I do regret choosing to explore Kyoto on the weekend. I didn’t expect it to be bursting from the crowd. One could barely move through the throngs of people within a scenic location, with many sight-seekers pausing to snap pictures of a red torii gate or a red-leave tree, stopping the human traffic like a red light. Everything would halt at that moment, as the people at the very front witnessed the awkward poses struck by their fellow tourists, and people towards the back, left with nothing to do, raise their cameras or phones to capture an artistic shot of the scenery around them. I was, doubtless, one of those irritating tourists, but left very unsatisfied with most of my pictures dotted with human heads.
Trying to capture a nice #ootd in Kyoto is near impossible with all the crowd. So I mostly played around with introducing the sights on my Instagram, and snacking along the touristy stalls down the streets.
My first stop was at Fushimi Inari Shrine (伏見稲荷大社, Fushimi Inari Taisha).
My next stop was Kiyomizudera (清水寺, “Pure Water Temple”). It was a long walk from the station to the temple, and people were all literally lining up along the path toward the temple, making the walk slow and tedious. Once I reached the temple, I found the place to be inundated with people! Perhaps not just because it was the weekend, but also maybe due to the fact that Kiyomizudera’s main hall will be undergoing construction in 2017, as well as the autumn illumination which was scheduled to be held from mid November to early December, Kiyomizudera was bursting with a horde of tourists and locals. There was nowhere for me to take fanciful #ootds. I could hardly get a good shot of the temple itself.
Since there isn’t much to talk about the sights, I shall move on to the mouth-watering food in Osaka. First, a stroll down the fascinating shopping streets of Osaka. So vibrant and alive.
And my first meal has got to be okonomiyaki. It is my favourite dish from Osaka. When I first tried it, I fell in love with it. That simple. And since then I have been craving for an authentic okonomiyaki. When I finally had to chance to sink my jaws into this inviting pancake loaded with cabbage and seafood, I felt sheer felicity and contentment. I was in okonomiyaki heaven.
Next, another traditional Osaka delicacy. Kushikatsu. “kushi” means skewer, “katsu” is a method of deep-frying food by breadcrumbing them. It is said to originate from Shinsekai in Osaka.
Finally, another traditional dish from Osaka. Takoyaki. Who hasn’t heard of it? But I never knew that it originated from Osaka. It was invented by a street vendor in Osaka in 1935, and since then its popularity has spread across the world.
I went to this shop called Takoyaki Dotonburi Kukuru (たこ家道頓堀くくる), one of the famous takoyaki shops in Japan. But I wasn’t at the main shop, unfortunately, so there wasn’t any Bikuri Takoyaki (jumbo-sized takoyaki with octopus tentacles pushing out of the ball). And I didn’t have time to eat the akashiyaki (octopus balls dipped in dashi) as I was rushing for the next shinkansen. I was looking forward to akashiyaki, as the dumpling is not made of flour, like takoyaki, rather it is made of eggs. Pity. Next time I definitely want to try these two.