Fresh Ink

Kyoto - A Love Story

Oct 24, 2014

Maybe I've talked about it already and you know where this is going. Maybe you're hearing about it for the first time. Either way, please let me say again, I love Kyoto.

Yes, I quite like Japan and I would never turn down an opportunity to go to Tokyo. But there's something magical about Kyoto that can't be found anywhere else. So unlike any other worldly location I can think of, I am truly in love with this place.

I think back to all the Kyoto visits over the past decade and they all blend into each other like a fond mash-up of all the early dates you went on with your spouse.
Like that restaurant you used to go to where there were no kids and candlelight was all you needed to read a menu.
Like when you'd browse the bookstore for a few hours and laugh at ridiculous magazine covers and find amazing books to buy.
Like taking a walk at twilight and for the first time your fingers touch and slowly, but surely, you hold hands. Thinking about Kyoto is just like that - all beautiful and twinkly, with no rough patches and most certainly, no hard times.

Like any love story, there's more to the first meeting and the love falling. Since 2002, there have been some misunderstandings and a bit of forced distance. But for now, let me share with you how it all began.

Here are some moments I always look back on. I'm sometimes surprised I was there, that I took those photos, that it was once a real moment. As I keep looking at these images, they become more fantastical. Take a look with me before we move on.

This one's blurry because when you wake up very early and run to look out the balcony the first morning you've arrived, you take a blurry photo. It's still my favorite.

Walking down Sanjo dori (street) after a light summer rain.

A few times, we stayed at an apartment right on the Kamogawa (river). In the summer, all the restaurants across the way build decks for summer dining and string them with lanterns.

A dining moment in Kyoto - simple, beautiful.