After a boring hotel breakfast, we headed off to the tea plantation. This was a subway ride, followed by 2 trains and then a bus and then short walk. Not completely worth it in my opinion, but the scenery is nice along the way. We were picked up at the bus stop and then taken outside to pick some tea:
Most of it had already been picked over recently, so we didn’t pick much:
The water must be good, since there was a frog living in the front yard…
We were given a demonstration of the different types of tea, and allowed to taste it. We were able to brew our own as well.
The matcha tea used in the tea ceremony was their proudest one and served with a sweet. We had to prepare it ourselves though:
After we left there, we walked back towards the bus stop and had lunch across the road. It was alright – nothing fantastic, but filling. I really liked the Zenzai for dessert though! Haven’t had that for a long time!
We walked back to the bus stop and I took a couple more photos of the rice paddies backed by tea plantations. They’ve been growing tea here for 800 years!
On the way back to Kyoto, Chiko very kindly stopped off at Inari so we could see th red Toris and the 1200 year old temple complex.
There was a wall of bunches of cranes sewn together into something like leis. So colourful and pretty!
It’s a very nice complex:
There were so many girls (and some boys) in kimonos! It was great:
There was even a Scot with his bagpipes in full regalia!
And then we got to the actual Tori gates. Very nice! Full of tourists, naturally. I noticed that the Toris only had writing on the back (when you face back the way you came).
An then more pretty temples/shrines/toris/girls in kimonos…us…
A couple of girls explicitly allowed us to take their photos and thanked us profusely for the privilege!
One of the girls on the tour thought this fox statue was a funny-looking cat! Obviously not a cat person 🙂
More girls in kiminos and then we got the train back to Kyoto:
The train was packed! Peak hour, apparently.
Chiko showed us around Kyoto Station, which is 19 years old now. It wasn’t there when I was last in Kyoto – there was no subway back then either! The station is pretty amazing! We went to the roof and I took some photos of the views.
We’d intended to have dinner here (on our own, since everyone else had left!), but didn’t find anything cheap enough that we could agree on and I was getting really tired, not feeling 100%, so we went back to the hotel – though this was easier said than done! Trying to find the subway entrance was quite the feat! I took some more photos of the station along the way, though:
We got ourselves some dinner (and Scotch 🙂 ) at the 711 and ate it back at the hotel. Not too bad: