Dressing up and going Green in Kyoto
What do you do if you are a tourist centre where the tourists flock to see folk in traditional dress but your own citizens prefer the drab garb of the average westerner? Easy - offer great discounts to the temples and other sites to visitors who are willing to dress up in the traditional costume.
Better still, if you use public transport not only will you get around the city unhindered by the traffic but you’ll enjoy even more off entrance fees and even get discounts in restaurants. As the Okoshiyasu of Public Transportation, Kyoto City Association says,
"What about coming to Kyoto by public transportation like trains, buses and taxies and take your time walking around the historical city? Take those nice tickets and enjoy relaxing time. What is more, this is good for environment to stop the green house effect. "
So did we dress up? Unfortunately Kimonos were not designed with film making in mind. But if ever I was to come to Kyoto again I’d certainly consider wrapping up in the gorgeous local costume.
Our translator for the day, Michiko Nakamura, told us that Kyoto is the only city in Japan which has not experienced a down turn in its Kimono production. In fact, while the production of Kimonos in Japan in general is down, the Kimonos made in Kyoto are still very popular. This is because the Japanese consider the Kyoto Kimonos to be most exclusive.
The people wearing kimonos we met at the trains and in the public transport system, at the stations and at the Golden Tempel Pavilion truly added to the strong local atmosphere in Kyoto. We also saw that people can not walk too quickly in a Kimono. Maybe it could be a good idea to pretend that we are all wearing Kimonos to remind us to slow down rather than rush from one place to another.
Iis possible to rent Kimonos at the Kyoto station. Next time perhaps!
Kimonos are beautiful ankle length Japanese traditional clothes which are most often made of silk. They are usually worn by women or for special occasions such as tea ceremonies.
If you want to read more about Kyoto, see ’Learning about Kyoto’ (http://www.kyopro.kufs.ac.jp/index01.htm) web site which is created by the Kyoto University of Foreign Studies (KUFS).
if you want to read more about Kimonos try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kimono