Tuesday, October 14, 2008

3-days in kyoto

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.

Gion Abeya
107 Tominaga-machi, Yasaka Shinchi
Higashiyama, Kyoto
Phone: 075.561.4036

Tsujiwa Kana-ami
175 Kameya-machi, Ebisugawa-kudaru
Sakaemachidori, Nakagyo-ku
Phone: 075.231.7368
Closed on Sundays and Holidays


jo said...

the food you had sounds so yummy and i really like the photo of the velo taxi ... so cute!

Rowena said...

Wow Kat! You included so many cool things in this post that it made me wish I could just get fishing off of my brains! Day 11 here and that's all I can think about.

Funny though...I just sent in a request for a fish book via HSL online. heh heh...

K and S said...

Thanks Jo, I really liked the looks of the velo taxi.

Wow 11 days already Rowena?? too fast. Hope you get in all the fishing you desire :)

Take care you two.

creampuff said...

Sounds like a fabulous 3-day weekend! Every time I visit Kat I wish I had more time for blog reading. I miss you!

Phoebe said...

oh wow the orchid plant is wonderful isn't it? A nice way to commemorate the memories of the one you hold dear.

I am so fascinated in cultural artwork!! Thank you for the little tour! Hope you get to go back to the ZEN garden, Kat

Debinhawaii said...

What a fun day and those clouds were pretty incredible. Love the look of the kitchen stores too.

Pandabonium said...

Wonderful montage of pictures. We've always enjoyed visits to Kyoto. My favorite picture is, of course, the one of a velotaxi with the WWF Panda logo. ;^)

K and S said...

I miss you too Ivonne!!

Thanks Phoebe, I hope we can get back to that garden too :)

I wouldn't mind roaming around those kitchen stores again, Deb :)

Glad you like the velo taxi, PB, they should have more of these roaming the cities.

Take care everyone.

amy said...

perfect timing as we just arrived in kyoto this afternoon and will be here for four days before heading to koya, hiroshima, and osaka. thanks for the ideas! -amy

K and S said...


Hope you enjoy yourself in Japan!

Take care.

amy said...

thanks! i'll be updating www.amy-alex.com with stories from our adventure. day 1 in kyoto was amazing today as the trees are just starting to turn and the weather is gorgeous!

Jann said...

You always find the most interesting things to do with your weekends~thanks for sharing all the info and great pictures~what fun this must have been!

K and S said...

Thanks Jann!

Thanks Amy, I'll check out your blog :) I hope you enjoy your stay here.

Take care you two.