Kyoto day 1 explorations

Kyoto is the imperial capitol, and famous for its grandeur and many beautiful temples. Matt, Laura, Denis and I started out pretty easily, walking from our hotel in the direction of the Gion district, a tea-house neighborhood where real geishas still work and train. On the way there, we were happily distracted by many things, such as sweet potato-filled fish-shaped cakes and the very delicious senbei, which are many types of flavored crackers.

Before we left, I had marked up my Google map with several points of interest. However, although I could find them by searching in English, they were labeled in Japanese, and I sometimes make mistakes when I click on what I think is the right one. We got off track a little, so by the time Max & Guido were making their way to the same area, we had to come back around where we had walked to get to where we were going. It was a nice walk, though!

We didn’t see any geishas or trainee geishas (nor did we expect to), but there were many very nice-looking restaurants and many very nicely-dressed people, some looking very formal in kimonos. And the area itself was lovely.

Max & Guido were coming in from another direction, so we met them on the other side entirely, and everyone was hungry. We ended up in a delicious tonkatsu specialty restaurant. I really like tonkatsu. It’s basically wiener schnitzel, but so delicous. Schnitzel is also delicious. The waitress came through with a basket of shredded cabbage, and we could have as much of that as we liked. 

Photos from the restaurant search:

After dinner, we tried to go see Shouren-In Temple, which has a lovely lights display, special in the fall, starting in October. This one was my idea, and I am embarrassed to say that, like with Tsuta Soba, I should have read the information better. It starts in the last week of October, so wasn’t open yet. Matt looks disappointed in this picture, even though we didn’t even know that yet. We found this well on the way.

Here is the gate of the Shouren-In Temple… closed.

Still, our group enjoyed wandering that neighborhood, eventually arriving back into the Gion District.

As we arrived in the area near our hotel, we decided to have some drinks at a Scandinavian-themed bar not far away. Denis and Laura left earlier, but the 4 of us remaining began a new glass-clinking tradition. I’ll just have to show you sometime!

Stay tuned for tomorrow!