Our airbnb had two free bikes so we rode into Gion which is old town Kyoto. It’s where all the cool shrines and temples are. We stopped first to get coffee to help us get up all the hills. We walked all over the hilly streets buying everything that looked tasty. There were so many people, mostly girls dressed in kimonos they all looked amazing. The sun was turning us into grilled fish, so we had to go back for a nap… Chris was sunburnt. We googled “best Okonomiyaki” (Japanese pancake) for dinner and went there…we waited 1 hour, they cooked our food on our table In front of us and it was so delicious. We just got back to our accommodation in time before a big storm rolled through and we lay in bed listening to the thunder.

The next day we brought sunscreen straight away, then wandered through the cute back streets leading us to a lovely cafe… most café’s seem to do drip coffee rather than espresso. We went to Toei Kyoto studio theme park because we wanted to have fun but hide from the sun. It was a great choice. The theme park was all about samurais and ninjas, and the park is used to film a lot of movies set in that time period. We went through a haunted house attraction and it was scary… even Chris got scared, usually it’s just me. It was a creepy shinto graveyard during the Edo period with actors chasing you or jumping out at you during the walk through…it was a lot of fun. We also did some ninja training which was all in Japanese and with a group of small school kids. There was three rooms of different training techniques, it was interesting as we couldn’t understand any of it so we were just watching and following. Then we were sent off alone through a maze and had to find our way out but it wasn’t easy, as the way out of every room was hidden and it was up to us to find it… lucky we had our ninja training first.

We walked up Fushimi Inari Taisha. It’s a big walk up a mountain covered in thousands of vermilion-coloured Torii (shrine gates). It was beautiful. I didn’t really know what I was in for. I was wearing a dress with a flower headband, not dressed appropriately at all for the hike I unknowingly was committed to… other girls were the same, at least I had runners on. Halfway up there was a nice place with a view so we got the best ice cream flavour in the world. It’s called soy bean flour ice cream. On our way back down we couldn’t resist buying another. In the evening we rode down the long street to sushi and ate till we were full then rode back in the sunset and stopped by a supermarket to buy some snacks for the road tomorrow.


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