Tofu on the Rocks
Kyoto, Day 3 cont.
After the parade we hopped on a train to go see a shrine. This was different because they had a famous rock garden. The shrine, which was a rare combination of no to shoes,but yes to photos, there is a rock garden with 11 rocks in it placed by an artist 600 years ago. It doesn’t sound very impressive, but it is quite an interesting sight and a very recognizable image. In addition to the rock garden there was a pond and a mossy forest. The moss covered ground looked like it was out of a fairy tale.
We had our penultimate lunch at the restaurant located at the shrine which serves only one dish. The dish was quite good and everyone tried a little bit. They brought out a large bowl of boiled tofu and we each had our own bowl of spices mixed with soy sauce. We took a piece of tofu and dipped it in the spices. It was delicious and I ate way too much of it. The tofu was just a vehicle for the spice. In fact when Kira and I ran out of tofu at our table we started dipping our rice in the spice mixture. The food , while good, actually takes a back door to the scenery. The restaurant is located on the edge of a pond and we sat on the floor with ground level windows showing us the water garden. Best view during any of our many meals in Japan even if my legs did fall asleep.
There was enough of a walk out of the shrine that we stopped to get ice cream and shaved ice near the exit. This is not true at all, but I wanted to get shaved ice me last time before we left. They also served ice cream here and everyone else chose that while Kira and I shared a strawberry shaved ice. It was not quite as good as the one I had in Kurashiki, but it was very refreshing. Melanie ordered the black sesame ice cream and I had a little bit as well. It is an odd flavor, but good.
We went back to our Kyoto house for a siesta and to pack. We had sort of exploded all over the small house and needed to get everything back in suitcases for the trip home.
Our last dinner in Tokyo is a story unto itself. A good one, but deserving of its own post.