March 19, 2023

Everything everywhere all in my tummy day 9: from east to west

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We're doing some sightseeing in Kyoto today, but unlike most tourists we're not hitting any of Kyoto's famous temples. Both Foursheets and I have done the touristy stuff, which was why we were really looking forward to a special tour this morning. But first, breakfast!

We wanted something quick and simple around Kyoto Station, but this being Sunday morning, of course every single place was packed. We ended up at McDonald's as we actually found seats there. The minute I saw it, I just had to order the Mega Muffin, which came with two pieces of sausage, a slice of cheese between the sausages, the egg, and bacon on top. This was really, really satisfying.

I also had the hash potato, which was nice.

Our destination this morning was Shugakuin Imperial Villa (修学院離宮). The Dining Austrian had booked a visit for himself, and he very kindly offered me his slot so Foursheets and I could see the beauty of the place for ourselves. Given that he had to submit his passport information for the booking, I was a little skeptical that I could just show up and take his place. I had planned to send email to the Imperial Household Agency (宮内庁) to inquire about this, but I kinda got lazy and never make the inquiry.

So it wasn't at all surprising that we were refused entry. And it's perfectly understandable, once you realize that not only are we in Japan, but this is a government agency dealing with affairs of the Imperial household and their properties. My friends had offered to speak with the gatekeepers, but I knew it would just be a waste of time, so we walked away and tried to focus on the rest of the day.

Had we had an easier time flagging down a taxi, we would have gone to check out the Kyoto Botanical Gardens (京都府立植物園) and maybe stopped by Shinshindo (進々堂) for a nice melon bread (メロンパン). We ended up making our way to our other major destination for the day - Toei Kyoto Studio Park (東映太秦映画村).

While this place is still a working film site - and we saw something being filmed while we were at the park - the purpose of our visit was for Foursheets to see Evangelion Kyoto Base (エヴァンゲリオン京都基地). She's a huge fan of the anime, and visitors are able to climb into the pilot's seat and go through the entry plug boarding test to measure one's EVA synchronization score.

We went back to Kyoto Station to grab a late lunch, and ended up at Tonkatsu Wako (とんかつ和幸) at Isetan. I didn't get a coveted booking at Tonkatsu Narikura (とんかつ 成蔵) for our stay in Tokyo, so I figured I'd chomp on some more deep-fried pork chops elsewhere.

I always choose loin cutlet (ロースかつ), and this one was apparently the premium option. Pretty tasty. Also appreciated the shredded cabbage for our dose of veg.

It's been kinda tiring crossing town today, so we went back to our hotel and rest and freshen up for dinner.

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