Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

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Voyage to Japan 2: 2nd April
You'll possibly be pleased to know that I have very little to say about Fushimi Inari Taisha, except that - for someone of my particular sensibilities, at least - it was great. I've always inclined to animism ("When all our fathers worshipped stocks and stones" is a line that makes me nostalgic for the good old days), so it's great to see a whole mountain covered in torii, in shrines large and small, in red-bibbed fox messengers of the divine and real cats (I'm not sure why the last are there, but they are). The whole pilgrimage takes about two hours of walking and climbing, so it's a stretch but not an intimidating prospect, and like all pilgrimages it's an experience partly communal, partly solitary. Rather than talk any more, I'll just give you a few peeks at my own experience, including (because it's food) the tempura udon I had at a way station about halfway up. The amazake I drank when I got to the bottom remains unpictured (it was from a little stall run by a friendly woman off the main track, and I'd have felt self-conscious photographing it) - but it was the perfect way to end the trip.


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Back in the Floating World, I went to Gion for dinner, and to look at the charming streets of that old entertainment quarter - as well of course as to sample the cherry blossom at night, thus reviving one of last year's pleasant memories:


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Setting out, I'd been keen to find some unagi - but I was distracted by a sign outside an Italian restaurant, which promised to bring the freshness of Kyoto's vegetables to Italian cuisine. I was intrigued, and hungry. Inside the tiny little restaurant in the tine little street was a tiny little bar, that would hold about eight people at most. But they did serve very nice food, along with Japanese wine produced just outside Kyoto. First came a selection of hors-d'oeuvres, including a rather good pate. Then spaghetti with vegetables - which really were delicious, though I had finished my first glass by this time and the waiter disappeared for about ten minutes, leaving me a bit dry-mouthed... After that came Kyoto beef with a drizzle of port wine, and finally a sprig of sakura lying on a pillow of tofu, with a sprinkle of matcha tea powder. What could be more quintessentially Italian? It was excellent, though - as you might expect when two of the world's best cuisines meet:

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Finally, I went for a late-night stroll (Japan is such a safe place!) where amongst many more modern sights, I had this rather lovely vision of an older Kyoto, down a street of traditional (in all but price) Japanese restaurants....

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And that seems a good note on which to leave Kyoto. Osaka next!

so it's great to see a whole mountain covered in torii, in shrines large and small, in red-bibbed fox messengers of the divine and real cats (I'm not sure why the last are there, but they are).

Yay.

Thank you for these snapshots!

My pleasure.

I'm enjoying your explorations.

I'm not quite sure what's going on with that hill climb but it's clearly rather wonderful. Sort of Glastonbury Tor plus garden gnomes- am I in the right sort of area?

Glastonbury Tor, for sure - but I don't think I've ever seen anyone pray to a gnome.

I've used that piss artist of the floating world line also.

Snap!

Oh, this is marvellous! Thank you.

I'm glad you like it!

Oh, that is so beautiful. I usually only see the torii tunnel, not the greenery or the perspective. Thank you.

It was quite an experience.

Lovely photos! I envy you the trip and hope it goes brilliantly for you!

It has done, thank you! Alas, I leave tomorrow - and am a couple of days behind in documenting my various doings, due to being too busy about the doing of them. I will finish off this account when I get back to Bristol - a melancholy task, but worth it.

Oooh, I love this place and appreciate your letting us travel along with you.

ETA: And your photos of Gion are very なつかしい--many many years ago, when I lived in Kyoto, I used to go down there all the time to visit my boyfriend.

Edited at 2016-04-06 12:45 pm (UTC)

I'm very glad to have your company.

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