Last week I visited a beautiful historic town in the countryside. A mix of not being firebombed in World War II and some extraordinary historic preservation makes this town a magnet for Japanese and foreign tourists looking to experience Edo Japan. And then I stumbled upon this horrid Xmas store, and felt I had been instantly transported to any suburban mall in any town or city in Amerika. Major yucks!
One of the pleasure of travel is not only the sites but seeing the other site-seers. In Kyoto, I could not resist taking photos of these two spectacles that nearly over-shadowed the historic sites.
Above at Kinkakuji, the Golden Pavillion made famous in the West by Mishima, my mother and I spotted this “uncle and neices” three-some. The unusually warm weather in December does not sufficiently explain the brevity of these skirts. My husband charitably claims that three-piece-suited gentleman could be the young ladies’ relative, although I suspect most ojisan in Japan or elsewhere would not enjoy escorting their siblings’ children in these outfits. On the other hand, if they are not relatives, what an odd choice of date location, no?
Below at Katsura Villa, this over-sized personality demanded the attentions and photo-capturing assistance of fellow tourists, tour guide, and even the gardeners. So demanding that we witnessed some fellow tour-goers loudly “excusing” themselves for getting in her way, and much eye-rolling from the Japanese tourists. I wonder if she used to be a show-girl. I was certainly captivated.