Tuesday, August 16, 2011


today we didn't really do too much (besides at night). we went back to the nishiki market area and did some shopping. then we had lunch:

and we also made some mashed potatoes in a special way! my friend sara made a blog post about this and we HAD to try it because we love these things! jagariko are potato sticks. sort of like...potato chips, but in french fry form. SUPER good. they come in many flavors, but this one is "salad" and really yummy. anyway, in her blog, she told of how to turn them from sticks to mashed potatoes!

first, you peel back the lid half-way and fill up the cup (with the sticks inside still) with water until they reach 3/4 of the way on the sticks. then you close it up (it helps to place a plate on top so the lid stays shut) for 3 minutes.

take the plate and lid off, and you will see that the sticks have absorbed a lot of the water. this is when you start mashing!!! at first it seemed too watery, but it was actually the perfect amount of water.

MASH MASH MASH! i just used chopsticks.

and look! perfect mashed potatoes!

and let me tell you....they were WAY better than i thought they would be! i thought they would turn out decent, but they were seriously amazing! couldn't believe it! thank you sara for telling us about it! for sara's blog post about it, click here:

but tonight we were so excited for daimonji!!!!!!
"obon" is when the spirits of deceased family members come to this world. it has been going on in japan for about the past week, so a lot of festivals have been happening all over the country. daimonji is what we saw tonight, which is the closing of obon, and 5 large bonfires are lit in the mountains surrounding kyoto. when this happens, the spirits return back to the spirit world. it was AMAZING to witness!!! i purposely chose the hotel we're staying at right now because they allowed guests onto the roof to see the fires :) 
here they are!!!

daimonji (大文字), the character meaning "large" or "great":on daimonji-yama/higashi-yama, nyoigatake at 8:00PM

myō/hō (妙・, could only see 法. the other was blocked by a building), the characters meaning "wondrous dharma" (referring to buddhist teachings)
on matsugasaki, nishi-yama/higashi-yama at 8:10PM

hidari daimonji (左大文字), again, the character meaning "large":on daihoku-san, hidaridaimonji-san at 8:15PM

funagata (舟形), the shape of a boat:
on nishigamo, funa-yama at 8:15PM

and lastly, toriigata (鳥居形), the shape of a torii, or shrine gate:
on toriimoto, mandara-san at 8:20PM

some are bigger, some are smaller because of their actual size, and also because some were closer to us than others. to help show what actually goes on, i took this video for you to see!!!

SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!!! :D really happy we got to see this!


  1. Lol- I am glad you liked the Jyagarico mashed potatoes. Those pictures are making me hungry!

    Beautiful pictures of the fireworks- how awesome you got to go during obon time.

  2. Can't wait to try these yummy lunch boxes. I often see the black sprinkles on the steamed rice (do you know what it is? )
    Yesterday we went and arranged our JR rail passes and Ghilbi museum tickets (getting so excited now)

  3. @sue: i'm so excited for you!!!! getting those things and looking at them in person will get you even more excited! as for the black specks on top, they are black sesame seeds! :) really yummy!