Off to Kyoto

I had underestimated the traditional ryokan we’re staying at in Kyoto. Free wireless internet for all!

To get here, we took the bullet train, the highlight of which was bento boxes. Here is Bonney with hers before digging in. (I haven’t gotten her permission to use this photo, but I’m going to anyway because I think it’s great.)


We could identify about half of its contents before she ate it, and two-thirds after. (Mine was a vegetable bento, and much less mysterious.)

Once in Kyoto, we reached our ryokan by cab. The driver turned out to be a plush toy lover!


He was an older man, and hard of hearing, and that made the plush fandom even more endearing.

The place we’re staying is within walking distance of Maruyama Koen and Kiyomizudera, so that was our outing for the day. Both are extremely popular destinations, and the crowds were pretty incredible. But we had much fun browsing the souvenir shops that lined the steep streets heading up to the temple. For myself, I picked up the most adorable mousey!


It’s made from kimono fabric, though I can’t recall what this type of craft is called. (Any help?) There were lots of reeeally cute toys like these, and it was hard to resist buying more. There’s a whole museum/shop devoted to them somewhere in the city that I stumbled upon once. I’m not having any luck locating it again, so I guess I’ll just hope that I’ll have the good fortune to find it by chance.

Maybe a pic or two of the hundreds of temples and shrines in this city will make it into my post tomorrow.

12 thoughts on “Off to Kyoto

  1. the material is called “chirimen,” and the term often refers to the craft also.
    i once visited kiyomizu at night, which was breathtaking – highly recommended, if you havent yet. enjoy the rest of your trip…!

  2. Man, what I wouldn’t give for a bento right now…looks like there was some fishcake in that bento box…and lots of yummy pickled veggies…

  3. Thanks Azusa! Yeah, since I couldn’t find any specific term for the toys, I thought it might just be the general term.

    We’re still adjusting to the time change and we’ve been going to bed too early to see Kyoto at night, but maybe tomorrow we can make it past 7.

  4. our family is desperate to go to japan, so we are looovvvvinnngggg your blog (not that we did’nt when you were at home)

  5. I’m glad you’re having fun! That mouse is too cute. Can’t wait to see more pics!

  6. I love your blog anyway, but this Japanese interlude is especially good as I’m going to be spending 10 days in Japan in a couple of weeks. I’ve never been before and am beginning to get completely over-excited.

    May I ask a cheeky question please? Would you recommend your ryokan in Kyoto? If so, would it be possible to have the name of it please? I’m heading there for a couple of days and recommendations are always good to know.

    Looking forward to the next installment!

  7. Hannah, and anyone else who’s interested—our ryokan is called Yachiyo, and here’s their website:

    I would definitely recommend it. It’s in a great location, pretty quiet, good rooms and wireless internet. You can also get meals in addition to your room, though we’re not doing that so I can’t say how great they are. It’s not the cheapest place to stay, but very nice if you want a comfortable “traditional” experience!

  8. Are you thinking of the Chirimen Craft Museum? Not really a museum, but a shop. The pamphlet I have has this address:

    19-2, Tsukurimichi-cho, Saga-Tenryuji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto

    The museum I’d like to see someday is the Japanese Toy Museum:
    Have you been?

  9. Yep, that’s the one! Thanks for the address. Unfortunately, we’re leaving for the states tomorrow, so both the chirimen and toy museum will have to wait until next time.

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