I once heard that Kyoto was the Paris of Asia from a trusted friend. So when Clarence and I decided to add on cities to our Shanghai trip, we decided to spend a few days in Kyoto. I’d never heard of Kyoto before my friend mentioned it to me. Aside, from the time I heard it referenced in a song on KCRW one day. I’d only had my heard set on Tokyo for most of my life. Kyoto was a breath of fresh air after a week in crowded Shanghai. And we had the perfect guide to show us the heartbeat of the city, Alan Algee.
It was a joy to see how well adjusted Alan was to this foreign city, coming from Los Angeles. He’s lived there for a year now and is living the creative genius dream. I was happy that Clarence got a chance to meet him and learn what it’s like for an American to live abroad since it’s in our hearts to do so. Well, we are open to the idea at least ;-).
Our first night in Kyoto we explored Kodai-ji Zen Temple and later had Shabu-Shabu at Junidan-Ya, the first shabu shabu restaurant in Kyoto. It’s Japanese custom to slurp at the end of your bowl to show that the food was delicious. I had fun with that. Clarence accidentally walked up to the table with his shoes on for dinner. We gasped – and laughed (after the fact).