Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sagatake (さが竹)

Continuing the random walk around Arashiyama (punctuated by lunch), there are plenty of pleasant little sights to see. If you're tired of weathered shrine gates, you're tired of life.

'Saga', by the way, has nothing to do with the prefecture. This area is named for the ancient emperor who lived here (嵯峨, not 佐賀, and I include this because it took me a while to learn how to read it - it's such a basic thing that signs and maps don't include the pronunciation despite its complexity for dunces like me).

I'm not sure what this was doing here, but it was pretty. If I had the wherewithal to live in Saga (and there are a lot of nice houses, and you clearly need some wherewithal), I'd hang something like this outside my house too.

Then, across from the doll museum, I saw a store that looked to be selling more of the same touristy stuff that the other stores along this street sell (it's the street that runs along the foot of the mountains, with many of the temples leading off it). Turned out it was selling different touristy stuff from the other stores - Kyoto-style candies, in a dizzying, dazzling array of colorways. I had a nice chat with Mama, who told me about them.

They're divided into a few styles - basically gelatin-base vs. powder base, then lots of colors, fillips, whirls, whorls, wheels and whatnot. Mama said that not only do they make them all there, but they cycle through seasonal motifs throughout the year. As you'd expect, there was a bit of focus on leaves today.

You can buy en piece, but it's nice to pick a mix of 9 or 16, which she'll wrap in a decorative box for you. She also has pre-picked boxes if you just can't decide.

I can decide, thank you very much.

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