Last week, Dave and I traveled by Shinkansen to Kyoto for a short vacation.
After checking into our hotel, The New Miyako, we took a walk to see some of the sights: Nishi-Hongan-Ji
and the Nishijin Textile Center. This was rather disappointing. There was one little textile exhibit on the 3rd floor, goods for sale on the 2nd floor, and a couple of craft people silently working on the 1st floor - not too exciting.
Next, we tried to find the Raku Museum, but struck out. Instead we took a bus back to the hotel and took a nap. Dinner was had at one of the many restaurants in the train station.
On Sunday, Dave and I went to Yokohama. We took the train: HigashiFussa to Hachioji then Hachioji to Yokohama (or Higashikanagawa then to Yokohama - depending on which train you get on). Next we took the subway to the station closest to Yamashita park. The trip took about 2 hours, so next time we decide to go we will make sure to get started earlier in the day.
We decided on Yokohama since there was a Diwali festival happening that day at Yamashita Park.
Click on photos to Enlarge.
It was raining, but we enjoyed watching this dancer tell the tale of Diwali. She was very expressive with her pantomime. It was a small festival, so our next stop, out of the rain, was the Doll Museum. At the museum, they had a special exhibit of Antique Kimonos. One of the docents was excited to explain the exhibit to us and practice her English. She also encouraged us to touch and feel the different kimonos, not something I expected.
The Doll Museum, itself is devoted to Japanese dolls and souvenir dolls from around the world.
They even had a display about the Friendship Dolls and the Blue Eyed Dolls.
An original Blue Eyed Doll
A Friendship Doll
Some of the souvenir dolls. Interesting fact, all the souvenir dolls from the U.S. were Native American, Eskimo, and African American dolls.
Yes, Blythe is in the museum.
A gorgeous Hina doll display. The top of the building is over 5 feet tall.
Kewpie and me.
This is a very small museum, but well worth the 300 Yen entrance fee (about 5 dollars). Some signage is in English, but most is just in Japanese.
We spent the rest of the late afternoon/evening wandering around Chinatown.
There were lots of souvenir stores, lots of restaurants, and a ton of food stands. Next time we go we plan on taste testing and comparing all the buns and gyoza we can until we are about to burst.
Today I went to the Hamura Zoo with a couple of friends. I drove there, and it was the farthest away I've driven in Japan so far, even if it was only a 15 minute drive. There was a convenient parking lot, even.
Click on photos to see them larger.
Posing in front of the garden.
Whew, we finally got photos of all of us.
Serval. They wouldn't stand still, so I ended up taking a brief video.