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Sushi Training

Sushi Training

Conveyor belt sushi in no longer a new phenomenon, but on our last trip to Kyoto we found a new twist on it at a fun place in Kyoto and a great place to take the kids. In addition to the standard conveyor belt, with the sushi on multi-colored plates based on price, this place featured a way to special order your sushi (electronic, of course!) and then it’s delivered on little Shinkansen trains (more famously known as the Bullet trains).  Here are some pictures, with guided instructions.   And just in case the kids don’t like raw fish… there are quite a few cooked items as well.   Next time you’re in Kyoto, drop in for a chance for some sushi...
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Kids in Japan – Make the Usual Unusual...

I just got back from Japan and since we’re sending more and more families there, I thought I’d keep my eye out for suggestions for people traveling with kids.  If you’ve read any of the rest of the blog you may have come across my discussion about the lack of my favorite ice cream in Japan (Haagan Daz Chocolate Chocolate Chip). But for kids of all ages in Kyoto, I like to suggest a stop into the Haagan Daz shop on Kawaramachi (south of Sanjo) to try some of the flavors that we don’t get in the US.   In addition to the Green Tea (ok, so maybe that is available in the US shops – but do they have Cookies & Green Tea?), I found these more unusual flavors this time:  Custard Pudding, Pumpkin, Salty Butter Biscuit, Alphonso Mango and Cream and, my new favorite, Cookies and Sesame cream – yum!  Of course, for those kids who’d rather go with something they know – there’s always Chocolate and Strawberry.   Only here – they’re combined into one ice cream called Chocolate...
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Miyajima Boat to the Floating Torii

Miyajima Boat to the Floating Torii

Sometimes when traveling, the standard “tourist” activity turns out to be not nearly as much fun as it looks (think camel ride…).   But we stumbled on something that turned out to be a fun little activity on the island of Miyajima.   While touring there late one morning we saw a boatload of tourists being rowed towards the large red torii gate.   We took lots of pictures and videos, including the group performing the traditional ritual of bowing and clapping when appearing before a shrine.   Torii gates represent moving from the physical world to the spiritual and so the entrance to Itsukushima Shrine, via the famous “floating” torii gate can be approached on boat with the right connections.  Only the right connections turned out to be the 800 yen fare.  Walking back towards the dock we came upon the two boats, which load up with tourists and then are rowed out by two energetic rowers and a Japanese speaking guide on a microphone.  Needless to say, we didn’t understand a word of the Japanese, but it was a lovely short ride out, under and through the gate, a stop for the ritual, then a few spins around the gate and back to shore.   We even got to wear straw coolie hats to keep the sun at bay! Sacred...