May 31, 2015

Umeå Kimono de Jack restaurant meetup!


I'm back home from my first Kimono de Jack event, although it was a really small one. I had a lot of fun in Umeå with miravisu and her family. Even though me and miravisu were the only ones to dress in kimono two is still more than one! I do hope that we can get more people to join the Umeå Kimono de Jack group in the future. :)

This time the meetup's main thing was to go eat together at Sagami in Umeå city, a Japanese restaurant. 
The meetup day was 29th May, the reason for this being that said day is Gofuku no Hi, aka the International Kimono Day. What a perfect reason to wear kimono out!

I also want to mention that I traveled to Umeå by bus, which takes most of the day. Luckily I managed to keep myself entertained during the trip by listening to music, playing video games and sleeping. At Umeå I had to change bus to take another local one to Vännäs, to get to miravisu's place. That bus took one hour more and there was a wasp inside the bus, buzzing around me. Wonderful...
I arrived on Thursday night and the kimono day was on Friday. We had booked a table at the restaurant, so we had a time to pass. I don't remember when exactly we started dressing up but I was done fairly quickly; I think I spent more time trying to get my hair to look like something than putting my kimono on lol. I ended up rolling with the first outfit on my previous post, mainly because having an off-white kimono felt quite risky considering the risk of accidentally dropping/spilling something on it. :/

When we were done we headed out – me, miravisu and her daughter.
The others decided to take a shortcut through the yard but, err, because that meant an ascent I couldn't get up! xD You see, my geta are super slippery (lacquered wood with a smooth finish?) and wearing stretch tabi made it even worse! Even the smallest uphill was almost impossible to get up on; it was hilarious. I managed to find a spot that wasn't as steep and well, I did get up but that included having to touch the ground for support so that I wouldn't fall backwards. ._.

Have a photo of my fabulous samurai kamon tabi! And my asanoha geta. ♡
(photo by miravisu, edit by me)
I want to mention a quick thing about the tabi choice! 
You see, originally I would have wanted to take my usual black tabi with me, but the thing is that when I was looking for them at home (while packing my stuff) I really couldn't find them anywhere! Hence why I ended up with these patterned stretch tabi instead. They're awesome though!

When we got to Umeå city we waited for le daughter's dad to show up. He soon did and my expectations were blasted off to cyber space, in a good way and then all four of us headed for the Japanese restaurant. But before that we visited a geek store, because I wanted to check some things and it was super close, huehuehue.
At the restaurant we sat down in a table in the corner, next to the windows. Me and miravisu decided on sharing some sushi, yum!

The menu, along with the "choose your sushi" paper.
Sushiiiiiiii ~
And of course the miso soup!
For dessert I had wanted the dorayaki (a kind of soft cake with sweetened red beans paste inside) with green tea ice cream. Oh man was this thing delicious! The ice cream was so good that I would have wanted it to last forever... ;o;
Actually, all the foods were good, including the miso soup!

Dorayaki with green tea ice cream! Om nom nom nom ♡
A funny thing was that when I went around to take the restaurant photos a guy working there (I assume he was Swedish; seemingly all the Japanese were working in the kitchen) came up to me and said "cool costume!". I did wonder why he said 'costume' (as in masquerade costume) but didn't think about it any further, just thanked him. Then he added something like "I don't remember what those are called..." and that's when my mind went "WHAAAAAAAAA--". 

I mean, this guy is working at a Japanese restaurant and he doesn't know what I'm wearing?! ლ(ಠ益ಠ)ლ

Well, I stayed polite (of course!) and showed my outfit and said what each part was called: hakama, haori, geta etc. I then said that the reason me and miravisu are dressed up is because today (29th May) is Gofuku no Hi. He didn't know that, but I can't blame him for that. Many people don't seem to know about the kimono day so it's to be expected. ^^"
I still don't know though if I'm supposed to laugh or cry that he didn't know that I was dressed in kimono, Japan's traditional wear, not a fancy masquerade costume. xD I don't even. If I had been in cosplay it would have been a whole different matter, but I wasn't. He was wearing a Japanese style chef/restaurant top thingy himself (as were the rest of the restaurant workers), those that look similar to keikogi that we wear for budo with short sleeves and all. Then again, I can't really assume that just because he works in this kind of restaurant that he would actually be interested in Japanese culture etc but, oh well.
Another funny thing was that the same guy (I think it was) thought that miravisu... was my mom. MY MOM. Thank god I'm the master of poker facing, otherwise I just might have burst out laughing at that moment. I had to explain that I live further away and that I just came here for the KdJ meetup. It was a bit awkward... xD

But now, random restaurant photos!

It doesn't look like much from the outside... (entrance is a bit more to the right)
This is the information/order/payment desk thingy.
The kitchen part, I assume.

Veeery realistic looking plastic food...
... and I mean it.

Exclusive Japanese wines...
Some were really expensive, or that's what the guy told me.
Some food that you ate with tonkatsu sauce. (the sauce is not on the photo though XD)
You could even buy some ready-made sushi boxes to take with you home!
You could also buy other stuff to take with you home...
... like these, for example.
Oh, and of course the restaurant had decorations placed here and there, like the fish things hanging from the ceiling on the previous pics, for example. But that wasn't all they had!

Ghibli friends!
And a cool mini samurai armor display!
It's really cool!
After we were done eating we headed back to Vännäs and spent the remainder of the night (and some hours into midnight) watching the Shogun television series. Yep, I'm talking about the 1980 adaptation of James Clavell's famous book, which I've read and greatly enjoyed.

Bonus! Behold the temporary ghetto kimono hanger!
The following morning, on Saturday, I left for home. I made my way to Umeå bus station from the Vasaplan bus area just fine. When I got close to the bus station I was hoping that there would be some quick food place nearby, like Subway or such, so that I could eat something before the bus would depart. 
In my mind I was hoping for a sushi bar but I told myself that that won't happen but hey, once in a blue moon miracles do happen and guess what I saw just a few steps away from the bus station?

There was even a Subway just next to the sushi bar. Not bad!
Seeing how the name of the place was Shogun I just had to – it was too good of a coincidence, ahahah.
I asked if they had a take-away option and the Asian-looking middle-aged guy (likely Japanese, he had a heavy but pleasant accent) working there said yes and held up one of the take-away boxes. I said that my bus was leaving in about 30 minutes and asked if he would have time to make the order before that – he said no problem and smiled. Well, I'll be damned, because as soon as I said what I wanted (aka the small sushi box) he was done in less than 5 minutes! o_o Hoori shitto, that's fast! Fastest food order in my whole life lol. 

Take-away sushi! (with plenty of ginger, yum!)
I want to mention too that he was very very likely the only one working in there (it was a small place) and it was easy to see that he did it all made-to-order. I saw him take the rice and stuff so yeah. Awesome.
Oh, and I thought that the prices were on the cheaper end as well, as far as what I've seen previously (9 pieces for 75 SEK) and the sushi was damn good to boot! Definitely paying this guy a visit the next time I'm near Umeå's bus station!

Or train station, for that matter. Because the bus and train stations in
Umeå are really close to each other handy!
I think that's a quick summary of the most interesting parts of my first Kimono de Jack experience. I don't have much more to add except that I'm sorry about the grave lack of kitsuke photos – I'll have a photoshoot later to make up for it!

See you! Shiro Samurai out.

May 23, 2015

Upcoming Umeå Kimono de Jack kitsuke tests!


This time I'm back with a looot of kitsuke photos! Yes, you heard right! ;)
You see, the next weekend I will be heading off for Umeå in Sweden. There I will spend the International Kimono Day (Gofuku no Hi) with another kimono enthusiast in the north, miravisu. Even though we might not be more than two persons in kimono attending, this is still an Umeå Kimono de Jack event! My first one, woot! o/
Our KdJ meetup will of course be held on 29th May, the kimono day. Our main plan is to go eat at Sagami, a Japanese restaurant in town – in kimono, of course. I've actually never eaten at a Japanese restaurant before (sushi bars excluded) so I'm super excited about this!

But, as with all events and meetups, there comes the eternal question WHAT DO I WEAR??

Today I did a lot of quick kimono outfit test-runs to try to figure out what I should wear to the KdJ meet. I can't really decide myself so I'm hoping for feedback on which you like the most! ;) Don't be afraid to comment! ^.^

I will excuse myself in advance for the crummy mirror photos ahead and the horribly shitty yellow light in my apartment. My photographer wasn't available and outdoors it's raining and super windy! So yeah, going outdoors was out of the question, even though it would have provided better photos; had I gone outside I would probably have sailed away on my hakama lol. xD
I also apologize for the messy background but this is the only full-body mirror we have in the apartment and yeah, it's just next to all shoes, jackets and shit. -.- Can't help that.
Oh, and I'm barefoot because I didn't find my tabi on a quick search around, please ignore it. I will of course wear tabi and footwear for the actual event!
Actually, I should maybe apologize for possibly messy kitsuke overall – most of the time I dressed in about 5 min per outfit, so that I would have time to go through as many different kitsuke coordinations as possible during the limited time I had.
Yeah, I apologize for everything. Basically. OTL

Kitsuke coordination storm in 3... 2... 1...

First outfit!
Close-up photo. This is much closer to the true colors.
(natural light coming from the window)
Same outfit but with a black haori added.

Outfit rundown:
- blue-gray juban with dark blue collar
- dark/wine red kimono with small dark blue checkered pattern
- mustard yellow reversible kaku obi
- blue hakama
- black haori

I will also mention that all the close-up photos are taken with me standing faced towards the general direction of the window, so that natural light hits me. This is to show the colors as accurately as possible, although in some cases it still looks slightly lighter than in real life. *coughbluehakamacough*
All my outfits in this post will have one close-up photo like this. Also, the close-up photo is not reversed/mirrored.

Second outfit!

Outfit rundown:
- blue-gray juban with dark blue collar
- dark/wine red kimono with small dark blue checkered pattern
- light gray-ish blue reversible kaku obi
- black haori

Third outfit!

Outfit rundown:
- tiger and dragon print juban with black collar
- dark red kimono with copper & sky blue cross-weave pattern
- white kaku obi
- striped hakama
- black haori

Fourth outfit!
With black haori.

Outfit rundown:
- tiger and dragon print juban with black collar
- dark red kimono with copper & sky blue cross-weave pattern
- white kaku obi
- blue hakama
- black haori

I must mention that the kimono I'm wearing on the third and fourth outfit is a bit too short to be worn without hakama unless I would wear boots and do a more Western mix type of kitsuke outfit.

Fifth outfit!

Outfit rundown:
- blue-gray juban with dark blue collar
- off-white kimono
- dark green kaku obi
- black haori

Sixth outfit!

Outfit rundown:
- blue-gray juban with dark blue collar
- off-white kimono
- wine red kaku obi
- black haori

Seventh outfit!

Outfit rundown:
- blue-gray juban with dark blue collar
- off-white kimono
- wine red kaku obi
- striped hakama
- black haori

That's all!
I had quite the kimono pile unfolded on my bed when I was done...
I could have done more outfits but yeah, I think this should be enough for now lol. Then again, if any of you think that there is a combination that I didn't do that would look even better then feel free to suggest it! ;)
Oh and yes, those two first kimonos are both actually red. Dark red though, but still red. I love them!
I also really love my black haori – I shove it everywhere lol. It goes with anything. You don't say?

Well, I don't have so much more to say.
Now to prepare for my first Kimono de Jack meeting! This is gonna be loads of fun! I will write about it later so stay tuned in!