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Courtney Connelly’s Kyoto

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Japan, 〒602-8381 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, 上京区今出川通七本松西入真盛町726-40
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Takoyaki is a traditional Japanese street food particularly popular in Osaka and Kyoto. These little dough balls are filled with octopus and pan fried, then topped with a special sauce, bonito flakes, and seaweed. They’re the perfect snack with a...
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Kyotogyoen, Kamigyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 602-0881, Japan
On a small side street, near the Palace Side Hotel, a small traditional house hides a gastronomical gem - sukiyaki! Shuck your shoes, step up onto the tatami map, sit on a cushion around a low, circular table and point to the sukiyaki of your...
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Japan, 〒616-8384 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Ukyō-ku, 嵯峨天竜寺車道町 11番地1
Please, I beg of you! Try the Matcha Ice Cream (and the Chestnut Ice Cream)! Oishi!
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45-26 宇治東内 Uji, Kyoto Prefecture 611-0021, Japan
A beautiful museum that recounts the Tale of Genji through ancient sculpture, painting, and poetry.
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Japan, 〒604-0902 JP-26Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Hokodenchō, Nakagyo-ku Kamogawa Nijo-Ohashi Hotori Kyoto
Known for the beautiful temples and shrines concentrated in and around it, Kyoto is also a really great place to explore on foot at night. Especially the area close to the Takase River, which runs parallel for several blocks with Kiyamachi-dori...
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If you’re looking for some good ramen in Kyoto, head to Hakata Nagahama Ramen Miyoshi in Kawaramachi (Kyoto). Hakata ramen is a specific style of Kyushu ramen (Hakata being a ward in Kyushu), with a rich and creamy pork broth and firm, straight...
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Arashiyama Genrokuzancho, Ukyō-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 616-0007, Japan
In western Kyoto, there is a very large forest of bamboo. As you can see in the photo, the shoots grow very tall, making those who stroll by look quite small. I'm sure there are times when this road is crowded, but when we were there, people were...
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Tetsugaku-no-michi, Jōdoji Ishibashichō, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 606-8406, Japan
When we arrived in Kyoto in mid-April, most of the cherry blossoms were no longer coloring the trees but sprinkled on the ground. We got lucky, though, spotting a few along the Philosopher’s Path (Tetsugaku no michi) still afluff with pink...
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Japan, 〒604-8054 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Higashiuoyachō, 富小路通四条上る西大文字町609番地
What's not to love in a covered arcade, jam-packed with stalls selling pickle, roast fish, toasty rice crackers, fresh fish, grilled meat, every fruit and vegetable, roasted chestnuts, freshly grilled mochi, sashimi on a stick, kushikatsu, green...
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294 Kiyomizu 1-chōme, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-0862, Japan
This is one of my favorite places in Japan, and in the world. It is one of the most beautiful temples. It's very nice to come here when it's not crowded. I often try to come here during the rain, as odd as that sounds (that's when it is least...
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294 Kiyomizu 1-chōme, Higashiyama-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 605-0862, Japan

Kiyomizu-dera on Mount Otowa is one of the most famous temples in Japan, a place that appears in every sequence of Japanese travel photos. The landscape is all cherry trees and forest; it is among Kyoto's loveliest spots. The current structure...

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Japan, 〒606-8435 Kyoto Prefecture, Kyoto, Sakyo Ward, 南禅寺福地町
A Japanese friend recommended the tofu restaurant at the Nanzenji temple in Kyoto. It took us an hour to find the place, which is tucked away in a quiet corner of the beautiful complex. We enjoyed an exceptionally delicious yodofu meal!
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Japan, 〒600-8555 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Shimogyō-ku, Higashishiokōjichō, 京都市下京区烏丸通塩小路下ル東塩小路町
This hidden restaurant is located in Kyoto near the Gojo Ohashi Bridge. They serve Kyo-fu, which is made from wheat flour and has a tofu type of consistency. This was an important source of protein for Buddhist monks dating back to the 1350’s and...
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Japan, 〒604-0923 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Kamikorikichō, 木屋町通御池上る
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The nested jubacko boxes were unfolded and opened like Russian matryoska dolls on the granite countertop: sushi grade sashimi and tamago, steamed vegetables in all shades of nature’s color-wheel, crispy ethereal tempura vegetables, miso soup: this...
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Renge-116 Uji, Uji-shi, Kyōto-fu 611-0021, Japan
Byodo-in at dawn is a little gem of perfection that everyone should see. The temple itself ( in the city of Uji, near Kyoto) is an extremely open, yet delicate and airy structure that seems to float on and above the water.In the early part of the...
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Kuramahonmachi, Sakyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 601-1111, Japan
At Kurama, there are two "power spots". Stand on one of them and if your mind is clear enough, you can receive the power of the universe.
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Japan, 〒605-0074 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Higashiyama-ku, Gionmachi Minamigawa, 京都市 東山区祇園町南側529
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We walked through the narrow alleyways of Gion looking for a place to rest our feet during the pre-dinner hours, after visiting Kinkakuji (Golden Pavilion) and Ginkakuji (Silver Pavilion), then walking the sakura-lined Philosopher’s Path. We...
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Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan
Something about visiting a temple that evokes feeling of serenity and inner peace. Perhaps, it's because I was introduced to Buddhism as a child, or because the soothing rhythm of the repeated chants is like beautiful music to my ears. During my...
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103-2 Hashimotocho, Shimogyo Ward, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture 600-8011, Japan
At Chojiro, in central Kyoto, you don't have to worry about not knowing a word of Japanese when ordering your lunch. It's done on an iPad! Just tap the food that looks most delicious. Despite all the talk about Japan being expensive, the sushi...
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Motoyoshichō-491 Nagano, Nagano-shi, Nagano-ken 380-0851, Japan
The first image of Buddha was housed here at this temple which is also the largest thatched roof in all of Japan. Our guide took us to the "basement" of Zenkō-ji which is a pitch black maze of sorts that we were told when we navigated it we'd find...
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1074番地 Kuramahonmachi, Sakyō-ku, Kyōto-shi, Kyōto-fu 601-1111, Japan
There are whole graveyards in Japan full of small Buddha statues with bibs tied on and toys placed lovingly about - they commemorate those lost to abortion and miscarriage. "Liquid Life" by William LaFleur provides an engaging study.