72 Hours In Kyoto, Japan

Sunday, 26 November 2017

The Red Gates

We made it! Our last stop of he Japan tour: Kyoto! Being the old capital of the country before the emperor moved to Tokyo, Kyoto is just as bustling and busy but with both rural looking areas and built up city blocks. With just over 3 days to explore it all, every minute was packed full of activities, barely giving us time to sleep! 

Day 1

Our journey from Nikko to Kyoto was actually pretty exciting as we got to take a ride on the Shinkansen, otherwise known as the Bullet Train. It reaches up to about 200 miles per hour and the ticket men bowed ever time they entered or left our carriage, I'd love to see that in the UK.

Our hotel was on the road which lead right out of the station and was conveniently situated across the  street of a 7 Eleven which was perfect for a quick breakfast pastry and coffee. As we arrived around lunch we had loads of time left for a day out, so Kaoru took us all to the Fushimi Inari-taisha (Red Gates) which was literally just as the title says: lots of red gates. It was really pretty and there was a great food market next to it where Pop and I got some tasty dumplings. An old man also asked us where we were from and shook our hands because he was surprised two girls with curly hair could come from England. This is usually a normal occurrence for us in foreign countries so its always quite funny. 

Next we were back on the bus to the city centre for a walk and eat at a really cool restaurant. She told us we'd be eating Shabu Shabu (yes it's a real thing, and you can bet me and my sister said it as much as we could) which is a Japanese dish where you cook meat in a boiling pot of water in front of you.

It was delicious and pretty fun to cook, although I was a bit sceptical about using the raw egg as a dipping sauce at first, but grew to love it. I can assure you I ate way too much but still managed an ice-cream back at the hotel :)

Day 2

Our second day was filled with cultural visits. First stop was the Golden Pavillion or Kinkaku-ji, which is at a Buddhist temple surrounded by beautiful moss gardens. It was picture and tourist central  so not as tranquil as it looks! 

Pop and I were interviewed by two Japanese school boys for their English project about what we liked about Japan and whether we liked matcha ice-cream haha, I don't think they fully understood what we were saying but I'm sure they will show the video to their teacher for help...

Loads of fishies
Kyoto was also great for seeing the men and women in their traditional clothing. It seemed like for every special occasion a kimono, socks and flip flops were the go to outfit and I wasn't complaining, they were so pretty and colourful! 

A whole troop of women in kimonos across the pond
Onto the Sagano Bamboo Forest. A bus ride and busy walk later we were under the shade of hundreds of bamboo stalks that reached way up above us. It was surprisingly hot so the shade was very welcome but unfortunately didn't do much to subside my stomach growling. This meant food.

We ended up getting a McDonalds at a place we had passed the day before which was actually quite cool because they had loads of things us Brits don't get the choice of at home. There was a ginger and pork burger, a crab burger and miso soup, not to mention the brightest green Fanta I'd ever seen! I'm not kidding, it was neon. 

That night, as one of the American guys was leaving, we had our last meal as a group at a lovely restaurant which served lots of small dishes on a hot plate on the table. We ate some tentacle thingy which I wasn't to keen on, but the rest was yummy: noodles, meat, veg. Kaoru also gave us all little gifts and wrote our names on a card, mine is literally two backwards Cs. After my dad had a bit too much to drink and ended up banging his head on the door frame (they're even too small for him over there which is saying something) we went home to bed.

Day 3

On our last full day, we began by making our own way to the market where there were loads of little shops on either side of some long alley ways. Everything you could ever need was down there: clothes, fish, sweets, souvenirs, Snoopy memorabilia... you get the idea. 

I also ended up snapping my film inside my camera and exposing a bit of it when I opened the lid :/ but the man in the camera shop back in the UK saved it for me, thank god.

Anyway, we spent a while there and then decided to go shopping where again we found some really cool, vinatge-y shops and a huge LUSH which had plants covering the whole front of the shop and had a spa at the back! Literally hours later, we went back to pack and rest to leave early the next day for home. But before we could go to bed, Kaoru took us out for one last meal, the woman never stopped! (love her though). 

After some delish sushi, later I was told very confidently by one of the American women in our group that England is not a country, but a state within the UK. She followed up with Scotland is not a country either which I chose to ignore as I was getting a little defensive.

With one more stop to the 7 Eleven for ice-cream and sweets, we went to bed for our last sleep in Japan. Traveling home the next day was much nicer than on the way out, I had way more space on the plane and watched some good movies, I also got to finish my book :) Oh and Kaoru kindly gave us some interesting snacks for the journey, saying goodbye to her was very sad :(

I had an incredible time in Japan and hope I get to go back soon! Now I am finally back to my old sleeping pattern (after a week of getting up at 5 and sleeping by 7) and have a few more posts in the line up, so keep an eye out!

Are you going anywhere for Christmas holidays? Tell me in the comments below!

Coco ♡


  1. Loved reading this, currently planning my trip to Japan

    1. I'm so glad! Seriously, you're gonna love it and never want to leave :)


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