What to do in Kyoto when it rains?
Michael Lambe of Deep Kyoto suggests shopping in covered arcades like Teramachi, Shinkyogoku, and Nishikikoji Market; plays at the Minamiza; museums; cafes.
Mandy Bartok of Uncover Japan successfully championed the delicious matcha cheese cake of Ten, a pottery store/restaurant/cafe with excellent lunch sets, and a spot of quiet solitude away from the crowds heading to Kiyomizu Dera.
How about playing a fan throwing game from the Edo era?
In Miyagawa-cho, in a tiny fan shop called Ogiya Hangesho, visitors who come to shop for gorgeous, decorative fans, can also choose to paint their own fan design, or learn Tosenkyo, the art of fan tossing.
The general aim of Tosenkyo is to use a paper fan, a sensu, to hit the fan shaped target.
Our teacher describes the motion as that of throwing a paper place. Gently. Use too much power and the back of the fan will most probably flip over, onto the red carpet, or whack into the box, the dreaded KOTSUN, earning minus points.
There are many different ways to earn points, and two ways to lose them. One, is the aforementioned KOTSUN, where the fan hits the box, and loses 2 points. Another is NOWAKE, when the fan absolutely destroys everything, leaving nothing standing, and losing 30 points.
Usually our fans would land in the HANACHIRUSATO style, with both the fan and the target lying, seperately, on the same side of the box. 3 points. Occasionally we would cover our target with the fan, YUUGIRI, 5 points. Flick past the target, touching it lightly, but not causing it to move: YURARI, 2 points.
The names for the points are taken from the short stories within Tale Of Genji. The game itself was popular in Edo era, especially as a way to gamble, which caused it to be banned for awhile. According to our teacher, Tosenkyo is not a Machaya game, or played in the Tea Houses in Kyoto, though for 20,000 yen you can hire a maiko to come play with you.
Even with a fun, slightly competitive friend subbing in for the maiko, the game is highly addictive. Mandy and I played 4 rounds and could have kept going. Within the 2500 yen price, Ogiya Hangesho gives you a fan to keep, so perhaps we shall.