Sakura

Spring in Japan is famed for Sakura (cherry blossoms). It is a very special time of year because the flowers only bloom for about two week of the year. Many people travel from all over the world to witness Sakura and in Japan it is common to have a hanami ( a picnic with lots of alcohol) under the Sakura.

I was fortunate to have been invited by work friends to spend the weekend in Kyoto and view the Sakura. Having been to Kyoto the week before, we explored a completely different area. We travelled by train the night before and stayed in a ryokan (traditional Japanese style house) where I slept on a Japanese futon for the first time and I was amazed at how comfortable it was.

Prior to booking our trip we decided that we would wear kimonos for the day. I had no idea of the amount of layers and padding that goes into wearing one. The lady who dressed me did her best to work with my boobs. hips and bum and she did a good job. I chose my bag, umbrella and shoes ( that just about fit) and was ready to explore Kyoto.

The four of us dressed in Kimonos especially being gaijan (westerners) caused quite the stir amongst the public. We were photographed quite a lot (by randomers) and I ended up being interviewed for a website and having photos taken. I enjoyed viewing the Sakura and learnt that there are different varieties and not all of them are pink.

We booked tickets to see a Maiko performance, Maikos are ladies who are training to be Geishas. The performance told a story through music and dance. As much as I am a fan of theatre I found it hard to follow, I chose not to have the English headset because I wanted to hear the ladies singing in Japanese. The set was good and the dancing was flawless, they moved so elegantly and it was enchanting.

Kyoto is famed for matcha and having enjoyed my ice cream from my previous trip I became a little obsessed. I bought powdered matcha latte as well as matcha salt. I also restocked my stash of yatsuhashi and chose cinnamon flavour this time. We also ate some amazing sushi and sashimi.

Yet again I enjoyed my trip to Kyoto and although this was my second week in a row it was a completely different experience. I know there is so much more for me to see and do and I can’t wait!

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