01 May 2008

Kansai Day 7, 20 Dec 07 - Arashiyama, Kyoto

Second day's breakfast at Kamogawa-kan. Another big breakfast :d~~~ After breakfast, we packed a bit and checked out as we were going to Arashiyama to stay for one night.

We made our way to Nishiki Market 錦市場. Nishiki Market is also known as Kyoto's kitchen where local specialties, both raw and processed food like vegetables, fish, dried food, Japanese pickles, tea leaf and etc are sold. Nishiki Market is about 6 blocks long and runs east-west, from Teramachi Street to Takakura Street, located one block north of Shijio-dori. To catch a glimpse of the local food culture, this is definitely a must-visit place! We took time to stroll along the market, taking in the sights, sounds, smells and bursts of colours.

Time for lunch. I had craving for some Chinese food though I don't really like Chinese food in Japan. Luckily this restaurant located inside a shopping mall served pretty decent Chinese food.
Time to go to Arashiyama 嵐山, a mountainous district on the western outskirts of Kyoto. Initially was hoping that it would snow and we could enjoy the scenery of a snowy mountain but winter was late this year.
We took a tram on the Keifuku Arashiyama Line from Keifuku Omiya Station to Arashiyama Station. This was my first time taking a tram, interesting to be travelling on the road along with other types of vehicles.
The journey took just 30mins and we reached Arashiyama in no time. Along the roadsides, we saw this berry plant which looked ever so sweet. Wonder what is this plant?
We strolled along the banks of Katsura/Oi River in search of our ryokan. This is the Togetsu Bridge.
Spotted our Ryokan, Arashiyama Benkei 嵐山辨慶.
Board showing the guests staying at the ryokan for the night. And I spotted my name! LOL.
After checking in, we were led to our room. This is the view from our room. Splendid!
Although the size of the tatami room was not as big as the one at Arima Onsen, it was good enough. I was satisfied that we had a very good view of the river.
Went for a soak at the onsen. Was slightly disappointed as both the outdoor and indoor public baths were quite ordinary. Nevertheless, it was always soothing to soak in hot springs which are rich in minerals.
For dinner, I arranged for Kaiseki Ryori (tea ceremony dishes). Have always wanted to try an authentic Kyoto Kaiseki Ryori, so had been looking forward to this meal. The menu already made us drool.
All the courses were served one after another by the Okami into our room, allowing ample time for us to finish one dish before serving the next. All the dishes were exquisite, typical of Kaiseki Ryori.

It was certainly a feast for our eyes, nose as well as our tastebuds.

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