Photos from Japan (mainland)

27 04 2013




Kyoto’s Sakura, Neko and Buddhist food

6 04 2010

On our final 3 days in Japan we stayed with Atsu in Kyoto.

We saw beautiful sakura near Ginkakuji along the Philosopher’s Path and at night time under illumination in Maruyama Koen.

We made funny poses and made photo seals in a purikura amusement centre.

We had tea with cats in a neko cafe.

We ate lots of plates of Japanese pickles at hale Vegan Organic restaurant, hidden down a little passage in the Nishiki markets.

We enjoyed vegan parfait and lunch at Mumokuteki, off the Nishiki markets.

We met up with Benno’s high school Japanese teacher at Cafe Proverbs.

We enjoyed vegan kara-age, gyoza and a huge curry at MikoAn, a Buddhist vegan pub/cafe that is even more hidden than hale, down a long alley behind the main street front.





Final days in Japan- Kyoto

1 04 2010

On our final 3 days in Japan we stayed with Atsu in Kyoto.

We saw beautiful sakura near Ginkakuji along the Philosopher’s Path and at night time under illumination in Maruyama Koen.

We made funny poses and made photo seals in a purikura amusement centre.

We had tea with cats in a neko cafe.

We ate lots of plates of Japanese pickles at Hale Vegan Organic restaurant, hidden down a little passage in the Nishiki markets.

We enjoyed vegan parfait and lunch at Mumokuteki, off the Nishiki markets.

We met up with Benno’s high school Japanese teacher at Cafe Proverbs.

We enjoyed vegan kara-age, gyoza and a huge curry at MikoAn, a Buddhist vegan pub/cafe that is even more hidden than Hale, down a long alley behind the main street front.





Local trains to Kyoto

30 03 2010

We had 2 trips on our seishun 18 kippu left so we embarked on another 8 hour local train journey from Tokyo to Kyoto. The highlight was seeing Mt Fuji from the train when it stopped at Fuji station.

Snow-capped Mt Fuji from the train window near Fuji station.





Expensive Kyoto Mushrooms

16 11 2009
P1000235

The picture speaks for itself.





Kimono and Kaimono

7 10 2009

The need for sleep (especially after the overnight bus ride) overtook us so our first outing was for brunch at noon. We went to Cafe Proverbs 15:17 as we had enjoyed it so much last time we went. There seasonal menu had changed for autumn so there were new dishes to choose from. We feasted on the tempeh burger XD and teriyaki tofu set. Then we had the fig tart with tofu cream and cinnamon for dessert.

We caught the bus to the Nishijin Textile Center and watched the last few minutes of a kimono fashion show. However, there was a bus load of Chinese? tourists with all their cameras out so it was difficult to see. After the show the tour-group raced upstairs, tore the shop to pieces and then ran out the their buses again. We looked around at the silk kimono fabrics and watched people working the looms.

Although it was raining we next went for a walk along the Philosophers Path. From below Ginkakuji we wandered along the river, doing some shopping along the way for omiyage (chestnut yatsuhashi, a bamboo water gun, a wooden doll) and followed the path all the way to Nanzenji where we got on a bus back to where Atsu lives.

After dinner we went to the station near where our overnight bus was departing and found a Karaoke place. We sang songs until it was almost time for our bus to leave. Our bus was a ‘relax’ bus so we had these space-age seats. They tilted back 140 degrees, had extra padding around the sides and head, a little canopy to pull over your head when sleeping and long leg/foot rests. See the futurist seats here . We slept much better on the bus home, and then caught the express bus from Tokyo to Kisarazu where it was still raining, just as we left it.

The distant future, the year 2000, futuristic space seats on overnight buses - the canopy you can pull over your head to sleep well on the bus.





Meeting the Vikings in Kyoto

5 10 2009

One of the temples/shrines that we hadn’t visited yet was Sanjusangen-do. While not a big complex, the one big wooden building houses 1001 statues of Kannon, each with 42 arms (which each save 25 worlds and somehow that adds up to saving 1000 worlds each). There are 500 statues in 10 rows either side of a larger central Kannon. At the front are 28 life-size statues of guardian deities e.g. thunder god, wind god etc. The kannon, made in the 12th century, were carved from wood and coated with gold leaf.

Unfortunately, photos were prohibited inside the building. However, there are heaps of photos on the internet so someone(s) obviously took photos anyway…

We were feeling hungry so decided to go to viking, which is a buffet in Japanese. We went to Obanzai and enjoyed fake meats, potato croquettes, salads, rice etc. Most of the food offered was vegan. While we were eating we met the director of the movie ‘The Cove’. He was in Kyoto promoting the movie, then heading to Tokyo for the film festival where ‘The Cove’ is being shown.. We also met the 2 main people behind the ‘Vegan Society of Japan’. After a long lunch-time chat we went with them to Nishikidori Markets and to Mumokuteki that has vegan ice cream and desserts. The icecream was totally delicious, as was the cheesecake we had. We wandered around the markets, got some yaki-tofu for dinner then headed our own way back to Atsu’s. We had BBQ for dinner and skyped his younger sister so Benno could practice his Japanese.