July 31, 2019

Trip to Seattle

Hi everyone!
I just got back from a trip to Seattle! It was a family trip and I didn't wear kimono much, only a yukata at the Seattle Obon at the Seattle Betsuin Buddhist Temple. It's a wonderful community Obon, small but mighty! It took place in front of the temple, so the street was closed. It's a two-day event, and I went on Sunday. Apparently Sunday has slightly less people (more parking opportunities!) than Saturday. The only downside was it was unexpectedly hot and sunny- 88 degrees F and about 70% humidity! I was very glad I wore a yukata instead of the summer kimono I had considered bringing. I purposely choose the green and white ensemble for the reference to "Emerald City", a popular name for Seattle and it gives a feeling of coolness. At least visually!

I also met another kimono kitsuke enthusiast and we hit it off, even meeting up the next day for kimono shopping and lunch! Luckily, there were some indoor events in the temple gym, so we cooled off in there a bit, but only a bit- no airco and only ceiling fans. Luckily, we had our fans for dancing! I think I wore out my wrist fanning myself! It was a very sweaty day. We did get a little too much sun. Since Obon is a participatory event, I didn't get a ton of photos this time. It's more fun to eat roasted corn, shave ice, and dance!
Butterfly yukata, mesh summer hanhaba dragonfly obi,
green & white obijime, and my little red shibori birdie.
Selfie- before I got too hot. I'm wearing a
 cotton juban top with a han eri (collar) for a crisp look. 

Seattle Matsuri Taiko getting ready to play

A still from our stint in the photo booth!
By this time, I was suffering from the heat. 
Just an FYI- I noticed a trend among a few chic kimono wearers: western sandals or shoes with kimono! I've seen it on Instagram but now I have seen it in person. I wore a pair of Clarks sandals for comfort. 

On this trip, I also went to the Seattle Japanese Garden near the arboretum. If you are in town, this is a must-see. It is stunning. It's been around since 1960 and is a "strolling garden" and has wonderful vistas at every turn. Here are a few views from my trip there.

A pagoda representing the mountain monasteries of Japan.

The tea house.

A ramen cart from 1950- fully restored! 
A few more random photos...there is water and lush green everywhere! Seattle truly is the Emerald City.
Ducks on Lake Washington.

Flowers on the street in downtown Kirkland.
Mt. Baker as seen from an Everett backyard deck.
Deception Pass bridge- from the car!

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