August 6, 2010

Japan 2010, Day 11

This was a banner day. We went to Ryoanji to see the rock garden that inspired our Okiie Hashimoto prints.

Some cute train action:

And then we walked up the hill toward Ryoanji and took off our shoes. Voila! We were looking at famous rocks with a million Japanese school children. They were everywhere. Turns out it was a popular time of year for students to take trips to historic sites. Was it ever! 

Mrguy kept making faux grumpy guy jokes. "Shouldn't these kids be in school? I don't remember eating noodles at two in the afternoon with my buddies on a school day..."

Speaking of noodles, I had three kinds and they were great.

We went back to the Kyoto train station to see the Astro Boy Museum, which was super cute. We wanted to take a bus that circles town after that, but the line was fat with schoolkids. Surprisingly, there were no kids at the Astro Boy Museum, just us.

I was ready to call Kyoto a bust when mrguy got a second wind on temples and found us a good one, Chio-nin. It was restful, old, inspiring, and pretty much devoid of school children. Even thinking about this place lowers my blood pressure.

We went back to the hotel and then to the market one last time. These pickles looked tasty. 

These items that look like plantains are actually bonito. They were dead cheap, and I really wanted one to take home to make my own bonito flakes.

Somebody gave these gourds a makeover:

We walked around the neighborhood of the hotel and tried to find someplace to eat. There were great looking places that only had one person in them -- too intimidating. Eventually we ended up in the basement of a hotel, where we found a crazy, raucous restaurant that catered to groups of businessmen. The host became our waiter, and we used our only food words to rustle up dinner. When a server brought us our edamame, she yelled "BEANS!!" as if she were The Chairman on Iron Chef America. Very silly.

So concludes our time in Kyoto.

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