Japan Travelogue P1 - KYOTO!
The day we had to leave for Japan, I was dying alittle inside cause I’ve attachment issues fml okay. I swear she knew we were leaving again the second the luggages came out and kept ignoring us!
We had a few days to ourselves first before the husband’s family came up.
I was packing halfway and he talked me into lying down LOL at this point, it was 2 hours before flight and this fella had not packed for a 7-day trip
Thankfully, we made it early & we managed to get 2 seats together and emergency somemore! Damn shiok.
It was a pretty quick flight (thru Scoot!) and the first thing we did was collect our JR passes and get out Shinkansen’s seats to Kyoto reserved in advanced.
We got our passes thru Klook and picked up a WiFi device as well. Everything was really fuss-free and convenient leh! Price also competitive.
Our itinerary was as followed:
Day 1: Tokyo
Day 2: Tokyo > Kyoto > Nara > Kyoto
Day 3: Kyoto
Day 4: Kyoto > Tokyo
Day 5-6: Tokyo
The weather was AMAZING when we reached. I was in a denim jacket and husband was in a t-shirt and it was a very nice reprieve from the ridiculous weather in SG.
But the Japs take their cold weather damn seriously. A lot of people were in really thick winter clothes lol.
And idk these are cherry or plum blossoms but they are really everywhere.
And what’s a trip to Japan without raiding all the Family Marts and Lawsons!!!
This coffee was amazing okay. And I might have found my favourite gummies!
We stayed at Apa Hotel near Ginza this time round and the rooms are SUPER small but it worked fine lah. Could only check in at 3pm so we walked around Ginza area first!
We didn’t see much of Ginza the last time so it was nice! Plus the incredibly beautiful weather made everything so lovely lah.
All the spring flowers kinda reminded us of Boston.
Btw, I find this pair of shoes to be incredibly uncomfortable. Idk is it cause I wear my cheapo Rubi sandals too long alr or what lah but omg these made my legs damn tired and they were really painful. More on that later lol.
Yes, pls expect random photo spam. Isn’t this such a pretty corner 😍
After checking in, we walked to the nearest station - Kyobashi and took a ride down to Shibuya! We didn’t have much plan for day 1 in Tokyo and we just wanted to do a walk around the areas we visited the last time and take our time to enjoy the place and weather since it was gonna be a lot of traveling the next few days!
Everywhere so nice for #ootd lah
And I concluded - this taste the same as the Tanjong Pagar one okay.
Raided the drugstore and I’ll try and do a collective haul at the end of my trip!
Went back to sleep at 10pm cause...
We were there around 245am and there was already 12 pax infront of us. Hardcore lol.
It was admittedly way colder than the last time we were here (around July) so bundle up if you’re gonna queue haha
Yes, this is a picture of my sushi with labels. It’s what one do when one queues for 3 freaking hours in the cold for sushi.
After the last time I had it, I truly wondered if it was our jet-lagged and sleep-deprived brain that convinced all of us that the sushi was good. This time round, we went back and slept at 10pm, woke up at around 145am and reached at 230am, so we were pretty awake! I gotta say, this is really the best sushi ever. I love the rice especially!
We had abit of time to kill before catching our Shinkansen train to Kyoto so we walked about the market!
We didn’t do that the last time round and it was quite fun to do it. The weather was great and we were really full so walking for abit helped haha
Found like, these little stalls and one was just grilling sticks of food and the husband had the scallops with uni which was BOMB. Yah supposedly walk to digest but eat somemore wtf
They had beef, prawns and other stuff on sticks so u just pick and the person grills it! Really quick and super good haha
I also had the softest matcha mochi and I bought a box of white strawberries cause only 900Y when so many other stores were charging 1000Y and up or smth?!
Then we headed down to Tokyo Station to catch the bullet train to Kyoto! It was a very nice and REALLY comfortable ride. I knocked out for 2 hours out of the 2.5hrs and only woke up cause I had to slap on some makeup.
Idk what I was expecting for a train that’s going 300km/hr lah HAHAHAH but it was super smooth and comfy.
Can’t check in cause only can at 3pm so we left our luggage and quickly headed to catch the train to Nara! We didn’t wanna spend a whole day at Nara so we kinda only dedicated 6-7 hours for it!
We took buses around Kyoto and it was pretty easy and basic to get it! Each ride is 230Y but if you intend to take it 3 or more times, then get the day pass for the city bus cause 600Y for whole day! (I think so!)
Dress: #TCL (XS - a lot of u were asking about the size I got and tbh, I think I could have sized down!)
We caught the Rapid one to Nara (we used our JR pass) and the difference between local and rapid is about 30 mins!
And I had an entire packet of gummies throughout the ride hahahaha
Entire ride was also mighty comfy and took about ~35mins!
Then it was ALOT of walking. We saw SO MANY cherry blossoms and 80% of my album is now pink and pretty lol
We walked to the more popular temples and I’m sorry, I don’t remember the names lah cause the husband led the way, but it’s basically whatever u can find on Google. I feel like they sorta blend together after a while.
Ok, back to the shoes that were KILLING ME. I was wearing one of those hydrocolloid plaster and the shoes WORE A HOLE through it. That’s how bad they were. Not any better with socks. They bite thru everything leh!
Also, the comfort level is legit 1/10. I don’t have flat foot or any weird foot issues (or at least I don’t think so lah). My Converse worked amazing for me and most regular shoes work fine for me and I wasn’t expecting these to be SO UNCOMFORTABLE. They are pretty to look at but ultimately, useless.
We managed to find plenty of spots with little to no one and had a field day taking pictures!
I brought along a travel tripod this trip and it came in so handy. Any pictures u see of us together is basically taken with the tripod lol.
And for all of u asking, NOT COLD!! I was perspiring in the day. The early mornings and nights can get abit chilly but it’s really nothing? The husband has been walking around in one tee mostly! Idk lah, if u damn scared cold, then maybe it’d be super cold for u?? Lol. I see plenty of japs wearing so many layers.
One of the more significant temples in Nara - Todaiji! Btw, I learnt that 'ji' means temple but translation leads it to add a temple at the back but it actually says todai temple temple if u add it.
This had the biggest bronze Buddha statue so we had to see it! It was really majestic in person!
Then we basically explored the park, fed the deers and photo-spammed.
Soft serve is available almost everywhere and I got the Sakura one to try. It tasted medicinal at first but once the taste settled, I really like it! Almost like a different variation of earl-grey food stuff.
We walked to the shopping district to find food after but there really isn’t much to choose from so we settled with udon at a random place and it was decent! I can’t rmbr what it’s called but it was opposite the Macdonalds!
By evening, the wind chill came back and we hurried back cause we didn’t know what time the last train was HAHA
We caught the local one cause the rapid one was gonna take another 30 mins and unfortunately, there was an accident of some sort on the tracks and somebody got knocked or smth?? Idk if it was an accident or what lah but we were stuck on the platform for 2 hours.
The train was at a really random spot and still 30 mins away from Kyoto so we were kinda stuck. Just decided to stay and wait it out.
The morning sun was gorgeous and we woke up early cause KIMONO DAY!!!
Extra effort with makeup cause we were gonna take pictures lah.
I thot he wouldn’t wanna don the kimono so I was very happy when he agreed readily! Haha
Yes, I brought my #TTR dress there on purpose hahaha
The husband actually was squatting in the middle of the road with oncoming cars to get this shot LOL dedication hahaha
Ok some background on the kimono rental place.
I decided to go to the one Yina Goh recommended some time ago but to my dismay, the freaking building was under reno when we arrived. We tried to call the shop but no one could speak English! Then we headed to the subway station right by and went to the info counter to see if we could get any help.
The lady there was super helpful and told us that Kimono Rental 41 has moved and recommended us another place nearby and gave us a map.
We walked for about 10 mins and arrived at...
Address: AF, 5 Rui1sei Bldg., Benzaitencho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto-Shi, Kyoto, 605-0086
Bear in mind, there’s A LOT of kimono rental places right around this area. We just decided to go with the lady’s recommendation. It’s located on a 5th floor so we took this tiny lift up and there it was.
We had no booking beforehand but the lady managed to slot us in and told us to come back 30 mins later so it was around 1130am when we started the whole thing.
We picked the most ex package (Kimono Silk) cause I took a look at the kimonos and fell in love with the silk ones. Plus once in a lifetime lah. Not like I’m gonna come back and do this yearly so go all out. Also went with the hair service!
At the end of it, I had on 15 items of clothing pieces on me and could barely breathe HAHAHA the husband had about 9!
It was super legit ok! The lady working on me was super detailed and made sure everything looked right. She also helped me with the matching of the items and I LOVED MINE. I wanted to go with pink initially but this yellow one really stood out.
Our tripod came in awesome use, if u ask me haha
My hair was so gorgeous and it’s so short leh! I was amazed she managed to make it look so good. I legit had tourists stop me and ask where I got my kimono and hair done at.
I think the quality really affects the whole look. When you go out in the street and walk, really can see the difference between the slightly cheaper ones and the more ex ones. The prints were also (imo) classier and not as loud. I really loved mine except both of us hated the footwear deeply.
I am super clumsy and Kyoto temple areas has really uneven grounds so it was really a pain in my butt to make sure I don’t fall and kill myself along the way .
For the both of us, with the Kimono-Silk package including hair service + hair piece and tax, we paid 10800Y in total!
How she make my hair so nice one! My hair is SHORT leh! I was quite reluctant to undo my hair at the end of the night!
We walked around most of the temple and shrine areas and it was packed to the brim.
Our 9th anniversary is in a few days and this is a nice way to celebrate it, just the two of us leh. I really love traveling with the husband. Hahaha I don’t have to think. Just follow.
Also, matcha soft serve every where. It’s SUPER GOOD tho! Also really needed on the very hot day.
One of my absolute favorite picture of us. I swear so many people were judging my tripod okay. HAHA but whatever works right.
I’m not gonna go into too much details cause the shrine areas all were mostly walking distance from each other. We are not really temple-people so we just visited the main spots!
Caught the golden hour while walking down the Todaiji temple and there’s plenty of uneven pebbled stairs there, just FYI.
Then we decided to return the kimonos before dinner since dinner was closer to hotel. Walked by the shopping area to go back!
You can’t tell but dang, this was a FAT cat!
We headed thru Gion street to spot geishas cause it was around the time they were all headed for work and we spotted THREE! One was hurried into a house, another in a cab powdering and the last one crossing the street to Gion street. It was quite awesome cause I read that it was very hard to spot them!
So, I guess when I say I’m not a fan of Kyoto food, I meant like, the traditional stuff. It’s just different and not to my personal liking.
However, my research did show this ramen place called Inochi 猪一 and apparently it’s really good lah. So I threw it into the list and we decided to have it for dinner!
No ragrats okay. It’s damn good.
We went for the dinner seating which starts at 530-9pm and we arrived at 740pm? Queued for like, 1 hour plus??? They cut off the queue at around 8plus and I heard same goes for lunch. No seatings after 2pm (lunch is 1130am - 2pm) so be early! The wait is worth it.