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.
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.
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.
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?
Yasaka Jinja was fucking awesome. They were still getting ready for the day, and I was pretty much the only non-staff person around.
To 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.
On my way back, I went along Hanami kouji dori, one of the main streets in Gion.
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.
It was the best.