|Negiyaki on the grill|
Afterwards our trip to Kyoto commenced. We took a short train ride into Nagoya, and then a 45 minute ride on the Shinkansen to Kyoto, and arrived at about 4 PM. Shortly after confirming the directions to Higashiyama ward on our map, we headed towards our hotel. This was probably the most interesting part of the trip so far. On our way to the hotel, we were approached by an elderly man. To be honest, I thought he was about to try to bum some money, but he never did. He was actually a really cool guy -- he spoke English exceptionally well and wanted to talk to us because we were foreigners. When we said we were Americans, he told us all about his travels in the US. He had several pieces of paper with handwritten Japanese phrases translated into English, and he asked us to read each phrase and comment about whether or not they sounded natural. He was especially interested in learning English idioms that do not literally translate well into Japanese, as well as our thoughts and comments on some of the translations. Since I know a little bit of Japanese, I also tried to read some of the Japanese since the sentences were simple enough for me to understand them. We ended up talking to the guy for a good hour and a half or so, and he told us how to get to some of the best spots in Kyoto as well as led us to our hotel. After all of that time, too, he did not once ask for a single yen.
|Our hotel room in Kyoto|
Our hotel is called Ryokan Ohto, and it is a traditional Japanese inn in the Higashiyama ward of Kyoto. It is situated in the middle of a quiet neighborhood, and there are many local shops and houses in the neighborhood. Personally, I don't think I could have picked a better place -- it really is a nice find. As you can see, I have posted pictures of the hotel on the inside and outside.
We went out to downtown Kyoto for a little while, however the bulk of our Kyoto trip is likely to occur tomorrow, so until then..... また明日ね。