AOR in Nagoya

We first came to café welz in 2007, after recommendation from the owners of the guest house. Their 400 yen morning set was great and couldn’t be beaten. In 2010, we visited again, and once more enjoyed the 400 yen set. After our long 4 year absence from Japan, we were hesitant to return, worried that the price and quality may have changed. These fears came to nothing, as we sat down to enjoy our 4 buck morning set, including a good coffee.

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We went on a thirty five minute ride in the Shinkansen to the city of Nagoya. First on the list was Nagoya castle. Cool castle. Here be pictures.

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There was a wild cat that kept watch over the castle. He was a serious cat.

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Photo op on the golden dolphin, which live at the top. Blainie is not REALLY up in the sky, it is just an illusion.

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Then in the evening, we decided that going to see a band in a club on the eighth floor of a department store was what we wanted to do. Luckily, a band was playing, and we had tickets (already purchased in Australia many weeks before). The band was Wilco side project, the Autumn Defence, and they were rad. The crowd was extremely appreciative and attentive. We can not stress this enough.

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Dressed head to toe in Uniqlo

In this first photo, we see Blainie dressed in an ensemble from her favourite clothing store; Uniqlo. Realising all the clothes she had brought with her were useless in this harsh environment, a shopping spree was called for. Today she is rocking the middle aged Japanese lady puffy jacket, paired with the fleece lined cargo pants, also from the middle aged Japanese lady range. Oh — and there’s Totoro.

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Lunch was hot pot for Steve, and Tempura udon for Blainie. Perfect for when it is about 3 degrees outside.

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Now here are photos of us at Kiyomizudera — our favourite temple in Kyoto, and one we just can’t resist visiting every time we are here. It is always spectacular, and if you are in Kyoto it is the one you have to go and see. One day we hope to see it covered in snow. Not this time. I guess we will have to come back.

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All this temple viewing is making me thirsty. Time for a matcha latte.

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Then to meander the streets of the Gion district, to wait for the ‘Spirited Away’ ferry to take us to the bath house.

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Then Blainie had a brilliant idea — catch a taxi back to Kyoto station. We have often commented on the taxis in Japan — they are immaculate inside and out, and always the latest models of cars. We should catch them more. It is good fun. In the distance you can see Kyoto tower, our destination.

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Ramen for dinner t Kyoto station again — but not the same ramen. Another type of ramen. Again, it is just exactly what we needed. That was what today was like.

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Staying close to home

The cold is getting to us a bit, and we took it a bit easy today. The first shot is of the entrance gate to a temple that doesn’t allow photos inside, so you will just have to imagine it. Imagine nice gardens leading to a display hall that has a range of wooden carved statues — many of which are well over 1,000 years old. They remind me a lot of the Narita style of things. Big wooden flame designs behind them, and some standing on defeated demons. All out of wood and really old. With the lighting down real low, it is pretty spectacular. You will just have to come over if you want to see it. It’s funny — this is just down the street, and even though we have been here twice before, we have never noticed it.

The next two shots are of the place we are staying — Bola Bola. This is our third time here. We like very much.

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The cats of Kyoto have made their choice

And their choice was to sit in the Winter sun in the hills of Arashiyama.

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Sakura motchi and green tea snackables.

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Then a little break before lunch. We found a tofu specialty restaurant. This was a no shoes kinda place, and had an amazing view into Japanese gardens from one way, and views of the river the other way. This was absolutely one of the best meals we have ever had in Japan. Really good.

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Then Blainie went for her job interview as a mermaid at the train station.

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In other job related news, Steve got the gig as a Ramen chef at Kyoto station.

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Kyoto-a-go-go

Off to Kyoto today. This means eki-Ben. Delicious.

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Check out the special 7/11 electric car being charged right there at the shop. Talk about convenience. Delivery car maybe.

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Kyoto tower looking pretty in the afternoon light.

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We didn’t go TOO crazy with the gatcha machines. Blainie did manage to get 3 different ones from the same set, so she was pretty happy.

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Dinner tonight at an okonomiyaki place. We kinda meant to take it easy today, but ended up doing quite a lot. Stayed out well past our usual curfew.

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