Posted by: Bert and Tania | January 8, 2010

Christmas in Kyoto

Next stop… Kyoto, which used to be the capital city and has a more traditional feel than Tokyo. It’s also apparently the most visited city in the world. Our hostel room was like being in an eighties Madonna shrine with its foiled stripey wallpaper and Madonna poster covered walls… which was a bit of a contrast to the traditional tatami room we’d had in Fukuoka!

We’d arrived on Christmas eve which is a bit like Valentine’s Day in Japan… we therefore decided to go out for a Keiseki meal, which is a traditional Japanese meal consisiting of more courses than you thought possible (9)… each small but perfectly formed. Trying to figure out which bits to eat, drink or dip stuff in kept us (and the waitress) amused. Theres a photo of the sashimi course in the ‘photo blog’ we did a bit earlier. We finished our meal and walked to the ‘geisha district’ which is beautiful but was deserted (it was late!). So after a while we decided to try and find somewhere where there would be fellow Christmas celebraters… an irish pub of course! Actually it was pretty quiet and slightly lacking in the usual Irish pub atmosphere but it did the trick and saw us past midnight…

Christmas morning consisted of a short course in Japanese woodblock printing in which we created 2 masterpieces. It was great and we both enjoyed muchly. Then we headed to Inari and the shrine in the forest which you get to by walking through tunnels of orange archways. A lovely place and a suitable spot to open some Christmas cards (a huge thank-you for all the cards, they were lovely to receive) and pressies (Thanks Gran!). Back to Kyoto for dinner… an italian feast this time as we shared; 4 starters, 3 maincourses, 2 desserts, 2 bottles of prosecco and a couple of beers. Nice.

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