We rushed towards Kyoto from the Osaka airport as soon as we touched down. We only budgeted 30 hours in Kyoto, and even less time in Osaka for the day after.
We arrived in Kyoto when the sun was setting. It was only around 5pm, but I guess the tricky part about winter travel is the early sunset. The receptionist directed us to Gion, a beautiful street lined with soft lights and well-designed Japanese restaurants. We looked from menu to menu but realized that it was a bit too expensive to eat there. Luckily, we found a small but amazing ramen bar wandering around the shopping district.
I instantly loved Kyoto. It was such a beautiful and quaint city with a traditional vibe. I loved the small streams that lined in city center and the small, winding streets surrounded by trees and Shinto shrines. I loved seeing geishas roam the streets. I loved the classy, old style taxis.
The next day, we spent the rest of our time in Kyoto exploring the temples and trying to count all the vending machines in the city. (Japan has a lot.) Unfortunately, before I knew it, it was time for us to head to Osaka.
With less than 15 hours in Osaka (6 of which would be spent sleeping), we rushed to the famous Dotonbori district after checking into our hotel to meet our friends for dinner. We took pictures with the Glico Man and got a small taste Japanese nightlife (there isn't too much, btw) before we heading back to our room and passing out. We woke up and after a quick breakfast, headed to the airport for Tokyo.
I barely scratched the surface of getting to know these two cities. I will definitely be back again, and I especially hope to return to Kyoto in the spring for cherry blossoms or in the fall for foliage.