This year's convention was held in Kyoto, a 4 hour bus journey from here. I got there at lunchtime, ate at the station and then went straight to the hotel. It was too early to check-in, so I spent the afternoon in the hospitality room, chatting with other convention-goers. Of the 120+ attendees, I had only ever met one in person before, but I 'knew' many others online. It was great to finally get to meet those familiar names, and to get to know lots of other fantastic women too.
Since the convention was held in Kyoto, the chosen theme was Shichimi (a blend of 7 spices) and there was an emphasis on traditional Japanese culture. On Friday night there was a buffet dinner, complete with a performance by a geiko-san (geisha) and a maiko-san (trainee geiko-san). While their performances were beautiful, the most interesting part was the Q&A afterwards. They were surprisingly frank and honest in their replies to our questions and I felt that I'd been privy to a rare experience.
Throughout Saturday there were various tours and workshops on offer. I joined a walk along Kamo river on Saturday morning, made a quick visit to the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine flea market and then, after lunch at an Egyptian restaurant, had an insiders tour of Nishi Hongan-ji temple. I didn't take many photos, but here are a couple...
|Crossing the Kamo river|
|At Nishi-Hongan-ji with Vicky|
|Did I mention that there had been completely different handmade table centres the night before?|
|Janine, me and Vicky|
During the dinner, a professional photographer took photos for us at no charge. Despite having to deal with a long line of women waiting for portraits and having a hotel corridor as a studio, he took some wonderful pictures. If you're in the Kansai area and in need of a photographer, check out Janne's website. Here's the picture he took of me: