Asia

Rediscovering Kyoto

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In the morning we said goodbye to Misato and Ken and went straight to catch the Shinkansen towards Kyoto. We went to Shinagawa station which was the closest to Shibuya, and once there we went to the ticket reservation office and asked for a “Shitei seki” (reserved seat).

Bullet train parked at Shinagawa station.

The bullet train is very punctual and at the scheduled time we leave. Since I didn't know what time we would pass in front of Fuji-san, I asked the reviewer and he told me that it could be seen at 12.38 am. At exactly that time we passed in front of him. The truth is that little was seen among the clouds, but what struck me most was that it was not snowy. Through the window we saw large yellow rice fields about to be collected and tea.

As soon as we arrived in Kyoto we went to Hostel K's, which is about 10 minutes walk from the central station. This hostel is very good, because the staff is very nice and helps you in all the steps you need. The only bad thing is that the windows have no blinds and at 7 am we woke up every morning.

At reception they told us that from the hostel to Gion you could walk, since it only took about 30 minutes. So we went for a walk. When we had been walking for about 10 minutes, we stopped to eat an oyakodon and some soba (noodles) in a small restaurant near the Sanjûsan Gendô temple. Sanjûsan Gendô Temple (600 ¥) is the longest in the country and is famous because it shelters a thousand statues of the kannon goddess of a thousand arms. The truth is that it was quite impressive to see so much statue together.

Kannon statues in Sanjûsan Gendô.

On the way to Gion, we saw a maiko running through an alley as if she were Alice's rabbit in wonderland, so we realized we had arrived. We decided to go behind it and we arrived at the door of a theater or something similar, where people who had been watching a show came from, and at the door were several geisha and maikos thanking the attendees. The truth is that it was a gift for the eyes to see so much maiko together, especially because for us it was the first time we saw geikos and maikos. Then we decided to continue walking to Shijo-dori which is a shopping street that leaves the Yasaka Shrine and is full of craft and food stores that are to die for shopping.

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