Monday, July 09, 2012

Kristen and Shawn Visit: Part 2: Kyoto and Arashiyama, aka a monkey peed on my head

To continue the hanging out with Krist and Shawn story, after Okazaki, we headed to Kyoto!!

After getting settled in the place where we would stay (which was a SUPER nice Japanese style ryokan with an AMAZING garden view), we headed over to eat at Cafe Proverbs, which is possibly the most delicious vegan (well, almost entirely vegan) restaurant in all of Japan. I got soy milk ramen and a chocolate sundae, and my happiness was extreme. Even Kristen loved her curry rice!

Then we headed over to (銀閣寺) Ginkakuji, the silver temple.

As usual, the grounds were gorgeous. And somehow, perhaps because I hadn't been in a real Japanese style garden (or really a real any garden) in an extremely long time, I felt like the grounds were even more gorgeous than normal.

When finished, we took a little walk down the "Philosopher's Road." It wasn't really the season for it, but it was still quite pretty.

Then, we headed over to 金閣寺 (kinkakuji), the golden temple.

I'm sure I'll eventually get tired of seeing it, but at this point, I'm still amazed by its' beauty every time I see it.

After that, Gion for a little bit of shopping and geisha searching. And we actually saw a geisha! I was shocked! Even though I've now been in Japan for two years, it was my first real geisha. And I got to see her with Krist and Shawn. Super psyched-ness.

The next day, we woke up fairly early, and after a morning at the bank (it took WAY LONGER than it should have), we met up with Alexis for lunch (at Cafe Matsuontoko - decent food, awesomely placed, somewhat expensive, entirely vegan, good times!) and then headed to Arashiyama to see some monkeys and some bamboo.

(I just realized I got distracted blogging and listened to the same song, a song I don't really even like, a good 10 times in a row)

Us pretending to be monkeys on a bench on the way up. Unfortunately, all of the fun monkey pictures are Kristen and Shawn's cameras.
The highlight of this event was, of course, that as we were walking down about to leave, something wet fell out of the air onto my head and shoulders. Everyone else was dry and fine. I looked up, and it turned out a monkey had just peed on my head. I somehow feel like something like this could ONLY happen to me. Everyone there was in agreement. Only me.

Then we walked through Arashiyama looking at pretty old buildings, heading towards bamboo.
Once again, Kristen and Shawn have all of the fun pictures. This is literally the only picture I took of bamboo (note: that is the correct usage of literally, but I am a huge fan of misusing literally).
It was beautiful. There's something really mysterious and wonderful about walking through bamboo forests. I don't really know how to explain it, but it's sort-of the perfect feeling.

For dinner, we went to a place called Mikouan. I'd been there before, and the food was good. And it's true that the food was good this time as well, but I really don't think I'll go again. When we got there, the owner was super moody and rude to us and probably wouldn't have let us in (because we were 4) if there hadn't been a nice man sitting there that practically made her let us in.
Combine that with the fact that there were roaches crawling on the walls (I'm convinced there was a dead one in the curry) and ants crawling all over the dry ingredients, and all in all, it was just a bad experience.
So, even though the food is yum, I can't recommend it.

Just a lovely day in Kyoto!!

More Kristen and Shawn Visit to come soon!

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