Kyoto Gion: Feed the tourists what they want to see
Gion Travel Blog› entry 65 of 93 › view all entries
August 13th, 2008 – by: skitzcw
Traveling from Ojika to Kyoto was a 10 hour struggle. The transfers and schedule timing made my head spin. Luckily for us, these travel arrangements were all under the capable (soft, silky-smooth, and disease-free) hands of Yuka.
We arrived at Kyoto late in the afternoon â€“ finally, a place I recognize and can actually talk about. I was itching to start conversations earlier in the trip about Japanese history or my old experiences there, but everywhere I went was completely new to me. Every moment seared its first impression in my mind and left me extremely happy to be alive and on my own â€“ all the more happy to take more pictures and share the stories with my friends and family (and, evidently, the entire Internet).
Gion â€“ I really wanted to see geisha in the old style streets walking politely with their layers of makeup and cute little wooden slippers.
Everyone from the tour except Yuka attended an hour performance focused on old Japanese traditions and culture. I hadnâ€™t seen so many gai-jin in one place for a long time. Everyone had a camera and they all looked so weird (whatâ€™s wrong with their eyes?). I had been around so many Japanese people, that I felt awkward fully understanding what they said and seeing them do all the obnoxious things with the camera that I do subconsciously. To me, the start of the performance was observing the audience. They looked so pasty.
The performance was split into five sections. The first one was a traditional tea ceremony where an old lady makes really concentrated green tea the old fashion way. It would have been funny to see her take out a supermarket tea-bag and add hot water very gracefully (ooo, ahhâ€¦ *snaps pictures).
It didnâ€™t really matter what they did in this performance. To me, the very fact that they get all these tour buses paying $30 per person for an hour show means that theyâ€™re just showing the people what they want to see.
After the show, we had dinner at a conveyor belt sushi place. As you can see from the picture below, I left with my hand on my stomach and a smile on my face â€“ completely satisfied with a lovely night. 26 plates was a record for me. I miss that sushi (especially at $1.25 per plate for all plates).
~See Lemons Injected with Japanese Culture
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!