The Kyoto Costume Gallery is nested on a small street in the middle of downtown Kyoto, on the 5th floor of a nondescript building. It is easily missed, but is a must see for any lover of Genji Monogatari.
Today was a really fun day! Last night I had been researching things to do in Kyoto, and happened across a costume gallery in downtown Kyoto that boasts an entire replica of Genji Monogatari’s Rokujo mansion. Being the Genji-fanatics we are, we simply had to go. After my orientations at Doshisha were done for the day, we hopped on our bikes and headed downtown.
Downtown actually isn’t all that far from our house, and it’s nice because once you get into the central area, there is plenty of spaces on the sidewalk to ride your bicycle, and in some areas, they even have designated lanes, which I think all of Kyoto needs (especially since I’ve almost been run over by vans three times trying to follow traffic laws by not being on the sidewalk when its congested). The costume gallery itself is poorly labeled, which I think is great, because it mens that it’s not overly busy at any time. I felt like I was on a treasure hunt all day, following my hand made maps to the building, and then being directed to go through a VERY expensive antique store up to the fifth floor in a tiny elevator.
The costume museum’s main attraction that is advertised is their small scale Heian dollhouses, which are exquisite, with exceptional detail, even in the rooms of the house that you can’t see without zoom on a camera. However, the coolest part of the museum, in my own opinion, is the full scale room with robes that you can try on and take pictures in! Nicky got caught by an old man when she tried to pose for a picture with one of the waiting women dolls. One of my favorite pictures from the day is the look of shame and embarrassment she made afterwards. I love the gallery, and apparently their exhibits change every couple of months or so, with free Maiko dances every Sunday at a nearby community center too, so we’ll definitely be going back. Check out the pictures in the gallery!
After the costume gallery, we tried to go to a couple of temples that were nearby, but to be perfectly honest, they were too touristy (we’re sort of done with tourists for a while) and weren’t all that pretty either. So, we headed north instead to go to the Kamo river, one of the many big cultural sites of Kyoto. I love this river so much.... it’s so clean! We waded around the river for a couple of hours, cooling off and simply enjoying the area, before finally heading home. Definitely one of my favorite days in Kyoto so far. I want to spend a lot more time around the river~ so pretty!