This is our 3rd day in Kyoto: keep on digging into Japanese culture.
Let’s start the day with a great walk at the Temple Inari Shrine! The hike to the summit takes about 3 hours, however we stopped at the Yotsuji intersection from where you can enjoy a beautiful view to the city.
You can get there easily with the JR Nara Line. The entry to the temple is free.
At the beginning, there are MANY people taking pictures and it’s almost impossible to get a nice shot. Our advice: walk just as little as 20 minutes ! There are still many doors and you can get larger views.
The Sanjusangen-do, also known as the 1.000-buddha temple also got our attention. But before, we stopped for lunch in a restaurant close to the temple. It’s actually impossible to reveal the place’s name since it was written only in Japanese but by chance, they offered an English menu.
There were only locals sitting at the bar and it got challenging to choose lunch. At the end, we got noodles with pickles. It’s funny to be surrounded by the slurps of locals eating!
Few steps further, there is the temple entrance. It will cost you 600 yens to get in and it’s forbidden to take pictures inside. Be careful since there are monks watching and making sure you follow the rule.
The buddhas are very impressive and the room itself is gorgeous. You learn interesting stories about religion and Edo-period heroes.
From there, it will take you 20 minutes to reach “JUAN Tea ceremony”. It’s not easy to find, but definitely worth a visit.
At the beginning, I thought Juan was the nam of the guy who started this activity. I was saying to myself “How this Spanish guy, Juan, made it here in Kyoto? How came this tea ceremony idea?”. Well, Juan has nothing to do with the name of a Spanish person but it means “zen home” in Japanese (or something like that).
We had a wonderful host. We were delighted to hear about Japanese history and culture: how people used to welcome each others in their houses.
Our host showed the proper way to prepare green tea, and then we got to experience it ourselves.
I spent an amazing moment there! So glad we did it!
If you visit Kyoto in April, you might get lucky to see Miyako Odori. It is a very famous geisha show played at Gion Corner.
For an hour and a half you can get to see a geisha dance show. There are also Japanese women playing instruments and singing.
I didn’t get everything about the story but all the dances were beautiful. I really loved it, it was gorgeous!
We got second class tickets which costed 2.000 yens each. We booked two months in advance through their website by email. It was worth our time and money. Would love to go back!
Only problem is, you can not take pictures during the show, so I’ll just paste here some pictures that I found on other websites…
To finish this perfect day, we had dinner at Gion Nanba, a kaiseki restaurant in Gion’s neighborhood rewarded with a michelin star.
We booked our sits and menus a month in advance through the web. I thought it was weird to book a menu even before being inside thee restaurant and knowing what they’ll cook, but this is common in Japan.
This place is NOT easy to find! First, you have to find the right little narrow street and once you get there, you’ll figure there are many restaurants with a Japanese sign. But since we do not read Japanese, it was complicated for us…
As we got inside, we were welcomed by a wonderful lady who led us to our sit at the bar.
Our chef, was standing right in front of us and answered to all our questions about the way he was cooking.
We enjoyed a lot the tofu, the sashimi, the miso soup, the eel and… the sake of course!
It was a wonderful kaiseki experience!
We were blown by this day: met so many incredible people! Hope to feel the same way tomorrow at Asakusa!
To check our trip at a glance, click here!