Japan: Day one

So, as predicted, I was absolutely wrecked by the time we got on our flight from Tokyo to Osaka. Despite the energy drinks consumed in the JAL lounge, I fell asleep on the plane almost as soon as we took off. Then woke up feeling like I’d had a one-hour Vulcan neck pinch. I must have been sleeping in such a strange position…

The flight was marked by a) efficient boarding by the ever-polite Japanese fellow-travellers and b) a shed-load (dozens) of Japanese school kids. They’d received a lecture from one of their teachers pre-boarding, which was so ferocious it even scared me into behaving well. Seriously. It was scary. No wonder they were so well behaved.

The bus journey from Osaka to Kyoto was lovely. The sun was out and the scenery was a nice distraction from the combination of neck pain and exhaustion. We then had to transfer from that bus, at Kyoto rail statin, to the free transfer bus to our hotel.

Seriously, it felt like an epic quest, not a holiday. But we got there and the welcome was as lovely as ever. Despite arriving at about 1pm, our room was ready and we’d got a free upgrade. Luck of the Irish! We’re facing out onto the garden, not the hills in front of the hotel. But it’s still very pretty. Here’s a quick look at the hillside view. Really lovely in the morning sun.

After a ‘brief’ two-hour nap, we showered, changed and wandered into town. We’re a 15 minute stroll from the centre of Kyoto, which takes us through a very quiet neighbourhood. We hadn’t had lunch, so basically went for food in the first place we stumbled across. It was the Japanese equivalent of a UK fish and chip shop… except it spcialised in katsu curries of varied kinds.

You had to order your food from a machine in the lobby, recive some tokens and then exchange these for actual food with a waiter on the floor above. It was extremely tasty and the portions were excellent. Haute cuisine it was not, but it was exactly what I was looking for.

We then went for a wander around town, reacquainting ourselves with the street layout. The weather had been lovely and it remained warm even after sundown. A quick green tea frappuccino at Starbucks and a stop in one of the many Lawson convenience stores to pick up drinks and snacks for our room. By the time we walked back, I had more than hit my 10,000 step count for the day.

I then managed to find a live stream of the Ireland versus Argentina rugby world cup match, and propped myself up in bed to watch the carnage. Kick-off was 9pm Kyoto time. Despite the terrible result, it was a cracker to watch, even on an iPad via shaky internet stream. Then sleep until 4am this morning.

We’ve popped along to the gym and now to graze at the breakfast buffet downstairs before a trip to Arashiyama on the other side of town.

1 comment on “Japan: Day one

  1. The food looks yummy. I like comfort foods (too much) and it’s sometimes the local fare on the cheap (or normal) that is memorable in a great way.


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