Our second day of the workshop in Kyoto took us to the countryside. We all piled into taxis outside the hotel and took about a 40 minute ride to the agricultural village of Ohara. The weather was very pleasant, and we spent the morning slowly walking up the hill past farms, small businesses, and restaurants to Jakko-in, a Buddhist nunnery. We then met at the best restaurant of the whole trip, which served all vegetarian and locally grown ingredients. The food was wonderful, and it seemed like lunch went on for hours. I think we had around eight different courses to enjoy.
After lunch we walked back down the hill, across the street, and the group headed up another hill to a temple. I opted out of that walk and explored the small town down below. It was a very pleasant day and I loved seeing this side of life in Japan.
As you can see, the beautiful fall colors were also present in this little village. I love the reflective color in the third photo!
One small outdoor shop was selling condiments. Notice how attractively packaged the product is.
This little shop attracted quite a crowd. Patrons could sit here and "enjoy" some frothy green tea while admiring the view and soaking their feet in some lovely warm water. This is our new friend, Karen, trying it out. The remainder of the shop was devoted to selling tea, and painting ceramics. An interesting combo.
I loved everything about this restaurant! The food was wonderful, and the presentation even more wonderful. In addition, the owners also made and sold scarves, placemats, coasters, and napkins which you can see in the photographs above.
After lunch I wandered around by myself because I was concerned I wouldn't be able to walk up the hill to the monastery. Turns out most people only went partway, and I could have (should have) given it a try. I did see this little shop with a local man roasting tea leaves, and some beautifully wrapped packages of tea for sale.