Jan 17, 2010

Our Winter Break #4

Finally an English post!

It's been a while since I've blogged, so I figure I'd better get back to it and continue where Masashi left off. To recapture, he wrote about my parents' coming for their long anticipated visit to Japan the day after Christmas, our lovely three days together traveling to Shiga and then Awaji Island, and the unfortunate happening of my mother having to be hospitalized over New Year's. But, as you can see below, she made a nice, quick recovery and we were back on the vacation trail in no time.

We spent a nice day in Kyoto...

headed out of Takatsuki on the Hankyu train which took us right into the heart of Kyoto's shopping district
and the famous Nishiki Market

where we stopped for a casual lunch of "oden" topped with spicy mustard, grilled layers of fried tofu, grilled squid, and hot udon noodles with tempura. Hot, yummy and a far cry from hospital fare.
We then were picked up by our friend, Hiro, who just happens to be a Kyoto taxi driver working his way up to becoming a tour guide for foreign visitors. He drove us by the Chioin Gate, Yasaka and Heian Shrines, the Daimonji Festival site and we made two stops along the way

one at Sanjusangendo Temple which is famous for it's huge hall that houses 1001 carved buddhas on display. It was fascinating, though no photos were allowed inside. (You'll all have to come see for yourselves, or look here http://www.taleofgenji.org/sanjusangendo.html)
But Mashi did get this nice shot:

The other stop was to walk along "Nene-no-Michi" - the most popular walking area in Kyoto's Higashiyama area. We stopped at this small temple to make our first New Year's wishes.

We, as always, were lucky to have Mashi with us to handle the dinner arrangements. He got us a reservation at the last minute at his favorite restaurant in Kyoto, Manzara-Tei. The dish below is just what comes as an appetizer after you order a round of drinks.

After Hiro finished his taxi shift, he joined us briefly. His wife had already joined us after our taxi tour and was livening up the table, as always, with her bright smile, entertaining stories, and hearty reactions to my dad's jokes.

It was a nice ending to a fantastic Kyoto day.


Jenni Smith said...

Thanks for the english post. It looks like you all had a good time.

Cat said...

It was so nice to meet your parents and enjoy the night with you! Glad I got to do it twice in a row! Hiro loved giving ya'll the tour. He is super studying recently! Oh my!