Part 2 of my Japan Trip…
My second part of the trip was in Kyoto. I spent the first day in Kyoto somewhat near the downtown area. When we got there in the morning via the train, the first thing I did was drop off my luggage and find something to eat. (If you didn’t read the first part, which is linked here, I was in Nagoya). We really had no specific place in mind but we did end up at a little restaurant that’s famous for beef cutlets and it was goooood.
I really wanted to see the traditional side of Japan so I went to the Gion area which still had a lot of traditional buildings and architecture. The day there was really just sightseeing but it was a very humid day and it was also the only day it rained while I was in Japan. Gion was kind of a tourist area as well so there were a lot of small gift shops, a lot of temples and shrines, and a lot of people. Interestingly, I also found a Starbucks that was hidden among the old architecture.
I went to a ton of temples and shrines in the area. I really really wanted to rent a yukata (I know it’s really tourist-y of me) and wear it to the shrines but it was just too humid for me to even consider putting it on. It’s a little regretful that I didn’t get a chance to wear one on this trip but I guess it gives me an excuse to go back to Japan one day and experience it.
Other than those streets of traditional architecture, there was also a more modern part of the Gion area. There were more shops and restaurants in this area as well. I stumbled upon a green tea shop that sold shaved ice, desserts, and of course tea when I was trying to avoid the heat outside. I really didn’t try to force myself to go and see every tourist attraction on this trip so I just walked around the area to experience Japanese culture (and food of course because I ate a lot on this trip).
The view there at night was really beautiful as well. At night I stayed in a ryokan which is a Japanese style inn that usually also features a hot spring. The one we stayed at was a bit more expensive compared to an Airbnb but it was a great experience. We were provided with a yukata to wear around the inn, the room was laid out in a traditional Japanese style, and at night the futons were laid out by the inn. If you ever go to Japan, I highly recommend looking into staying in one.
Anyways, Kyoto was a very memorable part of this trip for me. I had always wanted to visit and despite the humid weather and not getting to do the most tourist-y thing ever, I had a great time. Another part of my trip, though, will be posted next week.
Have a great week!
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