Japan: week 2

Continuing from my Japan: week 1 post, here is week 2! During our second week in Japan, Lily and I stayed 5 nights in Kyoto before leaving for Nara and Osaka. Kyoto was beautiful and I'm really glad that we stayed there for a longer period. It's a beautiful city surrounded by plenty of cultural richness and nature! I feel as if we did not even have time to explore the first layer of the city before we had to leave =[ but that just means we'll have to come back!
 
Because Kyoto is a fairly medium-sized city, Lily and I rented bikes from our hostel and biked to Nishiki food market. There is an underground bike parking and it was very high-tech : > Bikes were stacked onto racks which moved so you wouldn't bump a whole row of bikes down like dominoes! Very efficient!

We got there relatively early and all the shops were only starting to open. Lily and I had hoped to eat our breakfast here but while browsing the shops, we tasted many different types of snacks that by the end of our browsing, we weren't hungry anymore haha! This market intersects shopping streets (Teramachi, Kawaramachi) and once again we got lured into shopping! >____<

Japan surely is full of kawaiiiii-ness! Lily really wanted to buy these bunnies but we had decided that for our first trip, we'll shop carefully and that next time we come back, we'll buy EVERYTHING jaja!

Since we couldn't get the cute bunny, we got cute donuts instead! These were 300+ yen but they were huge and ADORABLE! ^o^ Yep, I'm totally a person who "wastes" money on cute food! I imagined the cute animals squeeaaall while I bit down into them BWUAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Infront of the famous minamiza kabuki theatre! Lily and I agreed that we would've liked to watch a performance but we'd probably not get a single thing and just end up sad LOL!

Tsukubai which is used to rinse mouth and hands in order to purify yourself at temples. Even though it was really cold, Lily rinsed her hands most of the time whereas I would just look at her and shudder >_> I'm a bad tourist!

One of the saddest thing: Lily and I did NOT see any geishas in Gion at all : C -CRIES-!!!! Apparently they are to be spotted around 4-6pm and many tourists reported seeing them easily. BLEH, I guess we were unlucky! We even tried to hunt for them but somehow ended up in a sketchy area with lotsa bars and guys smoking while running *it's counter-productive* HAHA!

In Gion at twilight : - )

Being a good tourist, we had to see the Kinkaku-ji, or the Golden Pavillion. Lily and I bought many luck charms for our friends and family. She spent over 5000 yen on charms!

 
We had a really fun Christmas party at our hostel where we met plenty of nice people! We hung out with Avery for the rest of our stay in Kyoto : D It's so nice to make new friends! On that particular day, we went to Arashiyama and the Bamboo Grove.

 
 
Super nice picture taken by Lily. The monkeys walked around freely and didn't really care about the people around them. They were also quite aggressive with each other and would just chase after one another and beat each other up : P

 
Feeding the monkeys was so fun! The big monkey didn't give the small monkey any of the apples or peanuts I fed him. When the small monkey reached for the food, the big monkey would take it and eat it : C But don't worry guys, I fend off the bigger monkey and fed the small monkey too!

 
The view from the top of Arashiyama was beautiful! 

 
Even the hike to the top was gorgeous and so peaceful, I could do this daily!

 
Tall as heck bamboos everywhere! Such a peaceful place to take a stroll, it was hugeeee too! 

 
We wanted to go to the Antique Market which was held every 26th of the month but unfortunately by the time we got there, most shops were closing. Only food stands were open so we decided to eat our supper there:

 
Lol I don't look pleased X-P In fact, I was trying to get some of the raw egg off the top of my okonomiyaki. It was yummy but cold : C I wanted something warm haha~

 
In Kyoto, we rented kimonos at a shop which I forgot the name >___<;; But in Kyoto, there are plenty of rental shops. Our whole set including kimono, jacket, accessories and hair ended up costing 4500 yen for a whole day! A splendid deal if you ask me! 

 
This was my kimono, I really liked the contrasting obi :-D It was so tight and I have a small bladder, so going to the washroom was quite a hassle >___< BUT I MANAGED TO COME OUT CLEAN BWUAHAHAHA >: D *beams proudly*

 
The following day, we ate at a really adorable cafe near our hostel. The entire menu was in Japanese so we took the only thing we could read: omurice haha! Before eating and before saying itadakimasu, we must ofcourse take a picture!

 
Went to the Fushimi Inari-taisha, it was gorgeous! Thousands of torii gates lining up to create a maze of red in a beautiful forest. The torii gates lead up to a mountain top where you can see another gorgeous view of Kyoto! It was quite an exercise climbing up the mountain but so worth it! I definitely recommend all you tourists to go climb to the top to catch the sunset and come down at night! Something which we didn't do but I imagine it would've been UBER COOL!

 
 
Our room was so cozy and we didn't want to leave the next day :-C Ahhh, Kyoto we'll be coming back for youuu!!!!

 
It was super cold, rainy and gloomy the day we arrived in Nara, the mood wasn't too good but after seeing the cute deer, we felt much happier! They just roam around the city, walking onto roads. We saw a poor deer limping on a road : C

 
Who wants a cracker??? 

 
Nara was really pretty too, it was much smaller than the other places but it felt cozy. We spent the rest of the day eating gummies from Daiso and some more desserts XP

 
Already the following day, we left for Osaka. Obligatory tourist picture at the Glico running man flashing neon sign!

 
At first, Lily and I wanted to go to a host club (darn you mangas and animes for making it sound less sketchy ) but once we saw these types of hosts outside trying to lure vulnerable girls into their clubs, we didn't feel like it anymore. LOOK AT THEIR HAIRRRRR >: O Not attractive at alll!!!

 
Instead, we went for some takoyaki! Takoyaki > hosts any day baby!

 
It was much mushier than the ones in Montreal so I wasn't used to the texture but the flavor was very rich :D YUMMY!

 
Gosh, Lily and I abusing purikura some more :P I think we have a total of 8-9 sets from our 3 weeks in Japan...

 
So other than eating, Osaka is famous for its shopping. Oh gosh, our wallets and suitcases cannot handle anymore >___>! I got a watch in Osaka because I kept asking Lily for the time so I felt bad. 

 
Traditional Japanese dessert set from one of the fancy mall complexes. Presentation is key people! 

 
OKONOMIYAKI AND YAKISOBA! MY FAVORITES >__________<!!!! UGH! I was craving okonomiyaki after I came back so me and my housemate attempted to make some. They were good but I miss yakisoba with my okonomiyaki TT___TT

 
AHHH THE BEST DONUTS MY TASTEBUDS HAVE EVER HAD THE JOY OF TASTING! Ichigo donuts from Hara's donuts TT____TT I had 3, I would've had more if we weren't gonna drink afterwards for New Year's Eve celebrations... ah the regret!

We spent our New Year's Eve in Osaka and went to Sumiyoshi-taisha shrine, they have a really famous bridge called the Soribashi. I just googled it now and it looks so nice TT__TT We should've returned there during the day when it wasn't as crowded! It was so crowded that we couldn't even enjoy it but at least we were happy to be together in Japan for the new year : ]