Friday, September 30, 2016

Japan - Day 5 - Kyoto

After a nice Western-style breakfast, we headed out for the bamboo forest street in Arashiyama. While the bamboo forest was not really worth it, the town surrounding it was delightful. (I realize it sounds pretentious to say that the bamboo in Madagascar is far superior, but it is!) Full of cute shops and restaurants along a rushing river, the area also boasts a monkey sanctuary. 
After the forest and a little bit of shopping, we checked out a local burger chain called Mos. I had a yummy soy burger and fries. Afterwards, we headed to Nijo Castle.
With limited time until our next engagement, we hustled around hundreds of school children to get a peek at the castle and surrounding grounds. Although it was a bit overcast, the walk was nice and the scenery was very pretty.
We then headed to our sushi & dashi (broth) class close by at Roujiya, which is also a lovely guest house (in case you're looking for a place to stay Derek & Heather). Kaori was an excellent teacher and taught our class of four (the other couple lives in Denmark but is from France and Macedonia) customs, manners, traditions and, of course, how to prepare sushi - both a roll and the ball sushi which was invented for geishas who were not permitted to open their mouths wide in the company of men - the dashi broth (made from sea kelp and bonito flakes) and a sesame salad. Once everything was prepared, we all ate until we were stuffed. The whole thing was definitely a highlight of our trip!

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