Hey guys! We just got back from winter vacation, and we had a great time! Our trip to Japan was absolutely amazing. Also, since we ended up having a longer break than originally anticipated, we went on a last minute trip to Jeju, Korea’s “Hawaii.” To keep things simple, this post will focus on our 24 hours in Kyoto. I’ll write a post soon on our time in Tokyo, and than Jeju.
We left Korea Saturday evening, and arrived late in Osaka. We immediately found the metro line that was headed towards Kyoto, and hopped on to make our way to our first destination. After exiting the metro station, we were greeted by lovely Christmas lights as we started wondering down the street to find our hostel.
We met Jared’s little brother Jacob at the hostel as planned. It was great to see a family member; we are so glad that you made the trip over here Jacob!
On our first night in Kyoto we ate at little restaurant that some friends recommended where each dish was 280 yen. We ordered several kabobs and soups. The food was delicious!
The next day, we headed out to explore Kyoto! Our first stop was Fushimi Inari-taisha. Inari is the god of rice, and the mountain on which the famous orange shrines line the slope is also named Inari. Traditionally, Inari is known to bring prosperity to businesses, so each shrine is donated by a Japanese business.
If you’ve seen the movie Memoirs of a Geisha (or basically any other movie set in Japan), you’ll probably recognize this place!
Little stone fox statues can be seen through the Fushimi shrines. The fox is known as a messenger to Inari.
We really enjoyed the vibrant color and depth of history on the Inari mountain.This is definitely a must-see for tourists to Japan.
Since our next destination was only a few kilometers away, we decided to walk instead of taking the metro so we could see more of this historic city on foot. We passed many temples which appeared to be closed. Since our visit landed on the New Year, we found that quite a few places were closed for the holidays.
I was so excited about spotting this Datsun 280ZX, or Fairlady, as she was labeled in Japan. I own a silver 1982 Datsun that looks almost identical to this one!
After a lot of walking, we reached our destination–Kiyomizu-dera.
The temple is named after a nearby waterfall. Kiyomizu means clear water. The temple was first built in 798, but it has been rebuilt various times due to fire destruction and damage. The the latest reconstruction was done 1633, and the entire things was built without using a single nail.
As we left the temple, we were greeted by this beautiful view of Kyoto.
Again, we decided to wonder toward our next destination by foot. We found a little restaurant in a market where we decided to stop for some food.
It felt so good to take our shoes off and relax!
The food was absolutely amazing! We absolutely love Japanese cuisine, and this trip made us fall in love with it all over again. I ordered a pork and cabbage salad that came with miso soup and rice.
Jared and Jacob ordered some udon soup, and after tasting it, I was jealous I didn’t order it.
After filling our bellies, we made our way to Gion, the Geisha district. Traditionally, Geisha are Japanese female entertainers who specialize in art, music, and various traditional games. Nowadays, it is very rare to see a real Geisha, however, there are many tourists dressed up as Geishas who love to roam the historic district.
We had a great day in Kyoto, and we wished we had more time for this lovely historic city. Next up: Tokyo! Stay tuned!