Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Here's what I purchased at Nomura Tailor:

Gorgeous chirimen.
Cotton Japanese prints

Organic cotton towelling for soft toy making.
Sumptuous brocades.

I don't know anyone having a baby, but I had to buy this kit all the same.
Cute fabric labels.
All in all, I had a big whopping heavy bag of fabric, so I was very happy.
A lovely store, with excellent customer service, of course!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunshine Award

Akiko from gave me the Sunshine Blog Award. Thank you so much!

The rules :

1. Thank the person who gave you this award

2. Write a post about it and include the award photo

3. Answer the questions

4. Pass on the award to ten (or however many you want) bloggers who you think really deserve it and send them a message to let them know!
It was fun reading her Q&A and here are my answers :

1. Favorite color : Red
2. Favorite animal : Orangutan

3. Favorite number : 4

4. Favorite drink{alcohol free} : Lychee Tea

5. Twitter or Facebook : Neither!

6. My Passion : Japanese crafts

7. Giving or receiving presents : I love to make and give presents!

8. Favorite pattern : Sakura
9. Favorite day : sunny day

10. Favorite flower : Singapore Orchid

I would like to pass this award on to these bloggers: because she travels to some really cool places. because she is always happy and positive. because she loves Japan as much as I do. because she goes to some amazing restaurants because she sews the cutest things.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Kiyomizu-dera is a magnificent temple built in 1633. You need to see this temple in real life in order to truly appreciate what an amazing piece of architecture it is.

There are many smaller temples on site also before reaching the main temple.

The view from the main temple is beautiful.
My daughter wanted to buy one of these prayer tablets to hang here, but we were told it was "only for Japanese".  Ok.
Have a look at the size of the pillars.

The main verandah overhangs a huge drop of a mountain. How did they build such an enormous structure without any heavy machinery? And to think of how many people over the centuries that have stood on this verandah, but somehow it is able to withstand the weight. It just amazes me.
A man painting a watercolour of the temple. What a peaceful pastime.

A quaint teahouse on the descent from the temple.

More pretty yukata.

By the time we reached the end of Kiyomizu-dera, I was sweating with a fever. But somehow I kept on walking and browsing the souvenir shops. I wasn't about to let my virus ravaged body stop me from fullfilling my lifetime's dream of exploring Kyoto.
Kawaii-ness everywhere.
We then caught a cab to Sanjo Dori, as I had spotted a fabric store when we were rushing along the night before. I knew I wasn't going to have time to go to all the craft and fabric shops on my itinerary, but at least one was madatory.  My family went off to Teramachi arcade as my daughter wanted to buy some clothes, so I had almost 1 hour to myself in the fabric shop, which turned out to be Nomura Tailor.
Nomura Taylor House photo
From memory, it was 3 or 4 storeys. The ground floor was lots of Japanese prints, Liberty and kimono brocade. One floor was just craft and notions, and there was another for formal fabrics and one for kid's prints. I had to laugh at a tourist husband sitting in the corner of the shop playing on his iphone whilst his wife shopped feverishly. Good to know there are other people out there like me, only I was smart enough to get rid of my husband for a bit. As I stumbbled around the store carrying great bolts of fabric, a nice man appeared out of the blue to carry my fabric to the counter.  The customer service in Japan always astounds me. That wouldn't happen in Australia.
Photo Kattokurosu
I ended up buying several kilos of fabric and craft stuff, which I will show you a bit later. So now I felt I had achieved something. Always happy when I have just bought fabric!
Nomura Taylor House restaurant photo
There's also a branch of this shop in the Teramachi Arcade. The store closes at 7.30pm.

We ended up at this family restaurant for dinner. It reminded me of a Pizza Hut as it was a free standing building on a corner block with a carpark, which is unusual in Japan.  Inside it had a nice atmosphere and the seating was in cozy booths. I love these menus with the big pictures - they're good for us foreigners.

My son had his favourite karaage and potato wedges.

I had udon with a tempura prawn.
My husband ordered this beef set.  I felt too sick to really appreciate the meal, but it was delicious.

We then walked back to our inn which was owned by this cute little family.
I fell into bed, I mean futon on a hard floor, and wished I had remembered to bring my Panadiene tablets.
I was feeling very sorry for myself.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Ninnen zaka and Sannen zaka are the roads leading up the hill to Kiyomizu-dera. They are lined with old traditional shops selling some wonderful souvenirs.
There are all sorts of things on offer: chirimen products, ceramics, dolls, bags and lots of green tea products.

This is one of the many green tea stores. This one sells a delicious green tea cake.
Many visitors dress in yukata when they come here.

At the base of the ascent to Kiyomizu-dera, we spotted these ladies dressed as geisha. I'm pretty sure they were just in costumes, as there are many studios in Kyoto who will dress you and do your make-up for  a photography shoot. You can then strut around town for a bit and pretend to be a geisha and have the tourists go shutter crazy over you. A way of having your 15 minutes of fame I guess!
They looked lovely nonetheless.

Is this not your typical Japanese scene - geisha and school girls?
They happily posed for lots of photos before heading back to the studio.