A Day in Kyoto 京都一日游

Konnichiwa~ The last time I blogged about Japan is like 2 years ago. I went on a Hokkaido trip days before they lock down and I'm glad that I got a chance to visit this country again once they open the border. I pay a visit to Tokyo and Kyoto this time. Today's post is all about a day in Kyoto. Since it is a business + leisure trip, I only managed to take a day trip to Kyoto. Hopefully, next time I able to spend more time in this city. This post consists of where I visited, what I ate (including 2 Michelin-starred restaurants) and where I stayed in Kyoto. Enjoy reading.

Yasaka Pagoda

The Yasaka Pagoda (八坂の塔), also known as the Tower of Yasaka and Yasaka-no-to, is a Buddhist pagoda located in Kyoto, Japan. The 5-story tall pagoda is the last remaining structure of a 6th-century temple complex known as Hokan-ji Temple. The pagoda is a popular tourist attraction and it was built in 592, the oldest pagoda in Kyoto. Visitors can enter the pagoda up to the 2nd floor.

To be honest, this is my 4th visit to Kyoto but it's the first time I visit Yasaka Pagoda. This place is a charm. I was thinking to rent a kimono and take photos here but unfortunately, I got a lunch appointment with my friends so we don't have time for that. Well, maybe next time then.

Special thanks to my friend Arisa for the arrangement. I basically just tell her which place I would love to visit and she arranges the route for us. It was great to meet her again as our last meeting was 3 years ago in Malaysia.

My friend brought me to this beautiful retro Starbucks to have a drink. This branch is beautiful. I like the wooden interior here. So "Kyoto" style. Lol

Higashiyama and Gion District are Kyoto's most attractive areas located on the east side of the city, and it's best known for its well-preserved, charming streetscape. Yasaka Pagoda is an outstanding landmark in Higashiyama District.

Yasaka Street (八坂通り) is an iconic historical street located in the heart of the Higashiyama district, popular as one of the most photogenic spots in Kyoto.

And this is the most beautiful Hublot branch that I have ever seen. So aesthetic.

The street runs from the borderline between Ninen-zaka and Sannen-zaka slopes, and the best photo spot of the charming streetscape with the pagoda can be found in the middle of the street.

Location : Japan, 〒605-0862 Kyoto, Higashiyama Ward, 清水八坂上町388.
Business hours : Daily (10am - 4pm)


Are any matcha fans here? If yes, then you shouldn't miss visiting this shop. Itohkyuemon is a shop popular with the Uji matcha.

It provides all the matcha products such as tea powders and desserts etc. And the popsicle that I'm holding in this photo is one of their popular product.

There are a few flavours for the selection. Since they are popular with matcha, I'm still thinking maybe I should choose the signature matcha flavour? But again, I'm not a huge matcha fan, so in the end, I had chosen the strawberry flavour which is also one of the best-selling.

Turns out it tastes good as well. I like the frozen fruits on top. It contains strawberry, blueberry and raspberry. The sourness paired well with the matcha.

Location : Japan, 〒600-8216 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, Higashishiokojicho, 579番地 1階.
Business hours : Daily (10.30am - 6.30pm)


Kinobu, a Michelin-starred cuisine to which many generations have added their touch to; enjoy the flavours of past times and the changing seasons. Enjoy authentic kaiseki at this ryotei.

Finally, I got to taste the food that prepared by the Masterchef Takuji Takahashi. Always heard my friend say how skilful he is and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of dishes will he serve us. 

A new representation of Japanese cuisine, born from the endless pursuit of more decadent flavours. An eye-catching innovation, with flourishing elegance. They aspire to fascinate all guests by using seasonal ingredients generously in each dish, full of tradition and surprises for the most delicate taste, and skillfully arranging the menu according to the season and the guest's preference.

There are private rooms of various sizes and kimono-clad servers in attendance.

My Japanese friend ordered some dishes and here are some highlights that I would like to share with you all. 

First, all of the dishes were inspired by Autumn and the ingredients are according to the season. Always love the umeshu and the uni from Hokkaido is so creamy. Furthermore, the anago's texture is so tender. The dessert was persimmon and ice cream. It is the most tender persimmon that I have ever had.

Before we leave, chef Takahashi came to greet us. We had met a couple of times due to work, but this is the first time I got the opportunity to taste his food all thanks to my boss.

Looking forward to seeing you again chef.
Location : 416 Iwatoyamacho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, 600-8445, Japan.
Business hours : Thu - Tue (11.30am - 3.00pm ; 6.00pm - 9.30pm) ; Close on Wednesday

Menya Inoichi Hanare
( Image source : Japan Journeys )
When my friend asked me what I want to eat for dinner, I said I have no idea and ask her for a recommendation. She suggests this Menya Inoichi Hanare to me. As some of you might don't know, it is a Michelin guide restaurant. Snug, low-key eatery doling out meat, seafood noodle soups and rice bowls. It was a humble small shop so make sure to be there early and queue. We are the second customers and the restaurant was full within a minute.

My friend ordered a black soy sauce bonito ramen. It looks good, especially with the onsen egg.

As for me, I ordered a white soy sauce bonito ramen. Love the umami of the broth. Not too strong nor too light. There are some condiments on the side for you to add such as ginger, konbu, pepper and shichimi etc.

One thing you have to take note of is they don't allow you to take photos of the interior of the shop. Just the food photo is okay.

Location : Japan, 〒600-8076 Kyoto, Shimogyo Ward, Senshojicho, 463 ルネ丸高 1F.
Business hours : Daily (11.00am - 2.30pm ; 5.30pm - 9.00pm)

Hotel Imagine Kyoto

Ryokan-style hotel inspired by The Beatles' John Lennon's "Imagine"
A place where people from all over the world can transcend borders, races, and genders and connect as people. Hotel Imagine Kyoto was founded with the history and future of the city of Kyoto in mind.

I'm obsessed with this entrance. It was spectacular when I arrived in Kyoto and came here for check-in.

It makes me feel like a tunnel to Hotel Imagine Kyoto.

The room is so spacious and comfy. USD charging on both sides of the bed, a tatami space where you can lie down and take a nap, and a spacious bathroom with light control.

I love the tatami concept. You can also rent Hairbeauron styling tools for free. If you forgot to bring your iron curler along, they covered you.

These are some spots in the lobby. Feel free to use the coffee machine, oven and microwave for free. You can also rent a yukata robe set and take photos like I did as well.

I also love the computer desk spot where you can take photos with the computer.

Think this hotel is aesthetic? Wait until you check out the Sora Space on the rooftop. The owner just newly renovated this space and they even have an outdoor cinema here!

You can watch YouTube videos or Netflix as the owner already connected the channels. Enjoy watching those movies in perfect weather (especially in Autumn).

How to access
From Kyoto Station : Hachijo Exit / Hachijo East Exit (Shinkansen ticket gate), cross the pedestrian crossing in front of the Hachijo East Exit of Kyoto Station and go straight on the Takeda Highway on the left (east side) of Kyoto Avanti (shopping centre). After passing the second traffic light, you will see the main entrance on your right.

Location : 19-1 Higashi-kujo, Kitakarasuma-cho, Minami Ward, Kyoto, 601-8017, Japan.
Tel : +81 75-632-9825

That's all for my Kyoto day trip itinerary. I can't wait to share with you all my Tokyo itineraries! Remember to stay tuned on my blog and don't forget to check the Kyoto travel vlog below. Ja neh~

Kyoto Travel Vlog
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For more photos, kindly search the hashtags #ShiniInJapan or #ShiniInKyoto on Instagram. You may find more details on the personal experience there as well.