Kansai 2008 - Day 4
We were happy to meet our friend Toshi for a tour of Nijoshinji. Nijo Jinya was an inn during the Edo Period. It was used by feudal lords, or daimyo, while visiting Kyoto. The building was equipped with secret pathways, trap doors, hidden escape routes, hidden rooms, viewing ports, and even a honey pot room to lure in stealthy attackers who then could not escape. No cameras were permitted inside the inn.
The picture below is a business sign outside the inn that meant the owner was a licensed local money for rice exchange merchant for Kyoto. Employees of businesses in Kyoto would often be paid in rice as well as room and clothing in exchange for their work.
We tend to walk the back streets of Kyoto when with Toshi. We walked through a business district of small merchants. This home was very interesting with a small garden behind the wall with a very big tree growing out from within. The flower is A-Shi-Bi, or drunken horse flower. It is in a pot just outside the doorway and grows in profusion all throughout Kyoto. We love the smell of this flowering bush. It is given this name because if a horse eats it the animal will appear drunk. Yes, eventually we will find it in the U.S. and plant it in the garden.
We visited the Nishijin Kimono Center for a contemporary kimono fashion show. We found that outside was a tour group that were wearing kimono, both men and women. One young man even had a briefcase!
Next we walked to a Manga Museum for Lexi. The museum is not a static art display. It has thousands of manga for the visitor to just sit and read. The museum is housed in an old school that has been preserved. Due to copyright concerns no pictures were permitted in the manga sections of the building.
Next we were off to the Gion District. Merchants have shrines for Inari (the fox) and the gardian below to preserve and grow their businesses. Sorry no Meiko or Geika pictures this time.