These autumn leaves (drift past my temple window)
A Japanese kind of day, morningu, noon and nighto.
Sometimes when you’re in Kyoto, you’ve just got to go the whole hog (not literally, I was mostly vegetarian today) and do the yu-dofu thing. Every conceivable permeatation of tofu ever conceivable from yuzu-dofu to age-dofu, through to yuba and my utter favourite, goma-dofu.
If culinary terminology was never your strong point, yuu-dofu is tofu served as a kind of stew in a clear broth. Brrrroth sounds so much better when one rrrrolls one’s Rrrrs. Yuzu is a divine Japanese citrus fruit (I mean, citrrrrus frrrruit!), while age-dofu (pronounced “a-gay”, haha) is sweet fried tofu. Yuba is kind of like the skin of custard that you either love or loathe, but in the case of tofu you’ll love it. And goma-dofu is sesame tofu, which is so deliciously beyond words that there are no words to describe it, hence the lack of words here.
Such tofu-ness can be indulged upon in abundance in La Kyot, but we plumped for the area around Kita Tenmangu, oh la la.
Now is all about the momiji maple trees, and their amber splendour. This is what we tenderly refer to as ‘kouyou’ （紅葉でしょ）. The other day we mosied on down to Kibune, which is well worth the trip, if only for the ‘momiji tunnel’. This is where, at night, the bogey man plays a trick on you and turns out all the lights on the train…a five-second gap in pitch dark where everyone gasps expecting Dr. Who to appear in a flash of lightning, but instead…a mass of illuminated tiny red leaves in 360 degree panama vision. It’s better than Disney Land, yes, and I should co co. Kibune itself is also a copper-hued treat, except for the parasols unstrategically placed in the middle of the river. What was that all about? I, for one, quite fancied wading through the icy water for a nice sit down under one of them.
But today we ventured to an off-the-beaten-track temple along the same train track as Kibune. Something irresistably soothing about sitting and watching a rock garden on a rickety wooden veranda while it’s raining, watching the koi carp in the pond singing in the rain, dancing in and out of the raindrops. Drinking matcha green tea and nibbling wagashi sweets. Beam me up, Scottie.