Monday, 2 July 2012
Fun & games at Kamigamo Shrine Handmade Market
The open-air Handmade market (Tezukuri Ichi ) at Kamigamo Shrine, every 4th Sunday of the month, has absolutely everything in store for a fun day out! Kamigamo Shrine lies close to the Kamo river and offers splendid views on the mountains surrounding east Kyoto as well as providing a lush green 'woodsy' park and even an small stream. Young parents and their children lounge or picnic underneath the trees and play in the little stream, which gives a warm summer Sunday the perfect atmosphere.
I visited the market in June, the month of Gotanshin Sai. This is a festival where a large ring of fresh reeds is made at the entrance of many shrines. Walking through this ring in an eight-shaped fashion affords you protection against summer infections. On top of all this, a wedding just took place at the shrine and the beaming couple took the time to pose for me, Omedetou! (You can just see the ring behind them)
And as if these things do not bring enough amusement in itself, visiting the market makes for even more fun. And what a fast market this is! It sprawls over the temple grounds into the little nooks and crannies as long as the sellers can put up their booths.
So, what is there to see, taste and buy at Kamigamo Shrine? Well, I sampled some of the very best chocolates I ever tasted in my life! Thinking back even makes mu mouth water. Mr. Tsutomu Kitagawa, Chocolatier of Double Sept presented ganache chocolates at his booth with different kinds of liquor, tea, herbs and nuts. And I did not need a cold package to go with that. No, I ate them at the spot, hmmmmmmmm!
Furthermore there were a lot of tasty looking sweets, breads, savory items and drinks to be tried. As well as there was wonderful handmade wood work, clothing, toys, stamps, jewelry, postcards, ceramics, bags, mobiles, painted umbrella's, plants even and lots, lots more. I also liked the coffee stands nicely spread out over the market, so you're never short of a great ice coffee and a biscuit. Or maybe a cabbage… A cabbage? Well yeah, I opted to buy a funny looking pencil case but it turned out the lining was not finished yet. So the seller asked me if I had time to wait for it and stroll around a bit more in the mean time. Well, yeah! I got all the time in the world, no problem whatsoever to linger a bit longer on this gorgeous day. After coming back to buy the pencil case I got a complimentary cabbage, for having to wait! Well, what more could you want from a great day out in Kyoto?