What To Do In Kyoto

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If you're headed to Japan, somewhere you definitely need to visit is Kyoto. Full of history, old architecture, shrines and beautiful sights, this city (which was once the capital) is the perfect mixture of culture and beauty. Here are some of the things I recommend you do if you're heading to Kyoto too! 

What To Do: 

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+ To-Ji Temple Flea Market. Only held on the 21st of each month, I couldn’t believe my luck that it was on during our time in Kyoto! If there's a flea market, I'm there! It was a lot of fun hunting for treasures and trying some local eats at the market.

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+ Nara Deer Park. Something I had planned since we booked our flights was visiting the deer in Nara. The deer roam free in the park, and you can purchase deer cookies to feed them (they even bow for them as is the Japan way). So much cute.

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+ Ninen-Zakka. An old district of Kyoto known for its classic architecture, Ninen-Zaka is a quintessential Japanese experience. Best to check it our earlier in the day as it is super BUSY, but definitely worth it!   

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+ Nomura Tailor. A fabric shop of dreams! This store has a fabric for everyone, as well as stocking a large collection of Liberty fabric for not a bad price! I picked up the lovely floral seersucker fabric above, but could’ve easily bought more!

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+ Nishiki Market. We had a couple of rainy days during our stay in Kyoto, and on one of those days we managed to find the perfect rainy day activity - Nishiki Market. It’s an undercover strip of shops and food stalls with so many interesting things to see. 

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+ Explore the backstreets. One of my favourite things about Kyoto is how beautiful the back streets are. Everyone puts so much effort into decorating their doorsteps and balconies making the streets so beautiful. We did a lot of walking in Kyoto and these back streets gave us so much to see.

What To See:

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+ Bamboo forest. The bamboo forest of Arashiyama was something we both were really looking forward to seeing while in Kyoto, and it did not disappoint! Although there are huge crowds, walking through the bamboo forest was such a peaceful experience. While in the area, we also took a long walk along the river's edge and it was beau-ti-ful! Definitely recommend it if you’ve got time for a wander.

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+ Fushimi Inari Shrines. Another quintessential Japanese experience, taking a walk through the Fushimi Inari shrines was something else we did not want to miss. Although the shrines were beautiful, I was surprised by how much more there was to see in the area, like, the beautiful lake after the shrine walk that I could have sat by all day long it was so peaceful.

What To Eat:

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+ Cherry Blossom Ice Cream. It was very hot during our time in Kyoto, so finding cold treats to cool us down was a must (we also walked A LOT in Kyoto so I figured an ice cream a day didn’t hurt), and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try cherry blossom ice cream. It was a bit like Matcha in flavour (which I really like), so if that’s your thing be sure to try!

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+ Okonomiyaki. Also known as Japanese pancakes that are of the savoury variety. We went to one of the many restaurants where we were able to grill them ourselves which I highly recommend.

Nishiki Market. As well as shopping this is a great place to try some local eats. We were able to spend some time tasting different sake and choosing things to try from the many different food stalls.

I hope you've enjoyed this little round up of things to do while in Kyoto. You can read more about my time in Japan here and here!