For our day trip in Kyoto, we planned to see some of the most famous temples and shrines which the old capital has to offer. Kyoto is regarded as the heart of traditional Japanese culture and it’s been many years since my last visit here(plus I already forgot about plenty of things haha) so I was pretty excited!
But first, a quick breakfast! Here’s some natto rolls from a convenience store which I thought were interesting since it was my first time to see them. However I chose something else to eat lol. As much as I enjoy anything made from soy, I’m still not brave enough to taste natto!
Kyoto Station has some really amazing architecture and is easily one of the most spectacular train stations I’ve been to.
The station itself is a veritable mega structure, and of course the inside is equally impressive.
Looking up the high arches of the ceiling made my jaw drop. aha!
I just love the sleek grey finish and metallic overtones of the station.
Some of the nearby coffee shops I’ve managed to quickly take a photo of. Too bad we didn’t have enough time to look around.
Some juicy looking fruit tarts and strawberry short cakes!
This is highly recommended and the most popular product, the Amaou Tart ; which uses Amaou, a special breed of large, beautiful strawberries grown in Kyushu. They look super tasty! But I was still watching my sugar intake during this trip so I had to sadly ignore it aww. Next time though!
Gorgeous Amaou strawberry and fruit rolls! I think they would make great presents.
We took a bus to our next destination. Kyoto buses are so cute! I love the vintage appearance and overall feel and it felt weird not being able to use cash cards. Back to counting coins.
This Lawson store is under the most adorable looking cottage haha
Roasted Green tea Kit Kat! And of course Matcha. When in Kyoto… lol
Walking around the temple grounds of Kinkakuji…it was another incredibly sunny day.
The Golden Pavilion as seen from across the garden’s pond. The top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf. Kinkakuji inspired the Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion) which is also located in Kyoto.
I took pictures of the Kinkakuji from all sides since the walking path wound around it lol. It’s harder to photograph the whole structure up close.
A Tea Garden in the temple grounds. You can rest here while snacking on sweets and drinking green tea.
The Fudo Hall which houses a statue of Fudo Myoo. He is one of the five Wisdom Kings and is also the Guardian Deity of Buddhism.
Some souvenir and snack stands nearby.
The geisha holding the sake bottle in the poster looks so cute!
A sweet soy drink with sake and senbei (rice crackers) The drink is available hot or iced.
Some pan fried Kusa Mochi (grass mochi) aka yomogi mochi which is a Wagashi (traditional Japanese sweet) made from Japanese mugwort.
And of course there is matcha everywhere!
Packets of Kyoto Tea.
I LOVE CURRY!
This stand is selling some popular sweets in Kansai called Yatsuhashi, which is made from glutinous rice flour, sugar and cinnamon. Baked yatsuhashi is stiff and similar to senbei while raw and unbaked has a mochi-like consistency. These yatsuhashi come in a variety of flavors and fillings such as strawberry, matcha, sakura red bean paste, “gold” and black sesame paste and chocolate.
Lots of Japanese snacks and sweets featuring matcha and red bean paste. There’s also Kyoto style Tofu or Takoyaki in soup, plus soft serve cones, parfaits, ice cream sandwiches, buns and dango. Wow my favorite mitarashi dango (sweet soy sauce glaze mochi) is available with a matcha variant too! Kyoto is a great city to get fat in! I don’t know whether to rejoice about that fact or not haha.
More traditional Japanese sweets and desserts.
This looks like an awesome souvenir shop but we didn’t have the chance to look around.
We took a train to the next shrine on our list. There are way too many shrines and temples to see around Kyoto so be sure to plan your schedules carefully so as to maximize the most sights and tourist attractions with which the city has to offer!
A lot of women were dressed in lovely colorful Kimonos..many people enjoy visiting Kyoto and for them, dressing up in traditional clothing has an added appeal. I think it’s especially fun with friends!
We arrived at the Fushimi Inari-Taisha, which is one of the most popular shrines in Kyoto. It is located at the base of Inari mountain, and there are many smaller shrines inside the complex. Inari is also the God of Rice.
The main gate of the shrine. I couldn’t help noticing it’s vibrant red orange hue.
This kitsune (fox) is holding a key in it’s mouth. Foxes are found all over the shrine and they are regarded as messengers.
This shrine’s ema (wooden plaque) is shaped like the iconic torii (gate) of the complex. Worshipers write their wishes on it and hang them as an offering to the gods.
You may choose to bring them home as a souvenir without writing your wish on them, however it will still cost 800 yen. Most ema look the same: rectangular but with different pictures on them depending on the shrine, however this ema‘s shape is very specific so I bought one for myself as a keepsake.
The haiden (hall of worship) or oratory. This provides a space for ceremonies as well as for worshiping the god of the shrine.
It will actually take hours to reach the very top of the mountain so we just walked until the base of the torii path.
Map of the whole mountain and shrine complex.
Some dried fruits being sold as snacks; melons, cranberries, strawberries as well as beans.
It was sooo crowded by the torii path! Everyone was stopping to take pictures and selfies lol. This is one of the most photographed places in Japan on the internet!
The torii are just gigantic up close. They are really breath taking.
The names written are the people and companies who have donated a torii to the shrine. There are literally thousands of these torii lining the path to the mountain.
After an arduous session of torii photography, it was time to go!
Cute and colorful Japanese hard candies in the souvenir shops.
We were hungry after all that walking! So luckily, the shrine had a whole slew of street food stalls at the bottom of the mountain.
Taiyaki (fish shaped waffle) stuffed with sweets!
This looked super interesting so i bought one to try it out!
It’s like a long, savory rice roll topped with a generous amount of mayo, green onions and a kind of sauce.
Very piping hot, and the inside was juicy and just delectable with the rich mayo and sauce! I could snack on a bunch of these all day, but of course the rice would feel quite heavy~ One of my favorites in Kyoto!
Yakisoba! I love fried noodles a lot!
We shared some fried chicken too! I love eating street food in Kyoto hehe
These are hashimaki, which are savory Japanese pancakes on sticks, similar to okonomiyaki. They look so good!
They use traditional vegetables and pickles from Kyoto. Yum.
We walked outside the shrine area and into the shopping district for more food!
More yatsuhashi, this time from Inari.
Freshly grilled eel!
I love the traditional look and small-town feel of the district.
They’re selling tofu ice cream. So interesting!
Cute restaurant cats.
We stopped by a stand selling traditional Kyoto drinks and I tried a cup of their hot matcha latte. It was getting chilly by that time so I needed to warm up as well as to try real matcha from Kyoto lol.
Cute tanuki (Japanese raccoon dog) by the stand’s small garden.
More of my Kyoto food adventure coming soon in the next posts!
Check out my Osakan Adventure: