Is there any city more beautiful or fascinating than Kyoto? Such a mix of ancient and forward thinking principles, architecture, and urban rhythms. Always sorry to leave here, always eager to come back.
Yesterday with my friend I, a Kyoto-ite with hundreds of years legacy in family history here, we walked through the newer part of the city away from Gion. She is such good company: Outspoken, genuine, able to improvise conversation.
To a center of Kyoto artisanal works that aims to introduce ateliers to foreign guests. A lacquerware shop with museum-quality goods, Japanese owned stores that have clothing both affordable as well as textured and in earth tones as to seem to be part of nature.
Through Nishiki market: Dried unagi that you then place atop rice with green tea and ground up spices. Kyoto rice: 690 Yen for a kilo. Beautiful tofu and cured saba.
In a department store, hidden away, a seven seater that is a satellite of a beef restaurant I read about. Next to it, a long, chilled display case of Japanese beef.
Long walks through the city.
Faces showing a range of emotions, more narrow than what can be observed in the U.S., but more intense and deliberate.
In the evening, dinner with A. and A., two lovely people I’ve known some years. At Hitomi, a yakitoi restaurant ordinarily impossible to get into. Three hours of talking and laughter.