Near, Far, Wherever you are

We've been on the move again! We're pretty good at getting out and seeing all the things.

Saturday afternoon I took my sister to see Heiwa cemetery which is huge and very peaceful.

Then we visited our little bamboo forest behind our house.

And we found some kitties! I love going places with kitties!

Saturday evening was a bit. . . Uh. Wet. We decided to wait out the rain a bit before we went out as just the adults but we failed. We waited and waited and waited but ended up giving in and getting totally soaked! But it was totally worth it. We ended up at a funny little itzakaya down the street that we've wanted to try for a while and we're very happy to report it's amazing!

After dinner we were super full so we had dessert. #becausejapan

We headed to Ken Nishio bakery down the street.

So. Tasty.

Sunday morning Alix and I went out for a little sister time at one of my favorite cafes : I (heart) Coffee.

We enjoyed lattes and granola with yogurt. And of course, each other's company which we've been missing.


Sunday afternoon I took Alix shopping and out to lunch. We visited the Daiso and spent so much more than 100 yen. Whoops. Then we had lunch at Zarame which is another place I've been meaning to try! It was so good!


Sunday evening we headed to Toyota-shi for a HUGE Matsuri that culminated in 1300 fireworks.   And about ELEVENTY BILLION times that many people.  I wouldn't say it was my favorite activity we've done in Japan, but the display was pretty remarkable and lasted 2 hours! Of course so did the commute. . . .



Monday morning the kids, Alix and I packed it up and in and headed to Kyoto.   Our first stop was the Hello Kitty Cafe. (Cause I'm a sucker)



This was probably the most "mediocre" food we've had while Tanti has been here and it was really good!




Oh and adorable.






Since Rosie got her treat, the adults got their treats!




And Isaac finally got his treat!  He's been wishing for one of these since we saw it in Hiroshima when the Coles were here!




Then we visited Ninenzaka which is the pedestrian street full of adorable shops

that leads you up to Kiyomizu-dera, a beautiful temple we've visited before.



These bells are up for the annual Tanabata festival of stars. The story is that 2 young loves couldn't be together because there as a river separating them. They sent their wishes up to the stars and the stars built them a bridge to each other.

This time I got to go the rest of the way up and see the bunny temple!




After this we hopped a cab (look people, it was REALLY HOT and we took a lot of cabs) to the Yasaka Shrine. The Yasaka Shrine is the shrine that puts on the Gion (The float parade we saw a few weeks ago) festival every year.




After this we were REALLY HOT and REALLT MOIST.  SO I made an executive decision to do something indoors.


A cat and OWL Cafe! Rosie was too scared to do the owls, so the kids and I stayed down with the kitties and Alix got to meet Hedwig!





We checked in to our tiny and quaint AirBnb and played a rousing round of Isaac's favorite card game besides Magic, Smash Up. Basically, Alix and I flailed around trying to figure out what the heck we were doing and Isaac killed us at the game. But it made him REALLY happy!



Then you guys. We ate again!  I found a little hole in the wall around the corner called "KuraKura" and it was so good!! We sat at a Tatami table, drank the beers and ate all the good foods!



I think this was my favorite, clams boiled in local sake!



You even got to drink the broth!


We ate a lot of food.


This morning I took my sister (and the kids, but really mostly my sister) to Orinasukan, a textile district museum for the locals NOT the tourists.  It includes tea on the tatami and a private tour (no photos allowed) of the actual looms in use!!!!    I'm pretty sure Alix thought she'd died and gone to beautiful textile heaven.




Our last stop for our Kyoto tour was back to our favorite Zen Garden, Ninna-ji.  We just sat and enjoyed the beauty of the sunny garden.



And then, from nowhere came a beautiful, peaceful, calm rainstorm.  It was so serene.





We stopped at Family Kitchen again for Thai curry.




And then, boom! Just like that our visit to Kyoto was over!



Tonight is Tanti's last night.  I'm so sad to send her away, but so so glad she got to be here.  Having visitors reminds me why we live here and why it's amazing.  Tomorrow, there will be tear