Ikebana Experience and Bento

Ikebana Bento

This is next in my series of travel photos from my trip with my Mom to Japan. The bento lunch was inspired by an Ikebana class we took. This bento did not come out as beautiful as it did in my head. The pearl couscous background could be part of the problem but it may also be the weight of the foliage I used. My Ikebana teacher would know how to fix it. But it was delicious, satisfying, and healthy which is part of the reason I make bento.

Container: Blue Box from Japan

Large Tier: Pea shoots, green beans, alpha sprouts, tri-color pearl couscous

Small Tier: Orange, blackberries, pecans

When planning our trip to Japan, I knew that I wanted to take an Ikebana class. It is something I wanted to try on other trips to Japan but it never happened. I found a review of an Ikebana class in Kyoto by Uncovering Japan. Since my Mom and I were renting a house in Kyoto for a week, it was the perfect time to take an Ikebana class.

Ikebana Vase

Container for Ikebana Arrangement

Plant Material ready for Ikebana

Plant Material We Used

Differences between western arranging and ikebana

Difference Between Western Arranging and Ikebana

Our teacher was very knowledgeable and provided a pleasant atmosphere to get hands on experience trying our hands at this craft. I highly recommend this class to anyone who wants to experience this piece of Japanese culture while in Kyoto. Kimiko has a blog and this is her post about our morning with her.

arrangements in progress 1

Arrangements in Progress

Teacher offering advice

Teacher Offering Guidance

I was very impressed with how Kimiko could suggest a few changes and the arrangement would transform into an arrangement lacking finesse into something of beauty. I am not a natural arranger of flowers in any country but I thoroughly enjoyed this experience. My Mom also enjoyed very much and is still talking about it.

Arrangements in Progress

Ikebana Arrangements

Sweet and Tea

Japanese Sweet and Green Tea

Since the theme of our arrangements was the upcoming Hinamatsuri (Girl’s Day Festival) I decided to include our Hinamatsuri photos in this post. We were in Japan right before (after after) Girl’s Day and took many photos of the Girl’s Day displays while in stores and out and about.

Hinamatsuri (Girl’s Day or Doll Festival) is celebrated in Japan on March 3. A popular decoration for this holiday are platforms with dolls representing the emperor, empress and the court from the Heian period. It is a day to pray for the future happiness of girls.

I am fascinated by this cultural holiday and was very excited to be in Japan during it. It was an extra bonus for it to be our ikebana theme. Last year I hosted a Girl’s Day themed dinner. Below I include many photos of a variety of displays we happened upon while in Japan. If you get to the end you can have some Girls’ Day cake.

Hina Display

Girl’s Day Displays

Hina Displays

Girl’s Day Displays

Hinamatsuri Food

Girl’s Day Themed Pastries

Hinamatsuri 1

A Unique Girl’s Day Display

Hinamatsuri close

Close-up of Girl’s Day Display

Ceramic Hina

Ceramic Dolls

Hina Dish

Hinamatsuri Themed Dish

Rabbit Hina Display

Fabric Rabbit Themed Dolls for Girl’s Day

Dpt Store Display

Girl’s Day Gifts at Department Store

Hina Blossom Screen Behind

Beautiful Screen Behind Display

Hina for Sale at Toys R Us

Dolls for Sale at Toys R Us in Kyoto

Toys R Us HIna Dolls

An Elaborate Display at Toys R Us

Toys R Us Pink Hina

Pink Hinamatsuri Display

Hinamatsuri Package

Girl’s Day Themed Package

Wooden Hina Display

Wooden Girl’s Day Display

Miniature Hina Display

Miniature Display

Display at Ichihime Shrine

At Ichihime Shrine

The photo above and the next two below were taken at Ichihime Shrine in Kyoto.

Ichihime Shrine Kyoto

At Ichihime Shrine

Hina Doll

At Ichihime Shrine

Girls Day Pieces of Cake

Slices of Girl’s Day Strawberry Cream Cake

I knew that bakeries sell Hinamatsuri (Girl’s Day) cake. I put it on our list of things to do while in Japan. We ended up buying slices of cake one day and a little cake another day. We did see many cakes on Girl’s Day in the food sections of department stores in Kyoto but we bought our cakes at a neighborhood bakery near our rental house.

Hinamatsuri Cake

Girl’s Day Strawberry and Cream Cake

I hope that you are enjoying this series as much as I am enjoying creating it. The next article will be about our experience at a monkey park.

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8 Responses to Ikebana Experience and Bento

  1. Mary Lee says:

    The strawberry & cream cake looks very delicious – maybe you can recreate it when strawberry seasons hits here. I have never heard about “Girls’ Day” – what a great idea to pray for the future of your girls.

  2. coconutcraze says:

    Beautiful dolls and display. I took a lot of time looking at each photo. Love them all! I learned Ikebana a long time back and those memories come crowding in as I see your pictures. It is interesting to hear about celebrating ‘Girl’s day’! What a great thought!!!

  3. I’m so glad my review led you to a wonderful experience. I loved all your pictures of the hina dolls as well. Girls’ Day is one of my favorite holidays in Japan!

  4. Katriel says:

    Looks like you had a great time! I love all of the girls day pictures!

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