We left Takayama today, but not before a traditional Japanese b'fast at our ryokan…….ahhh love having food brought to me in my room while still in my pj's. The ladies come and clear away our mattresses and then set up a beautiful b'fast. All the usual suspects….miso, green tea, fish, pickled veg and of course rice! No idea what the stuff was on the brown leave…..but it was beautiful!
I managed to get a few shots from the train as we descended the mountains towards Nagoya, really the most beautiful train ride. The photos not great, do keep in mind we on a fast moving train, but you certainly get an idea of the beauty.
Next destination is Kyoto. We had to catch two trains to get from Takayama to Kyoto, changing at Nagoya (aka Sumo Town). So far on this trip trains have departed and arrived exactly on time….literally within the minute they scheduled. So you know what's about to happen….we had 18 mins to change trains at Nagoya….and our train was 19 mins late…so we missed our train by a minute….very annoying. Next train was in an hour….oh well, such a shame they have a department store in the train station….it would be rude not to go check it out…..now I have a new scarf as a souvenir thanks to the rare late trains in Japan.
We finally arrive in Kyoto, and checked in to our hotel….this place is a little fancy, it has a chapel in it…..literally a full sized stone chapel built inside an atrium of the hotel…..can't get a photo as its always closed as its being used for weddings.
We headed off to explore Kyoto, firstly heading to the Nishiki Market, which sells all manner of fish and vegetables, and things that we simply have no idea what they are, best part was its an indoor air conditioned market, great when it's 36 degrees.
All this food was making my hungry, and while you could sample stuff in the market, I needed food! So we found a place that did Japanese pancakes….it was about 4 o'clock so we thought we just grab a beer….it was hot after all, and a snack before dinner. The place we went to had a hot grill in the middle of each table, we thought we might get to cook our own okonomiyaki…..how cool, but no they just brought out the cooked pankcake and then put it on the HOT hot plate and you served yourself from the hot plate….mmmm the words 'pointless' comes to mind….but was a really yummy okonomiyaki.
After this we went geisha spotting…… mmmmmm me thinks this just a hoax on tourists as we didn't spot any. We walked about the Gion area of Kyoto which is known for its exclusive bars that the geisha's entertain business men at, but you have to know someone and be invited to go to them. So a few things going against us here, but I kept my eyes peeled, but no luck….the below photo was the best I could do…..inset sad face here!
We walked down Ponto Cho which is along the side of the river, a cute little street with all the restaurants having balconies that overlook the river, we couldn't get just a drink at one, so plan to come back another night, but the lane and the river where interesting to walk along…..even if I didn't see any geisha's!!!