Japan 2.0: Kyoto’s Gion, Kamo riverside & Nishiki market

Kyoto - The cat, you and us

The first time we visited Kyoto we fell in love, and this second chance was the time to discover if our love was one of those at first sight that vanish quickly after the glow goes away, or in the contrary will evolve into a more profound relationship. In advance and to avoid any anticipation: it was the second.

You may be thinking, what is this crazy talking I have today with this post? Knowing that Kyoto was the most representative stop in our honeymoon will maybe explain it all. For this second trip we knew that somehow we had to squeeze a little stop in Kyoto (2 nights), and although we had most of the main highlights covered we still were missing some parts in the west like the popular Arashiyama (which we are going to share in a following post) and were also eager to walk around Gion & the river for a second time and eat at a some of its delicious izakaya.

We have already given this tip before, but since I think it won’t hurt to mention again here it goes: We think that the best part to stay in Kyoto is Gion. Usually guides praise the station because it helps with the bus transfers, but in our book nothing beats being able to enjoy Gion the first thing in the morning, when almost only locals are there, and also at night while being 5 minutes walking distance from your bed. Want to see how it looks like at those hours of the day? Walk with us!

Kyoto streets - The cat, you and us Kyoto street - The cat, you and us Traditional Japanese girls in Kyoto - The cat, you and us Sugidama dry brown ball in front of Japanese house - The cat, you and us

This is a Sugidama, a ball made out of cedar leaves. At the beginning of the sake season it is hanged up in front of a sake house while it is still green, when it turns brown it means the sake is all mature and ready to drink.

Kyoto canals - The cat, you and us

This canal is probably the most beautiful place in Gion!

Kyoto traditional couple - The cat, you and us

Awww the love! This gorgeous couple was so super cute we just had to ask them for a picture. I love the colors from their suits and how they look together.

Rickshaw - The cat, you and us Kyoto lovely area - The cat, you and us

I wasn’t wearing such a cute outfit as the couple above, but the color in his clothing and my dress do match, right?

Autumn leaves in Kyoto - The cat, you and us Autumn in Kyoto - The cat, you and us Japanese traditional girls - The cat, you and us

These two cute girls asked to take a picture together, thanks, it was my absolute pleasure!

Kyoto student girl with a face mask - The cat, you and us Japanese traditional girl - The cat, you and us

Gasp! the colors in her robes!

Kyoto walls - The cat, you and us Kyoto - The cat, you and us Maikos during daylight - The cat, you and us

Maikos in a photo session! I wonder if they use the pictures similar to a model’s book.

Japanese traditional girl - The cat, you and us Kyoto houses - The cat, you and us Yojiya Café - The cat, you and us

During the early afternoon we had a revitalizing tea with cakes at the Yojiya Café. Thanks to our obsession on reading as many blogs’ posts and seeing as many videos as possible during any trip planning stage (I do enjoy planning a lot!), we learnt that this café had a famous matcha latte & pastries that we shouldn’t miss for anything. The location was quite perfect for our day endeavours, and although the entrace may be a little hidden in a second floor, this doesn’t stop its popularity with locals. We were lucky that it was a weird hour to be in a café, but when we left we saw a queue waiting outside.

Yojiya Café - The cat, you and us Yojiya Café - The cat, you and us Yojiya Café - The cat, you and us

Fluffiest matcha pancakes ever, they were amazing!

Kyoto riverside - The cat, you and us Kyoto riverside - The cat, you and us

We recommend climbing down to the riverside if the weather is nice enough, going north you will be able to experience the Kamo River atmosphere while walking towards one of the entrances of Pontocho street, a must in every Gion tour. A part from couples, kiddos and groups of friends, we stumbled upon a live music group and a man with his rabbit pet.

Kyoto riverside - The cat, you and us Kyoto riverside - The cat, you and us Kyoto riverside - The cat, you and us Small Japanese rabbit - The cat, you and us Small Japanese rabbit - The cat, you and us Nishiki market - The cat, you and us

At the Nishiki market (a grocery market) we tried the Tako Tamago, an octopus with a quail egg in the head, served on a stick.

Nishiki market octopus - The cat, you and us

After our yummy octopus skew we still had room for more food and went to Kappa, an izakaya that has the water legend monster Kappa as its mascot, how can anyone go wrong with that name, right? *wink* Don’t look for anything fancy here but good food made out of super fresh ingredients in the most izakaya-looking place. We had the feeling we were just in one of those Midnight Stories (from Netflix) having dinner next to one too drunk elderly man and the most curious couple next to us. Do you also like eavesdropping when sharing tables? I can’t resist!

Kyoto at night Kappa Kyoto Restaurant

Do you spy the Kappa drawing on the wall? Cute!

Kappa Kyoto Restaurant Kappa Kyoto Restaurant

We were able to have the Osaka’s known deep-fried skewers called Kushikatsu here at Kappa. Shiitake and pumpkin, delicious!

Kappa Kyoto Restaurant Kappa Kyoto Restaurant Kyoto at night

Hope our love for Kyoto shows in these pictures and that you enjoy the Gion & River walk! We will be back with Arashiyama, be prepared for (more) river, bamboo and monkeys!

More of our Japan 2.0 adventures:
Tokyo – Part I: Shinjuku & Harajuku
Tokyo – DisneySea
Kamakura
Hakone and the Takuminoyado Yoshimatsu onsen
Osaka – Part I: Osaka Castle, Umeda views and Dotonbori at night
Himeji Castle (& the Hello Kitty café)
Osaka – Part II: Dotonbori, Namba temple and Den Den Town

7 Comments / 6 

  1. Nieves - 13th February 2017

    He disfrutado, parece como si fuera una película de la vida y costumbres, los paisajes, la gente, la comida. A Dàmaris la veo especialmente feliz. Me ha sacado una sonrisa la foto del conejo que llevan de paseo.

  2. Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's - 14th February 2017

    That first couple was sooo cute–they’re body positions and facial expressions!!! // So many beautiful robes everywhere :D // omgg that matcha latte art. those matcha pancakes. !!! // Definitely felt the love through your photos! -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • We reply...

      Aw thanks! So happy that the love shows :) How I would love a tiny bit of the matcha pancakes just right now, ha!

  3. Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's - 14th February 2017

    (also OMG that BUNNYYYY)

    • We reply...

      Hahahaha, I know! Also, I loved how very proud the bunny human parent was to walk him around while arousing so much interest <3

  4. Fiona - 18th February 2017

    Such incredible beautiful photos *gasp* the pops of red everywhere are beautiful and that has to be the prettiest matcha ever! Oh my gosh that bunny on the leash and I love love that izakaya, and seeing those pictures inside makes me think how perfectly Japan it all is!

  5. Nerissa Rahadian - 19th February 2017

    Oh my God your pictures look so lovely! I don’t know why but I can see myself smiling from ear to ear while looking through this post.

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