June 6 (Day 9) Highlights & Instagram

IMG_9000cOn our second full day in Kyoto, our legs so tired from walking so much, we decided to rent bikes so we could get around the city a little easier and see more things that are farther apart. Turns out the bikes we rented were fixies, so we ended up wrecking our legs in a whole different way.

Here are some highlights, followed by the photos I posted to Instagram that day:
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The first thing many travel books like to point out is that countries you are visiting are not monolithic – one area will have certain traits, while another will be almost completely different in foods, personality, priorities. Some of this is that some “country” borders are very arbitrary, not taking into account geographic differences. And some appear to be because of long-reaching traditions or outlooks that have changed in some areas while staying the same elsewhere.

In the case of planning our trip, we didn’t want it to be city to city to city with a focus on being in the newest and modern accommodation – we mixed it up, even if it meant bouncing from an apartment to a hotel to something else.

The photos from above are our first place in Kyoto – the lovely Kinse Inn, which is a 200 year old building which is a pile of history. In some cases, you want to advocate for a business you thought the world should know about – in this case, they’re getting such great business over the years, we were the ones lucky enough to get slotted in.

Besides the clearly wonderful look of the place, was a sense of serenity and quiet within this area that just really slows down the intense pace of the trip. Kyoto is still a city, but the streets and wards were just bundled with all sorts of neat historic callbacks.

Kyoto and the surrounding area have a lot of space for the shrines, and so when we went to them, you got a real eyeful:

The differences have been delightful, to be sure.

June 5 (Day 8) Highlights & Instagram

IMG_8760cThis was our first full day in Kyoto. We had planned to do a full-day bike tour, to see a lot of the sights and get a better sense of the city, but we found out on the train on the way here that the tour was cancelled due to bad weather. That was a bummer, and we scrambled to figure out what things we should do today instead.

Here are some highlights, followed by the photos I posted to Instagram that day:

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KitKats part 2

Today we arrived in Kyoto, and I found a few other flavors of KitKat to try – more variations on green tea.

This third one may not qualify as another flavor. From the picture on the package, it looked like it might be green tea on the outside and chocolate on the inside. But I tried it and that doesn’t seem to be the case. The inside filling isn’t green, but it also isn’t chocolate. Maybe this one is Matcha + Hojicha!

I also got a small box of the Premium Mint ones so I can try it and (maybe) leave the larger bag of them intact until I get home.


Small package of Premium Mint. A friend observed that in Japan “mint” is represented by a bluer green than in the US. We’re guessing this is to help distinguish it from green tea.