Kanga An is a beautiful temple on an unassuming side street in Kyoto. Built at the request of retired Emperor Go Mizuno it’s still in operation today. But in addition to a Buddhist Temple it’s also an acclaimed vegetarian restaurant. We didn’t eat there because at this point in the trip we couldn’t handle any more huge set multiple-course meals even if they were composed entirely of vegetables. But you know what we did stop by for a drink.
Yeah this temple has a secret bar in the back. It’s surrounded by lush gardens and the bar is tended by a sweet and gentle man who will tell you everything you’d like to know about the temple and take you on a tour of the gardens and shrines. This place is by no means a secret (it’s even been featured on GOOP for goodness sake *sigh*) but we were there on a very quiet night and it was a lovely and contemplative experience.
We lucked out and happened to be in Tokyo during cherry blossom season. Of course the city is magnificently beautiful when it’s brimming with flowers. But the season also imbues the inhabitants with cheerfulness as they gather in parks to eat, drink, and spend merry times with family. This was a rescheduled trip and despite the initial despair about a delayed vacation I couldn’t be happier that we ended up here now.