Kyoto Part 3

Today we headed out to explore another temple. Our agenda was Nanzenji Temple, a noodle shop and a chocolate cafe. A quick bite a Bucky's to start the morning.

We braved the bus again despite getting lost last time.

Nanzenji Temple spacious grounds are located at the base of Kyoto's forested Higashiyama mountains. It is said that this is the most important Zen temple in all of Japan. 

I am a pro at this smoke thing now.

This is a large brick aqueduct that passes through the temple grounds. It was built during the Meiji Period (1868-1912) and is part of a canal system that was constructed to carry water and goods between Kyoto and Lake Biwa. Paths run alongside the canal that lead into the surrounding forest.

More of the funny aprons.

We didn't really know where we were going so we just kept following the trail. It turned into a mini hike. I think we did part of the Philosopher's Path but really not sure. No signs to be found until we reached the end. 

After not seeing a single person for awhile, we ran into this group of school kids at the top of the mountain. They loved having their photo taken.

Yeah baby!

Walking sticks maybe?

The cemetery we had just come from. 

Surprise. We were lost again. Since we didn't have an agenda, we just kept exploring.

Mom made friends with the shop keeper. She had great stuff. We probably put her kids through college with our purchases.

These dogs look so happy eating trash.

Asking for directions, again.

More temples

Shopping at Japanese Arts and crafts store.

I bought one of these little guys.

Bargain ceramics outside a local grocery store!

A guy at our hotel recommended this place, but he didn't know the name so he just told us the "udon noodle shop". He said it was always busy so look for the line of people. If  people hadn't been lined up, I am sure we would have missed it! Turns out it is called Yamamoto Menzou.

They take your order while you are in line so you get your food super fast when you get inside.

Our noodles

The same guy from the hotel that recommended the noodle shop also told us to try this little chocolate shop. So we got turned around trying to find it. Did I mention nothing is written in English?

These ladies walking their dog knew where to go so they took us there.

After all that, we get there and it is freaking closed. Still blogging about it in case anyone else is interested in checking it out. Looked super cute and had a great story. NOTE: They are only open Wednesday- Sunday, 12-6pm

Background: A master chef was in private residence for the Japanese ambassador in NYC. Creating French haute cuisine for the many dignitaries. He wanted to create a simple yet elegant sweet to serve as a dessert, or to enjoy together with coffee. After many trials,  he succeeded in creating a fresh, light chocolate, blended with an herb liqueur, made in a monastery in the mountains of Austria. In 2000, he came to Kyoto and founded the company Kyoto Nama Chocolat. He creates hand-made chocolates exquisitely for the refined chocolate lover.He and his Canadian wife live above the restaurantThey sell 3 variations of box chocolate to take home: Sweet, Bitter and Mixed, $1,980 yen per box (120g; 16 pieces) 

 Quick last minute purchases before dinner.

It was right before my one year anniversary so I took this shot for Matt.

We headed back to Botchi! So good, we ate there two nights in a row! 

I was sad to have to get on the train back to the airport. The name of this shop made me laugh as we made our way.

Bullet train pulling into the station.

Until next time Japan. Botchi please stay open!!!!

Nanzenji Temple
5-10 minute walk from the Keage Station subway station (Tozai Line) or a 5-10 minute walk from the nearest Nanzenji-Eikando-michi bus stop

Yamamoto Menzou
34 Minami Gosho-cho, Okazaki, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Transport Bus 5; or Higashiyama Station (Tozai line) Near Heian Shrine
Open 11am-7.45pm Mon, Tue, Fri-Sun; 11am-2.30pm Wed.

Kyoto Nama Chocolat Organic Tea House
76-15 Tenno-cho, Okazaki, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto
Near Heian Shrine, 3 minute Walk from the Okazaki bus stop
Open Wednesday- Sunday 12:00-6:00 (click on the English tab)


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