So, today we are going to Kyoto, former capital of Japan ( Tokyo means “East Capital” and Kyoto means “Capital City”). Kyoto is famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It is pretty far away from Tokyo, some 500 km, so we are for the first time traveling by famous bullet train – The Shinkansen – that is reaching a speed of 320 km/h. It is gonna take as 2h and 30 min to get there. For me, one brand new experience – I never travelled by bullet train, actually I never travelled by ordinary train at all. From Kyoto we will visit some other places, but I still don’t know nothing about that, mom and dad are having some secrets. Let’s go, we have just less than 4 days to explore Kyoto!
Two of us and our Hikari Shinkansen arriving.
On the train.
We took this Bento box – a Bento box is a reusable Japanese-style lunch box that typically holds a single portion meal consisting of a main dish and some sides. We still don’t know what is in.
Well, it looks good…
But not my type of food.
It is rainy day here in Kyoto.
Even so, we like how different from Tokyo it is, very much.
First mission is to find some food. We realised that we missed a lunch time, an it is not easy to find a place that serves food after lunch.
Happy to find this place that was open, and if you ask me, best meal I had in Japan was this one!
This is Gyukatsu – a beef cutlet deep fried until golden on the outside while still medium rare on the inside, with nice pink colour in the middle. The beef cutlet comes in set meal with cabbage, potato salad, pickles, barley rice, miso soup and grated yam.
It was delicious, and we had luck to have it here. Back in Tokyo we tried to get in several Gyukatsu places, but that was a mission impossible – all of them were fully booked all the time.
We decided to walk a bit after lunch, and explore the place.
Yasaka Shrine is close to our hotel, so we gonna check it.
This Shinto Shrine, also known as the Gion Shrine, is also known as a spiritual spot for love and connection.
Tori gates are at every Shinto Shrines, making you enter in to sacred world of gods.
Mom thought me how to “shrine” – in order to pay respects to gods, you need to purify yourself before approaching the main shrine. I liked this small ritual.
I loved place and energy of it. As well as these beautiful ladies.
As it started to rain a lot, we decided to finish this visit other day.
Rainy Kyoto at night is something really special.
Next morning we are first visiting To-ji Temple with its market frequented by the locals who call it “Kobo-san.”
We had luck as it is open just once a month.
I saw some strange things here.
As on the market is To-ji temple, Buddhist temple – don’t ask me too much, everything is mixed in my head – we went to check it.
It’s tower, called pagoda is the tallest pagoda in Japan.
Everything is surrounded by beautiful Japanese garden.
Back on the flea market we found this beautiful kimono for me.
And then we stopped for the best cheese sandwich and matcha tea in Kyoto.
Food is needed, I need lots of energy to walk through this.
We are visiting some of most beautiful temples in Kyoto.
Kiyomizudera, “Pure Water Temple”, is one of them.
I am having lots of fun just walking around in my kimono.
But, let’s do some proper shopping.
Now we are talking!
I’ve got lots of attention dressed like this and I enjoy it.
Famous Yasaka pagoda in the front.
And everybody dressed in kimonos!
Some really strangely cute places on the way.
Next stop is Nishiki market, food paradise for mom and dad.
Here in Japan, everything looks cute.
This is a place to buy good Japanese knife.
With your name on it!
Place to eat fresh food.
Beef sushi. Not for me, thanks. They sad it was delicious!
I am just fine with an apple.
And after, some white strawberries, sweetest ever!
Later, we visited Kimono forest, art installation with 600 backlit pillars adorned with vibrant kimono textiles.
This looks magical at night.
To bad it got really dark, so we missed real bamboo forest nearby.
But on the way back to hotel, I made a friend on the train.
Searching for the food back in Kyoto was fun as well.
I really like my kimono, it fits perfectly here.
For a moment we managed to take a photo of a real Geisha!
And we found a food that I didn’t like. Again.
Early morning around 6, mom decided to leave us in hotel to sleep, and she went to visit Fushimi Inari Shrine alone.
Shrine is famous for its thousands of vermilion torii gates, which straddle a network of trails behind its main buildings. The trails lead into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, which stands at 233 meters and belongs to the shrine grounds.
It takes two to three hours to walk to the top of mount Inari and back down.
At the end of her visit she was really sad that we didn’t see it.
As she said, this place is pure magic.
But she made some wishes and prayers for all of us.
We are leaving Kyoto and going I don’t know yet where. About this secret surprise trip I will tell you later.