Breakfast is always a time for planning the day. With Lonely Planet on my kindle and my much consulted map of Kyoto.
Our day started at the stunning Kinkaku-Ji, known as the Golden Pavillion for obvious reasons. This was quite stunning to behold, though it is very busy and packed with tour groups.
Birds are awesome. There are awesome birds to see in Japan.
After the glitz of Kinkaku-Ji, Ryōan-ji was a peaceful change. This is the famous stone garden, which is considered one of the best zen gardens in Japan.
There is also a beautiful moss garden there.
However the real draw for me was Yodofu, a traditional tofu restaurant. By default, Yodofu is completely vegan. The tea house and garden dates from the 17th century. As you sit on the floor (traditional style), you look out over this tranquil garden.
We ordered the full Vegetarian Dish with Yu-Dofu, which centered around this giant steaming pot of silken tofu and vegetables in 7-herbs. This was amazing, the tofu is just mind blowing.
It also came with this wonderful tray of assorted goodies. This included an amazing sesame coleslaw, pickles, beans and garlic, rice, an amazing block of silken tofu (I can't even describe how good this was) with wasabi and a plate of assorted little bits and pieces that were delicious, though I am not sure what they were.
After our tofu feast, we caught the Randen (like a tram) out to Arashiyama. We visited Tenryū-ji, the famous temple and garden there.
I just really love this photo.
Arishiyama is famous for the beautiful bamboo grove. It is such a peaceful place to stroll through, though it tends to be quite crowded. There is also a beautiful little priestess shrine there you can visit (the Nonomiya Shrine).
Heading back to Kyoto on the JR train, I picked up some vegan snacks from the 7-11 for afternoon tea.
I spent the rest of the afternoon back in Kyoto, wandering around the Imperial Palace Gardens. You can't actually go in to the Imperial Palace most of the time, but there are some lovely gardens surrounding it and you can go up to the walls.
I made friends with a kitty! This lovely lady was smooching around a park bench, getting love from people who passed by. She was a very plump, healthy looking girl, I suspect she lived somewhere nearby.
For dinner I went to the all-vegan Morpho Cafe. A nice little place with a yummy menu. There is also an English menu and the staff speak excellent English, we had a great chat about Happy Cow.
I had the cutlet set, which was delicious. Though that grey stuff in the little oval jar... I have no idea! It was tasty.
I ordered a banana juice, which was like a smoothie.
Dessert was a seasonal tart, which was apple tart served with ice cream, whipped cream, pistachio and a Happy Halloween Cookie. They also had a great selection of baked goodies to take away, so I picked up a few for future snacks.
All finished off with a chai.