Thursday, June 28, 2012

Japan - Day 8

     Last night, after our scary gourmet dinner at the Ryokan, I begged James to let us chicken out and get the Western Style breakfast.  I'm so glad we did.  Breakfast was great with fresh fruit and melt-in-your-mouth croissants.  The yolks of the eggs here are bright orange.  (Keiko told us that eggs are more desirable the oranger they are.)  Our chickens that free-range with plenty of green grass lay eggs with bright yellow yolks tending toward orange, but this color is unnatural.  Purina, of course, puts marigold in their layer mix so that confined chickens will lay eggs with bright yellow yolks.  The Japanese have to be putting something in the feed to get this color.  Grated carrots, perhaps?
     I am told that the Kyoto vegetables are very different  and carrots are very large and blood red.  I am overcome with curiosity, but think it fairly unlikely that I will run into a chicken farmer who will tell me.  An internet search leads to speculation that orange peels or safflowers are the source.  Where is Sherlock when you need him?
     Anyway, after our spectacular breakfast, we packed up and our Ryokan proprietress called a taxi to take us to our next place - the B and B Juno.  Run by  Austrians Ian and Sybilla and named after their 9 year old daughter Juno, the place has received many good reviews.  We have a nice upstairs room with 2 futons and there is one other guest down the hall.  The price is very reasonable at 5,000 yen per night per person - or about $120 dollars a night total.
     Ian immediately sits us down with a map of Kyoto and goes over how to use the buses and where the attractions are.  This looks like a great location, there are several temples, including the famous Silver Pavilion, within walking distance.  After a rest, we walk around town, shopping for souvenirs and snacks and end up with an examination of the lovely temple grounds and shrines - very quiet, in spite of all the school kid tour groups being ushered through.
     We find a Japanese restaurant without an English menu so we point at our selections and have a couple of inexpensive bowls of rice with beef for me and shrimp for James.  James finally finds the Japanese soft drink he has been searching for - a kind of sparkling cider in glass bottles which are sealed by a marble.  You push the marble down into the bottle to open it.  Evidently, this drink (Ramune) was discussed by his Japanese teacher and also featured in some of the Manga he reads.  He is thrilled to find it, but crushed that he cannot keep the bottle, even by paying the deposit.  Bottles must be finished and returned at once for recycling.  Rats!  He is still searching for a plastic version.
Our hostess at breakfast at the Shiraume.  An English paper too!

Breakfast is really great!!

Look at that fruit cup made from an orange- and those lovely eggs!

You can buy anything in this world from a vending machine....

James' first Ramune

But they won't let us keep the bottle!

The Silver Pavillion and associated shrines and gardens.

Don't order a taco in Japan.  Taco means octopus!

James decides to try the the taco balls.

He says octopus is good as long as you can't see the suckers.

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