A Honeymoon in Asia - Kyoto - Day 2

Nishin soba is one of Kyoto's specialty foods.  It's dried herring that's a little sweet with soba noodles. (Jen didn't like how a lot of Japanese food is sweet).

Yuu tofu on the left if made from the skin that forms on top of tofu, kind of like what happens with tomato soup.  Under it is a rice bomb and its all really good.

took the Keifuku Randen Tram to Arashiyama.  It's not the fastest but it meanders by houses and scenic old kyoto


tons of kinds of flowers in this garden

through the bamboo forest

just kickin' it with my Kyoto Krew.

this office has the coolest roof and then the interior is as sterile as it gets.

a white tanuki statue?!!! Gimmie!!!!

Akira san tachi recommended an okonomiyaki place in Tenjin Bashi Shotengai (shopping street) and it turned out to be the coolest place we saw in Osaka.  I wish we had like half a day to explore this place.

Chigusa is the name of the place, there are two entries on google maps so make sure you get the right one.

we got a "Modern" one with noodles inside and their namesake, the Chigusa.  It's the best okonomiyaki I've had.  There were no tourists and it was down and dirty real food.  

coolest lantern

Masami met us and so it was on to second dinner.  We went to their friend's sushi place, Shibasaki, owned by and run by their buddy Hiroshi Shibasaki (seen here).  He asked what we wanted and I said please give us not the usual sushi stuff and away we went.  He made a flurry of stuff we've never had and this was the best meal we had in Japan.  At one point he slapped some sea creature (torigai) on the bottom and it curled up and we ate it.  
As soon as we walked in a customer sitting at the bar turned and saw me and was trying to remember the name of this guy, Hanawa Kun, because Japanese peeps think my hair looks like that.  I helped him out with the name and then everyone in the place had a good laugh.

I'm sure i've had Sansho before but I really noticed it this time.  It comes from this leaf and Shibasaki san gave me a packet of the powdered spice.

Don't know why this came out but maybe it was about how in Japanese lots of things are called blue but they are actually green.  The green traffic light is called blue, so are green shiso leaves and these green oranges that they are calling blue.

glorious fatty marbled Japanese beef.  One of the nights, as a post drinking snack I guess, Akira and Masami cooked on of these kinds of steaks for us that her mom gave her and it was delicious.

this girl was singing a song about kabocha (japanese pumpkin) and it was just an everyday occurrence.

We finished it all off with a trip to a Super Sento in Amagasaki in Hyogo prefecture on the way home.  Yomogawa Onsen Mizuki Hot Spring.  A sento is a public bath, but a super sento is a super sized complex.  We went to increasingly hot sauna rooms all together and then the sexes split up and and hit their respective multiple mineral water hot baths.  They even had this cold room with snow falling in it.  It was like being in a fairytale.  There was a scraper device slowly spinning on the ceiling scraping a block of ice into snow fall.
These are photos from their website of the inside