Thursday, February 26, 2015

Flea Market Heaven

On the 25th day of each month there is a flea market held at Tenjin Kitano Shrine in Northern Kyoto.
And what a market!

Old Kimono, fabric offcuts, bric a brac, antiques, ceramics, beads, crappy shit, new trashy crap, collectors items, old cameras, jewellery and watches, old photographs and vinyl records, lots of food and produce and flowers and plants and….. the market went on and on.

In fact I spent a good 4 hours or more wandering the stalls and the temple, eating ramen, and purchasing a few more textiles. I really do need to start producing something from all this material I keep buying on overseas trips….

There was cheap junk, and expensive collectors items, a flea market for all tastes.

The market went for miles, well all around the shrine anyway, which was quite pretty to visit as well. As long as you left your Scottish Terrier at home.

I could have bought so much stuff, but with such tight weight restrictions on luggage I only bought one old kimono jacket and about three or four cuts of fabric. And some beads to make into earrings.

I spent most of the day there, so had little time to do further sightseeing beyond visiting the nearby Golden Pavillion at Kinkaju Temple. It was crowded, but wow!!

After Kinkaju I had wanted to visit another temple and garden in the area called Ryoan-ji, but I had run out of time, so I jumped on a bus and headed back to the hostel.

With only a couple more days to go I needed to finish off that nice bottle of sake I'd bought in Hokkaido so I sat in the dorm chatting to a young French Canadian lass who was about to head off on further travels after a month or so working at the hostel. She had acquired a mass of clothing and was trying to downsize her baggage and send stuff home. So I sat there swigging sake and questioning every choice she made, asking her to justify why each item needed to be kept. It actually hadn't occurred to her that it might be possible to pick up a really cool dress in Portugal, so why carry so much stuff all the way? And the memories that come with buying souvenirs are priceless. By the end we had at least halved her pile, though there was still some culling to do. Despite me thinking I may have been a bit mean, she thanked me for my honesty and said she couldn't have been so brutal without my help.

On this trip I had gone to the other extreme, in fact my trip in to Kyoto had only included the stuff that fitted in to my 33L backpack. I only had one pair of trousers, and was getting mighty sick and tired of them, especially as I really love the quirky Japanese fashion that the women wear here. The skirts and jackets are so cool, I wish I had taken more photographs, but women of all ages dress stylishly in Kyoto. I felt very underdressed.

Oh well, the sacrifices we make....

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