Japan Trip 2015 Part 2: Kyoto
After our little hiccup, Gary and I finally made it to Kyoto and united with the crew at around 9PM. We hadn’t slept in ~24 hours (I am envious of anyone who can sleep on planes) but that didn’t stop us from getting drinks at the nearby izakaya.
It was so great to finally meet up with the boys. To celebrate our reunion we crushed some frosty Sapporos at the izakaya, then headed out for kaiten zushi at a place called Chojiro.
Kaiten zushi (回転寿司) is a type of restaurant where there’s a conveyer belt of sushi plates and you can grab whichever one you please. You’re charged based on the number and colour of the plates. The sushi at Chojiro was super tasty.
After getting plenty beered and sooshed up we decided to call it a night.
Fushimi Inari Shrine
The next morning we rented some bicycles and headed towards the infamous Fushimi Inari Shrine.
Fushimi Inari was gorgeous. The trail of orange torii (gates) lead up to the top of a hill, where we were rewarded with a pretty view of the city.
It’s about a 1.5 hour hike to the top so make sure you’re wearing comfy shoes. I wore really flat Vans and my knees were completely messed the next day.
Gekkeikan Okura Museum
After Fushimi Inari we biked down to the nearby Gekkeikan Okura Museum. It was interesting to see the sake-making process, and the free samples at the end were awesome. The plum wine was my favourite.
The next morning we checked out the Kiyomizu Dera temple. The amount of tourists was a bit overwhelming, but it was still enjoyable. It was way smaller than Fushimi Inari so we were able to finish checking it out in an hour and a bit.
What I found cool about Kyoto is that there are smaller shrines everywhere. On our way back from Kiyomizu Dera we came across one with a huge rock with a hole in it. What you do is write a wish on a sheet of paper provided by the shrine and crawl through the tunnel while holding onto it. You then paste the sheet among the hundreds of others on the rock. An odd ritual no doubt, but cool nonetheless.
Once we were done checking out Kiyomizu Dera and the nearby shrines, we hopped on the train towards our next city: Nara.
- Kyoto is beautiful. If you’re into hiking and checking out gorgeous temples and cool shrines, then this city is for you.
- Kyoto is very bikeable. There’s a bunch of bike rental places around the Gion Shijo area that you can choose from.