Osaka To Kyoto

on Sunday, 30 May 2010

We have discovered there isn’t really much to do in Osaka, apart from an aquarium, but we decide to go to the one in Tokyo which is supposed to be even better. Therefore we decide to leave Osaka early and get to Kyoto, so we can spend more time there, where we have heard there is more to do. We leave early and go straight to the station where we book the fast train to Kyoto, which takes just 14 minutes. We arrive at Kyoto station and it’s just a short walk to the hostel we have booked. We can’t get in the room, but drop off our bags and decide to have a look around town. We walk a short way up the road and visit a temple, amazingly it is free. A bit further up as we cross the road, Tom spots a skyline at the junction and just a little back I see an R8. We cross to the other side and take some photos as it goes by, the guy opens his window, gives us a wave with his leather racing gloves and roars off down the street.

This isn’t the only nice car we see, we see several 911’s a Ferrari 355 F1, a Ferrari 360, a Honda NSX and a Caterham, in about a 30 minute walk around town. There is some serious money around here. After watching the R8 speed off, we cross the road and decide to have a McDonalds, what a mistake. I order a medium double quarter pounder meal and it costs £6.77! We walk further up and visit the Kyoto imperial palace, which isn’t open because it’s Sunday and then visit Nijo castle, which we have to pay 600Y to get into.

We then return to the hostel as our feet are killing and we need to actually check in to the hostel. We chill out at the hotel and then decide to go out and get some food and go to a bar to watch Japan vs England.

The guy at reception gives us a good place to eat and a place to watch the football, so we walk up, we end up not being able to find the restaurant he had recommended and eat in an Italian restaurant. We both have a pizza and one beer, which costs us 1800Y each. When we have finished eating the waitress comes over and kneels next to the table for what seems like ages, we don’t know what is going on, I think maybe she is asking for a tip, but later find out we should of bowed as well, and by not bowing it was the equivalent of refusing to shake someone's hand. So that was a big Faux pas! We also leave a tip on the table which is also apparently not good. We pop over to the bar, which is quite busy and actually has quite a few foreigners in as well as Japanese. We go to the bar, but don’t get served, finally one a girl tells us you have to queue up for the bar and low and behold there is a long organised queue going back from the bar. A pint is about £5, we end up buying 4 pint jugs which work out a tiny bit cheaper. We watch the footy and there is some really good banter with the Japanese crowd. We then decide to head back, but on the way there is two young girls with a big skipping rope in the middle of the street for no apparent reason and we get roped in by some other Japanese guys to try and skip over it. They go to a club over the other side and we join them. It costs 2000Y to get in and when in there is a total of about 5 people in the place. We play some darts with the Japanese guys, the first round, I’m playing great, hitting the treble 20’s until I realise the game is to actually hit specific numbers! We lose and we have to drink Tequila, great! It starts to get a bit busier and we meet some really cool Japanese people. We finally leave at about 5am and walk back to the hostel, for some reason out here it is really light at this time, so it seems like the middle of the day. Tom is absolutely wasted and somehow I just about manage to find our way back to the hostel. We get back about 6am and have to check out at 11am, I have 3000Y left in my pocket from the 22000 I had taken out, so it ends up being the most expensive night ever, not good, especially for us budget travellers!


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