Kyoto Travel and Bento

Plum Tree Bento

This is my last Japan travel and inspired bento article but I will share a compilation post to put all of the links in one place. My Mom and I rented a house in Kyoto from Japan Experience. It was great to be able to do some light cooking and get the feel of living in a neighborhood in Japan.

When making this bento, I was inspired by this photo. Other than my use of the plum shaped cutter, it probably looks like a cherry tree. But I was happy with the look and taste of this meal.

Container: ECO Lunchboxes

Left Side: Nishiki rice with spinach and strawberry cream cheese (I mashed some fresh strawberries and added them to cream cheese. I put the strawberry cream cheese in a ziplock plastic bag, cut off a small corner, then piped the cream cheese on top of the rice).

Right Side: Broccoli, radish with strawberry cream cheese centers

Round Cup: Strawberries

Inspiration Photo
Kitano Plum Garden

Since the plum trees were blossoming during our visit, we went to Kitano Shrine in Kyoto. It is known for a gorgeous plum garden. As part of the garden admission we received tickets for a supposedly plum tea and a snack. I could not drink the tea because I found the taste to be revolting. My Mom has a great photo of my expression after trying the tea but I won’t share it here.

Fushimi Inari Bento

I was inspired by our experience at the Fushimi Inari-taisha shrine when making this lunch. I also liked the idea of trying a different vegetable to make the Tori. In my Miyajima bento I used bell pepper.  I made the fox picks from actual photos I took.

Container: EasyLunchBoxes

Left Side: Quinoa cooked in vegetable broth with green peas, carrots

Top Right: Hazelnuts

Bottom Right: Clementine with homemade Fox statue picks

Inspiration Photo
Tori Fushimi Inari-taisha

We went to this shrine first thing in the morning because I was concerned about crowds. It was a good time to go. It was very impressive. Before going to the shrine I read a review with a woman’s experience and she suggested that it was not necessary to climb all the way to the top. So we went there intending to follow her advice and we did.

Fox Cakes

Fox Shaped Cakes

Since the Fox is the guardian at this shrine there were Fox statues, toys, and fox head shaped cakes.

Map of Fushimi Inari-taisha

Map of Fushimi Inari-taisha

Fox Statue Fushimi Inari-taisha

Fox Statue at Fushimi Inari-taisha

Two Fox Statues Fushimi Inari-taisha

Two Fox Statues at Fushimi Inari-taisha

Sponsors Names

Sponsors Names on Gates

When we walked past these poles, my first thought was that it was poetry. But I found out later that it was company names of sponsors.

Kitano Shrine Kyoto Plums

Plum Garden at Kitano Shrine

Strawberry Baked Goods

Strawberry Flavored Baked Goods

We ate a lot of bread while in Japan. I could not resist taking a photo of this cute strawberry themed display. I bought and ate the chocolate and strawberry one. Delicious. I put strawberry shaped bread on my list of shaped bread bento that I want to make.

Bamboo Fence

Bamboo Fence


Water at Kyomizu-dera

Our visit to Kiyomizu-dera was in the rain. Before we went that day I Googled to see if it was alright to see in the rain. I think that the rain made it more special.

Women in Kimono on Steps

Women in Kimono at Kyomizu-dera

At Kiyomizu-dera and other shrines in Kyoto, we often noticed young women dressed in kimono. I was told that some do it as a girl’s day out to make it more special. The kimono were beautiful!



This cute Totoro display was at the Studio Ghibli store near Kyomizu-dera. The street on the way up the hill to the temple was filled with souvenir shops and restaurants. We ate cream puffs and I bought a shot-glass for my husband’s collection.

Stream Garden Heian Shrine

Stream in Garden at Heian Shrine

The garden at Heian Shrine was gorgeous. Everywhere we turned there was beauty. We took a lot of photos here even though it was slightly rainy. Since it was off-season and a little rainy, we had the garden to ourselves. Also special was that we were able to walk here from our rental house.

Garden at Heian Shrine

Garden at Heian Shrine

Mom walking on stepping stones

Walking on Stepping Stones at Heian Shrine Garden

My Mom is an adventurer. Me, not so much. I think that this photo is so funny because it shows me watching and not participating while she is on an adventure. I walked around on the path while my Mom walked on the stepping stones across the pond. I was afraid that I would fall.

Heian Shrine Garden

Heian Shrine Garden

Near Heian Shrine

Tori Near Heian Shrine

Manhole Cover Kyoto

Manhole Cover in Kyoto

As I mentioned in my Osaka post, manhole covers are often special in Japan.

Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine

This was taken at Shimogamo Shrine. It was another one that we walked to from our rental house. We went in the morning. This shrine was surrounded by many trees and it did not feel like we were in a city.

Another View Shimogamo Shrine

Shimogamo Shrine

Sheep Themed Donuts

Sheep Themed Donuts

Of course, I could not resist buying these cute sheep themed donuts.

River in Kyoto

River in Kyoto

This was the view on our walk from our rental house to the closest grocery store.

Turtle Stepping Stones

Turtle Stepping Stones in River

Kyoto Night Walking Tour

Kyoto Night Walking Tour

We went on a night walking tour of Gion in Kyoto hosted by Japan Experience. Since it was off-season and a little cold, we were the only ones on the tour with our guide. It was a special tour and I recommend it. We actually happened upon 4 Geisha during our walk.

Kyoto Pagoda Night

Kyoto Pagoda at Night

View Snow Covered Mountains

Kyoto View of Snow Covered Mountains

Women on Sidewalk Kimonos

Women on Sidewalk Wearing Kimonos

Our stay in Kyoto and in Japan was so special. Kyoto is a wonderful city to explore and convenient to do many day-trips.

Linking to:

Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday

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30 Responses to Kyoto Travel and Bento

  1. Lovely bentos and how you made the cream cheese is genius! Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures and I have enjoyed reading about your travel!:)

  2. kwbentodiary says:

    Wow!!! Strawberry cream cheese was creative!!! Love it!!

    Amazing Kyoto trips photo sharing!! I didn’t spend more time in Kyoto two years back with my family….well will definitely plan another trips to Japan in future 😁😁

  3. eclecticlamb says:

    Thank you Rina!

  4. eclecticlamb says:

    Thank you so much! Yes I recommend spending as much time in Kyoto as you can.

  5. bentodays says:

    Beautiful pictures and I simply love the plum tree bento! It looks gorgeous!

  6. It is so beautiful!

  7. I loved your japan travel series 🙂 Bieautiful photos!

  8. eclecticlamb says:

    Thank you so much!

  9. eclecticlamb says:

    Thank you so much!

  10. KerryCan says:

    Wonderful photos! I love seeing the photos of places that inspired your bento lunches.

  11. You are a bento genius!

  12. eclecticlamb says:

    I keep trying to get better but thank you for your kind words.

  13. coconutcraze says:

    I have plans to visit Japan one day but your photos are tempting me to make it soon. Young women in the traditional costume makes me read more into the picture, about how they care for their tradition. I admire both the lunch boxes you made and the flowers.

  14. Ariani says:

    Thanks for sharing your Japan trip. Would love to go there someday:) Great idea to make bento according to your experience. Fantastic work!

  15. eclecticlamb says:

    Thank you so much!

  16. Keitha says:

    Wow, your pictures are gorgeous! I love the way you made your bentos match with the beautiful sites you saw.

  17. eclecticlamb says:

    Thank you so much Keitha!

  18. eclecticlamb says:

    Thank you! I find the Japanese culture fascinating. Your comment about the kimono wearing young woman made me think that it is special when young people care about culture and tradition.

  19. elle says:

    Making me miss Japan all over again 😛
    The sakura bento is insane. I love it!

  20. eclecticlamb says:

    Thank you! I never get enough of Japan. I keep wanting to go back.

  21. shirleyhkapa says:

    I love love Japan! trips to Japan are always so super inspiring!

  22. shirleyhkapa says:

    oh yes, and that sakura bento is awesome!

  23. Wonderful photos! Your plum tree bento is absolutely beautiful too.
    Thank you for linking up at Fun Food Friday!

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