A couple of weeks ago my husband and I travelled to Kyoto, Japan! Sam had a Science conference there, and I was lucky enough to tag along after the dates he was going corresponded amazingly with when my parents had planned to come visit us in Brisbane, so they were able to look after the kids!
From my experience, Japan is ordered, organised, kind, and respectful. People wear masks if they are sick out of respect for others around them, toilet seats are warmed, people don’t eat on the run, they don’t talk on their phones on the subway (it’s not allowed), no one pushes in line, and quite often when you’d use the public restroom you’d fine the toilet paper folded in a triangle from the last person.
The food as expected was amazing. We ate out for basically every meal over our week there, so I have to admit I was craving a home cooked plain (rice free!) meal by the end of our trip. I found the food to be so delicious, but very highly flavoured.
What I didn’t expect was how incredible the coffee was going to be. Arabica. Arabica. Arabica. If you ever visit Kyoto, you HAVE to go to one of their three stores. I have to say – it was the best coffee I’ve ever had. Ever. Seriously amazing. I was quite obsessed as you’ll see from the photos. The stores were so beautifully designed as well. Also, we ate some pretty delicious pastries! Doesn’t sound very Japanese, but they do baked goods very well.
Unfortunately, it rained most of the time we were there (like huge, monsoon rain) but despite railway lines closures, we still managed to see mostly everything we’d planned to. We did day trips to Osaka, Nara, Himeji to see the beautiful castle, Arashiyama to see the Bamboo forest (we skipped the monkey’s following Jasmine’s advice) and walking around Arashiyama gardens was really beautiful.
My highlights were Arabica coffee, stumbling on an amazing vintage shop ‘Three Star’ (where I found some mid calf flow-y pants because seriously NO ONE wears shorts over there), finding the most incredible Raman restaurant (my mouth is watering just thinking about how good it was), finding some beautiful handmade mugs in a random cafe at Nara, feeding baby deer at Nara…and just generally spending time with Sam kid-free was pretty lovely.
We were delayed 24 hours (Jetstar put us up in a hotel in Cairns) and we couldn’t be too mad about it, because we were upgraded to Business Class! It was pretty amazing.
I just loved the design of each of their amazing stores (yes I visited all 3…)
This is my favourite of the three, in Arashiyama.
This is a capsule hotel called 9 hours. It’s such a great concept, I think these hotels should be in every airport in the world! Such a wonderful idea.
We got to have one day of biking before the monsoon rains (our Airbnb had free bikes) which is definitely the best way to get around, but not when it’s raining!
That right there is the best Raman I have ever had. So so good.
We also visited the Osaka Aquarium which was pretty amazing, but very crowded!
Osaka! So. Much. Rain.
Nara was one of my favourite spots we visited. The surroundings were beautiful, and the baby deer bow for treats (they are not at all shy, you need to watch your back!) we loved wandering around this gorgeous spot.
I couldn’t resist adding in this photo! We bought Ava and Tom back Kimono’s. So cute!!