Yesterday I went to a flea market in Kiryu at the Tenmangu with some friends. We meandered around for a while, and it was really cool just looking at all the old stuff that people accumulate. I didn’t really buy anything, though. I saw a used yukata that I liked, but it had a stain on the sleeve that probably wasn’t going to come out anytime soon, and besides, when do I ever get a chance to wear yukata?! Well, I did yesterday! I FINALLY had a chance to wear my yukata. Yay!
I’m the blonde one to the right, with the purple obi. I think my hands look huge in this picture, probably because my sleeves are a little short. I don’t have geta because they’re too short for my feet, so I wore a pair of flats instead. I think that was the big thing most people remarked on.
Old-fashioned kaki-gori machine. Looks like it was going for about $250.
This part of Japan was historically the textile center of the country. The textile factories are still in Kiryu, but they don’t really use them anymore. Now they have them around for their cool, old architecture. Also, there are all kinds of references (names of festivals, shrines, etc.) to Orihime, the weaving goddess, as well as the JR Ryomo (両毛) line, with the character 毛, which means hair or fur, but in this case specifically they used it to refer to the thread produced here.
We also went to a cool old-style restaurant called “Basho” (芭蕉) for lunch. The building itself was easily over a hundred years old, complete with thatched roof, clay walls. and uneven stone floor. There are all kinds of horse-motif decorations in the place. It’s a little dark but it’s cool even on a hot day. The tables each have their own unique noisemakers to call for the wait staff. We had a little brass gong. The booth next to ours had a mini brass temple bell, and another had a wooden windchime. Had the house curry and a salad, which were fantastic.
Its funny how you can go to a place every day and know so little about it. Kiryu has plenty of information and things to promote tourism, as well as tons of stuff to do and see. I’m glad I have nice friends to show me around!