Kyoto April 2013 Part 2

I’m in such a good mood today (won Best Wardrobe Blogger at the VSA last night omg thanks everyone), and I’ve nothing better than this entry to cap off a productive work week. This won’t be my last Japan entry for the year though, as I’m invited to Tokyo for the second time this year for EMODA touchMe Collection S/S 2014 with an old friend, Malaysian blogger extraordinaire Cheesie (whom I haven’t seen since this shoot back in 2011!). I’ll also be flying to the US end of October! There is ALWAYS room for more travel entries, yes?

More than the shopping part, I’m more excited to geek out and take tons of photos of the fashion show. I was initially a photographer before I crossed over to personal style blogging, and I can never, ever give it up because it’s already a huge part of me. I feel like my photography has been getting rusty recently, but traveling never fails to refresh my mind and give me new ideas. Can’t wait!

Anyhow, here’s the second part of my Kyoto trip last April. The first part consisted of a half-day tour, while this is the other half of this Kyoto-Nara 1-day tour. Already posted a separate Nara entry to avoid confusion, and well, Kyoto has a special place in my heart and I wanted to drag it on to 3 parts if it were only possible.

No picture of me in this entry because I was too caught up taking pictures and the tour didn’t allow that much free time. This is why I rarely travel with organized tour groups with fixed itineraries. :(

One of my favorite pictures in this post. The bicycles look so light and they look like they’re floating.

First stop was Nijo Castle (二条城), built by Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo Period.

REAL NIGHTINGALE FLOORS, OMG. Across the Nightingale Floor a.k.a. Lian Hearn’s first book from the Tales of the Otori triology was pretty much my favorite book way back when I was in highschool. I convinced my younger brother to read the trilogy as well so when we were told that this place had nightingale floors, we totes freaked out.

Nightingale floors are called such because they squeak if someone steps on them (thanks to a few screws), thus being an effective way to detect intruders. Only expert ninjas can probably get away with it without the floor “singing”. We were able to pass through a whole corridor with nightingale floors, and they really sounded like chirping birds.

Beautiful details.

Ninomaru Palace, the residence and office of the shogun during his visits to Kyoto.

Ninomaru Garden.

O hai there! Thanks for posing for my picture!

A little traffic on our way to our next destination, so I managed to get a few shots from the bus window.

Love the colors in this one. Autumn feel even if this was taken in spring.

Second visit to Kinkaku-ji (金閣寺) or Golden Pavilion, and it still looks amazeballs! I’ve always visited Kyoto around this time of the year, but I’m so curious what it would look like during fall with the autumn foliage, and during winter with all the snow.

I can easily google photos but being there is a totally different experience.

Another view.

Kyoto Imperial Palace (京都御所) for the first time. This was the former residence of the Emperor of Japan until 1869, when the capital was moved to Tokyo. This place is super strict – you need to have a large tour group with you or else you can’t go in. You also cannot drift away from your group for some reason, so it was quite hard for me to take pictures.

So clean. Looks too perfect to be true.

Fine spring weather!

The most important part of the palace. Through Jomeimon Gate is the Shishinden or the Hall of State Ceremonies.

Emperors Taisho and Showa’s enthronement ceremonies were held here.

These details are everything.

Time to leave Kyoto for Nara for a while! In the background you can see those cool riverbanks where students usually hang out. Well, I’m not sure if they actually hang out here but at least they always do in manga/anime/J-dramas, lol.

Snapped this from the bus window on the way to Nara. Correct me if I’m wrong but I think this is Ninna-ji temple? Really wanted to check this place out but we only had limited time!

One day, I’ll go to Kyoto during fall. I’ll definitely make it happen because I’ve already been here twice and I still can’t get enough. I feel like there are so many places to see and temples to visit and take pictures of. I’m such a history geek and I love being able to experience passing through the exact same corridors as some of the greatest people who ever lived.

Nara tour done! You can check it out here.

Now we’re back in Kyoto! This was our last night so we decided to just check out the areas near the Kyoto Station. This one is a department store called Avanti.

First stop, RIENDA! I’m honestly not too fond of their current A/W 13 collection, but their S/S 13 collection was, imo, their best collection to date. I blogged about it here.

Reminds me of my old hair! Long and brown with bangs. On one side of the store, they were selling really pretty lingerie too but I’m partial to practical ones like strapless bandeaus, lol.

Yes, nothing can beat moussy. Blogged about this brand here.

First time I didn’t buy anything from Cecil McBee! I prefer their A/W stuff in general.

Spotted, pretty Jun Hasegawa modeling Baby-G. She cut hair super short now and she looks better than ever. Of course, I’m biased because I have short hair too, lol.

Multi-colored kicks at huge discounts! Very K-pop style! These reminded me so much of Crissey, especially the pink ones.

Long tour day ended with a wonderful dinner at Morita-Ya. It’s on the 11th floor of Isetan in Kyoto Station.

Beef that melts in your mouth! We were also seated beside a huge window with a great night view of Kyoto. Must go back. Trips to Kyoto seem to get better every time.