Monday, 8 September 2014

A trip to Kansai

 I had the good fortune to be offered a 5 day teaching job Kansai that also gave me a little time for sight-seeing.
Biwa ko. Absolutely perfect temperature for swimming.
Very fortunate to have extremely good food provided.

Out and about in Kyoto

A sign at Fushimi Inari proudly announcing its status
as Trip Advisor's number one travel destination in Japan.
It is certainly impressive, but I wonder whether it will
retain its no. 1. position if it becomes more popular.
It's wonderful place, but it involves a longer walk
than expected up a  bigger hill than expected.
A map - that should have emblazoned across it.


Fox ema - these were very cool.  I was very disappointed the
window selling them had shut for the evening....

More torii

And a price list in case you want to buy one with your name on it.

I've only had ramen in Kyoto twice,
but both times it was memorably good.
Maybe I was particularly hungry both times and
anything would have tasted good... 


Andrew Wright said...

They sell the mini torii as well. Got one on the shelf at home (not what it's made for). Did you try a sparrow?

Cecilia said...

I didn't look for sparrow. I never seek out food oddities, but never refuse them if they're offered. My worst food memory ever is eating blood cube and duck gizzard soup.
Dog, donkey, horse, turte, cicadas etc pale into insignificance compared with it...
I sought out inari zushi, but was there too late in the day to find any. I wanted to be able to tell MIL that her inari was better than inari at Fushimi inari, but calculated flattery I guess is doomed to failure.
Did you try a sparrow?

Andrew Wright said...

Blood cube - Taiwan? We did that... Taiwan is full of stuff that I don't find appetising, plus plenty that is. Worst for me was trying silk worm at Wangfujing St in Beijing. No insects for me ever again thank you very much. I don't recall trying a sparrow, but we might have when we visited Fushimi Inari. We ate flying rat (pigeon) at a Sydney Chinese restaurant the other night. MIL ordered! It's okay, I've had it before.

I think we ate Fushimi inari outside the shrine. Certainly some wonderful unagi that restored my faith in the dish after such horrible versions here.

My MIL eats the bits that we don't (fish heads, including the eyeballs, the bones) and vice versa. Complementing her cooking is difficult when her daughter exceeds her abilities and her range. Then again, we don't let my Mum cook either. :)

Cecilia said...

It was the blood cube combined with duck gizzard... I still feel sick thinking about it 15 years later. I was staying at the home of a student and her mother had done her best to make a feast. I couldn't not eat it...

I've not eaten silk worm, and it's surely not on my to do list. I only ate cicadas when I was taken out to dinner by a hospitalized student's brother.

It's great to have an MIL who will eat anything you don't like! What a life bonus! Almost as good a bonus as having a wife who is a superb cook. Life has treated you well!

Had I known Fushimi Inari was so big, I would have scouted around before I started the climb... I actually did zero research before I went there. I'd been planning to go elsewhere but realised time was not on my side, so opted for somewhere easy from Kyoto station.

Unagi in China is high up on my worst food lists - it had the bone in it... I've never eaten it in Aus. but it's so hit and miss here. Narita city is a great place for unagi - killed in the street in front of you - as well as carp sashimi. I'm happy enough with gyudon! :)

Andrew Wright said...

Yes, family feasts can be terribly hazardous when you are forced to eat special dishes! Unfortunately, MIL's taste in dishes tends to be on my not-like list as well, so no, I'm not lucky in that respect. Chinese New Year is the worst - gelatinous brown dishes... I foresee conflict later this month when we all go to Malaysia and I want to eat more than just Chinese Malaysian cuisine. That said, I am lucky as Malaysian cuisine as a whole is one of the world's best and my wife cooks the best Malaysian curry. Eat, eat, eat.

I know what you mean about the size of Fushimi Inari. We also did it in Summer and I recall my shirt white with salt from perspiration. Plus, when we got to the top I didn't have coins for the rare (on that trip) grapefruit Gokuri drink in the vending machine. And I checked, the inari sushi was good and we did try sparrow.

Don't mind visiting again though. Maybe next spring.