May 9, 2015

Traditional Han Costumes with Sakuras in Kyoto

It might not be very apparent in this blog until recently but I actually travel quite a bit for someone who holds a full time job. I often get so caught up with life that I cannot fully share my travel journey on blogs and most of the photographic memories captured just stays in my Harddisk.





But I’m not here to talk about my backlogs really. I’m here to say I travel a lot. And if possible, I travel alone. And people around me often asks, why do I keep travelling alone? Why? Because I want to open up chances for beautiful encounters like this to happen!





I chanced upon Vicky and Qian in the famous Philosopher’s Path in Kyoto and little did I know we would end up connecting so well.





I spotted them sitting quietly by the banks of the canal minding their own business. Plenty of tourists and locals dress up in traditional Kimonos to tour the picturesque Kyoto but these pair of ladies stood out by wearing traditional costumes of a totally different culture!


I saw their backs and I recognised it instantly! This is the costumes my favourite Martial Arts Novel/Movie/drama characters wear! It’s traditional Chinese Costume! And In this case it is the Han Dynasty’s traditional costume! I walked up to them and boldly asked for a photo because I’m a shameless tourist with a DSLR and I can do whatever I want haha. They kindly obliged and after a few pictures and a few banters, they left their email for me to send them pictures.




Many tourists were eager to have a photo with them



I’m not sure what invoked this thought (and shamelessness ) in me but I went on to offer my photography skills  to them since I was going to send them photographs anyway. Even though I have been ruggedly trained to shameless approach cosplayers for pictures at events, this was the first time I’ve ever done that out of the Cosplay Convention environment and frankly speaking, I  cringed internally the moment I let my tongue slip. Fully expecting a violent rejection, I instead received a hearty reception and that’s how the rest of the photographs came to be.









We spotted a carp in the canal!




We moved off from the original spot and started exploring the path!





The beautiful Sakuras (Cherry Blossoms) framed the background so perfectly! And isn’t the two of them just lovely?!






They had bought their costumes from Taobao, China’s premiere Online purchasing platform. And the quality of it is astounding! And that’s coming from a Cosplayer who has been making (and recently buying) costumes for more than a decade!










Philosopher’s Path is an attraction high on my recommendation list for anyone who likes viewing Sakuras (Cherry Blossoms). Not only is the scenic path beautiful, it is also absolutely free and can connect you to multiple other attractions along the way. Check out the endless pink flowers in the pictures above.


“ The Philosopher's Walk (哲学の道 Tetsugaku-no-michi?, lit. Path of Philosophy) is a pedestrian path that follows a cherry-tree-lined canal in Kyoto, between Ginkaku-ji and Nanzen-ji. The route is so-named because the influential 20th-century Japanese philosopher and Kyoto Universityprofessor Nishida Kitaro is thought to have used it for daily meditation. It passes a number of temples and shrines such as Hōnen-in, Ōtoyo Shrine, and Eikan-dō Zenrin-ji. It takes about 30 minutes to complete the walk, although many people spend more time visiting the sights along the way. On the northern part of the walk, there are good views of the nearby Daimonji. The walk is a popular destination for tourists and locals, especially during hanami. “

source: Wikipedia


















Wish I had gotten the focus right here T^T And I wish there were lesser people to get into my frame >.<; Being one of the prime Sakura viewing locations, Philosopher’s path had no shortage of tourists!




Super cute Shiba Inu (?)!




And then we saw a wild duck walking in the waters !







The hardest part of this shoot was trying to exclude all the other people from the photo.  Sadly, I don’t always succeed. This picture would have been better if I had a reflector to brighten their faces.





Qian and Vicky had been friends for a long time and the chemistry between the two of them played up really well on pictures.





Plenty of tourist attraction right there xD Often found myself having to vie with them to get the right spot/angle haha. Such is street photography I guess!







I had a lot of fun photographing the two of them that day. Not only are the two of them photogenic, they were also such fun to be with! We were supposed to bid each party good bye here but we ended up spending the rest of the evening together, going on to tour Nijo Castle , Yasaka Shrine and Maruyama Park together.


Maybe I’ll share the rest of the photographs in another post. Hope you liked this entry and remember to comment and tell me what you think.

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