We had breakfast in Hyotei, a 300 year old restaurant this morning. Located in the outskirts of Kyoto, at Keage station on the foothills of Nanzenji, in a picturesque but discreet street. It took some efforts before we could find it。The restaurant looks like an ordinary house on the outside, and only a small emblem with the drawing of a gourd and some iJapanese words indicated its existence.Past the walls, however, was a beautiful zen garden with a flowing stream. There was a balance of colors with maple tree (pruned into bonsai). We arrived early and sat beside the window overlooking the garden. Breakfast was served by a gentle elderly woman in Kimono. It was porridge with eggs – my first great Japanese breakfast.
In the afternoon, we took a train to Osaka. It is only 30 mins away from Kyoto. First stop is food again, this time Yakitori in a beautiful underground restaurant. We then visited the famous Osaka Palace which is located on a hill in a huge park. Osaka is famous for its shopping streets and underground malls. We went to Shinsainbashi, which is literally an endless street of shops. L stumbled into a dealer of old books and bought a framed set of three 150 year old prints of samurais by Yoshitaki.
The price was reasonable, but he had to lug it through half of Osaka thereafter, and probably through Tokyo before bringing it home.
We visited Namba Walk, an underground shopping mall, where we saw the most beautiful bakery. In the evening we visited Dotombori, a street famed for its street food. Japanese don’t eat walking in the street, so they provide proper seating places like fast food restaurant.
Many cities do not allow advertising on their building facades. Here at Dotombori, the Japanese not only allow it, but do it with style, it is like walking through a Japanese anime.