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Food Tales: Beautiful Kyoto

After just a few hours on the Shinkansen (high-speed train), I was transported from a vast, vibrant city to the historical and cultural hub of Kyoto. As it was the old capital city, it comes as no surprise that Kyoto is filled with ancient sites, high culture and many traditional customs. Kiyomizudera Temple Kiyomizudera (Pure Water Temple) is particularly beautiful in the spring. The panoramic views of the city are well worth the climb and there are many places of worship located within the site – you’ll find yourself walking around for hours!         On the way to the temple, I picked up some steamed beef buns from Cafe Kihachiro. While I’m used to Chinese steamed pork buns, these Japanese beef filled ones were a whole new experience for me. A soft, airy bun filled with a tasty, rich beef filling. A must-try if you’re in the area!     Gion Gion is the famous Geisha district in Kyoto and although sightings are rare during the day, you’ll often find them fleetingly pass between the restaurants and tea houses …

Food Tales: Waking up in Tokyo

After the first few hours of arriving in the city, I didn’t feel like I was there. The Japanese characters greeting me at every signpost in the airport, the train journey through quaint Japanese towns, the taxi ride through Shibuya – it just didn’t seem to register as reality. Was I really here? Was this really Tokyo? Forgive me, while this may sound like the ramblings of someone who had boarded the wrong flight, it was just a case of sleep deprivation and long-awaited excitement after an overnight journey. Plus the fact that I hadn’t eaten in a good few hours – after a few convenience store snacks to keep me going, it was time to explore the city. Harajuku Harujuku – animated, extravagant and brimming with contemporary Japanese culture. With so many colourful treasures lining the streets, the food is no exception. The first thing that I noticed was the abundance of sugar-laden snacks which were just as visually intriguing as their surroundings. Every other passer-by seemed to have their hands clasped around crêpes rolled up into cones …