Hello Lovelies! I'm so excited to tell you about the Heian-raku-ichi, a flea market of handmade goods at the Heian-jingu shrine at Kyoto. This is held every second Saturday of the month and I was so so lucky to be close by to get to go for it. We took a train the usual train to Tennoji and then a Haruki (Express train) to Kyoto. Got off at the Kyoto station and took a Kyoto city bus to the Heian-jingu shrine. There's a huge Torii gate across the road that stands tall to greet you. Thank God for the pleasant and sunny day. The cloudy and rainy weather the day before was terrible and glum. The moment you cross the street to the market, the garden is sprinkled with Sakura and bright tents with smiley faces waiting to welcome you.
The stalls are put up by mostly women - middle aged and women in their 30s. You don't find too many young girls and teenagers except for those helping their Mums. The men put up food, coffee stalls and a few ceramic and carpentry good stalls. I was particularly overwhelmed with the quality of fabric and the technique and finesse of the handstitched goodies. I wouldn't know how to express this but, walking across the stalls and looking at all the wonderful stuff, I couldn't help feeling chuffed about meself since everything looked a lot like what I've been making all this while :) No fancy hardware, no heavy metal buckles and closures, just pure simple design. The gorgeous fabric prints were the only thing that make me envious like hell :(( The beautiful linen with floral, dogs, cats, leaves, dolls ooh..It just went on and on. The Japanese crafters excel in hand sewing and they can sew the tiniest of things. I almost went berserk from the first stall itself. The women are so kind, always smiling and happy to tell you about their craft. I got to show off some of my handmade stuff too. They speak only Japanese, but with a few english words and hand signs we were able to get across to each other :) I won't make this post too long and let you ogle at some of the pictures I was able to take. I forgot to take pictures at many stalls, cause I was so giddy with excitement :) We were fortunate to be able to get some nice sun, considering its pretty cold and rainy here. If it had rained this day, the market would've been cancelled, so the weather Gods were really kind to me hahahaha
The first stall at the entrance that I fell in love with
I got the turquoise dog print tote for the dog loving sista :)
Tiny bead jewellery
Such well tailored handstitched linen clothes
This happy old lady couldn't afford a tent of her own and so she sat happily on the pavement with her handmade stuff. It's a shame I got busy with the food stall nearby and forgot to take a look at her gorgeous patchwork bags :((
Yummy sweet and savoury breads for breakaI noticed a family sitting out in the sun together on the table doing paper craft :)
Me enoying the fluffy pastry bread with freshly brewed coffee. The only day I got to wear my sunhat and enjoi the sunshine.
Bread with spicy, crunchy lotus stem, topped with cheeseOoooh...this shiny golden oranges on a fluffy pastry was divine, I've never eaten something this refreshing and delicious at the same time. It wasn't too sweet, great tang and layers of fluff...mmmmm...haven't been able to find this again!
Hand sewn sanitary napkins
Clocks made from old Japanese ceramics and tinware
Cutest couple at the fair. I picked up a cute accessory pouch from here. You can follow her at Choco.mint on instagram.
Book Covers for Manga comics
This was something I'd never seen nor heard of before. Someki - the trees are dyed while alive and when cut you can see all the different colours in the wood. I picked up some beautiful earrings from here. The young gurl was so helpful and had brought along a picture with text in English for tourists to understand.
Hanami, at the Okazaki Koen
Otogawa river lined with Sakura
I had one of the most enjoyable days in Japan! Fabric, food, crafters and Sakura all the way. I hope you too feel the joy in these pictures :)) See you all soon!