Sunday, October 13, 2013

Japan Part III

Friday was my last day in Kyoto before heading back up to Tokyo for the weekend. We made a lunch reservation in Gion at a restaurant called Takuma. Locals don't usually eat in Gion because it is too expensive, but they will go for a special occasion. This restaurant was recommended to me by my local couch surfing friend because it had quality traditional Kyoto cuisine, a great location, and a very reasonable price for lunch. Lunch was a set menu that came in two price options about $30 or $50. Being on a travel budget we got the $30 option.

Takuma is tucked in a row of other restaurants along the canal. The building itself is rather narrow and there is only one row of seating along the bar. From your seat you can watch the chefs prepare everyone's courses, along with prepping food for later. It is amazing to watch all the little details it takes to cook and plate your meal. Only one chef spoke a little English, but the old man cooking in front of us was very helpful in motioning how we should eat each course.

This was the view just past my plate.

1st Course: Steamed vegetables and salad.

2nd course: Sashimi with what I assume is bonito foam in the upper right. You take some foam and wasabi and put it on a slice of fish. I should also mention this was REAL wasabi, grated right before our very eyes. Oh so tasty.

3rd Course: Salmon

4th Course: More vegetables. The eggplant was especially good.

5th Course: Tempura! For this one we were instructed to put the grated radish into the tempura sauce.

6th Course: Potato starchy-dumpling-soup thing. The flavor was very mild, but still nice.

7th Course: Steamed rice, Japanese pickles, and miso soup.

8th Course: Dessert! Orange gelatin, pear, and sesame mousse in the pretty glass bowl.

We were also on the menu for some bugs the night before. Japanese mosquitoes are tiny and not as noisy as any other mosquito I've ever seen. They got me good, but at least I didn't react as badly as Philip... 

 We thought Philip had been bitten by a mutant Popeye insect and was going to start craving spinach and sailing.

Woman in a Kimono strolling the streets. She very well could be an off duty Geisha.
After lunch we went exploring in a market were I found some white figs and tofu donuts to snack on before my train left. I said my goodbyes and hopped on a bullet train to Tokyo. I met up with my friend Nanette and we had a nice weekend that included homemade Mexican food, coffee, and an Air Force Ball! It was fun to get all dressed up and go hang out on base. It's been a while since I was with so many other Americans! Sunday I flew back to Korea and had to mentally prepare myself for school the next day. It was a short trip but I'm really glad I got to spend it in Japan with friends!

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