Monday, January 7, 2013

Holidays on Vacation

Christmas isn’t a holiday in Japan, but we did see some Christmas decorations, including this gigantic Christmas tree at the Kyoto station.

We spent the morning of Christmas day at the Kitano Tenman-gu Shrine Flea Market (see yesterday’s post about it). In the afternoon we visited Tokei Kyoto Studio Park, where they make Samurai and Ninja movies. It was pretty touristy, but being mid-week and winter, it wasn’t too crowded and we had a good time. We saw several shows and the movie sets and Ted pretended to be a ninja. The woodcut print museum was very interesting.

We ate Christmas dinner at a Japanese restaurant and even though they offered “Christmas Chicken”, we ordered something different.

New Year’s is probably the biggest holiday in the Japanese year.  Most Japanese people return home to spend a few days with family.  We didn’t realize that many of the museums and other places to visit would be closed for the week.  It wasn’t a problem because there were so many things to see at and around Shuri-jo Castle that we had plenty to keep us busy. On the morning of January  first was a re-enactment of the three Ryukyu Royalty ceremonies at the Castle. The Queen didn't get to participate in the original ceremonies, but she was included in the modern day celebrations.

Afterwards we stayed for more of the dance performances that we had seen the day before and that I told you about in yesterday’s post. We were fortunate to get front row seats.


They offered free Jasmine Tea and non-alcoholic awomori to drink.

We visited the Shrine, which is an important thing to do on one of the first three days of the year. Outside the shrine, it’s like a carnival.

 Many people decorate their doors and entry ways for the New Year.

At the hotel desk

Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you about some of the delicious food we had on vacation.

1 comment:

Rhiannon said...

It looks like you all had a wonderful time! What a neat way to spend Christmas!