Wednesday, May 31, 2017


Saeki Home was the second accommodation booked via Airbnb in Kyoto. One reason people use Airbnb for a homestay style of accommodation as that it should be cheaper than staying in a real hotel or at least more reasonable for a budget traveler. There is a challenge however, which is to find the exact location of the house, even you have a map on your smartphone. If I travel solo, I would rather get a room in a hotel in a city centre rather than finding my way in a housing estate at night in an unfamiliar place.

One interesting thing about our stay was that we did not even have the chance to see the landlord to say "hi" or "bye". We received a message from the host saying he was not around that evening, and we could simply enter the house as the door was not locked, and was informed our room was right beside the entrance. We had to leave early the next morning so we did not get to see each other face to face. Everything was done based on trust and honesty - and luckily payment was already made online, so that should not pose any problem.

The room was comfortable and clean, and most importantly it was spacious enough for us to perform our prayers. You could cook your meals if you plan to do that, but we had our meals on the road. We only stayed there for one night.

I at least had the opportunity to live in a real Japanese home for once. I might get this kind of accommodation again in the future.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


20th MARCH 2017 ~ Why do people come and visit Kinkakuji? It is actually a Zen temple whose top two floors were totally covered with gold leaves. Visitors were not allowed access into the temple though. The best option was to get the photo taken from across the pond, and there were too many people trying to squeeze in between the crowd to get the best spot.

The place was quite big but the main attraction was the temple building. Then we walked around the Japanese garden before finding the exit.

That should be the very last place visited during my Kyoto and Osaka trip last March. There are just too many attractions in both cities and you will definitely need to spend more time here to get to see more.

I hope I could make a comeback one day.

Monday, May 29, 2017


20th MARCH 2017 ~ I thought it would be something like a walk in the park - looking at the orange pillars and the cute Japanese girls walking side by side, smiling and waving hands. I was totally wrong. The ascending hike up the hill soon turned into climbing a mountain - and it was endless. The orange pillars seemed to be continuously linked to each other, and going up higher and higher.

If you are a claustrophobic, better not to come here when there are a lot of people. When I was there, people just appeared out of nowhere. Walking was not an easy task when the path was quite narrow and you would have to avoid from bumping into other strangers along the way.

rewarding myself with a soy-flavoured ice-cream

At one point, when I thought I had reached the destination, that was only 75% of the climb (or was it only 50%). (This place is called Yosutsuji Intersection, which reminds me of Frost's "The Road Not Taken"). You would need 2-3 hours to reach the summit. Most visitors stopped here for a breather or for drinks, snacks and ice-cream, before they decided whether to continue walking up or make a u-turn. We had very limited time so we had no choice but to descend back, which should be one valid reason not to continue.

a real cat at the shrine
Fushimi Inari is the most photographed tourist spot in Japan so you have to come here when you are in Kyoto. You definitely have to go there when you are still young and have strong feet.

Read more about Fushimi Inari HERE.