What’s there to say about Kyoto that hasn’t already been said :)? It’s paradise – utter paradise, during the cherry blossom season. And I am sure that the paradise still remains after all the cherry trees have lost their blossoms!
There was a clear sense of enjoyment as soon as we arrived at Kyoto station with the bullet train from Tokyo. I knew this place was going to be special. Our cab driver was a true local and connoisseur of pretty much everything we passed; he had a story about everything from history to politics to insider information on all the happening places around town.
The sidewalk smelled of seaweed and it glistened as the rain pounded on it. People moved slowly among the tiny streets making their way to a dinner nook. Most people were dressed up – some you could tell were backpackers but it didn’t matter because they all had a purpose: finding food.
We found ourselves in a tiny restaurant specializing in amazingly delicious kushikatsu and boy was it ever!!! In fact it was so amazing that we went there again on our last night – this place is a foodie’s dream – I highly recommend!! Although I must admit that fantastic food in Kyoto is not hard to find. They say there is a fifth sense called Umami – well this is it, Kyoto has it all.
Culture in this town is refined and quite magical once you let yourself fall deeply into it. The following cultural/heritage sites are a must in my opinion as they all offer a unique insight into the deep Japanese history. Japanese heritage dates way back to 1000BC, and locals struggle to celebrate heritage in the 21st century. I admire their sense of trapping the past in the present and making it all seem easily accessible and beautiful to the outsider (me) !
Shopping in Kyoto is a delight. Their fashion sense can be described as refined basic meets classiness. How could I resist? I wish we chartered a plane on the way back so I could bring with me furniture, luggage, pets, etc :). The following shopping streets should be on people’s radar: Nishiki market and Shijo street.
“What is it about traveling to beautiful places and my okayness to be completely outside my comfort zone? I love it and I feel so free and liberated. I am sitting here in a coffee shop looking out and seeing a beautiful Japanese garden and feeling like I want to fold this whole place up neatly as to not wrinkle any corners of the freshly cut moss and put it in my suitcase and take it back with me. I need this inspiration to follow me like a painting which I can look at it each day and feel a sense of rush and the need to strive and do big things. I can’t stop time but what I can do is make sure I don’t waste it. Time is a funny concept …”
Kyoto takes on the character of the cherry trees and blooms to attract even the snobbiest of tourists with it’s beautiful Geishas walking around and sunlight hitting them on their perfectly coiffed hairdos; pottery placed advertising pottery classes; their exquisite bean paste assortment of candies; and incredible food places that as I write this am salivating over !!!
Kyoto is a delightfully amazing place !
Stay well! Stay lovely!! xo
p.s. Kyoto is very serious about their matcha – the highest grade of matcha that you can possibly buy comes from Kyoto.