02/25/2010

Peachy Keen Jellybean

The temperature currently reads 19 (a very lovely 66 to you Fahrenheiters), the Sun is gloriously beaming, the outdoor air inviting, T-shirts are abundant and so, hopefully and dare I type it, this must certainly hint that Spring has gratefully and graciously sprung!

And following alongside this eternal gift, of course, with the coming of Spring a Young Man's fancy turns to......

The Love Hotel!

This week brings our crack Kyoto Research Team (sorry) to -

La Peche
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Located due East and an easy stroll of perhaps 2 minutes from Heian Jingu(and if you can't find Heian Shrine then turn around, get back on the airplane and go home) in Okazaki Park, this convenient Palace of Amour is perfectly situated to serve those restless, randy wanderers who wish to steal away from all the touristic madness of modern life and escape into each others arms......and legs........and........................well, you get the point.

Perfectly capturing all the gaudy splendor of the J-Land Love Hothouse, the Peche (the Peach en Francais) cheerfully announces its open invitations to all in brilliant neon and flashing lights. Its unique features are multiple entrances (for your discretion), twin parking lots (plenty of room for everybody) and I also have solid information that, for you larger than average gentleman, the Peach offers a generously sized condom for your use, pleasure and approval.

And such a bargain!
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Yes, hourly or nightly La Peche has a pristine room waiting for you and that special someone to arrive and shake the walls... at a very reasonable price.

Interesting sidenote- As I was photographing the premises for this post a very satisfied couple was making a hasty exit from same. The Gentleman commented to the Lady that perhaps he had forgotten his cell phone inside- "chotto....keitai wasaletta!"- an absolutely unbelievable occurence as in J-Land an average citizen would more likely forget their money before forgetting the cell but I guess she'd most definitely just rocked his world and/or blew his mind!
Now when describing this coosome twosome I don't wish to mention any ages or force anyone to imagine their parents but in the interest of journalistic ethics I must report.....

They were both older than me!

And please trust me Friends and readers, if you're older than me then you are officially ancient.
But, you know something, as they were leisurely strolling away arms entwined I can faithfully note that Old Pops had a smile on his face you couldn't remove without a baseball bat and his Girl was definitely beaming and dreaming.
I sure hope they got the Senior discount!

God Bless J-Land!
posted by Billy at 17:20 | Kyoto (Japan)

02/15/2010

Izakaya Heaven on Earth

On Sunday evening Team Kyoto rather luckily stumbled across dining Nirvana and promptly fell in L-O-V-E.....with our F-O-O-D!
And if you and yours want to experience similar gastronomic bliss then I can confidently recommend-

OOKINIYA!
http://www.eonet.ne.jp/~ookiniya-kyoto/

From the street (located just a 10 sec walk East of Shirakawa-dori and just South around the 1st corner off Higashikuramaguchi-dori) this rather modestly-sized Izakaya's nondescript exterior gives away few clues as to the epicurean treasure that you will discover inside its cozy, unassuming interior.
First, while this is definitely a traditional style dining/drinking experience the menu is anything but and most certainly will delight you with its exciting, eclectic, electric and wonderfully eccentric variety of dishes ranging far and wide to suit any taste you may be craving.

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(A sidenote to my Western Friends, if you happen to struggle with Nihon-go never fear 'cuz the Master Masaki-san will be glad to guide you in his flawless English so don't be shy)


The lead-off appetizers are your 1st hint to the pleasures in store for your lucky tastebuds-
A delicious dollop of pate' nestled on a bed of tofu and topped with a zesty slice of pepper.
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We have Lift-off!

After we savored that flavor we tore into the Menu with a passion and were rocketed into the Sunday evening stars by a cornucopia of culinary deliciousness.

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Our 1st stage blast included-
Fried fresh oysters (MMMMMMmmmm)
A sublime Salmon/Avocado Salad in a dreamy, creamy white sauce
Croquette (a rather unique home-made fried potato/creamcheese combo with a fresh berry jam)
and an absolutely orgasmic fried chicken bathed in a tangy sauce that we all fought over until it was finished then poured the sauce over a bowl of steamy rice (as per Masaki-san's instructions) then wrestled over that!

We felt no need to stop there so we hit the afterburners and were rewarded by mouth-wateringly juicy beefsteak
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and a truly unbelievable fried prawn in a spicy korean red sauce coupled to a rice/egg combo that proved to be a lovely union indeed.




But what proper Izakaya chowdown could possibly be a success without some Yaki-soba to top it off?
And Ookiniya brings it!

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I can safely say that I've had Yaki-soba many, many times but this dish was one to savor every moment of before gratefully loosening your belt. As for the smile on your face, trust me, that won't get any looser.

Dessert is, of course, on the Menu and according to the reports I received from Team Kyoto (I, myself was bending to my beer and did not indulge) it was one to remember.
If you happen to be a Nihon-shu (Sake to you) Fan then please try the very original Hire-shu , a hot sake drink with dried and aged (Masaki-san dries and stores them himself for one season prior to their use) Fugu fins mixed in to give it an extra special, subtle yet snappy flavor.
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While Ookiniya is a typically smaller-sized Izakaya the counter can seat 12-15, they also have one table that can fit 4-5 Adults comfortably but please realize that the Menu is simply a very clear cut above your average place and their prices are in line with that quality but slightly above average.
Ideal for Dates (I can imagine no one who won't love the cuisine), Family dinners or casual yet tasteful dining with Friends, they got what you want so please do yourself a favor and come get it!
The place is small but it's no secret for J-Landers (check the cool video on the webpage) so please plan a bit ahead.

Open for Lunch 11:30-2:00
Dinner 5:30-1:30 AM.
Closed Thursdays.

Interesting sidenote- Massaki-san is also an Artist/Sculptor of some renown (and when you see his food presentation this is very easy to understand) and has several of his original paintings on display on his walls so if you are curious please ask and he may enlighten you about his Art and process.
If you got Bank, maybe you can buy!


posted by Billy at 18:43 | Kyoto (Japan)

02/11/2010

Just in time for Valentines Day

CAUTION: ADULTS ONLY PERMITTED TO READ FURTHER
(OK...OK, or...well......as long as you promise to behave like an Adult)

And as a timely reminder here's the 1st in a series about that most, very special, uniquely Japanese contribution to romance and V-Day-

The Love Hotel.

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Ah yes, the indispensible J-Land bridge to many a romantic road, a bridge that always conveys that indefinable combination of convenience, privacy and affordability with just the right touch of illicit charm, secret mystery and Adult naughtiness.

Welcome Lovers both young and old!

This week took us to the mid-priced Hotel Chapel Cinderella located among a cluster of similar romantic establishments in the Okazaki area.
Very vaguely fairy-tale themed, this spanky Love Shack offers a range of amenities at a price many teenagers can afford and most adults would find downright reasonable.
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The schedule and price range may seem overly complex but fear not you randy Romeos and Juliets, basically it's about \3000 for 2-3 hours of wall shaking boom-boom (depending on your arrival time) or \6000 if you want to rock the House all night long and please trust me, my Western Friends, this is indeed a bargain around these parts.
For your money you'll get a large, pristine bed/playground, a spotless, absolutely luxurious bath, free movies (but if you actually turn on the TV you probably shouldn't be there in the first place), complimentary condoms, lube and a choice of other additional, vending machine toys you may both enjoy if you happen to bend that way.

I mean that's what I've heard.....I, myself, being old and ugly unfortunately have little knowledge of this wonderful boon to J-Culture but when in Rome........

Indulge!

One final note- Leave the cameras in your pocket until you get to your room as privacy is indeed a priority in this business of Love-Love. As proof of this practice in most of these pleasure palaces you, as valued customers, will never, EVER make any actual eye contact with any Staff entering or exiting and, of course, vice versa!
Why? You may not be asking?

Not sure but.....
My best guess is that it would appear that many of the happy couples who faithfully patronize these oasis' of orgasms (easily spotted in the vicinity by the hand-holding and mutual smiles) happen to be married......but....... not necessarily to each other.

Hence, getting safely, securely In and Out (ouch...sorry) is a BIG selling point.

So, for a refreshing change of scenery-

Treat yourself, don't cheat yourself!
posted by Billy at 16:41 | Kyoto (Japan)

02/04/2010

Out with the Bad...In with the Good

Every Feb. 3 at Yoshida Shrine marks the Kick-off for Setsubun (banishing the ills of last year and welcoming the good feelings for next) and last night they did it up right!

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The Festive crowds were all over the Mountain spending (lottery tickets, ceremonial beans, Oni Masks, etc.), drinking (Hot sake and beer), chowing down (delish hot eats anywhere you cared to look) and smiling (no charge for those).

Successfully negotiating the twists and turns of the Fest was a strictly sink-or-swim affair but I got the big impression that most folks stroked along most happily, easily and gratefully even if elbow room was a very rare commodity so excuse the shaky camerawork but I was riding herd.
Team Kyoto, for example, arrived with a posse of 10 but we were quickly separated by the tidal force of the flow and so we all drifted then docked when and where we could occasionally and/or luckily bumping into the members of our blissfully scattered expedition.

One epicurean highlight- Tsuboyaki!
P1010239.JPGA grilled to perfection giant clam roasting in its own juices. Throw in some hot Nihonshu (sake to you) or a cold beer next to the heater and you got a slice of Setsubun Heaven!

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Later they lit the huge bonfire, a spectacular finale to the evening, to ward away all the Evil Spirits of '09 but by that time Team Kyoto was comfortably regrouping back at HQ.

Hey, cut me some slack.....at least we didn't lose any strays!
posted by Billy at 18:03 | Kyoto (Japan)

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