After lunch our group stopped by some of the small shops on the way to the temple. I decided to take advantage of having a Japanese tour guide and asked her if she knew the name of a famous specialty bag shop located somewhere in Kyoto. One of the guys at the property management company here had a messenger bag that I have been coveting for the past year from this store. She said she was aware of the shop, told me why it was famous, but forgot the the name of it. She was supposed to find out and let me know the next time I saw her.
While I was debating with myself over a possible purchase of a monk-shaped incense burner (it really is much better looking than it sounds) the guide came running up to me saying she found out the name of the shop from one of the nearby shop owners and that I must come say thank you. We asked the shop owner (after I bowed and told him domo arigato about five times) how close it was and he said it was 15 minutes by foot. She told me to "gather my people" and see what the group wanted to do.
Our guide asked "my people" if we wanted to see this "beautiful temple that she had planned" or find "Alexis's bag shop". Now how do you think nine women would answer? So we went off to find the bag shop. I have to say I felt bad. It was obvious the guide wanted to show us the temple, and I swore to her over and over I could come back to the shop any time, but by this time she was on a mission.
Our guide was this spunky, less than 5-foot, lady who only knew one speed - fast. She speed walked us up and down side streets, asking directions along the way, pausing only to rattle off short facts about temples or areas we passed. The nine of us were laughing so hard that a few even had to stop off and find a restroom. I kept praying this famous bag shop would be within my price range because by this point I would have no option but to buy a bag.
Finally the bag shop was within view. We were practically running. And guess what -- it was closed. Yes you read that right. C-L-O-S-E-D.
Later that night I checked out the Hinzaburo Hanpu Kaban Kyoto site myself and found the bag I wanted.