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Wandering around our new neighborhood in Kyoto, Japan

We arrived at our new home on the Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan 2009 at Gojo Paradiso, Kyoto, Japan, on Thursday night. Then we spent the next day wandering our new neighborhood, finding cool places, and buying and eating deliscious food!

The unschooling/homeschooling teens hanging at our Gojo Paradiso house in Kyoto, Japan.

The unschooling/homeschooling teens hanging at our Gojo Paradiso house in Kyoto, Japan.

View up the Kamo River in Kyoto, Japan around the corner from our house in the Gojo neighborhood.

View up the Kamo River in Kyoto, Japan around the corner from our house in the Gojo neighborhood.

David with Conor taking a photo on the Kamo River, Kyoto, Japan.

David with Conor taking a photo on the Kamo River, Kyoto, Japan.

Then we decided to cross the river and wanted down a side street. Soon we saw a produce shop, a meat and fish shop, and then I saw one that looked different. Immediately my guess was this shop was an organic natural foods store: must have been the tannish off white color theme rather than the bleached white styrofoam theme of most shops.

I grew up with these good people and shops: I can spot them in any country!

Anyway, I was right: big time. Turns out the shop keeper, who wore a funky colorful handmade hat, sells not only natural and organic food but also macrobiotic and Ohsawa brand products.

Maybe I’ll get into macrobiotics another time but it’s basically vegan plus really good quailty, whole, organic sugar free food.

I chatted with him and his friend in a mix of Japanese and English about world travel, homeschooling, and natural foods. Turns out his whole family was very inspired by their travels to Nepal. And his mother runs an organic restuarant just two doors down from his shop.

I’d explain what we were talking about and they picked up some of the conversation anyway but I think everyone was ready to go and eat after awhile! So we went right to his mother’s restuarant.

The unschoolingers/homeschoolers/worldschoolers dining at Yaokan Restuarant between Gojo and Gion District in Kyoto, Japan.

The unschoolingers/homeschoolers/worldschoolers dining at Yaokan Restuarant between Gojo and Gion District in Kyoto, Japan.

Vegetable curry and organic white rice at Yaokan Restuarant, Kyoto, Japan.

Vegetable curry and organic white rice at Yaokan Restuarant, Kyoto, Japan.

Beautiful atmosphere at the restuarant: here's the garden at Yaokan Restuartant in Kyoto, Japan.

Beautiful atmosphere at the restuarant: here's the garden at Yaokan Restuartant in Kyoto, Japan.

Flowers at Yaokan Restuarant in Kyoto, Japan.

Flowers at Yaokan Restuarant in Kyoto, Japan.

Desert at Yaokan, Kyoto, Japan in lovely bowls, with wooden spoons, wooden plate, and a blue cloth coaster in the shape of a shirt.

Desert at Yaokan, Kyoto, Japan in lovely bowls, with wooden spoons, wooden plate, and a blue cloth coaster in the shape of a shirt.

Dessert at Yaokan, Kyoto, Japan - adzuki bean and chestnuts in sweet soymilk.

Dessert at Yaokan, Kyoto, Japan - adzuki bean and chestnuts in sweet soymilk.

We were very impressed with how good the food was and learned the Kyoto word for “thank you”: “okini”.

On our walk back:

We saw a beautiful crane on Kamo River, Kyoto, Japan.

We saw a beautiful crane on Kamo River, Kyoto, Japan.

Crane flying over Kamo River, Kyoto, Japan: lucky show on my new camera.

Crane flying over Kamo River, Kyoto, Japan: lucky shot on my new camera.

We hung out at our house for the afternoon except a few people declared 3 or 4pm “Crunky Hour” (not as bad as it sounds) and went and celbrated by going out and buying some Crunky brand chocolate bars and then eating them back at our house.

Homemade dinner - Hannah took the reigns and was awesome enough to make spaghetti and tomato sauce with garlic bread for our dinner for all of us!

Homemade dinner - Hannah took the reigns and was awesome enough to make spaghetti and tomato sauce with garlic bread for our dinner for all of us!

Hannah the chef: "I have cooking utensils and I know how to use them!" Thanks for dinner Hannah!

Hannah the chef: "I have cooking utensils and I know how to use them!" Thanks for dinner Hannah!

Then Conor went ahead and did all the dishes which was also awesome. We’ll have to switch off every meal or do a division of labor: some people do the cooking some the cleaning. Anyway, just really happy we can make our own food as well as go out to great restuarants in Kyoto!

Then, after we were all full and satisfied, I had us all talk about how we think the trip is going so far and what we each definitely want to do before we leave.

Honestly, I’m constantly worrying about whether people are enjoying the trip and things are going well. So it was good to hear how people are generally really liking everything so far.

It was also good to hear the things people haven’t been liking, some of which I had no idea about. And it was helpful to hear what each person wanted to make sure to do: it looked like we would definitely cover all of them in the trip.

And it seemed like everyone agreed one of the best parts seems to be the wandering and just people watching. Part of what we all didn’t like about Tokyo was how much we rushed from one specific destination to another.

I think part of that is just the atmosphere of a big metropolis like Tokyo: not to mention the confusing trains and subways. I was happy they had noticed that even Japanese people got confused and made mistakes with Tokyo’s trains! I swear it’s not just me!

But really I am quite forunate to have such a fun and thoughtful group who really wants to take advantage of the whole experience. We all joke around a lot, sometimes a little roughly, but everyone is kind and open minded in the end and that’s what matters to me.

Today, Saturday, November 7th, we’re going to my old neighborhood in Osaka. We’ll see old friends and also Tomoko and Yuni: my step-mom and my little sister!

They just arrived last night from Boston and will help on the trip while they’re here for the next ten days. We’ll also go to a ceremony for my little sister and alll kids who are 7, 5, or 3 years old: “Shichi go san” on November 15th.

I hope you enjoy the pics and the stories: thanks for visitng!

4 Responses to “Wandering around our new neighborhood in Kyoto, Japan”

  1. Carman says:

    Oh no… the words out on how fun wandering is!

  2. […] Eli Gerzon's Worldschooler Blog » Wandering around our new … We arrived at our new home on the Worldschool Travel Tour: Japan 2009 at Gojo Paradiso, Kyoto, Japan, on Thursday night. Then we spent the next day wandering our new neighborhood, finding cool places, and buying and eating deliscious … more .. […]

  3. Casey DePersis says:

    Thanks for this blog…. I hope you are still doing this when my girls are ready (10, 8 and 2.) I love how you just allow for the natural rhythm to unfold and I think from the looks and sound of it you are doing an amazing job… I bet you’re glad for the help now! Wishing all of you the best and a special smile for David! Love, Paul, Casey, Renata, Malena and Tallulah

  4. Eli Gerzon says:

    @Carman Doing my part to get the word out about wandering!

    @Casey I hope I’m still doing these tours when your kids are older too! Yeah, I want to make sure everyone sees the really amazing places here but people definitely seem to really enjoy the funny, cool, or beautiful things we find by chance. That’s life too!

    Thank you so much and will pass that on to David!

Leave a Reply to Carman