The previous couple of days have been hectic. Agent M was on the last legs of her trip, and we were trying to cram as much of Japan in as we could. On Sunday, we began by discovering the department stores, it was insane. Sales on, people everywhere, almost enough to induce a panic attack. Twelve floors of mayhem, and only a few purchased items to show for it. By the time I reached level twelve I had almost had enough, however level twelve subdued me, it contained Kimono, and not just the light summer kimono we had seen in various other stores throughout our travels, but silk, hand painted, made to measure, gorgeous, formal, Kimono. The prices for these wearable artworks started at what converted to approximately $5000AUD. Yes, started. Clearly though they were only for very special occasions, they were exquisite.
After perusing the wares at the department store, we continued our Kimono watching at the festival that was being held in Osaka that day, it is called Tenjin Matsuri and was centred around the Osaka Temman-gu. People were out in droves and many in their traditional garb of summer robes, like all good girls M and I after having walked down through all the food stalls we found a place to sit and watch the fashion go by, giving our own Joan Rivers style commentary as each 'look' walked past. Having had our fill of the fashion, we made our way to the shrine itself, where the further festivities were in full swing. Groups of performers were padding out enticing rhythms on drums, that called to your feet and hips to join in, and a male dancer on stage met the beat with his traditional form. Children were handing blessings and prayers to costume lions for good fortune, slightly anxious about the man in the suit. Fortune tellers, sat reading palms and horoscopes, to all who would pay to listen, as the sun began to set.