“Come to our apartment for a little sake and chit chat before we go out for dinner,” is how our invitation goes. That said, we have easily pulled together a spontaneous series of Vapnek hospitality hours that we are very happy with. Our guests seem delighted as well. It could only happen here.
Our more frequent visits to Kyoto have coincided with a rise of Kyoto visits from friends and friends of friends of friends who are making first visits to Kyoto for a few days. Invariably, we’re contacted for obvious reasons by folks just wanting to say hi, curious about how we live here as well as looking for restaurant/sightseeing/shopping guidance.
We’ve gotten into the habit of inviting visitors over. That way, we have a friendly social hour and can determine their interests and offer suggestions. Generally, they’re visiting for a few short days and my main advice is not to expect to see it all on one trip! If the spark is lit, I assume they’ll return for a deeper exploration of this remarkable city. We’ve acquired a nice selection of sake cups. Our guest are happy to pick their own, which is a fun custom here.
Within a quarter mile radius of our apartment is a store in the Nishiki Market that has a wonderful sake selection. (my husband’s job). Then on to a pickle emporium grabbing some cucumbers, daikon etc.
A short walk follows to Daimaru food court for a bag of assorted rice crackers that always gather a chorus of oohs and ahhs from the first timers.
We bring some almonds and pistachio nuts from California each time we come so that rounds out the food tableau.
Of course, I’m in charge of set up and flowers.