Bon Traveler's Jessica Wright takes us on a photo journal adventure of her recent trip to Kyoto, Japan where she gives us the inside scoop about what to see as well as where to stay and dine at.
Even a full week doesn’t quite do Kyoto justice, especially when you consider there are over 1600 temples to explore in this sprawling city. Combine this with incredible food ranging from street vendors to fine dining, and you’ll never run out of things to do or places to eat. With a rich preservation of arts and history, Kyoto is a buzzing city to experience the best of Japanese culture.
Located on the quiet banks of the Kamogawa River, the luxurious hotel is a retreat amidst the city of Kyoto. The carefully decorated and rather spacious rooms and suites overlooking Higashiyama Mountain are the perfect place to escape to.
Don’t let the lines scare you away, as this quintessential-Kyoto cafe is well worth it. Warm toast with melting cheese, freshly brewed coffee, and a quaint space add to the charm. For those looking to take it to go, be sure to enquire about their picnic set to rent by the river.
There are many noodles to choose from in Japan and udon is one that cannot be missed. Head to Omen Noodle House for a traditional take on the noodles, set with a dipping broth and fresh vegetables to add on top.
It is the city of temples and many seem to be over packed with crowds, however this hidden one off the Philosopher’s Path seems to never be busy. The moss-soaked paths, with koi ponds and traditional architecture are sublime.
Get a taste of traditional Japanese dining at the high-end Kaiseki Mizuki inside the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. Course after course, with delicacies and fresh fish, seem to never end. Be sure to opt in for the sake tasting, especially if you want a crash course in the variety of sakes.
A blend of minimalism and outdoor space, the coffee culture is best found at Weekenders Coffee tucked in the back of a parking lot. Its unassuming location, hidden off the street, makes it a perfect afternoon stop.
Order Ramen From a Vending Machine at Ichiran Ramen
Order from a vending machine? Check. Sit at your own personal counter? Check. Never interact with a server and receive your ramen from behind a curtain? Check and check. This is Ichiran Ramen, an institution for slurping down noodles in a rich broth — the only decision is how spicy you want it.
Pickup a Japanese Knife and Get It Engraved at Aritsuga
Though there are plenty of Japanese goods to snag at the markets, one that is certain to stand out are the artisanal knifes at Aritsuga. Choose your blade (their expert team will guide you), and get it engraved.