My last official stop for Kyoto that morning is Fushimi Inari Shrine. If you ever watched the "Memoirs of a Geisha", you will recognize this place with its beautiful orange-colored torii. I didn't have time to do the 4km mountain walk (which will take me 2 hours) but I heard it's worth every minute of it.
|there was a pretty large ceremony going on that morning|
|cute kindergardeners - love their hats!|
|love the torii|
|4 km... 2 hours... I pass...|
|as a number person, of course I would notice such things...|
|reminds me a little of Ginkaku-ji|
Rice balls are the best lunch-on-the-go option and it's so cheap, especially when you have to decide one more POI or a decent meal... Although I heard the ramen place and the sushi place next to the station are both good... maybe next time...
|my rice balls from AEON last night|
|oh those kindergardeners are from here!|
|10 minutes walking? I don't think so... more like 15...|
Just as I thought, I barely missed anything (the group was only at the fermentation room) and with my radio, I was able to follow the different processes demonstrated. You can totally get intoxicated just by smelling the aroma in the distillation room. Throughout the tour, you can feel the dedication of the company into the art of whiskey making.
|our nice tour guide|
|The whiskey is clear before it is through the aging process.|
Tests are performed (color, smell, taste) to ensure the quality of each batch.
|the aging cellar|
|the first and oldest barrel of Yamazaki - is there any left?|
|Thank you for providing the world with a quality whiskey!|
|the range of Yamazaki products|
|the water used to make Yamazaki - it is delicious!|
|water / Yamazaki / Yamazaki 12 years / Hakushu|
I actually preferred the Yamazaki over the Hakushu
|different ways to enjoy whiskey|
If you didn't have enough to drink from the free tasting, they have another tasting room after you pass the shop. They offer a wide range of whiskey, both domestic and import for paid tasting. I can't deny myself for another 2 tasting of their limited whiskey and left light headed and very happy. Made my way back to the station somehow and got on my train to Osaka.
|Yamazaki whiskey library|
|I wondered how long it took to build the library.|
|JPY15,000!!! That's for a tasting class of 10ml only!!!|
|the 2 limited whiskey I tried|
love the boubon barrel one although the puncheon smelled better to me
|looks more like a cafe for coffee :)|
|biking in Osaka|
|the #2 most poisonous vertebrates in the world|
|oden over puffer fish any day! :P|
|an expensive melon|
|the famous Rikuro's cheesecake!!!|
|a must try in Osaka|
|beef / quail eggs / smelt / rice cake / chicken soft cartilage|
|white fish / peppers / house special (fried curry rice) / shrimp|
|a famous dessert place - I didn't go... too full...|
|want!!! but too too full!!!|
|I think the sign says "no bicycle parking"|
|ramen from Ichiran|
|the Glico man! Dotonbori's landmark|
My thoughts on Osaka Hana Hostel:
Location, location, location! For only JPY2,800 a night, I am staying in the heart of Shinsabashi. Less than 5 minutes to the Shinsabashi subway station and Dotonbori on foot! Namba and Kuromo Market are all less than 15 minutes away on a bicycle. In addition, the staff at the hostel is extremely friendly. Even the guests at this hostel seem to be more talkative. I met a French lady, a Canadian girl, a Taiwanese girl, a British girl, and a Canadian couple. I did more talking that night compared to the rest of my trip!!! Now that I know the demographics of Osaka better, Namba is probably more convenient for me but I love Osaka Hana so much I think I will stay there again in my next visit!