In December 2019, I took my first solo trip to Japan. The latter half of my journey took me through Kyoto and Osaka—staying overnight in an art gallery, sipping homemade umeshu, and dodging cars in Dotonbori in between taiyaki and teppanyaki. Here are some of my favorite shots from this segment of the journey.
See Part I for photos taken in Tokyo.
Left to right, top to bottom:
I was paired with a family through a wonderful program I discovered called Nagomi Visit. We made and dined on udon together, practiced calligraphy, and shared stories of our travels. This was Haruka, who loves trains and sneaking globs of homemade miso from the can while his mom cooks.
nokishita711 Gin & Cocktail Labo. I had the Botanical Garden (pictured) after I went more adventurous with my first drink—a warm cocktail made with milt. If you go, see if you can find my business card, which joined the tangle of love notes, messages, and other oddities hanging over the bar.
The neon “Kyoto” sign outside of Magasinn Kyoto, where I stayed (and shopped!) overnight inside of an art gallery/store. I sipped on homemade umeshu, slept on a traditional tatami mat, and left with a bag of souvenirs I then emailed them to bill me for.
I was originally going to hike Fushimi Inari Taisha at night to avoid the crowds, but after a hectic couple of days with little sleep and second thoughts about running into the wild boars known to frequent the area (I ran into one just a few days before and they are massive), I decided to go during the day. I woke up oddly early one morning, so I decided to head over and was lucky enough to run into not too many people there.
Owner, bartender, and magician Christophe Rossi at L’escamoteur Bar. It worked out that I arrived to meet an old friend just before it opened, which I would highly recommend as only the first six people get to sit upfront at the bar and watch Rossi and his talented bartenders create beautiful cocktails.
Blade Runner vibes in Osaka.
It was raining when I went to Otagi Nenbutsu-ji Temple, which is also a little out of the way so I hardly ran into any other visitors there.
Making my own cup noodles at the CUPNOODLES Factory in Yokohama.
My Nagomi Visit host practicing calligraphy in Suita.