After spending the morning in Arashiyama, we caught a bus back into the city centre for Nijo Castle. It’s 500 yen to go in and despite the beauty of it all, practically everything inside was a replica. However, there is a museum on the grounds filled with the actual pieces, but it’s an extra 100 yen to go in and view them. Of course, it’s probably easier to conserve the artefacts in more controlled and modern environments and to be honest, £5 overall to view everything is a fair enough price. (Visiting places in Europe are harder on your wallet, 19 euros to visit Doge’s Palace in Venice, wtf bruh). Being pushed for time, we didn’t end up going in but would advocate doing so if you did have longer in the city!
Racing to Nishiki market, we managed to get there around 4.45pm leaving us with a good amount of time to amble through (opening times are 9.30-5.30pm, quite a bit to get used to if you’ve been spoiled by Taiwan)! It’s basically one narrow street filled with stalls selling an assortment of food and souvenirs. The best thing about it? It’s under cover! We ate a lot of things here, but the standouts were the following:
- Soy milk doughnuts – if you love fresh doughnuts (the kind you can get from fairs); you’ll fall in love with these! They’re warm and melt in the mouth, especially with the chocolate sauce drizzled on top! 5/5
- Tiny octopi – I was on the hunt for these after seeing it on my friend’s Instagram and they’re delicious as well as novel! Marinated in a sweet/savoury sauce, there’s also a quail’s egg waiting inside. 4/5
- Water buns – you’d think I’d be sick of the water with all the rain, but these looked too interesting to pass up. In fact, I had walked past them before finally deciding to double back and buy them. As a lover of all things tea, I got the roasted tea flavour! It’s essentially a type of mochi with red bean (I think?) paste inside. 4/5
- Something you must buy here is the green tea! I got the iced-green tea and it was amazing. Literally the best green tea I’ve ever tasted and I even bought a box to take home. Since my hostel’s nearby, I stopped by again on the last day for a final drink!