{daily life} Day Nineteen: Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, Flea Market, And An Awesome Café Discovery

Howdy friends, what’s cooking? I actually kind of lost track of how many days I have been in Kyoto already – I think today (or yesterday at this point, since it is past midnight already) was day 19, so here we go!

Today/Yesterday/AHHH I met up with two lovely friends (the same ones I went to Chion-in with … we are such a temple/shrine dream team, *hashtag namaste*) and we went to Kitano Tenmangu Shrine together. Apparently Kitano Tenmangu is in some way associated with Tenjin – the Shinto kami (“god”) of education and scholarship. For this reason, many students visit Kitano Tenmangu to pray for good grades, intelligence, diligence, and all those things related to studying.

Kitano Tenmangu is also well known for the flea market that is held in front of it on the 25th of every month. In my opinion, the flea market was not really a flea market, though, at least not the kind of flea market that are usually found in Germany. To me, it seemed more like a festival or matsuri, which I found even more awesome: there were some stands where people sold clothing, accessories, porcelain and many other things; but there were even more stands where you could play games and win prizes, and countless stands selling delicious street food.

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Despite the weather being kind of bad – the sky was grey and cloudy, and it looked like it was going to rain any minute – there were lots of people at the flea market. My two friends and I just walked around at first, checking out all of the stands and what they had to offer. A bit later we started to feel a little hungry (surprise, surprise) and got a late lunch that we ate sitting down on a bench close to the entrance to the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine grounds. I first got a kakigoori with matcha flavoured syrup (not exactly the best way to start out a meal, I know, but it was just so hot and humid, I couldn’t help myself— but why am I even trying to justify my bad eating habits? YOU DON’T GET TO JUDGE ME. HMPFH.) Afterwards I got some sweet potato fries and a yakimochi. The yakimochi in particular was really, really delicious, way better than the one I got at Nishiki Market the other day. (Although the Nishiki Market one was very tasty as well, of course.)

After eating, we entered the shrine and just wandered around. I was surprised at how few people there were compared to the flea market – it seems like only a fraction of those visiting the flea market decided to go to the shrine after. Not that that bothered us or whatever, because I feel like the shrine was so much more beautiful and tranquil in the absence of large, crazy crowds.

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I’m such a stalker

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I’m such a stalker #2

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People write their wishes and aspirations on these small wooden plates and hang them on the shrine grounds.

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…I’m such a stalker #3

After visiting the shrine, we decided that it was café time (of course). So we left the shrine grounds and made our way into the narrow side streets. Our goal was Café 1001: a somewhat small, but very cute and cozy book café. This is the link to their website, in case you ever somehow end up in Kyoto and fancy a cup of coffee or some delicious cake – I highly recommend this place.

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My friends got coffees and cakes, I got a berry soda (B in the bottom left photo). My drink was very delicious, I could definitely tell that somebody put effort into making it – there even was fresh fruit and mint in it. My friends were also really happy with their cakes and drinks. I’ll definitely be going there another time – and maybe next time I’ll also try reading one of their countless books.

But yes, that’s it. That was day 19. As always, thank you so much for reading, and I hope to see you again in my next post. SAYONARA.

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