After many trips to Tokyo I think it’s safe to say I know that city like the back of my hand. And luckily I had the change to visit Fukuoka just before the flights to the tropical part of Japan all got cancelled. Even though I’ve seen a lot of Japan there are still a few places on my to visit list. When I spotted a longer lay over in Osaka on the flight schedules I knew I had to request it asap, I haven’t been to this Japanese city yet. After the requested flight appeared on my roster my shopaholic heart said: designer vintage shopping! But after my friends and colleagues advised me I should really go to Kyoto I figured I could make some great content for le blog. Because Kyoto would mean, geisha’s and authentic Japan. And there is always a time and a place for some designer vintage shopping. Of course I couldn’t leave Osaka without visiting a cool hipster area. And I met someone whom was even pickier about Insta pictures than me! Want to see how beautiful Kyoto is and which places I visited, check out the latest bloggie!
There is a seven hour time difference between The Netherlands and Japan so getting a good night sleep is always a challenge. Because I woke up at the break of dawn (read: in the middle of the night) I decided to make an early start. I really wanted to visit Fujimi Inari shrine which is famous for the thousands of red/orange colored ‘toriis‘ (arches). These arches go all the way up the mountain. But if you want to go all the way up you’d be walking for many hours. I was so happy I left the hotel at six in the morning. When I arrived there were a handful of people walking around. When I left the shrine a few hours later the parking lot was packed with busses and there were hundreds of school kids walking about. So, tip of the day: if you want to visit this shrine, have.an.early.start. ?
Arrivée. Before you enter the shrine, you need to purify yourself. If I understood it correctly you need to take scoop in your right hand and rinse your left hand, take a sip and rinse your mouth, then rinse your left hand again and then (with your right hand) rinse your right hand. Then you are purified. Still with me? After doing this small ritual you are allowed to enter the shrine. (or you can always just copy someone else ?).
Ah-mazing! I’ve only seen just a very small part of this shrine but I was already impressed. I definitely want to come back here and go all the way to the top of the mountain. While taking a few pics I heard a voice behind me. ‘hi, can I ask you for a favor?’ It was Billy from New York, he was traveling solo and in need of a photographer. No problem of course and he was also willing to take some pictures for me. Usually it only takes a few shots for me to be happy and after a couple of shots I had one or two that I could use. Billy was quite the critic because it took a good 50 shots before he was happy (maybe that says a lot about my photography skills..) After a few more shots we got his ‘money shot’ and after chatting a bit about ourselves and comparing our itinerary we parted ways. Thanks Billy!
On to the next spot in Kyoto. I was told that I would find many geisha’s (or geiko as the revere to themselves) in the Gion district. While I was walking around I kept thinking: how cool would it be to be back here in April when all the cherry blossoms have sprung? Everything that is green now would be pink by then. #goals.
Spotted! Unfortunately not the real deal but two ladies dressed as very colorful geisha’s.
So nice to walk around in these gardens and get a break from the busy city life.
Time for the next shrine Yasaka shrine. This is the place to be in April for the beautiful cherry blossoms.
Also very popular for wedding shoots (I’m totally making that up myself, maybe it was just a very fun Tinder date! ?).
I almost fell off the wagon and relapsed from my former Hello Kitty addiction. But I resisted..
Time for some food! From the Yasaka shrine it is about a 10 t0 15 minute walk to Nishiki market. It is a very narrow street, about five blocks long and here you will find lots of authentic Japanese food. The also call it The Kitchen of Kyoto and is definitely worth the visit! Nakagyo Ward, Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto.
Someone on Instagram told me I would find the best gyoza ever at this market. Too bad the locals had no idea what I was talking about when I asked them.. ?.
From Kyoto back to Osaka to find my hipster neighborhood. Nakazakicho was where I needed to be. I immediately bumped into this cute little organic/home made granola place. You’ll find a selection of all kinds of yummy organic granola. When I saw they had açai bowl on the menu I couldn’t get any happier! Just what the doctor ordered. La Granda Familio, Nakazakinishi, 1 Chome 1-1 8.
Açai bowl, me happy girl…
Nakazakicho is a hot! That’s why you’ll find a little piece of Havana right here: café Caliente.
No boho area without vintage shoppings. Searching for vintage treasures at Pigsty (that name though..?). Higashishinsaibashi, 1 Chome- 1 9.
Usually you wouldn’t be caught dead wandering around the tracks but in Kyoto it is a cool hang out for the nicest bars and restaurants.
No visit to a hipster area would be complete without a rad Insta worthy backdrop! After asking a few people about this spot no one could point it out to me either (I guess it was the language barrier). But I just walked around and took a few alleys and there it was!#Ihavethisthingwithcolorfulbackdrops
There is still so much to discover in Japan! I’m a big fan! So I’ll be back soon!