Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Shojin Ryori (Buddhist Cuisine) (1) at Tenryu-ji Temple, Arashiyama

Having local food is one of the enjoyments of travelling.

Sushi and Tempura were the only major requests from visitors I met 5 years ago. In recent years requests are much more varied, from ramen noodles to Kobe beef. Some would like to try a bento box others want Japanese curry. I feel Japanese food has become much better known overseas.

Kyoto's well-known cooking styles are;
Obanzai (the home cooking Kyoto style)
Kaiseki cuisine (both Kaiseki as course meal 会席 and meal at tea ceremony 懐石)
Shojin cuisine (Buddhist vegetarian meal).

There are many headquarters of temples in Kyoto and they all receive visitors from the parishioners of their branch temples. Some of them offer accommodation and will provide food or have catering services. I mentioned before in this blog about Okutan (a yudofu restaurant) which is one of this kind of facility at Nanzen-ji Temple. Okutan is a private restaurant, not run by the temple.

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Autumn colours: Jingo-ji Temple in Takao

Jingo-ji Temple, Takao, Kyoto
神護寺 (京都/高雄)
Takao, Makio and Togano'o are in the mountains west of Kyoto and together are one of the most popular destinations for Autumn colours. Each of the areas has a temple, one of them designated as a World Heritage Site. It takes 50 minutes more or less from Kyoto Station. It is only popular with visitors at this time of year and the rest is sleeping.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Hello again!

It's been a long long time since I posted and I'd been wondering about closing the blog. After being very much wishy-washy for so long I've made up my mind to continue writing about things going on in Kyoto and my life in Japan.

Friday, 5 March 2010

visiting Japanese Sake breweries

Sake brewing is one of the oldest industries in Japan. Some brewers have given up the business over the years, but some claim to be 400 or 500 years old. Nada in Kobe has the biggest number of breweries and the largest production of sake in Japan. Fushimi in Kyoto ranks second.

The photo is of the Gekkei-kan Brewery, one I haven’t visited.

I had read about the process of making sake a couple of times before but could never really imagine it. Looking round and hearing the explanation it became much clearer. Different kinds of sake were served after the tour and it was the first time I thought sake was nice. I also felt the smell of koji was kind of nice when I left the brewery.

Friday, 19 February 2010

potted plum trees

It’s about 1 hour train ride from Kyoto station to Nagahama located at the northern end Lake Biwa, the biggest lake in Japan, in Shiga Prefecture. Just one hour ride takes us to snow-country... but it wasn’t when I went there.
At least I saw Mt. Ibuki covered with snow, it looked beautiful but it wasn’t close enough to make me feel that I had come to snow-country.