After that, we took a ride to the Gion district where the geisha roam. At 11am, the streets were empty but for delivery trucks, cleaners and us. The party doesn't start here until 5:40pm as the geisha make their way to their assignations. We did see one small group of Maiko, or apprentices and for the first time, I am starting to see ladies in kimonos (not just geisha). They look so elegant and yet at home among the modern city streets.
Ramen was for lunch today and this was not the 15 cent packages we are used to back home, but fresh noodles that were then grilled and served in a broth. Very hot, very tasty and very large! I've yet to see so called Japanese portions as every meal contains more food than I could eat.
Our final stop was south to tour a sake brewery and do some tasting. This brewery belonged to the Gekkeikan, which is one of the few brands to reach the US. Kiyono-san took me through the process and compared to wine, it seemed to be a hard and fast process. After the tour, I got to sample some sake, though with the crowd it was more like shooting it than savoring and analyzing the flavor. Hopefully I'll have a better experience in Takayama.
With some time to spare, we indulged in some Japanese shaved ice. Again, the serving was enormous. I had black sugar favor which was very sweet and molassesey. Tasty but again, so much!
I then took the opportunity to ask Kiyono-san for a favor. In Japan, one can buy event tickets at convenience stores on machines, including Baseball tickets. I am lucky enough to be in Osaka when the Hoshien Tigers play the Baystars. My guide book mentions the great food and shopping opportunities. All I want to do is watch a ball game (and the spectators). And now, with Kiyono-san's help, I can!
Tomorrow is a day on my own in Kyoto.