On Thursday morning we had decided to go back into Tokyo with Mum and Ted and make sure they got to the right place at the right time. They were flying out early Friday morning and had decided staying at a hotel near the airport would be easier than staying in Tokyo overnight. We also had an ulterior motive, of sorts. We wanted to visit the JSS- the Japan Sake and Shochu Makers Association, in Ginza, just a couple of stops from Tokyo station. We thought we could have lunch with Mum and Ted, make sure they knew where they were going and then pop in, try some sake, get some information and be back in Kyoto for dinner.
Our plan worked well. We found a café across from Tokyo station in the swanky Marounochi area. This is the CBD of Tokyo, with wide, tree lined streets and it is where the Emperor lives in the Imperial Palace. We got some lunch, had a debrief, and then left Mum and Ted ordering another drink and set off to find the JSS.
A very unassuming building, and probably smaller than we expected, there was big screens showing documentaries and interviews about sake. There were some interesting displays and quite a list of sake to try. Super Sake Boy had first choice, and chose four summer release sake, including one namazake. They were all good. We then tried three more, and another four after that. I then chose a couple of curve balls. A kijoushu (sweet) and a koshu (aged). Not normally our cup of tea, these sakes were really interesting, and we ended up buying some to bring home, along with a sake map of Japan. It was a good little adventure, and we jumped back on the shinkansen and headed back to Kyoto around 5:30pm, messaged the kids to meet us at Kyoto station and relaxed on the train ride home.
All the kids had managed to get themselves to Kyoto station, and they are all proving themselves to be very proficient travellers, so we headed over to the basement of Kyoto Tower, called Kyoto Sando, a food court, of sorts and quickly spied taco rice. Those who know me know this is a favourite, and although this was ok, it was not nearly as good as the Adam Liaw recipe I make in my cooking class at school. Enjoyable, none-the-less, and after dinner we headed over to check out the illumination on the Grand Staircase of Kyoto Station. The Japanese love an illumination. In all shapes and sizes and for many different events. This was lovely to watch and the girls amused us running up and down and looking very 8-bit.
After we got home we decided to take a stroll. We have been doing this a bit in Kyoto, late at night. As it is warm and had stopped raining, it was lovely to wander the shrines in the dark. We revisited the Mimizuka, also sometimes called the Hanazuka. Mimi means ear while hana means nose and this mound with a large stone monument on the top of it allegedly houses the noses and ears of 38,000 Korean enemies of Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who tried to invade Korea between 1592 to 1598. This place has a very spooky feel to it, and I visit every time I come to Kyoto.