Friday, August 19, 2016


We left the Osaka airport hotel at a little before midday on Wednesday (Happy birthday, Freyja!!)

We had very much enjoyed our day sitting about in the hotel and airport, but by the time we left at lunchtime on the Wednesday we were both agreed that we were getting a bit bored with having nothing much to do.  Fortunately, the afternoon brought quite a bit of adventure and entertainment!

There is a direct train from the Osaka airport to Kyoto.  It takes an hour and 20 minutes and is a very pleasant run.  Also - there is no need to change trains anywhere, carting your luggage with you!

It is possible to get from the Kyoto station to where we were staying by train, but it involves at least two and possibly three changes.  We took a taxi!

The taxi driver got us to the *area* we are staying in with no trouble at all.  Thereafter, he couldn't find the actual house.  I have a suspicion that had we been Japanese nationals, he would have dropped us at the Ichijōji station and let us make our own way to the house.  Given that we were foreigners, he took a bit of extra effort.  After all, you don't want to get a reputation (If you are driving a "Foreigner Friendly" taxi - no extra charges involved) for abandoning your foreigners and leaving them lost in Ichijōji, never to be seen again!!  We did eventually find the house, in a tiny side street, approximately one minute walk from the station.

We took our bags inside, connected to the wifi (priorities, doncha know!), made contact with Austin and Kaori and got ourselves sorted.  I decided I should go and find the car parking space - and got there just as Austin was parking up.  He and Kaori had had no trouble at all finding the place!!!!! And it wasn't even that the taxi driver was trying to diddle his foreigners out of extra money.  Once he realised that he couldn't find the house he turned his meter off.

It's a nice little (Airbnb) house, spread out over three floors.  A vast improvement on the Airbnb student house we had in Stepney.  On the entrance level there is a bathroom with laundry, a loo, and a tatami room with futons and an ensuite courtyard.  On the next level there is a kitchen and a dining and living area.  And on the third floor there are two, inter-connected bedrooms, one with a bunk bed and one with two single beds.  We put Austin, Kaori and Tatsuki up there. It seemed to make more sense than squishing them into the tatami room - and The Builder and I were never going to use the bunk beds :-D

It's a nice area.  If you head fifteen minutes in that direction you find a shopping complex, with supermarket, food hall, restaurants, general shops.  We headed there for supplies and something to eat.  An early dinner because no one had actually had any lunch. If you head towards the station, you find lots of smaller shops, a little supermarket, a bottle shop.  There's a park close by and lots of places to explore.

Our exploring yesterday took us by bus into central Kyoto, and then by another bus to the Kyoto Railway Museum. It's very large!  I almost immediately managed to lose all of my travelling companions!!  I wasn't particularly worried, though.  I knew they were all somewhere in the museum grounds.  Also - I had the key to the house in my wallet!!

1950s style railway sweet shop

Rooftop view

After we had headed back into Kyoto and had afternoon tea, we went up the Kyoto Tower to the observation deck:

Then we went home - and had small, tiny pizzas from a local pizza place for dinner. I'm not sure how they managed to sustain us through the night!

We didn't realise - and bought one each for dinner!
(The boxes don't fit in the fridge!)

With my wallet to the side, for a sense of scale

It's a lovely day today.  We thought we might spend it pottering around in the local neighbourhood.  After all, we have all been to Kyoto before, so no real need to dash about looking at temples, shrines and other important sites.  And we are on holiday. Relaxing locally is a good thing!

In other news:  Tony is in the hospital, still.  A different hospital.  When they were running all the tests after his fall a week or so ago, they found a tumour in his lung.  They think it is probably not cancerous, but they couldn't leave it where it was. It was making it hard to breathe.  It, and part of his lung, have now been removed.  I am told that he is recovering as well as it can be expected, when you are 85 years old and have just had major surgery in your chest.

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