After two days of orientation, we all had one day off. Everyone just wanted to relax, sleep and eat. A chilled Sunday!
I slept longer as usual, ate breakfast, watched a view YouTube Videos and Netflix and cleaned up my room.
The weather wasn’t that good, but I decided to go outside and have a walk. I haven’t seen anything so far from Kyoto, except my neighbourhood. I mean, I will spend here a long time. That’s why I am not rushing with anything right now. The beautiful season is just coming, when it is getting warmer and the cherry blossoms are blowing. With good weather everything makes more fun and is just a hundred times more beautiful.
But anyway, I didn’t want to stay the whole day in my little room, laying in my bed and watching series. I needed to find a better supermarket as well, which is hopefully cheaper and offers more choices.
I crossed the bridge and walked along the Kamogawa River. While I was skyping, I got to Gion, one of the most popular parts here in Kyoto. So many walked along the little shops. I am wondering how it will look like when the high season is starting. In comparison to that there are very less tourists right now, which is good. But nevertheless, the streets at the popular places are already crowded.
I was actually really surprised and happy when I walked through Gion. I haven’t expected that. I haven’t seen the really popular places in Kyoto yet. Therefore, it was a nice first impression to see this district. The shops looked amazing. They sell mostly Japanese souvenirs and traditional sweets, snacks or tea. Especially green Tea/ Macha flavour is super popular in Japan. You get Green tea flavoured Mochi, cookies, cakes, Ice cream, Cheesecake, KitKats and so on. In comparison to Europe, America or other places I’ve been to, the sweet treats in Japan are so different. Everything has a completely different texture, appearance and taste.
Most of the sweets are less sweet, which I personally like. A lady asked me to try one of her home-made goods. I saw them before in a few shops here, but I’ve never tried them before, neither I knew what it is. It is hard to describe but it looks like a little triangle shaped Ravioli. There are different colours and flavours, with probably different filling. I tried the original green tea one with a red bean paste inside. I think the dough is made out of rice flour. It tasted amazing! I really loved it and I will come back before I go home to buy some souvenirs and typical Japanese treats.
Unfortunately, it started raining. I didn’t bring an umbrella, because I haven’t expected rain today, according to the weather app. But well. I am not out of sugar.
Right at the Gion district is a popular Shrine to visit. I took a quick look but decided to come back another time when the weather is nicer.
In Gion you will see so many girls dressed up in traditional Japanese Kimonos. They were even the traditional Hair style and Make-up. There are so many shops where you can rent the outfit. It is so popular here to dress up like this, walk around the streets and make original pictures in front of popular sights, such as temples and shrines.
I headed back to the river, where I crossed the bridge again. It was already afternoon and I just wanted to have a quick look at Nishiki market. The biggest and most popular Street food market in Kyoto. I love food and I love travelling to different countries and see what the traditional cuisine is like. And there is no better place to get so many authentic impressions than on a local street food market. Because everything is under a roof, it is also a very good choice to come here when the weather is not that good.
As well as in Gion, the amount of people and especially tourists were quite high. I am already kind of used to it. In comparison with Tokyo it’s nothing. It could have been definitely worse.
On Nishiki market they sell very different food than on Tskiji market in Tokyo. It’s a completely different atmosphere and experience. Many things I just didn’t know what it is. One crazy thing was these little octopuses on a stick. The head is apparently filled with an egg. Crazy! But it wouldn’t be my first choice to try. Perhaps a bit too crazy for foreigners.
Fresh Oysters is also a speciality you get at Nishiki market. There are a view seats in front of the stand where you can enjoy them right away.
Mochi, Onigiri, Tofu, Fried chicken/ meat patties, just grilled Beef or Fish on a stick, as well as steamed Japanese red potatoes and roasted chestnuts are a local snack which they sell here. You can get also roasted green tea, spices, Ice cream, little donuts, steamed stuffed Buns and more. Not only food is selled here, but also things like soap, clothes or shoes.
After discovering the market, I headed back in hope to find a bigger supermarket. First, I landed in a big shopping center. In the bottom floor they sell so much ready to eat food as well, but no “raw” ingredients, that you could cook something by yourself. I don’t want to eat every day outside for 6 months, especially not when I am working and don’t have time to search for something to eat. It is not that I would have so high and extraordinary requests. Is it so hard to get some pasta or muesli, which doesn’t cost 100 times as much as at home?
I actually found a shop, which sell fresh fruits, vegetables and Japanese ingredients like rice, soy sauce, tofu, fish, meat or noodles. But cheap and international products are something else.
Back “home” I just chilled again, cooked dinner, skyped with my family and looked at the pictures I did today. I definitely saw a bit more of Kyoto today. But I think I will wait a few weeks until I really start exploring the region a bit more. First of all, I have to get used to the life, the people and the work here.