The two of us and a friend cultured it up in Kyoto for the long weekend.
We met up at the McDonald's in Machida and had breakfast in front of the giant inflatable Ronald.
We caught the shinkansen (bullet train) to Kyoto and wandered around until we could check into the house where we were staying. This is the display case of fake food for a place in the station called the Berry Cafe. We didn't eat there this time, but maybe next trip. There will definitely be another trip.
Like I said, these are fake food, but I suspect the real ones look exactly like these.
We decided that the best place to start would be Kyoto Tower. Thus begins a segment I'm calling
OMG, Kyoto Tower!
Why would I call it that? Because the mascot seems perpetually shocked and dismayed.
360° view? Scandalous!
OMG, the binoculars are free!
OMG, souvenir coins!
*gasp* The lavatory!
These binoculars are pretty impressive. This is the view without them:
Note this wee blob:
Through the lens:
Holy crap, hand sanitizer!
School kids at the train station.
The train station building is pretty kickass.
Aaah! The down elevator!
OMG 100m! This is the poster in the elevator.
Bonus! A sort-of-life-sized Kyoto Tower mascot for picture taking!
EXTRA bonus! A thing with a face cut out!
EXTRA EXTRA bonus! What the heck is the story here? It kind of looks like a domestic dispute that ended with, "I'm going to my sister's for a few days."
Extra bonus cubed! Fun house mirror!
GO THIS WAY! GO NOW!
This was on the side of a building...I'm not sure what it's for, but everyone seems kind of shady and untrustworthy.
In Japan, life lives you! (Click to see the larger version.)
We got a lovely guide book with fantastic photos and a lot of text I can't read.
One of the smaller buildings evidently is home to a hive of bees.
Or maybe just one really big bee that eats tourists.
Either way, be careful.
Where We Stayed
It was down an alley...not this one, but one like it.
We rented this great little house from a lovely couple that was in a fantastic location and was about half the cost of any hotel room we might have been able to find.
The two-person bedroom:
The one-person bedroom:
The living room, between the bedrooms.
Down the hall is the toire, a washer/dryer, and the furoba.
The washer/dryer was a washer that doubles as a dryer...all our clothes were indeed dry, but all the clothes being dried in the same configuration as they were washed and spun did a spectacular job of perma-wrinkling all our pant legs.
Unfortunately, after we had linner (late lunch/early dinner), I was so dehydrated that I was nauseous and had a wretched headache. I'm reasonably certain that the miso soup that came with my veggie tempura contained a chicken broth, so that didn't help matters at all. I went back to the house to drink fluids and sleep it off while the other two went to check out some temples.
Along the way, the Mew got me a present - coin purses shaped like adorable cats. I call the big one my okane neko (money cat), I haven't figured out how I'm going to use the little one yet.
End of Day 1.
Link to Part 2