Final Night in Kyoto – Cherry Blossoms, Carnival Games and Geishas

After the epic meal at Kikunoi and some much needed rest, we ventured forth to Maruyuma Park to check out the fun and frivolity there thanks to the sakura.  Since we had been there the night before, this time we came prepared with the remainder of our sake from lunch.  We wandered around the various booths set up, grabbing some delicious (and in my case, giant) yakitori and found a spot in the middle of the action to people watch.

In the center of the park was a massive cherry tree that looked quite stunning at night illuminated by some floodlights.

After our dinner and sake, we headed down to something we had seen the night before and wanted to definitely check out – a haunted house.  Fueled by the sake, we braved our way through a spooooky maze, which mostly consisted of poorly costumed “monsters” missing most of their cues to jump out at us.  The whole thing was incredibly silly but fun.

Since it was our last night in Kyoto, we walked down to near-by Gion in hopes of perhaps spotting a geisha.  It had started to drizzle a bit so we knew our exploring would be short.  While waiting at the light to cross into one of the main alleys of Gion, which is lined with private clubs where the geisha’s go with their clients, we noticed something across the street.

Jackpot.  More than likely a maiko (geisha in training), her mannerisms and deference to people looking at her made it pretty clear this wasn’t someone in dress up for the tourists.  As we crossed the street, she looked away from the gawkers and quickly made her way down the street.

The rain now was starting to come down a lot harder so hiked up the hill to our machiya.  Tomorrow would be time to finally get to Tokyo and we needed all of the rest we could get.


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