Sometimes you find great places just by walking around and just go where your feet takes you. This day we started out with an awesome breakfast where we finally got hold of some bread. Back home we usually eat a lot of bread and in Japan it’s a scarce commodity so we were thrilled when we saw the plates. You might wonder “well then, what do the Japanese eat for breakfast?” and the answer is, pretty much what they have for lunch and dinner. Another lovely thing about meals in Japan is how they are presented. I mean, just look at that tray with everything neatly placed! The attention to details is just remarkable and they truly follow the rule “less is more” (see the one dried fruit in the yoghurt).
After the breakfast we browsed the shops that was lining the narrow streets up towards the Kiyomizu-dera temple. Where there are temples, there are “touristy shops” but in the middle of it all, we found several nice shops selling tea, earthenware, sweets etc. Inside a small alley, we even found a shop selling Studio Ghibli stuff with an enormous Totoro outside!
After leaving the crowded streets we walked up Ishin-no-Michi st, a steep road leading to what looked like a temple. For a small entry fee of a couple of hundred yen, we entered the Ishin-no-Michi grounds and started climbing the stairs. It was a tough climb because of the heat but I’m glad we made it because the view from the bottom of the graveyard was amazing. The graveyard is the resting place for over a thousand people, both royalists and samurai that died around 1867. On the steep mountain slope and under the lush vegetation, it was a beautiful and peaceful resting place.
In the afternoon we also paid a visit to the Nishiki food market in the more central part of Kyoto. There where “no photo” signs pretty much all over the street so I couldn’t take many pictures :( There were all kinds of food there. Fish, vegetable, tofu, tea, mochi sweets and also weird things I’ve never ever seen before (and don’t expect to in the future either). The weirdest thing must’ve been the tiny octopus with a cooked quail egg inside it’s head. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any pictures of it but luckily, someone else did!
Here’s me trying a steamed sweet potato patty on a stick! It was rather tasty :)
We also bought some green tea (sencha) and at the end of the street we found this super cool machine that was making matcha tea! Basically, you mash tea leaves completely with a stone and get a fine grain powder that you mix with hot water and drink. It’s said to be very healthy since you drink the entire leaves. It’s also very popular in ice cream and sweets. The slightly bitter matcha goes perfect together with the sugar in sweets.
If you ever find yourself in Kyoto and are even remotely interested in food, I recommend checking out the market. It really was an experience.