Thursday, 12 November 2015

Japan - Kyoto : Kiyomizudera + Nijo Castle + Kyoto Tower

Japan : Kyoto - May 2015

Day 3


I regretted wearing denim skirt the moment I stepped out the apartment because it was freezing in the morning. I thought the weather would get better in the afternoon but it rained instead. Heavily. =(

Our itinerary for the first half of the day:  Kiyomizudera Temple, Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka.

Source: japan guide

Kiyomizudera Temple 清水寺

We took JR to Tofukuji staion, transferred line to Kiyomizu-Gojo station and walked for around 20min to reach Kiyomizudera Temple. It was a straight road down from the train station and we noticed there were city bus that we could take but we decided to walk down to enjoy the scenery since we have the time.

The main hall was built without the use of nails. 

Kawaii ne

Koyasu Pagoda viewed from the main hall of Kiyomizudera

Otowa waterfall located at the foot of Kiyomizudera Temple.

Then it started to rain very heavily. 

Kiyomizudera Temple 清水寺
Opening hours 6:00 to 18:00 
Entrance fees 300 yen 
Spring and Fall Illumination Hours 18:30 to 21:30 (mid March-mid April and mid Nov-early Dec) 
Entrance fees 400 yen

Sannen-zaka and Ninen-zaka

These two streets are the best preserved historic districts to experience traditional old Kyoto. There are alot of kimono rental shops where customers could rent kimono for a day. 

We also joined in the fun by buying their iconic transparent umbrella. 

Large varieties of local specialties mostly are mochi. Their packaging usually so cute that tourists are unable to resist to buy.

This kinda reminded me of Taipei's Jiu Fen.

Yasaka Pagoda

The paper umbrella is so old school!

The rain was getting bigger again so we had to hide somewhere where we could have lunch.

We saw this cute hello kitty cafe. 

Totoro shop beside hello kitty cafe. Not a fan.

Seeing the rain was not going to stop anytime soon, we had to lunch at hello kitty cafe.

Bf was having a date with hello kitty lol. 

Lunch set - Pasta. 

We expected to be so-so as usually pretty food does not taste nice. However, this has surprised us. We could even bring home the chopstick. The waitress went extra mile to clean the used chopsticks and put in plastic bag for us.


Sigh, it was very frustrating to have rainy days during holiday.

Nijo Castle 二条城

We changed plan to go Nijo Castle instead.
Nijo Castle is a short 3 min walk from Nijojo-mae Station along the Tozai Subway Line.

Gloomy day

Nijo Castle was used as an imperial palace before opened up to the public as a historic site.

Basically, it has nothing, practically nothing inside. No furniture, only have signboards telling you what was the room meant for in the past. Oh, the only thing I learnt was the wooden floor produced sound when people stepped on it is because to alert the owner of any uninvited guests.

I still could not believe there is nothing inside the castle. I would have skip it if I knew earlier.

Nijo Castle 二条城
Opening hours: 8:45 to 17:00 (admission until 16:00) 
Closed Tuesdays in Jan, Jul, Aug and Dec (or following day if Tue is a national holiday) Dec 26 to Jan 4 
Entrance fees: 600 yen

It had been raining the whole day (on and off) so we decided to go back somewhere near our apartment. We went back to Kyoto station to wander in the big shopping mall near the Kyoto tower. 

Kyoto Tower

Good night Kyoto. Please do not rain tomorrow.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Japan - Kyoto : Nishiki market + Pontocho area

Japan : Kyoto - May 2015

Second part of day 2, we took JR train to Shijo station to cover 2 places: Nishiki Market and Pontocho.

Sources: Japan guide

Nishiki Market 錦市場

Nishiki market is a five block long narrow shopping street lined by more than one hundred shops and restaurants.This is definitely a place where you can stuff yourself with fresh cheap food.

omg~ look at these prices!

lol fresh from fruits itself

Then we saw this warabi mochi which we have been searching since we first tried at Isetan Japanese food fare years ago! 

We went back to buy a few packets thinking to bring back to Singapore. We finished it within two days. =x

look at the gigantic omurice lol

super cute donuts from Floresta

After dinner, we strolled to Pontocho area which was just a few streets away.

Pontocho area 先斗町

In front of us was a long stretch of small restaurants offering a wide range of dining options from inexpensive yakitori to expensive traditional and modern Kyoto cuisine. We did not have a chance to try one of the restaurants because they all looked very expensive.

So we took a stroll to experience the atmosphere. *cheapskate*

Pretty view at dusk when the lighting was on.