Since the delivery of our sofa was going to be between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. yesterday, Satoshi and I decided to go holo-holo until about 3 p.m. So, after lunch, we got on the train and headed for Kiyoshikojin. This is about 15 minutes away from our place near Takarazuka. We visited the temple about 5 years ago and all I remember was the crowds of people and inching our way to the temple during New Years.
I was pleasantly surprised after getting off the train...The station had been renovated and the area in front of the station seemed livelier. I guess the last time we came, it was during New Years, so most of the shops were closed.
We stopped into a coffee shop called Rokukenchaya (literally the 6th tea house..it really was!)
Satoshi had their mitarashidango with coffee (kind of an unlikely combo).
Mitarashidango are skewered rice cakes that are seasoned with a shoyu-based sauce. They aren't too sweet.
I had their matcha cake set. Three types of mini pound cake (green tea, green tea with azuki beans and chocolate), which came with a scoop of green tea ice cream and matcha (green tea).
After our dessert, we decided to check out their shopping arcade and was it huge! ...filled with tiny shops and eateries. There were many senbei shops along the route too.
Senbei are like pizzelles (thin wafers)--the dough is put onto the griddle and cooked over hot coals or in this case, gas burners.
The man making these saw me checking out his technique, so he gave Satoshi and me a sample. Hot off the presses, they were a bit chewy, but very delicious!
They had many different variations, some very sweet, some savory and many with nuts and beans in them.
We got two different kinds--one with sliced almonds and another one with pumpkin seeds.
Also on the route we bought some plants. A kuchinashi (gardenia) plant and some basil. I love gardenias, the fragrance is quite strong but reminds me of home. We used to have a large bush in our backyard when I was growing up.
Then it was time to make our way back to wait for our sofa. It is nesting season for the tsubame (swallows). I was surprised at how many tsubame were making nests in the train station and how accommodating the station was. Previously, I've even seen signs that said "be quiet! swallows nesting!".
They put these cardboard boxes under each nest just in case the birds pooped or something. I guess I'd rather have the boxes overhead than something on my head.
Hope you have a great weekend!