My day started off great! I woke up at 6am this time! (one more hour each day). Today was not as action and adventure packed like the last three days, because I needed to take the Shinkansen (The bullet train) down to Kyoto.
Amanda and I were up and ready to go by 8ish. We walked to the JR Tokai agency office inside the JR Tokyo Station to purchase our Shinkansen tickets. These kind of tickets are really interesting because you purchase a ticket based on the day not the time, and they are a one way deal. Meaning that I must purchase a new ticket for my return to Tokyo June 20th.
Once the Shinkansen tickets were purchased and secured in out wallets Amanda and I decided to get breakfast. Something that has been a major culture shock to me is the lack of breakfast idea in Japan. As a Hispanic-American breakfast is a really big deal, I need my eggs, toast, oatmeal, juice and areapas. Here breakfast is just another meal that includes fish.
There was a little Udon restaurant jammed between two scary looking government buildings on our way back to the Pearl Hotel. I saw many restaurants just like this in the train stations in Tokyo. It has small kitchen, 10 seats max and a long and narrow tables. Udon is a form of pasta and soup much like ramen but the noodle is thicker. So yea…I ate pasta and soup for breakfast. I felt very Japanese by doing so.
Once “breakfast” was done and over with, Amanda and I returned to the hotel to finish packing our belongings. We checked out, and headed back to the JR Tokyo Station and decided to take the 10:20 train to Kyoto (it was 10am when this decision was made). We both had non-reserved seat tickets (because they were cheaper), but we did not know which train car contained said seats. We made it till train car 14 and we still had not found the “non-reserved” section (it was 10:10). I told Amanda to stay put to see where our cars were. I made it all away to car 8 when I realized that it was 10:15. So I hurried back to Amanda and told her we needed to ask someone. We did. Non-reserved are cars 1-3 and we were by 15. 10:16am Amanda and I were hauling down line 14 as fast as we could and trying our best to not run anyone over. My bags were so heavy that I almost fell as we hurried to car 1-3. 10:19 we literally jump into the car, the second I step through the train car’s door and closes. (Shinkansen are always on time for a reason)
The train ride was very pleasant, it was smooth, almost as if it were floating on air. I am not quite sure what was the mph that Shinkansen was at, but it took exactly 2 hours and 45 minutes to get from Tokyo to Kyoto. If one were to take a car ride from Tokyo to Kyoto it would take about 6 hours (maybe that can help you image the speed of the Shinkansen).
Kyoto is completely different from Tokyo. Tokyo is quick pace, and full of spark. Meanwhile Kyoto is mellow and quiet. Even the air smelled different, fresher.
While were in the Kyoto station, Amanda and I had the brilliant of idea of walking to our accommodations. It was only 2km away. It sounded fun at the time. 20 minutes in our walk, luggages slowly gaining extra invisible weight I want to go back in time and punch myself in the face for ever thinking of such a ridiculous idea. It took us about over an hour to reach our destination. So much regret.
After checking in and being allowed to settle in our rooms Komura sensei came and got us. She took us out to eat okonomiyaki in a restaurant called Donguri (Acorn).