Tag Archives: Kyoto

Kyoto to Osaka

16 Feb

We woke up this morning and checked out of Khaosan Kyoto Guesthouse. Before we moved onto Osaka there was one last thing I wanted to see: the international manga museum.
Lock, Hanako, Max (a German guy we had met last night) and myself headed off to the manga museum.
On the way we stopped off at Moss Burger for a quick lunch.
We managed to find the manga museum after first walking straight past it and then having to ask for directions.
The manga museum was great. It seems that a lot of Japanese people user it as more of a library. We had a look at a few exhibions that the museum had to offer. One was 1000 prints by different artists of Maiko.
We also came across this guy… A Japanese storyteller. I thought he was absolutely hilarious though I didn’t understand much if his story.
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After we listened to his story we had a look at the main exhibition. This showed how amine was made and had examples of popular anime from every year along the walls.
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We stopped in at First kitchen for some pasta for dinner on the way back to pick up our bags then said our goodbyes and went to the train station to board our train to Osaka.

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Getting Lost in the Fushimi Inari Shrine

15 Feb

Today I got up after a bit of a sleep in and decided to go out for lunch. I waited around for Lock to do his washing before being told he didn’t want to come. So off I went to find somewhere to eat.
I came across a German pub on the 7th floor of a shopping center called loft and noticed they had a margarita pizza on the menu. It seemed to be one of the only non-sea food or pork things I could find for lunch and it also turned out to be the best pizza I have ever had!
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While I was eating an older Argentinan coupe cane and sat at the table next to mine and said hello. I had a great chat to them. The gentleman was a photographer and showed me many great pictures that he had taken in his time in Japan. It really inspired me to take more thought out photographs while I am here! I also showed him my artist page and some of my paintings. Before I had to rush off to meet Lock, he asked to take a photo of me which he said he’d email through. His wife spoke little English but I did find out from her that they had been traveling around a lot and owned a shoe shop back home.

Once I finally meet up with Lock and Hanako we decided to go to Fushimi Inari Shrine. Another guy, Justin, from our accommodation who Lock had talked to decided to join us.
We got to Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社, Fushimi Inari Taisha) was our next destination. We g after managing to get lost and take a train that overshot our stop. We then took a train back to the stop we were supposed to get off in but accidently got off a stop too early…. We eventually got to the shrine with maybe an hour of light left. We thought we would be able to walk the whole shrine in that time; how wrong we were!
We went to a great local Indian restaurant for dinner after our adventure. I had palak paneer, it was delicious!

All in all I think it was a great last day in Kyoto. Tomorrow we head off to Osaka but not before teaching a group of people in the common room how to play King’s Cup and going out for Kareoke!

Monkeys!!

14 Feb

Today started out as a washing day.  I spent most of the morning washing my clothes and drying them.
At 14.00 the day took a huge turn when I met up with Lock, Rach and Haniko and it was decided that we would go to the monkey park!
We took a very long bus ride to the other side of Kyoto (I shouldn’t complain,  it was nothing compared to the trip to Sapporo). We arrived at arashiyama monkey park and trekked up the mountain path for 15 minutes to reach the top where you were able to feed the monkeys! It is 155m above sea level. There is also an amazing view of Kyoto City and the surrounding mountains.
There are about 130 Japanese monkeys at the park. One of the staff was telling us that they all have names and they can tell the difference between their faces. They also know the date of birth of every monkey!

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We had decided last night that we were going to cook dinner in the kitchen of the guest house instead of eating out as it was Rach’s last night in Kyoto.  we went to the suppa near our accommodation and brought all the things we needed for spaghetti bolanaise. It was quite difficult setting as everything was in Japanese. Once we managed to find all the ingredients we went back to the guesthouse to cook.  The meal actually turned out really well and we were all a bit surprised that we hadn’t accidently brought the wrong ingredient.

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After dinner we went out to kareoke for a few hours then came back to the accommodation and after an ice cream we all went to bed.

Hannah x

Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

I spent my morning taking to my boyfriend and wishing him a Happy Valentine’s Day and watching him open the present is left at his house for him before I came to Japan.
After this I decided to explore the streets suerounding Khaosan Kyoto Guesthouse where we had been staying.
I found a second hand kimono shop tucked away down a side street and got a kimono and obi for very cheap.
I also found a little shop that sold bizarre instruments. 

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There is not much else to tell. It was a good relaxing day and I very much enjoyed shopping.

Hannah x

Kyoto Historical Adventures

13 Feb

Today was surprisingly productive.  We got up at 11.00 and met Rachel from Australia and Hanika from the UK who is staying in Kyoto to go out on an adventure.  After kareoke last night we had agreed to meet up for Moss Burger so off we went! After brunch we decided to be dedicated tourists. We jumped on the bus and headed to the Golden Pavilion.
The Golden Pavilion (Kinkaku) is a Buddhist Hall containing relics of Buddha. The area which it resides was originally a site called Kitayama-dai and was owned by the 3rd shogun of the Muromachi period. The villa was converted into a Temple by the priest Muso-kukushi after the shogun died.  In 1994, this Temple was registered as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
Gold foil on lacquer covers the upper two levels of the pavilion and a shining pheonix stands on top of the roof.

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This was a lot of fun.  I tried many times but after the 4th turn I got my coin into the bowl.

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I decided to have my fortune told. I got one that said “quite good” do I folded it up and hung it on a wire like I was told to do.

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Nijo Palace was amazing even though there was quite a bit of scaffolding around as they are resorting the castle. My favourite part was the nightingale floor which made bird sounds as you walked on it. This was so that when they were sleeping they would be able to hear if and intruders entered the castle.
The castle was built originally in 1603 as the official Kyoto residence of the first Shogun,  Ieyasu, with the addition of some structures transferred from Fushimi Castle. Nijo Castle is full of amazing paintings and carvings that were generously commissioned by the shogun. The castle was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

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We weren’t allowed to take photos inside but trust me when I say it is amazing!

We went to the Gion District next with the hope of seeing a Giesha. We didn’t see one but we did see a lot of people in traditional dress which was wonderful in itself. It stated getting very cold in Gion so we heading into a Starbucks to warm up.  We managed to entertain ourselves by playing checkers with coins on the table.

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We then headed off to a tea ceremony and leant about “the way of tea” at a Japanese-style tea house called En. We were able to watch a traditional tea ceremony.  I was surprised at how long it took and how many different movements were involved! We were then able to make our own tea! It was hard to wisk the tea so it had enough froth. I also found it interesting that the tea scoop is named at each ceremony with a name from nature.
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We had dinner at Sukiya after this. I had a vegetarian curry. After that I went to bed and had an early night.

Hannah x

Kyoto, Calligraphy and Kareoke!

12 Feb

Day Two of my time in Kyoto was great.  After a bit of a sleep in we left The New Miyami Hotel and headed towards the Guesthouse we would be staying in for the 5 days we have left here.  We checked in and dropped off or bags and then went exploring down one of the main streets near where we are staying.  Once we got back to the guesthouse and had a shower we were told that there was a free Calligraphy class on.  Lock didn’t want to do it so he went out for dinner with some guys he was taking to.  I stayed and met an Aussie girl named Rachel and a Canadian comedian named Joey. We learnt how to write dream in kanji and then the Sensai was nice enough to teach me how to write my name in kanji, which also means flower in Japanese.

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After this we sat around taking and Rachel mentioned she really wanted to do kareoke before she left.  Do we decided to go to kareoke. A few other people decided to come along and as we left we ended up with 10 people.  We spent a few hours at kareoke and then came back and went to sleep with plans to meet up again tomorrow.

Hannah x

Welcome to Kyoto

11 Feb

After another very long train trip we finally arrived in Kyoto at 13.00. I’m very glad that there won’t be anymore train trips that long any time soon!
The first thing I noticed about Kyoto while traveling in on the train was the amazing mountains surrounding it. Although you don’t notice that as much once you get into the city as there are so many skyscrapers to block the view.

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We spent the next hour or so trying to find accommodation.  Thankfully a very nice elderly gentleman pointed us in the right direction or it would have taken us a lot longer. After we organised out accommodation for the night at the new miyako hotel we only had to have some lunch before it was time to check in.

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We spent the next few hours enjoying the luxury of having a bath and then decided to have a look in Aeon Mall that was just across the road from us.
We grabbed some snacks from the local suppa (supermarket) for dinner and then made out way back to the hoteru (hotel). We are some dinner while watching tv that we did not understand and then called it a night at about 20.00. We were utterly exhauted!

Hannah x