One day with Dr. Martz
Dr. Martz that I met on my way back to Japan came to Kyoto in one nice Sunday during his around 10-day short stay in Osaka.
So, I be his one-day guide. ^_^
Educational Molecular Visualization is his specialty. So, some of you might be wondering what that is? Well, I can tell you it is a very interesting field. If you are interested to know more, please jump over to his website, proteinexplorer.org and molviz.org. I hope you have some nice learning and good fun with it. Also, he owns another website that showed his parents' works. Those who love pottery, must not miss this martzpots.org.
Here was our one-day in Kyoto.
We met at 10.30am. He was very punctual.
First, we went to a very old fresh market in Kyoto, called Nishiki Ichiba which has a few hundred years of history.
Today, it has turned into a famous place for local to do some Kyoto-style shopping and tourists to experience a daily life culture in Kyoto. It is also a place for searching some fun foodstuffs. However, the price in this area can be "pretty" too.
The picture above showed Dr. Matrz standing in front of a shop specialized in Japanese pickles. Kyoto, is a city famous with all kinds of pickles... you could even try one by one... until you get the one you like. However by then, you might need a big glass of water. Tee hee hee...
Then, we walked along the Kamogawa river to go to Gion area. Another famous traditional Kyoto street. The Gion is famous for its Gion Matsuri in summer, one of three famous ceremonies in Kyoto. Rain started to fall heavily from here.
We were looking for lunch in that area when a lady was distributing some notice for attracting more customers...
We (fish fish) decided to give it a try.
It is a family style Japanese restaurant, name Ebisen (海老泉). It is located in the north of Gion. Well, I couldn't find any detailed info about this place, however the contact number of this shop is +81-75-551-5328.
The owner's son caught a lot of stag beetle (kuwagata mushi) the day before, and he was selling the beetles in front of the shop.
This was Dr. Martz's set lunch... with a plate of assorted vege tempura, a small bowl of sashimi, otsukurimono, grated Japanese yam, pickle, miso soup with a bowl of nice red rice that has a blending of 14 types of healthy grains inside it.
It was a very reasonable nice choice. All for 1575yen.
Fish Fish chose a vegetarian set lunch. I required an upgrade of the white rice into the red rice. Mine didn't have the sashimi and the Japanese yam.
But Dr. Martz was very kind enough to let me share the Japanese yam. ^_^
We both love the red rice. It was great. According to the owner, this is the one and only shop that you can find in Kyoto that offer this rice.
It was a nice food cultural shock for Dr. Martz with the Japanese yam.
"Mmmm~~~ I've never tasted anything like this." Tee hee hee... I would say, to experience Japanese food cultural, please challenge the Japanese yam. ;)
The owner aka chef for the shop. Such a nice but quiet guy. He has a very friendly and talkative wife. Her service was great with her always smiling face. She was so delighted to know that I am from Malaysia, as to do backpacking in Malaysia has been her favorite thing to do.
I was indeed surprised when she greeted me with, "Apa khabar?" Hohoho...
Nice place, good food, warm service... definitely a place recommended by fish fish.
With 2 bloated tummies... we continued to burn our calories with some more walk.
We past through Yasaka Shrine. There was some kind of praying ceremony going on. It is a norm to see ceremony going here and there all the year long in Kyoto, as there are hundreds of temples in this city. Yasaka Shrine is one of the famous one. Entry is free of charge.
Something similar with Chinese cultural, Japanese also have the "Bad Luck Ages". One would need to come to the shrine to clear this bad luck away with the age written on this banner.
By walking past the shrine, we reached the route that led us up to our destination for the day. This route was again something very Japanese. You will see all kind of shops aligned at 2 sides of the walking path. A good time to take your walk slowly while you are doing window shopping.
We stopped in a shop selling the famous Kyoto's souvenir called Yatsuhashi. You will see Yatsuhashi selling in every corner of Kyoto city. Some of them are the seasonal limited flavours.
The shop where we visited, Nishio Yatsuhashi, was the place of origin for this Japanese sweet.
Dr. Martz bought me a pack of peach flavour. Yum Yum~ ^_^
The famous slope... Ninenzaka. The tourists number for that day was counted as few. During the peak season, you will only see heads when you goes up this slope.
Soon, we finally reached the compound of our destination. Kiyomizudera, one of the most famous Buddhist Temple in Kyoto.
As this temple is located uphill, you will have a nice view of Kyoto city in a clear weather day.
I have came to this temple a few times, but never have I noticed this printed legs. ^_^ It was Dr. Martz that saw this first.
In fact, I observed a few more new things when I walked with him. He has a good observation on something that usually wouldn't be noticed by people.
The whole compound was surrounded with green trees in summer. However, once the spring comes... this whole green would turn into a breath-taking scene of full blooming sakura. Something that would make you realise why this temple is so famous. However, be prepared with the very busy crowd... There will be crazily a lot of PEOPLE.
Hohoho... Dr. Martz was appreciating the nice scene from the temple. Know what was he looking at?
Dang Dang! The tallest building in Kyoto, the Kyoto Tower. We were lucky as the weather was not foggy on that day. I guess a heavy rain did some good deal for us.
Visitors were busy with their praying events here. Usually in a Buddhist Temple... you will be able to see visitors burning joss stick. The way of praying is without clapping sound...
Just next to this Kiyomizu Temple, there is another famous little Japanese Shrine named Jishu Jinja. The most obvious different of a Buddhist temple with a Japanese shrine is that a shrine would have a special gateway called Torii as showed in this picture above. This temple is famous for "Romance" related wish. ;)
A last nice glance on Kiyomizudera before we walked down the temple.
The temple is also very famous with its water. You will see long line of visitors waiting for their turn to drink the water.
Now... what is wrong with this picture? See the yellow shirt guy? He is not supposed to put the PET bottle into the drinking scoop, as there will be other visitors who will be using the same scoop to drink. Such a rude action, so unhygiene.
Yet, another nice Japanese garden that I have not paid any attention to it before in this Kiyomizudera compound.
On the way back, we stopped by in this Japanese coffee shop, Rakusho for a nice rest. There was one menu in the shop that I have long wanted to try.
It has a nice little garden with a small pond full of big and fat carps.
Kusa warabimochi... this was the reason why I wanna come here. Warabimochi is yet another famous traditional Kyoto sweet. My top favorite among all the Kyoto sweets.
This warabimochi is blended with good quality green tea powder from Uji (:P the place where I am staying).
I LOVE THIS!! The texture was very soft and smooth. Once it went into my throat... I could fell the cooling effect of it. Lovely dish. A must try.
Another very typical Japanese summer food. This is called Hiyashi Soumen (Cold fine noodle). Just take a portion of noodle with chopstick, dip it with the cold sauce attached... slurp into you mouth, as loud as you can... Then let out a loud sound of "Ar~~~~"...
There you are, a correct way of appreciating this bowl.
However Dr. Martz and me were too shy to do so... So, we just sticked to our dull quiet way to finish this nice bowl of Soumen.
Once again... it was a great treat by Dr. Martz. Geee.. I was spoilt again. :P
Thank you so much Dr. Martz.
It was my great pleasure to get to know you.