Kyoto

January 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

After a Chinese New Year dinner with friends in Hong Kong we were up till 2am packing for Kyoto.  The weather there is about 2C.  Colder than what my kids can remember.  But more importantly, William was down with a fever and I was bracing myself to cancel our trip.   Luckily for us, he was feeling much better in the morning so we rushed everyone to get up and dashed off to the airport.   I have to say I’m dying to see a geisha.

We landed in Osaka and luckily for us, we were quick out to the shuttle and within 20 minutes on the train to Kyoto.  Osaka is a bit industrial and grim and Claire noticed that the streets were void of birds, dogs, cats and people.  It was eerily still but once we arrived in Kyoto, life was upon us again.   The temperature felt like it dropped another 5C but luckily we made our way to the taxi queue.  The drive to “The Three Sisters Inn” was quiet cute.   We drove along the canal and the buildings were a mixture of grey non discript  buildings and wonderful traditional Japanese structures.   We turned off and onto a narrow road to our ryokan.   Very quaint and simple but our kids love the idea of sleeping on the floor.  Claire compared it to living in an RV…not sure if you can really compare the two but I think that was a positive remark from her….she like me have a thing for trailer park living.  Romantic in thought to be able to drive off and live by a lake but the reality is Walmart for most.   Soon after arriving and settling in we went in search of a perfect bowl of rice or noodles.  Our host recommended a few restaurants by the zoo which were within walking distant.  We found the unassuming restaurant Gontaro www.gontaro.co.jp, and was lead to a Japanese style table.  As it began to snow outside inside was toasty warm.  We ordered both noodles and rice bowl sets.  The food was to die for.  William not only ate all his donburi he ordered more chicken teriyaki (a sign he was recovering) and polished up all his food plus more.  Claire announced this was her best meal yet with fresh homemade tofu, soup with chicken and wheat noodles and tempura with rice.  I have never seen her eat so much before.   She loved the food so much, after her meal she began to plan her next birthday party here!!?

We walked home and flurries began to fall and blow about.  William was really excited.  He misses New York, snow and the cold.  We stood out there for a few minutes to catch a few on our noses and tongues.

Everything is so neat and orderly here.  The natural woods mixed in with the deep blues, crimson reds and stark whites feel so soothing.  Something about the Japanese sense of order and colour is so calming and sophisticated.  A study in contrast to the disorderly and pulsing activities of Sri Lanka.

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