Kyoto & Osaka

Kyoto in winter

Many people think it is not a good idea to visit Kyoto in winter because it is really cold. Actually, however, even though it was cold and snowing, it wasn't crowded at all and it was a great time to go.

The purpose of my visit Kyoto was to go to the Ninenzaka and Sanneizaka, near Kiyomizu Temple and Yasaka Shrine. I also wanted to have lunch at fabulous restaurant, "The Sodoh". I went these places last winter and was very impressed with the scenic beauty, so I wanted to see them again.

“The SODOH” was the private residence of Seiho Takeuchi, a prominent Japanese painter before WWII. It looks like a private club from the outside, with its large gated entrance with a doorman. It is tucked away in the woods but just off the main path through the great Higashiyama neighborhood. The ambiance and location of the restaurant is amazing. It has beautiful décor as well as fantastic Italian cuisine. The Sodoh is also available for wedding receptions and ceremonies in its spacious Japanese garden and two chapels.

My husband and I were seated by the window where we had Hoganji Temple's pagoda. Our Italian course included an appetizer, pasta, a main dish (fish) and dessert. Food was fantastic and the lady who served us was friendly and attentive. Hearing our accent, she knew we're from Tokyo and kindly talked about the Kyoto weather and the restaurant.

We stayed in the hotel near the Umeda Station in Osaka, where redevelopment is now well underway.

High-rise buildings have been built one after another in the district in preparatin for the upcoming World Expo.

Expo 2025 will take place in Osaka under the theme "Designing Fture Society for Our Lives".