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