Alright, getting back on track. I flew into Tokyo late on a Tuesday night with plans to take the train Wednesday morning to Kyoto. While I was waiting for the shuttle bus to my hotel, I met a lovely couple also on vacation from teaching in Korea. They suggested I look into a cheap flight instead of the bullet train which is notoriously expensive. I checked the prices on my phone and found a flight through Jetstar the next morning to Osaka for nearly 1/3 the price of a train ticket. Sold! It also happened to be the same flight the couple was taking, so the next morning we caught the shuttle back to the airport, took a plane to Osaka followed by a train to Kyoto together.
For this trip I decided to try out Airbnb.com for my lodging. Airbnb is a website where people will rent out their extra rooms or apartments to travelers for a fee. Some are just like a bed and breakfast where they will cook you a meal, and other are a little more hostel style. You can even rent out a private apartment for a very reasonable price if you find the right host. The place I stayed at was very inexpensive and hostel style. The owner was a nice lady who uses her second home to rent out to travelers. Some rooms are for permanent tenants(usually local students), some are private rooms for multiple people. I was in a room with two other girls but we all had beds which was nice. The metro I needed to take was closed down because of flooding from a typhoon they had just days earlier, so the owner was kind enough to drive down to the train station and pick me up in person. She also brought up some traditional sweets for the guests to try since it was the moon festival. I look forward to using Airbnb more in the future.
|You can see how high the flood waters were by the grass that was ripped out and caught on the bridge.|
|While walking around Kyoto it is easy to stumble upon many temples and shrines. I think visitors poured water on the lion statue for good luck.|
|Wishes at the temple written on wooden ornaments that are then hung below a tree.|
|Gion at night. The lights look so pretty on the canals going through the neighborhood.|
|Entrance to a very famous Geisha house.|
|The entrance to Takuma, the restaurant I will return to shortly.|