HK5 Japan: Chapter 11 “The Hidden Ramen & Lessons”


I am not sure what it is about Kyoto that make me want to come back again. Not sure if it was seeing that our awesome hotel truly has embraced equality. Or if it was the even more friendly nature of the people living in Kyoto. We got out the door late this morning to our first trek of the day. We chose to go to the Mt. Inari temples and the world famous orange gates. A few drops did come down upon our arrival but it was pretty dry during our entry. We toured the main temple at the entrance and paid our respects and prayers to the gods. 

As we approached the first batch of orange gates the rain slowly increased. By the mid-way point of the first gate, batches of the rains came faster and we slowly got drenched. We reached the pond area and while the rain was pouring, seeing the pond in this peaceful moment was a moment in itself. As you can see from the video posted on instagram and the photos of the kids along the pond. We made it halfway up the mountain and decided to call it quits as the rains were coming down sheets. What was amazing is that when we reached the bottom of the mountain, there were still swaths of tourists entering the temple gates to climb the mount. There was even a couple with a baby in a stroller that is half hanging out of its seat. The poor child was trying to sleep and completely soaked from the belly button down.

We scrubbed the rest of excursions for the day and headed back to the hotel to ring out our drenched kids and reapply that makeup as one does in Kyoto. The rains turned into a monsoon and we decided to stay local and Paley and I went out shopping. The Granvia Hotel sits on top of the Kyoto Station which has access to 3 department stores. We hit the jackpot. I was happy to see on maps that Anna Sui had a station in one of the floors. I was able to find the kids clothes and jewelry, but sadly they yanked her womenswear collection. Sad Brian! 

In the evening we opted for Ramen one last time and boy did we hit the jackpot. Paolo at Tokyo Zebra recommended Wajouryoumen Sugari and so did the hotel concierge. The key comments from patrons was that the door was hidden and the waiting area is buried deep. When we arrived I was lost, as usual and Clem found it in a blink. Love that guy! We got our meal tickets and the seating was limited, so we lined and split up. But the wait and split was well worth it all. 

The ramen was amazing, the broth was thick and delicious. This restaurant was one for the books. Margot and I sat down 10 minutes after Clem and the other sat down. She and I finished early and freed up our seats for the others waiting. Outside it was already 8:30pm and I noticed some tourists pacing back and forth down the alley. One mother and daughter finally stopped and pulled out their phones to look for something and an Indian family walked past us at least 4 times. I started to feel for their two kids looking hungry and tired of walking.  I stopped them and asked, are you looking for Ramen. They stopped and said yes and the mom and daughter interjected and said yes as well. I was happy to show them the hidden door and tell them how to get in and order. 

I guess it was my good deed for the day. It did sting a little when Margot told Paley she didn’t want to sit with me. We spent that meal talking about how parents sometimes are not nice when they tell their children what the can and can’t do. And get upset when you do things you were told not to do or lie to your parent. Earlier in the day Margot got in trouble for doing something and was upset with me because I disciplined her. By the end of the meal, she was a lot happier and closer to me. It was a learning experience for both of us in a way.