It’s been a while since my last Japan-related post! So today, we going on an adventure in Kyoto. A small part of Kyoto. We left for Kyoto from Tokyo by train around noon so this first day was really just a half-day. We still got to see quite a bit though! Kyoto as a city is much quieter than Tokyo. Can’t say I liked one city better than the other–they’re both just very different. Anyway, so we initially planned to eat lunch on the train, but all their bento boxes were sold out! I was so bummed. Fortunately, though, that was probably for the better. As soon as we got to Kyoto and dropped our stuff off at the hotel, we made our way to Nishiki Market–aka, food paradise.
Nishiki Market was just a 15-minute walk from our hotel. Not bad at all! But honestly, even if you’re not walking distance from the market, just take the subway. Japan’s subway system is fantastic and super easy to figure out. Welp, we got there and basically spent the next 2 hours eating. They’ve got all sorts of food and snacks here, it’s amazing. There’s one place that specializes in matcha–ice cream, mochi, tea, you name it. Highly recommend trying their green tea matcha soft serve. It’s heavenly! The market is quite big, so definitely budget enough time to walk around and explore. We ended up at a cute tea shop somewhere in the market–their snacks were bomb.
After our wonderful afternoon feast at Nishiki Market, we made our way to Fushimi Inari Shrine. It took about 12 minutes–a combination of walking and subway-ing. You’ll first find yourself in the shrine’s main grounds. If you keep walking to the back, you’ll see the torii gates (the orange arches). These gates seemed small to me in pictures, for some reason, but they’re actually quite massive! And there are SO MANY of them. The trail seems to never end. There’s a map at points along the trail so you can see where you are. I think if you want to get halfway up the mountain, you should budget 30-45 minutes each way. Yeah, this is actually quite a hike. Since we only had a half day and it was already getting dark, we turned back…without having made it to the halfway point…Also, beware of mosquitos. I don’t know about ya’ll, but my mosquito bites swell up and become super painful, not itchy!
That hike through the torii gates back at Fushimi Inari was actually pretty tiring! So we were starved afterwards, despite our feast at Nishiki Market a few hours earlier. Our last stop of the day was for dinner at a restaurant called Izuu. I came across Izuu when I was planning for this trip, and their sushi really stood out to me! They specialize in Kyoto-style sushi, and as you may have noticed in the pictures above, they’re pretty different. I highly recommend the Saba version of the Kyoto-style sushi. Saba (mackerel) is what Kyoto is known for. It’s fermented in sushi vinegar with sushi rice packed underneath. Now that I think about it, it’s almost like a cross between sushi and nigiri. The dishes here don’t come with that much food, but given the amount of rice they use (especially for Kyoto-style sushi), it’s surprisingly filling.
After dinner, I recommend exploring the shops around the area! They all open quite late and it’s a great way to walk off dinner 🙂 My 2nd day in Kyoto was a lot more packed…stay tuned! Hope ya’ll enjoyed!