Kyoto Food: Ichiba Coji

When I visited USA back in 2012, I was awed by the ‘sampler’ platters that eateries have. I loved the concept of being able to try a little bit of everything even when you’re a solo diner.

This is exactly why I like Ichiba Coji. You probably wouldn’t wander in if you’re not in the know.

Woody furnishing all around when you step into the restaurant located on the basement floor.

The serve an ‘Obanzai’ plate which is a platter of many cold dishes that accompany the main. Something quite similar to Korean’s ‘banchan’ dishes.

I loved this restaurant because of the wide variety of small dishes (which you do not need to share, and also, you still can get even if you’re a solo diner).

Name Ichiba Coji
Address  Japan, 〒604-8045 Kyōto-fu, Kyōto-shi, Nakagyō-ku, Enpukujimaechō, 京都府京都市中京区寺町通錦小路上る円福寺前町283
Opening hours Monday – Friday 11: 30 ~ 15: 00 (Lunch)
Monday – Friday 17: 00 ~ 23: 00 (Dinner)
Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 11: 30 ~ 23: 00
How to get there 3 minutes on foot from Kawaramachi Station on Hankyu Kyoto Line
Keihan Electric Railway Main Line Gion Shijo Station 10 minutes on foot
Google Map Ichiba Coji (Restaurant next to it but accurate location!)
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Kyoto: Piece Hostel Sanjo

I love staying in hostels in Japan because of the great price point and also, because of how the country is set up, there is a convenience store in every corner you turn.

Some of the hostels are so up-scale that they feel like boutique hotels.

I took a risk this year to stay in Piece Hostel Sanjo instead of my usual Khaosan Kyoto Theater.

The hostel is decorated in a beautiful industrial theme.

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Kyoto sight: Kitano Tenmagu Shrine and Flea market

Temple flea markets in Kyoto are fun to walk through. They’re filled with traditional products, pre-loved items and kitschy stuff. You can even pick up a kimono!

I’ve collated the dates below:

For a list of events, I’d refer you to Kyoto Guide that compiles a monthly list.

Even though 25 May was on a weekday, the Tenmagu flea market still had a crowd going on. These people, do they not need to work? We had a wander around the temple grounds before strolling through the flea market.

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Kyoto food: Torikizoku

One of the lesser known spots but Torikizoku is an established food chain in Japan with multiple stores throughout the country. Selling all items (even alcoholic drinks!) at 280Y, it is no wonder that Torikizoku is popular, especially amongst the students.

There is a large variety of skewers and plenty of seating. There are English menus available, just request for one! This is more of a casual fast service restaurant.

How wrong can you go with skewers right? The food quality is not as fantastic as perhaps, Katsukura or Donguri. It is cheaper, faster and great to have a drinks or two with friends.

The funny thing is I remember the Caesar salad being amazing. There was this half boiled egg instead of hard-boiled eggs and it went perfectly with the romaine.

 

Attraction Torikizoku (multiple outlets)
Address 3-27  291 Narayacho, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture (Sanjo-Kawaramachi outlet)
Opening hours 1700 – 0500
How to get there Nearest train stations: Sanjo (Keihan line)
Google Map Torikizoku

 

Kyoto Sight: Nyan Chu 2

Nyan Chu 2 is the second outlet of the more popular Wan Nyan Chu original outlet and is next to hostel that I was staying at.

The price was steeper than the other two cat cafes in Kyoto that I have been. It was probably because of the central location and that, it was riding on the coat tails of the popular original cat cafe.

I wasn’t there but I heard the cafe recently launched a kitten room where you can purchase some extra time with kittens.

As compared to the Cat Tail and Neko Time, Nyan Chu offers drinks and a sweet pastry. The hot drinks are refillable, go for the hot roasted green tea!

The cats are more sleepy than friendly but still fun to hang around.

This is also one of the bigger cat cafes, made up of two spaces.

 

Attraction Nyan Chu 2
Address Kyoto-shi, Nakagyou-ku, Isayacho 354-1, Kyara Bldg, 3F East.
Opening hours 1200 – 2100
How to get there Nearest train stations: Kawaramachi
Google Map Nyan Chu 2

 

Kyoto sight: Kyoto Manga Museum

If you’re a manga fan, you’d probably enjoy this place. I still wonder why is it named a “museum” when it is more like a cafe. There are no exhibits if you want history about how manga started, however, there are plenty of dated comics.

There are even comics from before World War II.

The main segment of the Museum is paid. Place your belongings in the locker and get a ticket!

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Kyoto Sight: Nishiki Market

I love exploring markets. It’s always one of the must-do things for me when I go overseas. Immersing myself in a foreign country’s functional daily life makes me feel like one of their own.

Although Nishiki seems to be more of a tourist than local spot, it was still fun to explore, look around and stuff ourselves with the street food. Don’t eat breakfast before you come here, there is so much food to taste.

Nishiki Market spans across 2-3 streets probably.

One of the shops that is often mentioned online

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Kyoto sight: Kinkakuji

I’ve heard tales about how beautiful this temple is. It has also been ranked one of the must-visits on TripAdvisor.

Is it really worth the hype? Not really, in my opinion. Basically, you squeeze with 10,000 other tourists, view the golden temple from afar and look at old living spaces of priests.

If you’re feeling rich, have a drink at the tea house outside. I imagine it must be very scenic and picturesque in autumn and spring. I was sweltering in the summer heat, sorry no pics!

Tadah, you’re done with the attraction and also, 400Y poorer.

Perhaps, it was such a scorching day, it was unbearable for me. Coupled with pushy tourists, I doubt I will ever be back. I hope you would get to visit Kinkakuji on a nicer day, with fewer tourists!

This time, it’s not that my photo is crooked, it is a LONG walk uphill

I guess you’re paying for this ticket?

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Kyoto sight: Neko Cafe Time

Not interested in the hike at Fushimi Inari?

Love cats?

Your answer: Neko Cafe Time.

Compared to the other cat cafes I’ve been to in Osaka, Neko Cafe Time feels a lot homelier and humble than the other cafes. The cats from Neko Cafe Time are all rescued cats, hence, you don’t see any of those Russian Blues or Ragdolls but the everyday cats that you’d spot on the streets.

It depends on what type of cat cafe experience you’re looking for I suppose.

Me, I just wanted a cool place with air-conditioning (while waiting for my sister and D to hike) and maybe a drink to hide out from the terrible heat. Even better, if there is wifi. Make my day better-er with cats!

Price available on their website.

Cafe overlooks the river, such a pretty sight!

I think the cafe will be even prettier in spring with cherry blossoms blooming.

As with most cat cafes, you’re required to place your shoes outside and sanitise your hands.

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Osaka / Kyoto: KATE

Simple way to travel between Osaka or Kyoto central to/fro Kansai airport: KATE.

  • Multiple locations and timings from convenient pick up / drop off within Osaka. Stops are available in Kyoto and Nara even.
  • Easy and fast ride, there’s even wifi on the bus!
  • Porters help you with your luggage

Purchase your tickets

English announcements available

 

Comfy seats all around