Now I’m going to tell you the tale of Maharaja’s evil plot.
On the first day we got into Kyoto, we were walking the lively bustling streets of Gion’s shopping area and as we were passing an alley, and Indian man came out of nowhere and gave us a flyer saying “Maharaja Indian food!”. We took the flyer and joked about how the man got super excited on seeing an Indian person (or in our case a group of 3 Indian girls) and wondering whether we would eat Indian food after coming all the way to Japan (ignore our Gaara detour in Chigasaki :P).
Fast forward 3 days. Aparna and I woke up super late in our little Gion Airbnb on our last full day in Kyoto (think 10/11am). We had plans to get lunch then go to the fancy tea place (Tsujiri). We started walking along the road perpendicular to the Yasaka Shrine (yup, the same one from Memoirs of a Geisha) hoping to see one of the restaurants whose outer displays looked absolutely scrumptious. We passed Maharaja again and laughed about how we kept seeing it. We also saw another Indian guy with flyers but he didn’t give it to us that time. We went into about 2 restaurants to ask if there was vegetarian food (“begetarian ga arimasu ka?”), since Aparna and I are both vegetarian, to which unfortunately they replied that none of their scrumptious food displays could be vegetarian. At this point, Aparna jokingly said “dude lol, it feels like we’re gonna end up eating at Maharaja”, to which I replied “hahaha lol. I mean I’m fine with it…”. But neither of us seemed convinced that we should give up our resolve yet. We tried around 5-6 more restaurants (continuously joking about how we’d end up at Maharaja, but not really), even getting excited at a couple of them only to have them tell us there were no vegetarian options (surprising for such a tourist-heavy area). After about the 5th or 6th restaurant we visited, Aparna declared “dude let’s just go to Maharaja.” Naturally, I said of course, and we both came to the conclusion that Maharaja had been plotting against us, making sure no restaurants served vegetarian food so we’d be forced to go there. By now, both of us were excited at the prospect of Indian food and as soon as we arrived outside the restaurant, another Indian dude showed up out of nowhere and gave us a flyer saying “Maharaja Indian restaurant” to which we laughed and we assured him we were already going inside.
So that concludes Maharaja’s evil plot to get us to eat Indian food in the middle of Kyoto, Japan and succeeded. (See below picture for foodgasm.)