Genki at Ginkaku-ji

Friday morning – a cloudy affair featuring Liz’s first crappy Japanese presentation, followed by a thank-you sushi/pizza/chicken nugget appreciation lunch for Doshisha volunteers during our orientation. I got to see Seiko-san again (yay!), who is so cute and happy and fun to talk to, plus eat free sushi and a whooole bunch of matcha kit-kats. Oh how life is good. Once that all ended we were free as bees (figuratively speaking – the bees are all dying because of pesticides and human-induced climate change) so we followed Lizzie’s lead and headed out to be typical gaijin at Ginkaku-ji. Also know as the silver temple, this place has no silver and is actually huge on gardens, particularly sand gardens.

This place was fun, with a bunch of trees, water and some nice tiny shrines within. Very busy with people but a nice spot! I also got my goshuincho stamped there, but of course this was an otera and they did the stamp on the jinja side of the book . . . the difference is this: jinja are Shinto spaces while otera are Buddhist structures – in the words of okaa-san, the stamps don’t have a good relationship so it’s dame (bad) when they’re together. Alas, Ginkaku-ji was my sole screw-up but still. It’s an ‘oh poo’ moment nonetheless.

Afterwards we went into a few of the shops to peak around, and all of us got fan sleeves while Lizzie and Steph actually bought sensu fans. Oh, and so many shave ice places, but the one at the front had super cheap koori for just ¥250, for rad flavors like matcha and yuzu! Lizzie and I both got yuzu 🙂 Definitely a point of return. Afterwards instead of the Philosopher’s Path as intended, we were lazy bums and went to a cafe instead. We  chose Ben’s Cafe, a cute lil’ Thai-Hawaiian place near Ginkaku-ji. They were super Hawaiian in food and some of their decor/style, so it made me super happy and super yearning for Hawai‘i (not like I’m not already always missing it). They had an aloha burgers, loco moco, garlic shrimp and other classics – le swoon. I ended up with a refreshing Thai tea smoothie, while Lizzie had some refreshing lime-mint concoction. This place was also cool because a.lunch specials and had a retro-industrial design, with brass 20’s speakeasy-style lights, concrete looking walls and plain steel barstools against record coasters, a flip-clock and 2000s throwback music. Add the Hawaiian-style serving tray with a banana leaf and orchard on it and you have perfection.

Once we finished up there that was it for the day, plus some bonding time with Miao-chan. Tune in tomorrow for some fun stuff about Osaka!

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