Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Roaming Around Kyoto

Today I had absolutely no plans other than having a chilled out day roaming around Kyoto and seeing whatever I would come across. My plan was to walk around until I got tired then get back to the guesthouse I am staying at, for a nap.

My day started out with a hearty breakfast courtesy of the owner of the guest house who prepares a different meal for breakfast each day. I have actually started looking forward to breakfast each morning because I know a good surprise is awaiting. Take a look at this, wouldn't you also look forward to breakfast? everything is freshly homemade.

After breakfast I started my adventures and took photos along the way, first stop was at:

Shijo Dori (Shijo Street) - A long street that runs in the center of Kyoto and is full of shops and restaurants. Today being such a nice day outside, it was nice walking along this street window shopping and people watching.

Teramachi - This is a shopping arcade that's covered up top, protecting you from the elements. On my first day in Kyoto it was very busy but today a lot of shops were closed and it had few people. You can find souvenirs, clothes and food along this arcade.

Nishiki Market - This is another shopping street that runs parallel to Shijo Street. It's full of food stalls and cute souvenir shops.

Guess what I came across! remember how cold I mentioned it was on my first day here in Kyoto and I was looking for sweatshirts all over to no avail? guess what I stumbled upon? yup! sweatshirts!! and not only at this one particular store. Where the hell were they when I needed them??!!

Stopped by for lunch at this one restaurant where the food was DELICIOUS!! the presentation was just so pretty, I had to take a photo.

Yasaka Shrine - This is a Shinto Shrine which is located at one end of Shijo Street and it's history dates back to over 1,000 years.

Gion - Kyoto's most famous Geisha district that branches off Shijo Street, right before getting to the end where Yasaka Shrine is, I had missed the turn as I was walking towards the shrine and fortunately found it when coming back. The areas has a lot of traditional houses, shops and teahouses. If you are ever so lucky you might catch a glimpse of a Geisha along the streets or if you are willing to pay, you can be entertained by one at the traditional teahouses.

See the photo below? that's not actual food, a lot of restaurants have these plastic like imitations of the food they serve just to give you an idea of how your food will look like. They are usually displayed at the window right before the entrance.

That's it folks! all that walking got my feet aching so I decided to head back to my room but not before giving a shout out to this 7 Eleven store that has been an important landmark in guiding me to the guesthouse.

Another shoutout goes out to the bottle in the photo below. I don't know if its an offering that someone hang on their house but it has helped me know when to turn into my street because as I mentioned, all streets around the guesthouse look the same to me and it's confusing. So yes, the 7 Eleven and this bottle are the real MVPs in ensuring that I get back to the guesthouse without getting lost.

Random Thoughts of The Day:

I have noticed 7 Eleven stores and Starbucks are a dime a dozen not only here in Kyoto but in Tokyo as well. They are everywhere!

Let me tell you what 10 hours of sleep does to chills you out, your skin glows and you feel so refreshed! prior to vacation I was working 12 hour days and sleeping for only 5 hours and the amount of stress was really getting to me. I was constantly tired and irritated but being here on vacation I have been able to get so much rest, it's amazing what sleep does to you both physically and mentally.

I wonder how a tall, big person would fair here. Everything is so small even for me who is only 5'0 so I can imagine how awkward it would be for someone who is much taller and bigger. You should see me in the shower, it's hysterical. The shower is tiny and I am constantly bumping my limbs just moving around, I can't even fully stretch out my hand.

I have seen some very interesting fashion here and some of it is pretty cool, it certainly makes for good people watching.

The precision and attention to detail that I have observed here is highly impressive!

Right now there are many young girls and some boys walking around in kimonos and I remember Hiro the guy who gave me a walking tour saying that it's because they just graduated from high school and celebrating so that's why they are in kimonos. Apparently people don't wear kimonos on a regular basis unless its a special occasion. I find kimonos to be cute especially with the bright colors of the fabrics.

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