I’m in such a good mood today (won Best Wardrobe Blogger at the VSA last night omg thanks everyone), and I’ve nothing better than this entry to cap off a productive work week. This won’t be my last Japan entry for the year though, as I’m invited to Tokyo for the second time this year for EMODA touchMe Collection S/S 2014 with an old friend, Malaysian blogger extraordinaire Cheesie (whom I haven’t seen since this shoot back in 2011!). I’ll also be flying to the US end of October! There is ALWAYS room for more travel entries, yes?
More than the shopping part, I’m more excited to geek out and take tons of photos of the fashion show. I was initially a photographer before I crossed over to personal style blogging, and I can never, ever give it up because it’s already a huge part of me. I feel like my photography has been getting rusty recently, but traveling never fails to refresh my mind and give me new ideas. Can’t wait!
Anyhow, here’s the second part of my Kyoto trip last April. The first part consisted of a half-day tour, while this is the other half of this Kyoto-Nara 1-day tour. Already posted a separate Nara entry to avoid confusion, and well, Kyoto has a special place in my heart and I wanted to drag it on to 3 parts if it were only possible.
No picture of me in this entry because I was too caught up taking pictures and the tour didn’t allow that much free time. This is why I rarely travel with organized tour groups with fixed itineraries. :(
One of my favorite pictures in this post. The bicycles look so light and they look like they’re floating.
First stop was Nijo Castle (二条城), built by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Period.
REAL NIGHTINGALE FLOORS, OMG. Across the Nightingale Floor a.k.a. Lian Hearn’s first book from the Tales of the Otori triology was pretty much my favorite book way back when I was in highschool. I convinced my younger brother to read the trilogy as well so when we were told that this place had nightingale floors, we totes freaked out.
Nightingale floors are called such because they squeak if someone steps on them (thanks to a few screws), thus being an effective way to detect intruders. Only expert ninjas can probably get away with it without the floor “singing”. We were able to pass through a whole corridor with nightingale floors, and they really sounded like chirping birds.
Ninomaru Palace, the residence and office of the shogun during his visits to Kyoto.
O hai there! Thanks for posing for my picture!
A little traffic on our way to our next destination, so I managed to get a few shots from the bus window. Stalking skills level up~
Love the colors in this one. Autumn feel even if this was taken in spring.
Second visit to Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺) or Golden Pavilion, and it still looks amazeballs! I’ve always visited Kyoto around this time of the year, but I’m so curious what it would look like during fall with the autumn foliage, and during winter with all the snow.
I can easily google photos but being there is a totally different experience.
Kyoto Imperial Palace (京都御所) for the first time. This was the former residence of the Emperor of Japan until 1869, when the capital was moved to Tokyo. This place is super strict - you need to have a large tour group with you or else you can’t go in. You also cannot drift away from your group for some reason, so it was quite hard for me to take pictures.
So clean. Looks too perfect to be true.
Fine spring weather!
The most important part of the palace. Through Jomeimon Gate is the Shishinden or the Hall of State Ceremonies.
Emperors Taisho and Showa’s enthronement ceremonies were held here.
These details are everything.
Time to leave Kyoto for Nara for a while! In the background you can see those cool riverbanks where students usually hang out. Well, I’m not sure if they actually hang out here but at least they always do in manga/anime/J-dramas, lol.
Snapped this from the bus window on the way to Nara. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think this is Ninna-ji temple? Really wanted to check this place out but we only had limited time!
One day, I’ll go to Kyoto during fall. I’ll definitely make it happen because I’ve already been here twice and I still can’t get enough. I feel like there are so many places to see and temples to visit and take pictures of. I’m such a history geek and I love being able to experience passing through the exact same corridors as some of the greatest people who ever lived.
Nara tour done! You can check it out here.
Now we’re back in Kyoto! This was our last night so we decided to just check out the areas near the Kyoto Station. This one is a department store called Avanti.
First stop, RIENDA! I’m honestly not too fond of their current A/W 13 collection, but their S/S 13 collection was, imo, their best collection to date. I blogged about it here.
Reminds me of my old hair! Long and brown with bangs. On one side of the store, they were selling really pretty lingerie too but I’m partial to practical ones like strapless bandeaus, lol.
Yes, nothing can beat moussy. Blogged about this brand here.
First time I didn’t buy anything from Cecil McBee! I prefer their A/W stuff in general.
Spotted, pretty Jun Hasegawa modeling Baby-G. She cut hair super short now and she looks better than ever. Of course, I’m biased because I have short hair too, lol.
Multi-colored kicks at huge discounts! Very K-pop style! These reminded me so much of Crissey, especially the pink ones.
Long tour day ended with a wonderful dinner at Morita-Ya. It’s on the 11th floor of Isetan in Kyoto Station.
Beef that melts in your mouth! We were also seated beside a huge window with a great night view of Kyoto. Must go back. Trips to Kyoto seem to get better every time.
First part of my Kyoto trip is here! I really love Kyoto from the bottom of my heart, and wanted to save these posts for last, but I apologize if it took longer than expected! Originally planned for the two parts to go up last month, but couldn’t as I was suddenly swamped with work (for the secret project I keep mentioning). Now that it’s almost over, I can finally concentrate on this without my mind going blank in the middle of typing! I’m also bound for Hong Kong in a few days, so might as well bump this off my list of pending posts.
First things first. Japanese-style burger thing! With egg and mushrooms, two out of three of my food faves. The third one is cheese, of course!
The ultimate breakfast for me is an omelette with loads of cheese and mushrooms. This is why my cholesterol is high.
Coffee time! I love how they sell “honey latte” everywhere in Japan! I wonder if there’s any cafe here in Manila that offers the same-ish taste, because I really miss it a lot! Or maybe I should just try making my own?
I am really convinced that luck is never on my side while traveling. It ALWAYS rains. Even if I check the weather the week before and the forecast turns out good, it still ends up raining.
Looks like two pictures I cut in half and put together, but this is an actual wall. The shuriken or origami-ish print is glorious and wish we had remotely similar minimalist MMDA art along EDSA.
First stop was Heian Shrine. I’ve been to Kyoto before but somehow missed this place. Better late than never!
Jidai Matsuri, one of Kyoto’s three main festivals, ends in Heian Shrine.
Garden than takes up about half the whole land area of the the shrine. Still beautiful even if it was raining so hard. I actually think it even contributed to this ethereal and unreal photo effect.
Can you imagine having a garden like this? Looks straight out of a movie! Kyoto is so photogenic, anyone can print their photos out and pass them off as legit postcards.
The lake at Heian Shrine.
Obviously, I made all the green in this post more like yellow-green through post-processing! Sorry I’m not sorry!
Doesn’t matter if my shoes got ruined trekking through all the mud and rain puddles. These pictures made it so worth it.
Bunch of school boys feeding the fish.
I did not ask them to arrange themselves by height.
Me and my denim + floral print spring outfit. Tights weren’t originally part of the plan, but the rain made the temperature lower than expected. They protected my legs from all the cold rain, sand and mud! It helps to always pack a pair of black tights in your luggage for emergencies like this one.
Giggled with my brothers because our geekiness kicked in all at the same time at the first sight of PORTAL. It must be a portal to another dimension! 8D
Next stop was Sanjusangendo Hall! First time to visit this place too, and I can’t believe I missed it the first time I went to Kyoto. In a nutshell, it is a wooden hall housing all of 1,001 statues of Kannon, Bodhisattva. YOU HAVE TO VISIT THIS PLACE!
It was such a shame it was forbidden to take pictures inside the hall. From what I’ve observed so far, places where you need to take your shoes off are places too sacred to take pictures of.
Kiyomizu Temple for the second time! Spot my brother Juju wearing bright yellow pants that pretty much photo-bombed all of my pictures, rendering them almost useless! So out of place, lol.
They say that if you can lift this metal rod, you are strong and worthy enough to protect the temple.
Omikuji or paper fortunes. You tie it up like this if you get a bad one so the fortune won’t follow you. You can keep it in your bag or wallet if you get a good one!
One of my favorite pictures! Thank God it was raining that day or this wouldn’t have looked as dramatic.
My dream is to be able to visit this place in fall! I can only imagine how magical this would look like with all the red/orange foliage.
Not a single nail was used for this structure.
"To jump off the stage at Kiyomizu" is a popular saying that means "to take the plunge", and people used to believe that literally jumping 13 meters down and surviving can grant you a wish! Of course, this has long been prohibited! Too freaky!
Torii of Jishu-jinja, a matchmaking shrine. If you don’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend yet, you can try the love stone challenge! Basically, there are two stones that are 6 feet apart, and you have to get from one side to the other with your eyes closed. If you succeed, true love will find you!
Her bright pink outfit stood out so much. Loved it so I used my ninja photo-taking skills again.
See any familiar bands?
Shopping area for souvenirs at the end of the tour.
Back at Kyoto Station, I chanced upon this girl who seemed to be waiting for me to take a picture of her. Or not. Only in my dreams.
I loved her pastel leopard print scarf and bright red phone case! Stalking skills level 99 has been demonstrated once more~
OMG OUR DINNER WAS MADE OF HUMAN FLESH
They meant “fresh”, lol
Kyoto Tower at night. I wasn’t able to go up the tower but hopefully I can visit Kyoto again soon!
Upon arriving at this station for the first time 4 years ago, my jaw dropped. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I couldn’t believe how it’s even possible for a station to be this pretty.
Now you know why they always have the nicest backgrounds and architectural designs in anime, manga and video games. Because they also have the nicest places IRL!
I’ve often wondered how it would be like to be a kid in Japan. You just kind of get used to a certain standard of beauty, I guess? Art is everywhere. And beautiful art at that. Once you are born, you are exposed to all sorts of pretty.
Don’t get me started on how their packaging is always FLAWLESS.
Steps somewhere in the station. There was some sort of light show happening when I took this picture, and I had to wait at this angle to be able to view it properly. Simple but nifty! Won’t spoil it for you guys, so you can check it out for yourselves if you go to Kyoto.
If you go all the way up, you can find yourself at a really dark area where there are a lot of couples hanging out / cuddling / I don’t know, lolololol
Part two coming soon!
If anyone is interested, I booked this Kyoto Afternoon Tour. It was okay. Just a bit rushed. Couldn’t really pick up a lot of info because there were like 40 other people in the tour (and I’m used to touring around on my own / with my family), but the Sanjusangendo bit made it worthwhile. I don’t think you’ll be able to enjoy it as much if you go on your own without someone explaining the whole story behind the 1,001 statues. I don’t remember any English guides in the place.
April was the time when I went to Osaka, Kyoto and Nara, but for some reason I didn’t really bother documenting other stuff that happened during the rest of the month. But I took a ton of pictures of food, which officially makes April my ultimate pig-out month so far. Even in Japan, I was eating like every 3 hours or so, lol.
My IG is @tgosingtian btw!
1) Obligatory selfie to start this post! What’s Instagram without annoying selfies?
2) My favorite salad from La Creperie. IT HAS EGG AND BACON. NOM
3) Nachos from Friday’s because le boyfriend loves nachos in general and could probably eat them everyday.
4) Ramen at Kichitora of Tokyo
5) Apple pie, most chocolate cake, black sesame and salted caramel ice cream!
6) I can’t remember what happened during this day but all I know is that I ordered pizza. And it was good.
7) Sleepy dog! (Follow Bailey on IG @mybebebailey)
8) Massive Hiroshima Oysters at Marufuku!
9) This was just 2 months ago when Bailey was still sooo small! Now she is 36 pounds or so!
10) Thanks to @crownedvelvet on IG for these cases!
11) Le Bunny Bleu is finally in Manila thanks to Yhansy!
12) Wonderful dinner at TWG. Spinach Fettuccini and TWG Tea Salad.
13) Macarons in all colors! At TWG
14) The most adorable nail polish, thanks to Rin of Luscious Closet (@lusciouscloset on IG)
15) My cousin Gilainne got married! <3
16) Flowers for the bridesmaids and sponsors
17) Took this picture of her right after she got ready! Blooming!
18) With her new husband Justin! Congratulations guys!
19) Touchdown Osaka!
20) Had okonomiyaki as my first meal as soon as I landed in the airport.
21) Osaka Castle!
22) Buy all the lashes in Japan! (I have a fear of running out of false lashes for some reason so I tend to splurge on a lot whenever I can)
23) Selfie! Pink cheeks and pink lips!
24) Make-up close-up.
25) Yummy beef at Morita-ya in Kyoto.
28) My last meal in Osaka, huhu.
29) Wore my Casio Sheen watch at the airport. Got it from Time Depot.
30) Thanks to Mariah of @bluedotpastries on IG for the cupcakes!
31) Went to Starbucks and the barista put this smiley on my drink! Cute!
32) My own pair from the new Keds x Taylor Swift collection! Thanks @KedsPH on IG!
33) Summer feel selfie!
34) Got these goodies from Kate Spade Saturday in Japan! Huu, I wish they’d open in other parts of Asia too. ;_;
35) WOODCEPTION! I got this iPhone case for my boyfriend somewhere in Shinsaibashi. Made from real wood! :D