Finding a shrine in Japan is easy, but finding one all to yourself is rare. The Fushimi Inari-taisha Shrine was beautiful. The grounds were well-cared for and although it was crowded, it was still possible to find a zen moment. The Thousand Torii walkway was my favorite part.
Afterwards, we headed to the Gekkeikan Okura Sake Museum. Had we called the day before, we could have had a tour of the sake distillery too. Having recently watched The Birth of Sake, the museum was particularly interesting to see. All the tools and the steps in the process were laid out to see and the visit ended with a sake tasting. Brian liked the blue bottles of sake not only for it’s flavor but also for the built in cup that was made to be used on a train.
We had lunch at Cafe Bibliotic Hello!. Brian picked it for the name but the food was also good. I had a delicious homemade ginger ale, a smoked salmon sandwich, butternut squash soup and this mint chocolate cupcake.
We then headed to Kyoto Imperial Palace for a long walk, the place is HUGE! There are so many buildings, which are sadly not open to the public. They did have a self-guided tour around the complex of the former ruling palace for the Emperor of Japan. Brian captured this awesome shot of one of gardens (mine just weren’t as good).
We had dinner at Donguri Shijokarasuma, which was a little underground place. We tried the Japanese pancake, okinomiyaki, and a Japanese liquor called chu-hi that is served with fruit juice. Afterwards, Brian wanted to check out an Irish pub, so we headed to Man in the Moon. The pub was cute and small, although I am still having a hard time with all the smoking. I tried the Kirin cider, which was pretty good, and we walked back to the hotel in the rain.