After visiting Fushimi-Inari, we took a walk along the backstreets of Kyoto, to find Tofukuji Temple – a temple built during the Fujiwara clan’s reign (dominated Japanese politics from around 800 – 1185) and was one of the main Zen Buddhist temples during the time.
Mark was certain we were lost, but I knew we were going in the right direction (kind of…). After walking along the main street and through neighborhood streets, we found the temple nestled in between neighborhoods. There were hardly any visitors and it felt like we had the place to ourselves. This temple is a popular spot for autumn leaf viewing, but when we went, winter’s touch had taken over the grounds. Even with the lack of life and color among the trees, there was still beauty and calmness to be found and experienced.
I didn’t realize I was hiding behind a pole…
Tofukuji Temple is located in southeastern Kyoto, near Tofukuji Station on the JR Nara Line. It took us about 20-25 minutes to walk from Fushimi-Inari to Tofukuji. The walk between the two sites is doable and cheaper, if you’re trying to save a buck or two. While not as beautiful in the winter time, there will be less visitors and more space to freely enjoy your walk around the grounds. The best time to go to the temple is during autumn for leaf viewing.
After our nice walk through the temple, we decided to head back to the city and make our way towards the Teramachi Shopping Arcade, a large covered shopping and restaurant area, to take a break.
I love Doutor’s cake set, which includes a drink and a slice of cake for ￥500. It’s a nice snack/dessert during your break time.
After our break, we walked around the shopping arcade before we decided it was dinnertime. I don’t know why we thought it was a good idea to eat dinner right after our cafe stop, but we ate again. We found a ramen shop and slurped delicious ramen until our bellies were full. We can never say ‘no’ to ramen.
Because of all the cake eating and his ramen set (ramen, rice, and gyozas), Mark was feeling super bloated and started to complain about how full and bloated he was. I thought it was hilarious and started snapping pictures of him in the midst of getting my boba fix. Mark and I were pretty much old people and decided to call it a night after buying boba and dessert, which was around 7pm… We’re the type of people who are tired and indoors by 8pm… But! We did so much walking that day, so we were exhausted and wanted to relax.
Welcome to our humble hostel abode located in Kyoto’s Higashiyama District, one of Kyoto’s best historic districts! It was a great location, close to many temples and the Gion district. This was Mark’s first experience in a hostel and before we got there, he was freaking out what would happen at the hostel (oh Taken). He enjoyed his first experience at this hostel and acknowledged that hostels can be comfortable, clean, and safe (which is good, so we can book cheaper places in the future!).
This was our last night in Kyoto and reflecting back on our trip, though we didn’t get to see everything we planned, we were able to enjoy each others company, which is the most important thing to us, and have fun discovering new sites together. I’m so happy that Mark will be moving here soon and we’ll be able to have more adventures together.
Happy Valentines day fellow bloggers! Soooo it is Valentines…a day of romance, love, roses, maybe even poetry. But it is also an excuse to go all out on food! CHOCOLATES, DESSERTS, FILET MIGNON! Now this is the perfect segway for me to talk about my FOODSY experience in Japan. This New Years, I was able to go to Japan to visit Mallory. Seeing her after the longest time took me back to the college days were we can be with each other, but at the same time be partners in crime when it came to being the biggest FOODSY (FOODYS: a term given to someone who likes to eat everything in site). So when we saw each other, we knew that it was time to celebrate with FOOD!
Before I came to Japan, I made a personal check list of what I was going to eat. One I wanted to eat ramen (probably the thing to have), next I have to have curry, then SUSHI, and lastly, something new, probably what Mallory liked there. So in my pictures, here are some of the most exciting things I have had, I will give a detailed explanation of how it tasted in my mouth.
Let us begin.
My very first ramen experience in Japan was amazing. The broth tasted sooo clean, light, and tasty. The noodles were delicious and warm, while the pork was a good size for me to get full but not bloated. AMAZING
Holy Garbanzo Beans. I haven’t really heard of this till Mallory one day craved it. It was definitely an experience, sitting around a charcoal bbq pit roasting very fresh bbq was amazing. Each bite of the beef was nice, soft, tender, and tasty. Could have had some rice though (I have rice with everything).
Green Tea Ice Cream! This was a nice way to cleanse the pallet. I had this after our Yakiniku experiment, and it was indescribable. Digging into the green tea and seeing how textured it was made it an amazing experience.
And the most surprising experience was the CHEESE NAN Mallory showed me. I only hear about it in her stories and how she keeps giving me weird looks every time she talks to me. We went, and of course I made the same weird face she did. It was that good. Imagine, having NAN with CHEESE. MIND BLOWN
Adventure is out there!
Did I ever mention how much I love curry and ramen? Well, they’re pretty much among the greatest foods ever and what Mark and I ate for most of our time together. This wasn’t all from the Kansai region, but naming this “What We Ate in Kyoto + Nagoya + Wherever Else” seemed a little long. When Mark was here for vacation, eating was a very popular activity we did. I think we’re going to become that kind of travel couple; the one who tries to eat all the amazing things first then go out and explore. This wasn’t nearly half the things we ate, but you can definitely see what kind of food we love. Some of my favorite food that isn’t pictured here is Nepalese curry with cheese naan and yakiniku. I need to stop talking about this, because I’m going to crave it… Ah!
Enjoy eating with your eyes!
What are some of your favorite Japanese food?