Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Kamigamo Jinja - Four weddings and a handicraft market かみがも

On the fourth Sunday of every month the Kamigamo Jinja (shrine) in Northern Kyoto City holds a Tezukuri (handmade/handicraft) market.
 Local ceramicists, jewellers, bakers and clothing makers come out in force, mingling with vendors of organic drip filter coffee, veg from the garden and other more curious nic-nacs. Its a charming market for strolling around - particularly on a warm day when, as I discovered, the trickling of the stream that runs through it can make it seem less muggy than it actually is. 
FYI - if you happen to live in Kyoto or have hired an apartment with a kitchenette -these bagels were really pretty good! I have some in the freezer now - in fact yesterday my breakfast consisted of some toasted sesame bagels topped with bean jam (also purchased at the market) topped with kinako (roasted soy bean powder). Delish
I have to point out the side of these gigantic broad beans - note that the eggplant to their right are regular size...
Its a casual vibe and as you can see, its a place people like to walk their pets... or at least carry them. 
After the market I decided to take a look around the shrine as it was my first visit and can confirm it is definitely worth a gander if you are in the area.  Particularly if the market is on. 
Its common to see a wedding or two on the weekends at most large shrines however within the short time I was there I witnessed 4 - they were basically tailing each other. It was interesting to witness the expressions on the faces of some of the soon-to-be wed. From the impartial (possibly arranged marriage) to the nervous (understandably) to the giddily happy (obvious love match and/or clearly POST ceremony) - it was quite a show from this lurking spectator's perspective. Come join me in my voyeurism...
I returned to the gardens of the shrine for a last look around... and in hope of finding one of these cheeky creatures...
but to no avail. 
The day was divine so I strolled homewards along the river, keeping out of the way of cyclists...
 - and decided that a detour to Kitayama Dori should be made (hint: there are plenty of cafes and patisseries in the area).  In the backstreets on route I found plenty of locals tending some amazing flower gardens and veggie patches - some of them clearly for trade as you will see -  but just by the side of the road! Fascinating. 

Well after all that walking I deserved a little sumpthin' sumpthin' - this Rhum au baba was sensational. And the little, unexpected, sample cakes and cookies that came with it also fab! Now if only I could remember the name of the place.  Their wares are seriously good. Will endeavour to find out the name and get back to you!
And after a long day walking in the sun a coffee on ice went down a treat!


  1. I love you and I love this post. What a gorgeous day. Miss you, Jane xoxo

  2. Thanks Jess. This was in my first week back - so about a month ago but am a little behind on the posts... it was nice to look back at it. The weather is becoming much cooler now and the leaves are turning. Just stunning. Hope the fam is well. Can't believe "school" is starting next year!??! eek. lots of love to you all xxx