Busy Again!

Whew, I had a busy day yesterday… Much of it was fun though, for once.

Yoshida Hiroshi - Kurobe RiverVery first thing in the morning I visited the Eki Museum in the Isetan Department store next to Kyoto station. The museum is small, but it has excellent exhibitions. Until the end of July, they show early shin-hanga woodblock prints, featuring the works of several artists. However, the exhibition focuses on landscapes, in particular those of Yoshida Hiroda and Kawase Hasui. Most of the times, I only buy postcards at the museum shop, but this time I splurged on a book of prints by Hashiguchi Goyo (my favourite shin-hanga artist) and a somewhat larger reprint of a scene at Kuroba River by Yoshida Hiroda. I bought it because it reminds me of Austria…

Afterwards I went to Nitori, a kind of Japanese version of IKEA. They sell furniture and all sorts of home furnishings… I didn’t buy much, but I love walking through the aisles of such shops wondering “what is THIS thing good for?”

Next stop: bank. I needed to pay expenses for my grandmother’s funeral, which means: international bank transfers… This is always a painful experience with silly questions like “where did you get all that money from?” and “what the hell are you going to use it for?”, which is really not anyone’s business – it’s MY money after all. However, this is the Japanese government’s way of trying to curb money laundering and illegal immigration (the latter by making it hard for immigrants to get money back to their countries) as if those people wouldn’t have a way to forge documents etc. This is not my first time to transfer (my) money abroad, so I came prepared, but the Australian lady on the counter next to mine wasn’t quite so patient. I guess after spending two hours at the bank and getting nothing done because they keep asking for yet another document, I wouldn’t be cool anymore either…

On my way home, I dropped by at Yasaka Shrine. There were no more food stalls unfortunately; the speed with which the Japanese clean up after their festivals always amazes me. Nearby, I bought some cheese cake from a famous bakery. I haven’t tried it yet – it’s really too hot to eat anything – but I’ll have it for breakfast tomorrow.

After a full day out in the heat, I was exhausted. The next three days I have no meetings, but still plenty to do in the office and at home. And then, on Monday, my very own Gion Matsuri, I’m very excited already… I’ll tell you all about that on Tuesday!

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