Kyoto – enjoying the traditional Japan

I took the bullet train (officially known as Shinkansen) from Tokyo to get to Kyoto. Travelling with the bullet train is probably in the top 10 of the things to do in Japan for most of the people (including me). With a distance of 363,7 Kilometres (226 miles) the train connects both cities in two and a half hours. Houses, trees and mountains flew past as the train was moving with up to 320 km/h.
Upon arrival I went to see Brent and his friends, who spoilt themselves with a decent mansion found via airbnb. We soon made our way to Nishiki Market, a five block long shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants. It is also known as "Kyoto's Kitchen", which totally makes sense, because this lively retail market specialises in all things food related, like fresh seafood, knives and cookware and also seasonal foods and Kyoto specialities, such as Japanese sweets, pickles, dried seafood and sushi. It took me ages to decide what to go for. In the end I went for different pieces of fish and also some green tea ice cream for dessert. Seems like Japanese people love green tea. It basically comes with everything; Green Tea Kit Kat, Green Tea Latte and even Green Tea popcorn. No, not kidding a friend of Brent spoilt himself with a portion of Green Tea flavoured popcorn topped with Green Tea ice cream.



We then set off to Arashiyama with its stunning Bamboo Groves. I liked how the light found its way through the groves and did create a special atmosphere.



us in the Bamboo Groves
Just outside the groves. Seems like we picked the right time. Autumn leaves are full on.

The next day Brent and me hired cycles and went on a tour around Kyoto. We both particularly wanted to see the Fushimi Inari Shrine with its hundreds of gates. Have you seen the movie ‘The Geisha’? You might remember the scene with the many gates she was running through- This basically was shot at the Fushimi Inari Shrine. (Warning: Orange overload on the following pictures!)





people make a wish and ring the bell to have it come true




Brent going mad because of the orange, I reckon

stunning view over Kyoto after we had reached the top

Autumn leaves!!!


We then cycled back and met the others for dinner. Japanese food is just soooo tasty. You can’t go wrong with Japanese food. The quality is amazing and the taste even better.



Brent, his brother + wife and obviously me waiting to stuff ourselves with yummy Japanese food
On my way home I passed Gion the geisha district of Kyoto. Especially around five you can see lots of Geishas on their way to work. Unfortunately, I was not fast enough to get my camera out, so no Geisha picture for you guys. However, I at least managed to catch the romantic and cosy atmosphere on a few pics.



Ohhh and I also found this amazing ice cream vending machine! Vending machines are everywhere here, however, I have not seen an ice cream one so far.


Just next to the hostel I was staying in (by the way an incredible good one! Check Gion Ryokan Q-beh) is the Yasaka Shrine. It looked stunning with its thousand lights and hundreds of lampions, so I had to stop there as well.



Overall I like Kyoto much more than Tokyo. Tokyo is good for shopping and entertainment no doubt, but when it comes to natural beauty and charism Kyoto wins. Tomorrow day trip to Nara. Excited what this might bring. Stay tuned!

PS: Sorry for the backlog of posts. This was written on 3rd of Dec, 2014.


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