A Day of Excellent Temples and Even More Excellent Sake

On Friday morning we headed out early after a reasonably early night. We had decided on a temple on the other side of town. Daitoku-Ji is a large temple complex, a branch of the Rinzai school of Japanese Zen Buddhism. There are around six buildings of the main temple and then around 22 sub-temples. Established in 1326, my main reason for wanting to visit was that this complex is associated with Sen no Rikyu, the original master of Japanese Tea Ceremony, along with two of the tea ceremonies greatest fans, who happen to be two of my favourite samurai, Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi. Nobunaga and his wife, No-hime, are buried within one of the temples, which is generally closed to the public, but thanks to a lovely Kuro Neko delivery guy, I got a glimpse of his grave and was suitably satisfied with that. The three temples open for visiting are absolutely amazing. Beautiful dry Zen gardens, the smell of old tatami and ancient wood, as well as the feel of the wood grain under my bare feet. Knowing that these people from history that I love to read and learn about walked these same boards is somewhat sublime and such a tangible link to the past, that I love experiencing in Japan. The other thing I really loved about this temple complex is it is not overrun with tourists. It was quiet and sitting looking at the meditative gardens, it was actually possible to find enough peace for contemplation. A really excellent morning out. A wonderful history accompanied by beauty and reflection, to be topped off with a chance encounter in the street on the way back to the bus stop with a very funky and friendly Japanese woman, who struck up a conversation with the girls. She was very impressed they were learning Japanese, and even more so that we are. Upon learning her family had been making sake since the 1880s, Super Sake Boy and I asked lots of questions, did a bit of tasting and a bit of buying and she was quite amazed that people from Australia would have such a level of sake knowledge.

After a lot of walking and contemplating, we were starving. I was busting for some more ramen. The ever indulging me Super Sake Boy agreed to going back to Ichiran. I will not go into detail, you can read about my positively orgasmic ramen experience here. Needless to say, my second experience was as excellent as my first, or maybe even slightly better, as I ordered an extra egg. And the result was the same, exactly nothing left in the bowl. Yum.

After a short rest back at the guesthouse, we went back into the city and decided to have Mos Burger for dinner. A ubiquitous Japanese fast food chain, they had recently introduced rice burgers. Me and my wheat intolerant innards were excited. The excitement was unfounded. The rice burger was greasy and pretty ordinary, which is my experience of Mos Burger, in general. We did some shopping around Teramachi and then received a message from Lancy, requesting to meet up with the girls. She had won them tickets, in a lottery, to see a live screening of the Shizuoka BTS concert, in Tokyo next weekend. These tickets sell out in minutes and there was quite a lot of excitement about them. The kids jumped on a bus and Super Sake Boy continued on our way, on a mission that had been in the planning stage for quite some time. We visited a very unique bar called Yoramu. I would love to go into lots of detail about it, however, I believe Super Sake Boy is planning another guest blog spot.

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