Closing off Japan week on the blog with an itinerary of Kyoto. There has been a lot of travel posts recently, so I will make sure to post in other categories for the upcoming weeks. Until then, enjoy some lovely photos and cute things to do in one of Japan's oldest cities.
Arrived via super fast bullet train and then checked into Royal Park Hotel THE. The location is right in the middle of everything, and the hotel offers free breakfast, which is very helpful option instead of searching every morning. After, we took a long walk over to Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
Being one of the busiest sights in Kyoto, I highly recommend coming here in the late afternoon. I arrived around an hour before it closed, and I still thought it was a little busy. In the temple is the Otowa-no-taki Spring, a sacred waters that bestows health and long life. After, I walked back down the busy street of Sannen-Zaka, the road leading to the temple filled with small shops, food, and crafts. From here, I slowly made my way to Ishibei-Koji, known as the prettiest street in Kyoto. A little bit down the street is a set of stairs leading to Kodai-ji Temple.
This temple is filled with beautiful gardens and a tiny bamboo forest, but the best time to come is at night. After sunset, they do a light show where the entire garden is lit with wonderful colors, and even includes a show every few minutes over the sand structures in the garden. From here, I traveled to Maruyama- Koen Park.
Known for the famous center covered with cherry blossom trees and lights, giving a very movie-like feel. Finishing off the walking tour at Yasaka-Jinja Gate, I walked though the Gion district and stopped for dinner at Issen Yoshoku. The small restaurant only had one option on the menu, and I had no idea what was in it, but it was pretty good.
Started off the day at Ginkaku-ji Temple, otherwise known as the silver pavilion. It was very pretty, but very busy and nothing super special.
On the way down, I stopped at 2 stands: one for creme puffs filled with different flavors, and another for a warm bun filled with meat. Both were definitely worth stopping at. Next started the walk down Philosopher's Path, a walk along a river lined with cherry blossom trees.
Along the way was a bunch of temples, the first one being Honen-in Temple. It was extremely quiet, giving off a totally different vibe from the crowded temple I had just seen.
The next temple was probably my favorite of them all: Eikan-do Temple. Although mostly known for the colorful leaves in the fall, this temple was pretty cool because you can walk through the whole thing.
Close to here was an udon place known as Hinode Udon. The wait was around 45 min, but well worth it as we got served immediately. The last temple on the walk was Nanzen-ji Temple, which was built near an aqueduct that was fun walking around. Don't come looking for a said waterfall, because I (and others) were unable to find it.
Soon after finishing the past, I took a train up to Fushimi Inari-taisha, otherwise known as the red gates. This location is another one I would recommend visiting later in the day, especially if you want to get some good photos.
For dinner, I stopped at a Katsu place called Fukunaga Katsukura. It was very traditional and came with heaping portion sizes.
This day focused mainly on a completely different side of Kyoto. I took a train ride over to the district of Arashiyama to spend the day. The first stop was the Arashiyama Monkey Park. At first, it seemed a little sketchy and deserted, but once you make it to the top, it is well worth it. Monkeys wander free amongst a great view, making it a great morning stop.
I also stopped to take a few photos of the Togetsukyo bridge before heading to the bamboo forest.
The bamboo grove was busy, but very picturesque. I took a ton of photos while walking down the long path lined with bamboo. After the bath ended, I took a short detour for lunch at Steak Otsuka. Was worth the wait and some of the best steak I have ever eaten. They offer cheaper options as well as the fancy expensive stuff.
Lunch was followed by a visit to Jingo-ji Temple, a very small, very quiet, but very pretty temple. It is known for the moss that covers the center.
The last stop of the day was a KinKaku-ji temple, otherwise known as the Golden Pavilion. There wasn't really much to see in this one other than the giant pavilion in the the center of a pond.
Ended the night with a quick stop at Chao Chao gyoza. The restaurant was entirely filled with tourists, but the food was still good. They had some crazy flavors of gyoza too.
On my last day in Kyoto, I hit 2 popular sights before heading back to Tokyo. The first was a train ride away to Nijo Castle. It was really cool to see the inside of the building, with all the colorful walls and decorative rooms. The gardens outside were also beautiful. I do not have photos of the inside, as they were not allowed.
The next stop was at the Imperial Palace, which was just a giant building in the middle of a park which you cannot enter. Still, it was a great background for taking photos.
The final stop before heading to lunch was Nishiki market, a kind of indoor area filled with local vendors selling food, crafts, and other products. It was very cool to walk through and see all the unique things.
Lunch was at Tofu Tavern, a place that specialized in everything tofu. They do set meals which you can try many different types.
That concludes my week of Japan for you on the blog! Let me know down below if you are planning on going to Japan, or have been and have something to recommend. Also, do you want to see a post on some tips I have when travelling to Japan? I'd be happy to make that post for you, so let me know if you find that helpful. Have a fabulous week!
I'm back! I apologize for being absent for the past few weeks, as I have been visiting somewhere special Japan - a world full of amazing food, sights, and culture was where I spent my Spring Break this year. In commemoration of the many pictures and memories, I decided to make this week 'Japan week' on the blog. Starting this Sunday, there will be spurted posts throughout the week including itineraries and tips on travelling. Starting off today, I will give you the itinerary for Tokyo, Japan, aside some stunning photos. Enjoy!
Arrived in the afternoon after a 14 hour flight. Took the bus ride from Narita International Airport, which was around 2.5 hours. Basically, by the time I checked into the Westin Tokyo, I was exhausted from both traveling and the time difference. Before I passed out, I visited Yebisu for dinner, a Teppanyaki restaurant. Very convenient and very good, but very pricey. After, I went back upstairs and hit the bed around 8:30 pm.
Woke up around 5:30 am because of the crazy time difference, but took advantage of it and ate an early breakfast in the hotel. The first stop of the day was a view of the city at Tokyo Tower.
From the top, the view was pretty insane, and was a great start to getting a feel of Tokyo. There are pictures telling you what everything is, and definitely made the city seem big. I recommend it as a first stop, because it helps get a grasp of where things are.
After was a stop at the park next door, Shiba Park. The park was stunning, making me wish parks in the U.S. were this cool. Despite being in a big city, it was like walking straight into nature, with hike-like paths, water, and towering trees. After strolling through the park we came across a temple, Zojoji, located on the edge, and took a few photos. Standing in the background is the Tokyo tower, creating a picturesque view.
A quick drive over brought me to Diver City Tokyo, where there is a view of many Toyota cars at MegaWeb Toyota. Next door is a giant mall, that is designed to look like night in Europe. After a quick lunch here, I walked around the plaza a bit more before heading to the last stop. Hama-rikyu Gardens was a large historic sight with a small fee to enter (¥300). A beautiful place to walk around and take photos, and was enhanced at this time of year because of the cherry blossom trees in bloom.
Located in the back of the gardens was a tea house, offering traditional green tea with a sweet. The house was located on a small bit of land in the water, which made for even better views.
Dinner was at a Shabu-Shabu restaurant. Shabu-Shabu is similar to fondue, in that you cook the meat in front of you. The meat is very thin, and it takes less then 10 seconds to cook in the broth.
The morning was started off at Shibuya crossing, known to be the world's busiest intersection. Located in the square is a Starbucks, and I took to the second floor to enjoy the view from above. The busiest times to visit are commuting hours.
Next up, I headed to Harajuku for a walk down the famous street, Takeshita Dori. Located along the street are many shops selling cute, kawaii clothes, and sweets galore. Among them, I purchased chocolate covered potato chips, 3 flavored cotton candy shaped like a candy corn, and the famous Japanese Crepes.
After walking around the streets and enjoying the sights, I went to the area of Roppongi for an early dinner. Today's restaurant was another cook-it-yourself meat. This one was called Yakiniku, and the restaurant was called Jumbo.
.Day 3 started off with a breakfast stop at Mister Donut, the Dunkin Donuts of Japan. Although slightly better than Dunkin, and with many weird flavors, it is nothing to rave about
,After walking around the area of Ginza, and peeking in K.itoya, a super cool stationary store, I took a walk to the famous fish market, Tsukiji. Here, I had an early lunch of fresh sushi, which was definitely the best quality I have ever eaten. The outskirts is where everything is: fish stands, grocery stores, restaurants, and other tiny shops. The actually market where the fish dealing happens takes place in the very early morning. Although, I did take a peek inside because it had a cool feel all abandoned mid-day, but was quick to leave after seeing a rat sniffing fish guts.
The next area was a train ride away, a place famous for it's technology, anime, and maid cafe's, Akihabara. Hours were spent wandering around the 9 story electronic shop, Yodobashi. Later, we took a stroll down the busy streets, filled with eye-candy and shops.
Dinner that night was at Hainan Jeefan, a Sinaporean restaurant, which gave me a break from all the Japanese food. After seeing it the other day in Harakuku, we took a 20 minute walk to another location of Ice Monster, a shaved ice place. They have pre-flavored blocks of ice that they shave down, so there is no syrupy flavor or uneven amount of it. Overall, it was one of the best shaved ices I have ever eaten.
Day 4 was a mostly casual day, starting with a late morning. After eating lunch at Yasaika Mei, a Japanese vegetable restaurant, I took the train over to Fukagawa Edo Museum. A great place for both kids and adults, this museum is a giant exhibition of ancient times in Japan. Inside is a tiny village, designed to be like Fukaawa-Saga chō in the mid-19th century. Each building is filled with what realistic furniture and other commodities that you can touch. There is even a water canal next to a screen that changes between night and day. In the sunset, there is traditional music that is played in the center of the tiny town.
Nearby was Kiyosumi Gardens, a great place to stroll around. In the middle is a giant pond, and may people come to feed the fish in it, which is fun to watch. The last stop of the day was for dinner at Ninja Akasaka, one of the many themed restaurants located in Tokyo. This restaurant had a Ninja theme, and was an amazing experience alongside some good food. In order to enter the restaurant, visitors are required to go through "ninja training" a process of walking down a small dark hallway into the main eating area. Our table was located in what looked like a cave. On top of that, all the food was themed, and there was a magic show done at the table while we ate.
That concludes this very long itinerary from Tokyo. I also visited Kyoto in Japan, so there will be an itinerary of that coming up soon. Let me know down below if you found this post helpful, or plan on/have been to Tokyo. Hope you enjoy Japan week!
A seventeen-year-old fashion obsessed girl, who stands just under 5 feet tall.