3 days left in Kyoto after this, and yet still so much to do! I went down to Kawaramachi Sanjo today, walking over since my teiki is all out. And wow, I can’t believe that I went all semester without walking along the Kamogawa! She’s so beautiful, and you can walk along the bank that’s dropped from the roadside and raised maybe 10 or so feet from the river. It’s really quiet, with a few joggers and cyclists to keep you company, and the view of the river itself is breathtaking. Paired with the backdrop of twinkling towering buildings and traditional houses smattered about every few acres it’s spectacular. The walk from my house to downtown is about 40-50 minutes, and while I’m glad I had my bus pass for most days I really wish I’d skipped out on it way more in favor of my legs. So pretty.
I even ended up stopping along the way to write actually, inspired by the hordes of birds swirling about above the water and the rushing sounds of water and people mutedly laughing in the background. As a semi-aspiring writer (but not really) I always dreamed of maybe being hit by my surroundings enough to really need to scrawl myself out over paper, so having it happen this once was a pretty satisfying and light feeling. Thanks for that Kamo.
Lizzie, Steph and I met at the parfait place along Kawaramachi one last time, where I had a mango parfait that stole my heart. There were real fruit pieces and mango ice cream and mango syrup/goop . . . mhmmm. It was all going well, except for the part where I had to go to the bathroom. The door had ‘２人’ written on it, and that’s all I bothered to read before assuming there were stalls and pushing the door open. To find a staff member cleaning the sink (thank god it was just that) and looking a bit shocked. I just froze and sorry’d the door shut, standing there awkwardly and still frozen ’til she finished cleaning and opened the door back up. I then also noticed the ‘in use’ door hanger on the knob. Smooth as sandpaper, Liz. Yeah, it wasn’t horrible or anything but I still feel like a clown.
Despite our original plans to go see ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them’, things change and we found ourselves at Maruzen, the magical bookstore I mentioned before with 2 huge floors of goodness. I ended up getting an a few art books, and I swear we spent close to 2 hours in there just browsing the vast manga collection and the art section. Everyone had to head home after that, so I went back alongside the river and enjoyed the cool and leisurely stroll home. If you ever visit Kyoto and you’re by the river, skip the bus or the subway just once to walk alongside her for just a half hour or so. I promise that it’s beyond worth it.
I got home at 6 and was cooking straight to dinner. Otou-san taught me how to make chamushi and karaage tonight, and while getting my hands on ingredients for the chamushi might be a bit tricky back home in the States I look forward to making it for me and sharing with friends. Otou-san even wrote out the recipes for me in a stilted way, and gave me dashi and karaage mix to take home since he’s worried that I won’t be able to find it. Oh it was so fun and tasted so good! I love cooking with otou-san, and only regret that I didn’t start sooner.
The rest of my night is packing-packing-packing, so I’m off to play the game of ‘how small can everything go’ and ‘if I shove hard enough will this fit too?’. They’re quality entertainment, I tell you. When all else fails, my snarky commentary keeps me pushing through. The sing-alongs help too, thank god no one can hear me from my room. That’s it for now, so have a good night friends.