I really love Kyoto; temples, doorways, canals, glimpses of geisha. Your eyes just bug out at every turn. The details astound. Okay, so here is the confession. 99% of the time, I draw from what is in front of me, from real life. And very occasionally, I use a photo. This painting of the Japanese woman wearing a kimono in front of the Kyoto doorway is from a photograph. And you may also be astute enough to see that it is from the cover photo of the Lonely Planet Kyoto book by Chris Rowthorn. The book is just excellent. Chris also has a wonderful blog called Inside Kyoto. (http://www.insidekyoto.com)
So there it is, out in the open. And the reason I wanted to include this little fraud is because of a lovely, new trend we saw in Kyoto during this visit. The cobbled streets and temple precincts were full of young (mostly) Japanese men and women, dressed in lovely traditional kimono and zori (footwear). There seems to be a new pride in things traditional and it was so lovely seeing these youngsters so beautifully turned out, strolling through old Kyoto. I am fully aware that this is just another tourist service - rent a kimono for the day - but there was nothing tacky tourist about it at all. These young people looked elegant and resplendent. They were delighted and delightful.