Sandy and Pat in Kimono Trip to Japan September - October 1999

We left for Japan September 22 and arrived at Narita Airport in Tokyo September 23.  We lost a day because of crossing the international date line.  The purpose of our trip was to visit friends.  We spent 6 days in Tokyo, 5 in Fukuoka, and 5 in Osaka.  We left for home from the Kansai airport near Osaka at 4:15 in the afternoon October 9 and arrived home before noon on the same day.

You can read about Pat's stay in 1975 and her dog Hanako by clicking on Hanako.pdf.  If you don't have acrobat, you can get it at

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Mihoho had us try on Kimono in Tokyo
Pat's long time friend Mihoko took us to a kimono shop. I saw my first hanagatsuji kimono.
Maki and Pat in Sunshine City restaurant
Pat has known Maki since she was a little girl.  We enjoyed lunch at a little shop in the Sunshine City shopping center.
Pat in yukata provided by the hotel
The hotels in Japan provide yukata for sleeping.
Sandy in yukata
 They also provide toothbrushes, hair dryer, razor, and other things
outsside Ikebukuro Station
Outside Ikebukuro Station there was a small festival going on.
Wonderful Produce
The produce is unbelievable.
Yumi Pat Yasuko
We took the train to Kofu to visit our friend Yasuko and her daughter.  She lives in a very traditional Japanese house.
Eating noodles in Kofu
We drove near Fuji san and stopped at the Kubota Ichiku museum and saw his beautiful hanagatsuji kimono. 
Cool Ramp integrated with the steps
Our friend Midori met us at the hotel and took us to the top of the Sunshine 60 tower for a panoramic view of Tokyo. 
Mihoko Pat Eriko and Sandy
We met Mihoko at the Mitsukoshi department store to see the art opening of Eriko Hiroki's washi (hand made paper)
Mihoko Sandy Midori
We went sight seeing at Asakusa with Mihoko and Midori.
Osamu Yuko and Sandy and the Dazaifu Lucky cow.
We took the bullet train to Fukuoka. Yuko Kubota met us at the train and took us to her home where she cooked us a wonderful dinner of Mizutaki and sushi . 
Street leading to Dazaifu shrine in Kyushu
 Yuko took us to Dazaifu shrine the next day and then showed us around Fukuoka.  It has really changed since Pat lived there in 1975.
Sushi shop where Pat ate almost every day in 1975
Pat was pleasantly surprised to see the sushi shop she used to frequent in 1975 was still in business and operated by the same sweet couple .
Pat Yoko and Sandy in Fukuoka
Pat's dear friend Yoko picked us up and took us to a beautiful riverside restaurant for a wonderful lunch.
Keiichi Pat and Katsue Tanaka in Hita
Outside the Hita restaurant
Unagi lunch at Hita in Kyushu
Dr. Tanaka and his wife Katsue drove us to two pottery villages south of Fukuoka.  We had unagi lunch in Hita on our way.
View of Onda, a pottery village south of Fukuoka
You can see the rooftops and a climbing wood burning kiln called a noborigama.
Using water power to break up clay for making pottery
These huge logs use water power to crush the clay.
View of Koishwara, another pottery village in Kyushu
We stopped at Koishiwara and bought more beautiful pottery.
Chikae restaurant in Fukuoka where the fish is really fresh
After returning to Fukuoka, Dr Tanaka took us to restaurant Chikae, a place Pat  had always wanted to visit.
Pat Kumi and Sandy having a tofu dinner in Osaka
We took the bullet train to Osaka and were met by our dear friend Kumiko. We ate at Kakiyasu.
Hideko Pat Sandy and Kumi at Hideko's house in Osaka
The next day the 3 of us went to the Nakamura's house where Hideko performed the tea ceremony and fixed a wonderful lunch.
okashi for the tea ceremony
Kumi Pat Sandy and Hidelo in her living room.
This is were we had a delicious lunch.
Hideko and Tohru
Hideko and her husband Tohru
Being considera as one of 300 cultural properties in Osaka
Front entrance to Hideko's house.
Sandy Kumiko and Pat at the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto
Kumiko took us to Kyoto to see the Golden Pavilion.
Heian Shrine in Kyoto
Then we went to the Heian Shrine in Kyoto.
Garden of the Heian Shrine
You don't want to miss the garden behind the Heian Shrine. After this we went to the Kyoto handicraft center.
Osaka Castle
The next day we went to Osaka Castle originally built by Toyotomi Hideyoshi
View from our hotel in Osaka
Kumiko Sandy and Masako at the kimono shop in Kyoto
The last day Kumiko took us to a famous kimono shop in Kyoto.
Pat in a Kubota Ichiku kimono in Kyoto
Pat tried on a Kubota Ichiku hanagatsuji kimono.
Nijo Castle in Kyoto
We visited the Nijo castle which was used by the Tokugawa shogunate once a year when the 
Sandy Pat and Kumi on our last night in Japan
We had a fabulous banquet that featured a Noh play, shamisen music and Kyoto dancers.  It was a perfect ending for a wonderful trip.
 shogun would visit the Emperor in Kyoto.  It is famous for its nightingale floors that squeak when walked upon to warn of possible assassins.
This trip we learned about hanagatsuji kimono.  It is an ancient technique of tie dying silk that has been rediscovered by Kubota Ichiku after spending a lifetime working on the technique.  The individual tie dyes are very tiny and when they are unwrapped, they leave texture marks on the silk that are not ironed out.  Kubota Ichiku's kimono were given a special exhibition in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.

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