Saturday, May 17, 2014

Fernandezes in Japan: Kyoto

Before hopping in the train to Kyoto, I took one last look and marveled at Tokyo's modernity and the dynamic group of people. I found myself entertained just sitting by the train station. The fashion is quite interesting especially for the women. For men, not so much. hehe. I am flabbergasted on how these women can effortlessly walk so fast in their 4-5 inches heels. I wish I could too but my bunion definitely won't be in favor of it. hehe.

Off we whisk to Kyoto via Shinkansen which took us less than 3 hours. As soon as we arrived, we checked in at Grand Bach hotel near the station. It was newly opened so the rate was not too high. 

We asked for a list of restaurants around the area from the front desk and we found Tsujikawa, a restaurant that serves Beef Wagyu! Alan said, wagyu is a kind of meat that comes from cows that are stimulated to drink sake or beer for their fat becomes soft by doing so. I had to try it for myself and it was really soft and tender! We also got Menchi Katsu which was a different kind of Tonkatsu. It was deep fried breaded ground pork or sometimes beef. It was good but I like the one in Yabu Philippines better! hehehe. The room capacity and crew was limited so the service was very intimate. I believe there's only one chef and a server so the food came out as soon as it was cooked, hot and fresh. I remembered there was a party of more than 10 people who wanted to go in but they weren't welcomed unfortunately cos the chef couldn't accommodate them all. That's another thing I liked about the Japanese, they like quality vs. quantity. They wouldn't allow their workmanship to suffer just to earn money. They are perfectionists and they like to master their work really well. Even street food tastes so good!

After our nice dinner, we had a romantic stroll in downtown Kyoto and decided to grab some sweets and tea while talking about our plans for the future. I loved Japan's green tea latte of any kind so I drunk it whenever there's a chance. Then went back to our hotel and was delighted to find out that they serve free midnight snack. Kain na naman! lol. The hotel prepared ochazuke and drinks.

Our hotel has a public bath amenity so we decided to make use of it after eating. Public baths are aplenty in Japan and is a part of their culture so I was curious and wanted to go and experience it. Gosh tt was uncomfortable! hahaha. After 5 mins in the hot pool with nude women, I went back to our room and decided to shower privately instead. hehehe. 

The next day, we woke up early and went to see another world heritage, the Kinkakuji or Golden Pavilion. It was so breath taking! 

Then we met with 2 other couples in a Kimono rental shop called Yumeyakata by Gojo station. So happy to be reunited with my sister in-law Risa-chan and meet her boyfriend, Yuki-kun for the first time. Also, I was so glad to see Junki-kun again and meet her girlfriend Tomoyo-chan. It was a fun triple date!

It is a must to try out a kimono in Japan. Kimono is their national costume and most of the time worn on special occasions. The silk garments and the designs are gorgeous! However, it is heavy and uncomfortable. It is too hard to wear the kimono by yourself cos there were just too many layers so there were women who helped us wear them and they were serious in tying the strings on you and wrapping up the Obi (belt) tightly to make you look skinny. hahaha. I couldn't breathe. lol. However, it enhanced our posture so we walked the streets of Kyoto very much lady-like. hehe.

They allow you to wear the Kimono outside the shop for 6 hours so off we went to Gion for photo op in the shrines and had lunch. 


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