Hi.

My name is Catherine Courtney and I am a Nashville Native with a penchant for culinary creativity and epic travel adventures.  I'll admit... I also have a slight obsession with handbags. 

Bidding Adieu To Japan

Bidding Adieu To Japan


Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

Japan, 〒605-0932 Kyoto Prefecture, Higashiyama Ward, Myohoin Maekawacho, 445-3

Website


Spending almost two weeks vacationing can be exhausting. (I know, #firstworldproblems) A few of you may be shaking your head with dismay, but allow me to finish. Regardless of my travel destination, I have this insatiable urge to soak up as much of the city as humanly possible. Inevitably, that leads to endless early wake up calls, miles and miles of walking, blisters in places you didn't know it was possible to even get blisters and late nights filled with full bellies, happy hearts and memories that will last a lifetime.  

I spent my last day in Kyoto relaxing and recharging before boarding what felt like the longest flight in history. The Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto spa epitomizes peace and tranquility. An overwhelming sense of relaxation came over my body as soon as I stepped foot into the facility.

Being a complete skincare junkie, I couldn't leave Japan without facial. From their skincare products to their daily rituals, I wanted to take it all in. And the pampering didn't end there. Giving a little relief to my tired, achy muscles, I made an appointment for a deep tissue massage. What can I say, I love spas and I also love to see how treatments vary from country to country. 

Let's just say it was very difficult to pull it together after spending so much time being pampered, but I met my favorite girls in the hotel bar and we celebrated our newly formed friendships and adventures over a bottle of bubbles. As we polished off the last few sips, we were escorted downstairs to the brasserie where we would have one of the best meals arguably in Kyoto. 

To begin, the staff brought out an assortment of bread. Typically, I do my "best" to steer clear of carbs, but this looked so lovely it was hard to say no. When the server mentioned rose butter, I knew I was in trouble. 

Such A Delicious Assortment Of Breads And Butter

For our first dish, guests had a variety of options available as we had some vegetarians in the group. Given the fact that I was in Japan and I knew the Tuna would never be fresher, I selected the Maguro Tuna and Avocado Tartare.  Isn't the presentation stunning? I loved how the vibrant colors of the dish popped against the black serving ware. The tuna melted in your mouth and having it paired with the avocado was just wonderful.  

Maguro Tuna And Avocado Tartare + Papaya + Ginger + Chili + Kaffir Lime

Burrata Cheese + Fresh Mango +Tomato + Aged Balsamic Sesame Puree + Sicilian Olive Oil (Vegetarian Option)

Home-Made Marinated Salmon + Ashed Chèvre Cheese + Grapefruit + Endive Salad

Our next course, Hokkaido Scallops, was presented on this delicate opalescent dish. The flavors of the lemon and capers paired perfectly with the scallops balancing out the dish. Including the contrasting texture of the croutons was a nice touch.  

Hokkaido Scallops + Crouton + Caper + Lemon + Beurre Noisette 

Kyoto Brown Rice Risotto + Spring Vegetables + Pea Foam + Parmesan Crisp (Vegetarian Option)

Our appetites were completely satiated and then some, but when food is this good how can you say no to dessert? Since I celebrated my birthday while exploring the land of the rising sun, the pastry chef wrote "Happy Birthday" in chocolate on the dish.  Wasn't that thoughtful? And can we talk about that dessert? Below you will find Fukuoka "AMAO" Strawberry Floating. Even though I consumed assorted soft serves and sponge cake, this dessert was again one of my favorites. 

I find it interesting how the Japanese prepare and serve their dishes.  Each dish looks so fragile but as soon as you take your first bite, your palate is overwhelmed with flavor. Looks can be deceiving! 

Fukuoka "Amao" Strawberry Floating

The girls and I were having so much fun that we unfortunately missed our window to visit Shiraitei which is nestled in the gardens and turns into a champagne and sake bare in the evenings. It closes rather early, so I'd recommend having a cocktail there before you begin your dining experience in the hotel. 

Shiraitei 

If you're planning a trip to Japan in the near future, I hope that these posts provide some guidance and help you narrow down your itinerary when traveling. Japan proved to be quite the roller coaster of an adventure. Would I go back? Perhaps if the circumstances were different, but for now I am grateful that I had the opportunity to experience the Japanese culture and make memories with some wonderful people. 

Until Next Time! 

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