Tag Archives: breakfast

Food and Fervour in Kyoto, 2016

After our busy first day in Kyoto, my husband found a local restaurant that had fire ramen. Curious to see what this was, we walked the short distance to the establishment and waited in the queue.

When we made it inside, it became apparent that it was not just the food that was the attraction here, but also the showmanship. After donning bibs, making sure our daughter was seated behind us and covering our arms, the chef briefed us on safety instructions and we waited with anticipation.

Fire ramen was poured into our waiting bowls and a large flame erupted from each one. Now I understood the caution. The ramen actually tasted pretty good too and the chef indulged us all by taking cameos of us enjoying our meals.

The next morning we found a local coffee house for breakfast that was owned by a friendly lady. The menu included both eggs and Japanese curry which pleased the whole family at that time in the morning. We liked it so much that it became our regular morning spot.

On the agenda for the day was a historical walk including some of the main temples in Kyoto. First we went to Shoren-in temple, which had a great Japanese raked garden. Here we met a group of school girls who thought our daughter was cute and had to take a photo with her.

Next was the Chion-in temple with the largest entry gate in Japan. This time we followed a group of school children dressed in kimonos and distracted them as they took their group picture in front of the gate. More photos with our daughter ensued.

The gate to Chion-in temple was indeed big, wooden and old. There were many steps leading up to the temple complex that was nestled into the hills, just showing some autumn colours.

Our daughter was very interested in the Buddhist ceremonies. She enjoyed watching the monks as they performed a rite and wanted to join in with the praying.

The last temple was the Nanzen-ji temple with a two-storied gate. The walk to the temple had pretty residential streets with old houses. The usual rock, lantern and moss garden flanked the temple, along with an aqueduct, which was a bit different.

I had also read that there was a waterfall temple behind the main one, so we headed up the hill to look for it. As the path became less trodden and the foliage became thicker, I began to think that something was awry. After we had been climbing for over half an hour and couldn’t even hear a waterfall, we decided it was time to turn back.

Turns out, we had been walking up the wrong hill in the opposite direction. We eventually found the right path, but by then we were done for the day and we left without seeing the waterfall. Our religious fervour had officially faded and it was time to call it a day.

Related posts: Kyoto, 2016Takeyama, 2016Samurai and Shidax in Kanazawa, 2016Seeking Geisha and Gardens in Kanazawa, 2016Kanazawa, 2016Tokyo, 2016: MiraikanTokyo, 2016: Shinjuku, Tsukiji Market and YanakaTokyo, 2016: Imperial Palace and ShibuyaTokyo, 2016: Ueno and HarajukuJapan, 2016

Snowdon- an adventure, Part 2

This week’s guest post is from my cousin’s TW and Sean Mendis.

The story will unfold in three parts- here is the second part.

Upward Bound

Most of us got up early the next day, probably in eager anticipation of the climb, or possibly because we were relaxed and on holiday.  “Green figs, yoghurt, coffee – very black” was not on the menu.  This had been a Bond breakfast request in a Bosphorous hotel room in From Russia With Love that Sean wanted to come true. Instead we were faced with orange juice, cereals and of course a big cooked breakfast to your liking.  I had orange juice to start, followed by an excellent plate of scrambled eggs on toast with grilled tomatoes and mushrooms.  At the table there was much talk of “will it be a long climb, how tiring exactly is it, and I hope it’s sunny at the top”.  Some of us were veterans having made the climb a half dozen times before.  Having said that, this was no Matterhorn, no K2, not even the Eiger.  This was a benign mountain, a hill trek, a walk in the park….or so we thought.

After a full breakfast we massaged our stomachs and our egos and were ready for off around ten.  The host gave us some words of warning and some cautionary tales from his search and rescue days, flying helicopters around the Highlands of Scotland.  “If you’re in any doubt at all come off the mountain” he said cautiously.  “Oh, and if you get into any trouble make yourself visible” he added for good measure.

The Watkins path lay ahead and we started our slow trudge in high spirits.  Mira had perhaps wisely declined the climb, making her way to Carnarvon castle on one of the rare buses one occasionally finds in this neck of the woods.

It started off well enough: the path was pretty flat and the sunshine helped to alleviate any tired muscles. The mood was gay and bright.  The hills were alive with the Sound of Music.  All we needed was a Julie Andrews with the Von Trapp family in tow.  As it happened, we got neither.  Sean, I and Laila had climbed Snowdon before.  The others were lulled in to what they would discover later was a false sense of security.   For the Watkins path was opened by Gladstone in 1892 and is one of the hardest of the six routes up to Snowdon, as you climb 3300 feet of the 3600 feet of the mountain.

The Final Push

As we neared the Summit the temperature got noticeably cooler and we paused for hats and gloves and a big slug of water.  At this point, the path becomes hard to follow and is across loose scree with steep drops.  The host’s words as we left Bryn Eglswys were now ringing in our ears “It is the highest in England and Wales after all.  Respect it” he had said admonishingly.  I felt a little concerned as Kevin had bouts of cramp and Felicia was not used to climbing.  Laila gave Felicia plenty of encouragement every time she scrabbled for purchase on the loose scree, her knuckles deathly white as her petite talon like digits tried to bore their way through to terra firma.

The group soon split into two.  Mich didn’t like heights and so wisely wanted to press on and just get to the top.  She was hard on my tail and I was pressured to perform – not for the first time when an attractive girl was hard on my case.  Behind her was Sue.  She slightly worried Michaela and me with her early confessions regarding her urges to throw herself off when confronted with steep drops.  Behind Sue, Karen was gambolling along like a mountain goat.  She had recently climbed Adam’s Peak and had clearly got into the mountain spirit.  I envied her, her seemingly boundless energy as I kept in front trying to look like I knew the path.  It seemed to be much steeper than on previous occasions and gave me pause to think.  Sean served as a link between the two groups, looking very much the experienced mountaineer.  He hadn’t been this high for weeks – not since his last powerful meditative experience.  As we reached the pinnacle Laila gave out a last triumphant sigh, a not so delicate feminine gasp that could only be described as Brian Blessed being butt raped.  We were all relieved to have made it.

Stay tuned next week for Part 3.

Related posts: Snowdon- an adventure, Part 1