Sunday, March 3, 2013

Eating my way across Japan (well through Tokyo and Kyoto): Part 3

Part 3: Kyoto days 3 and 4

The last two days in Kyoto were packed with temples that we didn't get a chance to see. We went to see the Golden Pavilion, the Kyoto Museum of Peace, and the Ryoan-ji ( a beautiful zen Rock garden). As we walked between the two big temple complexes (about a 20 minute walk) in the snow, we realized we were hungry. As we were trying to conserve money and feeling adventuresome, we wanted to experience a fast food place. We both love noodles and we found this Udon shop. But first we had to figure out how to order.

This vending machine is all in Japanese. There's not many photos of the food! We were too proud to ask for help so we found a flyer, figured out what looked good, matched up the Japanese symbols and ordered. After your insert your money and select, you hand the ticket to the cashier who brings out the soup to you. We were hoping we had selected correctly. 
Here's our actual noodles next to the photos of what we ordered. It was great! Warm, hearty, slippery udon noodles that was perfect for the cold blustery day outside.

I hadn't realized that Japanese were such sweet tooths - but they adore beautiful sweet sugary things. Here's a photo from a gorgeous little candy shop that we passed by the tram station outside of Ryoan-ji.

beautiful but not really to my taste.

That night, we wanted to head out again but the choices of food were overwhelming. Normally, I wouldn't take suggestions out of the lonely planet but we both saw a Gyoza place named. Alec and I are huge dumpling fans so we had to go to this place that has "gourmet gyozas". It was hard to find but worth the wait.

First course of delicious fried gyozas with pork.
fried soba "sushi" rolls. Bizarre but tasty.

Beautiful shrimp gyozas. Juicy and wonderful!

Our last day in Kyoto was a bit of a tossup. We didn't have enough time to hit the castle we wanted to see so our host at the Ryokan Sakura pointed us to a big temple fair. They only happen once a month and all the vendors from Kyoto show up. We went to beautiful Toji Temple to explore the food and crafts. Okay - just the food.

super cute old lady making the fish waffle snacks.

a famous snack of octopus. I call them octopus balls. I had them in Thailand and wasn' that into them. 

You can buy your own fresh octopus.

Just weigh out how much you want! 

Fish fish fish - dried, fresh, however you like it. 

Snacks everywhere you turned.

We walked back to our Ryokan and stopped by a lovely looking "museum". It turned out to be a pickle store! Kyoto is famous for their pickled vegetables. I sampled everything!  Well we didn't get to eat everything I wanted to try but we made a dent in it. Now off back to Tokyo! 

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