Japan 2019 (Part 3: Kyoto)

Part three of my Japan exploration trip is here! (Click here to read part 1 and part 2!)

Last I left from the previous blog post, my friends and I were in Osaka getting ready to go to Kyoto.

Day 6: Kyoto Exploration + Kichi Kichi

We woke up to a slow morning and eventually made our way to Kyoto from Osaka via the express train. Luckily, our hostel, Kyoto Hana Hostel, was within walking distance from Kyoto Station, so (after a quick stop at the Kyoto main post office) we dropped off our luggage right away and headed to Nishiki Market for a late lunch/street-food-food-trip.

Immediately, as soon as we arrived at Nishiki Market, I found my first bite:

I got this large unagi sushi for ¥300! Yum.

After practically inhaling the unagi, we walked for about twenty steps when I found the next thing to eat: tofu doughnuts!

Six tofu doughnuts for ¥300!

After barely even entering the market and eating unagi sushi AND mini tofu doughnuts, I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t last until we reach the end of the market, haha! Also, we had dinner reservations around 5PM and I didn’t want to feel too full for that later, so I exercised a little bit of self-control after the doughnuts. My friends and I decided to split the next thing we all wanted to try:

I can’t recall what this is exactly, but it’s like a pork pancake?

Moving on in the market, we unexpectedly found a Snoopy Chaya branch! I’m not a big fan of matcha (oops) but I AM a big Peanuts/Snoopy fan, so I went in and looked around.

Happy kid! I also bought a few souvenirs here, hehe.

Look at that Snoopy mochi! So cute!

We went on shopping and eating once every so often (at this point, I forgot to take photos of the fresh sashimi I’ve eaten and others–oops) before heading for Kichi Kichi for our reservations! A little backstory—I literally checked the website every Sunday at 3PM (that was the date and time when the restaurant will open reservations for a specific time when I was reserving) until reservations opened; so I’ve been waiting for this for quite some time, you could say! (I actually got the reservations for this on my birthday, Feb. 10! It was a nice birthday gift hehe.)

Anyways, back to Kyoto! We waited outside the restaurant early and was able to get the counter seats (we were the second group to be seated), which is a big deal for me as the restaurant alone could only seat eight people at a time.

So honored and happy to sit right across from Chef Motokichi Yukimura!

As soon as everyone settled in, we were greeted by the staff and Chef Motokichi before he walked us through the cooking:

Fire!

It was incredibly entertaining and interesting to watch how he made the dish from start to finish! I ordered the regular size omurice and one of the staff placed this in front of me:

Rice is shaped and ready for the egg!

Chef removes the rice shaper and prepares the egg.

There it is! It looks so good!

What a fluffy and fat omelette!

Now, time for the big reveal.

Photos don’t give the dish much justice, so if you’d like to feed your imagination, click here for a video! ☺️

Adding the beef demiglace sauce.

Adding in the little extra garnish.

Ta-da!

Isn’t it gorgeous? I eagerly took the photo and put away my camera as Chef Motokichi started preparing my friend’s omurice. Time to dig in!

Mmmmm.

It tastes different from all the omurice I’ve eaten before. It was the first time I’ve eaten an omurice without ketchup, amongst other ingredients! The rice was soft and light on the palette. The egg was just at the right texture and is a great accompaniment to the beef demigalce flavored rice. I liked it and found myself enjoying every bite. It was the perfect light meal to have after all the snacks we had at the market! Of course, we had to take a photo with the chef!

Cheese!

Chef Motokichi is such a kind soul. He greeted each guest, took photos, and hugged everyone! It was so heartwarming (and amusing) to watch him cook. I want to go back in the future to try his other dishes!

ありがとうございます!

After saying “thank you” and “goodbye”, we walked back to the market and stopped for a little dessert. (Why not?) There was a fresh melon pan shop and I couldn’t resist! I love melon pan, after all (in fact, I made one a while back and it turned out great! Click here for the recipe.)

Mmm. That hit the spot.

We made our way back to Kyoto Station, tired from all the walking. For the last hurrah of the day, I bought a canelé (another favorite of mine) at the station. I swear, I’m done eating for the day. HAHAHA.

With stomachs full, we rested for the day.

Day 7: Fushimi Inari Taisha + Kyoto Railway Museum + Kyoto Tower

Today, we had a speedy breakfast and headed for Kyoto Tower’s third floor for the Wargo Kimono Rental—yup! We made reservations for kimono rental. It took us around 45 minutes to choose what to wear, get dressed, and get our hair done. After we were all dolled up, we headed for the Fushimi Inari Shrine for some food tripping and sightseeing.

Stripes, florals, purple, and navy blue? All of my favorites in one outfit, haha.

Love how Nicole’s kimono contrasts with the photo!

We went around Fushimi Inari Village and had street food for lunch.

We couldn’t resist! We ordered a large cup of karaage to share.

Freshly made rice cracker!

After eating, we had the energy to deal with the crowd at the shrine, haha!

Believe me, this took many takes.

It was my first time wearing a kimono, and it was such a nice experience. It wasn’t that difficult to walk in, and it definitely was warm enough to walk around in cool weather. Maybe the next time I’ll rent a kimono, I’ll upgrade to a better hairstyle and a nicer kimono, hehe.

When we were returning the kimonos, we realized that we didn’t have a picture together—oops. Luckily, the staff was kind enough to take our photo!

After we returned our kimonos at the store, we headed for the Kyoto Railway Museum. I love trains and find them fascinating, so I was excited about the museum. Alecca and Nicole were also excited, as they’ve never been to railway museums before too!

Thinking about where to go next, hehe.

I enjoyed the railway museum immensely, and am looking forward to the next railway museum to visit. (I’ve been to the one in Saitama a few years back and it’s also amazing!)

Steam train in sight!

After a chill day of sightseeing, we ended it with a delicious dinner over at Nana’s Green Tea (I LOVE their hojicha/roasted green tea drink!)

I got the beef bowl with cheese!

As my last hurrah of the day, I headed up the Kyoto Tower (Alecca and Nicole went shopping while I went up) to see the view.

I love visiting towers just to see the view; for me, it’s a time of reflection. Seeing the city always makes me feel awestruck at how many people there are in the world and how we all have different lives but live together for the better or worse. It’s simply a time for me to just take in the view.

Just look at that view! Gorgeous.

We enjoyed the remaining time we have left in Kyoto before picking up our luggage and heading to the night bus for Hiroshima.

Bought this Country Ma’am melon pan as a last night/early morning snack in the bus!

Off to Hiroshima!

That’s it for our short, but memorable stop over at Kyoto! I’m excited for the next blog post which covers Hiroshima and our trip back to Osaka!

‘Till the next blog post,
Sophie ☺️

2 thoughts on “Japan 2019 (Part 3: Kyoto)

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