It has been only 3 days since I have been back yet my adventure in Kyoto feels like it occurred ages ago. In a state of severe jet lag, I find myself remembering everything I learned in the country I fell in love with. One of the many parts I loved was the food. This has been the first time in my life I have willingly eaten so many vegetables and enjoyed them!
Before my stay in Kyoto I would see the meals as they are shown in tv and I used to think that the serving size was too small to ever be satisfied. Most meals are a main dish and have small servings around it. The main dish may be some type of meat mixed with some vegetables while the side dishes could range from miso soup to rice to pickled vegetables or tempura vegetables. In general you find rice in most meals either as a side dish or part of the main dish. Regardless of the meal, one thing I learned is that those small servings actually leave you more than satisfied.
Kaiseki is a traditional dinner with multiple main courses and delicious delicacies you will probably never taste again. The meal generally has an appetizer, sashimi, a simmered dish, a grilled dish, and a steamed course aside from other small side dishes that tend to incorporate some local ingredients. Aesthetics are very important in Japanese culture thus this meal requires that the food is placed and prepared in such a way that not only does it taste amazingly but so that it is also aesthetically pleasing.