After a long journey, we arrived in Kyoto on Monday evening. Tuesday, we set out to explore the sites of the city. Our first stop was Higashi Honganji, a temple right near our hostel.
Kyoto has a much more traditional feel to it, so we wandered around the streets exploring random temples and shrines, and just taking in the sights. We also had a delicious tsukemen lunch.
The next day, we went to Arashiyama, which is west of Kyoto and has the famed bamboo forest.
We swung through the gardens at Tenryu-ji.
After a delicious (oishi!) lunch of soft tofu and soft-serve soy ice cream, we headed to Kinkaku-ji to see the famous Golden Pavillion.
We had conveyor-belt sushi for dinner. Normally, I do not like to consume cheap sushi, as I feel it is a bit of a contributor to over-fishing, but I felt like we had to give it a try in Japan. Shawn had a field day, as can be seen in the following video:
The next morning we headed to Inari shrine. This is the infamous shrine with lines and lines to torii. Inari is the god of rice, so this is a very important shrine for the Japanese.
After Inari, we headed to get ramen at this spot that was recommended to us by more than one source. Ramen Sen no Kaze. We had to wait an hour to get in, but boy was it worth the wait!
Can I insert a heart-eyed emoji into this post? This ramen was so good. Probably the best ramen we’ve had in Japan. The chashu (pork – what?! We ate pork?!) was like bacon, a little crispy and so flavorful. This place was totally awesome.
We then hopped on our bicycles and biked through Gion district (Geishas! But we didn’t see one!), and headed to Kiyomizu-dera temple to see the famous pagoda and take in the sights.
Today was our final day in Kyoto, so we headed up to Kurama, which is in the foothills north of the city. It was quite stunning to be in the forest and hiking around to all these temples and shrines.
We rode up part of the way on this weird tram that went up at a very steep angle. Shawn was loving it.
After Kurama, we headed back to town to eat tsukemen one last time at our favorite tsukemen place in Kyoto, Tsurukame.
One last Kyoto note – today we had to visit SIX ATMs before we could find one that would accept our debit card. SIX! Here is Shawn’s look of surprise (and happiness) as he discovered this ATM would actually accept his card:
Tomorrow we depart for Osaka. I’m sure Shawn will probably jump in here and write a few highlights about Kyoto, or at least share about the Gaijin Trail.