It started pouring at about 8pm.......but it was the wind that was quite impressive. I decided to hang out on the porch and have a brew. Suddenly, this little orange tabby hops on the porch and onto my lap....purring away like crazy! Strange..... So I gave the little fella' some TLC and the little cat just ate it up. By now I had finished my beer; it was time to call it a night. I put the cat down and it turned and sunk its claws into me and then bit a nice little chunk out of my leg! Geeeez! It was bleeding pretty good....I washed it out; the Missus was worried about some of the rather common cat bite infections or even...no not that "Cat Scratch Fever", but actual CSD. Luckily, nothing really happened except I bled pretty good. The other strange thing was that the cat would now stalk me....we'd park the SUV and as we would be getting out, the cat would come out of nowhere.....the Missus was terrified and she'd run into the cabanas. I'd wake up in the morning, open the front door and the cat would be there! I actually think this was fairly humorous, but the Missus wasn't amused...... No good deed goes unpunished I guess?
Anyway, the Missus wanted to head back to Tongariki and watch the sunrise yet again. Well, we were on an island, what else would we be doing at 5 in the morning? So the Missus starts pushing me awake....I swear, it's like 230 am and I ask Her what the heck is going on? She shows me Her phone, it says it's 430am, we're going to be late! I show Her my phone, which says 230.....it's that crazy thing where my phone is on Hanga Roa time and the Missus's phone is on mainland Chile time.....
Anyway, we do get up and make it back to Tongariki. The weather says it's going to be a beautiful day; the storm has passed.
The sky is bright and clear....I dunno, I kinda liked the deep red sky we had on the previous morning. This time around there are a few more folks milling about. Also, there's a Park Ranger at the entrance of the place checking passes.
You could tell that it was going to be a bright and clear day.
As on the previous day; there's a good bit of chatter while things are still rather dark. Then it gets quiet, almost solemn as the sun slowly rises over the 15 Moai.....
You realize that you've seen something special. And to see it twice.......
The drive back to Hanga Roa was just as beautiful as the previous morning......
The backdrop has the ability to turn every photo into something special......
Meanwhile, back in Hanga Roa it was morning rush hour.
Looking around, we noticed there wasn't much open at this time of the morning. However, on the previous day, I'd noticed a little coffee stand inside of the "Feria" (fair) building which was full of stands selling all sorts of tourist and other goods. Indeed, the place was open on this morning and full of locals.
The place had a simple greaseboard menu; with items like empanadas (2000 CLP - $3)....you know the Missus was not having that. Coffee, 500CLP (80 cents US), con leche (with cream) 1000CLP. Huevo Frito, fried eggs, 500CLP.
So we got two coffee.....they basically gave you a thermos with hot water and passed the jar of Nescafe to you.
They love Nescafe in Chile, you'll find it everywhere, even here on Isla de Pascua.
Outside of the building produce and meat stands were set-up.
We stopped by one of what seems like one of many mini-marts in the town and picked up a few things. We then headed back to the cabanas to drop said items off before heading out to our next destination.
As we neared the airport end of Atamu Tekena, we noticed this dog tailing the red SUV........
He would not let it out of his line of sight.
Finally the vehicle made a stop at the has station and the guy driving came out and gave the dog a big hug....... I guess it's his dog and he follows him to work every day. Must be some kind of daily ritual?
Meanwhile, we got back to the cottage, stowed things away. The Missus opened the door and out came an "eeeek"!
It looks like we were trapped by the "Killer Pussy".......
Full of historic buildings that are now glass and souvenir shops, tons of restaurant, and a little sweets kingdom known as LeTAO.
We loved the charming streets, the buildings just gave off a nice vibe, especially since things weren't especially busy.
We were getting a bit chilly, the warming effects of the umeshu was wearing off, so we decided to stop in at this charming little coffee and tea shop built in the former location of the Kubo Store, which was built in 1907.
The Missus got a nice cup of matcha and I a well made pour over, very smooth, but with enough of a nice kick for me.
The barista was a wonderfully dignified looking woman, who just rocked her lavender highlites perfectly. A study in aging well, gracefully, but with just the perfect amount of hipness and edge.
Refreshed and energized, we ended our little walk at LeTAO, which several folks told me I "had to" visit when going to Otaru.
This a multifloor deal, with a sweet shop upstairs, a very popular hot chocolate stand....but the item that LeTAO is known for is their cheesecake.
The cheesecake portion of the shop actually looks more like a jewelry store.
For some reason, I wasn't too keen on the stuff here, but of course, I don't have much of a sweet tooth.
LeTAO 7-16 Sakaimachi Dori Otaru, Hokkaido, Japan
We headed back around and took Rinkosen Street back to the canal area. There was one last stop I wanted to check out before heading to lunch. I'd enjoyed the bottle of Otaru Weisse I had in Hokkaido. I also recalled Kat's post on Otaru Brewery, so I thought we'd give it a try. The place has quite the Bavarian Beer Garden look and makes some interesting claims on the English menu.
Hmmmm.....not hangover with the beer here, eh? Well, let me have at it! I ordered the Dunkel, which had quite a head. The finish reminded me of caramel-burnt sugar with a touch of stone fruit mixed with a bready yeasty fragrance. Not bad at 5.2 ABV....clean finish, sugary flavors lingering, not too bitter.
The place filled up pretty quickly as most folks were starting up on lunch. Several large parties; all Japanese came in, and a couple looked like they were doing some kind of brewery tour finished up as well.
For some reason, I just wasn't motivated to eat here.....we were in Otaru and I wanted to finish up with some seafood.
The Missus got the Weisse and like the bottle I had previously, it had that banana thing going on. I read that in addition to the classic Weisse wort used for the product, it's also sticking to the traditional brewing method and tightly controlling the 4 VG level (4-vinyl guaiacol), hence the increased banana flavor (iso-amyl acetate) and less of the spicy clove that I'm used too. It's quite a pleasant beer, easy to drink, light, high carbonation, very nice overall.
We enjoyed stopping here, it was relaxing, though he place started getting really busy when we left.
Thanks for dropping by to read mmm-yoso!!!, a food blog. Cathy has some free time and has written a short post on this beautiful day.
It was in February, just after Kirk and His missus returned from their most recent vacation. I was planning to meet clients in Ramona at 5 p.m. and was early, so stopped at Starbucks to get a refreshing beverage (and free wifi). Walking up to the counter, the glass display case of suggested 'snacks' looked different... Flatbreads, meatballs, chicken skewers...and then, after I had placed my order (for a tall bold coffee, no room), was asked if I'd like to try a chorizo stuffed bacon wrapped, balsamic drizzled date (not a piece of cookie or cake, the usual Starbucks samples). Where am I? I wondered.
I sat down.
This was on the table- That last page? A beer and wine list. Later, a nice Young Man was walking around offering samples of popcorn...seasoned with truffle salt and served warm. Again, so confused and I didn't take a photo, but it was good popcorn.
The Mister and I finally had time to return to Ramona. While waiting for my beverage, I noticed this signage: Well, it was Thursday, about 4:30. We had already ordered savory snacks... Truffle Mac & Cheese ($5.95)"Macaroni pasta in a creamy truffle fondue with herbed Parmesan breadcrumbs". Wow. This was tasty! My choice was the Spinach Artichoke Dip with pita chips ($5.95) "Creamy spinach and artichokes deglazed with white wine". Again, very nice. So different than my usual selection of Peanut butter and jam half sandwich, breakfast sandwich or protein box.
Right at 5 o'clock, a young man made an announcement 'anyone who is 21 years old or older may come out to the patio to sample our Santa Cristina Pinot Grigio and goat cheese artichoke flatbread'. I finished reading a chapter, then casually walked out; didn't want to be first in line.This vignette awaited. I asked for only one wine sample and only one piece of the flatbread.
(So sorry about this sideways photo, but still can't figure out my cameraphone sometimes; this was the clearest photo) (I wanted you to see that Starbucks apparently is making stemless wineglasses now). The goat cheese flatbread will be ordered next time; it was wonderful and a mix of Jack cheese with the goat cheese (mellowing out the flavor) as well as red peppers which compliment the marinated artichoke hearts. The Pinot Grigio, a usual summertime choice, was of extremely good quality. "Crispy with aromas of orange flowers and juicy tropical fruit" is the description. It is $9 for a glass.
We will be going to another Starbucks Evenings soon to try out some other menu items. I don't know if the other locations have a once a week tasting, but suspect they all do. I did see a glass of beer being brought out and the menu states to 'ask your barista about our current selection of curated craft beers', so that may happen on our next visit.
*** Not much food in this one. I wouldn't be the least bit offended if you just came back tomorrow.....
We didn't have to check out of the apartment until noon and our train didn't leave until 1300, so we decided to make the most of the rest of our time in Ronda. To be perfectly honest, we were a bit sad to leave as the charm of this amazing locale really made an impression on us.
As soon as the morning rains had passed, we decided to take a walk around and possibly grab a cup of coffee. It was hard getting the past the views.....
It seems that no matter how many times you stared off into the beautiful valley below; you'd notice something new, something you hadn't seen before.
We headed into the Mercadillo Quarter and found a location of the chain Granier on the main pedestrian shopping street of Carretera Espinal.
While having our morning coffee, the Missus and I discussed what we should do before check out time. I suggested finding the trail on the other side of Puente Nueva that led down to the area where all those classic photos of Puente Nueva and El Tajo are taken. Bolstered by our morning caffeine we headed off.
It really wasn't hard to find. We just basically took a right, where we took a left the day before and headed down the street. From Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora, to the right of the statue of San Juan Bosco, there's a set of steps that leads to the trail down into the valley.
The views from Plaza de Maria Auxiliadora ain't shabby either, very dramatic in its own way. Check the out view of the cliffs or Alameda del Tajo where we'd taken most of our photos of the valley the previous day!
The stairs give way to a cobblestone path.....it was just a tad slippery on this morning, which gave way to a dirt path.
And you get a photo, you'll never forget. We headed back up after taking a few more photos and took a round about way back to the apartment. Passing through the square with the Church of Santa Maria la Mayor, which we had walked through the night before.
We took our time getting back to the apartment, where we freshened up, sadly packed, and checked out. Picking up some jamon and bread for our travel days had become sort of a tradition in Spain, so we found a shop right across the street from the Apartmentos Rondacentro and got some Jamon Belotta.
Our train left on time and we had to change trains......
There wasn't much going on here........
Which made it a perfect time for a jamon bocadillo break.....
Even though we'd spent only a night in Ronda, we must have really taken to the place. Arriving in Seville was a jolt to us. The crowds, the narrow streets....the metropolitan area of Seville has a population of 1.5 million people. Making it the fourth largest city in Spain. Our AirBnB apartment was located down a tiny street in Barrio Santa Cruz, a maze of streets and alleyways. We got joyfully lost several times during our first day in the city.
The first thing we needed was a map so we headed down the street and found ourselves at the Giralda (the Bell Tower) and Plaza del Triunfo and the TI was right there.
The Cathedral is quite impressive; the third largest church in Europe.
We took our time and wandered around Barrio Santa Cruz ad ended up at this pleasant square; appropriately named Plaza de Santa Cruz.
As I mentioned earlier, Santa Cruz was once the Jewish Quarter, and a Synagogue once stood at this spot. A distinctive cross rests in the center of the plaza, known as "Cruz Cerrajería" (the Locksmith’s Cross) which dates back to the 17th Century.
Close is another square; Plaza de Refinadores, with one of Seville's most famous, though fictional, personas, Don Juan. So ladies....meet the original Don Juan!
It was starting to get dark and we needed a break, so we headed back to our apartment....
Which meant winding our way thru a maze of streets.....since wifi reception in the alleyways were sometimes problematic, even pocket wifi didn't help. We did eventually find our way back; the apartment was located in an 18th century "casa de palacio", a palace house, it was quite an interesting place to stay. Dinner was coming up. We would soon find the best food of this trip to Spain in Seville.
Thanks for dropping by to read mmm-yoso!!! Kirk and Ed (from Yuma) have been posting a lot lately and even though Cathy hasn't posted, she has been eating. Today's post is one of her eating adventures.
This year is slipping by; more than 1/3 is over and I'm still referring to '2015' on some documents. Work has been busy and visiting with friends and family has occurred. The other morning, after a quick stop at San Diego International Airport, The Mister and I stuck around the Balboa Park area and stopped at a place we each had passed many times. It was a time for us to enjoy some well deserved rest.
Extraordinary Desserts has been open at this location in the Bankers Hill area of San Diego (a block West of Balboa Park) since 2005 about 1994 and has had a storefront in Little Italy since 2006. Karen Krasne, a San Diego native and Cordon Bleu trained pastry chef, was honored with multiple awards for her skills long before her storefronts were in existence (1988).
Walking into the store, though the outdoor seating area, begins the visual stimulation. There are some condiments available for purchase, as well as whole cakes. Walking toward the cashier, there are three main areas to choose individual servings of pastries available that day. (The third area is on a shelf behind the open counter). There is also a small menu of coffee and other hot beverages to choose from.
You order, pay and have a seat and the preparation of beverages and plating occurs. Then your order is brought out.This wonderful slice of blood orange ricotta cake ($9.50) was quite filling and the plating included gold flecked orange slices, a mango-raspberry puree and edible rose petals. The ricotta cake is soaked in blood orange juice so is very moist and flavorful on its own. The whipped cream frosting is also made with blood orange juice. Cranberries and raspberries are part of the frosting that is between layers. This is so good.
This Blackberry and blueberry scone ($3.95) was warmed before the simple decorations of rose petals and powdered sugar topped it. It was a flaky layered, buttery rich pastry, not too sweet and complimented by the fresh berries. Quite large and an excellent scone.
Open late as well as early, this is great, locally owned place.
Extraordinary Desserts 2929 Fifth Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 Website Open Mon-Thurs 8:30 a.m.-11:00p.m. Fri 8:30 a.m.-midnight Sat 10 a.m.-midnight Sun 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
Here you are, back at mmm-yoso!!!, looking for someplace new, different or just to see if Kirk or Ed (from Yuma) or Cathy go to the same places as you. Today's post is written by Cathy.
In between rainy and windy days, there tend to be some really beautiful ones interspersed here in San Diego County. Driving East on El Cajon Boulevard one of those days, we noticed the signage above the building as well as a sandwich board on the sidewalk. You know we had to stop.Curious about the idea of having to go though the Winery door to get to the coffee shop area, we walked in and looked to the right, where the sunlight was streaming in through the open roll up wall door; because it is being constructed to be a pre-order and drive up spot.
Back inside, there is a walk up sort of grab and go case of pastries, pre-made sandwiches, salads and bottled/canned beverages. But there is also a small menu of foods as well as beverages (hot, cold, smoothies). The coffees are from both Lavazza and Bird Rock.We decided to try an iced coffee (the cold brew was not ready) which is kept cold with coffee ice cubes (you have no idea how much I appreciate non-diluting chilling methods). There are so many 'Specialty' drinks offered here, a few seen on this blog post by cc, from September. The Mister decided to try a 'Kale Superfood Salad' ($7.95) (add rotisserie chicken $3.50). The bowl it was served in was quite large and deep. We shared and this was great, quite enough food.The only person working that day was the owner and we overheard him talking to some 'regulars' about a Special for $6 and decided to order it. Thick slices of cucumber, toped with a thick layer of goat cheese, topped with a nicely sweet/spicy chutney (there was ginger in it) and drizzled with honey. Simple, yet a flavor combination I never considered. We have since purchased several chutneys at Trader Joe's and enjoyed a similar snack at home.
Grinds and Vine Coffee Bar 2419 El Cajon Blvd San Diego 92104 (Between Texas Street and Arizona Street) (619) 512-2423 Website Closed Mondays. Tue and Wed 6:30 am - 3:00 pm. Thur and Fri 6:30 am - 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Sat 7:30 am - 3:00 pm and 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Sun 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
We had a gameplan for our last morning in Portland. More on that later. First, we needed some coffee. Back in March, FOY (Friend of Yoso) "James" recommended Public Domain Coffee Never let it be said that I don't take recommendations seriously. Unlike many of the coffee shop in the downtown area which open later on weekend, Public Domain opens at 6am every day. Which made it an easy choice early on a Sunday morning.
They were doing some nice business at this early hour. Just a simple cup of coffee. Service was great and we enjoyed the place except for the two morons who blocked the condiment section....they kept adding cream, sugar, and whatever, then tasting their coffee, then adding more stuff...pouring off some coffee to compensate...wash...rinse...repeat....meanwhile a line was forming behind these two clueless, entitled knuckleheads...until we finally went, "excuse me, but can we get some sleeves...."
One other funny incident. There was an older gentleman, though perhaps life had made him look a bit older than he was, who was sitting on the sidewalk outside Public Domain. He seemed quite kind, asking for change, or a cup of coffee, addressing folks as "sir" and "ma'am". We got him some coffee and a croissant....and damn if he didn't give the Missus a bow and a flourish, finishing with what looked like a modified curtsy, which was pretty much worth the price of the cup of coffee and pastry.
Public Domain Coffee 603 SW Broadway Portland, OR 97205
We went back to our room and packed. Breakfast was going to be at....well, where else; Tasty n Alder, the decision was not up for negotiating. We travel light. On this trip, a single carry-on for both the Missus and I, a Tom Binh Aeronaut 45. Tasty n Alder doesn't open until 9am and out flight was at noon. On our visit the previous morning, we asked our server, who had also been our server on the previous two visits if she thought we could actually have breakfast here; catch the light rail, and make our flight back to San Diego. She believed we could do this. We'd have to be in line 20 minutes before the restaurant opened and she was sure we'd make it.
And so we got to the front door; with our bag, 20 minutes before the place opened. It was good advice. Within minutes there was a line behind us.
We got in and wouldn't you know it......we got the same server....I got her name...but sadly can't remember it right now. You know how the Missus enjoys the food here. All I've got to add is, that young lady was just on top of things, she was just amazing.
Besides the usual suspects, we also ordered the Watermelon Salad, which the Missus loved. This is what made ordering the Watermelon Salad at Risibisi a few months later an easy sell.
Which she brought with the check, knowing we were in a hurry. Touches like this mean that we'll always come back here....... We're just visitors....who knows when, or if, we'd ever be back. And still there's such a nice gesture.
Tasty n Alder 580 SW 12th Ave Portland, OR 97205
And of course we made it to the airport with time to spare.
Finally, at the beginning of November they opened to the public, albeit with limited hours - 6am to noon, Monday to Fridays. I'm only able to visit when I'm running late for work or on holidays.
Still, my visits have been fruitful. On the morning of Christmas Eve, I dropped by and was shocked to see they had brewed a batch of the iconic Panama Geisha. We'd previously spent ten bucks for pour over at Bird Rock, and while this was just drip coffee, it was worth way more than the $2.15 price tag. Smooth, almost too smooth, aromatic....very nice.
I also noticed that the Kyoto Drip tower had been set-up. The really friendly guys here....they love to talk about the various aspects of coffee....heaven for a coffee nerd like the Missus, told me they were "dialing it in"...... I'm hoping they have some nice cold brew the next time I drop by.
I was also told they were considering the possibility of weekend hours......which I'd appreciate.
Bird Rock Coffee Roasters 1270 Morena Blvd. San Diego, CA 92110
Pho Paradise Closes:
Right before the deluge hit, I decided to see what was up with Pho Paradise. I was somewhat surprised to see Eviction Restoration Notice posted on the door. Too bad. I once thought that the pho here had some promise, but my last visit here in November was quite disappointing.
One consistent thing about Convoy. There's no good pho to be had.
Thanks for stopping by to read mmm-yoso!!! on this beautiful day. Kirk (and his Missus) still have a bit of jet lag and Ed (from Yuma) just wrote a really nice post, so it's Cathy's turn.
A San Diego institution, Twiggs has a long, zig-zagged history here, beginning in 1992. There are two locations and this one (on the North East corner of Adams at Idaho) is where The Mister and I have stopped for a few meals as well as baked goods.There is a food menu in the front window (as well as paper menus inside). It seems to be most crowded here for the Friday-Saturday-Sunday breakfast Specials menu.The beverage menus above the cash registers where you order and pay. Usually we stare at the menu and end up ordering a cup of coffee, because it is from Caffe Calabria, a local roaster we really like. Condiments are to the side of the ordering counter, as is more seating. Because the wifi is free, there are a lot of tables with only one person seated at certain times of the day. They all seem to be ordering something to drink and/or eat also, so that's cool. Asking what the quiche of the day choices were (A slice is $4.25; $7.50 with a salad), both mushroom and ham and cheese were available. This time I chose ham and cheese, an excellent choice. Because this location of Twiggs is also a bakery..well, the crust...it was heavenly. Flaky light, flavorful and a good crisp. The bottom stayed firm (sometimes quiche crusts are almost like raw dough) and the cheesy custard filling (a mix of cheeses) complimented the thick sliced chunks of a very flavorful, smoky ham. The mixed lettuce salad, with tomato, raw mushroom and green pepper comes with a side of raspberry vinaigrette, which I use sparingly...the salad veggies are flavorful on their own.The Mister has been curious about the tarragon chicken salad ($6.95) and this time it was his order. A large scoop (despite this photographic illusion) is served on top of the mixed salad (again, with raspberry vinaigrette on the side). Chopped almonds and tarragon complimented the chicken and mayonnaise; simplicity is all the flavoring needed. The lightly toasted (on a panini press) bread was just a perfect compliment for all the flavors. Never knowing if we will want a dessert, we waited until we were finished eating and walked over to the other side of the ordering counter, perusing the baked goods. (There is another refrigerated area with cakes and pies and their respective slices that I didn't photograph).Again, deciding simple would be best, we asked for one pecan sandy ($1) cookie to go and when we got home, were happy to see that there were two in the bag. There are bits of pecan in every bite of these lightly flaky buttery cookies.
Always a nice, neighborhood place to stop. You can pre-order some wonderful cakes, pies and cookies as well some very traditional Christmas items for the rest of the holidays coming up.
Twiggs Bakery & Coffee House 2804 Adams Avenue San Diego 92116 (619)296-4077 Website
I don't think a trip to Kyoto/Osaka would be complete without a short detour to Nara, once the capital of Japan.
It was a quick 45 minute train ride to JR Nara Station. From there, we decided to take a leisurely walk to Todai-ji.
It was a quiet and rather relaxing walk...... we passed an interesting looking "local-kine place" along the way.
We saw a branch of Ko Hi Kan Coffee along the way, so we decided to stop and get our caffeine fix for the morning. Pour-over of course.....per the Missus.
The women working here were very friendly.
It was a nice cup(s) of coffee, which energized our rather tired bones for the walk.
It was just a short walk to the Nara Park area.
We ended up spending the most of our time in a couple of areas; the first being Kofuku-ji, once the temple of the Fujiwara-shi, once one of the most powerful families in Japan.
The Pagoda here was undergoing repairs when we visited; but the grounds were really quite beautiful....in a stark and spartan way.
We soon entered the heart of Nara Park; famous for their temples...and of course the aggressive deer. Actually, I found the deer here to be much more mellow than the super aggressive deer in Miyajima. Though you might have a different opinion if you've ever read Lynnea's post on Nara. That last photo in that post is still a favorite of mine.
Just in case you hadn't been informed of the risks of screwing around with the rather cute four-legged friends....there are signs that explain the possible hazards of messing around with them.
I believed that the biggest draw to Nara would be Tōdai-ji.
Based on the crowds that lines the Main Gate, I'd say that my statement is pretty much correct.
The Daibutsu-den, which houses the world's largest bronze rendering of Buddha is quite impressive.
The bronze Buddha which is also quite impressive at 49 feet tall and 92 feet across at the shoulders! This is a image of Dainichi Buddha, the "Celestial Buddha", the source from which all other Buddha's emanate.
There's a lot to see here. There are other statues, like the rather mencing and imposing looking Komokuten; Buddha's Guard who is stepping upon a demon, yet brandishing a scroll and brush, symbolizing both the power and wisdom of the Sutras over ignorance.
To the right of the Buddha sits Nyoirin Kannon.
In contrast to the rather scary and imposing Komokuten, the Nyoirin Kannon represents compassion and boundless love for all.
And, for those who want enlightenment.....you can try to pass through a hole in one of the pillars deemed Buddha's Nostril. Passing through the hole means that you be granted enlightenment....though I believe it doesn't happen until your next life. Plus, I read that it's only about 20 inches wide....the size of Buddha's nostrils.......better leave this to the one of the school kids; many of whom still struggled to get through.
It was fun watching all the school kids trying to pass through the hole....each one had a photo taken...proof that enlightenment will be bestowed upon them. Personally, I did gain a bit of enlightenment....but it happened in the form of the restroom sign. I learned the power of a single space...where Gentleman....became "Gentle Man". Now that's powerful, right?
Kids of all ages came to visit Tōdai-ji. This group of really young ones seemed so cute and charming. They were so little, that a few of them needed help going down the stairs.
And of course, they sell "senbei".....crackers for the deer...which means every group of school kids became a feeding frenzy.
It was starting to get really crowded. Which meant it was time to "hele".
It definitely is a must see if you're in Kyoto or Osaka.
Initially, the plan was to have lunch in Nara, but we decided to head back to Osaka. Just a few blocks from the busy arcades of Dotonburi resides Kuromon Market.
Along with the numerous shops were countless food stalls, selling everything from live blowfish to Kobe Beef. And there was even a good sized supermarket in the middle of it all.
It was quite a variety. We then decided to just buy a couple of items and have lunch in the market.
It also wasn't easy deciding on what to get. We actually did a walkthrough of the entire market area before making our selections. It was hard resisting all the Kobe beef....especially since you could "burn your meat after ordering"....
In the end I chose some really nice toro from one of the market stalls. The woman sliced everything quite nicely and provided me with wasabi and shoyu.
The Missus chose a selection of nimono and ohitashi for a nice meal from the very friendly folks at another stand.
It made for a very nice lunch.
After finishing up, we headed to the market to grab some beverages and snacks for the evening. At first I was just going to grab 2-3 items, but ended up with quite a load. While walking the aisles I felt a tap on the shoulder. I turned to find a kind looking, elderly gentleman smiling at me. He had two shopping baskets in hand....and passed one of them to me. Such a thoughtful gesture. You gotta love Osaka.