Monday, February 28, 2011

A lovely day for a stroll...

Kyoto is one of those places you can wander for hours as carefree as a spring breeze.

On Friday morning, after trekking to the post office to send the first of a few heavy boxes back home, I made an executive decision to give myself the day off. I needed a break from the book and the book needed a break from me. It felt great to get some plum-blossom-air in my lungs.

The images below trace my meanderings from the full and fragrant bloom outside my front door just prior to ducking around the corner to the local soba joint for lunch before walking long into the moody afternoon and finally dinner in Paris - er upper Teramachi when there was no longer any light and the cool had set in.

Along the way I climbed around Chion-in Temple and one of its gardens before heading further south along the Eastern edge of town towards Kiyomizu temple.

On Sannenzaka I peeked into private gardens filled with koi ponds and stone lanterns before  stopping for necessary sustenance of iced matcha and mitarashi dango (rice flour dumplings with a slightly sweet and savoury glaze).

I ventured west, downhill, through Maiko dotted Gion and across the Kamo river.  In the south part of Teramachi dori just below Shijo Dori  I stole cuddles with an antique store owner's puppy "candy"while we chatted about chirimen Jakko (tiny fish and sansho condiment often eaten with rice) and she wrapped my purchases of  'props' for the book before I continued north around the maze of backstreets near the Nishiki Market where I happened upon the delightful Kyoto Design store  - and refrained from further purchase... Lies!!! Hey I was supporting local craftspeople.

Getting late I stopped for a light dinner in a French Cafe on northern Teramachi above Oike dori before cabbing it home, giving my feet a well earned rest.

A no plan/no expectation/no rules/no direction day that injected my week with much joy  - and motivation for jumping back into the book.