Japan Travels: Kyoto/Osaka

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).

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Kitsune, or foxes. The messengers of the Fushimi Inari Shrine.I love how poised these kitsune statues look.
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Hello beautiful fall.

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Going through the Senbon Torii (Thousands of Torii Gates) In reality I think I only went through 50. Too many people. I had to get to my next destination!

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.

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Look at the mass of bodies. I gave up entering further. I personally loathe being squeezed like a sardine. I don’t think anyone can get any good pictures or really savour the scenery with strangers pressed on them.

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Still, these are pretty breathtaking autumn trees.
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These streets are gorgeous from top-down. It really brings one back in time.

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.

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The cool dragon figure is actually the entrance of a Karaoke place!
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A really Japanese alleyway. I love the cobblestone streets.

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.

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This side dish is actually cod fish intestines. O_0 It just tasted salt and was kind of chewy. But finding out what it was kind of grossed me out. I really detest innards, except pig stomach. Somehow I like it. Pig stomach soup. Mm.
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See this beauty shining with its okonomiyaki sauce and mayonnaise?
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Topped with aonori (green nori flakes) and katsuoubushi (bonito flakes)

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.

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I can’t quite remember what was it I ordered, but there were definitely quail eggs, pork and prawn in this mix.
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Berry Calpis Chuhai (Chuhai is also known as Sour, as I mentioned in my previous post I have taken a liking to this sweet alcoholic drink in this trip) Calpis is a drink similar in taste to Yakult, just thinner in consistency.

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.

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Piping hot and yummilicious.
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Here’s a final picture of me enjoying the quail egg kushikatsu! My next and final post on my Japan travel will be on Nara!

 

 

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Sometimes I manifest as an elf, sometimes I take the form of a daisy. But oftentimes, I wish I am a fairy.

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