Japan Diaries 2: Day 4

Day 4 May 20, 2018

Kyoto Adventure (Day 1)

Since our arrival in Japan, the weather seems to be supporting us in our plans. A month ago, I was a bit hesitant to book a place to stay in Kyoto and to pursue our long-time plan to tour it, as my wife's friends there have been consistently telling us that it was very rainy in Japan for the past weeks. Well, it was a gamble alright, but listening to the weather forecast for today on the radio has brought me comfort and assurance that today is a great day to explore Kyoto City. 

Off to Kyoto City

We were honored to hear that we will be accompanied by Mr. Toshi and his wife Ms. Taeko. Although our check-in time in our Airbnb residence was still 2PM, we still left Tsubasaogaka very early so that our day won't be wasted. He asked me if there is a particular place that I wanted to see in Kyoto City. Given this opportunity to bond with our godparents, I picked Daigoji

First stop... Daigoji

Time to visit the Sanboin Area

Checking out the garden of Daigoji

Gotta love the scenic garden of the temple

Refreshment time!

I chose Daigoji because it's surrounded by nature and is one of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Kyoto. Aside from that, it is a destination that is not commonly visited by tourists (something that Mr. Toshi and Ms. Taeko would surely enjoy) as it is not in the route of the loop buses. True enough, there were more big trees than tourists and pilgrims in Daigoji when we arrived. 

Posing at Daigoji's  Nio-mon

Then there's the family picture... #TeamNicerio

It was here that Mr. Toshi introduced to me the goshuin or the act of collecting temple stamps. I bought a goshuin-cho  (temple stamp book) with a beautiful Daigoji pagoda design which is worth 1700 yen. A goshuin-cho won't be complete without a temple stamp so I had Daigoji's stamp as my very first stamp. 

Our trip won't be complete without a photo with our Japanese family

Daigoji's Goju-no-to

We strolled eastward inside the vast temple vicinity of Daigoji. Fifty meters or so after passing through the Saidaimon (a very large torii gate)  we finally reached the most famous infrastructure of the temple... the five-story pagoda which is locally known as the Goju-no-to.

The Daikodo

Inside the Daikodo Hall

After taking plenty of pictures, we continued our stroll until we reached the Daikodo Hall. I wasted no time and had my goshuin there as well. We were quite hungry after visiting the hall so we looked for a nearby restaurant or food stall. Luckily, there was one nearby... Restaurant Juan. I thought it offers Filipino dishes due to its very Filipino name but was surprised to find out that it was the "most Japanese" restaurant that I have ever eaten in Japan so far. You can check out the pictures below. 

Inside Restaurant Juan

My lunch for today - cold soba noodles and pumpkin tempura 

The picturesque Bentendo

A closer look at the Bentendo

Outside the restaurant is another picturesque part of the temple complex which is the Bentendo. After taking photos of it and with it, we walked back to the parking lot which is probably a kilometer or more away. However, before we reached the parking lot, we had a little side trip to the souvenir shop to buy some souvenirs and try out the sakura and matcha flavored ice cream. 

Sakura Ice cream anyone?

Mr. Toshi then drove us to our Airbnb residence at Higashikujo Minamikarasumacho Minami-ku in Kyoto City so that we could check-in and drop our bags. The place is wonderful. It is spacious, clean and best of all it is walking distance away from a train station and a convenience store. 

Our home for the week...

Our day did not end there though, after resting for a bit, we drove to Ninenzaka to check out the Edo Style Starbucks which was also the first tatami style Starbucks branch that was incorporated in a 100-year-old townhouse. We treated our godparents with coffee as a sign of gratitude for the time and company that they gave us. I also got to buy a Kyoto City tumbler for my collection and a Kyoto City Starbucks card for my sister.

Strolled a bit in Ninenzaka

Finally! The first Tatami style Starbucks!

It seems like Ella wants more adventures!

Mr. Toshi wanted to bring us to more places after our coffee bonding but we declined due to the fact that it was already late in the afternoon and our godparents would still drive back to Kumatori. They then brought us back to our Airbnb residence and bid us safe travels before driving back home.

Inside our "home"

After resting and freshening up, we walked to Lawson to buy food for dinner and some supplies. I also bought 2 days' worth of Kyoto City Bus One-Day Pass for me and my wife in preparation for our upcoming adventures. I was not able to buy for my daughter as Lawson only sells passes for adults.

Kyoto City Bus One-day Pass

Overall, we are really honored and thankful that our godparents accompanied us on our first day in Kyoto. I got to learn a lot of tips and information (that would be useful in the upcoming days of our tour). Truly their presence was a huge bonus to this very memorable day. 


  1. Wow, this is another grrat post. I love your last diary on Japan. Keep up the good work. 👍

  2. Enjoyed your narrative of Japan visit. Stunning photographs. I recall my days in Japan.

  3. You know what we like the most about this blog post ?

    The happiness & warm smiles in your pictures <3

  4. Hey your articles are always so interesting and the photographs look amazing! Which camera are you using?

  5. Excellent post!!!

  6. My son has always wanted to visit Japan. He would really enjoy reading this. The temples are beautiful!

  7. Each adventures is a new life. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us. Looking forward to the next.

  8. Your young lady seems to have added some more weight while in Japan. I hope to visit very soon and enjoy all the goodies you have been telling us about. Thanks for sharing this great post.

    1. I agree. =) My daughter gained weight from all those delicious Japanese food. =)

  9. Nice to see another post on Japan from you. Got some more ideas to plan a trip.

  10. It's cool that the temple you chose wasn't a huge tourist destination. Those hidden treasures are always rewarding to visit.

    1. I agree. =) A famous destination with only a handful of tourists really is a treasure.

  11. I loved Daigoji! I went there with my brother on New Years' Eve two years ago. Loved it.

  12. Japan is very very very one of my dream country to visit! Ang swerte swerte mo kuya!!

  13. Oh wow the amazing photos! I so love Bentendo captions! Makes me missed Kyoto, plan for the next weekend lol. Thanks!

  14. Ohhh! How I love Japan... Been there loads of times when I was still living in Asia but I'm miles and miles away now... Thank you for your post.

  15. Beautiful pictures and experience shared. Thanks

  16. Japan is in my bucket list! I'm waiting for my kiddies to get bigger so I can take he, on adventures like this.

    1. Hehehe. I'm excited to see your adventures someday.


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