It started raining when I was walking along Shijo Street in Gion. A gloomy day + the sight of rain always make me hungry. So I sniffed like a bloodhound, and found myself standing across this interesting looking shop. I was attracted by the big, bold signboard, the colours, the lights and..the mannequins – one being chased by a dog, one standing at the kitchen, and one sitting at the entrance.
I don’t know what’s the story of the dog biting at the pants of the boy, and the pants were down at the knees. I walked around the mannequin..y’know, to see what I could see..
Then I went to survey the cooking area. Open kitchen concept, and I could see what they were cooking. I saw 3 round batter topped with chopped ingredients, cooking on the iron griddle. I was more intrigued by the colourful traditional art posters that decorated the wall above the cooking area. I looked at the mosaic of art, but at the same time I couldn’t help getting the whiff of what was cooking. Smelled really good.
The 1 and only offering in this shop was issen-yosyoku, Kyoto’s way of cooking okonomiyaki.
What they looked like:
What they looked like when served to me:
I am not a big fan of okonomiyaki, but since I was already at this cute and kitschy shop, I might as well try it. It wasn’t so much about the food; it was more of enjoying the atmosphere of this rather unique outlet. And the interior surprised me even further.
There was a signpost that promised there would be 5 beautiful girls in kimono waiting in the restaurant, and I thought, huh? what are they waiting for?
There she was. Sitting at a corner, the smiling but unable to talk beautiful girl in kimono. The 5 “girls” were mannequins..they wouldn’t be interacting anytime soon. One can eat his/her okonomiyaki in peace, without having to partake in any conversation.
And then I took a closer look at the “wallpaper” of printed envelopes.
They were probably famous people or characters.
But these looked like..erotic art.
On another wall, there were wooden plaques. These were”wish plaques” i.e. one writes his/her wish on the plaque and pray to the gods for their wishes be fulfilled.
All those plaques in this restaurant looked like the wishes were sex-related. If only I could read Japanese..it would have been a hoot. One of the plaques had a woman kneeling down, and milk squirted from her breasts into a bowl. Is she asking for abundance of milk, or is she competing in a milk-long-squirt Olympics? And a man had a dick for a nose. One can only imagine what this particular wish is about.