Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Kyoto is my favorite city in Japan! There are so many temples, palaces, and gardens to explore- it's just a beautiful place (plus, you can buy the best mochi here, more on that below:). While we were in Kyoto, we stayed at a traditional Japanese house called a Ryokan. The traditional house was full of sliding doors and tatami floors, and we slept on mats on the floor each night. It was a really cool cultural experience.

Our first day in Kyoto, we woke up early and took the train to see the Bamboo Forest. I loved it! It's so pretty and peaceful.

There is a little town nearby the bamboo forest, so we grabbed some ice cream there. During the walk to the town we spotted this Buddha holding quadruplet babies so obviously we had to take a picture :)

After lunch, we headed to see the famous Fushimi-Inari-Taisha Shrine. Here's my family at the front entrance.

Luke washed his hands before entering.

How adorable is this little girl all dressed up!

This temple is one of my favorites because it is so unique. It takes hours to walk through all of the torii shrines, there are so many of them! 

We learned that each torii here is donated by a Japanese business. My dad took pictures of the writings with his google translate app and we discovered that the writings on each side are kind of like an ad from each business. 

Here's the full map of the temple and it would take hours to walk the whole thing! 

At one point, we lost Jenelle and couldn't find her at the temple. Finally, we found her playing with the stray cats. Whenever she disappeared, we found her playing with stray dogs and cats. Kind of gross, but she is obsessed with animals!

Jenelle wrote in her journal every day about all of our adventures. She bought the cutest travel journal (here). I'm so glad that she wrote everything we did down because I would have forgot the names of all the places we went to without her good note taking :)

My FAVORITE Japanese treat is strawberry mochi and you can only buy this exact kind in Kyoto! I've only been to Kyoto twice, but both times I filled up on mochi samples and bought tons to take home! If you ever go to Kyoto, then you need to try this stuff and bring some back for me too :)

There are so many good flavors (strawberry is my favorite). I only wish I could buy this stuff in the US :)

We ended the day by walking around the Gion district in Kyoto. 

We stumbled upon the Nishiki Market and got a closer look at what Japanese people eat.

There was also a cat cafe here where you can pay to go in and play with cats. I wonder if this concept will ever catch on here in the US because we saw lots of these types of cafes in both Korea and Japan. How fun!

The next day, we went to the Kiyomizu-dera Temple.

I loved reading through all of the wishes here that were written in English.

My dad joined in and burned some incense with the locals.

At this temple, they have two "love rocks" which legend has it if you can successfully make it from one rock to the other with your eyes blindfolded then you will find true love in your life. Luke successfully made the journey!

I love how the bright orange temple stands out compared to the green. We walked over to get a closer look at that shrine.

There is a restaurant at the bottom of this temple too!

This temple ends with the 3 waterfalls. Apparently, if you drink from this water then you will have good health and success in life. Not bad, drink up! 

There are such cute streets and shops below this temple. We walked through them and of course bought some more great mochi and yummy Japanese ice cream!

So many restaurants in Japan have plastic food in the windows to show off their meals... but this strategy doesn't exactly make the food look appetizing to me. Ah!

We also went to the Silver Pavillion. This is a really beautiful garden, so many zen vibes!

I can't believe how much time they spend to make this garden perfect. We watched these two men slowly pick out all of the leaves that shouldn't be there, and I can't believe how much attention to detail they give to each plant. It's amazing.

After seeing the Silver Pavillion, we ended the day walking along the Philosopher’s Path. We walked so much that day and were all so tired by the end of it.


1 comment

  1. We visited Kyoto several years ago and it is on the top of my list! I love Japan:)


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