This is my last Japan travel and inspired bento article but I will share a compilation post to put all of the links in one place. My Mom and I rented a house in Kyoto from Japan Experience. It was great to be able to do some light cooking and get the feel of living in a neighborhood in Japan.
When making this bento, I was inspired by this photo. Other than my use of the plum shaped cutter, it probably looks like a cherry tree. But I was happy with the look and taste of this meal.
Container: ECO Lunchboxes
Left Side: Nishiki rice with spinach and strawberry cream cheese (I mashed some fresh strawberries and added them to cream cheese. I put the strawberry cream cheese in a ziplock plastic bag, cut off a small corner, then piped the cream cheese on top of the rice).
Right Side: Broccoli, radish with strawberry cream cheese centers
Round Cup: Strawberries
Since the plum trees were blossoming during our visit, we went to Kitano Shrine in Kyoto. It is known for a gorgeous plum garden. As part of the garden admission we received tickets for a supposedly plum tea and a snack. I could not drink the tea because I found the taste to be revolting. My Mom has a great photo of my expression after trying the tea but I won’t share it here.
I was inspired by our experience at the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine when making this lunch. I also liked the idea of trying a different vegetable to make the Tori. In my Miyajima bento I used bell pepper. I made the fox picks from actual photos I took.
Left Side: Quinoa cooked in vegetable broth with green peas, carrots
Top Right: Hazelnuts
Bottom Right: Clementine with homemade Fox statue picks
We went to this shrine first thing in the morning because I was concerned about crowds. It was a good time to go. It was very impressive. Before going to the shrine I read a review with a woman’s experience and she suggested that it was not necessary to climb all the way to the top. So we went there intending to follow her advice and we did.
Since the Fox is the guardian at this shrine there were Fox statues, toys, and fox head shaped cakes.
When we walked past these poles, my first thought was that it was poetry. But I found out later that it was company names of sponsors.
We ate a lot of bread while in Japan. I could not resist taking a photo of this cute strawberry themed display. I bought and ate the chocolate and strawberry one. Delicious. I put strawberry shaped bread on my list of shaped bread bento that I want to make.
Our visit to Kiyomizu-dera was in the rain. Before we went that day I Googled to see if it was alright to see in the rain. I think that the rain made it more special.
At Kiyomizu-dera and other shrines in Kyoto, we often noticed young women dressed in kimono. I was told that some do it as a girl’s day out to make it more special. The kimono were beautiful!
This cute Totoro display was at the Studio Ghibli store near Kyomizu-dera. The street on the way up the hill to the temple was filled with souvenir shops and restaurants. We ate cream puffs and I bought a shot-glass for my husband’s collection.
The garden at Heian Shrine was gorgeous. Everywhere we turned there was beauty. We took a lot of photos here even though it was slightly rainy. Since it was off-season and a little rainy, we had the garden to ourselves. Also special was that we were able to walk here from our rental house.
My Mom is an adventurer. Me, not so much. I think that this photo is so funny because it shows me watching and not participating while she is on an adventure. I walked around on the path while my Mom walked on the stepping stones across the pond. I was afraid that I would fall.
As I mentioned in my Osaka post, manhole covers are often special in Japan.
This was taken at Shimogamo Shrine. It was another one that we walked to from our rental house. We went in the morning. This shrine was surrounded by many trees and it did not feel like we were in a city.
Of course, I could not resist buying these cute sheep themed donuts.
This was the view on our walk from our rental house to the closest grocery store.
We went on a night walking tour of Gion in Kyoto hosted by Japan Experience. Since it was off-season and a little cold, we were the only ones on the tour with our guide. It was a special tour and I recommend it. We actually happened upon 4 Geisha during our walk.
Our stay in Kyoto and in Japan was so special. Kyoto is a wonderful city to explore and convenient to do many day-trips.