Goya is an Okinawan/Asian style eatery recommended to me quite some time ago by Barbara Stein. I went there yesterday and fell in love with the place. The atmosphere of cheery colorful comfort, the super friendly staff, and the great tasting food combined to make me very happy indeed. Barbara swears by the salads there, but it was the Nasi Chample that caught my eye.
Looks good, doesn’t it? This Nasi Chample consists of rice, miso soup and six side dishes that change daily. Because it’s a flexible dish, they can easily change it to suit your dietary requirements – so in my case, no meat. Let’s take a closer look at those side dishes.
From the top left going anti-clockwise we have: mozuku (stringed seaweed) tempura, peanuts salad, potato & egg, shima (Okinawan) tofu with cabbage in a chilli sauce, gurukun (Okinawan fish) with fruit & egg, and daikon radish & cauliflower curry. That little dish right at the top is tentsuyu – a dip for the tempura. Everything tasted wonderful – and it only set me back 850 yen.
Goya is in a charming converted machiya house on the south side of Imadegawa, midway between Kyoto University and Kitashirakawa Doori. Here is an excellent map. Here is a coupon you can print off, fill out and get ten percent off for. And here is another coupon you can get chopsticks for (wow!).
Tel: 075-752-1158 Open: Lunch – 12:00 – 15:00 (last orders 16:00)
Dinner – 18:00 – 24:00 (last orders 23:00) Closed on Wednesdays. English menu available. Vegetarian available upon request. Non-smoking on the 2nd floor.
Goya is part of the Nakagawasaketen group of Kyoto bar/eateries of which there are three more. You can find out more about them here.
Many thanks to Barbara Stein for this recommendation!
To my mind the best fish ‘n’ chips in town are at the 海と空 (Umi to Sora or Sea and Sky) Okinawan restaurant on Shijo.
Strictly speaking they don’t actually have “fish ‘n’ chips on the menu, but what you do is; you order the ぐるくんのスイートチリソース (That’s gurukun, a kind of Okinawan whitefish, with sweet chili sauce) and a portion of fried potatoes and you’re away! Bob’s your ojisan; the best fish ‘n’ chips in town!
Basically I order this and a few glasses of Orion on draft every time. However, the last time I went there it was with my poetic pal Jeffrey Angles. Jeffrey is more adventurous than I am; he also likes to share. Continue reading →
Wakaizumi negotiating secret deal with the U.S. (Image courtesy of NHK)
According to the original agreement between Japan and the U.S., Okinawa would be reverted to Japan in 1972 without the presences of nuclear weapons. However, behind the scenes, a Kyoto Sangyo professor, Wakaizumi Kei convinced then Prime Minister Sato Eisaku that Okinawa would not be handed over to Japan unless Japan allowed U.S. nukes on Japanese soil. In 1969, Sato gave Wakaizumi the green light to draft a secret proposal where Japan would eventually concede the condition calling for a nuke-free Japan, in order for it to be reverted to Japanese sovereignty as planned.
On Saturday night, NHK showed a documentary “The Truth Behind the Reversion of Okinawa” detailing these behind the scenes negotiations. It is based on the 1994 memoirs of late confidential agent Wakaizumi entitled, I wish I could believe there were no other options (Tasaku nakarishi woshinzamuto hossu). After 25 years of silence, he revealed documents which verifying the existence of a secret agreement on nuclear weapons between the U.S. and Japan. NHK will air the program in English and Japanese on Monday, June 21st at 8pm, Tokyo Time. That NHK would show a documentary about such a controversial topic certainly is proof that the majority of Japan is disillusioned by and fed up with the games being played with Okinawan lives…
I was at a party last night and woke up today feeling very hungover. So much so that I was totally going to bail out of attending today’s rally and demo against the American military’s *occupation* of Okinawa. However, after reading Jeffrey Friedl’s comments on the last Okinawan post, I pretty much felt like I had to go – if only to wind him up a little bit more. So thanks for that Jeffrey, I met some really nice people there and had a really good time. Shame you couldn’t make it.
Attendance was pretty good. Over 300 people came which is not bad for Kyoto. Continue reading →
In the spirit of ensuring that all voices and opinions are heard with respect and compassion, there will be a river-side Open Air Tea Party where participants can exchange their thoughts on the military build up in Okinawa and the world. Participants will also have the chance to create origami of the endangered dugong, one of the beautiful cousins of the sea cow whose habitat will be destroyed should the U.S. military succeed in inundating Henoko Bay with concrete to build a new base. Continue reading →
磔磔 is a live house I’ve been meaning to check out for donkey’s. This converted brewhouse opened as a coffee shop in 1974. In those days the master would spin a few discs for the clientele and there would be one or two live performances a week, but gradually the performances increased and it became the famous live house we know today. I was impressed to see the names of those who have performed here decorating the walls, legends like: Los Lobos, Screaming Jay Hawkins, The Staples Singers, John Lee Hooker… Last weekend I went to see some homegrown talent however; Soul Flower Mononoke Summit, and their guest Oki, an Ainu musician. It was a fun night, but I won’t waste words describing it for you (at least not here). See for yourself! Below is a video of Soul Flower Mononoke Summit after inviting Oki up on stage to join them.
If that tickles your fancy, you can read a review of Oki’s performance over on Ted Taylor’s fine blog Notes from the Nog, and you can see another video up here.
TakuTaku has live music almost every night. Check out their website for details. To find it go south from Shijo on Tominokoji Dori, the second road down is Bukkoji Dori and it’s just a little further on from that on the west side. Here is a most excellent map. Open from 18:00 ~ 23:00. Tel: 075-351-1321