Antiques and Okonomiyaki

Saturday morning we had breakfast and headed out to one of the temples local to the guesthouse. This was my third visit to Kiyomizudera, Clear Water Temple, and every time it has something different to offer. I am really enjoying seeing the difference in the scenery of the places I know, in a different season. I have visited Japan twice during cherry blossom, once in Winter and once in Autumn, but this is my first time in summer. Although I had been told it was hot and humid, I don’t think I realised how humid it was going to be. The condensation and stickiness reminds me of being in Port Douglas. Japan is certainly a country of seasonal extremes. Mum and Ted don’t mind the heat, although the humidity is not great for Teddie’s breathing. Abby says her inner Canadian is melting, but I think we are slowly acclimatising. It was pretty cold in the Dandenongs when we left…. Like 2 degrees, overnight. The benefit of the wetness is the extreme green lushness of the gardens. The moss and ferns and the rice growing everywhere, even the city feels a little tropical.

After wandering around the temple for a bit, and checking out the local shopping, the girls headed home to meet Senki and Lancy. Finn hung around home and Super Sake Boy, Ewan, Mum, Ted and I grabbed a taxi to the other side of Kyoto to an Antique Fair, which runs three times a year. Dealers from all over Japan attend, and it was slightly mind-blowing. After a very Japanese style buffet lunch, we entered the first of two floors of antiques. The first thing I saw, and liked very much, was a lantern, made of metal and paper and several hundred years old. It would look very nice on top of our sake fridge. But, at $15,000, it remained with the dealer. The samurai armour, swords and stirrups were also very appealing, but unfortunately are not allowed to be taken into Australia without permits. I will have to wait until I am here on a more permanent basis to start my sword collection.

I sent Maki-san a message and asked her if the excellent okonomiyaki place down the road from her place was open. She booked for all of us to go for dinner. Mum and Ted hadn’t had okonomiyaki before (apart from mine) and I ordered them prawn and pork and it was, as always, delicious. A small family run affair, only open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, this is always an eating highlight of the trip. The kids love it, and even Finn enjoyed his yakisoba, albeit, he ate around the cabbage…

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