Saturday we headed to my MIL's for the 3-day weekend. On the way we did some shopping.
Our first stop was Gion. I had heard about a candy place that made hard candies from Kyo-yasai (Kyoto veggies). Gion Abeya has been in business since 1200, their vegetable lozenges come in 7 different flavors: Tanba Kuromame (black bean), Tanba Kuri (chestnut), Shishigatani Kabocha (pumpkin), Shogoin Daikon (long white radish), Kamo tomato, Kujo Negi (green onion), Kintoki ninjin (carrot). We bought the tomato, carrot and negi. The lady was also nice enough to give us a sampler package of all the candies (in the photo 2 below). My favorite out of the ones we bought was the tomato, smells like opening a can of tomato paste and tastes like eating ripe tomatoes. My not-so-favorite is the negi, talk about strong onion flavor...wow! The carrot one didn't have much flavor in fact it tasted more like an orange candy than carrot.
From Gion we went to an area of Kyoto called Ebisugawa, this area is filled with furniture shops and kitchen gadgets. Nate wanted me to buy some grills for him. After he saw this post, he was interested in getting some. So after emailing a couple of times, I wrote down his order and went to check out the shop. The shop itself is tiny but there are all kinds of gadgets made from stainless steel and copper wire. A great place to check out if you are interesting in picking up well-made gadgets for your kitchen or home.
From Ebisugawa, we walked to Shijo to have lunch. As we were walking we saw this Velo-taxi (I was happy that I remembered that "velo" means bicycle in French). I think this guy was surprised that I was taking his photo, not sure what he was doing with his video camera though...
We originally had written down the address of a place for curry udon but realized it was far away from where we were, so the Mlesna Tea House was the only place that popped into my head. Satoshi had the curry and I had the chicken katsu sandwich. This sandwich was was really meaty and had a nice crispy crust on the outside too.
After lunch we made our way to my MIL's. We stopped into Baskin Robbins or 31 as it is called here. Satoshi had the baseball park crunch (pretzels, candied popcorn and swirls of chocolate and caramel), I had my usual Jamoca Almond Fudge. After ordering separately we realized that we could have saved a lot of money if we shared a double cup.
After my FIL passed away, there were many flowers sent to the house. One was a potted plant of white orchids. After the flowers died, my MIL asked the florist what to do and was told to throw the plant out. I told her not to, if we cut it properly it would flower again. Sure enough, on my FIL's birthday, 7 white orchids bloomed. MIL was so happy that we didn't throw out the plant.
Oh, that matcha disk in the top left corner is a new candy by Otabe. Yatsuhashi are hard wafers coated with cinnamon, they use the smashed yatsuhashi and coat it with various chocolates (milk, matcha and white). My favorite is the milk, then matcha, though I wish they had a dark.
On Sunday we went to Ryoanji, this Zen Garden is a UNESCO world heritage. It is "supposed" to be a peaceful experience, but with this many people sitting on the deck, it was hard to get a feel of the garden. Satoshi said we'll go back some other time.About a kilometer from Ryoanji is Myoshinji. A huge area (310,000 square meters) filled with many temples with a history of more than 650 years. The unryuzu (picture of the dragon) is 25 meters long and 20 meters wide and was drawn on the ceiling by Kano Tanyu, no matter where you stand in the room, the dragon is always looking at you.
The clouds were interesting that day and reminded me of the top of a melon pan.
It was a great 3-day weekend though my MIL was sad to see us go.
Hope you have a great week.
107 Tominaga-machi, Yasaka Shinchi
175 Kameya-machi, Ebisugawa-kudaru
Closed on Sundays and Holidays