucky break to see the Geisha girls. I see the Japanese don't know which side of the road to drive on (grin). That was a couple of really fortuitous photos in the car. And the photos in the street were superb. I noticed a big difference between the umbrellas of the Geishas and the umbrellas used by Westerners. What a fun and colorful post. Hope your Sunday is fabulous, dear.

Meggymay said...

You were really lucky to get the photos of the Geisha's well worth you lurking around the streets. It must take them hours to do the make up.
It must be quite thick and maybe not good for their skin.
You must have a store of wonderful memories from this trip.
Yvonne xx

Rike said...

Now I scrolled through all your posts I have missed - and it was really an exciting journey for me! You have to be lucky to work in a school district that values sending their teachers on these trips, YES! You even saw real Geishas!! You made great shots and have wonderful memories of your journey!

CJ Kennedy said...

The close-up of the red paper lantern made me smile. the white circles made it look like it was wearing glasses. If you can ignore the wires and lights overhead, the scene could be hundreds of years in the past with the Geishas walking down the street. Such a contrast with the Geisha sitting in the taxi.

froebelsternchen said...

Wow... you got really exciting shots Erika! Thanks a lot for sharing that with us!
By accident I found a nice blog of an American woman teaching English in Japan - very interesting for me as well.

hugs, Susi

kathyinozarks said...

Good morning, I really enjoyed all of your trip photos. Seeing the Geisha how cool is that!! Loved those little court yards too. I am happy for you that had this wonderful experience.
How was the food? did you have the opportunity to eat authentic foods?
Happy Sunday

Divers and Sundry said...

How exciting! I love these photos of settings so different my day-to-day world. I "follow" an American man who teaches in Japan, and it's fascinating to see the ancient and modern overlayed as they are there. Thx for sharing these gorgeous scenes :)

Jeannette said...

hi erika,wonderful post today,your images from japan by night is beautiful ... and you seeing the geishas in person,thats so pretty.
hope you had many fun in japan,its interesting place,thanks for sharing the photos with us.
happy sunday,my friend.

hugs jenny

Jeanie said...

It really is a remarkable country. How exciting that you and your gang saw the area by night and were able to see the geishas. Yes, that's probably pretty rare. I am loving this series of photos!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Reading this post about the hunt for geisha sightings, made me think of the Amish folks, many of whom do not want photos taken> Is it the same way with geishas, Erika?

Linda Kunsman said...

wow what fabulous photos Erika!! I love the lanterns. And how cool you were able to see and capture some Geishas. And wow- to think there are schools that support travel like yours does. I wish they all did that. Glad you were able to have this amazing experience without the expense.

Eileen The Artful Crafter said...

Very exciting, Erika!! You ad your co-worker were excellent sleuths ;-) $300 for a trip to Japan is awesome. I bet you deserve it for being such an excellent and well-liked teacher.