We left Osaka for Kyoto on my last day of work for the year, which was a meeting for all of the teachers in my city. It ran until about noon, we had okonomiyaki for lunch with my colleagues. Then, we left for Kyoto right after that. My meeting started at 9 and I didn't want to drag my luggage to the meeting, nor did I want to force Justin to come to Osaka with me at that time then wait around for me with our luggage until my meeting was done. So Justin came to Osaka at a later time, lugging both of our suitcases around, all by himself. And the poor guy didn't have any data on his phone so he couldn't even contact me if he needed help finding his way. He made it, though. And only got a little lost. :)
We got to Kyoto around mid-afternoon, dropped our bags off at our Airbnb, grabbed an umbrella (which our Airbnb provided!), and headed towards Yasaka Pagoda.
I don't know if any of you follow Sam Kolder or Jacob Briglin on instagram, but they posted a few photos taken at Yasaka Pagoda and we wanted to take photos at the same spot.
Our photo taking and photo editing skills are obviously not on par with their skills, but I think we got some good shots!
Can you imagine how awkward it must have been for the random person we asked to take photos of us? They thought it would be just a normal photo. Nope. We wanted to be all cutesy.
If you continue walking up past Yasaka Pagoda, you'll eventually reach Kiyomizu-dera (follow the signs). The streets are lined with restaurants, souvenir shops, and packed with tourists. This is probably the most popular area in Kyoto and it can get extremely crowded. Not super fun dealing with all the people. It was pretty dark and started to pour when we got to Kiyomizu-dera, so we didn't go inside and decided we would come back the next day.
We walked back down the same way we walked up so we could pass Yasaka Pagoda again. It was quite a different sight at night and when raining!
The next day, we went back to Kiyomizu-dera and it was raining again! We could barely see the city from up there and a bunch of construction is going on, so it actually looked pretty shitty. It started to clear up while we were there, but still, no photos came out that great. It's such a famous temple and it's so beautiful during spring when there are cherry blossoms everywhere. But, that day just wasn't the day.
After Kiyomizu-dera, we went to Shirahige Shrine in Takashima. Separate post here on that!
When we got back to Kyoto from Shirahige Shrine, we were tired, cold, and in the mood for a good bowl of ramen. Luckily, on the 10th floor of Kyoto Station, lies Kyoto Ramen Koji (Kyoto Ramen Street), which consists of 8 different ramen restaurants serving 8 different regional varieties of ramen, ranging from Hokkaido style ramen to Kyushu style ramen. With so many different types of ramen, it was hard to choose which one to have. The sign near the entrance is really helpful and tells you the thickness and firmness of the noodles at each restaurant (along with photos, of course). We chose Osaka style ramen. I can't remember exactly, but I think it was medium-thick noodles and more on the firm side. I can't even remember what we had, I think we both had some type of miso ramen. It was so noms! And free kimchi!
Great post with tons of information on Kyoto Ramen Koji here.
After dinner, we walked around Kyoto Station for a bit because they have a massive Christmas tree on display during the holiday season.
The next day, we left for Kanazawa. We decided to get lunch at Tonkatsu Wako on the 11th floor of Kyoto Station in Isetan. This restaurant serves, hands down, one of the best tonkatsu I've ever eaten. AND! The cabbage, rice, and miso soup are refillable up to as many times as you want! We had so many servings of cabbage. It's good fiber!
After lunch, we stopped at Mister Donut for dessert and took a stroll on the Sky Walk before getting on our train. Cute Snoopy doughnut!
At Kyoto station, you can buy an all-day bus pass for ¥500, that'll take you to all of the famous sight-seeing areas. And all the signs are in English at the station and on the buses, so it's very easy to get where ever you want to go.
If you're looking for a place to stay in Kyoto, check out Airbnb and get ¥4,508 (or the equivalent in your country's currency) credit when you use my referral code: www.airbnb.com/c/lianao5
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