To make sure you’re all caught up with my Japan blog entries, start here:
- How we booked 12 FREE tickets to Japan
- The perfect starter card to travel for nearly free
- The mad rush to get ready for Japan
- Flying ANA + our first few hours in Tokyo
- How to book a large AirBNB for a big group
- One day in Tokyo
- All Things Osaka
- Kyoto AirBNB for 19? No problem!
- Visiting Fushimi Inari Shrine
- Kyoto Days: Historical Ninenzaka
We spent a total of three nights in Kyoto. It’s the longest of all visits. We knew there’d be more places to explore and I’m so glad that we chose to do so. Here are a few more highlights:
An afternoon in Nishiki Market
We built up an appetite after playing dress up in Ninenzaka. It was time to eat. We headed towards Nishiki Market but we ended up going to one of the local establishments that served beef bowl type of dishes. What I’m really digging about our dining experience is the convenience and ease of placing orders. It’s not your typical restaurant where you place an order with the waiter. Instead, you identify what you want to order, go to a vending kiosk, enter the required amount for the amount of food you want to order, and you pick the item. A ticket will come out, and your change. You then hand it over to the one of the servers, and then you sit and wait. It’s that simple.
For the remainder of the afternoon, we just went up and down the market, tasted a few samples from tea to seafood. It was clean, colorful, crowded as expected. We’ve been out all day and we decided to just grab sushi and bring it back to our AirBNB so we could rest that evening.
Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
It’s now Thursday, and we once again decided to get up early. This time, the goal was to make it to Arashiyama Bamboo Forest
. We started later than usual. Upon arriving at the station, we had a choice, walk 15-20 minutes towards the bamboo forest, or rent a bicycle. Half of our group walked, the others rode a bicycle.
Since we got there around 9am, there was already a bit of a crowd. But with the right camera angle, you could walk away with pictures that made it look like only a few were around.
We spent nearly 3 hours here. We decided to grab lunch near its main entrance. There were lots of business that sold good enough food to get us through the day.
Fluffy Pancakes at Fleur
So when we were in Tokyo, I wanted to try fluffy pancakes. But the place we went to was packed and required us to wait 2-3 hours. For this visit in Kyoto, I checked for fluffy pancakes near Kyoto Station. Luckily, Fleur was just a few minutes walk away from the station.
What you need to know about these fluffy pancakes – they take a bit of time to cook. We were told it was going to take around 40 minutes from order to serving of the pancakes. We’ve waited for days now, so another 40 minutes was no issue. The best part, since we came around mid-afternoon, the restaurant wasn’t as packed, and we were able to get all 19 of us seated at the same time.
The fluffy pancakes were served 40 minutes later. There were 3 pancakes per order. It sure looked like the leaning tower of pancakes. We ordered the chocolate banana- comes with some flaked almonds, banana, ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. The one that I ordered for me, it’s the caramelized nuts comes with nuts, ice cream, whipped cream and caramel sauce. And of course, I forgot to take a picture of it so I took pics of everyone else’s order.
Unlike your typical American pancake, these pancakes were not super thick in texture. It didn’t feel like we ate 3 pancakes. It was light, fluffy, airy – it was tasty. My first couple of bites did not require using the syrup. So it was good on its own. But I’m not going to lie. The syrup and other sauces were delicious flavor enhancers. Consider the search for fluffy pancakes in Japan a success.
Here’s a video of that visit at Cafe Fleur.
For that evening, we decided to grab a late night dinner not too far from our AirBNB. We chanced upon a Korean BBQ restaurant that was just 5 minutes away. This was our last night in Kyoto. Two members of our party were headed back home. We also planned on parting ways on Friday for some of them were headed for Yokuska, while the rest of us headed to Tokyo.