Must See Attractions in Kyoto

Kyoto can be an exhilarating place for new comers especially for those who desired to have a peek of old Japan..  But where to begin your exploration?  Being the historical core of Japan Kyoto is packed with traditional temples, garden, shrines and if you are lucky enough you  get to see a real life Geisha.  If you were to ask me, I’d say that Kyoto is the most satisfying destinations you can have when you go to Japan. I went there twice and I'm still hoping to go back there again, knowing that there are still places waiting for me to explore.

But what are the top must see attractions in Kyoto? I'm listing down mine based on the tourist spots I visited in Kyoto. I'm lucky to have Japanese friends to tour me around there 


The second place that I went to when I first went to Kyoto. One of Japan's best temples located in northwest Japan. The garden and buildings, centered on the golden pavilion were said to represent the pure land of Buddha in the world. Gold foil covers the upper two levels and a shining phoenix stands on top of the shingled roof. Walking around the golden pavilion lets me wonder what's life like there before.  You can see more of my Kinkaku-Ji post HERE

2. Fushimi Inari taisha 

Listed as one of the top attractions in Japan no doubt about that. It's such a magical place to disregard. I first learned about this beautiful man made wonder when I was watching the movie Memoirs of a Geisha  and It was out of curiosity that made me dream about this place forever that is until I finally came to see the place. I simply can't hold my happiness the second I stepped out of the train that day. You know that feeling that you were so excited you wanted to run, but you can't because your legs are too heavy? Too heavy from excitement that is hahaha. I'm having butterflies in my stomach, it's like finally seeing your first love for the first time! Walking around the shrine is like walking around gates after gates which it has literally over 32,000 Torii (gates in Japanese) and each gate were encrypted with names of local people and businesses who donated and paid for the construction of these Torii's The reddish-orange color represents the sun. The shrine is built in dedication to the god's of grains "Inari" (gods of abundant crop) hence the shrine is linked with success in business.

3. Arashiyama Bamboo Forest

Ahhh Arashiyama this place I would never forget It’s one those places that I’d wish to see over and over again.  The main reason why I wanted to go to Arashiyama is to see the bamboo forest, but never would I expect to fall head over heels in love with the place. Its lush vegetation and  the cool ambience it makes me want to inhabit the place. Walking around Arashiyama is like walking into another world  
The Bamboo forest which remains as the top sights in Kyoto, no doubt about that the gigantic arrays of bamboo will transport you into a different  world. 
One of the surprising thing you'll encounter along the streets of Arashiyama =)

3. Ninja Village

Ninja’s in Japan have evolved during the historic period of the samurai It has become one of the unsurpassed elements making Japan’s history and culture exceptional. We went to this so called Ninja Village in Kyoto, it’s a remarkable place with it’s truthfully ninja-rific structural designs, it’s like going back to the past. There is so much history and culture and yes, you get to see samurai warriors, real life geishas, ninjas and you can even watch a live ninja show. 

Overall, there are so many great sites to visit in Kyoto, try to taste the glory of the place. It is an adventure that must be taken.

4 Things Japan Taught Me

Those who loves to travel understand that when you travel you just don't explore the place, take beautiful pictures, meet other people and collect memories. But along with it are imperative lessons that you can only obtain through travelling. I'd say that travelling is the best education possible, a flight to the  magical world  that is still obscure to you. 
I am a neophyte to the world of travelling, I had my first international travel last March of 2015 and followed by my second trip last September. From the verdant, panoramic provinces of Thailand to the electrifying world of Japan left me to think where my next destination will be.

Today's post is all about the things Japan taught me.  Ahhh Japan my first love. Certainly, my undying love for this country is not to doubt for. If by chance I'm willing to pack my clothes again and fly back there. I'd say that life there is not all milk and honey  It has its ups and downs too. But who cares? If you're in love with something you will take the risks. I don’t know, but Japan gave me a different kind of adrenaline rush, everything about it amaze me. 
1. Biking - I put this on my top list basically because this is one of the most unforgettable memories in Japan. it's not because I get to experience my first bike ride but it's because of the lessons that comes with it. It was my first of everything. The humiliation, the struggle, the patience, the endurance, the determination, the joy of exploring the city on two wheels for the first time, the gentle breeze slapping your face making you feel so alive. And there are Countless times that I've hit rocks, garbage cans, street pillars and fellow bikers hahah and all those bruises on my legs,  the perfect proof of how terrible I am. But the lessons I learned form biking is worth all the struggle. Self reliance and the determination to stand up after a fall and continue to move forward are few of the lessons I've learned from it. 
2. Discipline - plays a huge part in Japanese culture in fact children are being taught and trained by their parents and in their schools about public behaviors and obeying public rules.  People who likely to succeed are people who chose to walk the painful hallway of discipline because they know their restrictions.
3. Age doesn't matter Japanese people are very hard working people. When I first came to Japan I am so amazed that old people are still working. It was way different in the Philippines you see. In the Philippines you can see old people sitting on porches chatting with their friends or playing cards. But in Japan, it's the other way around. Admit that there are certain times that I feel I have a lot of restrictions now, given that I am now in my early 30's. It's  just that life is more tangible  when you are in your 20's. The spirit seems to be full. Life is broad, But Japan, taught me that age is just a number. You shouldn’t let your dreams die and you must continue to walk in all aspects of your existence. The older you get the wiser and stronger you become.
4. Appreciation of the Past - the past plays an important role to who we are. It carries boundless ethics that can't be destroyed by time. We must learn to appreciate it no matter how agonizing and culpable it may be. Sometime that most painful thing in the past can become our biggest gem  tomorrow.

And last but not the least please let us Pray for Japan and the other countries who recently got hit by a catastrophe.  It's so sad to think but we cannot deny the fact that it's been chronicled in God's book - the Bible. As Matthew‬ 24:7 quoted "For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places." 

How about you? what are the most valuable lessons you have learned from your travels? Feel free to leave your thoughts and blog links. 

Fushimi Inari Taisha

Fushimi Inari Taisha is included in my Japan travel bucket. I went on daydreaming about this place when I first discovered it in the movie memoirs of a geisha. It’s the secluded ambience that draws me to it.  Kyoto is a bit far from where I am staying. From Itami I have to take 3 train rides going to Kyoto. But the best part is that Fushimi Inari is just right outside the Kyoto train station so you don't have to take another transpo to get there.

Truly, the place is so magical, the orange color is very luring it sits at the base of a mountain so you can expect a series of trails before reaching  the topmost part. But the fun part is because along the trail you'll get to see different small shrines including the famous Torii gates which leads to the inner and topmost shrine.

The Torii gates are the reason why I really yearn to see The Fushimi Inari Shrine. The gates date back to 711 A.D. These grounds also holds over 10,0000Torii gates! And touching them in real life are like touching a piece of Japan history. The writings on each gate is not actually an epitaph as what i thought it was but rather they are names of each company and organization giving thanks to their prosperity. So now it became a beautiful representation of Japan's past.

Top 20 Must Try Japanese Foods and Snacks

When you travel to other places you just don't explore the place, learn the culture and have a glimpse of the past. But part of it is the possibility of tasting the country's culinary cultures. Japan is rich in glorious food not just with sushi and bento but it boasts with  an enormous selection of food and not to mention the exquisite art that goes along with their cooking.   

I am no stranger to Japanese foods I had my first taste of the Nori when I was 8 yrs. old. Having an aunt residing in Japan we are blessed to have experienced Japan's culinary culture. But to finally be here in Japan and enjoy more of their foods at the end of my chopsticks further gave me a deeper appreciation of the country that is very dear to my heart. I guess the preeminent about travelling is of course  all the Food you get to eat. I on the other hand had gained much weight already hahaha but before I succumb with my gym guilt here are the top Japanese food I could recommend to you when you're planning to visit japan.

Kinkaku-ji - The Golden Pavilion

I've forever been enchanted with Japan, In fact it's on my top Travel Bucket List.  It's just that there is something with Japan that I honestly can't fathom why the country is really close to my heart.  Sometimes I told myself that perhaps I was a Japanese in my old life hahaha or maybe it's simply that there is something with Japanese culture that truly fascinates me. 
To finally travel here is an ultimate dream come true!.The truth is I never expected everything,  knowing the Japan is very rigid when it comes to approval and giving of visas. When I finally got mine I was ecstatic, that a week after a got my visa I flew to Japan. So here I am now enjoying everything Japan has to offer and for sure I have lots of post on cue about this amazing country!

I'm gonna debut my Japan adventure with my travel to Kyoto. The city that anyone could fall in love with. Kyoto is a little bit far from where I am staying but I wouldn't dare let the opportunity pass by by not going to this place. You see Kyoto is a memento of the ancient Japan, in there you will have a glimpse of  what life was like before with its old structures, shrines, temples and lush forest that  is truly enchanting.

Cafe Iloilo

For now I have to take a break from my Thailand post to give way to my Philippine post as I've noticed that my Philippine category is still empty hahahah. I've traveled in some places in the Philippines before but, that was years ago before I came across the word "blogging". But I really wish to go back to those places once again. Perhaps one of these days if my hectic schedule would allow.

Part of this blog, I'll mainly talk about food. Yes, my sis and I were constantly on the look out for gourmet destination. In fact, we have notebooks with us, we labeled as "Gourmet Bucket List"  So It's like I have my travel lists and I also have my Gourmet bucket lists.
The first place that I get to share is this cafe-resto called Cafe Iloilo it is situated  at La Fiesta Hotel, M.H del Pilar St. Molo
My cousins  and I had our dinner at this posh cafe resto and I can say that I love the place, The food is really good, the service crew are very accommodating and friendly. 
This chalk printed wall is just right for a one of kind OOTD shot hahaha Just excuse my haggard face but I wouldn't let it pass.
This is my favorite among the foods that we ordered it's called "rellenong Talong" or  stuffed eggplant but, this one is a mash version that looks more like a eggplant sisig to me. But it taste really good!
This one is a Chicken pesto pasta only ate a very small portion of this since I am not really a pasta person hahha
Molo Soup is a soup dish composed of  pork meat wrapped in wonton wrapper,  shrimps, chicken meat and etc. 
I ordered for this one.. yeah, I'm trying to be healthy at least hahha this is a mango chicken organic salad.  I enjoy the taste and It's not heavy on the stomach. 
I'll definitely gonna visit this place again ;) 
thanks for dropping by =)

The White Temple - Wat Rong Khun

If you are planning to have a vacation in Thailand then I suggest you also visit Chiang Rai Province it's a 1 hour and 20 mins flight from Bangkok.. I can assure you it's one place you would love to go back to because aside from the cool climate, it is rich in historical places both man made and natural. Exactly like this breathtaking Wat Rong Khun  or popularly known as The White Temple, it is designed and made by a local artist in Chiang Rai Chalermchai Kositpipat. 

Wat Rong Khun is composed of nine buildings, including this Ubosot (pictures below) who seems to glitter from afar. Ubosot is a building in a Buddhist way or the most holy place or ordination hall. Hence, tourists are advised to wear proper clothes. They provide "sarong" skirts for females wearing shorts, mini skirts and dresses. Cameras are not allowed inside the Ubosot too.
Before reaching the Ubosot you will pass a bridge over a lake they called "The Cycle of Rebirth" and at first you'll be distracted by popping hands that seem to be reaching but it actually symbolizes uncontrolled desires. And according to it that the only way to bliss is to distract yourself away from temptation, greed and desires. After you surpass the bridge you will reach the gate of heaven, which guarded by two creatures that represents death. And of course the Ubosot itself! I have no pictures of what's inside the upset because it is strictly forbidden, but inside you'll  find an uncanny picture, something you won't expect to see in a temple. The walls are painted with murals of flames and demon faces and pictures of Michael Jackson, Freddy Kruger, Ben ten, Angry birds, terminator, weapons of mass destruction and other destructive stuffs.