The images of Japan that I've always had in my head are the same reasons why it consistently made it to the top of my list of places I wanted to visit (again, why it took this long to finally make it to Japan is also still a mystery to me!), and these said images, ones of old thatched roof homes, pretty cherry blossoms along the riverside and zen gardens, can be found in Kyoto, the stop where we spent most of our time and one that I was looking most forward to. There are so many recs to share but below are a few of the places I visited via photos I snapped during my time in this very magical place.

Day 1

Gion Shirakawa (Pass the Baton, bar and shop, is located here)

Gion Shirakawa (Pass the Baton, bar and shop, is located here)

Obligatory tourist shot in Gion Shirakawa

Obligatory tourist shot in Gion Shirakawa

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Charming alleyways from the walk from Gion Shirakawa to Yasaka shrine

Charming alleyways from the walk from Gion Shirakawa to Yasaka shrine

Also on the walk to Yasaka

Also on the walk to Yasaka

Many of these restaurants are invite only

Many of these restaurants are invite only

Kodai-ji

Kodai-ji

Inside Yasaka shrine

Inside Yasaka shrine

Ninenzaka path

Ninenzaka path

View of the crowd below Ninenzaka

View of the crowd below Ninenzaka

So many snacks and lovely vendors at Ninenzaka

So many snacks and lovely vendors at Ninenzaka

On a shopping mission

On a shopping mission

Down below Ninenzaka

Down below Ninenzaka

View of the pagoda from the largest temple in Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera

View of the pagoda from the largest temple in Kyoto, Kiyomizu-dera

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Walking through to Kiyomizu-dera

Walking through to Kiyomizu-dera

Otowa-no-taki at Kiyomizu-dera (cleansing waters for health, prosperity and love)

Otowa-no-taki at Kiyomizu-dera (cleansing waters for health, prosperity and love)

Kiyomizu-dera is massive and you can catch cute moments like this in every pocket

Kiyomizu-dera is massive and you can catch cute moments like this in every pocket

Sunset over Gion on the walk to Ishibel-koji

Sunset over Gion on the walk to Ishibel-koji

Day 2

On the train to Arashyiama... only in Japan!

On the train to Arashyiama... only in Japan!

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji's 12000 buddhas AKA “The Happiest Place on Earth”

Otagi Nenbutsu-ji's 12000 buddhas AKA “The Happiest Place on Earth”

I have hundreds of these pictures, couldn't resist! So cute.

I have hundreds of these pictures, couldn't resist! So cute.

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Adashino Nenbutsuji -- there's a bamboo forest at the back that's way less frequented and much more calming than the one at Arashiyama

Adashino Nenbutsuji -- there's a bamboo forest at the back that's way less frequented and much more calming than the one at Arashiyama

Ichi-no-Torii gates to Saga-Toriimoto district

Ichi-no-Torii gates to Saga-Toriimoto district

The walk through Saga-Toriimoto to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

The walk through Saga-Toriimoto to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Lots of quaint shops along the walk through Saga-Toriimoto

Lots of quaint shops along the walk through Saga-Toriimoto

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

Arashiyama Bamboo Grove

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The walk from Gion Shirakawa to Gion Tatsumi Bridge to Shinbashi-dori at night has the loveliest vibe

The walk from Gion Shirakawa to Gion Tatsumi Bridge to Shinbashi-dori at night has the loveliest vibe

Day 3

Stepping Stones by the Kamogawa River

Stepping Stones by the Kamogawa River

Kamo River

Kamo River

Nishiki Market

Nishiki Market

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Haha

Haha

Aritsugu shop

Aritsugu shop

Got my very own Aritsugu chef's knife with my name in Japanese being engraved onto it

Got my very own Aritsugu chef's knife with my name in Japanese being engraved onto it

Other than knives, Aritsugu is also prime kitchen tools heaven

Other than knives, Aritsugu is also prime kitchen tools heaven

On the walk back to Gion from Nishiki, there are so many pretty bridges to walk on

On the walk back to Gion from Nishiki, there are so many pretty bridges to walk on

Day 4

Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavillion

Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Pavillion

Kinkaku-ji garden

Kinkaku-ji garden

Matcha swirl and black sesame swirl softserves right by the exit of Kinkaku-ji

Matcha swirl and black sesame swirl softserves right by the exit of Kinkaku-ji

Nijo Castle

Nijo Castle

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Early blossoms at Nijo Castle :)

Early blossoms at Nijo Castle :)

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