I‘m at the airport again, flying to Kyoto. I slept a couple of hours because last night I was at a party at Tokyo Skytree. I feel like sh#t and everything is so loud all of the sudden. It’s time to fly. I’ve landed in Osaka because Kyoto doesn’t have an airport. I took a fast train so I arrived there pretty quickly. It’s time to find my hotel. It’s called the Karasuma Kyoto Hotel and it was decent. I like to book hotels in the center of a town where I’m staying in so I don’t drive a lot, spend money on taxies or public transportation. It’s easier that way. It cost a bit more, but it’s worth the money. I found one typical, traditional restaurant and order bunch of food because I have to try everything! Life’s too short, YOLO and stuff like that. I was drinking sake and OMG that shhh is strong! Food was delicious because sushi can’t be bad right? Right? I hope I didn’t eat a dog. God no. #puke
The day before I’ve booked a full day tour because that’s something I like to do when I’m in a new town. It’s the best way to visit almost every attraction in a town. So I came to the meeting point and nobody was there. Great. Just great. I’m checking the date and time and it was OK. What the hell happened then? I went back to my hotel, make a call and they told me they don’t have tours on Sundays? Are you kidding me? How did I manage to book one if there are no tours on Sunday? Long story short, it was their mistake and they refund my money. I had to make a tour on my own. My pal Google and I made a plan and ordered a taxi. Taxi drivers wear white gloves and drive specific taxi cars (I don’t know which brand they are but they are cool, old-fashioned).
“I like this thing where you write down your problems on a piece of paper, put it in the water and as this paper dissolves, your problems disappear.”
My first stop is the Kiyomizu-dera. It’s a famous Buddhist temple made completely out of wood. Let me just get it straight. There are over 1.600 temples (shrines) in Kyoto and it’s impossible to visit all of them. Plus, I was there just for two days. Yeah, my traveling route is pretty brutal. I did some of their rituals such as clapping, ringing the bell, cleaning your body by drinking water in a specific way, taking off my shoes while praying and stuff like that. I like to learn about new cultures and this one is so different from anything I’ve ever seen in my life. Their culture is amazing! I like this thing where you write down your problems on a piece of paper, put it in the water and as this paper dissolves, your problems disappear. Oh yeah, I’ve tried a pickle on a stick. A. Pickle. On. A. Stick. And it was delicious because they are using some herbs, salt and God knows what. I didn’t ask. It’s better that way. I walked around the town a little bit and I was fascinated. I came to the Gion Corner which is the most famous geisha district. It’s filled with shops, restaurants and ochaya (teahouses) where geiko (Kyoto dialect for geisha) and maiko (geiko apprentices) entertain. I entered one restaurant and it was a bit freaky because there were no other guests except me. I didn’t like the food there. It was sushi with some strange tasting sauces, side dishes etc.
I walked further to the Nishiki Market which is known as the “Kyoto’s kitchen”. It’s narrow shopping street filled with all kinds of food. There are hundreds of shops and restaurants. This street is extremely busy but I managed to try some delicates like a caramelized octopus on a stick, some soups, cooked dogs (just kidding!) and other strange stuff. At least strange to me. The best part of the day was going to a Kyoto Mameshiba Café which is the coffee shop where you can pet the Mameshiba dogs. They are so cute! I love dogs and when I saw them, I melted right away. I met some Japanese people there who also love dogs so we petted them together. You could see they were tired because it was around late in the afternoon and they were up all day. It was time to go back to my hotel, sleep because tomorrow I have another town to visit.
Regarding Kyoto, it’s a beautiful, history-rich town which was a capital of Japan before. It has a lot of attractions, a lot of things to do there, plus people are amazing. I’ve said it hundreds of times and I’ll say it again. I love Japanese people. And yeah, to answer my question, it’s totally worth visiting it.