Off to Kyoto
The trains in Japan are extremely civilized….and fast. I can not help but think about the lack of transportation infrastructure in the United States while sitting on the train from Tokyo to Kyoto. Sigh.
We got to Kyoto and hit the ground running. First stop Arashiyama, the bamboo grove. It is Sunday here and the throng of people who showed up to see this place was overwhelming. It is a bit hard to enjoy the tranquility of the piece with hundreds of other people.
The key is just walking past the density and taking one of the paths up to one of the many shrines in the area.
Built sometime around the 1500’s, one can only imagine the people wandering through this space and being able to see who was coming up to visit.
We went to Yudufo Sagano for lunch. Supposedly touristy but we were one of two other people eating there so it felt really good. A fixed lunch where tofu is the main event. All of these tiny dishes were delicious. It was fun too.
The tofu in the middle is soft and tasty. The dipping sauce is on the side and you can shake it up with slices of scallion and shaved yuzu.
A stop at the Golden Pavilion is a must. Beautiful yet packed. The one thing I remember about Kyoto that I didn’t love it how spread out it is. A sprawling city so getting from place to place is not a quick jaunt.
We went back to the hotel to regroup. One of the things we did is had our luggage sent to Kyoto from Tokyo so we did not have to schlep it on the train. Such a great move. The luggage was in our rooms when we got to Kyoto. Extremely civilized. Beautiful surroundings here.
Dinner was at Sojiki Nakahigashi. We sat in our own room, on the floor, very Japanese style.
This is one of the top restaurants in Kyoto, Michelin 2-starred with local ingredients and a daily changing menu. I wish I could say I loved it but I didn’t. Perhaps it was the new flavor profiles to my own palate, perhaps it was jet-lag really catching up with me but one tiny nibble of each plate was all I could muster or really enjoy. Just not my thing. Each dish is beautifully prepared. The chef runs his kitchen with a firm hand. They really care about everything that comes out of the kitchen but alas, none of us loved the food. I actually forgot the menu to share.
Good news is we went back to the hotel where I had the first solid night sleep.