July 08, 2012

Tanabata, Part 2

We only got about half way into the garden, then we turned back to see if Shannon had shown up yet.
We were worried about finding each other because we didn't have each other's phone numbers! But, we finally got the whole group of us together!
Trekking through the garden again!
I know I was happy to navigate the stone paths again ^.^
We found some shade to rest while Shannon told us about her hectic morning!
I love this photo of us, just enjoying our stroll through the garden

My brother took a photo of me from a high angle to make me look even shorter than I am. This is NOT that photo! This is me being naturally short... 

One of the great things about going out in kimono, is chatting with strangers. Most are nice, and some are not so nice. We saw this gentleman a few times at the garden, and he was such a pleasant and happy person to talk to!

Ahhh, shade! We spent the latter part of our time there in the pursuit of shade, the sun was very strong! My brother did end up with heat stroke. Even I felt not so well the next morning.
One of the girls who was dancing at the festival talked to us a bit about yukata. She was feeling a little bad about having to wear so many layers (for dancing) and wearing sneakers because she couldn't find her geta.

I felt a little judged for wearing a tsuke obi and uniquely patterned handmade yukata. Different people have different tastes in fashion.
I added a rose to the bow of my obi!

Tanabata is perfect for wearing yukata! These two ladies worked at the tanzaku writing station
This little boy was cute in his jinbei! I missed my son, but I know he had a good day with his daddy and grandma.
There were several girls wearing yukata
After a few shamisen songs, there were dance performances
I don't remember the name of her dance, but I felt it fit the story of Tanabata very well.

Getting ready to write wishes on tanzaku strips. We wrote in English, and then the assistants wrote in Japanese. I wrote "I wish for my son to grow up healthy and happy." and then the calligrapher wrote the kanji for "health" and "happiness" on the other side.

After writing our wishes, we went to the tea house for the tea ceremony. It was very pleasant. The ladies were very nice to let us sit comfortably however we want. I tried my very best to sit in seiza position for as long as I could, but it was more painful to sit seiza on tatami mats than on carpet! I was the "first guest", so I sat nearest the tea presenter, so I felt bad when I had to stretch out my legs. It was also difficult to examine the tea bowls and other utensils, because you have to lean forward and place your elbows on your knees. I was unable to bend forward far enough because I must wear a back brace under my yukata. It was still a very enjoyable tea ceremony! The tea house garden also had a bamboo branch with decorations, and they invited us to write our wishes on tanzaku again. I decided to write mine in Japanese this time, 「息子が元気でいられますように」. I hope that I wrote it correctly!

Before we left, we took one last look out to the pond. And took more pictures!

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I was bending down because a giant koi had swam up to me and was looking at me. I was so close, I was squeeing "I want to boop your nose!!" and bent down to poke it. I came close to it, but didn't want to actually touch it (I was afraid I would get in trouble!). Oh boy, how is it that we could come out of a peaceful tea ceremony and be soo hyper?!

After leaving the garden, we got on a shuttle to take us to the Wing Luke asian art museum. Unfortunately they told us they were closing soon and part of it was closed off for a wedding, so we ended up walking down the street and looked around a little Japanese shop called Higos.

We had such a good time! I look forward to next year's Tanabata!

Tanabata, Part 1

Did anyone else get to celebrate Tanabata? Me, my brother Tysen, and two of the girls of the Seattle/Tacoma Kimono Club went to the Tanabata Festival at the Seattle Japanese Garden, we had such a good time! Just being able to walk around and garden in yukata was a wonderful experience!

I wanted to bring my son Bryan with me since tanabata is a festival that is good for children (origami and making wishes!) but unfortunately he would have been very cranky and impatient, since my friends and I had planned on attending tea ceremony at the festival. I was glad that he stayed home, as I didn't see many things at the festival that he would have enjoyed, he is too young. There were a few children at the garden, but not many. So instead, I made some origami decorations at home with my son - and he crumpled up some balls of paper!

I wore my new yukata I just made (from my previous posts), and dressed it up with a rose on the back of the obi bow, and a polka dot scarf "obiage"

Attempt at self pictures to show the polka dot scarf. Glad I got a photo of myself before I sweated all of my makeup off!
I wish I had a thin obijime to bring the look together! I liked the bow, it made me feel a bit like Minnie Mouse!

We had such a great time, and my brother took a lot of photos!

Tanabata decorations outside the garden gates.

Cute origami decorations! The paper strip says "Tanabata". 
We took a few photos with the decorated bamboo before heading into the garden.
Katie and I
I brought some of the decorations I made at home to hang on the bamboo
I made a strand of cranes to make a wish for my family
And I made a kamigoromo (paper kimono) to wish to improve at my sewing
Katie, Tysen, and I arrived early, so we began walking around the garden
The beautiful tea house
The ladies were getting ready for a tea ceremony. The woman in blue recognized us from the kimono fashion show we went to recently!
The Japanese irises are in bloom!
Carefully walking across rocks. This was the most fun for me! My susoyoke only allowed me to take dainty little steps, so I had to hop across a few stones that were farther apart than others. I felt like a little kid!
That was fun! Is it bad that I just wanted to hop across rocks the whole time?!
Interesting how my yukata makes it look like I've changed my outfit from one picture to the next.

Looking out it the pond, watching a koi fighting to swim through the lily pads.

Such a perfect atmosphere to enjoy wearing yukata!
Watching turtles swimming in the water
It was very sunny and hot, we were glad we brought parasols!