Hello Kyoto

Hey Internet!

It’s my first day in Kyoto. I’m already in love with the place. I got in last night around 6, and decided that instead of looking at a map of where my hostel was, like a normal person would, I would instead wing it with the little hand drawn map I had jotted down on the plane. Of course, I also decided I would go to an entirely different train station than the one I had made directions from. So after a long subway ride (the conductor finally told me I was on the local, when I really wanted to be on the express) I got out at Kawaramachi Station. It’s a 3 minute walk to my hostel, but I didn’t know that at the time.

Fast forward two hours and several inquiries for directions later, I arrive at Khaosan Kyoto Guest House.

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This is the first time I’ve stayed in a hostel, but something tells me this is a really good one. The people working here are awesome, the common room (where I’m currently watching a women’s basketball game and drinking tea) is lovely, and my bed is surprisingly comfortable and private. My first meal in Japan consisted of a cigarette I bummed from a drunk guy from Shikoku outside and an Onigiri I consumed in bed.Image

I’m seriously jet lagged, so I woke up at 6:30 this morning and decided to go out for breakfast. It was a beautiful morning, way warmer than NYC has been lately.

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I had breakfast in a little kissaten called “Holly’s Cafe” that’s right around the corner. It was awesome. They were playing a fantastic mix of music, including Elvis and a Japanese version of Earth Angel. I had a latte and a pastry that was called “The Steambun of Corncream”. How can you say no to that?

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After breakfast I went across the bridge into Gion, on my way to Yasaka Jinja. It was around 8am, so the streets were empty. P1000360

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Yasaka Jinja was fucking awesome. They were still getting ready for the day, and I was pretty much the only non-staff person around.

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P1000424To be honest, I’m not sure where the Yasaka grounds ended and the city began. All of a sudden I realized that the buildings I was passing weren’t associated with the shrine, but were actually residential.

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On my way back, I went along Hanami kouji dori, one of the main streets in Gion.

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This street was full of older Japanese tourists. A group of them stopped me and asked to take my picture, so I spent about 10 minutes chatting with them while they put me in front of different buildings and praised my (pitiful) Japanese skills.

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It was the best.

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5 responses to “Hello Kyoto

  • いもうと

    京都きれいだね!ケイトちゃんもっときれいだね。You’re amazing! These pictures rock! Can’t believe you’re really there! やった!!!!

  • Peter

    Just beautiful. The pictures of Yasaka Jinja, empty of people, remind me of the opening scenes in Spirited Away. And the tourists all taking your picture… too funny.
    Great picture and blog entry… keep em coming. And bring me back a steambun of corncream.
    Love to you

  • Andrew Sanders

    Hi there! Your writings are pretty fantastic (unsurprisingly), and you have now been added to my google reader. Please update frequently! 😛

  • Claire Mauksch (@clairemauksch)

    KATE I love this. You’re inspiring me to buy my Asia ticket ASAP. Keep writing because I’m living vicariously through you 🙂 xoxoxo

  • Marjorie

    Oh Kate how wonderful! I know you have been dreaming of taking this trip since you were five years old. Your photos are terrific and your writing is so interesting. Can’t wait to read more.

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