We’re settling in to our tiny Kyoto apartment… which is a 10 minute walk from Kyoto Station. It’s a modern section of the city, and honestly, an ugly part of the city. But it’s very convenient… with fast rail access to all of Kyoto and to all of Japan.
We chose Kyoto because it’s a more artistic and more international city than Osaka… and has a slower pace of life. The crushing crowds of Osaka were too much for us after spending the last several months relaxing on Maui!
Kyoto is known for it’s still preserved old quarter… and it’s many ancient temples. It’s also a mecca for high-quality Japanese food. There are more Michelin starred restaurants in Kyoto than in all of the San Francisco Bay Area! A LOT more! One of our new hobbies will be eating our way through the Kyoto section of the book!
Kyoto is also famous for high-quality Ryokan… the traditional Japanese Inns that I absolutely love! Staying in a Ryokan feels like being transported to a Kurosawa or Mifune movie. I especially love the Ryokan that have an attached Onsen (natural hot spring spa). Most Ryokan also serve set menus of traditional Japanese food (traditional.. as in HUNDREDS of years old).
For vegetarians & vegans, Kyoto is probably the only city in Japan where you can eat well. There are a plethora of small family-owned veg restaurants all over town. The food is excellent and creative. Check out HappyCow.net and do a search for Kyoto… lots of places to choose from.
The only downside to Kyoto.. at the moment… is the weather. It’s cold. Winter has arrived!
Luckily, I have only two more weeks here in Kyoto and then we are off to Sydney, Australia. After Australia… it’s Bali! I’ll be in the tropics soon… eating spicy food, scuba diving in warm waters,.. maybe even kite-surfing if the wind is right.
Until then… I’ll be eating my way around Kyoto… and indulging in a few hot springs to fight the chill…..