A few days into our Tokyo trip, we took the Shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto. In retrospect, we probably should have stayed at least one day longer, since we went to Nara on our second day and left pretty early on the third. But regardless of our limited time, we thoroughly enjoyed our brief stay. We stayed near the Kyoto Station, which made our travel to and from Tokyo and excursion to Nara really easy. Once we checked in, we headed to Gion (no Geiko or Maiko sightings), had lunch, then snacked some more – can’t pass up mitarashi dango! – and went to the Fushimi Inari Shrine. That fish shaped waffle-ish thing is a green tea taiyaki, which was one of the many snacks we ate before our journey up the mountain. We didn’t complete the entire trek, since we still had plans to go up yet another mountain, to Monkey Park Iwatayama. Once you get to the top, you are surrounded by monkeys! If you want to feed them (and you do), you go inside an enclosure and feed it to them through the wire screens, because they can be a little aggressive. So, it might look like that monkey I was feeding was in a cage, but I was the one in a cage! Even if you’re not a fan of monkeys, the view of Kyoto is stunning and worth the steep hike up the mountain.
After bidding adieu to our furry friends and singular foe – Bobby made eye contact with one of them and he was not happy about it – we found a spot by the water, where we sat and soaked up the sights. We had a spectacular tofu tasting dinner at Fujino, collapsed in our beds, and prepared for our day in Nara. Kyoto, you are quite the beauty. We can’t wait to return!