Adventures in Kyoto

Bamboo Forest Arashiyama Kyoto Japan

Kyoto has treated me well. Tomorrow I’m saying farewell to this glorious city, and bullet train-ing myself back up to Tokyo for a couple last days in Japan. I’m definitely going to miss it here.

While Tokyo is enormous and overwhelming, Kyoto is walkable and inviting. As soon as I stepped out of the train station and made my way along the narrow streets to my temporary apartment, I knew I would love this place. There’s a Japanese old world charm here that blends almost seamlessly with our modern fast culture. I find the juxtaposition of iPhones, kimonos, Starbucks, and ancient shrines exciting and humbling at the same time. Wherever you go traditional Japanese and buddhist culture are there. I’m mesmerized by the magical alleys only wide enough for 2 people to fit through, and the shrines occupying space between apartment buildings. Perhaps I’m most excited by the abundance of mochi (a heavenly rice cake that’s been around for over 1 thousand years) sold on every street.

Mugwort Mochi Kyoto Japan

In my week spent in Kyoto my favorite part has been my two trips to Arashiyama––which you’ll see in the video below!

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Perfect Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Best Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Kon’nichiwa from Japan!! Yes, Japan! The land of the starchy and sweet Japanese yam :)

How did I end up here? It all happened so very quickly. One day I was planning on spending the winter in New Orleans, and the next thing I know I’m on an airplane flying to the other side of the world. It has been my dream to visit this country ever since I stepped foot in the Tokyo Narita airport on a layover to Thailand over 3 years ago. Though I’ve dreamed of spending time here, I know so little about it. I guess that’s why when my New Orleans plans didn’t work out, I quickly shifted my focus to visiting my #1 spot, Japan, and making my dream come true!

Vegan in Japan

 

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LA + Chocolate Cherry Thumbprint Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Cherry Valentines Thumbprint Cookies

I just arrived in Japan! I’ll spend half my time in Tokyo, and the other have in Kyoto. I’ve got 2 weeks to explore as much as I can. Please give me advice!

Of course, I’m most looking forward to the food. The seaweed, the ramen, the Japanese yams, and tofu. Japanese food has long been a favorite of mine, and though eating out at non-vegan restaurants can be tricky for a vegan, I’m super excited to cook for myself, and enjoy the vegan restaurants here. Of course I’ll be taking you guys along for the ride! Make sure you’re following me on Instagram @sweetpotatosoul and subscribed to my YouTube channel!!

But before we dive into this Japanese adventure I want to tell you about my other recent trip, and share a delicious and easy Valentine’s Day recipe with you!!

If you’ve been following me on social media you’ll know I just spent 2 weeks in Los Angeles. Trading NYC winter for LA sunshine was a stellar idea! I’m pretty sure I can’t stand another winter in the polar vortex. Eight years in the northeast is more than enough. I won’t move away permanently––NYC summers are divine––but I’m going to make my bi-coastal dream come true :)

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BIRTHDAY POST + Sweet Potato Cake!!!

Vegan Sweet Potato Birthday Cake

Just 3 days ago I embarked on an exciting journey. My first stop is Los Angeles, California where I’m writing from this morning. The sun is shining, the freezing winds of NYC are a thousand miles away, I’m with my friends, and I’m celebrating two birthdays; my own, and that of this blog. Sweet Potato Soul turns 5! Five years of recipes, writing, and your support. It’s already been a blessed journey, and it’s really only the beginning.

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Harissa Hummus Nori Rolls

Vegan Hummus SushiThis simple dish is so fresh, and so clean clean!

I’ve never met a soul who didn’t like hummus, and though many people claim to dislike seaweed they usually make an exception for sushi nori. Oh, and since everyone is always asking me about quick and easy recipes, I’m pretty sure this one is going to please the masses.

On Saturday I’m leaving NYC for a 6-8 week long adventure around the world. First I’m flying to Los Angeles to spend some quality time in the sun with my friends and family (little bro moved there recently). I am beyond excited to get out of NYC in the dead of winter. All the hype around super blizzard Juno was enough to make this winter hater want to leave the city for good. Though of course I’ll be back in the spring.

Harissa Hummus Nori Rolls

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