Friday, April 5, 2013

Japanese Tradition

Over dinner we were asking Nick how he was enjoying the trip and what he liked. He reminded us that one of the interesting things about Japan is the blend of advanced technology, and innovation as well as the enjoyment of traditional culture.
Huge crowds flocking to Senso-ji
Water fountains at entrance to a shrine 
It is not uncommon to see many women in Kimono, often they are older,women but at festival time young people incl men wear kimono and yukata ( the blue and white patterned n robes) Department stores have a howl floor devoted to Kimono and accessories. Many newlyweds will have their photo taken in traditional kimono, and when we came across a traditional wedding at the Meiji Jingu shrine, it was not just the foreigners rushing up to take photos!
Traditional festivals dating back hundreds of years swell the population of many a smaller town. In Takayama in the Hida Mountains, they have a parade of Floats ( tai) that date back to 1700's and the performers are all dressed in traditional costume. The pop swells to 5 times for the bi annual celebration. There are streets of old buildings, selling traditional toys, foods and charms as well as crafts, and it is busy even on the cold and wet day we were there!!
Hanami (Blossom viewing) They even remove their shoes on the blue tarp!
While Japan has taken on commercialization with a passion, many of the items date from generations ago .
We had a ball in a 'toy' shop in Tokyo with lots of gadgets and kitch items that were being snapped up by all ages.

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