Kinkaku-ji

After a knock out meal at Cafe du Mon outside Daitoku-ji we cross back to the temple grounds and hail a cab. This guy is great. He keeps responding to everything and talking to us in Japanese even though we clearly don’t understand a word. But he’s happy golucky and just keeps going. “Golden temple, ah yesss <tons of very excited Japanese>”

He drops us off at the gates and is all about the handshakes. So good. We thank him and exit to a beautiful path between autumn colored trees.

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We get ourselves to the entrance and pay up. You can tell the place is going to be great just by the quality of the ticket

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Kinkaku-ji, aka Temple of the Golden Pavillion, was built in 1397 and is covered in a majestic golden leaf. It is a Zen Buddhist temple that sits in front of a reflecting pool which mirrors it wonderfully. We come around the corner and there it is. Queenie and I say, “Wow!” in unison as soon as we see it.

There are a bunch of people and school tour groups here so we bide our time for an opening to get a good shot. This is unreal, I take a zillion pics

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We can’t really take our eyes of it for a while and are angling for shots until confident that it’s been adequately captured. Ok, really glad we came back to Kyoto now. I think we can leave feeling sufficiently templed.

We walk passed the temple and down the path. I like the lattice work holding up this trees massive branch.

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Shot from the other side

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The path winds up above the temple and you can see it through the trees. There is a small wishing pond and a trickle of spring water through some rocks. We contend with some yellow capped school kids on the path.

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This little kid was super excited about the temple. Like us, he couldn’t keep his eyes off of it. I was trying to get a pic of the golden roof under the patch of sun that started peeking out. This lil dude kept running in and out of the shot and jump-leaning on the railing. It was so funny I just left him in it.

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We speed right through the charm and trinket gauntlet. Seen enough of these at all of the temples so far to know that we’re not interested. Wow though, that’s an amazing place. We go back down the autumn path to the street. It’s getting late in the day so we decide to start back towards Osaka.

Unfortunately there aren’t any metro stations nearby that will really help with that. There are buses but it’s also rush hour now and the bus stops are lined up like crazy. We decide to just hoof it back to a sensible station. This takes us on a 30 minute jaunt on the outskirts of Northern Kyoto. Midway through my butt starts wiggling with foul desires but damned if we can find a cafe or restaurant here to stop in.

Things start getting dire and the pace quickens. Queenie is laughing at my situation as she tries to find places along the street to accommodate it. Really, nothing?! Everywhere else we’ve been there’s been cafes and restaurants and stores and gas stations, but this must be all residential. Jeeebuz I’m gonna bust!

Finally we come up on a cool looking cafe. We glide in at an unruly pace and I just throw my stuff down and blitz the shitter (I can hear Queenie laughing behind me). OMG it’s tiny in here! I can’t take it. Lift. Drop. Spin. Safe!

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Ok where are we? It’s a funky cafe with a wood and plant theme. There is a guy at the neighboring table wearing a suit and playing candy crush on his phone while he smokes a cigarette. That’s a type of zen too I suppose.

We get a couple of cocktails while we rest our feet and to warrant the bathroom break. The drinks sounded good on the menu but turn out to be all sugary mix. Maybe their coffee is better. We don’t stay for another. We’re tuckered, it’s been another full day of touring and our tootsies are tired.

Back at the metro we pick up return tickets to Osaka. Unfortunately, we don’t get the super comfy Elegant Saloon 8000 this time, just a regular ol’ subway train.

Back at Namba Station we take the infinite corridor under every track in the city.

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We walk towards Namba Oasis from the station. It’s dark and it’s getting on dinner time. Near the apartment are a handful of decent looking yakitori places. We find one with a crazy rooster face outside and decide it’s the place for us

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It’s an all chicken yakitori place Yessssssssssh! We love yakitori!

A server sits us down at these interesting seats that are like you’re sitting on the floor traditional izakaya style, like at High Spirits, but the floor is actually cut out. So you sit at floor level and then your feet go below the table in a little cut out beneath.

We’re ravished from walking 10 more miles today and everything on the list looks interesting. So we just go with a full smorgasbord of chicken parts, most of which we don’t even know what it is. The server is thrilled with our enthusiasm. Also with our interest in the sake selection.

One of the first dishes to come out is chicken sashimi. It’s basically raw chicken which goes against everything I’ve ever known about eating chicken. Only one side is slightly seared and the rest is totes raw. So weird. It’s delicious! It kind of melts in your mouth. How is that even possible?

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Next up is chicken cartilage, hearts and chicken balls. Are these straight up rooster nuts? Whatever. Everything is amazing. There are several dipping sauces so you can mix and match flavors to your liking. This place is great.

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There is a table of guys behind us just having a great time. They are laughing a ton.

I make myself a plate of various chicken parts.

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We keep the plates coming, next with charcoal chicken skin. The taste is great but it ends up being super rubbery and chewy. I can’t get through it. Maybe you just suck the goodness off and swallow it whole? I dunno. Tastes good with lemon squeezed on it and dipped in a bit of mustard.

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“Should we get chicken tail?”, “Yeah, why not?” The chicken tail comes out and it kind of looks like the cartilage from earlier. I take a bite. “How does it taste?”, I chew it a bit, “Guess what?”, “What?”, “Chicken butt!”

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It takes a second and then Queenie cracks up super hard. She can’t stop laughing at this horrible joke. I can’t believe I got a chance to land it. A terrible terrible old joke to begin with, remixed into a bad dad pun and with on point context. Unreal. The 3 bottles of sake we’ve had over the meal probably helped with the delivery and reaction.

This place is great, where are we? Queenie reads the chopstick paper. Rooster fighter? Really? I think so. This place is called Cock Fight?

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We stuff ourselves silly with rooster parts and finish the third round of sake. Ahhhhh that was boooooomb! The server walks us out after we pay up and bids us a good evening.

We get back to the Namba Oasis and recap our day and eating experience with Rodney over a beer. He says it’s supposed to rain tomorrow. Suggests maybe going to the aquarium. Yep, sounds like a good rained out activity to me. I know animal loving Queenie will enjoy it.

Rodney heads to bed and we’re not far behind. Just zonked. Legs.Up.The.Wall.

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