After a long morning of temple visits, we spent the remaining of the day hopping here and there to satisfy our appetite and check out shops and buildings in Downtown Kyoto. After coming out from Ginkakuji, we decided to go for a late lunch nearby at Kani Douraku Kitashirakawa (かに道楽 北白川), an outlet of the seafood restaurant chain specialized in Japanese crab.
Kani Douraku Kitashirakawa (かに道楽 北白川) was at the upper level of a building. The big display window of crab dishes on the street level ensured that we had found the right place.
Unlike the main Kani Douraku (かに道楽) shop in Downtown Kyoto or Osaka where there is a large and catchy crab model on their store signage, Kani Douraku Kitashirakawa (かに道楽 北白川) was much low profile on their shopfront.
Each of us ordered a set meal with several courses of crab dishes. This is crab sashimi.
We both like the grilled crab.
We also ordered kegani (hairy crab from Hokkaido).
The table setting was Japanese in style, with views to a small Japanese garden.
It was already late afternoon when we were done with our full course crab meal. We spent some time walking in the downtown area to check our a few design shops and modern architecture. The first one we checked out was Tadao Ando’s Kyoto Design House, a piece of modern architecture housing a shop specialized in local crafts and design merchandises.
After an hour or two wandering leisurely in the downtown checking shops and covered retail streets, we found ourselves passing by another Ando’s design, the Time’s Building. Built in 1984, the project offers interestingly intimate commercial spaces in an urban setting. Right by the tree-lined canal along Kiyamachi Dori (木屋町通), the building made reference to a boat floating in water.
At dinner time, we went to explore the atmospheric Pontocho, one of the most popular nightlife alley in Kyoto. Just steps away from Kamo River, the narrow alley was flanked both sides with small timber houses that were primarily restaurants, bars and chaya (tea houses).
Pontocho was narrow and busy, and full of dining options.
We ended up choosing a sake bar to end our day.
The sake bar obviously offered lots of options for sake. We decided to get the small cup so we can try a few more options of sake (Japanese rice wine).
The sake bar was specialized in sake made in the local area.
The two young staff were friendly despite we could only communicate with simple English/ Japanese words.
There were over thirty different kinds of sake available. The chart on the wall indicated the four main variations of taste for the sake: sweet, pure, dry, bitter.
One of the sake we tried was Koto sen nen (Thousand year old capital).
Sake and Japanese pickles.
Small squids in wine sauce was super delicious.
Oden mix (関東煮) with five ingredients offered good snacks to go with the sake.
When we left we passed by the busy Pontocho Kaburenjo Theatre. Audience were coming out of the theatre that was famous for shows of traditional Kamogawa Odori dance.
Too bad we didn’t have time to check out one of their shows at Pontocho Kaburenjo Theatre.
Our posts on 2016 Kyoto and Nara:
OUR FIRST KYOTO STORY, Japan
DAY 1: ARRIVAL AT HIGASHIYAMA (東山), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 1: RYOANJI TEMPLE (龍安寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 1: NINNAJI TEMPLE (仁和寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 1: KINKAKUJI TEMPLE (金閣寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 1: KITANO TENMANGU SHRINE (北野天満宮), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 1: NIGHT AT KIYOMIZU-DERA (清水寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 2: MORNING STROLL IN SOUTHERN HIGASHIYAMA (東山), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 2: KIYOMIZU DERA (清水寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 2: KIYOMIZU DERA to KENNINJI, Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 2: ○△□ and Chouontei Garden and Ceiling of Twin Dragons, KENNINJI TEMPLE (建仁寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 2: SFERA BUILDING (スフェラ・ビル), SHIRKAWA GION (祇園白川), KAMO RIVER (鴨川) & DOWNTOWN, Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 2: YAKITORI HITOMI (炭焼創彩鳥家 人見), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 3: MORNING IN NORTHERN HIGASHIYAMA (北東山), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 3: NANZENJI (南禅寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 3: PHILOSOPHER’S PATH (哲学の道), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 3: HONENIN (法然院), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 3: GINKAKUJI (銀閣寺), Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 3: CRAB AND SAKE, Kyoto, Japan
DAY 4: HORYUJI (法隆寺), Nara (奈良), Japan
DAY 4: TODAIJI TEMPLE (東大寺), Nara (奈良), Japan
DAY 4: KASUGA TAISHA (春日大社), Nara (奈良), Japan
DAY 4: KOFUKUJI (興福寺), Nara (奈良), Japan
DAY 4: NAKAGAWA MASASHICHI SHOTEN (中川政七商店 遊中川), Nara (奈良), Japan
DAY 4: RAMEN & CHRISTMAS LIGHTS, Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 5: FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE (伏見稲荷大社) Part 1, Kyoto (京都), Japan
DAY 5: FUSHIMI INARI SHRINE (伏見稲荷大社) Part 2, Kyoto, Japan
DAY 5: FAREWELL KYOTO, Kyoto, Japan