Sunday, May 18, 2014

Kanazawa - Day 2

On Saturday I wandered through the Higashi-Chaya district of Kanazawa.  "Higashi" means east and "chaya" means teahouse, so it is the "East Teahouse" district.  There are three preserved teahouse districts in Kanazawa, Higashi Chaya district, Nishi (west) Chaya district, and Kazuemachi.  Higashi Chaya is the largest of the three districts.

Most of the preserved teahouses are little gift shops or little restaurants.  One of them, the Kaikoro Teahouse, is still a functioning teahouse where Geisha and Maiko perform and entertain guests at night. Kaikoro maintains the tradition of "ichigensan okotowari".  This means that they refuse first time must be brought to the teahouse by an existing customer.  But this is only for food, drinks, and entertainment at night.  During the day, the doors are open so that anyone may tour the teahouse but no Geisha or Maiko are present.

While wandering the area near Higashi Chaya district, I had an interesting surprise.  I happened upon a Japanese wedding party arriving at a local shrine.   I stayed very, very, very far back and snapped a few photos at the max zoom of my little camera.

The bride arrived alone in a car while the groom waited for her on the steps of the shrine with a red parasol.

After they posed for photographs for the wedding guests and a photographer, a Shinto Priest and a Miko led them both up the steps to the shrine.