The real Japan experience lies in the deeply engrained culture, history, and traditions. Kyoto is one of those magical places that you’ll never forget. It ranks highly on my list of places we’ve explored.
Sadly we only got to spend 3 days in Kyoto, but we jam-packed our days there and made the most of it.
Highlights of day 1;
To start off with, if you haven’t already booked your accommodation you should definitely stay at least one night at the family run Yachiyo Ryokan. They are so friendly and hospitable. They have an onsite onsen, which is a communal bath famous for the region.
They provide a special Kaiseki dinner upon request. It’s a very interesting experience and I recommend that everyone try at least once. All the ingredients are locally sourced and depend on season. Every meal that is served is a surprise as the menu changes every day according to what the chef wants to cook. You have no idea what to expect.
Marinated octopus in a light broth with seaweed and bamboo
A variety of fish with pickled vegetables
Stunning view of the garden and their cherry tree in bloom
While we were having our Kaiseki dinner at their onsite restaurant, the staff prepared our beds on the floor of our room. At traditional ryokans you would sleep on a bamboo mat on the floor. However, at this place they have comfy mattresses they roll out.
They also provide a sake happy hour. Bonus! They basically sharing a variety of sakes and all guests are welcome to try as many as they like. It was the perfect way to end a day in Kyoto.