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  • Good morning guys, welcome to day two of my Otsu adventure!

  • I had a really nice sleep last night. My bed was so comfy!

  • I didn't want to get up!

  • And then I looked out the window and it was raining which I kind of expected, but that's okay!

  • Cause today I'm gonna show you guys how you can enjoy a rainy day in Japan.

  • We're gonna find some activities to do that'll be okay in the rain.

  • So step one is to get a rain jacket,

  • and you'll probably need that. I don't have an umbrella,

  • but this has a hood, so we should be alright.

  • So our first stop for the day is this cable car, which we're gonna ride up a mountain.

  • I really love doing stuff like this. I can't wait for this. I was holding this pamphlet in the elevator,

  • and a staff member saw it and they're like "oh you're gonna ride the cable car tomorrow", and I was like "yeah."

  • And then I went back to my room and he came up to my room and gave me these cable car tickets.

  • I thought that was so sweet of him!

  • So now we've got a deal on the cable car.

  • And then when we get to the top there's some stuff up there waiting for us.

  • But I'll save that for a surprise. I think they have a really nice breakfast prepared for me!

  • Let's go eat that first. My breakfast looks amazing!

  • Look it how fancy this is. I'm so excited to try everything.

  • This is green tea soba which I really love.

  • They're gonna be bringing something to cook on the little fire pot here in a minute. And inside here apparently,

  • there's a couple layers, so there's salad on top, and I think inside the second layer, there's some tofu.

  • Inside here is miso soup,

  • some pickled plums,

  • orange, and this is the dressing for the salad fresh lemon salt and olive oil.

  • Wow!

  • Looks like we have some tofu and some konnyaku

  • So pretty. It's like artwork. I feel so bad destroying it.

  • Think of the little dragon boys, that was so cute!

  • And they just brought me some steamed vegetables. I'm gonna let them cook here a little longer.

  • After that absolutely delicious and a healthy breakfast at Biwako Hotel,

  • I headed outside to start my second day of exploring in Otsu City.

  • So this is where we are right now at Sakamoto Station, and we're gonna be walking up this road, which is called

  • Hiyoshinobanba, and it's so pretty. These rock walls and all these small villages here were

  • all built in the Edo period and they're still in really good condition.

  • You'll see as we walk around. And it only takes about

  • 15 minutes to get up to this area where we're gonna catch the cable car.

  • Even on a rainy day like today, I definitely recommend skipping the taxi

  • and taking a stroll up Hiyoshinobanba Street.

  • The street is lined with traditional buildings, gardens, shrines.

  • The views is absolutely breathtaking. You don't want to miss it

  • Across the street from us here is Kyu (Former) Chikurin-in

  • And it's a Japanese garden where they serve matcha, so you can enjoy matcha while you're viewing the garden

  • and we're going to be stopping by there later.

  • It's got another 0.2 kilometers to the cable noriba (station)

  • One side get I tickets. The car comes every half an hour.

  • So we've got a little bit of time about 25 minutes, until the next one.

  • Had to put my hair up. It was a little a little more humid than I was expecting today.

  • Look where we're gonna be heading into the forest that looks sloggy.

  • I'm so excited!

  • The car's completely covered,

  • so this is definitely something you could still enjoy on a rainy day like today.

  • The cable car is celebrating its 90th anniversary this year actually.

  • It's been around for quite a while, so it's the beginning of the Showa era.

  • The cable car ride into the forest felt like something out of a TV movie.

  • It was magical, but just wait until we get near the top. It's really cool guys. You're gonna like it.

  • This is kind of fun on a rainy day, I like the fogginess.

  • Wow. It’s so high up!

  • This car will soon jolt a little.

  • The door on the rear right side will open to inside automatically.

  • Wow, we're on the top of the mountain now. You can't see anything. It's like we're in the middle of the clouds!

  • It's kind of cool!

  • Apparently they're supposed to be an amazing view from up here.

  • But we can't see that today, but I kind of like it. It's...it's neat.

  • It feels really cool to not be able to see anything it's like being on top of Mt. Fuji.

  • Reminds me of that.

  • So we're just walking up the mountain.

  • Now about an eight minute walk and we're gonna arrive at Enryakuji Temple.

  • And when we get up there we're either gonna be doing some Zen meditation which I've never done before,

  • or learning some calligraphy,

  • which I'm pretty bad at.

  • But I love doing good, so I kind of hope we get to do the calligraphy. I haven't done that in a while,

  • it'd be nice to get some practice and get a little better.

  • There's Hiyoshi Taisha that we saw when we were walking up the street and the gate

  • across the road now we're all the way up

  • here, wow!

  • This is the main building of Enryakuji and they're currently

  • repairing it, so it's under construction right now.

  • jujugo-oku (1.5 billion) so about 15 million dollars. They're spending on the

  • construction, so these are the kind of details that they'll be fixing,

  • repainting the paint that's come off. Oh wow! Here's before, and then after

  • it was restored. We're gonna get a quick tour of the inside of the building,

  • but unfortunately

  • that's not allowed to be filmed so you guys are gonna have to come here and experience it for yourself.

  • The inside was really amazing!

  • I really recommend coming to see it and see what I couldn't show it to you guys.

  • They have three lanterns inside. Oil lamps, where the fire has been burning inside there for

  • 1,200 years, without ever going out. I thought that was really cool!

  • About 400 years ago, this temple was destroyed and had to be rebuilt. But at that time,

  • they moved the fire to another place, and then brought it back when it was rebuilt.

  • So the same lamp has been burning

  • for over a thousand years. So cool!

  • It’s better to sway once before pulling back.

  • Yes, good.

  • Wow! On a clear day, this is the view you would have of

  • Biwako, Biwa Lake.

  • So shoujin ryouri is the food that monks eat while they're training to be a monk.

  • So they have a vegan diet while they're training,

  • and we're gonna try that out today. See the kind of foods they're eating.

  • But apparently the shoujin ryouri that they're serving to visitors is a little different

  • than what the monks would actually eat. The monks meal would be a lot simpler,

  • probably wouldn't have as many dishes as we're gonna eat today.

  • It's like dried yuba, then you can add it into miso soup.

  • And it becomes like a fresh yuba. You can taste all the omiyage (souvenir) here. It's awesome

  • Wow this is the calligraphy practice that we might be doing. It's so tiny.

  • I've never done such tiny calligraphy.

  • So in this room is where they do the Zen meditation.

  • And in this room is where they do the calligraphy. Oh wow!

  • It's all set up here.

  • So what they do is they trace the kanji through the paper, so underneath you can

  • see the kanji through this paper, and I'm gonna be

  • tracing these. I feel like after tracing this entire page,

  • I'm gonna be really good at kanji.

  • So the words that will be tracing here are a Buddhist sutra that were brought from India,

  • and have been translated into Japanese.

  • So put a little bit of water in your suzuri (ink stone).

  • So once you've finished writing copying out the sutra,

  • you write in a wish here on this line. This kanji is "tame".

  • It means like purpose, so the purpose that you're tracing this out for is for your wish to come true.

  • Apparently it would take a Japanese person about an hour and a half to trace this all out,

  • so I don't think I'm going to be able to finish it today, but they said I'm allowed to bring it home.

  • It's not easy.

  • You have to hold it really politely,

  • or the lines could be too thick.

  • Could be worse. (laughter)

  • I started off pretty bad. (more laughter) It takes a while to get used to the pressure that you should use, but I think I improved

  • as I went along?

  • So maybe my next row will look a little nicer. It took me 20 minutes to write these two lines.

  • My second one isn't too bad!

  • Zoom in so you can see all my mistakes.

  • Well I think it looks decent.

  • A couple of the characters are harder than others.

  • I think that one turned out quite nice.

  • It was hard work. I'm gonna take the rest of my sutra home, and buy one of those brush pens,

  • and complete it. It might take a week or so, but I will finish it.

  • The view from lunch.

  • Very foggy, very cloudy, but normally you'd have like an amazing view of the city here.

  • All right, I'll give you guys the tour, so here we have a tofu nabe. It's just starting to cook nabe.

  • They lit the flame for me.

  • In here we have ganmo which is made from soybeans.

  • It's kind of like a squishy texture, some radish and

  • I'm not sure what this is made out of. These are usually made out of fish, but it's probably tofu.

  • Some more konnyaku. This is goma-dofu,

  • It's a little bit of soy sauce on the bottom,

  • so it's a sesame tofu and apparently there are people that really love this and people that

  • really dislike it, and so I'm excited to try it. I've never had it before,

  • so we'll see if I like it or not and over here.

  • We have some pickles, and some sweet beans, some kombu and daikon,

  • some white rice,

  • and clear soup!

  • Itadakimasu!

  • Oh it's got a really bouncy texture!

  • Oh oishii (yummy) mmm oishi

  • Hmm, really strong sesame flavor.

  • This is really good. This would be great with rice.

  • So they use that dried yuba that we saw in the souvenir store in this soup, this is what it looks like.

  • When you add it to soup it's so cool, so thin.

  • The shoujin ryouri was really, really delicious!

  • Even if you're a meat-eater, I think you would really enjoy the meal. It was really flavorful!

  • I fell in love with the soup base from the nabe. I'm gonna try and recreate that myself.

  • Apparently it's made with kombu dashi, and shiitake dashi, so I'll try my best.

  • We've arrived back at the garden. Time for some matcha.

  • How perfect is this scene you can drink a nice warm matcha?

  • Inside under the roof, so it doesn't matter what the weather is, and you can enjoy this beautiful garden.