Another day – another life. I m in LOVE with Kyoto. And soooo much to see – so i recommend at least 3 days – 4 is better. Also its a great location to organize a one day visit to Nara or Kobe – public transport is great, i did Nara from Kyoto and Kobe from Osaka. But lets see my second day in Kyoto. The first night my right foot started a strike and swelled double size – made me worry a bit as there were so much plan to go and things to see, but luckily 8 hours rest and a big massage helped it out.
I decided to find a place where i can be a part of a tofu making workshop – i wanted it soooo badly. Even my Lonely Planet is singing about how great experience is and Kyoto is the ‘capital of tofu’ and that there is a special district where u can even see from the street how they making traditionally tofu inside the shops, and u can see, make, enjoy. Well… hm hm hm… let me tell u the truth. Yes, u can book tofu workshop online – minimum two people need to book as a group – so unfortunately i could not. I still aimed to check out that place- Higashiyama supposed to be filled with tofu-ya-san (soybean curd makers). On the way i visited numerous temples and shrines again, the most beautiful ones worth a look (i was not planning to pay entrance ticket anywhere – and i was just fine) like Nanzen-ji, Ginkaku-ji, Kinkaku-ji, Shoren-in, Higashi Hongan-ji.
Temples? Everywhere. Tofu places? NONE! Fuckin none! What i did find in the pretty posh area – tofu restaurants. Well lets just say very expensive restaurants where u can try special ‘only tofu’ menu. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Was disappointed big time. I kindof decided to eat in one of these places instead of the workshop – but i postponed it to the next day (never happened after). I found it faaaaar too expensive anyway – the cheapest tofu menu was 3500yen – the good looking ones reached the 8000yen. So i missed this opportunity. And the tofu making*.
footnote: * i found the way to see the proccess – was too late for me but maybe u can try to be a part of it if u are crazy foodie also. Not much more later i was walking thru the famous Nishiki Market and there are a couple of ‘tofu stands’ with all the equipments and machines – so did see from distance the people working inside (little shitty dirty room lol) – i guess can not be impossible asking them to help u and your curiosity out.
I was not sad for too long as i bumped into a little festival/market between too temples where i had chance to try some great black sesame seed icecream and for the f8ck sake i also enjoyed a glass of sakura cherry blossom bubbles. Also because ‘why the hell not?’ This was the starter of my lunch – the main was more weird but another have-to-try food. Kyoto’s oldest and most exquisite OKASHIYA (sweet shop) is Kagizen Yoshifusa where u probably end up waiting a good 20 minutes to sit down just like i did. But well worth it again, whatever u choose – but i highly recommend their signiture dish; kuzukiri served with kuro-mitsu for about 1100yen (cold arrowroot noodles with black sugar dipping sauce) and never ending free green tea service lol.
After lunch (around 16:00pm i think) decided to grab a train (still with JP pass – free rides whooop ih dooooh) to visit a very interesting but unfortunately very stupidly touristic place, Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. Was hoping that by the time i get there it wont be as crowded… i was soooooo wrong. Jesus Buddha Christ. Anyway. I got there – nice little half hour train ride – and just followed the mass. Like a river to the bamboo forest. It was amazingly beautiful to be fair. I loved it – well not the neverending people cloud but the nature. I could easily imagine how peaceful it is without photoshoot noises. I hated the humanity around me but i would definetely regret not seeing it. So my advice maybe to go super early or very very late.
After a day when i was walking literally all day long – on the way back to Kyoto decided to pamper myself for dinner… so i picked the best place. U HAVE TO GO THERE!!!!! PLEASE GO THERE – if u are interested in sake. SAKE. MORE SAKE. I managed to find the best place to try as many sake as possible for a fairly cheap price (food wasnt that cheap grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr). The place called Kyoto Sakagurakan. Why? Because u can try 3 times 15 different sakes – divided by regions of the country. U can also go slower and choose 5 or 3 individual sake tastings, or just get a bottle if thats what u fancy. When i was there locals were drinking beers actually hahaha. Soooo… a set of 15 different ricewine was approx 1800yen – do not be afraid, u wont get that quantity to make u drunk. I picked a set (the one which had the special red sake made from black rice and tasted like a rose wine) and after finishing still ordered 2 more normal glass of my favourite ones. And i had a great company – an adhoc french girl who was also alone, sitting in the bar. Pretty obvious that i sat next to her and we chat thru the whole night getting beautifully tipsy at the end. Great day. Yeeeeay. (bill was around 3400yen but no regrets!!!)
footnote: also had ‘the dish of the journey’ here, i m not even sure what was it. Like a miso cured and fermented aged tofu – the yellow square, the falvour was umami explosion and also great cheesy like texture. Love of my life.