After a looong sleep…
Just kidding: the first night was TERRIBLE: I kept on waking up several times. Next day: Jetlag=1, Me=0
Anyway, no time for complaining! I put on my beautiful “Le Colonel Moutarde” liberty-bowtie and I’m ready to rock this new day!
Before getting to the train station, we had a couple of minutes to chill around the hotel:
Our shinkansen was scheduled by noon. It was the perfect occasion to stop by the Shinagawa station and grab some food.
The market place was probably as great as Galeries Lafayette in Paris. Everything just looked so cute, I wanted to taste everything!
The train got on the track right on time (oh Lord I wish we had the same back at home)! And I had just enough time to enjoy my gyozas and makis surrounded by the beautiful landscape :o)
Housing options in Kyoto are pretty expensive. We selected “The Kyoto Royal Hotel and Spa“, which remained affordable.
It was easy to find and close to the subway “Kyoto Shiyakushomae”. The lobby looked stunning and the staff was nice and helpful.
But the rooms…. Not that great! Pretty tiny, the furniture seemed old, the bathroom was so small and we had poor view to other hotel rooms.
So, this place was not my best pick but I was happy it was so close to the subway and the bus stops.
We had our concierge booking a table for us at Manzara Honten which is a restaurant in a machiya traditional house.
There are several adresses in Kyoto, we went to the one closest to our hotel. The restaurant is located on the main street, which made it easy to find.
At the entry, wa have been asked to leave our shoes and a room had been booked just for us.
We had a lovely waitress who was taking our orders and giving great advice on the menu. We did not order the tasting menu but rather chose different small plates . One we particulary enjoyed was the cod marinatd in miso sauce: so gooood! The sushi plate and the tempura were very good as well.
I have been recommended to order sake to pair with the food: it made the experience even more memorable!
To hang around the first day in Kyoto, we rent bicycles at the hotel (I think it costed over 1.000 yens for the day) and we headed to Kiyomizu-dera temple.
It was not that easy to get there since ridinng a bike and reading the map is hard to handle at the same time (even for a woman). So it took a bit longer but eventually we made it.
We had to pay for the bike park and for the temple entry (300 yens).
The temple nestles on the hills which overlook Kyoto. It’s probably the best place to start Kyoto’s visit!
Before leaving, take some time to walk along Ninen-zaka, Kiyomizu-zaka and Sannen-zaka preserved districts: I imagine old Japan this way.
Plus, you will get to see a lot of women dressed as geishas. It’s so pretty!
You will probably have a very well-spent hour there!
I took pictures with my iphone. They are not the best quality, but I think they get the atmosphere of the moment:
More adventure tomorrow in Kyoto!
To check our Japanse tour at a glance, go here.