My Honeymoon Adventure – Part IV (final)

December 5, 2011 at 12:18 pm 2 comments

If you haven’t read parts I, II, or III, you can read them here: Part I, Part II, Part III.

On day seven of our trip, we checked out of our hotel in Osaka, and went back to Kyoto for the day.

Our first stop, was the shrine, Fushimi Inari Taisha. If you ever visit Kyoto, it’s a must see. It’s famous for the hundreds (if not thousands) of tori gates that create a tunnel covering the path. The path starts near the base of the mountain where the shrine is and goes into the woods and quite high up into the mountains (image thousands of stairs and that’s about what it’s like). There’s a lot of little shrines along the way covered with little tiny tori gates, so it’s a really interesting and beautiful place to visit.

This was near the beginning of the path, before the stairs started…

Hisa underneath the tori gates.

In some places the path split.

A few hours later, we’d climbed to the peak, climbed back down the mountain, left the shrine, and found ourselves in need of some lunch. We found a little inari-zushi restaurant as we were walking, and  decided to eat there.

Hisa had the inari-zushi. It looked really good.

I had the unagi-don (grilled eel on steamed rice), because as I’ve mentioned before, I loooove unagi. Interesting tidbit, usually when you order unagi-don in a restaurant in Japan, serve it with soup with the heart of the unagi in it (in the left on the picture). It doesn’t really have so much taste, but it kinda weirds me out a little none-the-less. I usually eat it as quick as possible try not to think about it too much. Then I can enjoy the unagi-don to my hearts content.

As we were eating, we discovered that the restaurant had been there since 1542. Yes, 1542. I’m used to seeing restaurants with signs that say, “Since 1955” or for some brands, “Since 1882,” but this was my first time to see a “Since 1542” sign. Welcome to Japan.

After lunch, we took a taxi to nearby Kiyomizu-dera (a famous temple in Kyoto). You can’t actually drive right up to the temple, because there’s only one little street leading up to the temple lined with souvenir shops and a few food places, and it’s jam-packed with tourists at any given day of the year.

This was my second time to visit the temple, but  my first time to visit it during the autumn leaves season. The momiji trees were at their peak and so beautiful.

Near the entrance of Kiyomizu-dera.

Maiko-san (not to be confused with geisha). This something you can only see in Kyoto.

For a quick lesson: Maiko are apprentice geisha (usually girls in their teens). You can distinguish them by the famous white make-up, elaborate hair pieces, and bright kimono with the long sleeves (called furisode). Once a maiko becomes a geisha, she will usually continue to wear the heavy white make-up for three years, and once she’s been a geisha for three years, she’ll usually switch to normal make-up (i.e. no white face, red lips make-up), kimonos of a more subdued style, and wear here hair in a simple style (usually a bun). Sometimes women that have been geisha for over three years will wear the white make-up for special events, but not that often, and not everyday like maiko. Geisha is Kyoto refer to themselves as Geiko, not geisha. And no, geisha/maiko/geiko are not prostitutes. 🙂

Here I am in the main part of the temple with the trees on the side of the mountain (the temple is located on the side of a mountain) behind me.


The leaves were so beautiful!

This is the main part of the temple where I was previously standing. This is also the famous view of Kiyomizu-dera. You can buy postcards and pictures of the temple from this view.

After leaving the temple, we walked through the old-fashioned streets full of souvenir, traditional craft, and food shops.

Eventually, we ended up Gion, the famous geisha district, where we ran into…

More Maiko-san! They were kind enough to let me take their picture before they continued on their way. Being a Maiko in Kyoto is like being a celebrity. Everywhere they go people stop them (Japanese and foreigners alike) and ask to take their picture. They’re so pretty though, how can one resist taking their picture? Notice their fall-themed kimono with the autumn colored maple leaves on them.

Eventually, we ended up back at the Kawaramachi area after dark, so we headed back to Kyoto station, got our luggage, and took a train to Nagoya. From there we took a shuttle to our hotel right next to Nagoya Castle.

Since it was the last night of our trip, we decided to stay at a really nice hotel, and boy, was it a nice hotel! Upon our arrival, the attendants at the doors of the hotel were wearing long-tailed coats and top hats, and before we finished stepping off the bus, they had our luggage in hand and escorted us to the front desk. After we’d checked in, another hotel employee escorted us (and our baggage) to our room  where she placed our baggage and showed us how to work everything in the room. We were on the Executive floor, and we even had our own club/lounge only for people on our floor. It was pretty cool!

Here I am on the chair couch thing in front of the elevator on our floor acting silly cool.

For dinner, we were too exhausted to go anywhere, so we decided to eat in one of the (many) hotel restaurants. It was buffet style, but the fanciest buffet I’ve ever been to! There was a chef making grilled steaks to order (most tender steak ever!), and some of the foods on the buffet were things like baked salmon with sweet potato gnocchi and red wine sauce. Yum. Because the restaurant was very dimly lit, and I don’t like using my camera flash in fancy restaurants, I didn’t get any pictures, but trust me, it was delicious.

After dinner, we went back to our rooms and with bellies full of fancy delicious food, we went to sleep on our fancy beds in our fancy room.

The next morning, we had a lovely breakfast at the hotel restaurant (they had blueberry and orange pancakes sprinkled with cinnamon!! Wheee!!), while admiring the view of Nagoya Castle.

After breakfast, we walked over to Nagoya Castle, and looked around the Castle grounds and inside the castle. Unfortunately, this castle was also destroyed by American bombers in WWII (boy, we sure destroyed a lot of priceless historical wonders), so after being re-built, the inside of the castle was more like a museum than a castle (similar to Hiroshima Castle). It was still interesting to see though.

Here’s the castle seen from across the moat.

The castle scene from close up.

Why Castle, what big walls you have! All the better to defend against enemies, my dear!

This was on display inside the castle. This was the palanquin that Tokugawa, the shogun, used to ride around in. If you look, you can see the Tokugawa family crest all over it.

After leaving the castle, we headed back to our hotel, where we checked out and took a shuttle back to the station. From there, we began the long trip home.

Despite both of us catching colds, and a looooooot of walking, Hisa and I both had a great time on our trip. I was also happy to get to see more of Japan before we leave. I hope you enjoyed reading about our trip!

Tomorrow we’ll be flying back to the U.S., so we have to pack today and cancel our cell phones. Next time I post, I’ll be back in the states in Oklahoma. I heard it’s really cold…

I’ll see you on the other side!


Entry filed under: Japan, Life, Travel. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

Yakiniku – Grilled Meat Japanese Style Menu Plan Monday for Dec. 19 – 25

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Clyo Beck  |  February 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your honeymoon pictures of Japan. I really enjoyed them, especially those of the temples and autumn leaves.

    Also loved the photos of all the delectable food. That boat lit with Christmas lights is also very pretty. And, yes, I think your husband looks very cute wearing Shrek ears.

    In case you’re interested, I came to your site via this path:

    A Facebook friend posted a comment about Pinterest which she had just joined. I clicked on her link to check Pinterest out, and saw a picture of a cheesecake. Clicked on that link and was brought to your Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe (which I have printed out).

    Once on A Cup Of Flour (cute name, BTW), I checked out a couple of your other food posts and discovered your honeymoon photos.

    Again, thanks for the photos and commentary. I’ve never really had an urge to visit Japan because I like to learn a bit of the language of a country before I visit, and I’ve felt daunted by Japanese.

    Now I’m thinking that, even though the only Japanese word I can say is “unagi” (and with a bad accent), and that it’s clear to me that I will never be able to read signage, I’d like to visit Japan. So thanks for opening my mind to it.

    Congratulations on your marriage. Looks like your husband is a sweetheart.

    Wishing you a lifetime of happy years together. ~ Clyo

    • 2. rueki86  |  February 11, 2012 at 10:04 pm

      Thank you so much for your comment! I’m thrilled to have opened you to the idea of visiting Japan! It really is a wonderful country! The history, culture, and (of course!) food are unique and wonderful. For the most part the people are very kind, polite, and helpful (every time I’ve gotten lost in Japan, some stranger has appeared to help me in English). It’s also an extremely safe country, which makes traveling very low-stress. A huge number of tourists visit Japan every year, and the majority of them don’t speak Japanese, so you really can get by without it.
      I truly hope you have the opportunity to visit Japan someday, and I’m so glad you enjoyed my pictures!
      Your comment just made my day! 🙂


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About Me

My name is Rachel. I'm a small-town girl born and raised in Oklahoma, currently living in Japan, who likes cooking, baking, reading, working out, and traveling. Join me in my culinary adventures, my domestic doings, and the story of my life, one day at a time.

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