Well, I wouldn't want Pinku to be East Japan-centric, so I have begged my sweet friend, Jitka (a long-term Kyoto resident) to share her insights and photos from Kyoto. I have lived in Tokyo for just over a year, but my heart remains in Kyoto. For all of her new ugly concrete buildings and masses of tourists, Kyoto will always be beautiful to me.
- BIT OF BACKGROUND -
Jitka (an Aussie but with Czech blood!!) and I met in 1999...I don't remember the month but I remember where. It was outside the front of the "Tani" - a now defunct gaijin house in southern Kyoto - I had just moved in there as I had just moved out of my ex-boyfriend's place and had nowhere to go (a sad story I know). I have not stayed at any other gaijin houses, but I am confident that the "Tani" would rank as the worst in quality and management in Japan. My four and a half tatami mat room was...unfortunately located next to the crazy 'Hello Kitty' woman's room who apart from wearing all Hello Kitty motif clothes and TOTALLY designing her room with Hello Kitty goods, would regularly start wailing at early hours of the morning and talk to herself constantly. It didn't help that our rooms were only separated by a thin Japanese sliding door. On the other side of me was a man from the Middle East (can't remember what country) - his job in Japan was collecting chicken eggs in the very early hours of the morning - he was also very proud of the carpet in his room that he had brought from home. AND, the only window in my room was located right above a car body spray painting business - oh those beautiful fumes!! Best of all was the cockroach infested kitchen and the police raids to take away illegal foreigners from the Middle East. Yes, it was an experience. And it was one that I would not have survived without Jitty. Despite her strange ways (you know what I'm talking about) and her constant bragging about having the best room in the "Tani" - (she had the luxurious eight mat tatami room on the top floor with roof access, view of the shinkansen line and the mountains of Kyoto, but best of all NO crazy neighbours!!!) she turned out to be a great friend.
Check out her page on virtualtourist.com. She is a traveller with extensive knowledge about India and ......other places. Other than that - she can sketch people really well (look at this drawing of me), speaks Japanese, German and Czech, takes great photos and is not afraid to push around a Japanese grandma when necessary (all you Japan residents know what I mean). Oh yeah, and although her name will sound weird to some supposedly it is as common as SUSAN in the Czech Republic!
Nuff about her. Here's her report on DAIMARU in Kyoto
Daimaru basement foodcourt has a new and improved layout! Nevermind the already disadvantaged position I find myself in, living BEHIND the damn department store, but today being my little end of year bonus day and I wandered in just to grab a little something for dinner.... half a dazed hour later I found myself stumbling out with yuzu tofu, some fancy prawn croquette, pumpkin and cinnamon salad and autumn mixed rice in two flavours. Over 1000 Yen for this quick meal! :Ｐ The new improved layout means I can't find anything and am so overwhelmed to find so many neeew things. Restrained myself at the freshly ground coffee section, and luckily couldn't find the wine cellar anymore.....