Yesterday we went to Sanjusangendo, which is my favorite temple in Kyoto. Its main feature is a massively long hall that houses 1001 intricately carved statues of Kannon (not technically Buddha, but close enough for most non-Buddhists). This is another hugely popular temple, and it’s usually packed with crowds of visiting schoolchildren, but the crowds were amazingly quiet yesterday so it didn’t seem so packed.
Photos are forbidden in the hall, and I’d rather not use any blurry ones posted online by rule-breaking visitors, so I’ll just say that the sight is breathtaking and not to be missed.
And now for a milkshake.
You may have heard that there are vending machines on every street corner in Japan. That’s more or less true, but contrary to popular belief, they do not all contain used girls’ underwear. (I’ve never seen one of these mythical vending machines, though I have spotted one for eggs and one for porn, but these were rare sightings.)
The cool thing about vending machines in Japan is that while most of them carry the same 10 or so drinks from Coca-Cola and Suntory (sodas, coffee drinks, tea and the like), every once in a while you’ll come across a drink you’ve never seen before, and you might never see again. Such was the case with Milk Shake.
Milk Shake is not an authentic milkshake, but it is milky and very sweet. Kind of like watered-down melted ice cream, with a little bit of an artificial aftertaste. I liked it, but we probably shouldn’t have bought two before tasting it, because one was enough for everyone to share, and our ryokan room doesn’t have a fridge in which we could keep the other one warm. Warm watery ice cream drink with a bit of an artificial aftertaste, anyone? No?