Julia dreams of Kyoto…
Our dream of coming to Kyoto came true!
Former capital of Japan is the place to be during sakura blossom.
Unfortunately we have stayed in Kyoto for only three days which was nowhere nearly enough. What also topped our experience was ryokan, a traditional Japanese house, that we had a pleasure and incredible difficulty to reserve. Cozy and extremely simple it was also comfortable.
Reserve places like our ryokan as soon as you know that you are coming to Japan. They get filled pretty fast especially during the blossoming season.
Hopefully, I am coming back to this truly authentic city again and soon.
Kyoto was so much different from Tokyo in every way. Extremely traditional, calm, non rushing, non pushing, and quiet it was almost serene. I think the rain during our stay was the only loud intruder. But even that did not spoil our fun.
The city is amazing for walking and enjoying the sights. Everywhere you go there is a beautifully manicured garden with blossoming trees, mini fountains, green moss and miniature statues of different spirits. It seemed that when people would finally leave the grounds there is another secret elf society that enjoys this mini universe.
What to pack/bring to Kyoto:
During Sakura season it is cold. The city is wet and as a result very humid. It rains almost non stop so be prepared. Waterproof everything.
Your shoes should be very comfortable because you are going to be doing a lot of walking up and down. There are lots of stairs, different pavements and bridges that make great photos. Don’t let blisters ruin it for you. Pack long socks because you are going to be cold in short ones.
At some point I bought the world’s most expensive rubber boots because I was fed up with wet feet (Face-palm..I know right….)
If you are renting a room in a traditional ryokan then nice, warm and comfortable pajamas is a good idea. Besides other people who will see you on the way to the bathroom and your room you will want to be warm and comfy at night sleeping in traditional tatami futons.
Ideally your jacket would have a hood as it does get windy and pretty miserable during the rain.
Hat and gloves. Rain and cold are the worst on hands and head.
Ear plugs and eye mask. Because walls are way too thin and windows might not offer full coverage from the sun/street.
You will take lots of pictures so looking somewhat presentable is a good idea. Check out this look I created for the perfect stylish photo to enjoy for years to come. A good idea is to wear all black so you stand out on all pictures in contrast to sakura trees, greenery and red temples. (don’t make my mistake above) I learned the hard way.
If you forgot something like umbrella you can always pick it up at 7/11 for 5$-6$. Our Ryokan and several hotels in Tokyo offered umbrellas for free during our stay which was very convenient.
If you need an emergency shopping hour to buy things like thermal underwear, sweaters, and everything I mentioned above then head to Uniqlo. This store has you covered with good quality basics at very affordable prices.
I personally love Uniqlo and shop there any chance I get.
Join my Instagram series for Kyoto fun facts! I am going to post some insider information along with our pictures. Say hello when you get there!
End of March through mid April it is the time to go to Kyoto. Don’t let the weather dictate your surroundings. Pack well and prepare accordingly. Enjoy your stay as it will be the most unforgettable experience!
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