Travel: Japan - Kyoto Day 1

April 18, 2016

After years and years of waiting at last I got the chance to visit my dream country last March, Japan. Its been my dream from eversince I was small. All those animanga games influence me pretty much! I even took Japanese language class on my high school and passed the beginner level JLPT 4. I knew some friends from my language course and still in contact with some of them. We pretty much share the same interest in Japan that made us decided to take this trip together!
Since some of us still in college and faraway from the city I went there with Anggy whose I address her as my neechan. We had planned this trip from around September 2015 and when we arrived at Japan's Haneda we're like 
" Yattaaaaa~~~!!! we made it!! XD"
We decided to have 10days of from office for this trip and start with Kansai Area. The morning after we arrived at Tokyo we spend a day there and our first day there was pretty much a shock in climate. It rains all day and freaking cold plus all those luggage dragging while holding the umbrella. We managed to put our luggage at Shibuya's station locker tho, but during that day it was like umbrella war in Shibuya.

We pretty much spent our day at Shibuya before we took the Willer Express during the night to Kyoto and arrived at 6AM before we can check in at our hostel, LE9 (Lower East 9). Since we arrived before the check-in time we just drop our luggage and went for our Kyoto tour!    
I pretty much leave the itinery to Anggy as she's better in comparing price and time management while me? I'm just list down where should we go or some nice spot. Lucky us, there's bus stop and train station near our hostel and the staff were so nice to give us information about current event and such. Thus, we took the local bus to our first tourist spot that we visited was Kiyomizu Dera. 

Were one of the temple that I want to visit since I've heard a lot about it from friends and manga too. Its almost the end of Winter and not yet Sakura season but I apparently so many tourist went here especially the mainland Chinese. I thought the date that we choose not soo high season.

Most of time when I travel I didn't take much picture of me. Pretty much about the scenery as I love scrolling through them to find some inspiration so you can enjoy this post pretty about the environment XD

At first I thought it was Sakura eventhough I clearly did my research that its not the season yet but I'm still hoping for that but apparently this is Ume tree. The local said its kinda like the sign before Spring comes. Its too beautiful not to share it. Even my instagram likes reach 800+ when I post this =____=

Slept on Willer Express, did my make-up there and arrived Kyoto so early but I'm so happy! yay! the air was so clean there that I enjoyed the morning there. Better than Tokyo where its so busy. Kyoto's more seren and as someone who live in Jakarta city I personally found Kyoto can be the sweet perfect escape.

Not to forget my travel-and-photographer-and-partner in crime Anggy neechan. You can see how messy yet happy we were XD~

Clear clear blue sky and mountain view which I usually saw this in Hong Kong but now its in Japan. Still can't believe we made it after 6years of promise XD~

Since we're in temple we can spot so many Ema (wooden wishing plague) written by the local and tourist with cute drawing. When we went there its the saru (Monkey. Maybe because its the year of Money?).

Read to much shoujo manga, I also wrote my wish on the Ema. I bought it for about 500Y maybe for some people its pointless but its cute for me and another check point on my bucket list!

Hope my wish come true~!

The entrance ticket fee cost us 300Y but the paper qualit was so nice that we keep it and use it as a bookmark, lol

And as you can see its freaking crowded that its kinda hard for me to take picture. In my preference I love taking picture of object with less people. Some part of Kiyomizu Dera were underconstruction too but it didn't really disturbing tho. 

Kiyomizu Dera also famous for its love stone where you should close your eyes and walk from one stone to another that placed just in other side of it. Many people try it but I didn't since I walk up there alone while Anggy did her postcard shopping. I bought some but she bought lots more of it, lol.

While we went down to visit the temple's sacred water where people drink to get the blessing we could see the temple's magnificent construction. Don't you think its amazing? :o

long queue for the sacred water. We also queue for it as *ahem* actually we're so thirsty and would like to taste the water but if Japan's God bless us then its a big thank XD~

Its so freezing cold and both of us were starving and its still noon there since we arrived at Kiyomizu Dera around 9 or 10 and since our next destination was Gion we decided to walk there while search for Anggy's Halal Ramen that apparently around the area too. 

Since she's a Muslim and most Japan's food contain pork she had searched for halal or vegetarian restaurant which I got no problem with it as long as I can eat something kinda unique or unusual.

We stroll from Kiyomizu Dera to Gion and apparently Halal Mentei Naritaya's location very close to Gion. Just like its claim, so many muslim and vegetarian visitor ate here. This kind of restaurant really helpful to western tourist, I think as I found so many western were vegetarian.

I ordered what I found unique which was their Ramen Noodle in Soy-Bean Milk Soup. It cost my 950Y and when I ordered this I chanted so much hoping its gonna be delicious as I'm afraid it might turns too creamy or such. I hate it! 

Since its a small shop with small member of staff their service were kinda slow but the staff do notice us beforehand. In my opinion its not only because of that but food that they served really handmade with less MSG, I can taste the vegetable or soup's flavour. This applies to the ramen that I ordered. Its beyond my expectation. Savoury and sweet especially the vegetable, when I ate it the fresh crunchiness and juice amaze me how juicy it was and I can taste its sweetness and not to forget to mention the clear Soy-Bean Milk Soup, its the bomb!

No greasy, not creamy as I thought, (maybe) no MSG and its too delicious that I finished the soup too! O___O again, its kinda sweet but the sweetness itself comes from the ingredient they use.

Actually we kinda lost our way to Gion as we don't really have an idea how the Gion looks like since sometimes what we saw on the internet can be just small part of it. So we asked the restaurant's staff and she kindly draw a mini map for as which it does really close from their place, LoL

We walk for about less than 15minutes until we realized we've reached Gion when we saw some tourist dressed up as Maiko and recognized some part of the area as the location shoot of Memoirs of Geisha.

We thought that Gion's area gonna be big and apparently its kinda small we didn't manage to see real Maiko yet we manage to see one inside a car heading to someplace, lol.

The building along the Gion area are so traditional almost like a film's location shoot. Its an awe how they manage to keep in good condition. Both of us took many picture of the building, even small detail like the lamp or street poster with Hikaru no Genji play.

And I just knew that the Maiko have Spring Dance Festival on the date when we left Kyoto. Sadly we can't watch this beautiful festival T__T

As I mentioned earlier, Gion area are so small and it took us not long to finish the area. We continued to Yasaka Shrine that's located near Gion as I saw so many people walk around with some snack on their hand.

Just as I thought there's food festival there! so many tasty food / snack that I used to saw at animanga becomes real. All of it no matter that type cost 500Y which. . . I'm not sure whether I should say it worth it or not. In term of taste its super tasty but in term of price its pricy for me yet once in a while is fine since I'm on trip XD

Look at those scallop! they're so big aren't they?

even the squid and scallop shells amazed me. When I sent this picture to dad and some friends of mine they're so in shock by its size and they also said it seemed so chewy. Yes it is!

Since its a small shrine it didn't took much time to finish strolling around there then we went to our final spot which was Fushimi Inari. My most favourite temple in Kyoto as I love fox, and torii gate and up until now I still haven't finish exploring it yet!

From Yasaka Shrine we went there by local's train which only took less than 30 minutes and we arrived there, again, were greeted by they local's food truck. Some we've seen in Yasaka Shrine while some we haven't seen it before.

Along the way we bought this sweet potato. I'm so amazed and curious how the Japanese grow their vegetable and fruit. How come it can be this sweet and they still ad sugar on it which made it super sweet @__@

But anyway buying warm food or drink really help a little in this cold weather. Can't imagine the Winter, I might need extra coat!

Just like its' name, Fushimi Inari. This temple was dedicated to Inari, the God of Sake, Rice and Prosperity. The long torii tunnel is one of the most iconic vision in Kyoto. The Torii gate are said to be donation from individual and companies.

I can see so many people wearing Kimono on that day and wandered how they survived in this cold weather and walk in small pace XD

I do wanna wear one but not during this cold weather la

They got cute design of Ema here in compare to Kiyomizu Dera's but I still like the one in Kiyomizu since its kinda traditional one just like what I saw on animanga, lol. How I wish I can buy the Torii one and brought it home!

Fushimi Inari was quite a long journey. It took around 1.30 - 2hours of hike to finish the whole trail and since Anggy kinda sprained her leg we separate our way. I'm so determined to reach the mountain top!

Last picture before we seperate our way XD~

It does took me around 2hours to finished the whole trail, just like the guide. When we separate I saw this sign that can lead us to mountain top via torii route or via hiking trail. Since its too crowded I choose the hiking trail which I thought gonna kinda less people and I can spot some small shrine during my way there. Apparently this hiking trail much more quite than I thought. It looks like I'm the only one who's in it!

Kinda scary and its almost dusk and I'm walking alone in forest with so many small shrine plus crows, lol. Luckily in the middle of nowhere in the forest with my otaku nihongo when I saw this old uncle jogging around here (yes and he's way much faster with good stamina than me. Shame shame la T___T) I immediately asked him did I took the right way via this hiking trail or not and he said that I was right and just need to follow the sign.

Its around 5.40 and getting darker which made me worry am I taking the right road or the uncle that I just met was a fox in human disguise, all sort of delusion just comes to mind but I kept on walking until I saw some Torii gate and I really reached the top, rewarded with this beautiful sunset T____T

I'm so thankful that I managed to reach the top to witness this beautiful scenery. Its not that I can see this everyday and its the right decision after all eventhough at first I thought taking the hiking trail was kinda stubborn but come to think of it again, I saw and experienced things that I can share XD~

Since its dusk already and Anggy's been waiting for me I rushed down to meet her. During my way down via torii route I can see so many small shrine that I can't explore since its too dark already and just like the hostel staff told us, Fushimi Inari can be scary at night but for me its scary yet beautiful ^ ^

I definitely will come to Fushimi Inari again just to explore all those small shrine! This conclude our first day in Kyoto. Next up is Osaka~!

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