Finding coffee isn’t really a problem in Japan – there’s a Starbucks almost anywhere we go, and there are all sorts of other coffee shops around, too. Even the temples and shrines have coffee spots. Sometimes its a coffee machine – put in the money, push the button, wait, open the little door and there’s a paper cup of coffee. Usually its 2/3 of a cup of coffee – getting an actual full cup isn’t the norm.
Anyhoo, we wanted to tour the Imperial Palace in Kyoto. There’s an English tour at 10:00 am, but you have to present yourself at least 30 minutes early at the Imperial Household Office (with your passport, please and thank you) to get a ticket. We figured we’d better get an early start on this one. We stopped at the coffee shop near our hotel for breakfast – the one called ‘Open’. We think because it almost always is open. They have a morning set, which is coffee and…. I chose cheese toast, Wilf chose the breakfast sandwich. Both came with sides. I wound up with a big thick slice of white bread, lightly toasted, with barbque sauce and melted white cheese on top. Wilf had a white bread sandwich with a scrambled egg inside. And barbque sauce. The sides were a hard boiled egg and a salad, of shredded lettuce, onions and carrots with a dressing. Included was a big mug of coffee. Considering some of the things we’ve been faced with for breakfast this seemed refreshingly normal.
We found our way by subway to the palace, filled out the forms and got our tickets, then had a bit of a wait. It was a nice morning and we sat at a table under the trees. Wilf was wishing for a second cup of coffee, so I went off to the pavillion. No joy in the food service area, but there’s always a vending machine within sight around here. And sure enough:
A hot cuppa joe, in a can! I’ve heard that you can get anything from a vending machine around here. Mostly the ones we’ve seen sell drinks, hot and cold in cans or bottles. We saw one in the train station that had a frozen food company logo on it, but the pictures of the food had steam rising from them. And they included such things as spaghetti and French fries. We decided that frozen spaghetti micro-waved in train station vending machine was probably not something we wanted to do!
Today we had breakfast at The Cafe du Monde. No need to go all the way to New Orleans – there’s one in the Kyoto train station! The sign said coffee and beignets, but we didn’t see beignets, so we went for ham sandwiches, instead. Then, when we decided that we did want a donut we went next door to Mr. Donut!
Oh, and by the way – the Merry Xmas signs were up around the train station, as well as a big Christmas tree or two. Right next to the Hallowe’en decorations!