You might be wondering, “Jamie, how many shrines and temples do I have to visit before it gets old?” The answer is all of them. Twice. Maybe three times. I was worried that I would get bored of them, but nope. They were all so beautiful. Like truly, I love shrines and temples so much.
In Kyoto I was able to chat a bit with some other travelers so there are some places that I forgot to take photos of. I never thought that I would be the kind of person to talk to strangers for (literally) hours, but traveling alone forces you to socialize a little bit. So shout out to the firefighter from Hong Kong and the engineer from Italy!
I was originally going to get into Kyoto earlier and do the Philosopher’s Walk and Fushimi Inari-taisha, but I got in a bit late and was only able to explore Fushimi Inari at night. Super spoooooky.
In the morning and early afternoon I went to Arashiyama Monkey Park, Horinji, and the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest. Afterwards I went to To-ji and then (finally) got my Fushimi Inari-taisha photos. The Monkey Park and Fushimi Inari are a hike so I don’t suggest going to both on the same day!
I went to Nijo Castle in the morning. I wasn’t too keen on it (it wasn’t bad either though!), but you’re not allowed to take photos so you’ll have to decide if you want to go yourself!! I also went to the Kyoto National Museum, which turned out to be closed for the month lol. Finally, I went to Kennin-ji, did the Philosopher’s Walk, and then walked all the way back to the Kennin-ji area to look around Gion Shirakawa to spot some geisha. I didn’t see any there, but I did see them when I had dinner in Potoncho Alley!
This was my last day in Kyoto and I had a 9:20am tour of the Katsura Imperial Villa. You have to reserve a spot a month (or more) early, so make sure you don’t wake up late and almost miss your tour! I’d really like to see the villa in the autumn just to see the contrast between the Japanese maple trees and the roofs of the tea houses. I also went to Kinkaku-ji and Ryoan-ji.
Next week will be my final Japan blog post. If you’ve been reading from the start thank you for following my journey for so long! If this is the first post you’re seeing, thank you for tuning in. But the journey doesn’t stop here. Next week I’ll be in Seoul, South Korea. 🙂
On the first day I wore the same outfit I wore while in Nara.
On day two I wore a silk camisole and black jeans from Grana, banana socks I bought in Taiwan, and Adidas Stan Smiths.
On the third day I wore a cropped button down from Bershka, denim 512 shorts from Levis (purchased at Urban Outfitters), grid socks from Taiwan, and Stans.
I don’t have any photos of myself from my last day in Kyoto (I forgot lol), but in the vlog you can see me wearing a striped top from Uniqlo!
The sunglasses I wore are from Sunnies Studios.
I spent three nights at the Hedistar Hotel Kyoto Nijo. This was by far the nicest hotel I’ve ever stayed in (on my own dollar haha). In the lobby there is complimentary coffee, tea (including matcha!), and some powdered soups (that I regret not trying!!). There’s also a little corner where they provide origami paper and instruction booklets.
The room itself was small, but everything fit really nicely. There was a little nook under the bed where you could place your luggage. They provide a nightgown and slippers and all that jazz. You can even chose the angle the air conditioner blows out air.
The hotel was two blocks away from Nijo Castle and walking distance from three different train stations. I think I booked it with a discount from Agoda, but it was such a deal.
This week I want to shoutout Brittany! I have no idea how I found Brittany on instagram, but I’m glad I did. In addition to creating beautiful prints (lithograph, metal plate intaglio, screenprint… you name it!!), Brit is also just really great to talk to. This winter I purchased a print, and honestly, it’s truly the coolest piece of art I own. Everything about the mood, the textures, the colors… the piece invokes an emotion I can’t quite describe. Brit has other prints and paintings for sale that you can see on IG.