Monday, 27 June 2016

The Japanese Food Adventure Chapter 2 - Day 14. Fushimi Inari Tasha revisited and Ryozen Kannon Temple

I was delighted to find meatballs on the breakfast menu this morning. No time to hang around though we had lots to do today.

We made our way to Kyoto station to catch our train to Inari. Kyoto station is massive, it's the second largest station building in Japan after Nagoya.

We'd visited Fushimi Inari Tasha on a previous trip to Japan, it was one of those incredible places we felt we really should return to again.

This time round though it was really busy!

As we headed off the beaten track though we managed to lose the hoards of tourists and discovered some really calm and beautiful areas. 

This cemetery was so peaceful and is only discovered if you venture along a woodland path for about 20 minutes.

 Even in the most remote areas you can always find a vending machine, the old one behind it was being used to store blankets in.

Sparkling lychee drink, delicious!

As you get further to the top the torii gates are far less busy, it makes such a difference to enjoy them like this without crowds of people everywhere.

There are shops and cafes on the way up, this one was selling boiled eggs for ¥80 (about 57p) we stopped to try one, delicious with a pinch of salt.

Back at the bottom we passed through a street lined with food stalls, something else had caught my eye in the distance though.

What an incredible brutalist building, it looked like it was made out of concrete chop sticks, loved it!

We made our way towards Ryozen Kannon Temple stopping at Family Mart on the way for a drink. I hadn't seen this before, very refreshing!

As the sun beat down on us I cooled down with a mango ice cream, we'd walked for quite sometime now but we were almost there.

As we entered the gates of Ryozen Kannon Temple we were greeted by the most incredible sight. The 80ft high statue of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara (Kannon) was built in 1955. It was built to commemorate those who died in the Pacific War.

We were given an incense stick on the way in to give to the Goddess of Mercy.

The concrete and steel statue looked so peaceful, the blue sky and greenery behind it was the perfect backdrop.

There were some stairs leading to a door behind the statue, you could go inside!

The shrine beneath the statue contains an image of Bodhisattva Ekādaśamukha and images of the god of wind and god of thunder.

There are many Geisha living in Kyoto, more often than not though you will spot tourists who have hired Kimonos for the day, It's still a beautiful sight though.

We stopped beside the river for a bite to eat and a beer on our way back into the city.

We shared a sandwich, beer and some crunky chocolate. We were still quite peckish but we wanted to save ourselves for our return visit to Nishiki Food Street.

Back in Nishiki Food Street we were able to explore everything much easier without bikes in hand. We started by trying a selection of vegetables and fruit.

These looked interesting but I didn't fancy trying any! Narazuke are deep brown pickles native to the Nara Region of Japan, from which they get their name. Vegetables, typically daikon, uri or cucumber, are soaked in sake lees kasuzuke in a process where they may cure for several years.

This I had to try though, an octopus on a stick with an egg stuffed inside, delicious!

These scallops on a stick were really nice too.

My wife played it safe with some refreshing watermelon.

This can of Lifeguard caught my eye in a vending machine, a very fruity bionic drink. Very tasty and possibly some kind of energy drink?

We stopped off at Family Mart on the way back to the hotel. This meal was delicious, chicken, spaghetti, vegetables and egg covered rice. I washed it down with a nice cold can of Asahi.

I fancied another drink so tried this sparkling plum wine from the hotel vending machine, not bad at all and reasonably priced too at just ¥210 (about £1.50)

One final nightcap of Sapporo extra malt and it was time to get some sleep.

All our pillows in the hotels we'd stayed in so far had been really thin. Here though the pillows were much more plump like we were used to at home.

Whilst I'd been busy drinking my wife put pencil to paper to beautifully capture our day in Kyoto. You can buy the complete set of her Japan sketches as a postcard set here.

Click here for Day 15
Back to Tokyo, destination Koenji.


  1. Given what the Japanese will give you to eat _and_admit_it_, you're a braver man than I am to be trying their meatballs!

    I'm reminded of when my younger brother was on a business trip to Japan a couple of decades ago. His boss told him before they set out

    "Now, you can eat it, or you can leave it, but whatever you do DON'T ASK WHAT IT IS!" :)

    Changing the subject, now that Ella has blown your cover, how widely do you reckon those photos are being circulated around Eastern England cafe owners?

    1. I'm guessing most of the cafe owners won't end up reading these blog posts so they may never find out. I knew it would leave an easy trail to follow but I had to credit her for her work 😊