We spent the day with a friend of Takako's, Akida (like the comic book.) He was kind enough to spend the day with us while we visited Daigo temple (Daigoji). We had lunch at a famous soba noodle restaurant then went to Kodai temple (Kodaiji) where we saw the tomb of a famous Shogun warrior, Toyotomi Hideoshi. It was amazing. And with it all, the Cherry blossoms (sakura) were opening up, seemingly before our eyes. Was able to get some good video today, too, but I seem to have killed the battery (I think I left it on...) so that's on the way too. We made our way through Gion (central Kyoto) with exclusive restaurants, upscale shopping and LOTS of people. Afterwards Nishikicho market awaited us where we glimpsed the famous Japanese knife maker, Aritsugi. A knife here can set you back hundreds of dollars and they have hundreds upon hundreds of specialty knives...tempting, to be sure. We got to see them engraving a new knife before our eyes.
We finally had diner at a chic restaurant in Shijo where we ate AMAZING food, not typical stuff, but chicken, veggies, pickled contraptions, spicy cabbage and, okay sashimi too. I don't think I've ever had scallops melt in my mouth the way these did. I'll be wanting to go back tomorrow night (and the night after, and the night after...)
Tomorrow is a day trip to Arashiama, a mountainous region where we'll take a train up to the top and take a boat/raft down the white-warer river. Photos to come...
Tonight I'm too tired and jet-lagged to really speak about the tragedy in Japan. We discussed it at length today and I do have some thoughts, but it will have to wait until tomorrow...check out the photos and good night, y'all.