Oct. 31st, 2014

gurdymonkey: (gurdymonkey2)
I'm sitting here with a big teacup full of plum wine on the rocks - as it's the homemade stuff Aoki-san from Okariba gave us and not in an appropriate container, I can't begin to think of bringing it home with me. Josh is working on a glass in the livingroom as he downloads photos.

This morning we took our big suitcases up the street to the 7/11 and filled out the paperwork for Kuroneko ("Black Cat") to forward them on to the airport for us. This is a very handy service and for less than $20, I will not have to drag the big suitcase on the train with me through Tokyo tomorrow, just my duffle carry-on and the laptop bag which I can fit my purse in to count as my personal item. I am a firm believer in "Matryoshka packing" bags withing bags when possible.

We took the train back down to Fushimi to tour the Geikkekan sake museum and do a tasting. Unlike the Takara plant in Berkeley, their museum describes traditional pre-industrial brewing methods. The tasting was two sake and one plum wine, all for sale in their gift shop. At 300Y, it was a good value and fairly fun.

We discovered we could also do a cruise down the canal in a  rice barge, so we did. It was overcast and a bit muggy, so it was pleasant out on the water.

We stopped for lunch at a tonkatsu place in a shopping arcade near the train station. Tonkatsu is usually a lightly breaded pork cutlet (though they also do chicken, shrimp and various sorts of croquettes) served with finely shredded cabbage, rice and miso soup.

We split up on the train back to Kyoto. Josh, Andy and Cori decided to check out the city's new aquarium. Ellen wanted to go back to Nishijin to pick up some things and I wanted to explore something pertinent to my SCA persona.

I chose the name Saionji no Hana when I decided to pursue my interest in Japan in the SCA. The Saionji were a branch of the powerful Fujiwara family during the feudal period and Josh had found a map reference to a Saionji Temple in Kyoto. It turns out the origianl temple was founded in the 1200s by a Fujiwara whose descendants then took the name of the place as their surname. (Sai-on-ji translates as Western Garden Temple) - and it was on the land where the Golden Pavilion now sits. The shogun decided that he wanted the land, the temple was relocated to the Muromachi district, then again to where it is now, in a quiet residential neighborhood north of the center of the city.

We found it: it was clearly undergoing renovation and construction and the main hall was closed up, but it was still exciting for me to see it. "My" name is on the gateposts. The Saionji crest, a tomoe (three swirling drops), was visible on stonework, the doors and the incense urn. I'm glad I got to see it.

Came home and got the rest of my packing done. The rest of the gang turned up in due order and we decided to revisit Bamboo on Sanjo-dori for our last dinner in Kyoto. It's a nice little upscale izakaya serving small plates of all sorts of yummy delicacies. I am full to bursting, there was beer and sake, and I think it's about time for me to shut off for the night.

Off to Tokyo in the morning!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/70104978@N00/sets/72157649060933995/ and https://www.flickr.com/photos/70104978@N00/sets/72157649049442342/


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