If you are planning to go to Kyoto, you might have heard or googled and came across Ginkakuji Temple and Kinkakuji Temple. Both temples are known for their similar name, which means Silver Temple and Gold Temple. They were also famous tourist spots in Kyoto. The Silver Temple were located inside a beautiful garden, where visitors can walk along the pathways and enjoy the greens and very photogenic trees. Seriously though, I took so many pictures inside the garden and made my brothers pose along with me.
The other temple, Kinkakuji, was my personal favorite out of the two. It was a big temple standing gracefully in the middle of a small lake inside a garden. The temple is covered with real gold and because we came in the middle of the day, the sun was directly shining on the golden temple and it was reflecting the shine well. The garden was a little bit of a downer, I prefer the one before, but the temple was really really beautiful.
We also walked along the Philosopher’s Path. It was a 2 km walk along a small river from Ginkakuji (Silver) Temple and it ends around the Nan Zen Ji Temple area. The quiet atmosphere made it very peaceful, no wonder it was called the Philosopher’s Path. There were big stones every a hundred meters or so where people can sit down and enjoy looking at the river, reading, talking, or maybe thinking.
The small river was very clean. I was not sure it was an actual river, it might also be the city canal, but the water was clean and clear. We saw a lot of fishes and some ducks. It was a very common scenery to see fishes and ducks even in the gutters and drains in Japan.
It took us probably around 35 – 40 minutes to arrive at the Nan Zen Ji Temple, because the first leg of the walk, we needed to take a break every a couple of minutes to wait for my grandma. But then she decided to took the taxi right back to our house and my mom, my brothers, and me finished the walk.
When we were going there, the road passed some schools, and it was exactly around 4.40 pm and the students were going home. They walked really quickly compared to us! Ah, Indonesia really need a lot of work to do, especially on the pedestrian walk!!
The Nan Zen Ji Temple was located inside a big garden in the middle of like, roads full of houses. We didn’t make it to the actual temple, but we took some pictures on the giant gate around 300 m from the main temple.
We then walked back to the closest station, stopped a little bit for ice cream break, and continued the walk. Ice creams in Japan are amazing, and it was being sold everywhere, in every place we visited and every road we walked in!
My mom then came up with this idea to go to Kyoto Station. On her last visit to Japan last year, she tried an amazing 100-yen-a-plate sushi restaurant inside the mall at Kyoto Station. The kids, including me, were so excited and decided to try and find the restaurant. We are all sushi and sashimi lovers!
The restaurant was called Sushi No Musashi. It was pretty famous and you can easily find news and reviews about it from Google. They sell the sushi on conveyor belt going around a giant squared table, pretty much similar to the sushi bar we have in Sushi Tei in Indonesia.
Most of the plate cost only 146 yen, or 18.000 rupiah. Some of the other menus cost around 346 yen, for the special and more expensive fishes, like FATTY TUNA. You got two sushi, or one (if it’s a little bit premium) for each plate. I ate 10 plates in total. The best thing about this restaurant was that they have different color codes on the plate for sushi with wasabi and the ones without.
The four of us spent 1.450 yen, which was around 450.000 rupiah, but it was worth the 21 plates we all ate in total!
After this, we went back to Sanjo-Keihan and walked to the Gion area. We walked to the famous temple in Gion, Yasaka Shrine. Because it was at night, there was not much to see. W didn’t even get in the shrine, but it was beautiful because the lights were on.
We didn’t actually find Gion that night, but ended up arriving at the City Center, and by that time we have walked too far, so we decided to eat somewhere. Initially, we were lining up for Ichiran, but then we bail because the waiting time was an hour!
Instead, we indulge on this amazing ramen, located right across Ichiran. There was way too much oil there for me, but taste very good.
The next day, we all went to visit the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Groove. It was yet another tourist must visit destination. Being around tall bamboos really made me feel like I am in a different world. It was located near the Arashiyama Station.
Pro tip, you have to come very early to get perfect shots, because there will be not much people in the morning. We came at around lunch time, and it was hella crowded and pretty hard to take pictures.
Inside the bamboo forest there were a giant villa and a tea house which was owned or used to be owned by someone powerful in Japan. I didn’t remember who he was, but there was a small museum dedicated just for him near the exit. Each visitor got a free green tea along with some sweets on the tea house right near the entrance. They served authentic green tea and a wafer with matcha paste inside. Both taste amazing.
Kyoto, I am indeed in love!