Bitchu-Takahashi Castle and Gion Corner
6-16-2012 11:19:30 AM
Saturday, June 16th
Chris and I woke up and took our little walk to the subway station from Chisun Hotel in Hiroshima. We were headed to Bitchu-Takahashi Castle. It was a rainy looking day. By the time we got to Bitchu-Takahashi, it had started to sprinkle, but I had my umbrella. We reserved a “taxi-bus,” which is basically a shared taxi, and rode up the winding roads as far as the taxi could take us. We then hiked the rest of the way up the tall mountain to the castle. As we were hiking, it began to rain a bit harder, but it did feel nice and gave everything a foggy appearance. When we got to the top of the mountain, we passed the gates for the castle and paid our admission. The castle was very small, so it did not take us much time to look around, but when we were in the castle it began to pour. I had my umbrella, but it is hard to cover two people with one umbrella, so Chris took the run and cover method. When we got back to the gates, the man who sold us our tickets that we could go around the corner into the office and get another umbrella. For free. Apparently, when people left behind umbrellas, they kept them and gave them to people when it was raining as a nice gesture. It was very helpful.
After we made it out of the rain, we went back to Kyoto for a special show. They only have performances on the weekends, and one was at 6PM and one was at 8PM. The show is held at Gion Corner, and while it is very touristy (which Chris and I try to stay away from), we thought this would be the best introduction to Japanese theatre. We both love going to the Opera here in Shreveport, and have attended ballets and musicals, so we thought we were prepared, but the performances were so different than anything in Europe or America. We got to see a tea ceremony ritual, a flower arrangement, a Kyo-mai dance (performed by two Maikos, who are apprentice geisha), a Koto Zither being played, Gagaku Court music with a traditional male dancer, Kyogen Theatre (which is like a comic theater), and a Bunraku Puppet Theatre (which is played with elaborate puppets).
After the performance, we decided to go have the most elaborate dessert we could find, then make our way back to Hiroshima.