Friday, May 15, 2015

Japanagon: KYOTO Part 1

I left Osaka with a broken heart. I was trying to just look forward, look ahead on our next stops, but I can't seem to leave our place just yet. Anyway, my plans is to go back for the other things and places in this city in 2 or 3 years, super bitin pa ako I had to drag myself outside and leave this door. I was thinking of our daily Lawson breakfasts when we left. :p

From Osaka, we took the Japan Railway which took us around 30 minutes to get to Kyoto for just 540 Yen (Php 200). We brought all our luggages with us, and although ang laki nila, it wasn't super hassle and was actually a pretty normal thing in Japan. Everyone looks mobile, everyone looks ready to go.

Hello to the Kyoto Tower! Kyoto Station looks magical, I felt like I was transported in a beautiful sepia movie.

Everything looks VSCO-ed in Kyoto, the view during our walk to the hostel is either in A6 or HB1. To prove my point, these 4 pictures are unedited and have no filters!

After several detours and asking for directions, we finally saw our place, the Hostel Guest Hyakumanben Cross. Super nainlove na naman ako.

This is just the worst part, and that's it: We had to go up to the third floor to get into our room... WITH our maleta na mas mabigat pa ata sa amin ni Ate combined! The receptionist's assistant though was super helpful (and strong!), she helped us carry everything.

Welcome home! The friendly vibes of our third floor hallway:

Common but very clean restrooms, with separate shower and toilet area:

The simple wash area, made beautiful by the hostel's natural lighting:

In our floor, there are two common rooms with 2 bunk beds, one is an all-girls room and the other is co-ed:

Ate, arranging her things in the cabinet. You can store your personal things and valuables in the provided padlocked wooden cabinets (one per head), or just keep everything in your maleta (like me, haha, since 2 nights lang naman kami there).

I like the wooden bunk beds here, I love my space! Super comfortable, each bed had curtains, night lamps, sockets, and a secret side cabinet.

I changed clothes before we headed down again to check out the kitchen / common room. Internet here is by floor, and super fast.

No wonder it is clean and well-maintained, shoes are not allowed inside the hostel. They situated several shoe shelves upon entrance.

Ate was planning our day's itinerary at the dining table.

We prepared our food and drinks here, may toaster, ref, coffee maker (free coffee and bread), but we also made sure to clean up after.

More on this beautiful hostel HERE.

And then we were out-and-about again! Sulitin na ang araw! Welcome to a world that looks as if it came straight out of a Murakami novel:

We took this spacious bus (note the many hand rails and bars), while looking for a place to eat lunch. Hindi pa rush hour.

This place started my "Everything is Awesome" LSS while in Japan, haha. We were super lucky that we chanced upon Kura Sushi - the super yummy rotating sushi buffet for just 100 Yen per plate. Meaning, Php 37 lang, huhu!

Late lunch, and too early for dinner, 4pm palang kaya konti pa ang customers.

I was so so hungry, and excited! I grabbed whatever lacto-ovo veg-friendly dish I saw, haha! In each table are bottles of soy sauce, wasabi, several condiments, hot water pipe, and green tea / matcha powder. Everything's conveniently served, so service wasn't a problem! Pwede na kumain agad.

Aside from getting ANY plate from whatever rolls by the conveyor belt, you can also make special orders (para fresh) via this high tech touch screen sorcery that shows their complete menu + price list.

They also have desserts, drinks, soups, etcetera.

Selfie muna! Haha! Your touch screen orders will arrive via the TOP conveyor belt. Sa totoo lang, hindi na ata nila kailangan ng waitress! 

Ahhhh! My mayo-corn, tamago, and egg--I think I had 2-3 plates of these, each. After eating, plates were conveniently disposed in that silver thing at the side of the table, which will automatically count the number of plates you've consumed + your bill. Again, payments were made at the counter before exiting the restaurant. 

We went out satisfied and decided to walk around para bumaba ang kinain, and also to start nadin with our Kyoto tour. It was then that we saw the Philosopher's Walk for the first time - which became ate's instant favorite in the city. Philosopher's Walk is a pedestrian path lined with cherry blossom trees and a canal -- just imagine this stretch during sakura season.

Flowers were just starting to blossom.

Sabi sa akin ni Ashley, taxi drivers in Japan receive fixed salaries, that's why they aren't pressured to get or say no to passengers. Chill lang sila, hehe.

Every walk and every corner super ganda. Light leeks in pictures come out naturally.

Vendors and cafes lined the streets:

Matcha "hawhaw"?

A homey-version of UCC coffee shop:

Free taste is Ate's thing, hehe:

We got an ice cream cone before turning around and headed back. I had the Cherry Blossoms flavor, while Ate tried the famous Black Sesame. Ang sarap nga ba ng ice cream, or ang sarap lang ng feeling of having an ice cream while strolling this place?

With my OC Ate's itinerary, we went to the Ginkaku-Ji, or the Temple of the Silver Pavilion. Ginkaku-ji is a Zen temple, and a world cultural heritage site so it's a must-visit.

Ginshadan, Ginkaku-ji's sand garden, carefully formed to symbolize Mount Fuji.

The Kannon Hall, and the pond that makes it photogenic (with the reflection effect). Although known as the Silver Pavilion, napansin ko na hindi siya color silver IRL. The original plan pala was to cover it in silver foil, but hindi natuloy. 

Nonetheless, it is still a sight to behold. I also enjoyed the nature walks surrounding the temple. Kung blogger friends ang kasama ko dito, OOTD pa more! Haha.

When nighttime fell, we sneaked our way to Gion.

We took several turns, and made the right decision to enter this small alley, leading to a cold and quiet place...

...Where we saw, for the first time, a REAL geisha!

Reading up, Gion is a popular geisha district in Japan lined with old-style Japanese houses (Machiya) and tea houses (Ochaya). Old to modern-day businessmen go to Gion to be exclusively entertained by the Geiko (a woman of art) inside the private tea house. Entertainment, cocktails, conversations, games, Japanese singing and music with the geiko were done in the evening, thus the chance to see an authentic geisha is when they're on their way to work -- just like that night!

Right place and right time? Maybe! Thank you for the warm welcome, Kyoto!

Read more of my posts for: Japan 2015.


  1. Ana! I just got back from Japan as well. You went to the Silver Pavilion, I went to the Golden Pavilion. I totally get your Japan high! Japan is so amazing! :)

    1. Grabe diba, I hope I can get back asap! :)


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