Hatte mich nun am Sonntag ran gesetzt und den Kyoto Beitrag geschrieben, hier einzulesen. Bis dann
After Shirahama, we went up to Kyoto where the problems of finding some affordable accomodation started. I wrote to a Hostel in Shirahama, but didn’t get a rpely upon departure. So I thought we should just go there and ask driectly (I’m a non mobile-phone user by the way). Arriving in Kyoto, everything looked different to me compared to the image in my head from 3 years ago. I spent a day there coming from Tokyo, together with my mother using the Japan Rail pass. But it seemed that the trainstation got a makeover. However everything was very clear and we could find our way through very easily.
Taking the Bus to the downtown area and getting in our chosen Hostel, we found no one around. After about 1 hour, I used the Hostel phone to call someone in charge just to find out that he couldn’t accomodate us and didn’t read my mail…
Getting out again, the next Hostel didn’t have space for me, and the third one didn’t take either kids or was fully booked, I cannot totally recall it. We spent about 1 hour looking for a Hostel which was very stressful for me. I completely underestimated the situation in a big city. Traveling in Kyushu was easy because I usually didn’t have to look much for a Hostel to take me in. It’s not as popular than Honshu. But here on the main Island, with Kyoto being one of the major destinantions, it totally slipped my mind to put some more attention to the matter.
The third Hostel where we’ve been just rejected told us about the Piece Sanjo Hostel to ask there for accomodation. After another 15 minutes we found it and luckily they took us in, providing a double room, for three people, which is usually not allowed (though 1 of us was just a child, but still). It was already night, and we told them about our ordeal and they probably pitied us and showed mercy. Quite expensive though, but at that moment I would have almost paid anything^^. What a relief. Hereby I would again recommend this Hostel.
Our plans for Kyoto included a climb on Mt. Inari, a walk through the Bamboo Forest and a temple stay. Unfortunately the temple stay wasn’t possible. Everything was eitehr full, only for woman, or a shitty concrete building, instead of a real temple. Such a shame, because this would have been one of the major reasons for my visit to come to Japan.
However did we go to Mt. Inari on the next day. This is a true tourist spot. People everywhere. People doing photos with these questionable selfie sticks and people on the trail, making the progress slow and the passage quite thick. Mt. Inari is located in southern Kyushu and it takes about 20 min. by Bus from the main Station (well, if you get through the very dense traffic around there…). It’s famous for its probably thousands of Torii gates. The red wooden ones, you usually see in front of temples or shrines. Basically all the way up you walk through these gates, which is really something new. The further up you go, the lesser the traffic gets. There have been parts where we didn’t run into anyone for 10 minutes. Up there it’s really quite. The bigger chunk of the tourist mass is probably just interested in some picture with them and the Toriis, instead of the cultural aspect; and leaves right after the task is done.
The climb itself is very easy and usually you follow low steps through the gates. It happend that we met an old japanese man, who did some Origami, a paper crane, for the kiddie, which totally mesmerized, and captivated her. He seemed to be really happy, and loved to make other people happy. I felt a sincere satisfaction watching him. We met him again, twice, and every time he made some little origami for someone. Upon the third meeting I wanted to thank him, by buying him a water bottle (it was a really hot day, with almost no clouds), but he humbly declined. In fact he sprung away when I offered it to him, he really didn’t want it. 5 mins later, he came back to us, to give ‚our‘ little girl a Lotus which she could spin, made out of paper. For me a really defining person.
Finishing our trip, we got back to the train station, from where we took another Bus to Arashiyama to see the bamboo forest. The trip took us one hour and it was already quite late. When we arrived at 5 pm the sun already began it’s descending, which but illuminated the sky in beautiful yellow/orange hues, and generated a beautiful scenery. At Arashiyama there was a huge river and lots of nature, trees, and old-fashioned japanese houses. Just if you would be brought back in time, right to the former Kyoto. It was marvelous and probably the most relxing place in Kyoto itself.
We walked a little around and made our way to the bamboo forest before it would get too dark. Luckily we made it in time, because the Bamboo forest was quite thick and didn’t let much light through anymore. The Bamboo was huge. First time for me to walk through this kind of setup. A recommendation to everyone going to Kyoto. Arashiyama is your spot if you want to escape the big city life in Kyoto. We couldn’t leave the path unfortunately. But still the sight was gorgeous. I wish I could share more of this feeling but it is just not possible. You may have a look on the uploaded photographs by clicking on the Link in the German Version.
With the sun already gone, we made our way back to the Hostel. The next morning they celebrated their one years anniversary with a huge party in the evening, and a selfmade cake, for everyone to eat. All food and drinks were for free and many people joined the celebration. It was a huge feast, and certainly the only Hostel I came across until now, which did anything of this kind. The staff is so nice and helpfull, speaks very good english and the Hostel itself is very clean. check it out if you have time to!
On the next day we planned a day trip to Nara, and taking the night bus to Nagasaki then. Nara will be the last article I publish in regards to the trip I had with my guests from Germany. Someday around the beginning of next week it may be expected. Until then!