|My first kimono sightings at the shrine|
There are LOTS of drink machines in Japan. They are on every single corner and train platform. So, you can get yourself a beverage before hopping on the airport express and then stay hydrated. Also with the express trains you can take the HARUKA train to Kyoto and it will take about 45 minutes off your journey. Problem, it doesn't run as often AND it's twice as expensive. For me it made no sense because I would have been waiting 40 minutes for the next train and then not saving any time for the money spent.
So, when I finally arrived at Kyoto I went in search for my hostel. The train systems in Kyoto are very helpful when you first arrive but I found Kyoto much easier to walk. It was layed out in a grid system and with the help of the river flowing through town you could always figure out where you were. My hostel was located in the Ginto district which is a great district to stay in because it used to be the Geisha district and therefore has kept a lot of it's character. Yes, I did see a real Geisha while I was there but I thought it was rude to take her photo. She's just a girl trying to do her job!!
|Old style Kyoto Streets|
Let's go back a second to Japanese customs, you MUST know the name and the address of the hostels you are staying in Japan. There were backpackers in my line who had a Lonely Planet and were like: "we're going to pick a place out of here when we get tired." The customs guy WOULD NOT let any of them through until they picked a place and wrote down the address. He chided me for not writing down my hostel's address. It's in Japanese! How am I supposed to write Japanese?! Immigration in Japan will take an hour. They have a new system where they take your photo and your finger prints before you're allowed in the country. Then they will check your bag for stuff. I was clear because I was only travelling for four days and had only the one bag but there were some people in my line who had 6/7 bags and a whole family that had to be checked! It felt like being back in America.
|My handsome sushi chefs! Thank you for being so nice to me!|
|Temple at Dusk|
|My bedroom in Kyoto! More comfy than it looks|