Sunday, 30 September 2012

Zaanse schans 2012

Last weekend the Kimono de Jack NL visited  de 'Zaanse Schans" : a popular Dutch open air museum in the middle of the Netherlands , not far from Amsterdam.
( click on each picture to view it's full-sized version in a separate window )

The  'Zaanse Schans" has  many historic buildings and windmills and is surrounded by fields and canals.

At the entrance everybody tried their hand at some of the traditional Dutch games, like throwing rope-rings.
From left to right  : Riga, Whaizan and Carolien.

Riga skipping rope with Whaizan spinning the rope.

 Riga and Carolien , skipping together .

Eva skipping rope.

Even Jody can't resist having a go.

Whaizan decides to hand over the rope and do some skipping himself.

Carolien showing us the proper way to walk around on stilts.

A quick musubi shot ^^ : on the left Eva in a red hitoe kimono made of woollen ikat fabric with yellow obi, on the right Carolien in a pink komon with a grey and purple obi.

Eva's musubi.

Carolien's musubi is tied with two differently coloured hanbabi obis.

After the "games", we went on a stroll through the 'village' with it's antique shops and houses.

Here we're posing in front of a shop that sells Miffy rabbits ( or 'Nijntje' in Dutch ). You can see one in the wheelbarrow on the right and behind the window.

Discussing where to go next ( and where to get lunch ).

KDJ NL delegation posing with one of our many, many foreign admirers...

Stephanie wore what has to be THE ultimate Dutch themed kimono outfit ever : 'Delfts blauw' blue and white tiles motif, with a red, white and blue flower hair ornament , orange obi and finally red, white and blue (Dutch flag) seams on the sleeves and obijime.

Riga in the little garden at the back of the restaurant.

In front of the restaurant from left to right : Jody , Carolien, Stephanie , Eva and Riga.
Jody wears a custom made blue cotton kimono and cotton hakama with a patterned white silk haori.

Musubi shot.

In front of the restaurant are several original Dutch houses , just across a moat, each with their own bridge in front.

Stephanie , on one of the bridges.

 Eva doing a 'hanging' pose ^^

 and Jody ( kimono-power ! )

After the village , we visited the windmills,

"where Jody, in a sudden outburst of Dutch patriotism , displays his love for his country's flag..."

 is what I would like to say , but actually he's just having a lot of fun..

At one of the windmills , this fellow popped out sporting clogs ,and an accordion.

Teaching the girls the 'pancake' dance. I strongly suspected him of making them up on the spot , just so he can dance with any young woman that gets near his windmill but these dances actually exist ^^

The windmill dance.

 "High up above "

 " the windmill blades are turning.."

That's one I've danced at Belgian weddings ! It's the..errrm. .. CARWASH !

Dutch wooden clogs have been popular in the Netherlands for more than 700 years and they're world-famous ( especially here in the Netherlands ^^).The Zaanse Schans has it's own clog museum and outside there are some super-sized ones..

Oh yeah !

Is it a small yellow boat ? No it's a giant yellow clog ! 
In this first group shot everybody is still acting sensibly , but very, very soon ...

total silliness starts taking over  (I blame it on breathing too much fresh air ).

Glamour shots on the clog.

"OOOOOH, your afro is sooo soft , Riga !"

 Hugging the clog ?

Ooh, look! I can sit inside it !

Are we all happy ? YES, WE ARE !


Sunday, 2 September 2012

Obon Matsuri at Japanese Garden in Hasselt 2012

Last Saturday 18th of August , to conclude the  'Obon Childrens Days' week  in the Japanese Garden in Hasselt, the Japanese Cultural Centre organised a Nocturnal Obon Matsuri ( Bon Festival ).
(click on the pictures and a large version will open in a second window )

Entering the garden through the small tori at the entrance.

It's a sunny day and hardly anyone is around at this time so I have the waterfall and the garden all to myself.

In front of the centre stage , where the taiko drums are waiting, lots of colourful origami cranes from the Kids Days. ( the giant kanji character behind the stage is 'matsuri' )

Across from the stage the children have also hung up ema (wooden wishing tablets) with their wishes ( these will be burned later )

Some of the wishes  : " A healthy baby ", "Red soup with meatballs" , " Peace for everybody", " I want to be a ballerina "...

At the festival tent , I meet Ben en Maaike of the KDJ NL , who've just finished the first course of their Japanese festival dinner.

Lovely dinnerware !  Ooh, sake cups :)

While they're eating, I take a look around the garden. Behind the stage a lawn has been 'planted' with little white rabbits for the children to take home and colour. They'll be able to use them as entry cards for the Moon festival end of september.
Behind the lawn a woman is telling Japanese fairy tales.

The sun is starting to set and people are gathering in front of the stage

The taiko drummers are warming up

 but they can not go on stage yet because first two groups of children were give us their own performance on the taiko ^^.

Taiko drumming is fun :)

Now that the drums have been warmed up ,

let's drum :)

it's a lot of fun for adults too ^^

Behind the kitchen, the chef and staff from Oishii are arranging the dessert.

Night has set in and while the bon odori ( lit. : bon dance ) is starting up,  I stroll off into the garden
for a few night shots.

The bridge from the tea house has been strung with blue lights and across the pond the bon odori is in full swing.

Lots of candlelight everywhere and the lighting has been left on.

The chochin ( paper lanterns) from the toro nagashi ceremony have drifted across the pond.

with the tea house fully lighted

and silhouetted against the night sky.

Till next time.