Sunday, February 12, 2012

Kyoto, Japan in my Seat

How do you go to places without leaving your seat? You read of course!

Last October 2011, I got my hands into a book that I really wanted to read: Geisha of Gion. It's the autobiography of a geisha, Mineko Iwasaki (whom Arthur Golden acknowledged at the end of his book: Memoirs of a Geisha). Come to think of it, it's my first time to read an autobiography!

Memoirs was able to bring me (or at least my consciousness) to Gion in Kyoto but there's still a difference between reading fiction and reading an autobiography. To be honest, during the short time I was reading Geisha of Gion (it's a short book after all), I really felt like I was in Gion in Kyoto.

Gion Shirakawa (photo from

Kyoto is one of my dream destinations. If I were given the chance to go to just one place in Japan, I'd really like go to Kyoto where traditional Japanese culture is preserved. 

My only setback is that the book was written by a geisha and not by a writer by profession (it's an autobiography after all). There are a few things I couldn't quite understand because of sentence construction. A lot of times, I'd jumble up the people because I couldn't decipher who the author was referring to. I guess it could use a lot more editing. But in any case, it's a good read if you'd like to know more about a geisha's life and what goes inside her mind.

I'm dying to see Fushimi Inari Shrine...

the torii gates to Fushimi Inari shrine (photo from stay in a ryokan (traditional Japanese-style inns) even just for one or two nights...

ryokans are expensive X___X (photo from bathe in an onsen (hot spring)...

public onsen (photo from attend a matsuri (festival) wearing a yukata...

Gion Matsuri (photo from

 ...and of course to see and take a photo with a real geiko or a maiko.

(photo from

Someday. Definitely someday. :)

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