When we last blogged, we were headed down for a Japanese breakfast (photo included). I must say this trip has been a culinary experience and waking up to salmon, well I just can't express the emotion.
We headed out to Nijo Castle built in 1603 as a residence for the first Tokugawa shogun. You see Shauna wanted to see a castle with a moat, a common vacation request. And have no fear, this castle had a moat and a lovely garden. It is a UNESCO world heritage site with a fabulous story. You see the floors were constructed so that when someone stepped on them, it would release the sound of nightingales and the intruder would be sent to the moat!!! Who knew that squeaky floors would be considered a feature! The castle is not a best practice in space utilization, lots of separate rooms with shoguns separated from ministers and messenger staff. Little opportunity for cross training and likely resulted in communication issues (e.g., killing the messenger)!
From there, we jumped on the Japan rail to head to Arashiyama. We made a brief stopover in Kameoka (an infrequent tourist stop and not a UNESCO world heritage site). You see, I raced us up to the platform to jump on an express train that flew by our stop. I present defense exhibit 1, a photo of the display on the train platform. Sumimasen for not distinguishing local and rapid lines. For defense exhibit 2, see breakfast photo.
We arrived in Arashiyama to get into Tenryu-ji Temple just in time for last call on the authentic zen cuisine. As you will see by that photo, the meal is strictly vegetarian and you sit on the floor (photo included based on Clarissa's request)! Good news, beer was served and that came in handy.
We strolled through the bamboo path which was amazing, but slightly tarnished when several taxi cabs drove by and we were attacked by mosquitos. Run away, run away!!!
We headed back on the train with great confidence as we headed to Kyoto station. We stood behind the conductor and we feel quite confident that if called on, we could step in having slept at a Kaede Ryokan Express.
Dinner featured meat and beer as we had yakitori, tempura and Kirin! Photos would have been provided but we were too busy eating!!! Afterwards, we headed to Starbucks to get a cappuccino... You can see we are a bit desperate, but did manage to snap a nice photo of the moonlight!
Until tomorrow - and we both ordered an American breakfast!