While walking through the centuries-old market area in Kyoto’s Nishiki Market when stumbled upon a time warp. Crammed in among fish mongers, Tamago chefs, and vegetable hawkers is a tiny wine bar and museum colorfully claiming its presence.
[In all honesty, I do not know if this is the accurate name for the shop, it was on FourSquare geo-located to the spot I was standing with no other winebars (and there aren’t any other winebars in the market, only a wine and sake shop) so unless someone can correct me, I am going with it!]
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Our Context Travel guide Daniel and I stopped in to have a look.
We met with Tsuji Yuiko, a student from KIT (Kyoto Institute of Technology) who was working in the gallery area for the day. Inside were works from over 120 students. One of the projects is napkins (I can’t think of a better world to describe it) each one representing a different shop in the Nishiki Market.
This is the one that Tsuji did (I made her point it out!):
The colors are bold on the inside and out, it is a really great space that is juxtapositioned amongst stalls that have been there for a very long time, but somehow it works. . It was too early in the morning to try out the wine and I didn’t go back to try it as I was focused too much on eating every time I visited the market!
According to Wikipedia: “Itō Jakuchū was a Japanese painter of the mid-Edo period when Japan had closed its doors to the outside world. Many of his paintings concern traditionally Japanese subjects, particularly chickens and other birds.”
His work is celebrated all over Japan and his style is mimicked in the work of artists everywhere. Jakuchū worked in Kyoto and his works can be seen in temples all over the city.
So in reality celebrating his work, with a wine glass or two, doesn’t feel so out of place after all.
How about you? Have you ever stumbled upon a little gem in what you thought was an unusual place?