This morning we woke up in a cloudy and rainy Tokyo so we decided to visit Kyoto for a couple of days before we return to Tokyo on Tuesday for the exhibition. With the bullet train Shinkanzen, Kyoto is only 2h30 away from Tokyo. This train ride is very pleasant.
It is fascinating to look out the window and observe the changing landscape between the two cities. There are towns, lookalike houses, factories following each other with some patches of vivid green rice fields. As you go further South lush hills are appearing in the distance. If the sky is clear you can see Mount Fuji (Just an advice if you head down to Kyoto, you need to be seated to the right hand side of the train to be able to see Mount Fuji).
We are staying in the ryokan (japanese B&B) Yoshimizu Inn on top of a hill in the beautiful Maruyama Park. We are surrounded by luxuriant vegetation and as I type the crickets are singing outside (it's nearly midnight here!). I always wanted to stay in a ryokan so I we are delighted to have been recommended this one. It is authentic and very homely. Our room has tatamis, rice paper sliding doors and we made our own bed with the white thin mattresses and bedding provided. Before we went out tonight we had a relaxing warm bath in the communal bath (btw you are on your own in the bath). Tomorrow we will rent a couple of bikes to cycle in the narrow streets of the old city center, visit some temples, go to this bag shop and relax drinking green tea...
Some images of our day in Kyoto:
Kyoto Tower in the distance (no, i didn't Photoshop the ray of light!)
Sushi sweets and garland of colourful sweets!