Look, buy and taste plums in Kyoto④ A Plum Garden walk (Kitano Tenmangu Shrine)
When it comes to Kitano Tenmangu, we speak about plums.When plums in this garden are in peak bloom, we feel very excited, because it means that spring is approaching.The usually closed Plum Garden is open for one month starting from the second half of February.There are about 50 kinds of plum trees and we can also see unusual kinds, such as red and white flowers blooming on the same branch, called "Omoinomama".Every 25th of February, an event called "Baikasai" (plum flower festival) is held to commemorate the death anniversary of Michizaneko: the goddess who loved plum flowers and protects this shrine.After this event, there will be another one called "Baikasai Nodate Ochanoyu", which will see the arrival of geisha of Kamishichiken (old Geisha district).Look, buy and taste plums in Kyoto ①, viewing "Weeping plums" in "Jonan-gu Shrine" here.Look, buy and taste plums in Kyoto ②, the store that sells Matsuhiro Shoten plum clasp purses is here.Look, buy and taste plums in Kyoto③ For plum sweets from Oimatsu Kitano-shop check hereKitano TenmanguKyoto-shi, Kamigyo-ku, Bakuro-choNear City Bus stop "Kitano Tenmangu Mae"
The Ikebana transmitted by the young kadō headmasters
Ryuho Sasaoka is the third headmaster of the Mishōryū-Sasaoka Ikebana School, and in the past appeared also in some cultural television programs in Kyoto.Mr. Sasaoka is spreading the ikebana culture both domestically and outside Japanese borders, cooperating with many young Sōke and next generation Iemoto (Schools Headmasters) and creating a team, called "Kyoto Hanatsutsumi study group".With this team, Mr. Sasaoka has already begun to resurrect the old style of Ikebana, as it was first documented in the Edo Period, when it was exactly called "Hana Tsutsumi".Hana Tsutsumi is an old spectacular Ikebana art that combines the seasonal flowers and the washi (Japanese paper) which is adjusted in its shape and colors depending on the flowers that are being used.It is an art perfect for expressing the feelings of gratitude and celebration, and for this reason it will be used in the Kyoto Marathon on February 17.To celebrate his/her victory, the Mayor of Kyoto will give to the Marathon winner a big award, consisting in a Hana Tsutsumi composition.It will be such a scene that harmonizes both the tradition and the modernness of Kyoto, so if you have the chance please come and take a look at.For more information about the "Mishōryū-Sasaoka" Ikebana School's headmaster, Ryuho Sasaoka, can be found here.
Look, buy and taste plums in Kyoto ③ "Oimatsu Kitano store" plum sweets
Near the Matsuhiro Shoten (clasp purse store), which we introduced last time, there is a long-established Japanese sweet shop, called "Oimatsu Kitano shop".Speaking of Kamishichiken shops, we speak about the front gate of Kitano Tenmangu Shrine.Speaking of Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine, we speak about its main Deity Sugawara Michizanekō.And speaking of Michizanekō, we think of "plum"; as it is her favorite flower."Oimatsu Kitano shop" since old times, continues to make Japanese sweets reflecting the four seasons of Kyoto.In February, they sell the "Kitano no ume" (plums of Kitano).Using the red plump plum, the plum scent seems almost to comeout!When visiting Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine, please go and check out this shop and try one of their plum sweets.Look, buy and taste plums in Kyoto ①, viewing "Weeping plums" in "Jonan-gu Shrine" here.Look, buy and taste plums in Kyoto ②, the store that sells Matsuhiro Shoten plum clasp purses is here."Oimatsu Kitano store"Kyoto City, Kamigyo Ward, Imadegawa Street, Onmae Street (East entrance), Shakenagaya-Chō 6755 minutes on foot from "Kamishichiken" bus stop
Look, buy and taste plums in Kyoto ② Plum blossom clasp purses, sold at "Matsuhiro Shoten"
Plum trees are in full bloom in this season, but instead of just viewing them, why not carrying some goods that portray plum trees patterns?It will be fun for sure.In that case, the clasp purses of "Matsuhiro Shoten" are what you are looking for: they implement the style, patterns and shapes proper of the traditional Kyoto style.Just putting one of them in your bag would be for you a great satisfaction.Pouches, bags and wallets are handcrafted by craftsmen.They are durable and each one of them has a unique pattern, not printed, but handmade, to make it unique.All patterns used in this shop will be different, according to the season they are made in.For this reason, it would be wonderful to use for several different types of items, one for each time you came to visit.Look, buy and taste plums in Kyoto ①, watching "Weeping plums" in "Jonan-gu Shrine" is here.Matsuhiro Shoten store in Kamishichiken-tenKyoto City, Kamigyo Ward, Imadegawa Street, Shinseichō 7162 minutes on foot from "Kamishichiken" bus stop
To Horin-ji 's "Harikuyo" (Broken Needles) Festival
For those who like sewing or like crafting, there is an event that we would really like you to visit.It is the Festival of Broken Needles (Harikuyo, in Japanese), held near Arashiyama and the Togetsuki Bridge.It is an event that began 400 years ago, when memorial services were held to give appreciation for needles used in the Imperial Palace.In the present day as well, needles received from the Imperial Family are used in this ceremony.Every February 8th and December 8th, people gather around the Memorial Hall of the temple, carrying their used sewing needles.They gently push their needles in a piece of konnyaku (soft jelly cakes) and thank them for their service.It is a truly wonderful event to convey one of the concepts of Japanese animism: the fact that even objects have a soul that people must express appreciation to.Horin-jiKyoto City, Nishikyo Ward, Arashiyama Kokuzoyama-cho5 minutes on foot from Hankyu Arashiyama station.
Look, buy and taste plums in Kyoto ① Watching "Weeping plums" in " Jōnan gū Shrine"
Speaking of Kyoto in February, there are beautiful areas with plum blossoms, but my recommendation is Jōnan gū Shrine in Fushimi Ward.This shrine has a gentle goddess of which seasonal flowers are in full bloom.There are various kinds of plum, but do you know the "Weeping plum"?In Jōnan gū Shrine, "Weeping plums and Camellia Festival" are held from the middle of February to the end of March.Standing in front of the 150 weeping plum trees in full bloom really makes you feel like you are lost in the world of the Gods.The other two main protagonists of this event are of course the Camellia and the green moss, which can be seen in the same period.Jōnan gū ShrineKyōto City, Fushimi Ward, Nakajimatobarikyū-chō, 715 minutes on foot from Takeda station (Karasuma subway line)Photo:photolibrary（https://www.photolibrary.jp）
When it comes to the Setsubun event in Kyoto, "Yoshida Shrine" is a must
In the past, when Kyoto was the capital of Japan, it was known with the name of Heian-Kyo.The streets of this old city were structured as a checkerboard (they still are today).Heian-kyo was built with precision in its measurements and it was in this period that the symbol of the "Demon Gate" was introduced.The "Demon Gate" is the gate where demons enter and exit our world and is always located in the north-east corner of a structure.From that time, the superstition said that the North-East direction was unlucky, and then called it a Demonic area.Still today, to avoid misfortunes, Setsubun is held every year on February 2nd and 3rd, an event aimed to "pay" off the bad spirits.First, there is the visit of the four temples that are connected to the North-East direction of every corner of the Imperial Palace.This is called "Yomomairi": first "Yoshida Shrine" and its Demon gate are visited.Then "Yasaka Shrine", "Mibudera" and its Urakimon (direction south west) and finally "Kitano Tenmangu".Among them, Setsubun Festival at "Yoshida Shrine" is the largest!At the follow-up ceremony on the evening of the 2nd, we can see a unique sight where the God called "Hososhi" chases off the red demons, the blue demons and the yellow demons.Yoshida ShrineKyoto City, Sakyo Ward, Yoshida Kaguraoka-machi 3010 minutes on foot from Kyodai Seimon-mae (in front gate of Kyoto University main entrance)
Loving the Pottery from "SIONE"
They call Kyoto's winter, "sokobie", a time when the cold weather continues.Although you are spending more time indoors, the pottery here can help you lighten up the mood.The brand is created by Shoko Kawahara, who came from the original "makuzu-yaki" tea pottery making.The brand has great works in which each of the patterns and shapes of the pottery tells a unique story.When you use the pottery for sweets, tea, and alcohol, you can feel the specialness.Enjoy teatime using the pottery from SIONE, which also directly managed cafes and shops near Ginkakuji.For more information about Shoko Kawahara from SIONE, please click here.
- Experiencing handmade Kyoto-style confectionery
- Tegaki (hand-painted) Yuzen Experience
- Kyo Zogan Making Experience
- Scented sachet crafting experience, delivered by our craftsmen.
- Hanayui(flower head dress)Photo Plan
- KYOYAKI・KIYOMIZUYAKI Kochi painting
- Tote bag dyeing
- Tsumamizaiku [Pinching-craft] flower box making
- Mizuhiki-zaiku's flower card
- Making original mini lanterns
- Experience carving wooden covers of the stamp book