We’ve been having a great time in Japan, exploring temples, walking through markets, taking pictures, and eating great food!
I’m officially re-obsessed with photography (is that even possible?) so I decided to show a few of my favorite shots from the past two days we’ve spent here in Kyoto (Japan) and explain a bit about them!
Practicing photography feels almost like a religion or a new way of seeing things. It makes me slow down and pay attention to little things, and reflect. I can find something to photograph everywhere. In zen buddhism, it is a belief that one can practice anything as a meditation. Whether painting, raking gravel at a temple, or finding interesting ways to capture images of beautiful things, you can focus and clear your mind. I am glad to have been a photographer today.
We just came back from a relaxing Japanese bathhouse, a sento or せんと, in Japanese. We also tried a new style of Japanese food called okonomiyaki, おこのみやき, which is cooked on a big hot plate and then transfered to a little hot plate built into your table. It reminded me of a yakiniku (grilled meat and vegetable) restaurant because of the cook-at-the-table part. At a yakiniku restaurant, you typically order plates of raw vegetables and meat, and then get to cook everything on a grill in the middle of the table, dip it in sauce, and eat it immediately! This seems to be a running theme with Japanese food, the cook yourself idea. I would describe it as more of an activity or experience rather than just a meal. You get to experience the food.
For lunch we had another version of cook-at-the-table food called sukiyaki. You may notice the repetition of the word yaki in all three kinds of food I have talked about: okonomiyaki, yakiniku, and sukiyaki. There is also teppinyaki. Yaki means grill or grilled. Sukiyaki is similar to yakiniku but it is cooked in a heated pan not on a grill. Usually you cook meat, tofu, clear noodles, and veggies, and then pour broth on it to soak up all the caramelized flavors! today at lunch we were instructed to crack an egg into a bowl and then dip the cooked things into the raw scrambled egg like sauce. My first reaction (in my head) was eww.. dipping stuff in raw egg and then eating it… but it was actually pretty good.
Oyasuminasai everyone! (good night!)