We spent 3 days in Kyoto, eating great food, shopping, and taking in the sights. This place has a different vibe from chaotic, upscale Tokyo, I’ve loved it so far!


Food has been a huge highlight in Kyoto, it’s more low-key here: from street food to 居酒屋 (izakaya’s) to standard restaurants.

We had 蛸焼 (tapoyaki), delicious savory octopus pancake balls. We also had お好み焼き (okonomiyaki), a similar savory ‘pancake-like’ disk of eggs, fried noodles/batter, cabbage, etc. There were also plenty of kabobs, fried things on sticks, 鉄板焼 (teppanyaki) cooked proteins, and other assorted Japanese soul food. All of it has been amazing thus far.

Apart from the always delicious and fresh sushi, we also splurged and tried some 神戸ビーフ (Kobe beef). We went to a steakhouse and each ordered a normal steak, in addition to splitting one of the 10x as expensive Kobe beef steaks. Our normal steak was juicy and flavorful, but the Kobe beef was on another plane of tenderness. Bursting with flavor and melting in your mouth like butter, I am glad we experienced it.

Other food not pictured: the many desserts I’ve been binging on. Sweet breads with 餡こ (red bean paste) like 大福 (daifuku). 抹茶 ice cream (matcha, Powdered Green tea). かき氷 (kakigōri, shaved ice). Bubble tea. More crepes!


We are being normal tourists otherwise, hitting the famous shrines and temples, noteable landmarks, and things travel blogs and Instagram posts claim we “must do”. This includes the awesome “gold shrine” (金閣寺, Kinkaku-ji), the never-ending 錦市場 (Nikishi Market), etc.

We also went to a park that lets you get close to Japanese macaque monkeys, which was a very fun experience. Here’s a picture of a baby macaque Allison took.

We also got to visit the 京都御所 (Kyoto Imperial Palace) where the emporer used to rule until the mid 1800s. It was so cool to see the intricate buildings up close, to imagine how the emporer and ruling class lived in that time. Might be one of my favorite stops on the trip.

(Sadly) Almost Over

We have a few smaller stops in Japan before heading off to Seoul, South Korea. I’ve loved our time in Japan and am sad it is coming to an end!