Kitano Tenmangu Shrine has a huge flea market on the 25th of every month, but on the 25th of February this coincides with the peak period for plum blossom viewing. Naturally this calls for a special celebration so every year they hold a special outdoor tea ceremony with geiko and maiko (Kyoto’s geisha) serving the tea. I went along today and found the place packed out with people. Despite the crowds though I could still enjoy the blossom.
There was a long queue of people lining up for tea with the geisha. For 1,500 yen you can get matcha tea and some kind of traditional Japanese sweet…
I’m not a big fan of matcha tea, so I opted to peek over the fence with these guys instead.
Unlike all the other fellows straining for that perfect maiko shot, I did not have a massive telephoto lens, and so I didn’t really think I’d be able to get a decent picture. But one lady there today, happened to be taller than all the other maiko.
She was quite literally head and shoulders above the rest.
Plum blossom at Kitano Tenmangu will be viewable until mid-March. To get there take Kyoto City Bus #50, and get off at Kitano Tenmangu-mae. The shrine is open from 9:00~17:00 (7:00～21:00 on the 25th for the flea market). Find out more at the Kitano Tenmangu website: www.kitanotenmangu.or.jp/