Japan Day 6-7: Kyoto

March 29, 2020


I wish I had spent more time in Kyoto because two days were certainly not enough! I could easily stay for 5 or 6 or an entire week! We took the bullet train from Osaka to Kyoto and checked into Node Hotel. Let me just say... this hotel checks every box! The aesthetic is spot on and reminds me of The Line hotels with the gray concrete details. Node Hotel kindly hosted us for two days and gave us the most beautiful suite. It felt like a penthouse apartment and we enjoyed every second of it.

Arashiyama was our first stop. Upon arriving at the Arashiyama station (which by the way is the last stop of that line), we noticed how hustling and bustling it was! Lots of shops and tons of food, we couldn't resist so we grabbed some jumbo shumai and fishcake to snack on! Yum! We began our walk toward Arashiyama and stopped again for strawberry mochi. But wow, I've never seen anything like it! So many bamboos and such beautiful landscape, there were cats too! I love it! We went around 3 or 4 in the afternoon and it was completely packed so I highly going there first thing in the morning if you have the option to do so. Next, we squeezed in Tenryu-ji and explored its garden before it got dark. Going to Kyoto in the Fall was such a treat, bursts of red and orange and yellow everywhere and the Tenryu-ji Garden is no difference!

The next and final day, we woke up bright and early and headed up to Kiyomizu-dera Temple which is one of the most celebrated temples in Japan found in 780. The ground around the temple was lovely as well, garden, other shrines, pagoda, not to mention you can get a great view of Kyoto on a clear day! We headed down the hill and walked around Higashiyama District and stumbled upon Ryozen Kannon (a war memorial commemorating the War dead of the Pacific War with a giant statue of Bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara). We also checked out Kōdai-ji real quick before heading to AWOMB for lunch nearby (I wrote a separate blog post on AWOMB here). After lunch, we went to the infamous Fushimi Inari-Taisha and hiked all the way up to Mt. Inari Summit.

Here are a few things I learned from Fushimi Inari:

  1. When you first see all the torii gates, you're gonna want to try to take pics. DON'T! There will be a sea of people and everyone is trying to do the same. Keep moving, there are SO MANY MORE spots just like this, if not better, for you to take pics with no one around!
  2. Definitely do the full hike up Mt. Inari! The further you go, the less people you'll see. Set aside enough time for this though!
  3. If you love cats, you're in luck! There are so many cats there and they are all super friendly!⁣
  4. When you're done and heading back down the hill. Do stop at the cafe (sadly I forgot the name of it but you shall see it, it's the only one there) and get a hojicha latte. It's the best I've ever had!

Where to stay:
Node Hotel
New, modern, luxurious


Where to go:


Where to eat:
Separate blog post here
Shabu shabu with kurobuta pork in soy milk broth
*Reservation recommended but we didn't have one and they seated us right away
Nishiki Market
Everything you need in Japanese cooking and more


Places I wish I visited but ran out of time:
Tetsugaku No Michi (Philosopher's Path)
Kinkaku-ji (Golden Temple)

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