8 days away
15 km / 9 miles since last post
10,385 km / 6,453 miles total
It has to be said that we both had a great night's sleep last night. The beds in this hotel are amazing - I want a bed like this one when I get home!
As we didn't have to check out today and breakfast is served until 11:30am we saw no reason to set the alarm this morning, and had a bit of a lay-in. Well, until about 7:30am - but that's later than we have been getting up so far in Japan.
We headed to the lobby around 9am to get some breakfast, but after Stu took one look at the menu - and the prices - he said we would get breakfast elsewhere. It was a shame as I was looking forward to eating breakfast here and I was really hungry, but it was ridiculously expensive even for Japanese standards. The cheapest breakfast was pancakes or eggs Benedict which was just over £10. However the breakfast buffet was about £35! Even just a coffee or tea was £7. It made sense to go outside the hotel.
We had a walk a little way up the road. After going past quite a few places which looked very closed, we found a mart where we could get a couple of croissants. We could also grab a coffee from a vending machine - sorted!
The first impression of Kyoto is that it is very different to Tokyo. It doesn't really have any of the skyscrapers and has an older feel to it - certainly a more Japanese Japan.
We took a recommended tourist walk of Kyoto's temples and shrines which was really good, but we did a lot of walking.
We found a great little place to stop for some lunch. I had a bowl of rice with egg, fish cake and shitakke mushrooms, which was delicious and very filling. It came with a small bowl of soba noodles and some mountain vegetables - good value for about £8. Stu had more or less the same dish but with udon noodles instead of rice.
As we walked around the small shops we noticed that a lot of places sold a certain type of sweet. They look like coloured pancakes with filling, but when we tried one they taste like sweet uncooked pastry with various different fruit fillings. Sounds weird but they were strangely quite good! Perhaps not good enough to buy, though I did grab a few more tastes of them along the way.
We headed up the Imperial Palace of Kyoto, but unfortunately we were disappointed that it was not open to the public, and there was very little to see other than the big wall that surrounds it and lots of gravel. It was a bit of a waste of time in all honesty.
Heading back in the direction of our hotel, we wandered past a few more temples. It blows my mind how old they are, yet they look like they could have been built 10 years ago!
After many hours walking around we were starting to feel quite tired, so decided to grab a bit of dinner at a mart to take back to the hotel - perhaps to make up for the money spent on last night at the hotel restaurant! I grabbed a good value meal of rice, chicken, fish cakes and tempura while Stu opted for a packet of noodles. It was great getting back to our room as we were both feeling a bit achy. Stu got straight in the bath while I started writing the blog.
We've booked another hotel in Kyoto for the next couple of nights (unfortunately we can't splash out on any more nights in the Hyatt, lovely though it is!) we'll be staying at the Ana Hotel, conveniently located right near the Nijo Castle where would like to go tomorrow.