We slowed down to a stroll today. It is supposed to be a vacation, after all. The heat has followed us. But no matter how hot it gets, I always appreciate a heated toilet seat. We read up on Japanese Gardens, since today we are visiting Kenroku-en, ranked as one of the top three gardens in all of Japan. It has the six attributes for perfection:
abundant water and
It is from the Edo period and is classified as a Strolling Garden. It deserves the Top Three ranking. We strolled for hours. What is really intriguing about a strolling garden is that the views are constantly changing. It includes four ponds, well-pruned trees, a tea house, the oldest fountain in Japan, a plum garden, and we learned what "borrowed landscape" means: when trees or mountains appear to be a part of the garden, but are really outside of it.
Matthew had a problem with being naked with a bunch of dudes, so I went by myself to the hotel's onsen. Just like our separate beds, the onsens in Japan are gender separated. I shared the onsen with an older Japanese woman, who had no problem baring all, so neither did I.
One must follow strict rules if partaking in the hot spring fun:
1. Take off underwear
2. Clean your body - please sit down on the stool
3. Relax and enjoy
4. Do not run
5. Do not wash your clothes in springs
6. Rinse body after
Our Kyoto ryokan host continues to help us. Before we left he gave us a Google maps print-out of a restaurant he recommends in Kanazawa. Izakaya Musashi may have broken into our Top 5 of the trip. We saddled up to the counter and watched the chefs make fried rice from white rice, flip omelettes, grill pork chops. We ordered one item from each of the seven columns, save the tofu column and the salad (in which case we ordered two items from the meat column) : sashimi, Squid legs, Gyoza (pork dumplings) and chicken notombori, eggplant and bacon, and fried rice. It was all rounded out with dry sake, an Osaka Tigers vs. Hiroshima Karp baseball game, and even though it was a pub, it still had to have vases of fresh flowers on the bar.