We had a wagashi workshop after class today! Wagashi are traditional Japanese sweets, typically including anko and prettiness. I’ve eaten them pretty much everyday after dinner since okaa-san is a boss/food addict, so I’m pretty well-acquainted with them at this point, but making them is a whole ‘nother thing. We made 3, although 1 was eaten on-site with osencha, a delicious tea I’d bought from Mr. Snoot Snoot at a tea shop ages ago. The green/yellow wagashi is tasogare-no-komichi, next t it is nogiku and the funny lump is hakuro. The latter is the one we ate after the workshop was through. Definitely a fair bit of effort goes into these things, although it’s not as crazy as I thought it was. Good thing they were delicious!
Post-workshop we were simply left outside of the wagashi shop so Lizzie, Steph, Lydia and I took it upon ourselves to go exploring. There was a temple just across the street but everyone was going there so we peaced out down the road. We were headed for a random jinja I found on my map, but lo and behold, Lizzie recognized one of her favorite temples from when she came to Japan years ago and we were off! Named Sanjusangen-do, this temple had 1,001 statues of Buddhist deities, aka Kannon statues, each with a slightly different face – absolutely incredible. It also featured 28 guardian deities, most of which were of Indian origin. No pictures allowed, but I did by an omamori to protect against misfortune and got my goshuincho stamped.
There were a bunch of jinja and otera around, so we left Sanjusangen-do to go look around at some other places. A few big ones ere either far-looking or closed, so we ended up at this baby called Myouhouin-monseki. It was pretty empty and looked like a hotel more than anything (???), but we still walked through it and found this pretty room honoring the deceased.
Once we had our fill of temples Steph split off to head home while the rest of us plundered on through the busy streets. We ended up at Teramachi, ya know – the usual – where we died in an arcade for almost 2 hours. Who needs food anyways, right?
Afterwards we needed food before returning home, so we randomly went into this cute cafe called Cafe Chocolat Restaurant, which I need to return to. They had super cheap but delicious pasta (less than $5!), a buttload of smoothies (I got their new flavor, tiramisu) and sooo much koori and parfaits. Honestly a 10/10 place.
Oh, and here’s a fun leftover from school/after I got home:
Fun fact of the day? Okaa-san absolutely adores wombats and has a stuffed toy of one. It’s supposed to be a dog toy, and Chiro-chan tries to play with it from time-to-time, but as Okaa-san blatantly said, “Sorry, this is okaa-san’s wombat. You’re not allowed to play with it”. She said that when she bought it they had a bigger one, size of your torso, when she bought it in Australia, but her head-size one now was more practical and still super cute. God do I love my host mom!