On Saturday, after picking up an SD card for my camera, Chris and I met up with his neighbour and coworker Dennis to go on a bus tour of Tokyo along with a couple of other tourists who were visiting from Perth. Our first stop was a bonsai museum run by a man who has been collecting the little trees for the past three decades and now teaches foreigners the art of growing bonsai. He showed us some of his prized specimen and answered our many questions about the art form, after which we partook in a green tea ceremony.
The next stop was a special event to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Kyoto's only geisha house. We were treated to a lovely performance by a troupe of dancers keeping alive the ancient art of the Japanese courtesans (who weren't geisha). The tradition of the courtesan dance is that every year these women would parade through the street and then select a suitor to join them for a tea ceremony. First the suitor would drink from the tea bowl and then, if she chose to do so, the courtesan would signify her acceptance of his love by finishing the bowl.
Our tour concluded with a dinner of tempura and sushi aboard a little boat where we were watched the sunset amongst the skyscrapers of Tokyo and learnt a great about Japanese history.
[cross-posted from my new blog at Posterous.]