11 Aug 2013

Japan Trip 2013: Day 3 (Kyoto-hen)

So we waved goodbye to the Delicious Osaka and hello to Home of Kyoto Animation.

For breakfast we went to a small bakery that seems to be part of a supermarket. The selection there was pretty good, ranging from the usual hotdogs to red bean and mentaiko. My favourite was probably the eggs and bacon bread...

Straight after breakfast we headed from Kyoto. After dumping our luggage at the hotel, we took the JR Nara line to Inari Station. It's hard to get lost here as the distinctive vermilion torii gates start right inside the station.

The shrines here are beautiful and not too crowded compared to the other temples and shrines we would be visiting in the coming days. The charms here are a bit expensive though. If I don't remember wrongly, 200 yen for omikuji and ~800 yen for a protective charm. If you just want a souvenir, I would suggest waiting for Kiyomizu Temple to get it instead.

The walk up is long... You can stop at any time, but I would suggest going for about an hour. That's what we did anyway. The scenery doesn't change much; it's just torii gates and small shrines. Occasionally there will be a shop or two.

The local speciality here is the fried tofu, using for Kitsune Udon and Inarizushi/Inari-sushi. Step into any store here for a relatively cheap lunch. We tried the kitsune udon and cold soba. Both were really good! Making our way down was faster and easier, but still took some time. Next up, to Kohata Station for a pilgrimage of a different kind.

It's pretty easy to get to the Kyoto Animation studio and shop from Kohata station. The one nearer to the station is their main studio. The one nearer to Kowata station (about 10 minutes walk away) is the 2nd studio and the official KyoAni shop. Just follow this map I've provided above.

Every KyoAni fan needs to visit this place! Go to the main studio for the customary photo (a la Lucky Star) and then head over to the official shop to bleed your wallet dry. I managed to limit the damage to about 4000 yen , but on hindsight I should have bought more here...

Next up was... a poorly planned trip to Arashiyama. We were there at around 5pm. If you wish to see more than just bamboo, go there earlier than 5pm because places like Tenryuji Temple close at 5.30pm. Also, it would have been a nice, relaxing walk if we weren't already exhausted by our Fushimi Inari climb earlier that morning. We had some time to kill though, so it did server its purpose.

Dinner was kaiten (coveyor belt) sushi at Sushi no Musashi's Kyoto station branch. 137 yen per plate! Pretty good for that price. Some other kaiten sushi places charge per piece, so always be sure before ordering if you are running on a tight budget. This particular branch can be a little hard to find, and be prepared to queue a bit or break-up your large group because it gets quite crowded.

We spent the rest of the night walking around Kyoto Station, buying souvenirs and window shopping. Tomorrow is going to be a little more relaxed, but still a lot of walking. Didn't expect Osaka and Kyoto to actually hit 30 degrees during most of the day.

I've been a little too busy to blog these days, so Anime Weekly will temporarily be on hiatus until I finish my Japan Trip 2013 posts.

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