From Tokyo, I took the train south to Kyoto, the ancient capital of Japan. Sometimes when I travel, I feel like certain cities play hard to get, with circumstances coalescing to make everything harder than it needs to be (looking at you, Sydney). Usually this is in cities I am most excited to visit, and Kyoto was no exception. There was a torrential downpour when I arrived, and my timing was just terrible everywhere I went in the city on my first day. I would arrive at a place just as it was closing, which was mildly frustrating. Navigating Japanese public transportation is fairly intuitive, but it does take some time to figure out where things are and to get there. The most famous temples in Kyoto are spread throughout the city, sometimes at opposite ends. And inevitably I would arrive at each bus stop and miss the bus by only minutes.
But I trudged on and did get to see one temple the first day along with my near-misses. Finally, I just decided to take the subway home and was treated to the most confusing kiosk I’ve ever seen. When I eventually arrived back at the main station, near my hotel, I had an interesting dinner of duck pasta and explored the station itself. It’s a modern monstrosity that requires a map to navigate if you are looking for something specific. Luckily I was just wandering, so I could take my time. My second day in Kyoto was much more productive than the first, which was encouraging.
Tomorrow I will post about my experience at the Ginkaku-ji Temple or the Silver Pavilion, the one temple I did see on my first day.
Title quote: Nickname for Kyoto