May 7, 2010

a golden week

boy, what a week, what a week. we've just had (or in a way, are still in the middle of) what is called golden week in japan, and this year we had a five-day "weekend" from last saturday to wednesday. that's when everyone travels and everywhere gets busy, and it's normally when i stay in to avoid the crowd. but this year, being in kyoto has made me far more active than normal, and i found myself going out almost every day, north and south. the gorgeous, warm (or dare i say hot, even?) weather certainly helped, too, especially after the unusually cold and wet march/april (that's what everyone told me).

and before I head deep into another weekend that's come sooner than normal (yay!) with another few places to check out, i thought i'd post a few shots from this past extended weekend...

- at a bustling "handmade" market

- picking up some organic vegetables, at a handmade market

- lemons with leaves (and flower buds!) on, from a handmade market

- a salad of sauteed chicken with a lot of leaves (and arugula flowers!), mostly organic, from a handmade market

- at a park

- at a vintage/antique market

- taking a break in the shade with an iced coffee, at a vintage/antique market

- making rhubarb & apple crumbles with cherry blossoms; the fruits were lightly scented with a sakura flavoring while the crumbles had chopped salted cherry blossoms and leaves mixed in. thought i'd already been done with cherry blossom baking for the year? yeah, so did i!

- another treat with rhubarb that i'd bought and brought back from my short trip back in tokyo: rhubarb and white chocolate trifle, a recipe by the lovely trish deseine, featured in the newly-launched waitrose kitchen magazine (formerly known as waitrose food illustrated)

- getting ready for a traditional mounted archery ceremony at a shrine

- scored!

- another day, another horse-riding ceremony, at another shrine; two judges on duty

- it's a horse race (in medieval costumes)!

- a fruit parfait after hours of being in the sun. phew!

- and river bank that were covered with pink cherry blossoms a few weeks ago are now in all lush green, dotted with azalea in full bloom. everything glows in the sunshine from now until the monsoon hits in june - i feel extremely fortunate to be in a one of the most beautiful places in the country at one of the most beautiful times of the year.

i hope you are enjoying a glorious spring (or autumn if you are down under), and you all have a wonderful weekend! -c xx