This post begins with a trip to the kimono rental shop more than a month ago. After having lunch with some new friends, they invited me to participate in the upcoming kimono festival. I was super geeked about going. So geeked that I encouraged everyone to head straight for the kimono shop after lunch.
The shop is as big as a shotgun house. Or, as long. We took off our shoes and were led back to see the kimonos. Where clothes are concerned, I have two things working against me. One I am tall. The average height for a Japanese woman is 5’2. I’m 6’2. And two, I’m a pretty curvy gal. Needless to say, the first few kimono that I tried on were neither long enough nor big enough. I decided to wear my kimono as a coat/jacket. I chose a black kimono with red flowers. I planned to be the black, female, Johnny Cash. Black shirt, black pants, black boots and my black kimono. My friend and coworker was able to work out a deal for my rental. Because the staff wouldn’t need to assist me in putting on my kimono, my rental fee was slashed from $40 to $10! Big ups to that guy.
A month passed. I’d almost forgotten about the festival. That weekend, I didn’t especially want to be out and about. I imagined the crowds and immediately wanted to renig. However I felt, I’d make a commitment and pushed on. I arrived at the kimono shop to discover that most of the women in our group were being dressed in kimono (which took a while). My friend and I decided to go out and look around. We walked to the registration booth and checked in. We got some pretty sweet badges and a schedule of all the events.
When we walked over to check out all the kimono laden peeps, we were accosted by a film crew. My coworker was then asked if he and I would agree to be interviewed for a radio station. Do I know what radio station? Nope. Can I remember what I said? Nope. But it was a pretty unique experience. I understood a bit of the dialogue between the host and my friend. Then I was caught like a deer in the headlights when they both turned toward me. I think she asked something about my kimono or if I was looking forward to the festival. I don’t really know.
After the interview was completed we were able to watch the beginning of the parade. Yes, there was a parade. It was then that I learned that everyone in kimono was meant to be in said parade.
These samurai dudes were my favorite part of the whole shebang! They looked pretty fierce. I learned a little about the history of this particular festival. It involves a princess and these tiny dudes are meant to protect her.
It was a pretty cool day. Because we were participating in the festival by wearing kimono, we were allowed to enter various places for free. We decided to go to the friendship garden. It was beautifical! Its been many years since I’ve witnessed the change of seasons.
Everyone was taking pictures. And while I’m not the biggest fan of short photographers, I allowed a few pictures to be taken. I really liked this one.
At some point, I separated from the group and was able to hang out with some new friends. We decided to have tea.
After tea, we were on the hunt for food. Half our group decided to eat at one place and we decided to eat at another. We chose an Italian restaurant. I ordered beef stew. It was delicious. The day ended after I’d spent a few hours with two awesome peeps.
[Forgive the sizes of these photos. I’m working on some tech issues.]