Looking at the title of my blog, time just passed rather quickly and it was already the 7th day of my vacation, sigh~ Soon, the Japan trip will come to an end, but I am trying my best not to think about it. For my first Japan trip it’s been pretty great so far. 🙂
The day started earlier than any other day because of a photoshoot that I’ve booked with Yumeyataka. It was recommended by a colleague friend, whose friend had tried it and it was good. It was expensive, but since the photographs were taken by professional photographers I didn’t really mind spending for it; though I would need to save up the moment I get home, hahahaha… It’s expensive to buy, eat, shop and travel in Japan~
Yumeyakata – The company that I booked my outdoor photoshoot with
The photoshoot lasted for about 2 hours or so, with a trip to Arashiyama (Bamboo Forest) since that was the package I booked. The photographer was a Taiwanese who has been living in Japan for 5 years; and it was a pleasant trip and experience since we could converse in Mandarin. Usually, I wouldn’t converse in Mandarin until I’ve made known that I’m from SG. The photographer acted as my tour guide as well when we walked through Arashiyama, stopping at different parts of the forest to take pictures. She was also kind enough to take some photos with my phone, and I managed to also take some photographs of the scenery as we were walking.
It was my first time wearing a Yukata. Initial plan was to wear a kimono, but since it’s summer, they have Yukata as the Summer clothing instead since it was much cooler (2 layers instead of 3 layers for a kimono). It was definitely much cooler, but even with the 2 layers, there were a lot of things in between. It’s a skill to know how to wear it right, and I’m saying it when I was being dressed by one of the sensei (teachers) who were skilled in the wearing of the attire. She smiled and told me she was going to tighten the belt, and gosh, she sure did tightened. I was glad I was still able to breathe, hahaha, but it definitely corrected my posture of walking straight because there’s no room to even slouch once the whole yukata was worn. For a brief moment I was taken aback, not by how good it looked (hahahahaha, joking joking) 😉 , but by how limited my movement were. It was a revelation that I take pretty big steps (and quite fast) when I’m walking; so I had to cut that by half because of the restriction of the yukata which ended at the ankles and rather fitting all the way straight down. I had to caution myself not to walk too fast. Not to mention the wooden slippers (without socks) didn’t help with big movement, hahaha~ But it was a good experience, wearing it and walking around Arashiyama, though it was tricky on the pebbles. One only wears socks with the wooden slippers if in a kimono attire.
The photographer was also kind and caring, helping me up and down some of the steps because it was uneven with stones and pebbles. It would have been so much easier if I were wearing jeans and sneakers, hahahaha! What I realised from the photoshoot was that one has to be thick-skinned enough? I think I stood in the middle of the entrance to the forest for a good 5-10 minutes just waiting for the crowd to pass us from both directions, and the photographer was on the floor waiting for the right moment to take the shot, but it didn’t really happen. And she was completely professional about it, no qualms whatsoever while she sat there with her camera waiting for the crowd, and even motioning the people to walk pass when they decided to pause so we could take some photos. I supposed it wasn’t the right time to click the shutter. So we sort of changed tactic to do other forms of photography instead. But for that 5-10 minutes it felt really long for me because people were looking, hahahaha, so I was trying to avoid eye contact most of the time, hahahahha, and became really interested in the surrounding bamboo and the umbrella that I was holding (as a prop). 😀 What made me smile were some comments about looking good, pretty, and I supposed it was rather fun still, to be a model for once. I take my hat off to the models and photographers who put in the time and effort waiting for the right moment and the right time to take that perfect pictures. I’ve only had a small taste of it today but I know it’s not easy.
Lunch – Marinated beef set that was very filling despite being only the small size (620 Yen)
The rest of the day pretty much free and easy with a simple and affordable lunch that was very filling; since after the shoot we were both hungry and hence decided to grab lunch together. I finally changed out from the yukata and the painful wooden slippers. After walking around on those wooden slippers for a few hours I was done with them, as lovely as they were completing the whole yukata look, hahahahaha! 😀
Kyoto National Garden + Kyoto Imperial Palance (exterior)
A quick visit to the Nijo-jo Castle and the Kyoto National Garden occupied the rest of my afternoon. I didn’t enter the Castle because the admission was expensive and according to the photographer there aren’t much to see on the inside, the pretty sight is the building from the outside; which she was right about the exterior. The Kyoto National Garden was a huge place that took me more than an hour, just strolling slowly around the garden, enjoying the slowed down place and feeling the breeze on my face. It was a cloudy day with light drizzle here and there, and we were lucky that there weren’t any rain while we were doing the photoshoot, nor when I was out strolling in the Garden.
The day pretty much ended with me grabbing a simple dinner of tempura at a nearby place, which was like rows of shops along the roadside. Initially I wanted to get Omurice (Kichi Kichi) that was recommended by an ex-student, but I found out that one needs to make reservations before going, if not the walk-in would be around 8+pm! Regardless of anything, it was a fun day out, started with wearing a yukata for photoshoot, and ended with wearing a yukata after shower and blogging in the roykan-hotel lobby. Quite an experience but since I’m already here, why not? 🙂