~ Japan 2017 - Kyoto pt. 1 ~

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
      The second portion of my Japan 2017 was spent in Kyoto. I stayed in the Higashiyama district and honestly did not leave it very much other than to visit other tourist spots. I loved this area. It's in the heart of historic Kyoto and right by the Gion district. There was plenty to keep us entertained here that we never left to go into the city of Kyoto. The area has lots of restaurants and small shops. To me it actually had a bit more of a local feel here although the area was filled with tourists.

      Since I didn't rent any pocket wifi I relied heavily on public wifi spots. I usually made a rough itinerary the day before, Googled mapped the locations, and took screen shot of those to rely on throughout the day. 

       I had my first Airbnb experience here and it was lovely. The apartment was clean, cozy, and the location was great. We had a bit of trouble getting the apartment key but the host answered quickly and we were inside the apartment within minutes of his reply. 

I woke up quite early everyday and usually had a coffee and bun from the convenience store before actually heading out for breakfast. I usually Googled up the best breakfast places in the area and narrowed them down from there.

I would highly recommend coming early to visit the shops before they fill up with people. The area is quite quiet in the morning and I really enjoyed the serenity. 

We went to Inoha Coffee for breakfast. The breakfast was well balanced and perfect for my eating habits. I like to eat a variety of things and I definitely got that here. Eggs, ham, salad, croissant, and fruit! I also had coffee and grapefruit juice as well.

You'll see dozens of souvenir and trinket stores lined along the streets. However you'll also see many specialty stores as well. Most are food related buy there was some cute hair pin stores and hand made textile creation shops.

For dinner we went to Izuju which is famous for it's Kyoto style sabazushi- saba sushi. I'm sure just by looking at it you can tell it's different from the regular Tokyo style sushi that we are most familiar with. The saba is strong and pungent but beautifully balanced with the sushi rice. I can't remember what the cubed mosaic sushi in the back was called but it was also good, our favorite was the sweet egg sushi. Make sure you peel the kelp off the saba sushi!

There was a short wait and we were handed menus so we could order beforehand. The sushi came as soon as we sat down. The saba sushi can also be ordered for take out. It wasn't the cheapest sushi meal but it was one that stood out throughout our entire trip. I think there are a few 1 and 2 Michelin star sushi restaurants in the area too!

Last but not least we coincidentally ran into a Studio Ghibli store! The Donguri stores are located throughout Japan and carry official Studio Ghibli merchandise. The store is located inside a small alley, right beside the Hello Kitty store. There's a small sign and shelf when the store is open so keep you eyes peeled.