Yesterday morning we woke up really early, one because Book and Bed was quite warm and I was feeling a little overheated. Two, the two hour time difference means we have suddenly become early risers, and we haven’t really clocked in, body clock wise….. we had possibly the best coffee I have ever had, then made our way to Shinjuku station. From there to Shinagawa, on my beloverd Yamanote Line train, and by just after 10am we were on the shinkansen, speeding our way across Japan to my spiritual home…. while eating ekibento (train lunch box) 😋
As many of you know, Kyoto stole my heart a few years back, and I long for it whenever I am away. We arrived into Kyoto station, lockered our bags and jumped into a taxi to Toji Market. Toji Temple is a UNESCO listed property, founded to protect Kyoto, then called Miyako, in 796. Kobo Daishi was the monk in charge at this temple for many years and the 21st marks the date of his passing. The market runs on the 21st day of every month, since 1239 (it was a yearly affair for around 400 years before that) and this was my second time. The sun was shining, the market chicken karaage was amazing, with yuzu soy sauce, and I found some candied yuzu peel… yum!!! We didn’t really purchase anything (except a very sweet kokeshi for a friend’s beautiful collection).
We then headed back to Kyoto station, grabbed our bags and headed to Maki’s guesthouse. I always stay at Guesthouse Soi when I am in Kyoto. Not only have Sim and Maki and their girls, Lancy and Chelsea become excellent friends, the guesthouse is beautiful, convenient and our home away from home now, this being our fourth visit. (The girls have also stayed with us in Australia, which was amazing). We got ourselves settled, did the obligatory walk down to Lawson (for another excellent onigiri snack) and then spent some time relaxing.
Sim and Maki took us to the very, very delicious okonomiyaki restaurant a few houses down from the guesthouse. This was really lucky timing for us. We had really loved this place last time we stayed, and it only opens Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Chelsea joined us and we had a lovely catch up with our friends.
Lancy arrived home not long after us and had been to Korea Town in Osaka with a friend. She had a haul of merch that would have made our girls scream…. our last trip saw Lancy heavily influence Mya and Abby’s musical taste, and they are now very big KPop fans, BTS, in particular. We laughed, listened to music, talked about going to Korea, and planned a trip for our girls and Lancy back to Korea Town when we return in June, next year.
We headed off to bed reasonably early, as we are now operating on pensioner hours. Kyoto, it is good to be back ❤️