Friday, May 28, 2010
I love Pearls
Several years ago we took the vacation of a life time. A cruise down the Pacific coast on the Asian side. It's an experience I will never forget. I am reminded of it everyday when I walk into my studio and look and all the beautiful beads I bought. Thank goodness, because my senior moments are merging.
Consider this post a travel log and beading expedition. Highlights of the countries and the wonderful treasures I stumbled upon. I guess stumbled up is a lie. There was never any doubt to where I would end up before the day was over. A market to find beads. Going to local markets has always been part of our itinerary when visiting a country. We enjoy wondering through looking at various foods and sundry items. If you look through our photos (you'd need a least 6 months) you would think we were working for the FDA. So as hubby snaps pictures of fish and veggies, I hunt for beads, shells any other interesting tidbits.
For the purpose of this post we will be in Japan. First Tokyo then Kagoshima.
We did visit other cities in Japan, but this is the cheap travel log. So we only cover what I want to write about.
Tokyo, the population density is 13,500 people for every square kilometer (less than a square mile).Talk about crowded. Living in such crowded conditions has resulted in some strange customs and rules. For instance you can't buy a car if you live in Tokyo until you provide proof that you have your own parking spot for that car.
First we went on a bus tour of the countryside, Imperial Palace the palace is only open 2 days a year to the public. You guessed it this was not one of those days. We also visited the famous Senso-JiTemple a lovely temple with beautiful shrines, where I lit incense and made a wish (help me find pearls).
After lunch we were dropped off at the area known as the Ginsa. Tokyo's version of Manhattan's Fifth Ave. Well until recently we were from NY, so I was not impressed.
What I was impressed with were the women dressed in Kimonos, just beautiful. While walking we passed a shop that sold kimonos and I thought wouldn't it be fun to get the girls (our granddaughters) kimonos. Well do you know how much kimonos cost? Just the obi is several hundred dollars. We discarded that plan. I did learn that dressing in a kimono is a ritual. There is a school teaching the various steps and their order. Also the entire process requires help, one person can not get dressed on her own. I guess that's why you don't see very many women wearing them.
As we continue window shopping I saw them. Mykimoto Pearls, a whole shop with various necklaces, bracelets, earrings. In other words heaven. I love Pearls, always have always will. This was a jewelers not a shop to buy just strands of pearls.
I found the necklace of my dreams (my hubbys nightmare). Three strands of perfectly matched 8mm lustrous milk white pearls with diamond accents in a rope style. Absolutely drop dead beautiful. I must have these pearls. Well $300,000. hmmm, maybe not.
So now I am heartbroken, no kimono for the girls, no pearls for me, why did we come to this place? With a heavy heart and my head hung low we go back to the bus to return to the ship. Empty handed.
This will never happen again. Next stop I will have addresses. I have a purpose. Make my own necklace. Well ok maybe not the diamond parts, but I like crystals.
Kagoshima here I come.
The next day I was ready, hubby went to the Peace Museum for Kamikaze Pilots and a Samurai hous and gardens. I went shopping.
I took a taxi with a fellow passenger to a mall. With map in hand I left my companion at the mall and went in search of the bead shop. After walking several blocks and twisting my map around with each turn I must have looked confused. A young man who was standing with some friends ask if I needed help. I showed him my map and where I was trying to go. He promptly told me he would show me the way. I'm from NY, I didn't just fall off the bus, who's he kidding. After realizing I was probably not the type they were looking for (senior citizen) for the white slave trade. I followed, not only him but the whole group followed. It was another 3 blocks and there I was at the bead store. I thank them profusely but I didn't bow.
There I was two floors of crafting materials. Lots and lots of seed beads and very glittery crystals. Alas no inexpensive Mykimoto pearls. But I did find hanks of petite fresh water pearls. Back to meet my companion and off to the ship to design my version of a $300,000 necklace.