anonymous traveller - kyoto

The place where everyone wants to go to buy garms, eat sushi til they puke and buy perfectly designed every day items

Date of the trip - month/year?

16 days in paradise, end of May until mid June 2017.

How did you get to Kyoto and how long did you stay?

BULLET TRAIN. Stayed for like 5 days in a hostel that had just opened, we were the first people in our room, I pulled that plastic film thing that comes on every electrical item in the room.

Japanese Food Porn - please describe in gory detail the most delicious thing that you ate.

A piece of sushi that was basically loads of tiny fish wrapped in a piece of seaweed which was weird as fuck. Octopus balls were banging. There were also these gelatine balls (I think) that I got from a corner shop that came in a see through plastic packet and a sachet of chocolate flavouring which was v weird but also nice.

Is Kyoto known for the bamboo? How come you ended up in a forest?

North of the city are the famous red gates, just behind that we went for a walk (2 hours later) we saw some abosolute mad tings including this bamboo forest and got chased by a dog that looked like the one out of Metal Gear Solid which was fucking scary AF.

Were there any inspirational take aways that you got from soaking in all the perfectly designed aspects of life, amazing garms, sushi and anime?

The main thing that stuck with me is how mental it is but people on the whole are really calm and collected. Everything seems to be well considered which without trying to look into too much made me think about how I approach things I do. Do it properly or just allow it. Apart from that I found a love of drip coffee whilst in Japan.

Also oversized garms were a thing over there. Before my trip I’d say I was wearing my stuff slightly more fitted. Fabrics were either mental next level

tech-inspired or rough as fuck army surplus and thick slubs. Obvs you get silks and shit, but from what I saw ‘on street level’ was the former.

Everyone seems pretty friendly and smiley in your photos, what were the people of Kyoto like?

Kyoto was super super friendly, I got lost trying to find a temple slightly further out of the city. I ended up cycling around the outskirts of the northern part of the city, the roads were super smooth and hardly any traffic. Took a few wrong turns (I clearly can’t read a map and am a man child without Google Maps/4G) and ended up in the middle of some suburban area and had run out of water. An old lady was watering her front garden and sprayed water all over me which was kinda weird but needed, anyways. Got v lost and a guy in a truck took me back to the centre but didn’t speak a word of English to me which TBH was a fucking weird move on my part but I thought if it kicked off I could take him. He took me passed his family home which was cute, his wife and kids were playing outside and spoke Japanese to me and I just smiled like an idiot.

On the way back we passed an Onsen and I asked him to stop, I took my bike out of the back of his Suzuki rascal and headed in which was possibly the best thing I did all holiday.

What was the most Japanese thing that happened to you on your trip?

Having a bow off with a waitress was jokes. Apparently the lower you bow the higher you regard the person you’re bowing to, and the last person to bow ‘wins’.

I also saw a load of Salary Men going out with their bosses after work and getting absolute smashed and having a bow off for about 3 minutes.

What was something that you learnt about Japan that you didn't know before you went?

That they are V racist/xenophobic. As a closed society, the fear of outsiders seemed really ignorant. We got turned away from loads of restaurants in Osaka as they weren’t open – until a geeza from Singapore on business told us to follow him and we had lunch with him after he spoke to the owner. Weird ting.

The whole school girl/anime/porn thing was very fucking weird. It was very surreal seeing the equivalent of a Sainsbury’s local carrying hardcore porn magazines and business men openly reading them at busy sushi stands in the middle of the city.​​

Liked that? Want more tales from foreign lands? Check out the Anonymous Traveller's Cuban adventure