Day 10 – Kyoto – 28 June 2019 – ramen cooking class, Fushimi Inari Shrine and Esperanto Photo Studio

This was our second day in Kyoto. The weather had not improved from the day before. It was overcast and slightly wet.

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Nearby in Osaka was the G20 Summit hosted by the Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo. The roads were busy and the police were on patrol. We were told there were many international dignitaries visiting Kyoto due to its proximity to Osaka. Our train constantly stopped between stations.

In the morning, we visited a ramen cooking school south of Kyoto Station. We didn’t know this at the time, but the school was connected to the fire ramen restaurant, Menbaka. Amazing!

We cooked chicken ramen to our taste. They let us customize the dish however we wanted and were super friendly.

The cooking class is housed in a normal Japanese looking home. We booked the class via Klook. They allowed groups to start whenever they arrived. We had a designated assistant who guided us throughout the class. The assistant dressed us up in an apron and bandana and gave us a cooking manual in English.

Our first task was to create ramen from scratch. We were given all the ingredients, the flour, eggs, salt, etc. Our assistant demonstrated each step and we were able to roll and cut our own ramen.

We also created our own marinating sauce for the chicken and egg and soup base, called ‘tare’. We had the choice of salt (shio), soy sauce (shoyu) tare.

The ramen stock consisted of whatever percentage of chicken or seafood stock we wanted. We cooked our own noodles, combined our soup bases and added our choice of toppings. It was a fun experience and well worth the two hours we spent at the cooking class. We went home with a bandana and a huge bowl of ramen with the words, No Ramen No Life, inscribed around the bowl’s side.

We traveled by train to the Fushimi Inari Shrine. As with most Kyoto sights, it was packed with tourists and visitors. The shrine is fantastic because we were able to spend a good two hours trekking under the arches/gates as we hiked to the top of the shrine.

I recommend climbing to the summit. There are plenty of chances to take photos under the arches/gates, so you don’t need to worry if you can’t get a good photo near the base.

If you manage to climb to the summit, you can capture a beautiful view of the city. I recommend during this trek, because its free and you get to trek through some beautiful greenery and photo-opportunities.

After the Fushimi Inari Shrine, we visited Gion for lunch. From lunch, we walked to a photo studio called Esperanto. They do amazing Geiko/Maiko, Oiran and cute Japanese cosplay. I highly recommend it, because they put so much effort and love into dressing you up. They take some awesome photos.

They dressed up my wife and turned her into a gorgeous Japanese princess. I just wore a Samurai outfit. We had so much fun doing the photo shoot. Even to this day, we want to go back and try the other options they had available.

At night, we paid a visit to the Kyoto Pokemon Center. We managed to buy some unique costumed Pikachu in kimono and traditional Japanese attire (just like the one pictured below). I loved this store, because it was heavily Johto-inspired.

Next time Day 11 – Kyoto to Nagoya – 29 June 2019 – Supreme Store, Bape Store and the magnificent garden at Nabana no Sato.

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