Monday, October 7, 2013

What serendipity led me to on my Kyoto vacation

live paint team Doppel executes his artistic design

 Industry outside a building on Kiyamachi Dori

As people may have gathered from past blog entries, I like to plan a lot ahead of a vacation.  In fact, strange as it may seem to some people, I often find researching and deciding what to do for a vacation to be part of the fun that the trip entails!  At the same time though, I'm happy to leave room for serendipity to strike when I'm on holiday -- not least because, from past experience, I've found that it often adds something special to my holiday memories.

For example, on our Hokkaido trip a couple of months ago, serendipity made it so that my mother and I got to enjoy the festive sights offered up by the 2013 edition of the Otaru Ushio Festival.  This time around in Kyoto, I came across two interesting sights while on my way to dinner on on the evening of what actually was my birthday this year.

The first and more visually colorful sight was of live paint team Doppel working on a large mural designed by Kyoto-based artist Hideki Kimura.  While their collaboration would eventually yield something fairly permanent, the very fact that their work (for a department store that regularly hosts art exhibitions) was being carried out in public made it come across as performance art as well -- with many passers-by (like me!) pausing to watch and take photos of their activities.

The second sight was one of those that one could so easily walk by without really noticing -- but I'm glad I was curious enough to cross the street to read what was written in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean on a sign: that the building behind the sign happened to be where the first experimental film ever was shown in Japan, back in 1897.

As an aside, Kyoto is usually associated with temples and shrines rather than the movies.  But as the charming Kyoto Story showed, the city has been the historic home to one of Japan's major film companies, Shochiku, and -- despite its name referencing Tokyo (rather than Kyoto) -- another, Toei, also continues to have operations in the city. :)


alejna said...

I'm a lot like you, in that I get a lot of enjoyment from planning out my trips. And yet I also enjoy having time to just wander!

So great that you came across these unplanned finds!

YTSL said...

Hi Alejna --

Sounds like you and I would make good travel companions! :)