Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Japan Day 3 continued: Last of Kyoto

We continued our walking tour of Kyoto. There are so many things to see it seemed we walked from temple to shrine to park to temple...


We ran out of time and unable to go inside this shrine to see this other large statue.

It was fun traveling around with Rowan because all of the Japanese loved this little blondie!
Rub these little statues which dot the walk for good luck.
We made our way to Maruyama Park for some more cherry blossom time. According to Wikipedia, this is the central area for cherry blossom watching in Kyoto. I was finally able to experience takoyaki -- fried octopus balls. This was evidently very popular carnival food because you could find it everywhere a festival was occurring.

Very hot inside!
I liked them okay but they weren't my favorite. I was fine with the octopus but a little less happy with the soggy dough in the middle.

Watching them cook the tako balls was the most interesting part of this culinary experience.


As I said before, "All Japanese love the cherry blossoms" (direct quote from a Japanese man we met). The parks are full of people, there are carnival-like festivals all over, and they like hanami (flower watching), even at night--or maybe especially at night. Coming from Hawkeye country, I couldn't help but think that they are tailgating, except without the football and for flowers and trees instead.

The park had hanging lanterns for the cherry blossom festival so we could continue the festivities into the night.

A girl (probably the one in the yellow pants) was ranting and raving about these fish. She seemed to really want us to try them. We weren't quite that brave...

I did try some sweet potato fries, a custard-filled pancake like dessert, and kobe beef. Oh, and don't forget, the octopus balls.

I think this is the gate for Yasaka shrine.

More walking along the streets of Kyoto. Aren't the Japanese lanterns pretty?
After a long day we realized we were still a little hungry after all of our festival food. We were back at the subway station and decided we better try our hand at Mickey D's for the teriyaki burgers. 

We decided to try a cherry blossom float. This was delicious, except they put ice in it which made the ice cream a big icy mess. When Abe tried to ask for it to be made without the ice cream he was told that that was not allowed. 

Teriyaki burger--also made with cherry blossoms. The bun was pink and there was a pink sauce. I think I was a little cherry-blossomed out by this point!
At this point I started thinking that "All the Japanese people love the cherry blossoms" enough to start eating, drinking, watching, smelling, touching, and maybe even hearing them!

I think any trip to Japan requires a trip to Kyoto. Especially if you can make it during the spring to catch the cherry blossoms in bloom (to watch and maybe even taste).

1 comment:

Marci Wittwer Butterfield said...

Love the comparison of their "Cherry Blossom Tailgating" to Hawkeye football tailgating. :) Looks beautiful and what a fun adventure.