Daimonji is this lovely little mountain in Kyoto that I see every day on my way to school. It has the kanji for large, 大, burned into it so it’s a pretty memorable place. It’s also a popular spot to hike, which is how I started off my Sunday with okaa-san. It’s supposed to be a casual thing, so we ended up walking over from the house (maybe 30 minutes away) with a quick pit stop for taiyaki and takoyaki. After that it was a pretty clear shot to the top, where we settled in to down some grub. You know what happened at the top of this mountain? A damn tombi swooped it’s feather-y ass down and stole half of my custard taiyaki! Something was there, I screamed, and I looked down to see my empty talon-marred hand. Eff you, bird. We spent the rest of our mini-meal hunched over our food looking around with paranoia. Am I still pissed at that bird? You bet. Is it kind of awesome and memorable? You still bet – I’m also pretty impressed at how skillful that bird was in stealing my shit without touching me with it’s wings or really touching my hand at all. Talented bastard.
We connected to Nanzen-ji from the path, where we prayed, explored and explored the garden. It was a bit of a mess, since we payed to get into the garden merely to pick up a goshuin for me, but alas they only had pre-written pages. I like ’em written right there, real-deal stuff so that was a bust on one end. The temple and gardens were nice enough though, so I was okay with it. The temple also had a gorgeous canal that’s apparently a movie/series/couples hotspot because it’s so beautiful (and very not-Japanese), so of course I got shots of that. Just a very large and lovely place, even if they were clowns about that goshuin.
Following Nanzen-ji we wandered our way up the Philosopher’s Path to look at Eikan-do, which happens to be Lizzie’s favorite temple. It was pretty huge, a sprawling structure with a lot of stairs for great views and a pretty sweet array of buildings. There was one amazing building with 3 Buddhas, in which one way was a fabulous painting of the ocean, one wall (split by the Buddhas in the middle) was a compilation of leaves and a tree, and the third wall was explosive lava. All of the paintings were absolutely gorgeous, and the room just really resonated with me. There was also this cool bamboo koto-replica thing, where you dripped water over the horizontal bamboo in hopes of hearing sounds like the koto. I heard maybe 3 cool pings from it, which were really lovely sounds, but not spectacular on the whole. Probably because of all the other people exploring the temple. It was all in all very lovely, and I would even go back to it. Plus, fun fact, this baby finally finished my goshuincho! I’d needed one more temple for her to be done and alas, this was the place. That being said I’d already started my new one from Enoshima with jinja, but it’s nice to finally close this one.
Last up was Heian-jingu, which is Kyoto’s largest shrine if okaa-san is correct. Also collected a goshuin here, and we strolled around the wide grounds to some pretty impressively tall buildings. A bit more impersonal than the 2 we saw earlier in the day, but still worth the trip if you’re in area. From there we hit up okaa-san’s shop (where her part-time job is) just for her to use the toilet, but I was excited to see where she worked! It always sounded cool and it was indeed, they had the best chopsticks – reasonably priced too!- and I intend to go back and load up.
We finally made it home after the long day and sleepless night, where I promptly passed out at the table for I-don’t-know-how-long before my phone buzzed me to life and we were on our way. I’d spotted a good looking Thai place on our walk to Daimonji this morning, and since both of us love Thai food we were so hyped! Except that when we finally found it (after wandering around in the dark wondering where the hell it was for like 10 minutes) they were closed only for tonight. Whyyyyyy?! It’s okay, because we wound up at Ben’s, a Hawaiian cafe I’d hit up with Lizzie and Steph earlier in the semester. They also had Thai food, so okaa-san absolutely loved it. We both had smoothies, Thai tea for me and mango for her, and I had my sweet sweet Hawaiian flashback with an Aloha Loco Moco. Oh someone slay me, it was so good! Okaa-san had pad thai, and we split banana lumpias with choco-sauce and ice cream for dessert. Also a score for me in introducing okaa-san to new foods she loves. Oh they were so good, I’ve had them first/only in Hawai‘i and I’ve been craving them since.
Now we’re home, I’m watching Yuri On Ice for a second run in 3 days and life is more than good. Besides the tombi. Still bitter about that.