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i figured that with my huge backlog of photos, it would probably take me a few years to document all my trips taken around korea, as well as other countries. i realised that blogging actually helps me relieve and remember the fun times that i had during my travels, thus, the return to blogging (i hope i can keep this up though).

without further ado….. may i present to you what was, in my humble opinion, a fun filled trip through the quaint and kitschy streets of kyoto.

Our humble abode was the Mitsui Garden Hotel Kyoto Shinmachi Bettei located at Rokkaku-sagaru, Shinmachidori in Kyoto. Being a relatively new hotel (Opened in mid 2014), all facilities were super clean!

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hotel exterior

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the triple sharing room!

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shiseido amenities provided by the hotel~!

We started our day with a trip to Nishiki Market. Kyoto is surprisingly walkable.. Or it could be because our hotel was located in a very convenient location. It took us approximately 15-20mins to walk there.

The tamago was absolutely delectable and literally melted in our mouths! we also came across rows upon rows of delicious looking food! if not for the fact that we were gonna head for lunch soon, i’m sure we would have literally snacked our way through Nishiki Market!

Miki Keiran (三木鸡卵)

Miki Keiran (三木鸡卵)

tamago showcase!

tamago showcase!

tamago

tamago

filled with delicious goodness

filled with delicious goodness

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random snacks

rice for sale!

rice for sale!

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the famous soy donuts!

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dog cookies? hmmm

just as we were about to give into temptation and order some food from one of the many stalls that lined the street, we received a text from Lori, informing us that she had finally arrived in Kyoto! We were originally supposed to meet at Shijo Station, but decided to meet at Sanjo Keihan Station instead as it was closer to the restaurant that we were gonna eat at.

Unfortunately, Lori got kinda confused with the various lines & we had to backtrack to pick her up at Karasuma Oike station. But seeing as how it was lovely out, it didnt’ matter that much. ^^ The sky was a brilliant blue that day and it was extremely pleasant to walk around outside.

a canal near the station

a canal near the station

the clear blue sky! [no photoshop!]

the clear blue sky! [no photoshop!]

Now, I have been watching this reality program, Superman Is Back (슈퍼맨이 돌아왔다), that’s all the rage in Korea right now. This program is known for really cute kids, Choo Sarang (추사랑) and the triplets (대한, 민국 & 만세). Well, my bias is of course, the very adorable Sarang~chan!

sarang

i watched this episode where she visited her maternal grandmother & great grandmother in their hometown & they subsequently headed to Kyoto for lunch. Interestingly enough, they visited a very quaint restaurant that is famous for their handmade soba! In this episode, Sarang & her cousin, Yumae, tried this sushi roll that was stuffed not with rice, but with soba noodles! She made it look soooo good that I decided I just had to try it on my trip to Kyoto! Thus, I did some research on naver and managed to find the exact location of the restaurant! I must say that k-netizens are awesome for finding out such stuff!

有喜屋 先斗町 本店

有喜屋 先斗町 本店

my order of soba

my order of soba

soba sushi roll

soba sushi roll

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tofu

tofu

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tamago AGAIN

tamago AGAIN

our bill for 4 people!

our bill for 4 people!

The food was absolutely delicious! The total bill came up to 6,120yen (approx USD$61) for 4 people which was pretty reasonable in my opinion. Service was fantastic, as expected of the Japanese. ^^

What I found interesting was that while tourists did visit this restaurant, they all happened to be Korean. Guess they were convinced by Sarang and her amazing ability to make all food seem really delicious..

here are the details of the restaurant if anyone’s interested.

有喜屋 先斗町 本店

일본 〒604-8002 京都府京都市 中京区木屋町通三条下る石屋町125
+81 75-221-2978

with our filled and happy tummies, we finally decided that it was time for an touristy activity.. so off we went to the Fushimi Inari Shrine. We took the train on the Keihan Line and alighted at the Fushimi~Inari Station. From there, it was just a short walk to the shrine! It wasn’t all that hard to find especially since there was a huge crowd of people heading in the same direction.

Fushimi-Inari station

Fushimi-Inari station

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map of the shrine

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tori gates

tori gates

a group shot of us!

a group shot of us!

i THINK these are for washing yr hands...

i THINK these are for washing yr hands…

while we originally wanted to visit another shrine before heading to Gion, a quick check on google led us to discover that it closed at 5pm. Pity… soooo always remember to check the opening/closing hours of the attractions you want to visit before you head out!

Next stop, Gion. Our plan was to visit this famous green tea teahouse, Tsujiri Honten, before heading to  Hanami-Koji for some geisha sighting. However, the queue to enter the teahouse was soooo long that our hopes for getting some matcha ice cream and resting our tired legs were dashed. However, we did note that takeaways were available. Well, better something than nothing!

Matcha waffle ice cream

Matcha waffle ice cream

tea selection

tea selection

matcha ice cream galore!

matcha ice cream galore!

Tsujiri Honten

Tsujiri Honten

The matcha was absolutely DIVINE! they sell tea leaves as well so you can buy some back as gifts for your friends & family. While the selection is extensive, the staff were very helpful in explaining to me the various differences (though subtle) amongst the tea. I was even given some samples to try before deciding on what to buy. The sencha that I bought had a very clean and clear taste, very unlike what I have tasted before. Highly recommended!

~to be continued~

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