As I’ve promised before, here are Kyoto pictures! I went to Kyoto alone (again) hoping I could visit famous Fushimi Inari Taisha, the shrine with “thousand” gates, but only managed to get to Gion because I couldn’t read where I could buy train ticket to Inari Station (which I should be able to identify or ask someone, but decided not to waste any time wandering like lost tourist in station). As usual, I used Google Map (offline mode because I know something wrong tends to happen in a very wrong time) for guide and my survival instinct (have faith).

I went from Kitasenri Station and took Hankyu Umeda line, which then transferred to Hankyu Kyoto Line in Awaji. After a long ride (1 hour and half), I finally saw Kyoto! There was a beautiful green hill on the other side of train’s window and some girls dressed in beautiful kimono got in along the way, it was a really nice sight! The train stopped in Kawaramachi Station, the last station in Hankyu Kyoto Line, and I immediately left the station to see Kyoto with my own eyes…

Not that cold, I thought, but the wind was blowing hard that day. Kyoto (especially around Kawaramachi/Gion Station) was a bit different than Osaka. There were many people walking here and there and some tourists that spoke Chinese grouped in souvenir shop. Because I had given up going to Inari Station, I decided to fill my empty stomach first before going to nearest tourist spot around Gion: Yasaka Shrine and Geisha street. I knew there were many restaurants out there in Gion, but with that kind of price, I wished I would just buy something in station’s Seven-Eleven/Lawson instead. But by great guidance of coincidence, I found a traditional-looking restaurant with English words printed on the banner: Issen Yoshoku near Gion Shijou Station!

Issen Yoshoku, Kyoto's Okonomiyaki!

Issen Yoshoku, Kyoto’s Okonomiyaki!

Issen Yoshoku is Kyoto Okonomiyaki and very rich in flavor. First I thought it was omelette, but it is not just an omelette! It is different than Osaka Okonomiyaki I ate back then in Umeda, this one has konjaku jelly, shrimp, sauce and etc. Oh, you should try it, very recommended! And it is not that expensive compared to other restaurant (especially in geisha street). I believe there are better reviews on it around internet. And oh yes, it is Halal. I don’t see anything that isn’t halal listed there; although you can always ask the chef to remove certain ingredients you don’t like.

Gion Sight along Shijo Dori

Gion Sight along Shijo Dori

If you went east along Shijo Dori road, you will see many souvenir and sweet shops. I guess Kyoto is famous for its sweets, prickles, plum, mochi, snow-bunny mashmallow(?), candies, green-tea chocolate and many more! There are ceramics shops and handkerchief shops too, Japanese quality. I think there is a tea-shop which sells you best-quality tea bags, from green tea (matcha), houji-cha, black tea and all. I spent my half day shopping before going to Yasaka Jinja.

Yasaka Jinja Front Gate

Yasaka Jinja Front Gate

I wondered why there were many people wearing kimono/yukata visiting the shrine and I immediately knew the reason when I stepped inside! There was a wedding ceremony held in Yasaka Jinja, I thought they were son/daughter of politician or famous people (just a random guess), but they looked amazing. The shrine was huge… too bad I went there when the sakura hadn’t bloomed. It would be a nice sight.

Not sakura... I asked someone its name but now I forgot.

Not sakura… I asked someone its name but now I forgot.

After enjoying myself in the shrine and shrine’s garden, I went back to Shijo Dori and to Kennin-ji Shrine via “Geisha Street”. Old Kyoto is really the best. Unlike Kanazawa’s Geisha Street, Kyoto’s was really packed with people and the road was rather big – cars could passed it without any worry. In the end of the street, there was a Kennin-ji Shrine and Gion Corner. Japanese traditional culture would be presented in Gion Corner every day at 6PM and the ticket could be purchased half hour before opening. It was rather expensive for 2 hours performance, though I would really like to see Maiko/Geiko-dance one day (that day I hurt my feet so after visiting Kennin-ji I went back to station)

Geisha Street in Gion, Kyoto

Hanami Lane “Geisha Street” in Gion/Higashiyama, Kyoto

Kennin-Ji, the oldest Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto

Kennin-Ji, the oldest Zen Buddhist temple in Kyoto

That sums up my trip to Osaka/Kyoto! I would like to go adventure again next time I go there!

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