Palette Places: Kyoto


In the heart of Japan...


Where we stayed:


Hiiragiya Ryokan 

Hotel Kanra, the maisonette room, with a giant couch and your own outdoor terrace.



What we saw:


Arashiyama, for a walk in the bamboo forest and sakura mochi at Tsuruya-Kotobuki. A visit to Tenryu-ji and Gio-ji.

Calligraphy lesson with Tomoko and collecting handwritten calligraphy from each temple with a goshuin-chou notebook.

Fushimi Inari-Taisha, vermillion gates. We entered through the back forest, a hike full of hidden shrines and fox ghosts.

Gion, a walk at dusk or late in the night to spot a Maiko.

Golden Pavillion, not to be missed.

Heian-Jingu, stepping stones.

HOSOO textile factory and showroom

Ryoan-ji, if sand can give you an image of water, delete the water.

Saiho-ji Moss Temple, before entering you listen to the chanting of a sutra and copy a handwritten Japanese prayer with a wish in mind.

Tofuku-Ji, a beautiful temple complex overlooked by tourists, so it remains quiet. With a forest of maple trees, the calm heart-wave garden and a temple devoted solely to artist brushes.



Where we ate:


Kikunoi Hoten, the most beautiful kaiseki. I loved the presentation plates misted with water, tiny flowers.

Morita-ya, traditional shabu dinner outside along the Kamo River.

Nishiki Market, the best dried fruits and strange little sweets.

Ramen, around the corner from Hotel Kanra for tsukemen style at Ramen Kubota or duck into one of the traditional style spots at the base of Fushimi Inari.

Sagano-Yu Café, for breakfast by the bamboo forest.




Ippodo, tea heaven. Three century old tea shop with beautifully wrapped matcha, roasted green tea or roasted barley that tastes like coffee. On Teramachi Street, which has other great shops.

Kamisoe, minimal stationary.

LISN, amazing incense shop. All kinds of scents, from sandalwood to seafoam, fresh roses.

UCHU, modern wagashi in the cutest shapes, from animals to little clouds.


All photos, illustrations and handwriting by me.