Monday, March 07, 2011

Kitano Tenmangu Plum Blossom Festival

The sure sign that spring is on its way in Japan is the blooming of the plum blossoms. Each February the beautiful pink, purple and white flowers start to appear. On every February 25, Kitano Tenmangu hosts a special tea ceremony called Baikasai, under 2,000 plum blossom trees. The ceremony is performed by maiko and geiko of the nearby Kamishichiken geisha district. 

This year CHIC hosted a day trip to the temple and tea ceremony. There were thousands of people there so we had to wait in line for almost an hour for our turn to attend the Baikasai. The wait was well worth it, as when do you ever get a chance to be served by real maikos and geikos? What an amazing experience. 

Plum Blossom
Plum Blossoms and Old Lanterns
Tea Ceremony -- Maiko
Tea Ceremony -- Geiko Ichiteru
Tea Ceremony -- geiko Ichiteru-san (right) and maiko Umechiho-san (left)

You can see more pictures here.

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