Saturday, June 22, 2013

Last Day in Kyoto - Family Dinner

Today was a quiet day with our family splitting up into multiple groups. Bridget and I went with my nephew to look for a couple of geocaches (found our first two in Japan!) and then took the subway to Nishiki Market. After having a very spicy Chinese noodle dish, we wandered through the fresh fish and vegetable market into a very mall-like area with quite a few high end stores. We eventually wandered back to the townhouse to get ready for the evening meeting with family.

Two cousins and my aunt live in Kyoto and another cousin came with his wife from Osaka. We met at a very Japanese restaurant near the shopping district and had a multi-course traditional meal while sitting at low tables set on tatami mats. The staff were women in traditional kimonos. I didn't remember to start taking food shots until after the first couple of courses. But here are most of the courses.

Vegetable Sushi - Unusual even in Japan


Wild Duck and Mushrooms

Toasted Rice Soup

Tempura Fresh Water Eel

Dessert Plate with Red Bean Jelly,
Green Tea Ice Cream
and Fresh Fruit

After a long, relaxing dinner, it was a bit challenging for me to stand up again. There was an exchange of gifts all around and a group photo. We brought a selection of Alaska gifts as there seems to be a real attraction to Alaska for everyone. One of the staff graciously agreed to take photos with at least five cameras. Here is the Machida family in Japan along with Bridget and I, my sister and her family and my mom. Plus the brother of one of my cousin's wife.

It was wonderful to meet them again though it was a bit challenging to converse due to my limited Japanese and their limited English. The younger generation had an easier time with it.


  1. Veggie sushi, YUM! Looks like a wonderful family gathering. One day I hope to travel to Japan too (not that I speak any of the language...) .Thanks for taking us along into this different world.

    1. The vegetable sushi was unique. From left to right, radish, eggplant, cabbage and cucumber rolls. BTW, all of the vegetables were lightly pickled in rice vinegar salt and sugar not served fresh.

      Lots of pickled vegetables served with most meals even breakfast.

  2. That's a great family photo.

    Is that a pickle in tempura?! Or is that the eel? Toasted rice soup...I wonder if that tastes like "sizzling rice soup". If so, it's got to be excellent.

    How nice to have family in Kyoto. I had an instant immersion CD of Japanese several years ago and I still remember several words. I could not put a sentence together, but I am surprised at how many words I remember.

    Beautiful bowls, too. What's a good Japanese beer?

    1. What looks like a pickle is something similar to okra and is in most dishes I've tried. It must be in season. Similar in that the surface doesn't have the ridges but has a similar texture.

      The toasted rice soup is similar to sizzling rice soup except the broth is fish based instead of chicken. All of the serving dishes looked hand made. Even though each persons plate or bowl looked similar they weren't exactly the same.

      I don't know anything about beer but my cousins ordered Asahi. What was interesting is that you don't fill your own glass. The person next to you fills your glass and you fill theirs anytime it looks empty.

  3. Wow, it is awesome that so many family members were able to gather together.

    The veggie sushi and toasted rice soup look tasty.

    1. It was good to see so many family members again. I talked mostly to two cousins. The daughter of one of my cousins, named Moe, stopped by the townhouse several times to visit as her high school was in the area and brought several friends by to take my nephews around town.