Archive for July 3rd, 2010

Day 3 in Kyoto: Philosopher’s Walk, Potoncho and a very smoky diner

Yeah, the return of the Japan posts! It’s taking me so long to blog about the Japan trip that it will be the next sakura season before I finish the posts.


Mcdonald’s for breakfast! It was my first McGriddle ( they don’t sell McGriddle in Australia) which is a breakfast Mcmuffin except the normal muffin is replaced with a maple syrup infused pancake instead, it was yummy with hints of sweetness from the soft pancakes, I wouldn’t mind having this for breakfast now and then if they sold it in Perth.

The 3rd day was all about Japan’s historical and cultural capital, Kyoto. I had been really looking forward to visiting Kyoto for the peaceful and tranquil atmosphere with its countless shrines and temples. Once we stepped out of the train, the hustle and bustle of colorful Osaka disappeared, we spotted quite a few Japanese women walking about in traditional kimonos, the city was quieter, the pace was slower.


Our main activity of the day was walking the  Philosopher’s Walk (哲学の道, Tetsugaku no Michi)  which is a pedestrian path that follows a canal lined with sakura trees  in Kyoto. Around 2 km long, the path is named after Nishida Kitaro, a famous Japanese philosopher  who used to walk this route every day for daily meditation while walking to Kyoto University (he was a professor there).


Imagine a winding stone path lined with sakura trees, most of the trees had blossomed by then and there were lots of fallen blossoms, but it was still pretty and very peaceful. It felt like we were peeking into other people’s houses, looking at their house plants and peering into their beautiful Japanese gardens while admiring blossoms, taking photos and chatting along the way. Sigh, I miss my family.

I was thinking of using this as my blog header, we were pretending that this was our house, imagine how beautiful their garden must be inside!


It was so tranquil with scenes like this fat cat drinking lazily and leisurely from this little pool, he wasn’t in a hurry at all.

We passed by many shrines and temples along the way, but didn’t really visit any in particular.

By the end of the walk, the McGriddles were long gone and we were hungry and tired. That’s when we spotted THE cafe/tiny restaurant by the road. The cafe was tiny with about three tables and was run by a very stressed out looking husband and wife team. There were only about 4 items on the menu,  the husband could only take one order at a time so ignored Jan and Andy while cooking our orders. It felt like something out of a Japanese drama scene.


I think it was my salmon bento that started the smoke. Suddenly the whole restaurant filled with smoke and we looked at each other with alarm and raised eyebrows. But the uncle didn’t seem too fussed and we tried not to giggle out loud. It was turning out to be a very interesting lunch. Sadly, despite all that smoke and drama, my bento wasn’t spectacular.


Jo’s omurice which was huge, it was ok, but we had some really nice omurice in Tokyo afterwards which made this one very ordinary indeed.

Jan and Andy had the curry rice which they said was yummy. Only problem is Andy was sick afterwards and the day after, it could have been the curry ….

After the walk, Jan brought us to the Potoncho area of Kyoto, which used to be (or still is) the red light district in Kyoto famous for its geishas.


It was a picturesque  narrow lane lined with numerous restaurants and bars.Unfortunately we didn’t manage to see any geishas but did take pictures of geisha lookalike waitressed scurrying into the bars, they walk very fast!


Then it was back to Osaka for shopping and food. Dear dear Osaka. Jan, Jo and I stopped at a family restaurant (can’t remember the name, Jan remind me) near our hotel for some dessert.


Jo ordered a hambagu and we all shared it dipping the sauce with the crusty bread, it was delicious and one of the best hambagus we had in Japan.


I can’t remember what we did for dinner, I have a feeling we went to Takashimaya or Daimaru’s food basement and bought miscellanous things like this sushi bento for dinner.

I bought dango, even though these mochi like things don’t taste very good, I’m always fascinated with them, maybe because they look so cute and resemble fishballs (love fishballs) ?


Ichigo (strawberry) daifuku for dessert, I love the packaging. I really like daifukus but I reckon strawberry daifuku is my favourite.

Especially when they contain giant, sweet and juicy strawberries like that!

Another ichigo dessert that we shared, very soft sponge layers with strawberries, and so pretty. I wish we had pretty cakes here too.

While Jan and I indulged in strawberry desserts, Jo had sakura themed dessert. This was her first sakura jelly, can you spot the sakura floating on the top layer?

Her other sakura dessert, which one do you think is prettier? Taste wise I think they were only average, but once Jo saw the word sakura, she had to get it. Crazy sakura woman.

Ok, that ends my Day 3 post of Japan, hopefully the next Japan post won’t take another 2 months, haha, just kidding. I’m looking forward to a WorldCup filled weekend, I have been neglecting World Cup for the past week and even received news of Brazil’s shock departure from of all people, my AH MA!  Even my mother is more up to date than I am, our MSN conversation went like this:

mum: brazil out loh

me:what?! brazil is out! omg, I didn’t watch that!

mum: you don’t know meh?  holland beat them, 2 -1.

me: that is shocking. wow.

mum: poorly. at first 20 mins already put in one goal, brazil i mean

me:eh you are watching ah? how come u know so much?

mum: then i was like, oh oh, holland si liao ( meaning die already in hokkien)

me: hahahaha

mum: and then after that i woke up and it was 2-1 and only 5 mins left and then ah pa said, boh kiu liao ( no hope in Hokkien)

Is my mum funny or what?!! Hahaha. (^________^). Good start to the weekend.

July 2010