Saturday, May 23, 2009

Journalizing Japan: Kobe and Kyoto

  • One correction and two disappointments: The Tezuka Museum is Takarazuka, not Kobe, like I had mentioned previously. It's described as a town, but it doesn't seem very town-ish. The first of the disappointments? It was closed. Looks like it may re-open on Monday, so we might make a little trek back there. The second disappointment was that the wrestling/MMA-themed second floor of the Ring Soul (Rinso) Cafe in Kobe was closed. I'll get back to that later.
  • Before heading to the Tezuka museum, we decided to get some Mister Donut goodness at the mall across from the Takarazuka train station. Sarah and I aren't in the habit of talking to strangers, but we ended up having a nice conversation with an expatriate English prof from the U.S. named Mike over donuts and Fanta Melon Soda. Of course, we talked about the extreme politeness and order in Japan, and just how refreshing it is. Admittedly, it was also kinda nice to speak English for a fair length of time with someone other than ourselves. When we were done with the donuts, he walked us to the museum, since it was on his way home. Nice dude.
  • We spent ages looking for Ring Soul, only to find that the second floor wasn't open (as I had mentioned), and that we couldn't read the menu. Our kanji skills are wicked poor. I suggested that we go to a steak house that we passed during a walk through Kobe's Chinatown. This may have been one of the best decisions I've ever made. At Ruke, Sarah broke her bad steak streak (long story), and I had one the best steaks of my life (top 3). This place was perfect; from the design of the joint, all the way down to the music he was playing (Aaron Neville and Marvin Gaye).
  • Funny story: I told Ruke's owner that we had passed earlier in the day, and that I made sure that I remembered the name of his place. He said he saw us. I guess we're pretty memorable.
  • In Kyoto, we hung out with my homie Kenji, who chauffeured us to three of the city's many, many temples. Sarah is quite interested in Buddhism, so this was quite a treat for her. I've never climbed so many fucking hills in my life, but the sites were worth it. At one temple, we partook of some zaru soba, which really hit the spot. Later, we had some tonkatsu at a mall, which was great after a day of climbing a ton of stairs. Kenji rules.
  • We also had Sukiya for breakfast, which made me feel like myself again (we started too early for my brain to properly function).
  • Tomorrow, more Kyoto!

1 comment:

Penny Lane said...

I would love to see some of those Buddhist temples.. and Melon fanta?? How was that?!?!