Warmer Weather Brings Unforgettable Festivals
Luxury Travel Blog | Travcoa
Kyoto's 'Brocade Market' Serves Up More Than Fabulous Fabrics
If there were a UNESCO World Heritage list for foodies, Kyoto’s Nishiki Market would definitely make the cut. First opened in 1310 as a fish market, this narrow, five-block shopping street is lined with more than 100 shops, stalls and restaurants--many of them operated by the same family for generations. Known as “Kyoto’s Kitchen,” the lively market brims with fresh seafood, produce, cookware and seasonal treats. Most of the stalls specialize in a particular type of food, and many offer samples and small plates for tasting. It’s a great place to pick up take-home goodies, or grab a quick bite at one of the small eateries or counters. In fact, if the shopkeeper asks you “Ima taberu?” it means, “do you want to eat it now?” Here are some treats you won’t want to miss:
A City Called "Sunlight" in the Land of the Rising Sun
For more than a century Japan had been consumed by lawlessness and chaos. Civil war had taken its toll on the weary populous until a man named Tokugawa Ieyasu helped bring the warring states back under central control. In 1603, the emperor bestowed on him the title of "shogun" (a feudal ruler) and the Tokugawa Shogunate was established; it would rule a united Japan unopposed for more than 250 years, until 1868.
Exploring the "Flower and Willow World"
When a geisha enters a room she doesn’t simply walk in, she bows slowly and enters with a stooped shuffle. Even if you can’t see her white-painted face and ruby-red lips, you will know she has arrived by the rustling of her heavy brocade kimono (full-length robe) and the tiny, fluttering steps she takes. Far from the Western misconception, geisha are not submissive prostitutes; they are hostesses who spend a lifetime perfecting the art of hospitality, conversation, dance, and song.
The Way Of Tea
Japanese matcha (green tea) is not what you’d expect. Thick, grainy and pungent, it’s more akin to pea soup than the hot tea we Westerners enjoy. It’s the focus of chanoyu, literally “the way of tea,” a traditional tea ceremony based on Taoism and Zen Buddhism. It requires years of training and practice to host a ceremony...yet, essentially, the art is simply the making and serving of a cup of tea.