Kyoto

Trains are very efficient in Japan. It took two hours from Matsumoto to Nagoya and then 30 more minutes on a different train to Kyoto. Shinkansen trains are similar to French TGV or German ICE. They were very fast and very on schedule.

First things first. I found TI office at the train station and got the map with directions to my hotel. There was some confusion with buying subway ticket from the machine. All buttons have only Kanji letters. Eventually I checked into my hotel in a small, clean room.

I explored Kyoto on foot and visited one temple. You need to take off your shoes to get in. There are many foreign (European) tourists. In the mountains I saw no foreigners at all. Which reminds me that the first question Japanese people would ask me always was "What country are you from?" Which felt weird at first (How do they know?) but pretty soon I got used to the fact that I just look different.

The second day in Kyoto: Path of Philosophy, more temples, beautiful gardens, more city exploring on foot, people watching. Kyoto - Street Art I had my breakfast at the hotel. It is a buffet with a mix of European/American and Japanese food costing 1000 yen. About half of the guests were foreigners. And now to the TV channel lineup. There are about 10 Japanese channels, BBC World News, and on one of the NHK channels last night I caught the PBS show with Jim Lehrer.