10 February 2016

Pieces of Kyoto

Here is the Kinkaku-ji in Kyoto, which no surpirse, translates as Temple of the Golden Pavillion.





These are also in Kyoto, but I'm not sure where exactly.





I still have thousands of photos from my trip, but only a few unpublished pieces of writing.

*

The journey back to Kyoto is a shock after temple-life. Leaving the island of Kyushu, the rustic friendliness seems to disappear and other tourists begin to appear on the train from Hiroshima onwards.

Even though they barely speak twenty words between them, when a small, completely innocuous group of middle-aged Spaniards enters my carriage, I find them unbearably loud and abrasive.

This feeling only lasts a few moments.

Finally arriving at Kyoto Station, burdened with a suitcase, a backpack full of electronic toys, another bag full of a teapot collection and my shakuhachi, I opt for a taxi to the guest house.

The driver does not seem the least displeased that the meter hasn't even moved from the flagfall when we stop, so I give him 1000 yen for his trouble.

It's Saturday night in Kyoto and all the popular restaurants in walking distance, and presumably good ones, have lines out the door. I choose a modest looking place which is nearly empty.

My serving of chūtoro seems meager, not so fatty, hideously over-priced and a little too cold, but the presentation is delightful, so I do my best to savour it. The vegetable tempura is excellent and the miso soup is perfect.

After I pay -for the most expensive meal I have had on my entire holiday- the owner follows me out the door and performs a deep bow in the street, for which I am totally unprepared.

Walking away, I do my best to return thanks as my heart melts.

You win Japan.

*

That was written on my final night in Japan. I really am not the sushi expert I so confidently pass myself off as.

I miss green tea chocolate being available everywhere. I tried to make my own even before my holiday, but it didn't go very well. I bought lots of it in Melbourne at Christmas, but the Asian gorcery stores are not as well stocked in Canberra.








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