Kyoto Travel Blog› entry 51 of 111 › view all entries
We woke up not too early and packed our bags for our trip to Kyoto, which we had high hopes for as it is always highly recommended. It was a hot day which is never good for moving around, as the giant bags on our backs hardly makes things any cooler. After much perspiration and effort we got to the station and used our rail passes to purchase our tickets. I do not think it is possible to get tired of using bullet trains, whether it is the speed or comfort or the amazing scenery of Japan as you fly by, it was never a chore.
We arrived in Kyoto around two hours later which is pretty much the total of any Shinkansen journey, from the window it seemed quite pleasant, noticing a large pagoda on the way in.
The lady was extremely helpful but apparently eager to practice her English and after the 43rd time she explained how to get there we finally broke free and were on our way. We spotted an amazing looking cakery which I will present a picture of right…. NOW.
It was only about a fifteen minute walk and only required two changes of direction we arrived near our hostel which was conveniently right outside the pagoda we spotted earlier. The hostel was awkwardly located in a tiny alley just off the main street. From the outside it did not look to be any bigger than a doorway.
After settling in, kind of, we decided to go out and get some traditional Japanese food and find our way in to the main part of town. We headed for the subway eager to give it our first go, first though was food. True to ourselves and consistent as ever we stopped off in McDonalds.
We ended up in the older district of Kyoto, (known as Gion, the geisha district) at a temple. By this time it was getting dark and the temple lanterns were all beginning to light up which was amazing.
We discovered once we were home that the hostel has no bathroom for showering and we would have to use a local sento (Japanese public bath house). It was not fun to find out you were paying £15 per person per night to sleep in a dorm with no air conditioning, internet or shower. Their consolation prize was a discount coupon… for the sento.
We were hungry once again but by now it was late so we went to my favourite shop in Japan, Lawsons, basically it is a 24/7 newsagent. I got to buy my favourite Japanese snack so far… the microwave burrito. We also got some drinks and headed home for the night. We were too late to use the sento and would not be able to use it till tomorrow night as we had to get up early to go to Himeji. So in our hot sticky dorm room we slept.