Travel in May of 2017.
It was a trip to Kyoto with my parents, aunt and grandmother. I wanted to give my family the most Japanese dinner.By the way, I found out that there is Program of Kyoto regular tour bus. The bus leaves from Kyoto station. Kyoto Station was a very close from my accomodation. About five to seven minutes on foot? Therefore, I was able to use a regular sightseeing bus. So I joined Maiko dance and Kyoto Cuisine program for dinner.
A guide for foreigners who can not speak Japanese
If you who can not speak Japanese participate in this program, You should use a receiver. You can choose English, Chinese (2 versions) and Korean. If the guide turns on the program, foreigners can listen to explanation by the selected the language.
During the journey, the guide did not miss a good place in the tour (in Japanese), and the guide showed the TV screens in the bus. According to this screen, foreigners will be able to listen to each other via the receivers in chosen language. However, the descriptions from TV programs are pre-recorded in each language. Therefore, foreigners can not listen to additional explanations when the guides give additional explanations on the site.
Some notifications were printed in English, Chinese, and Korean. So it wasn't difficult to understand. For example, if you stay at a hotel, the bus stops right in front of the hotel. You don't need to go to Kyoto Station to participate in this program.
This guide for this program at Shozan Resort was really very kind. She sang us a song on the way to the night view and asked us not to be surprised by her singing skills. Those who participated in this program were all elderly Japanese people except for me. That's why my guide seemed like a granddaughter. The guide was very thoughtful indeed.
At Shozan Resort + Night Dinner + Night Observation Night (8,350Yen)
After arriving at Kyoto station, I took the bus with my family. We were able to take this bus to Shozan Garden. During the move, I heard a description of the historical site of downtown Kyoto.
It is called Shozan Resort or Shozan Garden in Kyoto. It's a hotel, but it's a place where you can enjoy a banquet, and it's a place where you've got a beautiful garden. So many people take many wedding photos here.
1. Dinner provided by Shozan Resort (Shozan Garden), KaisekI style Kyoto cuisine.
It was not a traditional Kaiseki Dinner, but it was served by Kaiseki style of Kyoto cuisine. There was a piece of paper on each seat, it explained the ingredients and names of today's meals in English, and I was fully aware of what I ate tonight. and I thought like this, "If I eat all this stuff, am I full?" The answer was .... I was full!
Most of the food was delicious. Fish served in small dishes were also impressive, and there was a chewy texture in it. Something chewy was the same taste as rice cakes(=Korean traditional food). But the only food was not good for me. It was surrounded by black seaweed beside the shrimp.
They were fried. I like fried food everywhere in Japan. Those fried were both good. Oh, in my mouth, one of the fried (except green) was a little bit salty. You don't have to eat it with soy sauce.
It was a light dessert, Warabi mochi. That was actually like chewy Injeolmi in Korea. But Warabi mochi was characterized by being soft like jelly. That was very fluid unlike the view. My aunt didn't like this, so I ate them all. If Japanese can make it more chewy and harder than now, it will be very popular with our family.
2. Maiko's performance
Before I went to Kyoto, I watched a documentary on Youtube again because I was interested in geisha. I also read the relevant materials about Geisha and Maiko. I think, the keyword of Maiko and Geisha is "mysterious people". Maiko who is trained to become a geisha.
▶ Documentary of Gaisha (or Maiko) on Youtube: The Secret Lives of Geisha, BBC Geisha Girl, Real Geisha Real Women,
The guide explained that if the color of the Maiko's clothes is mainly red or pink, it means the beginners, and if the color of the Maiko's clothes is blue or green, it means veteran. It's hard to actually see such Maiko now. According to someone's explanation, it is very hard to see them in Gion street even in Kyoto. If we can actually look at the Maiko, We may be surprised! because they're really feminine. I experienced that day. After watching her performance, I told her that your dancing was very beautiful. She answered "Thank you" with smiling face. At the moment, my aunt and I were shocked. In a word that wasn't really too long, but we could feel immensely feminine from her. Wow.....!
Before the show began, the manager came out and told us a brief explanation and cautions. And she came out. She wasn't tall, but she looked very impressive. I couldn't expect to guess exactly what she dances at that time. As I had seen the documentary, I expected her dance. Her dance would have been a very refined dance. In this day of performance, she used the fan. After the dance began, I could see the most refined movements as I expected.
Some of the songs seem to be popular here, judging by the local elders who sang together at that time. I stopped having dinner to see her performances. After the show, I had a chance to take pictures with her. She gave the person who took the pictures with her " Senjahuda ". It was called the Maiko card. People says that it brings money. It looked like a sort of business card. I think, It's okay to have it for People who does business. So the card she gave me is in my father's purse.
3. Shozan Garden
My family and I looked around the Garden of Shozan Resort after finishing dinner and performance. If you had seen here in the daytime, you'd think it was so beautiful. It was so dark that I had a hard time taking pictures. I took a walk around here with my family.
4. Kyoto's Night view from Higashiyama
In fact, Kyoto is not a city famous for its night view, so I did not expect great night view. After finishing all our schedules at the resort, we drove to Higashima. I could see the night view of Kyoto there.
Some people dropped out of front of the hotel and the others dropped out of Kyoto Station. If you have a hotel you want, you can get off at the designated hotel.
The cost of this course is 8,350 yen per person. Some might think the price is too high. But since I joined this program, I didn't think it was expensive. The place where the tour begins was Kyoto Station. Kyoto Station is the hub of all the traffic in Kyoto. And my accommodation was near Kyoto Station. I could walk to Kyoto Station. Once I got on the bus, it was very convenient to travel. I could see a performance with delicious dinner. Of course, I could see the beautiful shozan Garden. I thought this was a plentiful program. And mobility was an absolute strength for many seniors.
I recommend this course to many people. Because you can move conveniently and receive a friendly guide(Though they guide you in Japanese,). You can have Kyoto Cuisine and see the traditional Maiko dance and Shozan Garden.
--------------------┃INFO of Kyoto Sightseeing Bus @ Kyoto┃--------------------
0. Kyoto Regular Tour Bus = Kyoto Sightseeing Bus Official Website
1. About Reservation: There is a page in Korean/ China/ English , but the reservation/cancle is only available in Japanese or in English.
2. Language: All of the programs on the Kyoto regular tour bus use only " Japanese. " Because, this company announced that its program is based on local people. However, For foreigners, Kyoto Regular Tour Bus provides Program and TV Screen recorded in English, Chinese, and Korean.
3. Course about Kyoto Dining: There were two different dining courses in the program. One was Dining and Gion corner performance, and the other was dining at the Shozan Resort with Maiko. I joined Shozan Resort.
4. Others: Digital phamplet
5. HOW TO BOOK
: When you book a tour program on the Reservation Page, The Kyoto tour bus Company will send an confirmation email to you. You have to remember the reservation number from the email. On the day, you should give the reservation number to the staff at Local Office and pay in cash or by credit card (some cards are unavailable).
6. Local Office
: Local Office and Departue point are the same. Local Office is at Karasuma Exit, Kyoto station. Bus departure point is in front of Local Office. This company also operates a free shuttle bus that can pick up participants at some of Kyoto's major hotels. Therefore, you should ask Kyoto Tour Bus Company in advance if a free shuttle bus is provided to your hotel.