Maiko, Hot Springs, & the Holidays

This winter has been business incarnate for young Mr. Evans. But that isn't to say it's been without it's pleasures and leisures. I went to a DJ party where the entry fee included a free drink and a free portrait drawn by a local artist [left]. I also made it out to Arashiyama [right].

And what exactly is Arashiyama you might be asking yourself. Well it's a pretty little place in Kyoto. It's pretty famous for it's monkey's and temples, but who cares about all of that when you can go there and enjoy onsen [hot springs] and ryokan [traditional Japanese hotels]? That's what we call a rhetorical question, feel free now to answer.

I went in the day time and I enjoyed two baths, one group and one private [pictured on left], and a big meal. It was really nice, but it got a little loud when the police and rescue crews amassed outside the window to my room. As it turns out someone decided to kill themselves by tossing themself into the river. And I guess congratulations are in order because they succeeded. But bloated corpses floating down my scenic view would not taint my day. Nay I say. NAY!

Because I had plans to spend the evening with my friend [and two of his friends whom I met for the first time] to Kamishichiken in Kyoto. Kamishichiken is the oldest Geiko [Same as Geisha, but just what they're called in the Kyoto area] district in Kyoto. Yes, that means it's older than Gion. We went to chill with some Maiko [Maiko are Geiko in training]. First we ate at a sushi place with one Maiko [pictured on left, 17 years old, along side my friend known as Dr. Fanman to some]. From there we went to the Maiko's tea house where we met the mama-san and another older [19 years old and almost ready to become a Geiko] Maiko. We were served drinks there and entertained with traditional music, songs, and games.

The best game for me was the Tiger, Warrior, Old Hag game where you dance [left] to some singing and then hide behind a wall made of kimono fabric [right] and choose one of the three poses to take. After choosing your pose you dance out from behind the wall and see which form your adversary has chosen.

The winner is decided in a Rock, Paper, Scissors fashion. Warrior beats Tiger [this warrior is based on a real life Japanese warrior who killed a tiger over in Korea about 500 years ago], Tiger beats Old Hag, and Old Hag beats warrior. We played a lot of other games that I wont waste time describing here other than to say that they were fun.

Wanna see what that Tiger, Warrior, Old Hag game looks like in live action? Of course you do! So CLICK HERE and download that sweet goodness.

Aside from that the only other special thing I did recently was go snowboarding in Fukui prefecture on January 3rd. I didn't die, so I guess I can classify it as a fun excursion. The mountains were covered in snow and absolutely beautiful. If I get some pictures off of my friends who went I will update this page later with said photos. Till then, that's a wrap.


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