strivetoengage

Living with intent, social engagement, learning, growing, giving

Travels with children in Japan, part 3, Tokyo to Kyoto

View from the train

View from the train

Two days in Tokyo were certainly not enough but that’s all that we allowed because we only have 2 weeks and want to spend as much as possible in Kyoto. I allowed 2 days in Tokyo to recover from the overnight flight, orient ourselves to travelling in Japan, and break up travel days because they can be very difficult with our children. We saw very little of Tokyo (especially because we spent one whole day at Disney land) but we enjoyed exploring our neighborhood, eating some yummy meals at fun local restaurants, and discovering part of Ueno. That leaves plenty for next time!

The cherry blossoms would have been spectacular!

The cherry blossoms would have been spectacular!

Cherry blossom petals on the canal

Cherry blossom petals on the canal

We took the shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo to Kyoto. Children under 6 travel for free so we were fortunate to be allocated 3 seats in a row with movable arm rests so the 4 of us could squeeze in together. We had a comfortable trip and were delighted to catch a brief glimpse of the sea. The train certainly does go fast and so I was unable to capture many photos. Our children happily wrote, drew and colored in their Qantas activity packs (I love those!) for most of the trip and didn’t become difficult until we had almost arrived in Kyoto.

This cute fellow is standing outside an antique shop in our neighborhood. I don't know what he represents but we saw smaller versions in other shops.

This cute fellow is standing outside an antique shop in our neighborhood. I don’t know what he represents but we saw smaller versions in other shops.

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Traditional house not far from ours. I wonder if the bamboo was to make it harder to attack the house?

Traditional house not far from ours. I wonder if the bamboo was to make it harder to attack the house?

We picked up some maps at the Tourist Information Centre, withdrew some cash (we grossly underestimated!), figured out the metro system and caught our 2 metros then followed the instructions to our house. I have rented for us a traditional Kyoto wooden townhouse (machiya) in Sakyou-ku with some rice paper walls and a traditional bath but modern plumbing, kitchen and gas heating. It is spacious and we were delighted to enter the beautiful house and find 3 beds made up for us, everything spotlessly clean, and with lovely furnishings. It is a delightful house and we feel very welcome.

A nearby Shinto shrine where we had a nice chat with a very enthusiastic Japanese lady

A nearby Shinto shrine where we had a nice chat with a very enthusiastic Japanese lady

We enjoyed exploring our neighborhood and chatted with the people in the café across the street, exchanged warm greetings with several strangers in the street and generally settled into the relaxed atmosphere. I love it here!

I love the look of this place

I love the look of this place

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3 comments on “Travels with children in Japan, part 3, Tokyo to Kyoto

  1. ecclemon
    April 17, 2014

    The ‘cute fellow’ is a tanuki which features in folktales as a shapeshifter, sometimes good and sometimes bad.

    • strivetoengage
      April 17, 2014

      Thanks! We see him all over Kyoto and also saw him in Kurama and Kibune. I asked an attendant at a Manga shop and she said he’s a raccoon dog from shiga prefecture.

  2. Pingback: Family Top Three Experiences for Japan | strivetoengage

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This entry was posted on April 16, 2014 by in Asia, family and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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