Final interviews yesterday with two Zen monks. Both men are situated in temples that are part of western Kyoto. T and I arrived early so had coffee at tiny shop nearby. The owner then brought over cups of kombu broth, which was delicious and perfect on a cold day. Snow fell.
The first temple is not famous, but it does have ties to medieval nuns who are honored there with statues.
The second temple is very famous, beside a mountain and a bamboo forest. I had been there two years ago with the chef and crew from NOMA when I brought them to Kyoto.
Both monks moved nimbly and spoke with a unique mix of authority, humor, and clarity.
Between interviews, we had agedashi tofu udon. The restaurant was small and cozy. The broth was made thick through powdered starch.
After the second interview, I arranged to be dropped off downtown. T took a train to Kobe and then flew home to Niigata.
In the evening, after a long and delightful, unmapped walk, about 5K, from downtown to my home, I went out with K for yakiniku and then to a sake bar.
Today I will walk on the Philospher’s path behind the house towards the city.