Kyoto was one of the oldest capitals in Japan, also known as The Thousand Years City. Kyoto is filled with historical sites like royal palace, temples and Japanese style gardens. Being in Kyoto is like travelling back to the old days in Japan, when you can still see traditional architecture and people dressing in kimono walking on their way to pray in the temples.
We stayed in Kyoto for 3 nights during our 2 weeks trip to Japan this summer. Apart from visiting all the grand and elegant attractions, there are few ultimate things that you can try in Kyoto!
Want some amazing portraits or prove photography you’ve been to Japan? I highly recommend to rent a Kimono and walk around! It’s a special and memorable experience for sure. There are few kimono shops that offer kimono(yukata in summer, thinner layer and more colorful) trying experience around清水寺Kiyomizudera.
We picked 岡本織物 as it can be booked online. Due to popularity and high volume of response, it rarely has space for walk-ins. You can book your time slot of arrival, that I found the earlier the time, the more choices of kimono available. Usually you can rent the kimono for the entire afternoon and return it by 6pm. There are different price ranges for certain quality and styles to chose from.
On arrival, you will be assist by a staff, picking one and changing with a bottom layer and the kimono complicated applications. If you booked the additional hair styling service as well, you will then pick the accessories and chose from 3 type of hair style. And you’re ready to walk along Kyoto like a local!
Living in a Onsen Ryokan
Ryokan is the traditional house in Japan, it’s a really nice experience to try out how people live in the old days and totally different environment to a hotel. Ryokan have rooms with bamboo wall paper and carpet that kept warm in winter and cool in summer, and you will need to sleep on the floor with mattress and duvet. It usually have a outdoor garden for having a cup of green tea and chatting. Some luxury one even have their own hot spring per room, where you can enjoy a warm relaxing bath after a long day travelling.
Eat like a Royalty
Since Kyoto was the empire capital, it offers a lot of traditional exquisite cuisine that is a must try! Washoku is like a visual and tasting delight. Meal set is at reasonable price like 1500yen to 2000yen, with well executed dishes from small snacks, appetizer, main to dessert, colorful dishes on a set of matching tableware serve in a plate for one, small portion of each so you can try bit of everything without being stuffed. If you are looking for something more luxury, you can order a multiple dishes meal up to 10 dishes.
Kyoto is also famous for its specialty tea Macha, naturally grinded green tea, smooth and rich flavored. There are lots of sub product made from Macha like snacks and ice cream that taste amazing!