Kyoto was a great experience, you can a feel of old Japan and get lost in the beauty of the city!
On February 9, we took the Shinkansen to beging our trip to Kyoto. I was really excited even though the weather was really bad! It snowed all the day before and it was very hard walking through all the snow to Sagamihara station next day! I have never seen that much snow in all my life!
Upon arrival at Kyoto Station, we visited Kinkaku-ji, which was absolutely stunning, it was so beautiful to walk around the place because the scenery was amazing. The temple is surrounded by this beautiful garden that makes you feel peace and calmness. It’s a quiet place where you can relax and enjoy a beautiful view of Japan.
After Kinkaku-ji, we took a cab to our next destination: Ryoan-ji. You can feel a mysterious aura as soon as you get to the place.
I took a short time out to stare at the rocks and the landscape and think about how lucky I was to be sitting on that exact spot. The mood on the temples I’ve visited have this tranquil mood that is contagious!
We walked a lot! Even though I was tired, I enjoyed a lot walking around the street and feeling the vibe of old Japan! But it was really interesting to see the modern side of Kyoto.
After walking so much, we went to enjoy ourselves on Sumiya Kiho-An, where we enjoy a delicous meal. I can never cease to be amazed at Japanese hospitality.
Sumiya Kiho-An was a traditional hotel, so you could see people wearing yukata and I also got to use one!
Also, it was my first time on a onsen! Now, I must say that this was a new concept for me, because going to a hot spring is not really common in Mexico. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it very much, you can have a private time to rest and have a good chat with friends. Before the day finished, we enjoyed ourselves sharing a meal together, it was the perfect way to call it a day.
We got to rest with a full stomach and pretty content, I was really eager for the next day to come.
After getting a good night sleep, we went to the place I was most excited to visit: Fushimi-Inari. I was really eager to visit it because I wanted to walk through the “toori”.
This day was a little different from the other because I was going to lead the way today! I was compromised to try my hardest and get us on time to complete the schedule for day two. We arrived with no problems to Fushimi-Inari, I was not dissapointed, it was even better than what I imagined. The beautiful red of the shrine and the “toori” caught my attention instantly and even though we walked a lot, we couldn’t get to the top!
This was my favorite place so far, the kitsune really give off a mystic vibe; you can see people enjoying the journey of going up, just as much as I enjoyed it.
The place is huge and the arquitecture is incredible, the shrine is really beautiful and this is the place where I really felt most at peace. With each step I escalate Fushimi-Inari, I felt the mood that the place created and felt that I was part of it. I think it was special to learn and appreciate the moment. I enjoyed being part of it and share my feelings with everyone else.
I tried takoyaki for the first time, which was one of the food I really wanted to eat before coming to Japan.
Even though we were in high spirits, we were also really hungry, so we went to eat “issen yoshoku”. It was the first time everyone had this meal, we all thought it was really delicious. It’s a really funny place, the way it is decorated can definitely will make you smile and have a few laughs.
We got to chill and rest after walking so much four our next stop: Gion district.
Gion district is full of stores and really nice places to shop. Only looking around was a pleasure cause this district maintains old Japanese esence, I did a little shopping to bring back to Mexico. Most of the crafts I saw in there were really cute and well made.
After a while, we made our check-in at the hotel and went to and isakaya to chat and eat.
We tried many different foods, specially because Kyoto has many vegetables dishes thart are famous.
We didn’t stay long because we had get ready for our last day and I had to plan the route for the Kyoto International Manga Museum and to the Kyoto Handicraft Center.
I was feeling a little tired from all the walking but very excited for the last day in Kyoto.
Last day of Kyoto trip! Until now it has been a lot of fun, and our last destinations were: Kyoto International Manga Museum, Nijo-jo and Kyoto Handicraft Center.
Until the last day Kyoto Station was really hard for me, because it is really big!
But I was impressed at the architecture of the station, I thought it was really modern, it is a nice contrast between Gion district and the ancient roots of Japan.
The first stop was Kyoto International Manga Museum and we were all really amazed, I am a fan of manga and regardless that everything was in Japanese, I could get a glimpse of the impact manga has on Japanese culture. I had time to find my favorite mangakas and read for a while. Besides, I found amusing to learn about the manga business. I think we all had a really good time reading our favorites mangas.
Later, we visited Nijo-jo and walked around their beautiful chambers. This castle is so big, we couldn’t finish to explore it. I was impressed by the small details of the castle, like the paintings on the roofs and the wood carvings all around walls.
It also had beautiful gardens and huge areas where to stroll around. This place is full of history it’s even consideres a World Heritage Site by Unesco.
We left Nijo-jo and headed towards the Kyoto Handicraft Center. It was shopping time for me! Japanese crafts are totally different from anything I have seen before. I would have bought the whole shop if I could! Everything was gorgeous, I bought many things for my family and myself. It was so hard to choose between so many nice things.
Japanese culture is very focused to do things the best they can and achieve perfection, I think that is something I really want to learn and adapt as my own.
The remaining time before taking the Shinkansen, we used it to buy some souvenirs and get some food. We were really hungry! Even though I like walking around and sight seeing the city, I also enjoy the free time we had to chat. There is always something new to learn about Japanese culture! And it’s also a good way to share mexican traditions or just my everyday life as a foreigner in this beautiful country.
I enjoyed my my trip to Kyoto very much!