Today was laundry day. One of the perks of the hotel was free self serve laundry. That was great! The bad part is the dryers took forever. I’m talking hours. I got the feeling that most people air dried their laundry. Eventually we had to just hang stuff up in our room to finish drying because we needed to get back to Gion for our tea ceremony. We took the bus there and then found a cute little restaurant for lunch.
We sat at the counter again and the staff couldn’t have been nicer. When we paid I said, “Oishi!”, which means delicious. People would love when we would say that and took it as the highest compliment. It literally was one of the few words I knew, other than some numbers and greetings. It really came in handy because so many of our meals were oishi!
We made our way to the tea ceremony. I thought it was going to be in a garden, but it was just in a room. We were the last to arrive. Getting down on the ground to sit was really painful with the knee – especially keeping it bent. Right after we got settled our hostess came to explain the tea ceremony. You can read more about it here. We could take pics, but no videos.
We were then offered sweets and the chance to make our own matcha.
Our hostess was very impressed with the matcha (on the left), made by Sal. I don’t recall her mentioning mine (on the right). Can you blame her? It doesn’t even look like the same thing. Hahaha. Sal continues to make excellent matcha!
There were a lot of people in costumes in Gion, as the area itself is much more traditional.
We enjoyed walking around and yes, shopping. Good grief it’s hard not to go into those cute stores! This was also the first time I saw any Westerners dressed up. We wandered around with no particular place in mind and came across a temple. They are all over Kyoto, so not surprising to run into them everywhere.
We decided to walk a bit and check out the Nishiki Market; several covered streets offering fresh seafood as well as food stalls and little stores.
We did a little shopping and then decided it was time for dinner/drinks. We found a sake bar nearby, and since we hadn’t tried one yet we decided to go for it.
We didn’t have a reservation, but we got lucky that there were seats. There was an extra charge to sit, but it was totally worth it. This place was great. Our server spoke English and could really advise us on sakes to try. And the food was amazing! We loved this find.
We bused it back to the train station, but decided we could fit some matcha ice cream in our tummies so each got a cone. It was late and had been a full day. Back to the hotel for some music and then on to bed.