Kyoto Winter Travel Guide: What To Do & What To Wear!
Hi there! Happy New Year! It’s been a while since I updated this blog. If you have been following me on Instagram, you would see that I have been traveling to Asia - particular Japan & Taiwan! The entire trip was super fun and I am sad that it’s over. But I am back, recharged for the new year, and so excited to share with you guys some glimpses of the trip in the best way I know how: Outfits! I am also working on the travel vlogs so stay tuned on those if you are interested in a more detailed itineraries / things to do in Japan.
A little background on the trip: We were in Osaka & Kyoto (mostly Kyoto) for 5 days, 4 nights. It was me, my two older sisters, which, one is 6 months pregnant and the other brought my 1 year old nephew along for the ride, my younger brother and Jeremy…it was a family affair hahaha but I wouldn’t want it any other way! My sister Jessie planned the entire trip for us particularly because she wanted to make sure most places we go are baby/stroller & pregnant lady friendly. So if you are thinking of traveling with a baby or pregnant lady in the future, definitely continue reading for more than just #TravelOutfit Inspos
Day 1: Traveling to OSAKA
Our journey started at JFK and flew the direct flight all the way to Taipei, Taiwan for a transfer to Osaka, Japan. YES IT WAS A LONGGGG FLIGHT, 18+ hours I was in the air. When traveling, I like to dress comfortable but chic, depending on what you are doing once you get to the destination. I feel like for us, our travel style is to drop everything in the hotel/hostel first, freshen up for 10 minutes, and head out again to explore. So there’s really no time to figure out what to wear, put makeup, etc. once we get to our destination. Especially if you are traveling with a group of more than 1 or 2 people, you don’t really want everyone else sitting there waiting for you. Therefore I always like to either change or apply my makeup at the airport while waiting for the luggages or waiting for the transfer. That way, you are actually saving some time! We got to our hotel around 3PM and quickly got out the door to explore Osaka.
Our hotel in Osaka: KAMON HOTEL NAMBA
The location is perfect! It’s just a minute's walk from Nippombashi Station & 7 minutes’ walk from Namba Station. Close to the shopping areas, Dōtonbori & the Fish Market
Day 2: Nara
The next day we explored Nara after visiting the Fish Market in Osaka. The ride from Namba Station to Kintetsu Nara Station is approximately one hour. We dropped off our luggage at the hotel’s administration office and went straight to Todaiji Temple (Great Buddha Statue). Nara is known for their temples and deer roam in the park. You can feed them and play with them, but be careful because they do sometimes get aggressive (they are animals after all :) ) The Nara Park is HUGE and since I knew I would be doing a lot of walking this day, I decided to wear something that allowed me to move more freely. We were lucky that for the most of the day, the sun was out so it wasn’t too cold but I still had my puffer jacket at hand just in case.
Our Hotel for the night at Nara: Mikasa Ryokan
Honestly the BEST HOTEL we ever stayed at during this trip!!! It was up in the mountain so we had to take the shuttle bus there, but the view of Nara was beautiful. Mikasa offers hot spring baths and traditional Japanese style dinner/ breakfast. The rooms are also in traditional Japanese style futon beds and tatami for you to sleep on. Throughout your time at Mikasa Ryokan, you can wear Yukata, a traditional Japanese bathrobe as seen below. It was definitely one of the coolest experience we had in Japan. The price tag for the hotel is of course not cheap but so so worth it! I believe it’s $150 per night that includes dinner and breakfast and hot springs.Not bad at all if you see how much food is on the table for both meals!
Day 3: Arashiyama
Another full day of walking and I decided to just wear a pair of my favorite sneakers this time. We got to Kyoto and dropped off our luggage (3rd and last time we are changing hotels) and quickly took another train ride that’s about 30 minutes to Arashiyama. We toured the Bamboo Forest, Togetsu-kyō Bridge, and Kmono Forest. After that we had to get back to Kyoto for our dinner with Maiko, which was super fun and you get to learn more about professions of Geisha/Maiko.
Our Hotel at Kyoto: Laon Inn Gion Nawate Located in the center of Kyoto, walkable distance to the shopping district and old town Kyoto.
Day 4: Kimono!
ahhh I loved this day so much!! It was also nice that we didn’t need to plan what to wear for a day since we were renting the kimono for the entire day haha!
That being said, we made an early appointment to get to the Kimono rentals around 9A.M. (The appointment was made prior to the trip. Another tip: try to based on weather forecast for the rental date! You don’t want to walk around Kyoto wearing kimono when it’s raining…it won’t be as fun especially with the shoes you would be wearing) The rental came with kimono, a little basket, a pair of shoes, and the hair styling (extra $ for the hair). We went with curun kimono and so many cute kimonos to choose from! I believe I paid $100 for two people and it’s #worthit!
Throughout the day, we were just walking around old town Kyoto touring Sanneizaka , Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and Yasaka Shrine, etc. It was so much fun, and so many pictures taken ahaha!
Day 5: Fushimi Inari Taisha
Last full day in Japan :( We went to Fushimi Inari Taisha the first thing in the morning. It’s the head shrine of god Inari, in which foxes are regarded as messengers so you would see a lot of fox statues at the shrine. It’s one of the most famouse shrine in Japan because of many torii (red wooden gates) that create a path across the mountain. You are probably thinking why I would be wearing a skirt and boots when I know I would be hiking through a mountain lol. Of course it’s for pictures haha, this place is the perfect place to get that Instagrammable shots! But overall, the hike wasn’t bad and we were glad we went early in the morning because it started to rain once we left!
For the rest of the day, we went to visit Nikishi Market and Kyoto station. It was our last day in Kyoto so we made the most out of it by just walking (& last min shopping) and didn’t go back to the hotel until 11PM HAHA!
I hope you like this post that incorporates our itineraries and outfit inspirations all in one! Japan is so much fun and I wish I was there longer! Next time I will definitely visit Tokyo, if you have already been, definitely let me know your recommendations down at the comment sections below!