When I went out of the tower at Osaka castle. there was a lot of interesting people in the court yard. I took the opportunity to take pictures for you.
This girl was wearing a kimono, an obi (the belt), zori (her sandals), white socks that have the big toe separate so you can wear sandals with them, a traditional Japanese hairdo and a mink stole. This type of kimono is extremely expensive, and the weather was a little cool, so her mink stole was appropriate.
These girls are not wearing Japanese kimonos. They aren’t wearing Korean honboks (the Korean traditional dress) either. I listened, and I didn’t understand what language they were speaking. It finally dawned on me that I had seen this type of clothing in movies. I think they were Chinese dressed in traditional Chinese clothing, but don’t quote me on that.
I left the court yard and went across the bridge, and then across the street where there was a Shinto shrine. (Shinto is Japan’s native religion. The samurais were Shinto.)
This woman was wearing a black kimono. That means that she is older, not a younger girl. If you look at the young women’s kimonos they are pastel and bright colors, but the older women wear kimonos like this. You can see her zori(Japanese traditional sandals) a bit better than in the other picture.
The cherry blossom trees with the Shinto prayers tied to them were in the courtyard of the Shinto Shrine. The cherry blossom trees are so important in Japan that they have big festivals called “Hana mi.” They have a festival in an orchard of cherry blossom trees. “Hana mi” means “flower viewing,” and they have been having “Hana mi” for centuries all over the country every spring.
About this time, I decided I had been touring enough, and that I needed to go back to my room an rest a bit. I left the area of the shrine and headed back for the entrance to the castle grounds.
As I came across the stone bridge to leave the castle grounds and came back into the park, I encountered a group of cheerleaders. I am not sure what they were cheering for.
I didn’t eat at McDonald’s. However, it is nice to know they are there just in case I need something American. When I was in Japan as a student, I used to go buy french fries at the McDonald’s in Mito to hep me get over culture shock. It was something familiar from home. When the Japanese students came to the States when I was a student, if they were going through culture shock, they went to McDonald’s in America because they said it was something from home that made them feel better. In Japan, there is a McDonald’s on almost every street corner. My Japanese son in law said he grew up eating at McDonald’s and feels like it is Japanese. The Japanese McDonald’s is a bit different from the American McDonald’s because McDonald’s caters to the population where they are. I enjoy their skiyaki burgers. However, I passed them and went on back to my hotel to rest until dinner.
When I got back to my room, the maid had made my bed, left me fresh yukatas, and left me a bottle of water. It was time for me to rest until dinner, and dinner was interesting too. However, I will talk about that in my next blog. Until then, あとで(atode), meaning “see you later.”