Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Kimono Festival

Lately I have been taking a kimono class every Tuesday evening, to learn about the traditional art of wearing them. It's pretty challenging due to the language barrier, and the fact that I'm standing for two hours, in addition to how much I already do during the day at work. Last week was particularly frustrating since I was exhausted from teaching a full day of six Shōgakkō classes, but I still want to stick with it. I really do love and appreciate the art behind this aspect of Japanese culture. As a sewing hobbyist, I also eventually want to learn how to properly make them. Might as well, while I'm here!

My traditional footwear: geta (shoes) and tabi (split-toe socks).

This past weekend, I took part in a nearby kimono festival at Amanohashidate. Due to the location of the event and our local cherimen silk, this one is pretty famous. Matt was unable to attend due to this graduate school workload, so I went with my fellow AETs. One of my kimono class  instructors styled our hair for a very nice discount (usually they cost 5,000円 and up), and we rented the kimono inexpensively as well, for only 1,000円. I'm also happy to say I found geta in my size, and that was an experience in itself.

Cell phone snap!

There were limited choices in colors and patterns, but I went with a nice blue to match my eyes. I'm also wearing a modest style with shorter sleeves than a traditional furisode since I'm already married. Even though I'm off the market, I did still get plenty of stares...

I made some friends!

I ran into one of my good friends from work, too!

Posing by the bay (my camera is showing its age).

The back of my kimono, showing off the obi.

There was a free desserts bar for "young people" (20's-30's).

Strawberry shortcake ALWAYS photographs well.

I was in a chocolate mood, though.

Mah boys.

Of course, no event can happen without me meeting a kitty! :)

He was such a sweet boy. I wish I could have taken him with me~!

I really want to explore this area more!

I'm really looking forward to next year's festival, and hopefully others in the future. I should have a more generous budget next year, so maybe I'll splurge on renting a fancier kimono with a matching bag. Naturally, I really want Matt to enjoy it with me as well. The boys in our group seemed to have a good time sporting their hakama.

The next several weekends we're still going to be quite busy. On Saturday, Matt and I are taking a day trip to Kyoto-shi to visit some friends and do some shopping. Although we enjoy Kobe more, a little getaway into a big city is always something to look forward to! Starbucks, here I come!

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