Sunday, May 3, 2015

Beautiful Kyoto

Our second day in Japan was spent by touring the beautiful city of Kyoto. Initially, we planned on spending the day at Nara first but when the Nara tour did not match our schedule, we hopped on the train to Kyoto instead. We went to three places - Fushimi Inari, Bamboo Grove and Kiyomizu Temple. All the places we visited are so incredibly beautiful!  
Our first stop was the Fushimi Inari Shrine. The place was brimming with tourists!
This shrine is famous for having a thousand Torii Gates. It was also a shoot location for Memoirs of Geisha.

First few signs of spring!
Walking through the many Torii Gates was an enchanted experience. I can just imagine this place during off season, must be so serene.

It was extremely hard to get decent pictures because the amount of people touring place was crazyyyy!

Our next stop was Bamboo Grove. Discovered this through a blog and I was intrigued by it that's why I requested we visit the place.

I've read so many good reviews about Bamboo Grove but honestly, I didn't get to enjoy it as much because there were just simply too many people. It was a long stretch simply full of towering Bamboo trees. Though I can imagine how nice it would be if it wasn't too crowded.

My first glorious taste of Matcha Ice Cream!!!! It has never been the same since then! 

Right outside Bamboo Grove are food and dainty souvenir shops.

We then went to Kyoto Station (aka the station with intricate details) for our last stop.
Kyoto Tower.
Kiyomizu Temple is UNESCO World Heritage Site. Like Fushimi Inari, the place was full of tourists. There was a part on the way up that we literally had to walk shoulder to shoulder with strangers.
This is place is probably the BEST view for Cherry Blossoms! The highest point of the temple overlooks a hundred or so Cherry Blossom trees.

Kawaii girls in their yukata.
Imagine how amazing this place is when all the trees are in full bloom!

Fun fact: There is not a single nail used in this structure. It's kind of mind blowing.

Next stop, Rinku!

Love, Paola 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Himeji Castle

Reviving this blog with some fun posts lined up ahead. I spent a day back reading old posts and to my amusement, this blog contains a lot more memories than I would've expected that's why I've decided to fill it up with much more. Just a few weeks back, we went to a one week stay in my favorite country, Japan, but this time we explored Osaka and its neighboring prefectures. The most ironic thing when I travel is that I super enjoy public transportation! It's amazing how everything is so efficient. Starting this series with our trip to Himeji Castle. 
Perfect weather greeted us right outside the station!
First #ootd of the day! I super love dressing up for cold weather!
It was quite a long walk from the station to the castle, but these pretty streets were worth it.
Himeji Castle from a distance.
Right before entering the castle, we saw this adorable couple posing for the tourists.
On the way up to the castle are these Cherry Blossom trees, unfortunately they still haven't blossomed yet :(  
We decided not to go inside the castle anymore, as the line was a little long and the castle garden was nice enough for our entertainment. 
Of course, my mom and I just had to do our signature pose!
Right after touring the castle grounds, we went around to scout for a good place to eat and we stumbled upon some colorful food carts where I had my first ever taste of authentic takoyaki and tamago!
What I love about the Japan is that they never skimp on colors. Even just food stalls like these are so happy to look at.
After lunch, we walked through Honmachi Street for some window shopping.
Japanese pedestrians are always very organized.
On our way back, right outside the train station, we saw these dogs for the disabled. When I was young, I've always wanted a poodle like this because Barbie had the same one! Haha 
When we got back to Osaka, we went straight to Yodabashi. It's one big building full of all gadgets you could think of - cameras, laptop, phones, tablet, watches, it's all there! It's where I finally bought my own baby SLR! I'm so happy with it!
Ended the night with some authentic Tempura and noodles, the first of many in this trip. 

Love, Paola