Monday, June 5, 2017

Japanecdote: Turning Japanese

We spent half a day waiting for the girls to turn Japanese. By the time they had stepped out of the rental shop clad in a kimono, we were already hungry—it was almost lunch time. My friend, Ryo, whom I had met in 2012 on a bus headed to Vietnam from Cambodia, was on his way to meet us (he took the train from Kobe to Kyoto) and we waited at exit 1 of Gojo Station. While we were standing outside the exit, a Japanese woman who was passing by stopped and faced my chinky-eyed kimono-clad friend and bowed to her. My friend, completely taken by surprise, made a hasty and awkward bow. Then the woman hurried along.

We went to Kyoto Imperial Palace and Fushimi Inari Taisha and the girls blended in with all the other kimono-wearing visitors. But a few hours before the rental time was up, the girls gave up being Japanese fearing they might die of asphyxiation (suspect: Obi wan kinotbreathe).

As we were waiting on the platform for the train that would take us to Gojo Station, my chinky-eyed friend was approached by a westerner who with palms together bowed and greeted her konnichiwa (こんにちは hello). My friend, taken by surprise again, made her awkward bow and tried to keep her laughter in.

My chinky-eyed friend's takeaway for the day: If you want to turn Japanese by wearing a kimono amp up the transformation by practicing (beforehand) how to do a proper Japanese bow. And learn to keep a straight face.

Kimono-clad ladies at Fushimi Inari Taisha

Kimono Rental: The girls rented a kimono at Yumeyakata Kyoto Kimono Rental Shop near Gojo Station in Kyoto. They had to book an appointment beforehand and it is recommended to book the earliest slot because the number of girls waiting in line to get dressed up can be astonishing.

Know Before You Go
Single Entry Tourist Visa for Japan
Roam Around Japan with a Swagger
An Ignoramus in Japan: Vending Machines
An Ignoramus in Japan: Bathrooms and Toilets
An Ignoramus in Japan: Manhole Covers
I Spy With My Little Eye: Japan's Fashion Contradictions
I Spy With My Little Eye: On the Go in Japan

From Tokyo to Hiroshima (2015)
10D/9N | Tokyo, Toyama, Kyoto, Hyogo, Osaka, Hiroshima
Tokyo Accommodation: Shinjuku Airbnb
Tokyo: Memorable Tokyo Eats
Tokyo: Odaiba
Tokyo: Doing Touristy Things in Tokyo
Toyama: A Hamlet Called Ainokura
Kyoto Accommodation: K's House Hostel Kyoto
Kyoto, Japanecdote: Wisdom from the Road: On exits #2
Kyoto: By the Thousands (Kyoto Imperial Palace, Sanjusangendo, Fushimi Inari Taisha, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove)
Kyoto, Japanecdote: Turning Japanese (you're here!)
Kyoto: Braving the Crowds at these UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto (Kiyomizu-dera, Nijo Castle, Kinkakuji)
Hyogo, Japanecdote: If Only I Could Speak Nihongo
Hyogo: Day Trip to Himeji: Himeji Castle and Shoshazan Engyoji Temple
Hyogo, Japanecdote: Am I an Alien?
Hiroshima: Strolling and Snacking in Miyajima
Hiroshima: Remembering the Past in Hiroshima
Osaka, Japanecdote: How to Lose Friends
Osaka Accommodation: Osaka Airbnb
Osaka, Japanecdote: Where is Bentencho Station?
Osaka: Osaka Castle and Tenjinbashisuji Shotengai
Osaka, Japanecdote: Learn From Your Mistakes

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