Wednesday, October 25, 2006

matcha, deer, parfaits & pagodas

a sweet & a nice bowl of matcha (green tea)
It's late because it took me forever to upload all the photos I shot on our long and very packed weekend in Kyoto so I'll try to make this short and sweet like all the goodies we ate.

Friday's 2.5 hour shinkansen (bullet train) ride there was totally painless and oh so smooth. We absolutely fell in love with Kyoto and in particular Gion, the famous geisha district full of very old traditional Japanese houses, that looks like a movie set.

Saturday we spent the day in Nara, a smaller town 40 minutes out of Kyoto. We trekked all over the park part of the town that is home to many different temples (including one that houses Japan's biggest Buddha statue), gardens, ponds and tons and tons of very tame deer (see photos).

Sunday we were back in Kyoto for the Jidai Matsuri (Festival of the Ages). This Buddhist celebration culminates in an eye-popping parade, featuring historically costumed famous characters from Japan's history, that's been taking place in Kyoto for over 110 years.

After the parade we rode around on rented bikes until after nightfall and then headed to Gion to try and spot some geisha. Not much luck there (geisha are very discreet!) but we treated ourselves to a leisurely dinner that featured Kyoto specialties and lots of sake.

On Monday we hit Nijo castle and that was also very very interesting because it's the first time we got to see the INSIDE of one of these historical buildings. I couldn't believe how beautiful the Nightingale floors were.

We also returned to Gion to get some daytime photos. Unfortunately the weather turned icky and so we headed back to Tokyo late in the afternoon.

End of a longer-than-I had-planned-to-write story. Oyasuminasai (good night).


Bullet trains are wicked! I loooooooved Kyoto - so jealous of you right now!!! I spent three days there and enjoyed every minute of it! Did you see the Kinkakuji temple? That was my favourite - I did the tea ceremony there (matcha is tasty - and I love all the little red-bean treats they like to give you!) I definitely agree with you on the awesomeness of the Nightingale floors - the Japanese sure are clever!

The cashew crunch cookies are ready to go for today's potluck! I only managed to drizzle chocolate on half of them, but I'm sure they'll be fine! Thanks again for sharing the recipe!
Hey sweetie, those new pics of Kyoto are just superb. I LOVE THE DEERS! The pic of the deer beside the cigarette machine made me laugh out loud, omg so cute and adorable and silly!!!!!!!!
and yes btw the cashew crunches that jacelyn made yesterday were AMAZING so therefore you are also amazing by proxy :D
miss you tons as always!
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