When the world knocks you down a peg on your travels, it’s absolutely essential that you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep on truckin’.
After missing out on visting Hiroshima I’m glad Monique and I decided to rally our spirits and explore Kyoto. We found an incredible BBQ noodle restaurant where we got to use our very own BBQ plate and visited the most luxurious green tea icecream parlour ever – Tsujiri Honten.
Unfortunately I didn’t think to get a business card when we visited this establishment, so I can’t be 100% sure that ‘Tiger Renbo’ is it’s real name, but that’s what GoogleTranslate tells me it is.
Whatever it’s called, it’s a cosy and stylish upstairs restaurant that was so powerfully ventilated I didn’t even notice the smoke from fellow patrons (smoking is still allowed inside in a surprising amount of places in Japan).The food was absolutely sumptuous. I had BBQ pork noodles and Monique tried the Okonomi-yaki, which is a type of Japanese pancake.
Unfortunately it included anchovies so Monique didn’t really like it. But I thought it was delicious so we swapped meals. I also tried some Sake but didn’t think it was that brilliant. Then again, there are hundreds of different sorts of sake so perhaps I just got a dud?After clearing our plates and wiping up the last of the delicious Okonomi-yaki sauce with our fingers, we set off for a prowl around Gion at night, as after all, Japan is known for it’s night time charm.
Wandering down the Hanamachi at night, I was on the look out for a real-deal bonafide Geiko but, sadly, I didn’t see one. It was still magical though:Then we decided to get icecream. Why did we decided to get icecream on a freezing cold night, when we were already stuffed with BBQ noodle?
Well – let me tell you!
It was because the previous day this icecream parlour had a line of literally 30-40 people coming out of it. But at this time of night, there was no line. And we figured ya know, 30-40 people, must be good!
And it totally was.
Someone on tripadvisor called it the ‘Holy Grail of Green Tea Desserts’ and they weren’t wrong. Monique had a sundae and I had a scoop, as I was still stuffed from dinner. BOTH were divine:Once we’d finished our icecream we decided to waddle back to Ryokan Ryokufuso because it was freezing cold. Even so, on the way back down the Kamo-gawa, I couldn’t resist trying once again to get a great picture of the ‘Spirited Away’ house that I had something of an obsession with.
In the end, Monique got a much better photo than me:If a chance to cook our own authentic Japanese pancake, try sake, and enjoy the ‘holy grail’ of green tea icecream isn’t a reward from the Universe for shaking off the blues, then I don’t know what is!
Until next time,
Kally & Mon.
Visiting Tiger Renbo and Tsujiri Honten
Tiger Renbo is fairly easy to find and located on the Kiya-machi-dori just after the major intersection with the Shijo-dori. If you’re approaching from the Shijo-dori side, it’s the fourth business on the right just next to the Family Mart.
Tsujiri Honten is extremely close to the Gion-Kobu Hanamachi and is on the Shijo-dori just before the entrance to the Hanamachi. If you’re approaching from Gion-Shijo station it will be on your right, again, just next to a Family Mart.
[Feature Image Credit: Monique Nielsen]
[Image Credit (1,2,4,5,7,8,9): Monique Nielsen]
[Image Credit (3): Closet Cooking]
[Image Credit (6): Tsujiri Honten]
What was your best ‘disaster to delight’ adventure on holiday?