Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nara Park

After the Kasuga Shrine, I went to Nara Park.

Sunset over the Ara-ike Pond in the park was beautiful.

I arrived at the Great Buddha Hall of Todai-ji Temple at dusk.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Kasuga Shrine in Nara

I went to Nara on the clear day during the rainy season. It doesn't take more than one hour to Nara from Kyoto in Kintetsu Railways (610 yen in one way) and a day trip can be easily done.

Kasuga Shrine was my first destination, and a deer greeted me when I got off the bus. Deers are considered god's messengers.

The Shrine's washing basin is also a deer.

Kansai district had heavy rain on the previous day, but it stopped raining in the morning. The precincts of the Shrine had a dreamy atmosphere with mist after the rain and was very beautiful.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mamemasa's cream coated beans

"Mamemasa" is a long-established confectionery shop in Kyoto and sugar coated beans are very well known (photo below). I saw their "cream coated beans" on TV the other day, and was anxious to try them.

Yesterday, I happend to find them in Shijo Han-Ei-Kai Shopping Street, near my house. It saved my trip! (The main shop is near Kyoto Imperial Palace.)

Five flavors of cream coated peanuts are milk, strawberry, banana, coffee, and green tea.

And, what I really like is this package! I wish it was made of a can, not a paper...

Restaurant "Tsubame"

One of my friends in Tokyo came to Kyoto for a day to buy a Chihuahua from a famous breeder in Koya of Kyoto.

Before heading to a breeder, we had lunch at a popular restaurant "Tsubame" in Ichijoji.

They open from 11:30AM, and when we arrived at 11:45, the restaurant was already full, and we were asked to wait for 40 minutes. No problem.

The lunch special was a deep fried Wakasagi (smelt) salad in sweetened vinegar dressing, steamed rice with mixed grains, miso soup, a small vegetable dish and pickles. 850 yen.

It was a healthy, delicious lunch!

And chihuahuas were just so adorable!!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This IS Japanese Breakfast!

After having walked for good hours in Kamakura City, here I am at my friend's ocean front house of Oiso Beach.

We talked and laughed until late at night and slept in... And when we got up, this beautiful, traditional Japanese breakfast was waiting for us! Baked salted salmon, steamed rice, miso soup with clams, pickled plum , seaweed tsukudani (simmered dish), natto (fermented soybean), two kinds of vegetable dishes.
Thank you Mrs Suga (my friend's mom) for your hospitality for the last two days!

Kamakura Now

I went to Kamakura last weekend and visited Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine. I particularly wanted to see the Great Ginkgo Tree.

In March of this year, the Shrine's 1,000 years old Ginkgo Tree got uprooted by a huge storm. The tree was transplanted, hoping that it would survive through new growth at the broken trunk. And it did survive!

Look at these new buds! Just wonderful!!

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Restaurant "Sho-Raku"

Sho-Raku is located near the bus stop of Nishi-no-Toin Bukkoji. I see many businessmen enter the restaurant at lunch time.

Today's lunch special is a hamburger steak with vegetable, a spring roll, a fried egg, udon noodle, rice and pickles. It's only 630 yen.

I can see why this restaurant is popular for businessmen. Good volume and good price. The taste was just as I expected. Not too bad.

Aoi Matsuri Festival (Part 5)

Saio-Dai Princess procession starts with court ladies called myobu.

Saio-Dai Princess represents the Imperial Princess. Her 12-layer kimono called "Juni Hitoe" weighs 30 kgs.

Saio-Dai Princess is selected in April every year, and she has to be a native of Kyoto, single, and in her early 20s.

So cute!!!

The whole procession was about 1 km long!

Aoi Matsuri Festival (Part 4)

Huge umbrellas with full of flowers must be very heavy.

The procession of high ranking women of the court.

Ox carriages were beautifully decorated with wisteria flowers.

Big wooden wheels creak...