Thursday, May 6, 2010

Kyoto: May 2009

We were over in Japan this time last year, and we were lucky enough to visit Kyoto for the first time.  Unfortunately we only had a few days to explore and it was pouring with rain for a lot of the time but the rainy weather meant that we could spend our days wandering around the city, checking out all the interesting shops and exploring the bars and restaurants. 

This is David chilling out in a gorgeous little bar that we discovered - we just followed a little stairway off Pontocho which is one of the most sublime streets - it is a pedestrian only walkway and at night it comes alive with lanterns and traditional wooden exteriors. We snuck into the bar in the early evening and befriended the waiter who plied us with warm sake and red wine. This photo is outside the bar on Pontocho (it's a wonder I'm still standing after all that wine and sake).
Of course we ate like kings while we were there.  Ahh, the food...
And as for the shopping.  Such cute shops, selling wonderful unique things.  This shop below sold loads of beautiful woodblock prints - I could have spent absolutely hours looking through these prints, so gorgeous.  This one below is one of my faves.
We found this little shop and it's lovely owner Sanae Nishi and I fell in love with her handmade hairclips that she makes using the most gorgeous Japanese buttons (some of them antique kimono buttons). 

I could continue listing shops like these all night but I don't want to be a bore so I will mention one more shop - this one below is the tiniest little shop where they sell rows upon rows upon rows (get my drift?) of wonderful chopsticks, like this lovely children's chopstick set below.
David had to drag me away from this one kicking and screaming. Such a lovely few days in Kyoto, really can't wait to get back there soon.