2010 03 30 - Kyoto day 1

Kyoto Travel Blog

 › entry 7 of 41 › view all entries
It was tuesday, early in the morning and I wanted to sleep for a bit more. But the alarm rang and I only had 15 minutes to shower and then meet Ayano to go through the maze of trains to Kyoto. With a bit of help from her and a Belgian wafel from Manneken for breakfast we found a Shinkansen (think TGV speeds) train from Osaka to Kyoto and poof 15 minutes later we were there. All the while in the train I watched her abusing her mobile phone for so many things, but in the same way a woodpecker uses a tree: By poking it 10 times per second. She did find out that most hostels where full, but that the Utano came highly recommended and was so big that there just HAD to be a spot.

And then it turned out we were only travelling to Kyoto together. She was meeting a friend at his place for a bit and then would continue to Tokyo. That is how I found out that Japanese politeness means you don't tell someone bad news early. Instead you wait untill you have to bring it, apologise and disappear. It was the first time on my travel I was alone, had no plan, no place to sleep and I was exhausted. I took a bus that went directly to the hostel that might have a place, but it stopped every 100 meter so it took forever to reach and made it impossible to take a powernap. When I finally reached the hostel I could immediately see why it came so highly recommended, it was stunningly beautiful. I asked for a room at the desk and heard that everything was full or pre-booked. He was going to call some other hostels and I was allowed to wait on the bench. 3 hours later I woke up on that bench with a painful back and neck, but not tired anymore. The person at the desk had been replaced and soon found out there were no places anywhere.

After a short panick we found out that 4 people had booked beds, but hadn't shown up yet. I had hope again, but soon one of them showed up. And then another one. I would only have the bed if 1 more person didn't show up before midnight, but that was still 8 hours away. All I could do was eat something and enjoy the beautyful things the hostel had to offer while I still could. It was made clear to me that I wouldn't be allowed to use my sleeping bag anywhere in the hostel and that camping in the wild would be illegal and hardly possible. I decided to spend my time at least slightly useful by checking in with the agencies in Holland that were going to rent my house. They both needed some paperwork signed so I started working on that. I played some tennis between the cherry trees (yes, a hostel with a tenniscourt!) and had dinner at the hostels restaurant which was expensive (950 Yen) but really good. I had some nice discussions with other hostellers about Kyoto and determined I would stay here for a while. And then it was midnight and there were still 2 beds left. I lucked out, got into bed and didn't wake up untill 9 the next morning.

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photo by: ys484