Monthly Archives: November 2012

kelseydo Arashiyama

I went to Arashiyama today. The views and fresh air were breathtaking! The Japanese maples are looking really vibrant around this time of year and for some reason everyone celebrates by hiking around, taking pictures, eating and drinking (Why don’t we do this in Canada? The maple leaf is on our damn flag!). I need to make a couple more trips here because 1) It’s beautiful when it’s lit up at night 2) There is a Monkey park I need to see 3) There are tonnes of shops with amazing omiyage (souvenirs only classier). Anyways, I’m tired so I’m going to let the pictures do the talking for this post:

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kelseydo Epic Birthday Weekend

I love my birthday. Yes: I love it because I get to party, open presents and eat cake. BUT Most of all I love it because my family and friends are amazing, and they always remind me of this fact when they knock my socks off by making my birthday special.

It was pretty amazing to celebrate my birthday in Kyoto, Japan this year. If you know me, you know how much I love to create maximum birthday time and this year I got to milk it for all it was worth because A) my birthday was on a weekend and B) I am torn between two time zones.

Needless to say I managed to celebrate for three days which is quite a feat! (Although if you attended my 19th birthday you know that three days is child’s play). My friends and family made it really special this year: THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYBODY FOR BEING THE BEST PEOPLE IN THE NATION! I am so lucky to have you in my life.

Anyways, this whole post is about me and my birthday so if you need to go vomit from all the happiness please take a moment and relieve yourself!

A birthday card made by my friend Yoshino- each colored tab has a special message from my friends here in Kyoto!

My birthday is on 11/11 and so is International Pocky Day in Japan! Yoshino hooked me up with all the goods!

On Saturday night I met up with some friends after the Ritsumeikan school festival and we went to a famous ramen shop called Menbaka Ichidai (which I think literally means Ramen for Idiots…or something along those lines). This ramen shop had a particular type of ramen I was interested in, Negi Ramen…..which they set on FIRE! The host of the shop was super hilarious and the set up before the big show was a little intimidating. All of the surrounding counters, cash register and dishes are covered with wet cloths, and you are protected by a dry paper bib. I had pretty much decided it was worth it even if I did lose my eyebrows!

We all prepare to be eyebrow-less!

Amanda and I…fellow Canadians!

It was worth the wait!

Please watch this video of our FLAMING NEGI RAMEN! It’s amazing! It was hot on the other side of that counter let me tell you!

The host insisted we all take these ridiculous photos, which he takes of all his customers. I think he has found the perfect pose to make everyone look like an idiot! Genius!




Birthday Girl


The ramen was DELICIOUS! We had an amazing dining experience and I will never stop laughing at these photos! Afterwards we biked to Kiyomizu-dera, a famous temple in Kyoto, to check out the first night of this Fall’s night illumination. It was gorgeous! The pictures don’t do it justice (I keep saying this in my posts and it’s true, you just have to come here and see it for yourself!).

The crew at Kiyomizu


On the steps

Creepy forest

Kiyomizu-dera is the most beautiful temple I have ever been to. Kiyomizu means ‘clear waters’. The temple is built around a natural spring which is said to bring you longevity, good looks and wisdom, so naturally I drank from the clear spring waters with all of the other believers.

Afterwards we biked back to our dorm and shared some cheesecake that I made the night before! I also got into the Sake.



Blueberry Cheesecake

Nick made me an incredible Birthday video with my friends and family in Canada. You can watch the video here. It is very special and heartwarming, I got all choked up! I couldn’t have asked for a better way to celebrate my 26th- Thank you to everyone for an amazing birthday!

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kelseydo Kyoto Imperial Palace & 三十三間堂

Today I went on a solo adventure to visit the Imperial Palace. Twice a year, for about 5 days, it is open to the public. It was pretty busy for this reason, but still a must-see. Bonus: it’s free to enter.

Floral Arrangement at the Entrance

A sports demonstration…seemed like glorified hacky sack to me



Imperial Gardens

After finding a nice shaded bench at the Imperial Gardens and polishing off a Bento I had made earlier, I biked to Sanjūsangen-dō to see the 1001 statues of the Buddist deity, Kannon. I was blown away by the beauty of these statues and of the 28 guardian dieties, and my jaw completely dropped when I saw one gigantic seated statue (aka the National Treasure). It was epic! I couldn’t take photos inside the building but I managed to take some photos of the beautiful surroundings.

三十三間堂 literally means the thirty-three ken (Japanese architecture measurement) length hall

The temple was a really peaceful and it smelled amazing. I b-lined for the gift shop to get some incense and I also scored some postcards to show you what the Kannon statues look like.

Gigantic seated Kannon

1000 Kannons and their guardians

I think it probably goes without saying that these photos of postcards don’t do it justice! You have to see it in real life to understand the full beauty and sheer magnitude of the building filled with statues.

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