Cafe au lait. This is actually my favorite way to drink coffee. I usually make a drip coffee and then add warm milk but if I’m at a cafe, then I love a cafe au lait with steamed milk. Better than anything made with espresso, in my opinion! I never ever add sugar to my coffee, but it seems Aoi drinks it that way. However, she seems to feel that it is separating her from Kiyotaka, as everybody says his black coffee tastes so good. So she decides to make a small change…
I’m actually a tea person, though. So I’d probably be hanging out with Rikyu at Kura all the time.
‘I want to get into drinking black coffee!’
As New Year is coming, Aoi is invited to Seiji’s party at his house. As she and Kiyotaka run errands for the party, they bump into best boy. We see a short montage of the other places (see below) and everybody has coffee at what may be one of the best cafes in Kyoto for people-watching. Aoi thinks about how she wants to drink Kiyotaka’s black coffee…
At Seiji’s house, Yoshie is making preparations and Akihito is so smitten with her, it’s so adorable. Aoi then surprises us and tells Kiyotaka that she wants to see his room. It’s a mess! Well, it’s CLEAN but covered in books. I totally relate to him. Akihito then somehow gets Aoi talking about her feelings for Kiyotaka, woah!
It’s nice to have Rikyu himself talking about the fact his mum has the same lithographs at her house, as this was originally explained by Kiyotaka. WOW, Akihito’s reaction to finally working out Rikyu is indeed Yoshie’s son was the best thing that has ever happened in this anime. I loved Aoi just poking him before he had a full-on tantrum. Hey, Akihito, I’m also an older woman *wink wink*
The treasure hunt is explained to the guests. Akihito is a naughty boy, though. He and Aoi sneak into Kiyo’s room so they (Akihito) can cheat. However, what he was hiding was the fan from Nanzenji. Speak of the devil, Ensho is here, and he’s solved the riddle! Then starts the TRUE game. Kiyotaka has to destroy the fake items. He instantly destroys all the fakes. The Ukiyo-e was actually a big topic earlier in this chapter of the book and we learn quite a lot about it, but it was unfortunately cut out of the anime. Ensho claims it was real! However, Kiyotaka keeps his cool for the most part. It turned out it WAS a counterfeit created by Ensho, but Ensho was happy enough just to see Kiyotaka hesitate. Kiyotaka reads into Ensho’s feelings and steps on them, and Ensho reacts pretty badly. However, out star Aoi splits them apart. She even tells Ensho to clean up, hah.
The guys then calm down at Gion Shrine. However, just like at Genkoan, Kiyotaka is convinced that ‘it wasn’t a complete victory’
Places that appeared in Episode 9
Nishiki market is a food market located on a covered arcade in the middle of Osaka. It runs east to west, cutting through Teramachi street. It’s very narrow and filled with people, so try and avoid weekends if you can! You can buy all kinds of Kyoto specialties there, such as pickles made from Kyoto vegetables. My personal favorite is the place that sells freshly made soy milk doughnuts! Mmmm. Definitely one of the most highly recommended place to visit on your trip to the city.
Shingyogoku is a shopping arcade which runs parallel to the Teramachi arcade where Kura is located. Shinkyogoku tends to be a lot busier than Teramachi, and has a lot of shops that are aimed towards younger shoppers (most importantly, the Animate is located here :p ). That is why it seems so surprising that there are so many temples and shrines almost hidden away on this street. Each of the eight temples and shrines located here serve a different purpose, and Aoi was able to pray here that she would do well in her exams.
One of the most popular temples in Kyoto, Yasaka Shrine (also known as Gion Shrine) is a shrine on the edge of the Gion District in the center of Kyoto. It is very famous for New Year, and you can even hear the bells from other temples from here. However, I’m impressed that Aoi and co got to walk through the crowd so easily! I spent New Year 2012-13 at Gion Shrine and we were moving so slowly that we actually gave up by about 1 am and just went home, hehe. If you are wondering why the guys picked this shrine, well Kiyotaka’s father actually lives very close-by. So jealous.
You may have seen Aoi and co looking through a book with lots of fancy calligraphy. It was, in fact, a Goshuincho, which is a special book you can take with you to temples. It is a stamp book which you hand over to a staff member at the temple or the shrine and they will stamp the book and leave some calligraphy inside. If you are planning to visit Japan, I HIGHLY recommend picking one of these up and getting a unique souvenir of the temples you visit in Japan. You can buy them at almost any stationary shop these days, and you can even get very beautiful ones with games and anime themes such as Touken Ranbu. Of course, you can usually buy them at the temple too. I would recommend asking google-sensei first just to make sure you don’t break etiquette. Simply search for ‘goshuincho’ in English.
The detective that Akihito loves so much is Shunsaku Kudo, which is the main character of a 1979 TV drama called’ Tantei Monogatari’ (Detective Story). As Akihito has already told us, he loves everything inspired by Sherlock Holmes! (except the actual books). Fans of Detective Conan may recognize the name Kudo as being that of the titular character and his parents. In fact, Conan’s father is named Yusaku Kudo in reference to both that character Shunsaku Kudo and the actor who played him, Yusaku Matsuda.
Akihito also calls himself the Shunsaku Kudo of Shijo Karasuma, just like Kiyotaka is the Holmes of Sanjo Teramachi. Shijo road runs parallel to Sanjo and Karasuma road runs parallel to Teramachi!
New Year in Japan is a little different to how you may imagine it in other countries. In my country, we just get blind drunk on New Year’s Eve, countdown to midnight, then sing ‘Auld Lang Syne’. New Year in Japan, however, is more akin to Christmas. It is usually spend with the family at home, often watching the New Year’s TV specials. There is no special countdown, and some people with go to a temple or shrine like Aoi and Kiyotaka. A lot of people simply go to bed as usual, visiting the shrine the next day and eat a special meal with the family.
Aoi and co are drinking a warm drink at Gion temple. It is called amazake, and is in fact a very slightly alcoholic drink made from rice. The alcoholic content is so low that children are able to drink it, and it goes down very well in the winter. It is usually consumed on the first day of the year, and it is common for families to buy the moulds at the supermarket and ferment it themselves. I’m not personally a fan, but I always associate the smell with New Year.
Aoi actually is able to get quite far into the treasure hunt, but is unable to complete the very last part. Ensho sums it up quite concisely, so you can certainly look into it in more detail if you want to. I personally found the riddle pretty interesting, and the only bit I worked out myself was the part regarding the Munch painting, and that’s only because I studied it at one point in the past. The book does go into these points in much more detail, but it just had to be plowed through quickly in the anime.
Let us start the appraisal
It is a shame that the actual riddle of the episode was cut down into just a few minutes, but there really was no helping it considering the length of one episode. We did get to focus a little bit more on the development of Kiyotaka and Aoi’s relationship, and it was (very surprisingly) helped a lot by Akihito’s probing. This really was an episode that would be appreciated more by the novel-readers, as a lot of the most interesting parts were only mentioned in passing. It’s a shame, but not that could be done to improve it without making the episodes longer. From the next episode, we will be moving onto Book 4 (which is where Rikyu is SUPPOSED to appear). Let’s look forward to it!
Don’t forget that we will be here each week with a preview of the next episode. You can check the stills gallery from Episode 9 here.
Holmes of Kyoto
Summer 2018 | Anime Info | Simulcast