Japan: Day 1 at Kiyomizu-dera of Kyoto

 

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The flight was a long one over - We flew straight in from Atlanta to Tokyo and then took a train to Kyoto...and we spent over 24 hours awake I think. I don't really remember much that night when we arrived other than my luggage felt like it weighed a million pounds, taking a bath and passing out. 

The next morning we got breakfast in the hotel and I drank a TON of coffee!! (I needed all the fuel I could get!) After breakfast we set out for adventure - our major destination was the Kiyomizu-dera temple and possibly checking out a shop I wanted to visit if we had the energy. 

  

 

We walked along Gojo-dori from our hotel to the temple and saw so many interesting things along the way. It was such a beautiful and relaxing walk despite feeling tired from jet lag. Along the way we stopped at a few places to take photos and look around. Unfortunately, I don't know the names of the little places we came across but they were lovely to look at regardless.

 

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Walking up the hill to Kiyomizu-dera... The view was beautiful when we got up to the top and there were so many people!! While we were there a group of school girls interviewed us for their english project. They asked us where we were from, what we were visiting for, what we liked about Japan and what we looked forward to. I think I told them I was really excited to go shopping for cute things which they found funny. ;)

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Tiny figures from Kyoto

After checking out the temple we walked further into Gion and stopped in a few shops along the way where Chris bought me the cutest figurines! I don't have a picture from that day, but it was a little mochi-like bunny and a tiny shrimp bowl... I think they are Styrofoam covered in fabric, and the bottom is rounded so you can push them and they rock back and forth. I loved them so much it inspired me to paint!

Kyoto bunnies

We continued walking and looking at cute stuff (check out those cat clocks below!! So many kitschy cute things like this.) until we got to Yasaka Shrine where we stopped to get meat skewers and look at our map for possible next destinations. 

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We decided to walk down Shijo-dori and attempt to find the clothing shop I was interested in. We stopped in a McDonald's at Chris's request for lunch and I even ran into a cute character along the way! He was the mascot for the Kyoto Gion Udon Museum near by. 

 

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Finding the shop proved to be pretty difficult and we went in many shopping centers while on the hunt, but none seemed to have the store we were looking for. It wasn't so bad though - it gave us an excuse to check out a few interesting shops we probably wouldn't have looked at otherwise. Above is a fancy Lush cosmetics store - isn't it super cool?! I didn't go inside because we have plenty of Lush stores where I live, but I love the exterior of it so much!! It reminds me of a Studio Ghibli place! You can see it better in this video someone uploaded.

 

Kyoto cell phone pics

 

We eventually found the store, which I discovered was called "Enfant". (I only knew an address, not a name!) They carry Emily Temple Cute, Milk, Katie and a few other cutesy alternative brands. I originally found it on Milk's shop list and went there to get a few of their items, but I ended up leaving with stuff other than that and learned about a few new brands that make great stuff! It was such a fun experience shopping there because it was a very small and intimate store and the girls that ran it were so nice! We chatted a bit about clothes and accessories (all of us loved Q-Pot) and they gave me a ton of freebies after learning I was a fan of Milk! Once I was done at the shop we headed back to the hotel.

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When we got back to the hotel we unpacked, relaxed for a bit watching the sunset from our room window and then headed out for dinner and beers at Bungalow Gastropub

 

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I'm not a big beer drinker but I tried two different kinds while there and they were super delish!! I ended up getting pretty tipsy (it doesn't take much lol) and stopped in a convenience store to buy eyeshadow on the way home. I rarely buy make up so I was surprised I did this, but the next day I discovered my beer-fueled purchase was actually pretty good! Very sparkly neutrals from Shiseido. I think after that we watched tv for a bit and then passed out. It was a long and exciting day!!

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Many photos in this post were taken by my boyfriend, Chris.

You can see more of his photos here!

 

Stay tuned for day two coming next week around Friday!