Everybody should take a chance to visit places outside of their countries and gain new perspectives on the world. For those that don't already know, I was born and raised in Okinawa, Japan and spent a large majority (10+ years) of my childhood on the small island. I left for good in 2002 and hadn't been back since.. until December 5, 2017.
Day 1: Kyoto
Have you ever been to New York City? Imagine NYC population and multiply that by about 6. I'm legitimately not joking. There are so many people that when we took the city tram to the train station, people were packed tighter than a sardine can. It was hilarious if you were a fly on the wall (if you had the room). Everybody got off on the same stop so that was nice. Let's fast forward to the famous Bullet Train! Legitimately, this train has a maximum operating speed of 200 mph and it feels like you're riding on a cloud. Complete with bathrooms, a snack cart, and even a smoking section. First time riding on a train, not a bad way to begin! The 2.5 hour train ride from Tokyo ended in Kyoto. We stayed at the beautiful Sakura Terrace - Gallery right across from the train station. To have the full Japanese experience, you need you use the Public Bath and it is wonderful to say the least.
Imagine Waffle House but 100X better and with curry! I have loved this restaurant ever since I was a child. Here's a photo! Legitimately this is all I need to say; when you visit Japan, it's not a real visit without stopping by CoCo's.
*Oh, check this out. All the tables have a call button for the servers! They will bring you water and your utensils, then whenever you're ready to order you just depress the button and a bell will chime with a number on a board that the servers can see so they know you're ready. Talk about prompt!
MAIKO GEISHA - KYOTO
Have you ever wanted to know what it was like to be dressed in full traditional Japanese Kimono, hair, and makeup? While in Kyoto, you must stop by Maiko Geisha for the full experience. Complete with steep narrow stairs, various kimono designs to choose from, and wigs to wear. The girls at this shop will make sure you're ready to go!
You'll even get to take photos and prints to remember by. There are even tons of options to walk around the town; I saw that plenty of time on the days to follow while walking the various temples. But, I will save that for my next post. :)