From the lonesome torii gate that is visible if you take that hilarious pirate ship across the Lake Ashi in Hakone to the thousands that line the sprawling network of shrines at Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto, this is the red-drenched counterpart to the previous green-hued and wabi sabi inspired post.  As I moved from Hakone to Kyoto, the colours of autumn were also amplified.  And in a city steeped in tradition – egged on by tourists or entrenched superstition and ritual – vibrant shades of red, coupled with the fall folliage, made for a post, where I get to confront a colour that also runs deep through my own Chinese culture.

As per the first post, I had an outfit companion to blend in with these fiery hues, in the form of this Mount Plaid rucksack by Coach, which is now available on their newly launched e-commerce site in the UK.  Steve was a few paces behind me in our four kilometre “gentle” hike through the thousands and thousands of torii gates at the Fushimi Inari-taisha in Kyoto, so kept on capturing my bum, the appropriately red backpack and a pair of red vintage Brady Bunch-esque flares.

It came along with me to pretty much all the pre-requisite visiting spots in Kyoto.  I did finally understand why people go all gushy and misty-eyed over this city that adheres to their idea of an old Japan (spurred on by Memoirs of a Geisha and the like…) but what I appreciated the most was the way tradition wasn’t faked but instead, felt ingrained into the city.  Away from the tourist-swamped spots like Kinkaku-ji and Kiyomizu-dera, there were still plenty of places where you can have some very still moments.  In the area of Miyagawacho, I loved all the dusty-looking local shops selling prim but proper handbags and geta shoes, geared not for tourists but for residents.   The upper parts of Fushimi Inari are almost ghostly with its secret shrines and kitsune statues looking over you.  Ishibe Alley could be a from a film set with its secret tea houses and restaurants.  Shinbashi in Gion was also deeply cinematic, and definitely preferable to Hanamikoji, where photographers prowl the streets waiting to attack potential legit geishas with their flashbulbs.  And yes, the temples… the many, MANY temples.  Gio-ji in Arashiyama was definitely my favourite with its moss-covered secret grotto.  I didn’t have enough time to get my full-on temple groove on but I definitely have a hit list for the next time I visit Kyoto.

Now back in Tokyo in Shibuya, it’s back to increased levels of volume.  And in a few days time, I’ll be in Hong Kong for an event and then back to London where a mountain of things are happening.  Fashion chat will resume.  Hopefully this out-of-turn two-part respite hasn’t been too disruptive.

0E5A0013Facing the torii that stands at the mouth of the Hakone Shrine in Motohakone

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0E5A0460Before I realised that it was in fact a 4k uphill trek to go through every single one of the torii gates at Fushimi-Inari-taisha – wearing Tigran Avetisayan top, vintage flares, Miu Miu sunglasses, Vans x & Other Stories slip-ons and Coach Mount Plaid rucksack

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0E5A0426Facing the other way in the rabbit warren of torii gates at Fushimi-Inari-taisha

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IMG_9577The many kitsunes (foxes) thought to bring luck to businesses in Japan

IMG_9526Going downhill from the summit of Fushimi-Inari

IMG_9600Fushimi-Inari-taisha at sunset

IMG_9595With so many tourists in Kyoto dressed up in garish floral yukatas, it was nice to see a uniquely geometric one

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0E5A0328In Sengokuhara in Hakone

IMG_7512The traditional trinkets and hanging kitsch of Gyoza Center in Gora, Hakone

IMG_7594Bobbing for apples?IMG_7589Loved the vintage kimono section of Chicago on Teramachi Street in Kyoto

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IMG_7596Kyoto konpeito candy

IMG_9841The astonishingly varied patterns at Morita Washi paper shop

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IMG_7607Kiyomizu-dera temple in Kyoto

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0E5A0670A very good ‘fake’ maiko on the Togetsu-kyo Bridge in Arashimaya – her out-of-season cherry blossom accessories were the tell-tale giveaway sign

IMG_7704Japanese tweens walking in summer-to-autumn transitional coloured kimonos

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IMG_7707The gold of Kinkaku-ji visible through fall folliage

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0E5A0479In the gardens of Tenryu-ji temple in Arashiyama

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0E5A0546In Celine top, Comme des Garcons skirt, MO& CO jumper, Coach Mount Plaid rucksack and Vans x & Other Stories shoes at the Bamboo Grove in Arashiyama

IMG_7678Adorned gravestones

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IMG_7581Geta-move-on

IMG_7635Outside the Minamiza kabuki theatre in Kyoto

IMG_7686In the Gion area of Shinbashi

Comments (9)

  1. mei says:

    Great shots! I love your outfits too 🙂

    Big Dreamer

  2. Aria Di Bari says:

    Nice pictures, it reminds of my own journey to Japan 🙂

    http://www.ariadibari.com/

  3. Alok kumar says:

    Full of color full the click of Picture show the love of nature and love of color fashion.

  4. Ellen Vicius says:

    Thank you for allowing me to travel to a dreamy place for a while, i cannot definetely die without visiting Japan! http://www.EllenVicius.com/bags.

  5. Beautiful Japan. Your pics are so different .

  6. paulina says:

    amazing

  7. Peter says:

    Awesome place.. like to visit with my wife.

  8. Shashi Kumar says:

    Really Beautiful Place, outfit is also beautiful. i wish i could visit this place in my life

  9. Julie says:

    Wow! Amazing pictures, loved the compositions.

    The kimono in one of the picture looks really good. Would love to own something similar some day 🙂

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