Tuesday, 25 January 2011

japan v: mikoan, kyoto

I got to spend some time in Kyoto, which I absolutely loved. One of the things I enjoyed most whilst I was in Japan was wandering around the temples and shrines in Kyoto. It's always lovely for me to visit the Buddha, just saying hi and stuff. I even got to visit the 1001 Buddhas at 三十三間堂. The temple is dedicated to Kannon, who is the Japanese incarnation of my favourite lady Kwan Yin. The temple isn't just home to Kannon, though - aside from the 1001 statues of Kannon, there's also a number of guardian deities, with their familiar grumpy faces.

I had hoped to visit a temple with attached shuojin ryori restaurant, but alas a look at the Vegan Pocket Guide revealed that they were all at temples that we weren't visiting. Fortunately for us, Mikoan, a strict vegetarian shuojin ryori restaurant run by two ladies, was only a short walk from our hostel.

We booked in advance for Mikoan, and after a brief rest from all that walking and a quick visit to the most eighties onsen ever, we walked on over for dinner. I do recommend booking in advance, as the restaurant is tiny (it seats maybe eight people, and is like sitting at someone's breakfast bar in their living room). I asked one of the people at reception in the hostel to make the booking for me (my spoken Japanese is desultory at best, though my reading is better than I thought it was).

vegetarian dinner set at mikoan

All four of us ordered the set plate (1000円), and somehow managed to all be served completely different things, sticking mostly (I think) to the five colours five tastes principles of Japanese Buddhist food. The entire meal was a delight. There was an assortment of fried things, and vegetables, and the most delicious soup to accompany it all.

Afterwards, we met the resident cat, with whom Josie fell in love, and who was very adorable.

〒600-8032 京都市下京区寺町通四条下ル中之町570
570 Nakano-cho
Teramachi-dori, Shijo-saguru

Down an alleyway near a bookstore (don't be tricked by this bookstore - it looks like a normal bookstore on the ground floor, but every floor above that is an adult bookstore)

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