Friday, June 30, 2017

Itoh Dining Kyoto

The great part with travelling with a baby is that most places will give you a bigger table or private area to sit :)

I didn't make any arrangements for dinner on a Sunday night in Kyoto because I thought that we could explore Gion and just walk into any restaurant.

However, we changed our minds and decided to book a restaurant to ensure that we can get a place because during the weekend, most places are full or booked out.

Also, everyone didn't seem to be in the mood to "explore Gion" so it was best for us to just head out straight to the restaurant and back.

A few beef teppanyaki restaurants that we wanted to try were booked out. 
However, we managed to get a table at Itoh dining at the very last minute.

We were ushered upstairs to a private room with a pretty nice view overlooking the river.

It's a pity that shortly later, it became dark and we couldn't see much. Haha.

Loved the private room especially when you have a toddler that can't sit still.

Mushroom soup

Garlic fried rice

Salmon sashimi

Yellow tail carpaccio, couscous and spring vegetables

Grilled fish with miso sauce

Foie Gras

MmmmmMm Kobe Beef


Friday, June 23, 2017

Bamboo Groves and Soba

Family pic

Ooops. Her packet of snacks fell down.

Togetsu-kyu Bridge

With her ye ye

I asked the hotel for baby friendly restaurant recommendations in Arashimaya and they recommended Yoshimura - a restaurant that specializes in soba.

I tried to secure a booking but it was full so we just walked in. We waited for about 10 minutes to get a table.

Actually, my first preference was to dine at Unagiya Hirokawa in Arashimaya but I could not get a booking and was not sure if my parents in law were willing to queue up for an hour to eat unagi.

The view from inside the restaurant.

The soba wasn't too bad but everything in Japan is just so expensive !

The bill for the 4 of us came up to about RM400+ just for a simple bowl of soba with some sides and drinks.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Sagano Scenic Railway

I had "meticulously" planned this railway ride after reading suggestions from others on Trip Advisor. I wanted to start the trip from Saga-Arashimaya - Kameoka and wanted to return from Kameoka - Torokko Arashimaya. 

I had written down in my notes which side to be seated at in order to get a better view and exactly what time I wanted to catch the train so that the timing would be right for us to have lunch once we were done with sightseeing.

However, things did not go as plan.

The intended day that I planned to take the scenic railway ride was booked out for the timing that I wanted. SAD!

I had to change the date of the train ride. Plus, I cannot remember whether it was my mistake or the ticketing guy's mistake but I booked the WRONG station for the starting leg of the trip. 

Instead of Saga-Arashimaya, the tickets were booked from Torokko Arashimaya and this would mean that we would have to walk 1.4 km from Saga-Arashimaya Station as there is no direct train to Torokko Arashimaya.

It wouldn't be an issue if we didn't have a baby with us. Every morning, it would take us approximately 1 and a half hours to get ready to go out!

That morning itself, by the time all of us were ready, we had limited time to get to Torokko Arashimaya and were afraid that we would miss our train ride.

We ended up taking a cab straight to Torokko Arashimaya from our hotel.

Needless to say, the cab fare cost us a BOMB!

It was drizzling that morning.

Showing Olivia the train

Here is Olivia being her usual self - "sleepy but trying to stay awake".
She was so cranky!

An all too common sight when travelling with a cranky toddler. Hahaha.

Finally, sound asleep at last.

Kameoka Station

There's nothing much to do around this station but somehow, time just flew. 

We were here for about an hour before we hopped on the train to head back to Arashimaya.

Exploring Kameoka

I was busy playing with the camera settings hence the different tones and hues of all the pictures in this post.

The most "exciting" activity at this stop - feeding the horses! 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Gion Nanba Kyoto

I booked dinner at Gion Nanba to celebrate my mother-in-law's birthday.

I was on the lookout for "Michelin star" kaiseki meal restaurants that were "affordable" and "baby friendly" and there weren't that many to choose from because a lot of restaurants that I looked up initially have a no children policy.

Furthermore, most restaurant bookings required me to make a phone call via the hotel which I found a hassle. However, Gion Namba takes online reservations, so it was really convenient!

I read a couple of reviews before deciding on Gion Nanba and most of the reviews were positive.

I also watched the video on their website on how to find this place several times because it can be tricky to walk through the small lanes to get to this restaurant.

Sake to start the night

This appetiser was so good. This was scallop with tomato. 

This was like the tastiest tomato that I've ever had in my entire life. It was so sweet and juicy.

I forgot what this is - some tofu dish with leek - I didn't quite like the taste of the "green thing".

Can never go wrong with sashimi in Japan :)

Liked this unique dish - some prawn with roe

I've been wanting to eat Kyoto's pickled mackerel sushi and I finally got to try it here!

By the time the grilled fish came, I was crazy stuffed.

Pictured above is the portion for four people before they served it individually.

I gave Olivia almost my entire fish. She loved it!

I loved this dish! Beancurd with uni. I really liked this combination.

Cod fish in some very thick jelly-like broth. 

My father-in-law enjoyed this alot. 
Just like Mike, they're both "soup people".

We had a private area to ourselves - maybe it was because we had a baby with us and the counter seats weren't an option! Haha.

Olivia could not sit still and was restless so we had to let her watch videos.
Youtube Kids - a total life saver.

And oh, we got ourselves the Ninja Wifi router for portable wifi after reading a blogger's product endorsement....which btw, I would not recommend!

The connection we experienced was really shit. 
It disconnected so often and videos took ages to load.
Our hotel wifi was way faster!

Our server was really friendly and kept entertaining Olivia each time she came to serve us food.

Some steamed rice with ginger - I really couldn't stomach this when it arrived because the food was up to my throat. . . .

....but when the dessert came, my "second stomach" made room for it! HAHAHA.

This was some jelly and yam dessert.

This was so tantalising ! Ice cream with wine.
So so good!

The last thing we were served was an authentic cup of green tea.

Perhaps, we should have opted for the 8,000 yen course instead of the 10,000 yen course because all of us felt way TOO full!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

I love Kyoto

We stayed at Kyoto Century Hotel during out stay in Kyoto.
Took the express train from Osaka to Kyoto.

The hotel is a two minute walk from the entrance of Kyoto Station.
It's so convenient!

We picked hotels that were near central train stations during our trip to Japan as we had a lot of things to carry with us. 

So thankful that my in laws helped us to bring back our dirty laundry and stuff that we didn't need as they left Japan earlier than us. 

It really helped to ease our mobility as between Mike and I, we had to manage two big luggage bags, a stroller, diaper bag, baby carrier and baby.

We exchanged one bag with them and took a small cabin sized luggage bag.

Packing light with a baby isn't really much of an option...
but I admit that I did bring too many warm clothing that wasn't needed but I wasn't too sure of the weather as some days the temperature could go as low as 11 degrees.

x  x  x  x  x  x  x  x 

Kyoto Century Hotel.

Loved the rooms. Loved the bathroom. The location is a 10 out of 10.

We opted for breakfast at the hotel during our stay and the variety of food here doesn't change. We ate the same thing for 3 days straight and got really bored. The same noodles. The same style of eggs. Zzz. Every. single. day.

Actually, one of the reasons that I booked this place is because I read a review online that the hotel kitchen helped a lady to cook her baby's porridge. 

One of my constant worries during this trip is thinking of Olivia's meals.

I really didn't expect her to be so fussy during this trip and thought that she would gladly share our meals as she used to be very easy with meals.

The buffet had porridge and she refused to eat it as well, even though it did not taste bland.

Our happy little explorer

Living the life

She would turn every hotel room we stayed at upside down.

Drawers will be opened.
Papers and pens will be all over the place.
Lamps will go on and off, on and off.

I loved how the bathroom has a stool to sit on while bathing yourself. The SIMPLE joys in life. 

A toilet stool. Hahaha.

x  x  x  x  x  x  x

We had lunch at Isetan, just beside the hotel.
Walked inside a restaurant that served Tonkatsu.

I love how most restaurants in Japan have a "kids meal."

Olivia's favourite part of the meal - the JUICE! Hahaha.

Her meal comes with toys for her to choose from. So awesome for kids.
Great to keep them occupied during the meal.


Went to the top floor of Kyoto Station to take pictures

Daddy & daughter

I should have been in the pic too!