Friday, December 23, 2011

Obanzai Lunch @ Garakuta

"Garakuta" in Ninen Zaka of Gion is Obanzai restaurant (see three umbrellas). "Obanzai" means Kyoto's home style dishes.

Their lunch plate has a great variety of items and the price is only 1,300 yen! After-lunch drink is also included!!

It may be hard to make all of these at home with this price, plus it'd take me forever. Obanzai restaurants are convenient!

Knitting and Cooking

This time in Shimane, I spent lots of time knitting, and cooking.

My tofu gyoza is ready to be cooked. And my favorite part is wrapping!

Izumo Grand Shrine of Shimane

I visited Izumo Grand Shrine in mid November when I was back in my home town Shimane.

The Shrine's main hall behind this building has been under major construction and the completion is scheduled in 2013.

The Kagura-den (sacred stage) of the Shrine is very famous for the largest shimenawa (sacred rice straw rope) in Japan.

Izumo is also famous for Soba (whole buckwheat flour) noodle. There are many soba noodle restaurants near the Shrine. This is called "Wariko Soba" which you can enjoy three types of soba in a small bowl. 1,030 yen.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Cherry Blossom in Sake

I went to Hotel Granvia Hiroshima for an important meeting. After the meeting, we went to the "May Flower Bar" on the 21st floor for drinks. I ordered a draft beer and tori-kara-age (fried chicken).

One of my companions ordered cold sake. We noticed there was something dancing in the sake bottle when the sake was poured in the glass. It was a cherry blossom shaped gold. How beautiful!!!

This sake is produced by one of the most respected breweries in Hiroshima "Kamo Tsuru."

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Cocon Karasuma

Miscellaneous goods store "kara-S" on the 3F of Cocon Karasuma has lots of unique items. The photo shows their new product of iron-on emblems with embroidered historical clothes, and there are 100 different costumes.

After I bought a few things at kara-S, I had lunch at "Sushi Ina" on the first floor under the ground. Three colored sushi bowl with aka-dashi (red miso soup) = 900 yen.

Iwami Ginzan in Shimane Prefecture

The long and hot summer is almost over. Under the beautiful, transparent blue sky, I went to "Iwami Ginzan Silver Mine" World Heritage.

When I am back in my hometown in Shimane, I often visit Iwami Ginzan which is the right sized sightseeing spot, and I love to walk the old cityscape. It's about 40 minutes by car from my parents' house.

It is one of my pleasure to look around the old houses which are nicely renovated as shops. My destination this time is "Kigami Shrine."

At first, I receive power from a 100 years old, sacred Nagi tree and a 300 years old Aoi Pine tree. Then I move on to the hall of worship.

On the alter ceiling, a Crying Dragon is painted and it is said to cry when you clap your hands in prayer.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Steak Lunch @ Natural Kitchen Kouji

Lunch time. I went to the restaurant floor (B1F) of "COCON Karasuma."

I felt like having steak. I chose Japanese pub style restaurant "Natural Kitchen Kouji" and ordered their steak lunch (980 yen).

I liked their miso soup with lots of ingredients, and mixed grain rice. Steak was very tender and delicious too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Wedding in Kyoto

When visiting shrines, we often encounter the Shinto style weddings. Apart from that, we also see couples who will marry (or married??) taking photos on the road.

Intense heat of over 35 degree C outside. They must be horribly hot, with heavily clothed kimono and katsura wig!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Doyo No Ushi No Hi?

Doyo no Ushi no Hi means ”mid summer day of the ox." On this special day, we usually eat eel called "Unagi." July 21st was the day this summer and I went to Kaneyo, one of the famous Unagi restaurants in Kyoto. It is located in the very busy shopping district called Shin Kyogoku. I ordered their popular menu "Kinshi Donburi" mid size bowl of 1,600 yen.

Some yellow thing overflows the bowl...

And it was a big omelet.

The baked unagi eel I wanted to see was under the omelet!

Unagi price is high this year due to the poor catch, they say.

L'Hotel de Hiei

I accompanied my friend to stay one night at the L'Hotel de Hiei the other day. There is Enryakuji temple of World Heritage in Mt. Hiei, and it's about ten minutes by car from the hotel. Unfortunantely we didn't have enough time to visit Enryakuji this time.

In just a 30 minute drive from the Kyoto City, you can get to the hotel and enjoy this beautiful view with Lake Biwa.

Here is very cool and pleasant while everywhere else is having extremely hot summer. Beautiful sunset in the sky of West, and...

full moon in the sky of East at the same time.

The access to the Hotel from Kyoto is quite convenient as there is a hotel shuttle bus from Keihan Sanjo (reservation is required).

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Sushi Lunch @ Tama Sushi in Yodobashi Camera Building

I went to "Yodobashi Camera" in front of Kyoto Station to buy some ink for my printer. Yodobashi Camera is a big chain store of electronic products, and their building actually has fashion floor, food floor and bookstores, etc.

After my shopping, I had a lunch set of chirashi sushi, miso soup, and chawan-mushi (steamed egg custard) at Tama Sushi on the restaurant floor (6F). Lunch set is 980 yen, and menu changes daily.

With 300 yen, you can add Tempura to the lunch set.

Iwami Kagura @ Yasaka Shrine

Gion Matsuri Festival is almost over. On the 16th of July, Iwami Kagura is always invited to Yasaka Shrine to performe the traditional sacred service dance. I never miss this event of Gion Matsuri, as Iwami Kagura is from Shimane prefecture, which is my home town!

Two hour long performance ended with the famous last episode of Orochi Taiji (Battle with the Great Serpent).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mos Burger

When I want something light and quick to eat before work, I sometimes go to Mos Burger of Shijo Kawaramachi Branch.

A set of hot dog and iced coffee was 300 yen.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ramen Noodle Shop "Takara-Ya"

I learned about Takara-Ya ramen shop in Ponto-cho from foreign guests of Maeniiya the other day. To my surprise, the Takara-Ya also has a branch shop at the Ramen Alley in Kyoto Station and it seems very famous!

As a ramen lover, I went out to try their noodle the next day.

I tried "Takara ramen" (650 yen) and "Gyoza dumpling" (280 yen). The Takara ramen has thin noodles and the tonkotsu (pork bone) soy sauce broth was not greasy, and light.

Self service tea in the old fashioned tea kettle "Yakan"...

This is the night view of the "kawadoko" where lots of bars and restaurants are lined up along the Kamo River near Ponto-cho. I'd have a few drinks in Kawadoko, then go to Takara-Ya for a bowl of noodle, or vice versa.

Business hours of Takara-Ya in Ponto-cho: 5PM~2AM, daily

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Marui Dept. Store Opened!

Marui Department Store opened in Kawaramachi Shijo last month. This Tokyo based store is especially well-known for the women's fashion and accessories.

Marui occupies a total of seven floors, covering about 8,700 sqm of retail sale space, and the top floor is a food court named "Kyo Terasu" meaning Terrace of Kyoto.

This is a pork lunch box (500 yen) I ordered from the VEGETEJI FACTORY. The pork was tender and juicy, with sweet and salty sauce on steamed rice.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tan Tan Men of "Karaku"

Ramen noodle shop "Karaku" opened about one year ago near my house in Higashiyama. Their specialty is "tan tan men" which is ramen noodle in spicy broth.

The inside is decorated in modern style and mainly with wood.

For today's lunch, I ordered a set menu of "Tan tan men (medium size) and fried rice (small size)" which was 1,050 yen.

And the tan tan men was of course very tasty --- creamy and spicy broth, thinly sliced roast pork, lots of chopped spring onions, and perfect texture of noodles!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

More cherry blossoms

The late blooming cherry tree by the Yasaka Pagoda is in full bloom now while the cherry blossom season is almost over in Kyoto.

And, the double-flowering cherry in the Yasaka Koshindo just began to bloom.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

On the way home

Beautiful blue sky and full bloomed cherry blossom. I'm back in Kyoto now.

I bought a set of hamburger and French fries at "Kyoto Burger" and am on my way home.