Man, that’s what it’s all about! I did a TON of stuff in the past several days. I was busy from waking up till passing out (most nights) and I still haven’t even pulled pictures off my camera.
So! Friday I packed up and left my lovely private room in Tokyo and headed down to Tokyo station for my bullet train (shinkansen) ride to Kyoto. The train was very nice, and very fast 🙂 Sadly, it didn’t tell me how fast it was going like the high speed trains in France and Germany did, but I know it was way faster than both of them. If I had to guess I’d say we were doing at least 150+ in sections of the ride. Maybe you can guess from the video I’ll post in a bit.
I arrived in Kyoto around 2pm and wandered out to try to find my hostel. I had some trouble with the map I had drawn and a lot of the streets being named only in Japanese, so it took me about an hour in the extremely hot sun but I found it eventually. My first impressions of Kyoto were that it was exactly what I was looking for. Much more calm than Tokyo, and very pretty.
My hostel wouldn’t let me check in till 4:30pm so I dropped my luggage there and went out to try to find some food. I ended up a bowl of food place (I don’t know what else to call it) and had a bowl of rice and beef, like I had had in Tokyo. Very good. After wandering for a bit more I headed back to my hostel where I was able to check in and finally chill out for a bit. It had been a long day already.
I was in a dorm with 6 beds. When I arrived, one was taken, I took one and the rest were empty. They filled up pretty quick. By around 6pm all but one were full and I had met all my new roomies. The first was Andy, a really nice English guy. Then Anne the Aussie came back. She was the one with the bed already taken. Soon after we were joined by another English guy named Ben and a Japanese world traveler type named Shin. Everyone was really cool.
Andy and I had been chatting for a while and had planned to go get a beer once we were settled in. We asked Shin and Ben along and off we all went! We went to the Gion area and Shin showed us the ropes. He was a great guide and really helped a ton. He showed us how to order in an actual sit down restaurant, found us a good place to eat and drink and then wrapped it all up by ordering weird things for us all to try! Hell of a guy!
Damnit. I just lost like 10 pages of this post somehow. I’ll have to finish later. For now, check out the pictures on Flickr. I uploaded all the pictures I’ve taken so far but I don’t have time at the moment to lay everything out. Talk to you soon!