Monday, December 30, 2013

Winter in Kyoto

Kyoto is undoubtedly my favourite city in Japan, and I really wish I could live there. Although I felt a bit sad about Christmas this year, I was surprised with a short getaway to the most magical place in the world, and it was the best Christmas present I could ever wish for. 

Kyoto in winter is completely different from Kyoto in summer; to be fair, I'm not sure which is worse. Summer in Kyoto is boiling hot and humid, but winter is the other extreme. Despite the unbearable temperatures, the city remains just as beautiful and charming. At this point, I've visited Kyoto so many times that I don't feel bad just chilling out around the city all day without hitting any touristy spots.

We braved the freezing cold (and rain!) and rode our bikes, and re-visited all of our favourite cafes. This time, we discovered a new one, which is the best I have ever been to. The name is Kyoto Nama Chocolat, and the owners are a lovely Canadian woman and her Japanese husband. The cafe is in a traditional wooden house, with a few low tables spread out in the tatami room, with cushions and heaters. There is a big brown dog and a sleeping cat next to the heater, and all the food and homemade chocolates are organic. I drank a delicious bowl of matcha, and time really did stop for a few hours. I keep thinking about this cafe now, everything about it was perfect, complete with the big dog licking off our plates after we finished eating. Please go to this cafe if you're ever in Kyoto!

I also had a really nice encounter with a reader of this blog, who came up to me in Shinshindo, my favourite breakfast spot in Kyoto. I was so happy to meet her, and I wish I had time to actually hang out. Thank you for saying hello, I was really flattered! 

We spent the rest of the time just relaxing and soaking up the Kyoto magic, and as usual I was so sad to leave. It went by so quickly, but I'll be back soon again. Even though it was so cold, we made the most of it, and now I wish I owned a traditional Japanese home where I could just curl up by the heater and sip on green tea during cold winter days.

I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas holidays.

Rainy Kyoto

This cafe!

Nanzen-ji, Lost in Translation

Merry Christmas!

Majestic Mount Fuji, view from Shinkansen

Kyoto station

Vege meat loaf at Sunshine Cafe

Hankyu line selfie, hello.

Lunch set in another home-like cafe

Winter v. Summer


Unforgettable treats.


Plate-licking dog, I love you!

Soba at Owariya, the best in Japan

Keepin' warm

Breakfast at Shinshindo: Tokyo, whyyyyy can't you do that?!

Cappuccino at Hello!

Takoyaki in Osaka

Cycling in the cold

Shoe shot

I don't want to leave.


Rachel Anastasia said...

This trip looked soooo magical!

I am trying to come to Japan at the end of March! I hope we can meet up this time round.

Anonymous said...

明けましておめでとう Vivian! Thank you for continuing to document your Japanese life; I've been enjoying your blog for ages. Your blog makes me natsukashii for Tokyo but also excited to return to Japan and visit new places. All the best for 2014! Cheers from Marley in Sydney.

spajonas said...

Oh my, this trip looks like it was so much fun!! All the food, the walking, and just being away for a bit. Perfection.

Françoise said...

Oh! Beautiful pictures! I miss Kyoto.
Happy new year to you!

べぎらま said...


Unknown said...

That cafe sounds really cool!
But was that dog in a restaurant?? Because I will never be able to go there if a dog was on the restaurant tables licking my plates.