Japan Day Seven: Kyoto Pt. 1

The first day of our trip in which we got to explore for more than a whole day!

We were in Kyoto the last time we came to Japan, but we missed some of the things we really wanted to see. So this time, since we only have a day and a half here, our goal was to see those things. Picture heavy post warning.

We started out with a delicious and varied breakfast at the hotel, Reiah Hotel in Itsiyama.

IMG_7949

IMG_7950

Then we headed off to the station to ride the short local train to get back to the larger Kyoto station. I love this place:

IMG_7955

It’s big, open, beautiful, and full of delicious things like sakura lattes.

IMG_7952

 

Our first real destination was Nishiki Market, which is this glorious food market that spans over 130 shops. Last time I think we missed out because I couldn’t find it. This time we got directions.

This place is intense. It’s filled with unique foods and smells and strange things:

IMG_7960

These are where those giant sliced cake rolls come from.

IMG_7961

Aubri perusing.

IMG_7963

Pickle emporium!

IMG_7964

Every kind of roast fish

IMG_7965

These are special pickles?

IMG_7966

Mouth full of fish ball!

IMG_7970

Colorful pickles and dried vegetables

IMG_7972

Roast chestnuts –  but no one could sell us just one.

IMG_7973

Octopus stuffed with a quail egg…on a stick.

IMG_7975

 

So after we’d wandered to our heart’s content, we stumbled into a crane game arcade and Aubri had to learn a lesson about how you don’t always win when the crane is rigged.

IMG_7986

 

We also ran across a store to pick up new wombs,

IMG_7978

And the site of a tragic plane crash:

IMG_7979

 

Then we moved on and got directions to walk toward Chawanzaka, or “Tea Pot Lane.” Another shopping/artisan district I couldn’t find until the places were all closed last time.

On the way we passed Yasaka shrine, where a cherry blossom festival thing was going on. We took some pictures:

IMG_8026

IMG_8030

IMG_8039

IMG_8054

Some ladies dressed up for the festival.

IMG_8062

A statue of a child reaching out to a rabbit. Aubri was enthralled.

IMG_8075

Kobe beef skewer was delicious.

IMG_8080

So we finally moved on to Chawanzaka, which is basically a really uphill street lined with loads of teapot/teacup vendors. We didn’t see any cast iron tea pots though.

At the top is another temple, Kiyomizudera, and we walked there because we were already most of the way up and the sakura were beautiful.

These two were SO cute!

IMG_8092

IMG_8100

IMG_8120

IMG_8156

IMG_8174

IMG_8193

And then we got this glorious sakura/green tea ice cream deliciousness. Yes, we eat a lot of treats.

IMG_8195

So after that long walk, we were ready for lunch. We hauled back to the subway and hopped over to the Kyoto station. On the 10th floor is another myriad of noodle houses, so we decided to try one that had a different kind of offering. This place gave you as many eggs as you wanted to crack into your own bowl. Also they had crazy thin sliced pork sauteed and tossed on top. Yum.

IMG_8200

IMG_8201

IMG_8202

 

I should deviate here to say that we eat a lot of ramen (apparently), but also that I eat pork in Japan where I won’t eat it in America. I’m having a difficult time finding research to support the reasons, but I can say that at least some of their pork varieties are fed vegetarian (in some cases, pure sweet potato) diets. That makes a big difference.

Anyway, we wandered around the station for a bit. We found a Japanese Thneed:

IMG_8203

and then headed to Fushimi Inari Shrine, which is accessible from the Inari stop on the JR Nara line. This shrine is made up of thousands of Torii gates lining winding walkways with lots of ups and downs.

The gates are purchased by businesses and organizations to bless them with prosperity, and some of the larger ones cost upwards of 1 million yen (about $10,000) and have to be replaced every 5-7 years.

Aubri washing her hands at the entrance.

IMG_8215

Aubri started out this walk pretty perky and somewhat uncontrollable. It only escalated, really.

IMG_8229

She roped some friends into following her most of the way.

IMG_8236

IMG_8243

IMG_8251

IMG_8260

Tiny pregnant kitty was very sweet.

IMG_8268

IMG_8273

IMG_8275

A break near the top.

IMG_8289

Sunset in the sakura blossoms.

IMG_8313

 

We were tired at the end and headed back to the station to get dinner. We wound up with an avocado kobe beef burger which was delicious:

In Japan BURGER EAT YOU!

IMG_8317

IMG_8324

And then we picked up a couple of amazing snacks to eat afterward: A tiramisu waffle sandwich:

IMG_8328

And a green tea waffle too. Also a strawberry one that missed being photographed.

IMG_8329

 

Whew, what an exhausting day! So much running and so many stairs… But we hit all three areas I wanted to see!

Tomorrow we do Kyoto Pt. 2 and Kawaguchiko, but since there are four hours of train/bus rides in between the two, we’ll also talk about more tips for traveling in Japan.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s