We got lost on our first night in Kyoto—and it pretty much set the theme for the first half of our 10-day Japan trip. :P
Our flight had arrived an hour late and it took us another hour via the JR Hakura Express to get to Kyoto station, where we ended up taking the wrong exit that led us to walk—hauling our 20kg luggages, I might add!—two kilometers away from our quirky family-owned Japanese inn. To put ourselves out of our misery, we ended up taking a seven-minute cab ride to the wrong hotel (cost us a painful Y660, too), where my friend Bea had a rude awakening in the form of an old man wearing only a t-shirt and his tighty whities. Haha. We eventually made it to our cozy backpackers inn, where the owner kept shushing us for making too much noise—we arrived a little before midnight and it was already lights out AND we were too excited to stay still.
It was, to say the least, a pretty eventful way to start our 10-day Japanese adventure. :D
If you’ve been following me in any of my social networks, you would know that Japan is like an ex I can’t get over. The place haunts me and I really felt I had to come back for a longer visit. What did me in was the second to the last day of our trip last year—that PERFECT afternoon spent walking along quaint Sanjo-dori street all the way to Nara Koen, where the deers seem to outnumber humans and where the magnificent heritage temples of ancient Nara proudly stand. A gloomy raincloud had followed us around for days, but that amber-hued afternoon, the sun finally came out and we got to see and experience Japan in all its glory. There was just something otherworldly and ethereal about the place that hooked us in.
Fast forward to a year and a month later, and there we were again, drinking ourselves silly that cool spring night in Kyoto, grinning from ear to ear because we were finally, finally in Japan again :D
We decided to make Kyoto our homebase this time—it had rained non-stop when we were there last year so we didn’t really get to explore Japan’s former capital properly. I was once again in charge of creating our itinerary, and this time I made sure to squeeze in as much of Kyoto’s must-see places as possible :D
All the effort doing research definitely paid off because the places waiting for us were absolutely beautiful—especially the ones we ended up getting lost in. Some of my favorite snaps…
Koi pond at the Tenryuji Zen Temple
A gentle breeze blew past us while we were walking around Arashiyama, and the moment we entered the path leading to its famous bamboo grove, we were hypnotized.
Bamboo trees, some as tall as four- to five-storey buildings, swayed gently back and forth, its leaves emitting a rhythm that sent us on a trancelike, meditative state. Which, of course, did not keep us from camwhoring, as seen below:
Rickshaw ride in Arashiyama
The one thing I should’ve done in Kyoto…CYCLE!
Went past this field when we got lost :P
Ended up back in the main street because we were drawn to the smell of these babies.
Look at these two, all dressed up.
Walking around Gion at dusk…
Geisha off to her evening appointment…
Do yourself a favor and buy this strawberry and red bean mochi in the basement of Daimaru.
I came back to Japan for this. Biting into it is pure bliss. Gaaah.