After visiting Tokyo and Shimane prefecture, my trip continued to Kyoto, a place that I’m always keen on returning to. However this time, my coming to Kyoto didn’t happen without some problems…
While still in Tokyo, I learnt only one day in advance, that my flight to Osaka got cancelled and I had to organize another way of going to Kyoto quite fast. By the way guys, beware of flying with Star Flyer - in case of cancellation they just prefer to not inform their customers about what’s next. The easiest option was to take a Shinkansen directly to Kyoto and indeed, it turned out to be the best way to deal with the whole situation. With only one drawback, being that train tickets really hit right in the wallet, if you don’t have a JR pass (count around 230€ for a return trip Tokyo->Kyoto).
Once in Kyoto, I had the chance to recover a lil’ bit from my troubles with cancelled flights (my flight back to Paris got cancelled too in the meantime…) thanks to the most lovely stay at Junei Hotel. This tiny hotel (there are only 8 rooms) located quite near the Nijo Castle, made me feel like at home thanks to the most wonderful and caring staff and many facilities too.
I really enjoyed my room with all pretty details and its perfect mix of modern design and traditional, Japanese elegance.
I was thrilled to start the next day with a delicious, 100% vegan breakfast - actually the first one, fully vegan meal that I’ve ever tried. To make it more fun, there were 3 different breakfast sets to choose from. Here’re some photos just to show you how difficult the choice was ;)
For those who might ask about some fish, visible on those photos - mind you! These are all tomatoes and other veggies :D
After this crazy good beginning, I set off for some really cool visits that Junei arranged for me, starting with Shisendo Temple and Enko-ji Temple. Both very beautiful, not crowded at all and totally worth visiting.
Around noon I headed to a village in the mountainous area, north of Kyoto, to get a quick look at Kifune-jinja shrine and to be just on time for lunch at a riverside restaurant in Kibune.
The after-lunch schedule made me very excited, as Junei Hotel made it possible for me to visit the quite famous Katsura Imperial Villa. You might not know that, but this place is so hard to visit, as you have to apply for a ticket around 2 months in advance and you never know if you’ll get it or not. In spite of coming to Kyoto a few times already, I’ve never managed to go to Villa Katsura and I was beyond happy that I finally got an opportunity to visit it.
The Villa turned out to be just as beautiful as I imagined and its gardens are a true masterpiece. I only wish that the visit would last more than just one hour that was really not enough to fully enjoy this exceptional place.
After such an eventful day and a dinner with friends, I was more than happy to be back at Junei and to discover a little surprise waiting for me in the bathroom.
There’s no better way to end the day than bubbles, roses and a hot bath
The rest of the stay continued in my favorite area in Kyoto - Gion - as I managed to rent an apartment just a few minutes by foot from Kiyomizu Dera temple. A perfect location to shoot on the streets and visit some of my favorite places: Heian Shrine, Yasaka Jinja, Tofuku-ji and many others.
As you might notice, the aura was so rainy almost all the time, that sometimes I just focused on shooting umbrellas ;)
Being pretty much worried about my flight back to Paris that was cancelled too, I’m not quite sure if I managed to enjoy my stay to the fullest. Still, I tried to take as much photos as possible in some of the most charming places in Kyoto, such as the tiny Ponto-cho street.
Until next time Japan! I already miss you :)